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I hesitate here to spend too much time on the heretical new liturgy that was introduced into the Catholic Church by the Roman usurpers beginning in 1959 because strictly speaking, we can no longer enjoy the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass owing to the lack of valid clergy. However what has happened regarding the Mass is important, because Traditionalists, of various shades and descriptions, have been so bold as to suggest that Pope Pius XII was implicated in the Mass changes and can be blamed for what later happened regarding the Latin Mass. I have already directed people to read the passion of Pope Pius XII which is under the More Recent Articles section of my Articles/Study the Faith page. So I hope that in reading that article people will have a better understanding of what actually happened, why it happened and why it may appear to some that Pius XII was indeed complicit in this, although he was not.

I don’t think that it’s stating too much to say that those who blame Pope Pius XII for changing the Holy Week liturgy and the Breviary are demonizing him in the hopes of perhaps, at one point, declaring him part of the plot to introduce usurpers into the Catholic Church and destroy the Mass. Having spent a good part of my life studying the writings of Pope Pius XII and the theology of the Church as it existed prior to his death, I do think that it is a terrible travesty for anyone to believe that he could have been complicit and I expressed this in the article just mentioned in the opening paragraph. People who are involved with Traditionalists in some way are very much the victims of these pseudo-clergy who would like nothing better than to destroy even the idea of the Catholic Church in order to supplant it themselves. And this is nothing new — I’ve been explaining these aberrations on this site for nearly 20 years. But it keeps resurfacing, particularly among the recognize and resist crowd, and other “rad-Trad” types who have been openly anti-Semitic and suspected of harboring neo-Nazi sympathies. It seems oddly coincidental to me that these individuals are the very ones who seem most devoted to this condemnation of Pius XII regarding the liturgy.

While the “conservative” media is calling out the Department of Justice and the FBI for targeting radical Traditionalists, saying that it’s totally unjustified, these media claims are entirely bogus. I’m sorry — I don’t support anything the DOJ or FBI are doing regarding the violation of our personal freedoms, but I have personally witnessed the existence of these ties to neo-Nazi groups among Traditionalists and have documented its existence. If the so-called conservative media would do their homework instead of cowering to their bosses and be honest in all this — if they would read back a couple of decades into the history of Traditionalism —they would see there were concerns long ago about these neo-Nazi tendencies. Many of them centered around the activities of the Society of St. Pius X.

Some Traditionalists most adamant in condemning Pope Pius XII for his Holy Week and Breviary changes also insinuate he was a Jewish sympathizer, siding with those among the Jews and Protestants accusing him of this for the past two decades. This would only serve to inflame any Traditionalists harboring neo-Nazi tendencies as well as fuel opposition to the liturgical changes he made. In other words, they are reacting out of an entrenched prejudice based on anti-Semitism, a prejudice condemned by the Church, even though Pope Pius XII did not do anything contrary to faith and morals in executing the changes he made to the liturgy. But is there a more fundamental link to the Nazi mentality that somehow explains how it contributed to not only liturgical reform, but to the anticipated Hegelian reaction to that reform — the Latin Mass movement? (thesis: Latin Mass; antithesis Novus Oro Missae; synthesis, splitting of the Mass entirely from it’s ancient safeguard, the papacy).

There is indeed proof there was such a connection, as explained by Fr. Albert F. Kaiser, C.P.P.S., in a two-part article written for the American Ecclesiastical Review in December-January, 1953-54 (“The Historical Backgrounds and Theology of Mediator Dei”). Perhaps those sporting secular “credentials” who are now busy bashing Pius XII and this encyclical on the liturgy should have conducted more thorough research before daring to criticize and defame a true pope, acting well within the limits of his jurisdiction. Certainly what Fr. Kaiser relates in his article is an eye-opener, for not only does he make the neo-Nazi connection; he also spells out other heresies that exist today among the Novus Ordo and Traditionalist sects. According to Fr. Kaiser in Part 1 of his article, the following tendencies and errors contributed to the clamor for liturgical reform. See my comments in blue.

  1. The heresies of Gallicanism, Jansenism and Febronianism — all promoted by the Protestants especially in Germany, where the liturgical movement had its deepest roots — limited papal jurisdiction to favor episcopal equality, which made it difficult to fight and overcome National Socialism (Naziism).

Comment: The anti-papal heresies of Gallicanism and Febronianism have been covered at length on this site. The Gallicanist theologian Jean Gerson taught: “The decision of the Pope alone, in matters which are of faith, does not as such bind (anyone) to believe; Bishops in the primitive Church were of the same power as the Pope; The Roman Church, the head of which is believed to be the Pope …may err, and deceive and be deceived, and be in schism and heresy, and fail to exist.” (Henry Cardinal Manning, The Ecumenical Council and the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff: a Letter to the Clergy, 1869). And here is recognized the very same teachings which the Anglicans and Luther used to justify their separation from Rome at the time of the Protestant Reformation.

