+Novena to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary+

(See novena below following this bog post)

Please accept my apologies for the long delay in posting the second part of this series. Unfortunately I was waylaid by yet another Leonard Feeney supporter and this prompted a review of the Feeney error, which strangely enough ties into the methods used to reform the liturgy. I have now completed a new three-part series which provides some long-overdue deep insights into the origins of Leonard Feeney’s heresy and more clearly exposes the errors of those supporting him. For while Feeneyites claim to strictly uphold papal teaching they instead distort it, misrepresent it and even at times falsify it. It is a travesty that has been going on for many decades and successfully continues to seduce the unwary. This by attempting to garner sympathy for one they portray as a champion of pre-Vatican 2 Catholicism, but in truth was a condemned heretic who most likely played a clandestine part in dismantling the Church. I provide the link here knowing that many will not wish to spend time reading this series but do so for those who may have friends or relatives entangled in this troublesome heresy. It can be accessed HERE.

Before presenting Part 2 of Rev. Kaiser’s article on Mediator Dei, a brief history of the liturgical movement is provided below.

The emergence of the liturgical movement

A reader has provided the following information from two Novus Ordo sites on the liturgy (http://journalworship.org/About/VatII and https://www.biola.edu/talbot/ce20/database/virgil-michel#biography): “The liturgical movement had its origins in 1832 at the Benedictine Abbey of Solesmes in France. It was there that Dom Prosper Guéranger endeavored to recover authentic Gregorian chant. His work and the work of other monks at the center for liturgy spurred new interest in all aspects of liturgical life (Weiss 1998, 61). In 1903, Pius X issued a motu proprio on church music and by 1909 a conference focusing on liturgy was held in Malines, Belgium. Dom Lambert Beauduin led the conference that underscored full participation in the liturgy as a way of instructing the faithful and deepening their faith. These ideas were pastoral in nature and pointed to the catechetical potential of the Mass. In an article on liturgy and catechesis, Joseph Weiss quotes Virgil Funk,

Beauduin held that an understanding of the nature of the Church as the body of Christ would enable the development of a deeper sense of community in both worship and life. Worship, Beauduin stressed, was the common action of the people of the Church, an action that involved them all in a sharing in the saving work of Christ in and for the world. . . . The “active participation” of the people, a phrase first used officially by Pope Pius X, was promoted through early and frequent communion, the restoration of community singing, and the translation of the Roman Missal as a devotional manual for the people. (Funk 1991, 699)… It was Dom Beauduin who was the inspirational force behind Michel’s desire to revive the liturgical worship of the Catholic Church in the United States. From the elder monk, Michel grew to see the theology of The Mystical Body of Christ as a key element in understanding the nature of the liturgy and its ability to touch the whole person, individually and collectively.”

Virgil Michel, O.S.B. (1890-1938), a Benedictine monk of Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, was the leader of the Roman Catholic Liturgical Movement in the United States. It was the Collegeville Press that first printed the Our Parish Prays and Sings missalettes in 1959, translating the Latin pro multis as “for all men,” a topic which has been discussed in previous blogs. His life’s work was broadly centered on “bringing about a more Christian society through education for a greater understanding of and participation in the worship of the Church.” A trip to Europe in 1924 brought Michel into contact with courses in liturgy being taught by a monk from Mont César in Belgium named Lambert Beauduin, who believed that the work of saving souls, to be truly effective, must be rooted in the liturgy (Marx 1957, 28). Michel’s biographer writes: “’Virgil Michel was deeply influenced by the scholarly and energetic Dom Lambert who wrote of their meeting: ‘Religious education of the laity was at the heart of his desire to effect liturgical reform. Michel believed that a deeper understanding of the liturgy would in turn lead participants to lead more vibrant Christian lives and, consequently, bring about a more just society. He stressed the inherent link between the liturgy of the Church and action for social justice.’”

Michel later worked with several Protestants to develop his liturgical theology notions. His biographer states that Michel believed that “the laity as well as the clergy made up the Church and each member of the Body of Christ was given special gifts in order to help build up the Church. For Michel, the laity must be at the heart of the liturgy as the ‘work of the people.’ Participation in the Mass and an active Catholic laity were central to Michel’s thought.” And yet the Mystical Body was not defined by the Church until Pope Pius XII wrote Mystici Corporis Christi in 1943, and by that time Michel had already passed away. So what were Beauduin and his student really teaching? Rev. Kaiser will explain some of this below.

