Fifty years after V2:
Why Catholics never fought for their Church
© Copyright 2012, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.)
It will soon be 50 years since the false Vatican 2 council convened and in many respects Catholics still do not know what this bastard council really cost them — those who are left, that is. Most who initially objected to the changes wrought by the council have since passed on. Those remaining were either children or teens when it first began or were born after the death of Pope Pius XII. At the time, few knew what was really happening, what they were required to do and the true implications of what they were witnessing. Apparently none of the priests who left the Church in the wake of the changes knew either. Had they known, their work would have lived after them, and nothing permanent has survived the early groups who exited the false V2 church with priests retaining their jurisdiction.
Why is this so? Because none of those who left the NO really knew the Catholic faith or set about to learn it. They relied on those at the “top” (?) to resolve the crisis — petitioning the bishops, petitioning Rome — never realizing that by the very virtue of their compliance with even one item proposed at the false council, these men already had forfeited their membership in the Church. But the truth was out there, advanced as early as 1970 by authors such as Francis Panakal, in his “666 – Beast of the Apocalypse Unmasked,” and Robert Bergin’s “This Apocalyptic Age.” Although these books were made available at precisely the time most were exiting from the Novus Ordo church, they seem to have been largely ignored by the faithful, then desperately trying to make sense of the chaos. Even though the unreleased Fatima message could be guessed to have predicted it, Catholics in general were not ready to make the Antichrist connection, or to believe that the Mass had ceased. It was far too frightening and already they were frightened enough. The changes in the Church split families apart, left those daring to reject these changes without any sort of Catholic community or spiritual direction and isolated them from the community in general. Even worse, it threw them into the most disastrous spiritual and moral times the Church had ever experienced in the course of her existence.
Traditionalists in denial
The false V2 council set the faithful adrift in the turbulent seas of the 1960-70s, when the changes in the Church were dramatically reflected in the penchant for innovation, rampant immorality and the anti-authoritarian stance among young and old alike. All this led to a desperate reaction from those seeking to keep their faith, and failure to realize where they stood theologically as well as psychologically prevented them from avoiding many pitfalls. Most were unaware that they were trapped in an intense grieving process for what they had lost, although many of those posing as their leaders fully realized and cashed in on this advantage. Their only thought was to somehow revive and keep alive what they believed was the faith and hang on to the Mass and Sacraments for dear life. They were mistakenly led to believe the Church hinged on these externals, not the doctrines that created and supported them. They knew little of the internal life and familiarity with Catholic truth that was necessary both to understand the situation and move forward in a constructive way, in full accordance with Canon Law and Church teaching. Many could not decide if John 23, Paul 6 and their “successors” were evil popes who yet needed to be obeyed or antipopes, and they had precious little help in making this determination from the Traditional “priests” who pretended to lead them. It would take another 12 years for some to make that decision, and even today many Traditionalists still believe John 23 was a valid pope, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. The grief cycle stalled in its first stages and never progressed through all seven steps. When the clergy weighted in on the Antichrist issue, the focus was Paul 6, and again the theme was Antichrist.
Rev. Joaquin Saenz Arriaga was a Mexican priest and theologian who was personally excommunicated for his anti-V2 stance by Cardinal Miranda and the Roman Catholic bishops’ conference of Mexico. Saenz y Arriaga’s belief that Paul 6 was the Antichrist was a theory already suggested in part by a theologian writing in 1955 in Ecuador, after Montini was first appointed Archbishop of Milan. Saenz’ promoted the 1960s book “Plot Against the Church,” (ghost written by the Mexican Trent Union leader Anacleto Gonzalez-Flores under the pseudonym Maurice Pinay), and later, under his own name wrote the “New Montinian Church,” (1971). The book was not translated into English, however, until 1985, and those learning of its contents and conclusions did so only piecemeal. In his book, Saenz referred to “The Plot Against the Church,” distributed to the bishops in Rome during the false council, as the ages-old Judaeo/Masonic drive to destroy the Church. Where Panakal had used the number 666 to make his point, Saenz instead cited Montini’s many heresies and Jewish ancestry to prove he was the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the Man of Sin. The idea was to convince others sufficiently that this was the case, and possibly rally support to arrive at a solution. Some believed Saenz based only on reviews of the book. But no solution to the problem was ever proposed or adopted. And following Saenz’ death, they unwittingly ran with the ball that slipped from his hands to the other team’s goal line.