Febronianism went even further, declaring: “The final court of appeal in the Church is the ecumenical council (cap. vi), the rights of which exclude the pretended monarchical constitution of the Church. The pope is subordinate to the general council; he has neither the exclusive authority to summon one, nor the right to preside at its sessions, and the conciliar decrees do not need his ratification. Ecumenical councils are of absolute necessity, as even the assent of a majority of bishops to a papal decree, if given by the individuals, outside a council, does not constitute a final, irrevocable decision. Appeal from the pope to a general council is justified by the superiority of the council over the pope. According to the Divine institution of the episcopate (cap. vii), all bishops have equal rights; they do not receive their power of jurisdiction from the Holy See… Febronius, while ostensibly contending for a larger independence and greater authority for the bishops, seeks only to render the Churches of the different countries less dependent on the Holy See, in order to facilitate the establishment of national Churches in these states, and reduce the bishops to a condition in which they would be merely servile creatures of the civil power.” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911).

This of course essentially establishes the bishops as equal to the pope and does to discipline what liturgical reform accomplished in the liturgy. It successfully reduced it to its primitive forms (ignoring all development of doctrine and discipline over the ages), and opened the door to the state religion, such as was established in Germany by the Old Catholics and was also advanced by National Socialism (Aryanism). It eventually led to the “collegiality” of Vatican 2 and the rule of Traditional “bishops” lacking valid orders and jurisdiction, pretending to be able to constitute the Church without their head bishop, the Roman Pontiff. Later concessions to American belief and the heretical teachings of John Courtenay Murray were conceded at the false Vatican 2 council, granting non-Catholics in America equal status with Catholics where salvation is concerned.

  1. The constant struggle between Progressives concerning liberalism and Catholic orthodoxy was especially pronounced in the German universities, where Protestants, of course, were in the majority.

Comment: This was the direct result of the inroads made by Liberalism and Modernism.

  1. There was a growing ambition, even among some of the religious centers, to free themselves from the authority of Rome.
  2. The proponents of Gallicanism and Febronianism were the primary agitators for the free from Rome movement, and this dovetailed in a sense with the Nazi political movement. For Naziism was it’s own religion, the religion of the state, and already the Old Catholics had succeeded in making inroads as the state religion. This heightened the battle waged by Protestants to champion state over Church.

Comment: Pope St. Pius X writes in his encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis: “The Modernists try in every way to diminish and weaken… authority. They propose to remove the ecclesiastical magisterium itself by sacrilegiously falsifying its origin, character and rights and by freely repeating the calumnies of its adversaries.”

  1. Hitler lured youth away from Sunday instruction with his youth movement and the liturgical movement placed its emphasis strictly on the liturgy ridiculing and de-emphasizing catechetical instruction. This considerably weakened the authority of those of insisting upon the necessity of instructing children in Catholic dogma. Pope St. Pius X wrote on this grave error:

“How many and how grave are the consequences of ignorance in matters of religion! And on the other hand, how necessary and how beneficial is religious instruction! It is indeed vain to expect a fulfillment of the duties of a Christian by one who does not even know them… the Council of Trent, treating of the duties of pastors of souls, decreed that their first and most important work is the instruction of the faithful. It therefore prescribes that they shall teach the truths of religion on Sundays and on the more solemn feast days; moreover during the holy seasons of Advent and Lent they are to give such instruction every day or at least three times a week. This, however, was not considered enough. The Council provided for the instruction of youth by adding that the pastors, either personally or through others, must explain the truths of religion at least on Sundays and feast days to the children of the parish, and inculcate obedience to God and to their parents” (Acerbo nimis).

  1. The reform liturgists appealed to the popular will and the popular mind by use of the vernacular in the liturgy. They also favored the teachings of National Socialism and showed a tendency to nationalize and desacralize religion itself.
  2. Dr. Pius Parsch encourage the cultural and social aspects of the liturgy and the use of the vernacular in both the pew and on the altar, and this in the 1920s.
  3. Dom Odo Casel advocated for the “community cult” or community priesthood in Germany, which Kaiser says “disturbs the hierarchical order.” It ignores the Apostolic College and the Pope and Bishops in communion with him as the only real teachers in the Church.

Comment: “We must now consider upon whom rests the obligation to dissipate this most pernicious ignorance and to impart in its stead the knowledge that is wholly indispensable. There can be no doubt, Venerable Brethren, that this most important duty rests upon all who are pastors of souls. On them, by command of Christ, rest the obligations of knowing and of feeding the flocks committed to their care; and to feed implies, first of all, to teach. “I will give you pastors according to my own heart,” God promised through Jeremias, “and they shall feed you with knowledge and doctrine.”[9] Hence the Apostle Paul said: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,” thereby indicating that the first duty of all those who are entrusted in any way with the government of the Church is to instruct the faithful in the things of God” (Pope St. Pius X, Acerbo nimis).

