+St. Thomas Aquinas+
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Lent is a time to fast and do penance, as all Catholics know. But it is also a time to reflect and take stock of the course we are on spiritually and where it is leading us. And for us it is time to knock the dust from our sandals and move on.
What is most maddening about the current state of the Church today is the compelling need to correct so many dangerous errors in order to defend the faith. But what is sometimes lost in correcting these errors, as necessary as this is, is the simplicity of the faith itself. Heresies and broken laws take a lot of demonstration and explaining to understand, and if these laws were not being broken, and the faith was not being denied, it wouldn’t be necessary. But of course they are, and it is, and lest someone falls into the yawning chasms of disbelief they create, they must be exposed.
That being said, quite a few are understandably wearied by the constant need to deal with it all. Traditionalists and their pseudo-clergy grow more irrational and argumentative with each passing day. Witness some of the obviously nonsensical and contradictory statements in the links provided in our last blog post. The delusions they labor under are so entrenched and so strong I really do not believe it is possible to reach them. It is almost as though they function under some sort of satanic spell, and they do — the operation of error foretold by St. Paul. They have traded the true faith for a mess of Protestant pottage (thick soup or porridge) and not only do they deny it is Protestant, they think they are dining on steak and caviar, not pottage!
It would be one thing if we were dealing with the first generation of Catholics to depart following Vatican 2, but most of those who knew the Church as She once existed are no longer with us, or soon will be gone. They are the ones who initially embraced Traditionalism and refused to abandon their “priests” and now we are dealing with their children and grandchildren. They became caught up in the drama of Traditionalist life with its many scandals, dissensions and frequent hopping around from group to group, and this is now normal for these family members who went through it with them. They accept it as Catholic in these “emergency times” and with their parents’ support, continue to live the only “Catholic” life they know. Herd animals that they are, products largely of the world in which we live, they avoid at all costs anything that would separate them from their “pack” and cause them to actually think on their own. If many of them were home-schooled and this is the result, then the critical thinking homeschooling is intended to encourage certainly was lacking in their regard.
And so the initial mission to reach those who might yet understand no longer has any purpose and therefore must come to an end. Troubled Traditionalists reassessing their situation or newly-woken Novus Ordo departees are so consumed with the idea of participation and groupthink they are unable to consider any truly viable alternatives. The idea of the Latin Mass and the pageantry that always accompanied liturgical functions attracts newcomers and remains the guidepost for Traditionalists considering a different group. In a normal world this would be understandable in departing from what one considers a destructive or non-Catholic sect. But surely no one today can pretend the world we live in is anything close to normal.
Those weighing their options must understand that the Traditionalist movement is nothing new or even traditional. It is the continuation of the Jansenist, Gallicanist, Anglican, Orthodox, Theosophist and Gnostic ”tradition,” but that is certainly not Catholic tradition! One book all should read if they wish to see a mirror image of Traditionalist practice and belief is Peter Anson’s Bishops At Large. Written in 1964, it provides an amazing preview of what would soon become the Traditionalist movements and their many offspring. It is appropriate here to quote from the Introduction to Anson’s book written by Henry St. John, O.P. which aptly sums up everything we know as Traditionalism today.
Traditionalism’s true orientation explained
“[Anson’s] story is one of the strangest and most fantastic religious movements to be found in the whole range of what may be described in general terms as the erratic ‘goings-on’ of the underworld. The use of the word underworld in this context must be taken as connoting an ecclesiastical eccentricity rather than roguery or crime, though neither of the latter is wholly absent from its records. The story is closely though not exclusively connected with movements of a Catholic type, mainly arriving from dissatisfied and unstable elements in Catholicism or Anglo-Catholicism. They stand as a rule for Catholicism without the Pope but their preoccupation amounting to obsession is the recovery of Christian unity by the widespread and in effect indiscriminate propagation of valid episcopacy and priesthood.
“In almost every case, the leaders of these multiple movements have been at pains to obtain episcopal consecration from sources often remote and seldom wholly unquestionable which they hoped would be indisputable. Having obtained an episcopal character, they proceeded to found a church based upon it and their own particular version of what true Catholic orthodoxy is. In this way, so the visionary hope takes shape in the minds of these dreamers, that their church will become the center and foundation upon which the unity of Christ’s Church could be rebuilt…
“Mr. Anson’s story shows us a reductio ad absurdum of the divinely ordained hierarchical structure of the Church constituted by Apostolic succession when divorced from almost every consideration but a mechanical conception of validity… The obsession of the bishops at large and their followers with the validity of orders has brought them to the belief that such validity is a sole hallmark of the nature of the Church and its authority. Ubi ordines validi ecclesia is the principle upon which they, all of them, consistently act with a determined conviction,” (valid orders make a strong Church).