Saenz was the one who first introduced the term “sede vacante” in his book by this title, explaining why Paul 6 was not a legitimate pope. It was never translated into English. In the early 1980s, following the consecration of the Mexican bishops by Bp. Thuc, the breakaway group under Thuc referred to itself by the name sedevacantist. And so ended Fr. Saenz’ work to educate Catholics to the fact that we had no pope because Antichrist had taken the See. Relying on donations from their followers, Traditionalists managed to keep their mass operations afloat, but unbeknownst to their flocks, they acted invalidly. As Canon Law and papal teachings show, nearly all these men were vitandus and only appeared to offer Mass and administer the Sacraments; in reality their actions were null and void because the Church had removed from them the power to act. The earth-shattering truth that Panakal and Saenz actually had identified in the flesh the dreadful protagonist of our Lord and the Church He established on earth — long predicted in Holy Scripture — was irrelevant and inconvenient. Fr. Saenz was certain about his findings from a doctrinal standpoint; he had even sent Fr. Buckley to England to obtain a copy of Pope Paul IV’s bull, Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, where Pope Paul IV infallibly interprets the abomination of desolation as a pope usurping the papal see. While the actions of Montini were more easily identifiable, since the Mass was visibly withdrawn, Saenz focused on this and did not delve much into Roncalli’s role as John 23, author of the false V2 council. Only after Saenz’ death would the bulk of the evidence against Roncalli surface, showing that he could never have been validly elected, and also exposing the active role Montini played as his personal advisor.
The implications of the Antichrist theory are staggering and have not been drawn out sufficiently, even some 45 years later. In the 1960s, the speculation concerning his identity was little mentioned and today it has grown to fever pitch, with any and sundry pegged as a candidate for this iniquitous role. Like so many topics today, meant to be judged totally by Catholic standards, all manner of sects have misinterpreted Scripture in this regard, wresting its words to their own liking and fashioning a Man of Sin to suit their own whims. Given this fact, it is difficult for us to appreciate today the absolute disbelief, the incredulity that those exiting the NO would have met had they believed Panakal or Saenz and acted accordingly. I was reminded of this fact recently while watching the controversy over presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann’s departure from her church. One commentator scornfully observed that it was no wonder Bachmann would leave, since her church taught that the pope was antichrist — as if this was the most ridiculous suggestion he had ever heard. Who has studied the history of this belief and the many twists and turns it has taken throughout the centuries? Who would be willing to believe today that a pope who ruled in the mid-1500s taught infallibly on this matter, indicating precisely what Michelle Bachmann’s church believes as indeed possible; or that St. Bernard himself, as well as many other approved theologians advanced this idea consistently, right into the 19th century? For good reason, the Church’s teaching on this matter is not generally known or sufficiently explained, to prevent scandal among the faithful. But seeing that it has already taken place, there is no reason to hide from it now.
In his declaration, Bp. Thuc made reference to the Antichrist theory as a justification for appearing to consecrate bishops and declared that the papal See was vacant. Had the faithful carefully digested the actual significance of a sede vacante, this should have placed them on a completely different track. This information was readily available from Canon Law and in Pope Pius XII’s Constitution, “Vacantis Apostolica Sedis,” and would quickly have informed those who read it that nothing can be done outside Canon Law by anyone until a new pope is elected. According to all we know about the end times and the coming of Antichrist, those at least entertaining the idea that the anti-popes could be Antichrist and/or his system should also have realized that Holy Scripture predicted that Antichrist himself would abolish the Mass and the sheep (the bishops) would be scattered. The onus on the remaining clergy should have been to prepare the faithful for persecution and perseverance in the faith without pastoral assistance. This was never done. All expected the crisis to end at some point and a savior to appear to rescue everyone, a role fulfilled in part by those presenting invalidly for consecration. Neither remaining clerics nor educated laity had the proper recourse to Canon Law and Church teaching to work out a truly Catholic course of action. Had the comprehensive study of these subjects been demanded by those guiding the faithful, it soon would have become clear that Mass centers and continued efforts to perpetuate the hierarchy were not permitted by the law and were actually forbidden under pain of excommunication.
Already psychologically stunned by the destruction of the Church, Catholics exiting the NO simply were too overwhelmed to even entertain the idea of a pope as the Antichrist, and in fact could not even get past the idea that, as had happened many times in the Church’s past, a false pope ruled from Rome as true. By failing to accept Panakal’s and Fr. Saenz’ identification of Montini as Antichrist, which proved the vacancy of the Holy See, Sedevacantists thereby rejected the consequences of this truth and intentionally or not, effectively denied the teachings of the Church Fathers on the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice. This even though many were well versed in the Catholic prophecies predicting this very thing, and these same prophecies either stated openly or implied that the pope would either die or be exiled from Rome, and the Church all but destroyed. Fatima indicated this much. Some Sedevacantists didn’t quite believe Montini was the Antichrist, although they considered him an antipope. Yet never in the history of the Church had an antipope reigned without a true pope being elected within a few years time. While they professed the belief they were living in the end times and held/hold Pius XII as the last true pope, it never occurred to them to ask, however, how the Church could continue to exist indefinitely without a true pope, which was the very reason the only Vatican Council was held in the 1860s. But despite the accomplishments of this great council, the doctrine of the papacy still was not understood.