It was not the championing and celebration of the Latin Mass and the Eucharist that would render the salvation of souls Traditionalists falsely profess to be so solicitous in procuring. That false theology is exactly the same basis used to justify liturgical reform, and the allowance of the Latin Mass was already built into that reform. Their primary duty was to first educate themselves, then educate the faithful in Christian doctrine. They disobeyed Pope St. Pius X’s and Our Lord’s command to educate, obeying instead the popular will and the popular mind, which demanded the Latin Mass be provided and the Sacraments be administered to them. This is also contrary to Canon Law and the Council of Trent which as noted under Can. 147 in the Canon Law Digest, Vol. 3, where the Sacred Congregation of the Council declared: “The Catholic Church is, in virtue of its institution by Christ Himself, a perfect society hierarchically established, whose full and supreme power of government and jurisdiction rests with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter in the primacy. Hence no one can presume to intrude himself or others into ecclesiastical offices or benefices without a legitimate canonical investiture or provision.

“The true rule of Canon Law in this matter is found in Rule VI…And the Council of Trent declared, “that those who undertake to exercise these offices merely at the behest of and upon the appointment by the people or the secular power and authority, and those who assume the same on their own authority, are all to be regarded not as ministers of the Church but as thieves and robbers who have entered not by the door,” (Cap. IV, Session XXIII, de reform). More, the same Sacred Synod defined as follows: “If anyone says…that those who are neither duly ordained nor sent by ecclesiastical and canonical authority, but who come from elsewhere, are legitimate ministers of the word and of the Sacraments, let him be anathema,” (Ibid. Can. VII, also the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, no. 50).” Here related canons 2331 §2, 2334 nos. 1 and 2, 147 §1 and 147 §2, 332 §1 and 2394 are cited as already having condemned these abuses. Canons 330, 331 §1, §2, §3 also apply in this case.

It was at the request of “the people” that Traditionalists established their chapels. Traditional priests possess no offices, as required under Can. 147: “An ecclesiastical office cannot be validly obtained without canonical appointment. By canonical appointment is understood the conferring of an ecclesiastical office by the competent ecclesiastical authority in harmony with the sacred canons,” Pope Pius XII’s infallible constitution Vacantis Apostolicae Sedis (VAS) nullifies any acts performed contrary to Canon Law and papal teaching during an interregnum. Clearly in violating the teachings of the Council of Trent and VAS, any acts attempted by Traditionalists who admit they possess no offices is and was null and void.

What Traditionalists did was no different than what those promoting the changes to the liturgy did in helping to establish the Novus Ordo Missae. Both were contrary to Divine revelation and the infallible teachings of the Church.

  1. Kaiser states that regarding the use of the vernacular and the term community priesthood “…Such phrases were loaded with danger. It is possible they became handles for heresy when the time was ripe for change, as in Nazi Germany, Austria, and to a lesser extent in France. Phrases originally intended to express secondary social aspects of religion and to stimulate new and vitalized interest in Iiturgical revival were possibly twisted to become spearheads of liberals, Hegelians, mitigated Quietists and just plain religious compromisers.”
  2. The reform liturgists attempted to tie all sources of grace to the Sacraments strictly, not broadly. They tried to use the liturgy as a way to test doctrines before they were embodied in the Church by the Pope. Kaiser calls this an “…heretical attitude. This, liberals believe, is how doctrine develops,” he says, identifying this attitude as the error of pragmatism.

Comment: How many times have we heard from Traditionalists that unless one attends their masses and receives their sacraments, they cannot obtain the fullness of sanctifying grace or even be certain their sins are forgiven because they rely only on a Perfect Act of Contrition?

There is a heresy that can be traced to the Council of Basle and the heretics Wycliffe and Hus which the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia identifies as Utraquism The Encyclopedia author defines this belief as: “Man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes, under the forms of bread (and wine)…That this is of Divine precept, continued the Hussite, is further evident from tradition.” The article’s author, Joseph Hughes goes on to explain that reception of the Eucharist is not by necessity of means (“an imperative must”) but by necessity of precept, meaning, “an obligation imposed by a command, and for good reasons that which is prescribed may be dispensed with. The Hussites contended that the Eucharist was a necessary means to salvation, so that those who died without having received the Eucharist, (the young, the insane) could not be saved… (But) the Catholic Church denies the Eucharist is necessary as a means to salvation…(it) is a precept; from it dispensations are possible.”