“The result of this action is that they are in effect reduced to saying get valid orders and you can choose what you believe. They are unaware that they are saying this and consequently lay great stress on the supreme importance of an orthodoxy which turns out to be no more than their own particular and sometimes variable “doxy.” What they have forgotten in their often wild and eccentric way is that even a valid Apostolic succession is of small value unless it is possessed by a believing community that is a visible organic society divinely preserved from the loss of its structural unity. This unity preserves and is preserved by its sensus fidelium and by the teaching authority of its united episcopate. This is the essential nature of the Church as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in common, in accordance with historic tradition from the earliest times” but in the Catholic Church, of course, the Roman Pontiff alone is the guarantee of this undivided unity as the head member of that “united episcopate.”
The disturbing truth
And so we see that Traditionalists are no different than those schismatic sects who preceded them in pretending that one can have a Church without a pope. The underworld has now become their norm, and far from striving for any sort of Catholic unity, which necessarily requires a true pope, they seem to glory in their diversity. Anson goes into great detail to describe the occult connections of these groups, also their interests in ancient heresies, which so many have now resurrected and even perfected. Catholic writer Mary Lejeune warned those joining Traditionalist sects that they were occult-based and Masonic in origin in the 1970s, but to no avail. Author Craig Heimbichner, in his Blood on the Altar (2005) notes that many of those initially singing the praises of the Latin Tridentine Mass in the late 1960s, early 1970s were practicing theosophists, who succeeded in luring traditionalists into “Latin Mass” groups.
He links the awe for the old Mass to C.W. Leadbetter, founder of the Liberal Catholic (Theosophical) church in Sydney, Australia in 1917, citing several quotes proving theosophic occultism later was introduced into Traditional circles. He quotes Wasserman as stating that “Persons of Gnostic-hermetic interests have more in common with traditionalist Catholics than with either modernist Vatican II Catholics or with Protestants…The Right-wing exploits a superstition among some Catholics who hold to a kind of unspoken “magic sacramentalism,” [condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis against Modernism], i.e, the notion that being present at the Holy Mass itself, with its awe-inspiring solemnity and its bells, incense and candles — not one’s state of grace, fidelity to the Commandments of God or relationship with Jesus Christ — becomes the individual’s guarantor of sanctity.” Heimbichner calls this a “Satanic perversion” of Catholicism, mixing pagan elements with the true, much as is done in the Satanic rituals connected to Voodoo and Santeria. And if this is what those investigating Traditionalism really wish to expose themselves to, they definitely are not looking for the true faith as taught by St. Peter through Pius XII.
Traditionalists’ intense focus on perpetuating their shady lineages and defending their legitimacy occupies the time that, were they anything but pseudo-clerics, should be devoted to developing a true understanding of the entirety of Catholic existence, not just its exterior aspect. They all have developed their own ideas of orthodoxy, as St. John notes above, and this is illustrated by the recent controversies among themselves regarding una cum and the material formal hypothesis. Also as noted above, their theory regarding the episcopacy reduces the Church’s establishment of a hierarchy based on true apostolic succession headed by a canonically elected pope to an absurdity. The only difference between those sects described above and Traditionalists is that Traditionalists have succeeded in convincing their ignorant followers that they are the true Church, and the “True Restoration” crowd pretends to be able to unite all these scraggly sects to present the appearance of a unity they can never possess without a true pope.
Anson’s book is filled with photos of incredible pseudo-Catholic pageantry, clerical ostentation and simulated piety, found reproduced on nearly every Traditional “Catholic” website in existence. These sites feature full-color photos of alleged consecrations and ordinations, wide-eyed “seminarians” being ordained as “priests,” and pious congregations attending ”high masses” offered in vain. Such pretension is an insult to any true Catholic and should be recognized by all for what it truly is — the continuation of a long line of heretics and schismatics who wish to dethrone the pope forever and usurp his authority. Apostolicity of origin, doctrine and mission must all be one, and they have none of these, as has been proven by the Church herself on the pages of this site and elsewhere time and time again. But the followers of these imposters are concerned only with appearances, not reality. And here we must leave them in their fantasy world to fend for themselves as best they can.