This is evident from the fact that vagrant priests and bishops, never validly ordained or consecrated, succeeded in convincing the faithful they had the power to teach, administer the Sacraments and offer Holy Mass, and none questioned their claims. The NO refugees just could not bring themselves to believe the literal cessation of the Sacrifice was meant to be understood as a truth of Divine revelation issuing from those prophecies. Yet as Cardinal Manning pointed out in his work “The Vatican Council,” (1896), quoted in Bergin’s “This Apocalyptic Age,” released by Fatima International in 1970, this was exactly what the Holy Fathers (as well as St. Alphonsus Liguori and others) taught. Had they understood this as a truth of faith, then perhaps they would have drawn the conclusion from this truth that if no Mass could be offered, then there must not be true priests to offer them. Traditionalists repeatedly refused to recognize the signs of the times. Had they recognized that psychologically they were not dealing with the situation in a logical or healthy manner, perhaps it would have helped them to move forward and find real solutions to their problems. That is what those who have lost a loved one must do. Catholics had lost their Holy Mother Church, an unfathomable loss that affected every part of their lives. To be frank, they didn’t deal with it. And having never dealt with it they have yet to find the solutions today that would help them arrive at a truly Catholic answer to their dilemma.
We cannot know where we are going if we don’t know what happened, why it happened and where to go. What
happened and Why
it happened can be traced to a subtle use of coercive persuasion by “priests” and “bishops” claiming legal authority over the faithful. “A coercive persuasion program is a behavioral change technology applied to cause the “learning” and “adoption” of a set of behaviors or an ideology under certain conditions.
It is distinguished from other forms of benign social learning or peaceful persuasion by the conditions under which it is conducted and by the techniques of environmental and interpersonal manipulation employed to suppress particular behaviors and to train others. Over time, coercive persuasion, a psychological force akin in some ways to our legal concepts of undue influence, can be even MORE effective than pain, torture, drugs, and use of physical force and legal threats.” Please see the tactics used in this process at http://www.factnet.org/rancho1.htm .
Many will appear familiar, although in the beginning they were applied tentatively and with restraint. In reality they are a cunning modification of earlier brainwashing tactics using physical force and fear of personal survival. These methods were largely abandoned when the Communist Chinese learned that coercive persuasion was more effective and less offensive from a human rights standpoint.
Psychology (not psychiatry) has its uses and was always employed by the Church’s spiritual directors, in its Catholic form of course. Coercive persuasion, indeed any form of brainwashing is the perversion of psychology and its misuse, or diabolical use. Jay Lifton’s definitive work on this subject, published in the 1960s, lays out basic methods used in thought reform. To begin with, those bent on deceiving the elect took advantage of the chaotic conditions following the false Vatican 2 council. Quoting from Lifton’s work listed on the site above, we see that in order to seduce their prey, most Traditionalist leaders posing as clergy used “mystical manipulation” to foist their own ideas of what was occurring and impose their own solutions on the bewildered refugees from the NO, under the guise of possessing the authority to do so. Isolating the faithful was easy; they had already cut themselves loose from the false church in Rome. The “cult of confession” was promoted by encouraging Catholics to confess to those without jurisdiction and using these “clerics” for spiritual guidance. “Loaded language” can be traced to the monikers Traditionalists assigned to themselves and others and the terms used to describe what had happened in the Church. “Sacred science” is the idea that the sect alone has the truth and all other sects or individuals cannot possess it without becoming a member. This has been described by some borrowing Jansenist terms such as the “petit eglise” or the elitist attitude, peculiar to the Gnostics, that only a certain select group can have a handle on the truth. While this is true of the Catholic Church in normal times when directed by a legitimate pontiff, Trad “clergy” are not teaching the Catholic faith to their followers. These groups, Trads included, hold an “absolute doctrine” no one can depart from, even when the Church’s own doctrine contradicts the group’s beliefs. And the souls of those who leave the group are considered lost.