Early inklings of reform

The Liturgical Movement was first established in the late 1800s to FIGHT the abuses related to liturgical reform, although it was swiftly overtaken by the Modernists and put to work to promote ecumenism. It was seen as dangerous even in its infancy, long before Pope Pius XII’s death. Many of the reforms that would later be introduced were already being promoted in a work in 1879 entitled History of the Mass, by Rev. John O’Brien where the author writes regarding the consecration of the wine:

“According to the best authorities and Pope Benedict XIV among others, and the Enchiridion, page 72, the word “many” is here to be taken as meaning ‘all,’ a mode of expression by no means uncommon in the Holy Scripture. St. Thomas Aquinas also interprets it in this way.” Patrick Henry Omlor, in his The Robber Church comments: “This TOTALLY erroneous paragraph penned by Father John O’Brien is disturbing enough. Even MORE DISTURBING is the fact that the book wherein it appears was published in [1879] and BEARS THE IMPRIMATUR of John Cardinal McCloskey. Now, in the first place, Father O’Brien’s claim would make a mockery of Saint Pius V and his CATECHISM BY DECREE OF THE HOLY COUNCIL OF TRENT. The reader will recall that earlier in this monograph we quoted a passage from this CATECHISM which begins thus: “With reason, therefore, were the words FOR ALL not used.”(!)  Or wasn’t this saintly Pope aware that the word “MANY “…is here to be taken as meaning “ALL“??

“That Father O’Brien would actually use Benedict XIV and St. Thomas as authorities to prove his point is INCREDIBLE!Because they both held EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what Father O’Brien is trying to ‘prove.’  This quotation of St. Alphonsus… needs repeating here: “The words PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS (`For you and for many’) are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault.  … THIS IS THE EXPLANATION OF ST. THOMAS, AS QUOTED BY BENEDICT XIV.”  (Emphasis added)  And this disingenuous misinterpretation of crucial texts is a tactic repeatedly employed by Traditionalists and the Feeneyites among them.

Fr. O’Brien also notes that: “As far back as the year 1815 when devotion to St. Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of our divine Lord was making rapid headway, the Sacred Congregation of Rites was earnestly besought to grant permission to add the name of this venerable patriarch to [the Canon of the Mass], one of the reasons assigned for making the request being that many persons had a particular devotion to him. The request was not granted, the reply to the question being ‘Negative,’ and this was denominated a response urbis at orbis that is, binding in Rome and everywhere else.” So as can be seen here, the liturgical reform advocates were already at work and it is interesting that in the same volume, two of the later innovations appear that would actually be implemented under Angelo Roncalli. Now to Rev. Kaisers Part 2 on “The Background of Mediator Dei.”

Kaiser opens his article with these words: “In Mediator Dei Pius XII not only refutes the errors of Borgman and Doerner, [writers who helped popularize radical liturgical reform], but also corrects the vagaries of both the indifferent and the enthusiasts. But he does much more. He presents in summary form a beautiful and significant synthesis of Catholic teaching and worship — an integrated philosophy and theology of liturgy. Here we find a truly Catholic and doctrinal integration — one that the enthusiasts might very well use to correct their false sacramentalism and one that heretics might admire and copy in their return to historical and dogmatic values.”

T. Benns comment: And here we ask, why is it that certain “credentialed” individuals antagonistic to Pope Pius XII prefer to write articles condemning him for changes in the Holy Week liturgy and the Breviary; also for failing to deliver the good in Mediator Dei? Such unjust criticism of Pope Pius XII is placed in its proper perspective by the following:“Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church’s general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals.” But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church” (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, 1864). Would it not have been much better to simply do a little research and present Rev. Kaiser’s analysis of the topic, along with those of other approved theologians, who were so much closer to the issues of the day?

Kaiser: “…The liturgy has a divine and unchangeable element as well as a human or merely ecclesiastical element, as Pius XII says: ‘The human components admit of various modifications, as the needs of the age, circumstances and the good of souls require, and as the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy under the guidance of the Holy Spirit may have authorized. . . .’ The Pope goes on to give the causes of this development as due, among other things, to a more explicit formulation of doctrine. As doctrine came to be determined with greater certitude and clarity, new ritual forms came to reflect and express the new light shed on the truths of faith.” Pius XII writes in Mediator Dei: “The Church is without question a living organism, and as an organism… she grows, matures, develops, adapts and accommodates herself to temporal needs and circumstances, provided only that the integrity of her doctrine be safeguarded.”

T. Benns comment: Critics of the liturgy changes instituted by Pope Pius XII do not believe that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to male them? That he could err in a matter of faith? We may not know the exact reasons for these changes but we have no right to question the pope’s ability to make them, as long as they do not touch the substance of the Sacraments. Doctrine develops, and the pope did his best to ensure in this encyclical that it developed in a manner that safeguarded the integrity of Catholic doctrine.

Kaiser: “A perfect harmony is realized between divine faith in the mind and the divine life in the soul, brought about by the integration of Scripture, dogma, moral, and ascetics in liturgy… However, liturgy does not exclude the value and need of other forms of worship and other means of sanctification. It presupposes and requires private worship and private devotion.