The sad neglect of true Catholic spirituality
The primary thing that is needed today is not religious externals and a renewal of Catholic social life, possible only when the Church possesses a true pope and hierarchy. What is really needed is true Catholic spirituality, and the reason the Church was taken away was precisely because Her interior life atrophied to the point it could no longer nourish Her very soul. That life is the knowledge and contemplation of Her truths, obedience to Her laws, conformity to God’s will, performance of daily duties and the offering up of oneself as a spiritual sacrifice. Already prior to the false Vatican 2 council many Catholics were largely engaged in only a mechanical performance of their spiritual duties and had become absorbed in the rampant materialism of the day. They forgot, if they ever knew, their true role as Catholics, best explained in this paragraph below.
Catechism of the Council of Trent — (Subhead, The Internal Priesthood, under Orders):
“All the faithful are said to be priests once they have been washed in the saving waters of baptism. Especially is this name given to the just who have the spirit of God and who by the help of divine grace had been made living members of the great high priest Jesus Christ. For enlightened by faith which is inflamed by charity, they offer up spiritual sacrifices to God on the altar of their hearts. Among such sacrifices must be reckoned every good and virtuous action done for the glory of God. Hence we read in the Apocalypse 1: 5,6: ‘Christ has washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us a kingdom and priests to God and His Father.’ In like manner was it said by the Prince of the Apostles: ‘Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ’ (I Peter 2:5); while the apostle exhorts us ‘to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy pleasing unto God, your reasonable service’ (Rom. 12:1). And long before this David had said, ‘A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit a contrite and humble heart O God thou wilt not despise’ (Ps. 1:19). All this clearly regards the internal priesthood.”
Statement of Belief
It may be useful here for those who are not clear on all that involves praying at home and not attending services of non-Catholics to list the following core beliefs held by true Catholics.
+ We live in the last times; the Church has entered upon a period that will end either in the Final Judgment or a brief peace that will see Her restoration.
+ Pope Pius XII was the last true pope. We are bound to obey all the teachings of the popes from St. Peter to Pius XII — the continual magisterium — even though we have no sitting pope today. This because their teachings are the authentic expression of the Deposit of Faith, revealed truth found in the Scriptures and Tradition as interpreted and taught by the Roman Catholic Church for the belief of faithful Catholics till the end of time.
+ Therefore, the authority, infallibility and indefectibility of the Church remains, expressed in the Deposit of Faith as explained by all true popes throughout the ages.
+ Pope Pius XII was the last true pope because John 23, as a public heretic, was ineligible for election in 1958 and never became pope.
+ Doubts raised about the 1958 election in many quarters prove St. Robert Bellarmine’s axiom, that “a doubtful pope is no pope” applies to his “election.”
+ Bishops consecrated under Pope Pius XII and any remaining faithful cardinals were obligated to gather and elect a true pope once it became clear that John 23/Paul 6 were heretics. St. Robert Bellarmine in his de Conciliis, Pope Pius XII in his 1945 election constitution, also Pope Paul IV in his Cum ex Apostolatus Officio, made allowances for this. It is now impossible, however, to hold a papal election, because all those bishops consecrated under Pope Pius XII have passed away.
+ Pope Paul IV ‘s infallible bull Cum ex Apostolatus Officio (Cum ex…) and Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) are the governing documents for these times. Cum ex… is the annotated source of the Canons regarding heresy, canons which have been called into doubt for decades. Under Can. 6 §4 this old law is to be used as the prevailing law in dealing with heresy, apostasy and schism, especially in regard to papal elections and the appointment of cardinals and bishops. VAS determines what can and cannot be done during an interregnum.
+ According to VAS, not even the college of cardinals may exercise papal jurisdiction during an interregnum. This law has been observed since the early Middle Ages. All is to be left to the future pope.
+ This would include, then, the issuance of the apostolic letters and papal mandate, necessary for episcopal consecration. For VAS clearly states that if anyone attempts to exercise papal jurisdiction during an interregnum, such acts are null and void. Therefore, Traditionalist consecrations and ordinations are null and void, since ordinations may take place only by a bishop who has presented the papal mandate, been validly consecrated, been assigned a diocese and has received papal permission to erect a seminary.