Catholic acceptance of false authority resulted from an erroneous conscience for most; the mistaken belief that they had no right to think for themselves and must blindly follow those claiming to be lawful clergy. In his “ABC of Scholastic Theology,” (1949), A.C. Cotter S.J. explains the situation Traditionalists found themselves in to a “T” when he stated: “Authority clothed with the necessary conditions is true authority. False authority makes the same claims although it lacks these conditions…Authority is not the last criteria of truth or motive of certitude,” (all emph. Cotter’s). He calls the results of heeding false authority “intellectual idolatry.” Cotter points out in the beginning of his work that the cognitions he is considering “are those of normal men, [not] the judgments of abnormal people…for no one will put these on a par with the judgments of normal people.” Yet how “normal” could those deceived for decades by their trusted leaders really be? Traditionalists must recognize that they were not in a normal state when they first joined up with these leaders, but were in a vulnerable, grieving state. So they must assume that their initial perceptions concerning these men were incorrect. Those who finally do recognize what happened and leave these groups often find themselves compromised for many months, even years. They are reluctant to trust again, and their own self-trust is deeply shaken. But this is an overreaction to their errors; most were not fully culpable and many were suffering from other physical or mental ailments that further impeded their ability to judge rightly. On the one hand, they cannot be excused from all blame, but on the other they were not acting with full knowledge, certainly.
This slavish devotion to false shepherds on the part of Traditionalists amounts to a sort of ”nanny Church” mentality not unlike the “nanny state” mentality many exhibit today. Decades of anti-intellectualism preceded this mindset, with even some pre-V2 clergy helping to dumb Catholics down by substituting dances, sports and social activities for the spiritual and theological formation they so desperately needed. And many Catholics who remained in the V2 church following the changes were only too happy to go along. An entire book was dedicated to this subject in 1949 by Peter Michaels entitled, “This Perverse Generation.” In his work, Michaels begs Catholics to use their intellect vs. their emotions, to become “real” about the orientation of their entire lives to the Catholic ideal. And this when Catholic bishops and priests yet existed. So the softening up of the lay apostle/crusaders Christ needed to stand firm in the faith began long before their actual betrayal. And no one was paying attention when the Communists’ first onslaught of thought reforms tactics was thrown full bore at Cardinal Mindszenty, Primate-Prince of Hungary, and other hierarchy behind the Iron Curtain.
The breeding ground for coercive persuasion
In his 1956 work “Brainwashing: The Story of Men Who Defied It” Edward Hunter, a CIA propaganda operator who worked undercover as a journalist, wrote: “The highly educated person who bends medical discoveries to the practice of mind attack is incalculably more evil than any savage using potions, trances, and incantations…The word brain-changing became obscured as brainwashing and began to embrace all the available pressures that could be utilized to bend a man’s will and change his attitudes fundamentally. Brain-changing specifically refers to the complete job in all its wickedness. Cardinal Mindszenty underwent a brain-changing. That was how his vigorous mind was bent. A man’s memory can be physically eliminated, if at all possible, only at the price of permanent damage to the brain. In such a brain-changing, drugs have to be used to destroy the natural alertness and strong character of the individual, and hypnotism must be employed, too, to help in breaking down resistance. Information obtained through the most persistent inquiry by every possible channel reveals that drugs and hypnotism were used on the cardinal.” And techniques today have been further perfected to anticipate all possibilities and eventualities and to better bind captives to the particular mindset at play in the different sects.
Hunter spoke at length with servicemen and others who were victims of brainwashing, and even clung to the beliefs they had imbibed while prisoners of the Communists following their release. He became convinced that at some deep level, all who had experienced “brain-changing” had the tentative idea they were deluded and even could be brought to this conclusion through intensive debriefing. “If truth can linger in the mind in spite of the strongest hallucinations, and the evidence I have accumulated indicates it can, the reason is clear why the Reds cannot be sure of even their completest victories, their Mindszentys. They never capture their minds completely!” And this remark is very revealing. The primary difference between those who were the initial lab rats for brain-changing then and those who experienced it years later is this: Hunter and others noticed that Americans were far more susceptible to these tactics, for some reason, than others, and this cannot have improved with the passage of time. Those wishing to use these tactics always look for the weakest, most vulnerable links — the elderly, the young, the disoriented, the uneducated, the grieving, and those emotionally or mentally unstable, for whatever reason. They found it all in Catholics who had lost their Church. We read everywhere that prior to the false V2 council, Catholics in general were not well-instructed in their faith and tended to lay undue emphasis on external religion. They certainly never possessed the level of faith and spiritual formation of a Cardinal Mindszenty. And so it is not surprising that they became sitting ducks for those wishing to finish the destruction of the Church once and for all.