T. Benns comment: Here we see the “heretical exclusivism” Rev. Kaiser spoke of in Part 1 of his article, as explained in our last blog. I can’t think of a better way to describe how Traditionalists make the liturgy out to be the “end all, be all” of Catholic faith and belief, excluding all other forms of sanctification such as prayers, devotions, the Perfect Act of Contrition and Spiritual Communion. This teaching of Pope Pius XII in his ordinary magisterium condemns their disparagement and rejection of praying at home. We also must note that this rejection of all other forms of sanctification is also the rejection of an integral Catholicism, and as Msgr. Joseph C. Fenton explained in a previous blog, that rejection is a clear indication of Modernist teaching.

Kaiser: “(Social supper hypothesis) “The Pope adds: ‘They therefore err from the path of truth who do not want to have Masses celebrated unless the faithful communicate… This social supper hypothesis flows from the heretical concept of the community of priesthood as well as from an exaggerated view of Communion as a communal act.”

T. Benns comment: This “community priesthood” — perpetuated by Traditionalists who rely solely on their “precious priests” and “bishops at large,” minus their head bishop, the pope — flourishes precisely because Traditionalists make the Mass and Sacraments the sole focus of Catholic belief and practice, stripping the Church of Her ability to rule infallibly in Jesus’ name. This again is heretical exclusivism, separating the Church, the Mass and the Sacraments, from the direction of Her Vicar.

Kaiser: Pius XII writes: “It is false, insidious and pernicious to conclude that all Christian piety must be centered in the mystery of the Mystical Body of Christ — with no regard for what is personal or subjective. … The supremacy of the Mass and Communion is to be maintained without denying or underestimating the value and need of the other sacraments and rites and likewise without prejudice to all the other non-sacramental means of holiness. Liturgy is indeed the master key but not the only key to the heavenly treasures… Surely the people should have understood the pernicious results of a teaching that tried to separate liturgy from private prayer and devotions and all regard for personal, individual holiness.”

T. Benns comment: So here is proof positive that Traditionalists err in a matter of faith when they condemn those praying at home and tell their followers that it is not possible for them to receive the graces necessary for salvation unless they attend Mass and receive the Sacraments from them. And no, prior to Vatican 2, the people obviously did NOT understand the dire effects of this heretical exclusivism that now has pervaded everything ever once thought to be Catholic. Clearly Traditionalist errors, especially those of the Feeneyites, center wholly around the manner in which grace is distributed. And this is precisely what Mediator Dei condemned. Kaiser sums up his articles as follows.

Kaiser: The author explains that without naming them personally, Pope Pius XII condemned the teachings of Doerner and Borgman, which Kaiser describes as  “Nestorian ideas [issuing] indirectly through liberal Protestantism [and] through Febronianism (German Gallicanism), which culminated in Josephinism and its secular ideas of religion and religious government. The pretense at giving all bishops equal power and denying supreme papal jurisdiction was a cover up for so-called nationalistic and “Los vom Rom” [free from Rome] delusions of Febronianism…” He terms their confusion regarding the operation of grace to “to a monistic conception of identity of the soul in grace with Christ the Author of grace… Whilst Christ is really and substantially present in the Eucharist, Holy Communion is not a substantial union with Christ but rather a spiritual and moral union with the real and substantial presence of Christ in the soul. That may be the reason why some pictured the Eucharistic presence as such as abiding even after the species is dissolved. Here is where Hegelianism and Quietism led to a kind of pantheism. How else explain the term “numerically one and the same grace” of Christ if they merely meant to identify sanctifying grace with the Eucharistic presence? It is therefore an error insofar as it identifies the sacramental Christ with a mere member of His Mystical Body.

“In short, the new doctrine confused the natural and sacramental priesthood of Christ as well as the lay-priesthood with clerical and ordained human priesthood. It confused the sacramental and Mystical Body of Christ. It confused the hypostatic union of the divine and human in Christ with the merely moral and spiritual union of the soul with Christ in Holy Communion. It confused the temporary Eucharistic presence of Christ’s humanity in the soul of the communicant with the longer-lasting presence of sanctifying and sacramental grace in the souls of the just. It mistook antiquarianism and simplicity for true historical and scientific research into the backgrounds of doctrine, liturgy and theology.

“It confused sentimental fear of suffering and psychotic fear of penance with the true role and purpose (both theological and psychological) of the Cross of Christ, as a redeeming principle and the redeeming factor in Christianity. It confused objective and subjective holiness or at least failed to integrate the two in any realistic or even spiritual orientation. It confused Hegelian monism and the unity of truth. It confused scientific scholasticism and mere arbitrary and perfunctory nominalism, or in other words real thinking and mere labeling. And it mistook Quietism for mysticism; syncretism for integration, humanism for divine faith. And finally its socialistic community worship led to community of priest, community of Christ, community of God. Not evolution, but revolution and devolution.