+ VAS also renders null and void any attempt to dispense from or alter in any way papal laws, especially those governing elections. Traditionalists have violated numerous papal laws and canon laws, which have as their source papal law and the teachings of ecumenical councils, especially Trent. Hence their invocation of epikeia for jurisdictional acts is nullified and voided.
+ Because Catholics who now pray at home are obedient to the Roman Pontiffs, they must consider Traditionalists now calling themselves bishops as doubtful at best, for two reasons:
1) They are members of a schismatic sect by definition, since they act outside the authority of the Roman Pontiff; and
2) They are declared by Pius XII to possess no office or authority whatsoever, because their ordinations and consecrations are null and void.
+ In seeking to inform their consciences on such matters, i.e., what to do when there is no pope and no certainly valid bishops or priests, those wishing to remain Catholic follow the unanimous opinion of theologians, which states: When it comes to the Sacraments, (or matters which involve the necessary means to eternal salvation), one cannot use a probable opinion regarding their validity (see Dominic Prummer’s Handbook of Moral Theology,1957).
+ This is solidly based on the teaching of Bd. Pope Innocent XI (Denz. 1151). Theologians teach it is a mortal sin of temerity not to follow the unanimous opinion of the theologians (Fr. Sixtus Cartechini, S.J., The Church’s Theologiocal Notes or Qualifications, 1951).
+ In order to obey the Roman Pontiffs and their decrees, since it is necessary to salvation to be obedient to the Roman Pontiff (Denz. 469); and in order to avoid mortal sin, certain Catholics resolved to pray at home rather than engage in the schismatic and sacrilegious services of Traditionalists, for “Obedience is better than sacrifices.”
+ This can be best summed up by the following, taken from Life of the Blessed Virgin, by Rev. B. Rohner, O.S.B, Benziger Bros., 1897: “If you are deprived of the presence of your lawfully appointed teachers, then pray privately in your own house or in company of other faithful laity, to your divine Redeemer and ever Blessed Mother. In patience persevere in the faithful discharge of your duties till the dawn of better days in your Church affairs.”
+ This has been the practice of Catholics down through the ages, including the English during the persecutions following the Reformation, the Japanese in the 1600s, The French during the French Revolution, Americans without priests on the American frontier and those forbidden to practice their faith behind the Iron Curtain. It is not a novelty nor can it be condemned as forbidden by Traditionalists, who have no authority to command anyone to do anything.
+ Those who pray at home believe that the Head of their Church is Christ joined to all the popes and bishops in Heaven, and that they are members of His Mystical Body, as Catholics have always believed. They do NOT believe the Church Herself has ceased to exist since Pope Pius XII taught infallibly that She IS the Mystical Body. They accept the undeniable fact that we are without the visible hierarchy, at least for now. They believe the Church is still visible in Her physical (lay) members, is one in Her belief, is universal or Catholic in nature, (since there are those praying at home all over the world); is holy in her doctrines and Her saints, and is apostolic in origin, doctrine, and mission.
Those praying at home perform their daily duties, have a daily prayer routine, practice mental prayer and engage in spiritual reading. They recite the Mass of St. John or the Spiritual Mass daily as well as on Sundays and holydays, they are usually involved in some service to the Church and in helping others to understand the faith, and they pray together for others. It is a very simple and peaceful life, undisturbed by the inevitable and perpetual strife that plagues those in the Novus Ordo and Traditional sects. Even when in the catacombs the early Christians had to be witnesses to their faith in performing their daily duties in the world; they worshipped in the catacombs but did not live there. So it is with those of us living in the virtual catacombs.
We wish only for others what we have experienced ourselves, that blessed peace which surpasseth all understanding. And we pray for the conversion of all sinners, Traditionalists and Novus Ordo members included.
What in the world…
This is a new feature where we will try to comment briefly on the latest developments in Traddie land and the world in general. This time around we will address the sudden clamor for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
But didn’t we already do that in the 1950s, you might ask? Well some say yes, some say no. It was never done by Pope Pius XII as Sr. Lucia requested per Our Lady, or by the bishops of the whole world. On June 6, 1930, Sr. Lucia wrote to Rev. Jose Bernardo Gonzalves: “If I am not mistaken, the good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary as well as ordering all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion already described” (the Five First Saturdays). Pope Pius XII himself did consecrate Russia specifically to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1952, but even before it was done, Lucia had said to Fr. Gonzalves “He will do it, but it will be too late.” Yet some of the renditions of her letter read only: “It will be late.” So which is it?