Despite the fact that Mindszenty was entirely broken by his captors and his brain thoroughly “washed” — even to the extent that he appeared to deny his faith and concede to all Communist demands — Pope Pius XII neither condemned nor deserted him for these forced concessions. In Canon Law, absolute force and fear relates only to physical violence, not violence coupled with deliberate assaults on the mind that make one unable to think or act aright. The Church did not foresee the horrors of this age. But Pope Pius XII’s example concerning Cardinal Mindszenty should indicate the mind of the Church in this matter. His behavior in Mindszenty’s case should prompt us to be more compassionate, less judgmental, in dealing with those who have experienced what modern experts adjudge to be even worse and more seductive torments than Mindszenty himself experienced. This is why it is important to observe and judge what really happened before and shortly after the V2 tragedy before acting, so that we may better equip ourselves to help our needy brethren however we can.
And so it seems fitting that the erroneous formation of conscience responsible for their misapprehensions concerning authority and the perpetuity of the Church should be approached as a sort of maladjustment, and not necessarily something that is primarily error-based. Many of those stuck in the coercive persuasion process could be helped to successfully move on if it could be shown to them where they went wrong, why, and how they can think their way out of the resultant theological confusion. In reality many of these people have been prevented from passing through the natural stages of the grieving process and have been manipulated into thinking that they need not pass through this process. What follows is simply a logical assessment of the loss cycle as it operates in most situations today. From a Catholic viewpoint it is a form of self-deceit, an unworthy psychological adjustment if it stalls at any point and is not resumed; it would be culpable if shysters had not deliberately manipulated this condition. The idea is to examine it in detail to determine where Traditionalists were interrupted in this process, and how to best assist them in moving on.
The seven stages of grieving
So how do we know that psychologically Catholics never dealt with the loss of their Church? A quick walk through the seven steps of grieving as taught by psychologists will quickly provide an answer.
1. Shock and denial — Those who yet attend mass and receive the sacraments are still in denial, (St. Paul calls this “the operation of error to believe lies.”) They refuse to believe the Church could abandon them that way; they cannot accept her “death.” They must behave as though She is not really gone and things will be better eventually, not by their own efforts but out of thin air. The immediate jump to Trad priests interrupted the grieving process and prevented Catholics from looking into things and obtaining certitude, as they should have done. The later jump to popes elected or designated by the laity was a further reaction to the need to recreate the Church they believed could never be taken from them.
2. Pain and guilt — At first, many blamed themselves for not seeing the true state of affairs and acting while they could. But this soon wore off, as they became involved in the Traditionalist and Conclavist movements. They could once again sit back and rely on someone else to make the rules and decisions. They had a pacifier and things suddenly didn’t seem so bad. They still felt the pain of being criticized and ridiculed for their stance; of not belonging to a mainstream church and for “abandoning” their Church. The pain of loss still assailed them at times. But the consolation of Traditionalism/Conclavism blunted the pangs because it made them feel special. They were the “remnant selected out of grace,” favored by God, and all others were going to hell.
3. Anger and bargaining — Traditionalists lashed out mainly by blaming the Jews for the destruction of the Church; they did not see that countless Catholics, and especially the hierarchy, had been lax in the practice of their faith long before V2, or that the cardinals and bishops themselves played a major role in betraying the Church. They could not comprehend that the Mass had been taken away — even for them — and that their sins, not those of the Jews was the cause of the cessation of the Sacrifice, as explained by the prophet Daniel. They bargained with Trad priests and Conclavist leaders in what would be rejected and accepted in the various Trad sects. They would believe Paul 6 and his successors evil popes, if not actually antipopes. Sedevacantists bargained by believing those ruling from Rome were antipopes, but not necessarily Antichrist. They kept insisting the Church was still alive, by holding mere laymen and/or vitandus as true priests and bishops, despite the vacancy of the See. They did this by clinging to the Mass and Sacraments they could not receive without committing sacrilege and cooperating in heresy and schism; by ignoring the fact that without a true and unquestionably legitimate pope, the Church cannot possibly exist.
But the loved one does not live on after death in his doppelganger, or his twin or his brother. Nor will laying out his slippers and his robe or setting the table for him cause him to return. At first we heard, “Well surely these men ordained in Pope Pius XII’s time are valid, so we may use them.” But more recently the tune has been, as these older priests die, “Surely even now God would not want us to be entirely without the Mass and Sacraments,” and so father so and so will do. What they don’t understand — because Traditionalists have carefully steered them away from such an understanding — is that even those few validly ordained and/or consecrated clerics emerging from the V2 church were forbidden to exercise these orders. And if they attempted to exercise them in any way, their ministrations were null and void; they had no effect whatsoever. This is dictated by Canon Law and upheld by Pope Pius XII. But it is a reality that few indeed can bring themselves to accept.