Shades of the Jansenists and the Feeneyites, the Jansenists for rigoristically teaching contrary to the Council of Trent that Perfect Contrition can never procure salvation and the Feeneyites for proclaiming that no one may be saved unless they receive actual water Baptism.

  1. Referring to the disregard for catechetical instruction and dogma, Kaiser states that the liturgy edged out Christian dogma and calls this “heretical exclusivism.” He also accuses them of seeking refuge in psychological and social ideals instead of emphasizing catechetical instruction as a necessary foundation for understanding sermons and worthily participating in the liturgy.

Comment: This heretical exclusivism is precisely what was used by Traditionalists to edge out the papacy itself, and Catholics bought into that because they did not know or understand their faith. Many had never attended Catholic school or been well instructed in the Catechism. The mania for social reform and the increase in emotional and mental disturbances which came as a result of the advent of psychiatry, usurping the role of the confessor, further complicated their understanding of the faith. Pope St. Pius X writes:

“We are indeed aware that the work of teaching the Catechism is unpopular with many because as a rule it is deemed of little account and for the reason that it does not lend itself easily to the winning of public praise. But this in Our opinion is a judgment based on vanity and devoid of truth. We do not disapprove of those pulpit orators who, out of genuine zeal for the glory of God, devote themselves to defense of the faith and to its spread, or who eulogize the saints of God. But their labor presupposes labor of another kind, that of the catechist. And so if this be lacking, then the foundation is wanting; and they labor in vain who build the house. Too often it happens that ornate sermons which receive the applause of crowded congregations serve but to tickle the ears and fail utterly to touch the hearts of the hearers. Catechetical instruction, on the other hand, plain and simple though it be, is the word of which God Himself speaks through the lips of the prophet Isaias: ‘And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth and water it, and make it to spring and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth. It shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it… Since it is a fact that in these days adults need instruction no less than the young, all pastors and those having the care of souls shall explain the Catechism to the people in a plain and simple style adapted to the intelligence of their hearers. This shall be carried out on all holy days of obligation, at such time as is most convenient for the people, but not during the same hour when the children are instructed, and this instruction must be in addition to the usual homily on the Gospel which is delivered at the parochial Mass on Sundays and holy days.’”

  1. In their attempt to simplify everything, bringing the liturgy back to the bare bones of the early Christian era, the liturgical reformers emphasized all the benefits of being Catholic and participating in the liturgy v. the responsibilities of being educated Catholics, ignoring the pain and suffering of Christ on the cross which led to the joys of the resurrection. As Kaiser explains, there is no way to experience properly the joy of the Resurrection except through acknowledging and participating in the pain of the Crucifixion.

Comment: This is a subject that deserves a treatment all its own, and it will be covered in a future blog. Pain and suffering in this age of easily available pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and the belief that all pain must be alleviated and not borne leaves little room for sharing in the pain of the Crucifixion, even among those professing to be Catholic. Pope Pius XII has much to say on this topic that is so little appreciated or understood.


The principles of Liturgical Reform were exercised not only by those establishing the Novus Ordo, but eq
ually by Traditionalists, who chose liturgy over dogma, eschewed scholasticism, opted for episcopal equality over the necessity of the papacy and the community priesthood over the necessity of jurisdiction to guarantee apostolicity. It is not difficult to pin down the main heresies of the liturgical reformers, something that was done by a German bishop, as Kaiser notes below:

“In 1942, Bishop Conrad Groeber of Freiburg in a memorandum to the German hierarchy deplored:

(1) the new definition of faith as sensation, emotion or interior intuition;

(2) the penchant for criticizing contemporary forms of religious life, including developments in the liturgical cult, with the view of returning to primitive Christianity with its bare table altar, etc.;

(3) veering from Scholastic philosophy to Hegelianism. The latter was considered more vital, the former only of historic interest and value;

(4) use of oriental philosophies and Protestant terms in connection with dogma;

(5) veering away from the historic redeeming Christ and His symbol, the Crucifix in our churches, to a new concept of the so-called Triumphant Christ, whose image should replace the Crucifix on the altar;

(6) a new concept of the Eucharistic Christ outside of time and space and not connected with the historical Redeemer;

(7) a new concept of the Church as a biological organism rather than the historically and divinely established hierarchical Kingdom of Truth, and guide to salvation.”

All of the above, also the ridicule of dogma and rejection of the papal supremacy mentioned previously, point to one heresy, and that the synthesis of all heresies — Modernism. Everything Groeber details is denounced in Pope St. Pius X’s Pascendi; liturgical reform was the Modernist Trojan horse used to seduce the remaining faithful, among both the Novus Ordo sect as well as Traditionalists.

(Next week: Kaiser reviews liturgical reform in the light of Mediator Dei.)

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