Obviously it is the former, as we are seeing today. Our Lord also told Sr. Lucia that if the consecration was not done as requested, His ministers would suffer the same fate as the Kings of France — the last of those kings, Louis XVI was tortured and met his fate on the guillotine. Some believe Pope Pius XI died from poisoning by one of Mussolini’s agents, shortly before issuing a most important encyclical. It is our firm belief that Pope Pius XII also was tortured in various ways and was poisoned, not once, but twice. And after his death, just as in France, the papal monarchy fell. Sr. Lucy warned in a 1940 draft of a letter to Pope Pius XII that if the consecration was not performed, Our Lady announced that Russia “…would spread her errors throughout the world, and there would be wars, persecutions, of the holy Church, martyrdom of many Christians, several persecutions and sufferings reserved for your Holiness, and the annihilation of several nations,” all duly fulfilled. Now we see Russia threatening the world, and we wonder why.
Was the consecration done as required? The real Sr. Lucy reportedly died in 1949 (https://diesilli.com/some-questions/), so we will never know. Was prayer and penance, also sacrifices for sinners accomplished? Sr. Lucy replies in the negative. In an August 18, 1940 letter to Rev. Jose Bernardo Gonzalves Sr. Lucia wrote: “More than ever He needs souls that will give themselves to Him without reserve; and how small this number is!” In another letter she notes that “The number of souls He meets through sacrifice and intimate life of love is extremely small and limited.” As Joseph A. Pelletier writes in his The Sun Danced at Fatima, “We have known since 1917 the part of the Fatima message that needs to be known by everyone, namely that we should amend our lives and stop offending God, Who is already greatly offended. This is what we need to do to hasten the conversion of Russia and …eliminate the threat of atomic war.” And we know where the world has headed since then.
One thing no one seems to have considered here is a little-known message given to a holy woman by Our Lord at the same time the Fatima apparitions were taking place. This woman, a victim soul named Berthe Petit, was known to Pope St. Pius X. She had forwarded to him in 1914 the warning that Archduke Ferdinand would be assassinated, and that his assassination would ignite World War I. In a series of revelations once the war had begun, the Sacred Heart of Jesus guides Berthe, a Franciscan Tertiary, to petition Cardinal Bourne of England to consecrate his country to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary to end the war. Cardinal Bourne cooperated with Berthe’s request, with astonishing results. The same prayer was recited during World War II, and it halted the air attacks on Britain by the Germans, also marking the turn of the war in favor of the Allies. Our Lord told Berthe: “
“The calamities which I foretold are come to pass (World Wars I and II). Therefore it is time and it is my wish that the nations should turn to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of my mother… Recourse to my mother under the title I wish for her UNIVERSALLY is the last help I shall give before the end of time… It is as a Son that I have conceived this devotion for my mother; it is as God that I impose it.” During the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Our Lady appeared as the Sorrowful Virgin. This was confirmed in a conversation the author John Haffert had with Sr. Lucy in 1946 (Russia Will Be Converted, p. 182). And yet there was never any discussion among the hierarchy — to the best of our knowledge — to add Our Lady’s title of Sorrowful to the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart. (Pope Pius XII, however, did issue a consecration prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary making three specific mentions of Our Lady’s Sorrowful Heart.)
And now, at the last hour, with Our Lady’s requests for prayer and sacrifices unfulfilled — in the absence of universal devotion to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart — everyone wonders why Russia never converted?! Our Lady came to La Salette weeping to warn us that Rome would become the seat of Antichrist, and that prophecy was ridiculed and suppressed. Today even Traditionalists are appealing to Rome and expect Antichrist to consecrate Russia to Our Lady and save us? More insanity! But then what else can we expect? As the prophet Isaias foretold:
“Behold the Lord shall lay waste the earth, and shall strip it, and shall afflict the face thereof, and scatter abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest; and as with the servant, so with the master… With desolation shall the earth be laid waste and it shall be utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourned, and faded away, and is weakened: the world faded away, the height of the people of the earth is weakened. And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, they have changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore shall a curse devour the earth, and the inhabitants thereof shall sin; and therefore they that dwell therein shall be mad, and few men shall be left,” (Isa. 24: 1-6).