4. Depression, reflection, loneliness — Some Traditionalists experience these emotions, questioning whether they should investigate the truthfulness of the Traditionalist/Conclavist stance. But their fellow Trads tell them that it is a sin to question such things or for Catholics to be depressed; they call them gloomy Guses and say that St. Teresa asked to be delivered from “gloomy saints.” Many of these fellow Trads actually are struggling with doubts and fears of their own, but would never reveal this. Those experiencing these emotions, deep down, worry that they could be wrong. They are encouraged not to resolve their doubts, contrary to the Church’s moral teaching that requires each Catholic to arrive at certitude in order to continue in their present course of action. They feel lonely because no one understands their conflicts of conscience. And so they repeat the cycle, until the depression returns once again.
5. The upward turn — To date there has been no such thing as a general upward turn, with none of the Traditionalist sects as such willing to abandon their position. They are unable even to successfully resolve their own personal quarrels concerning how best to achieve even a semblance of unity and agreement on the matters most important to Traditionalists. Some have moved from the illusion of Traditional belief to the stay-at-home position, accepting at least that they cannot receive Sacraments from and attend Mass offered by unlawful pastors. But these individuals often revert to the depression, reflection and loneliness of stage 4, feeling more isolated than ever. There is no established group they can relate to and no one to answer their many questions and concerns. They are ridiculed by Traditionalists and their faux clerics and are accused of not being devout.
6. Reconstruction and working through — This is not possible without the upward turn or reflection on what is facing those who wish to be truly Catholic. It is now more likely than not that nearly all those mired in Traditionalism will continue to reject the known truth and remain members of these non-Catholic sects without a miracle of grace. This is true because the majority of these members today were born after or during Vatican 2 and have even less reference than their parents did to guide them concerning what the Church truly taught and how it functioned. Nor do they possess the advantages of a Catholic education, not even in part. Furthermore, they are far more likely to be pulled into the technolatry so prolific today and are far more susceptible to numerous errors in thinking and belief — false systems of philosophy — so rampant since the demise of the Church. These evils have multiplied a thousandfold over the past 53 years without a true pope to identify and condemn them.
7. Acceptance and hope — This can be achieved only by progressing through steps 4-6. Why were these steps missed? Because, as the early 1970s writer Mary Lejeune in her newsletters, The Sword of Truth and the author Craig Heimbichner documented in “Blood on the Altar,” false priests (and bishops) were already in the wings in the 1950s waiting for the changes in the Church, knowing that those exiting would be disoriented and ripe for the picking. And they were. Using mind control as practiced on Cardinal Mindszenty in the 1950s, these wolves in sheep’s clothing sympathized with V2 refugees, to gain their trust. They later offered their services, interrupting the natural psychological process they knew would be necessary to Catholics, a process that would logically have resulted in the election of a true Pope and the survival of the Church. Not only were remnant Catholics in denial about the destruction of their Church, they were entirely incapable of comprehending that the very ones rushing to their rescue could possibly be part of the same hideous nightmare they had just escaped. They believed that this would mean that God had abandoned His Church and it no longer existed, something that simply could not be possible in doctrinal terms. And yet the ante-Nicene Fathers predicted that this is exactly what would happen with the advent of Antichrist, although this ancient teaching was never pointed out to them.
Unless Catholics fearlessly face the facts of their case and the full implications of those facts, which in truth are only the teachings of the Church in which they profess membership — unless they move past their denial to become accountable and responsible, true Catholics worthy of the name — they cannot hope to work effectively to “restore” the Church. While restoration is on the lips of many, it can never come from those Traditionalist ministers who present only a crude caricature of the hierarchy and lack even the pretense of that most necessary mark of the Church — apostolicity. In all truthfulness, this work of restoration is reserved only for God, who removed His Vicar and the Mass in the first place to fulfill end-times prophecy. All we can do is make lemonade from the lemons that are left and work together to preserve the faith, as best we know how. As with everything in the Church, there is a specific way to accomplish this, although none to date have used these means to progress to the upward turn. But there is no time like the present.
What might have been
Those bishops summoned to the first session of the false V2 council, above all others should have sensed the winds of change in the air and acted accordingly. To be fair, many bishops attending the council died between 1962-65, and perhaps their continued presence would have made a difference. Some actually did protest, although it has been lost in the cumulative ecumenical sewage that the council spewed forth in its documents. Ukrainian bishops in exile from their sees protested the presence of delegates from the Moscow Patriarchate, telling the council fathers that this Patriarchate had unjustly assumed jurisdiction over 4,500,000 Ukrainian Catholics. They also protested the Council’s failure to comprehensively address and condemn Communism, Marxism and Socialism and profess support for their brethren still persecuted behind the Iron Curtain. Three hundred bishops supported this condemnation. When these deadly errors were not addressed, 15 Ukrainian bishops remained seated in protest when the council’s “Message to the World” was approved without this mention. In later council proceedings in 1964, this issue was addressed again during the fourth session seeking to revise the schema, “The Church in the Modern World.” This time over 200 bishops (including Marcel Lefebvre and possibly Ngo Dinh Thuc), petitioned for the condemnation, but the petition was set aside. As a result no mention of atheistic Communism can be found anywhere in the documents of this false council.
If the faithful had been paying attention to what Fr. Saenz and Panakal said, even as late as the early 1970s, they could have approached these exiled Ukrainian bishops and demanded that this protest be amplified to make a clear distinction between the new church of détente and the ages-old Church of the saints and martyrs. The faithful and their priests did not know that they actually had the obligation to approach these bishops and demand they declare the see vacant and convene an imperfect council to elect a true pope. Just as the faithful have a right to compel cardinals to elect a pope, so also in an emergency they had the right and the obligation to demand that the faith be upheld in this way. This we learn from St. Robert Bellarmine in his “de Conciliis,” and from Cardinal Zabarella, who lived during the time of the Western Schism. So because of the ignorance of the elect, the golden moment passed and the chance to salvage what remained slipped away. Another opportunity surfaced when Cardinal Mindszenty was released from Hungary in the early 1970s, but again, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, no effort was made to legitimately perpetuate the hierarchy in order that a pope be elected. It is thought that because Mindszenty retained special faculties, he could have both validly and licitly created bishops. We can hope beyond hope that somehow, in secret, he did so. Seeing what he had suffered and continued to suffer under Paul 6 following his release, perhaps he consecrated bishops and sent them all into hiding. We may never know.
Had early Traditionalist shepherds been truly Catholic and solicitous of those in their charge, the problem would have been solved from the beginning. The information was available; the opportunities were there. But knowledge of the faith and understanding, that inestimable gift of the Holy Ghost, was entirely lacking. Some will say, “It was God’s will.” Insofar as He allowed it, owing to man’s weakness and his wrong use of free will, yes; but it never was His explicit or implicit will for the Church per se, although certainly the Scriptures had to be fulfilled (concerning Antichrist) as He reminded St. Peter in the Garden of Gesthemane. Those who know the truth and have progressed as far as possible in the “grieving” process have an obligation to join forces to provide a viable alternative to Traditionalism that is attractive, well-organized and functional. Such a group could provide services and information to those who doubt the truthfulness of the Traditionalist organization, but have neither the necessary tools nor the solid backing of a unified body to help them exit these groups or provide the support necessary to exist on their own once they do exit. This lack of a workable alternative is perhaps the single most common cause of why Traditionalists with concerns remain in these sects.
What yet could be
For centuries the commands to engage in Catholic Action issued by the last six popes — Pius IX through Pope Pius XII — have languished in the dusty volumes in which they were published, known but never obeyed. Pope St. Pius X, while yet a cardinal, wrote that, “…Catholic Action has been commanded by the pope, who has signified his own mind in so many ways, and that it is enough for us to be sure that it is the will of God also. One would need, then, a pretty dose of temerity and pride to say that a work, which has been commanded by the Pope and is the will of God, is useless and of no avail…
” (Taken from “Restoring All Things: A Guide to Catholic Action,” by John Fitzsimons and Paul McGuire, Sheed and Ward, 1938.) As another priest said on this same topic, “All laymen are called to share in Catholic Action. It is like the vineyard in the Gospel where all the workmen are invited to labor, (Matt. 20:1-16). Not one Catholic can exempt himself with the excuse, ‘No one has hired us,’ The father of the family, Jesus Christ in the person of his vicar has invited all: ‘Go ye also into my vineyard.’ The excluded, the unemployed have none but themselves to blame,” (“Fundamental Principles of Catholic Action” by F. Lelotte, S. J.).
Pope Pius XI also warned of what would happen if groups formed who did not organize according to the standards set out by the popes: “It would be an error and serious nuisance if there arose…associations of the faithful which had SIMILAR ends to those of Catholic Action but yet remained INDEPENDENT of Catholic Action without any coordination or, what would be even worse, in conflict with it. The advantages of a particular nature, or limited to a small circle of the faithful would be entirely nullified by the damage they would cause by dividing, disaggregating and even setting Catholic forces against the other, …forces which ought to be powerfully organized in obedience to the hierarchy and at the service of the Church,” (Oct. 28, 1935 letter, Ibid.). From “A Guide to the Lay Apostolate,” compiled by Catherine Buehler, Pope Pius XI is further quoted as saying: “The greatness and difficulty of our times does not allow any true disciple of Christ to be satisfied with mediocrity…Catholic Action is…indispensable; all should contribute to it at least a minimum,” (Discourse by Pius XI, Dec. 4, 1924).
And in a discourse written Sept. 29, 1927 this same pope wrote: “All are bound to collaborate in spreading the Kingship of Christ, since all are the favored subjects of this tender King…To exempt oneself is a SIN OF OMISSION, which, in certain cases, could be SERIOUS.” And elsewhere, “Catholic Action is nothing else than the exercise of Christian charity, which is obligatory upon all men.” Yet this serious obligation has been consistently omitted for decades, even though it is the last possible hope for those who recognize the signs of the times our Lord warned us about. Catholic Action is the will of God, as Pope St. Pius X tells us above. How can we save our souls if we do not do God’s will, in the manner specified by His vicars? Isn’t it indeed a serious sin, given the evil of these unprecedented times and the many needs of the faithful, to fail to fulfill to the very letter the commands of the popes in this regard? We cannot use persecution in this country as an excuse, nor poverty nor lack of opportunity; there are those each operating tiny apostolates on their own who remain in contact, yet fail to coordinate, unite and intensify their efforts as a cohesive unit in obedience to the Church. The amount of work to be done is staggering, but a start at least must be made.
In their work, Fitzsimon and Maguire also wrote: “The immediate task of Catholic Action is not to transform society, but to form consciences…If consciences are rightly ordered there will be right order in society.” Perhaps there could be right order among the remnant if those who have become hung up in the grief process could see their way out of this dilemma. To do this they must first understand where they are and using Catholic principles, rightly form their consciences and move past shock and denial. The template for engaging in Catholic Action was written long ago and can be adapted to all times and circumstances. Its concepts are eternal and the duty of Catholics to implement them is clear. We can see the wreckage caused by delay and the price paid by those who were unaware Catholic Action was still binding.
Sincere Catholics keeping their faith at home have been careful to heed all the popes of the past and the ecumenical councils have taught, to obey Canon Law and to follow the moral teachings of the Church. These teachings extend to Catholic Action as well, and we have a strict obligation to implement such action in the manner intended by the Church. In fact it is not the Mass and Sacraments that will save us in these times, but the basic Gospel teachings our Lord left ALL His apostles, those ordained and consecrated as well as the laity. If we also are “priests and kings,” it is only in this evangelical sense, not in the sense of any pernicious V2 type of liturgical participation and renovation. This error, actually nothing more than the revival of Gallicanism, was what effectively took Catholic Action in the wrong direction, preparing the way for the abrogation of the Holy Sacrifice and the laicization of the Church.
On Feb. 10, 1946, Pope Pius XII told his newly-created cardinals: “The faithful, and more precisely the laity, are stationed in the front ranks of the life of the Church, and through them the Church is the living principal of human society. Consequently, they must have an ever clearer consciousness, not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is, of being the community of faithful on earth under the guidance of their common leader, the Pope, and the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church…” Eleven years later, The Pope would modify this statement, addressing the following words to Catholic women in 1957: “Personal initiative plays a great part in protecting the faith and Catholic life, especially in countries where contacts with the hierarchy are difficult or practically impossible. In such circumstances, the Christians upon whom this task falls, must, with God’s grace, assume all their responsibilities…Even so, nothing can be undertaken against the explicit or implicit will of the Church, or contrary in any way to the rules of faith and morals, or ecclesiastical discipline.” Read Pius XII’s clear words here: ”must.” Is this not a direct order from the pope, and does it not perfectly express the explicit will of the Church, the mind of Pope Pius XII as the Supreme Lawgiver?
All know a terrible time of trouble and open persecution is approaching; this may be the last chance Catholics have to form that army of faith that should have exited the false V2 church and fought for the rights of the Catholic Church half a century ago. As St. Ignatius Loyola wrote: “He who forgets himself for God’s service may be sure that God will not forget him.” We can exit with a bang or a whimper: which is more becoming to true soldiers of Christ?