T. Benns comment: Whew! Here we have in a nutshell not only the errors of the Novus Ordo reformers but the Traditionalists as well. It is backhanded proof that they were working both ends to meet in the middle. Errors regarding the necessity of maintaining an integral faith, of the true nature of sanctifying grace, the condemned notion of equality of the bishops with the pope and the heretical exclusivism that separated the liturgy from the papacy — all of these are present in what Kaiser wrote. What is most startling is his assessment that this community priest idea, which Traditionalists have cultivated for decades, is actually a manifestation of socialism, the people running and directing the clergy, in reverse order to the Vicar of Christ reigning over all the faithful, including bishops and priests.

Further thoughts on the liturgy and the Church

As Pope Pius XII explained in Mediator Dei, after reminding the faithful that the Credo is a key part of the liturgy,  “The entire liturgy has the Catholic Faith for its content…it bears public witness to the faith of the Church. For this reason whenever there was a question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils, in their recourse to ‘theological sources,’ as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the Liturgy…’The rule for prayer determines the rule for belief.’ The Sacred Liturgy does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic Faith… If one desires to differentiate and described the relationship between faith and the Sacred Liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say…’let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer.’”

And so Catholic doctrine stands outside and above the liturgy. Here we see that Pope Pius XII deliberately reversed the “Lex orandi, lex credendi” touted by the liturgists to prove a point. And he did so because people like Roncalli and his associates were already using this rule to advocate and facilitate actual changes. And yet even Traditionalists reject this clear teaching of the ordinary magisterium as false and injurious to the Church today. This is proven by the many “opinions” concerning the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM), the lawfulness of attending an NOM, of using priests ordained in Novus Ordo rites and other matters. It also is seen in the constant criticism aimed at Pope Pius XII for allowing even those changes he was permitted to make in the liturgy. This even though the pope taught in this same encyclical that:

“The Sacred Liturgy does include Divine as well as human elements. The former, instituted as they have been by God, cannot be changed in any way by men…The Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification…No private person has any authority to regulate external practices of this kind, which are intimately bound up with Church discipline and with the order, unity and concord of the Mystical Body, and frequently even with the integrity of Catholic faith itself.”

Rev. Ernest Graf summarized Mediator Dei for the Homiletic and Pastoral Review in July, 1948. It is a most enlightening article. One of the first things Graf addresses is Pope Pius XII’s condemnation of a false interpretation of lex orandi, lex credendi, “…which would make of the Liturgy a touchstone of orthodoxy and the content of faith…Though the Liturgy does not absolutely and authoritatively constitute or designate the Catholic faith, valuable arguments may be drawn from it in support of particular points of Christian doctrine.” Thus idolatry of the liturgy as the primary focal point for the practice of the Catholic faith was long ago condemned as dangerous to that faith.

Graf continues: “Changes may be introduced and new forms of devotion approved by the Supreme Pontiff alone…The Pope…sternly rebukes those who, on their own new rites and customs, or to revive others that have become obsolete…Individual priests must not use their churches for liturgical experiments. With a view to preventing abuses, the liturgical movement should be watched and directed by a special committee to be set up in each diocese…Above all, let the laws of the Church be obeyed.”

Pope Pius XII relied on the bishops to obey him and exercise vigilance. They did not. This is far from allowing anything. Pope Pius XII made a very important decision in reserving liturgical change to the Pope. He proved that the Pope is the center of the Catholic faith not the liturgy, or at least not the liturgy without the Pope. Reintroducing or not reintroducing the Tridentine rite is not the gold standard. As Adrian Fortescue explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the Mass, the center of unity in belief in the Catholic Church is the papacy, but the Holy Sacrifice is the expression of that unity. Catholics pray according to what they believe, (lex orandi, lex credendi). When the  Church’s teachings are overturned, this invariably results in a disintegration of the liturgy.

Therefore the destruction of the symbol of unity, inextricably bound up with the doctrine of the papacy was mistaken for the thing itself. This is an echo of the manner in which the Modernists intended to represent the faith: external symbols of doctrines themselves were all that was needed to satisfy the superficial Catholic. Heretical exclusivism separates dogmatic integrity from liturgical practice. It makes the Mass and Sacraments the sole means of obtaining grace by excluding other means. It disrupts integral belief in the Church as an unchangeable, undivided whole. It destroys the Apostolic College by decapitating its head, excluding the necessity of perpetual succession and pretending that it can operate without the Vicar Christ established as the sole source of all unity and infallibility. But the most tragic consequence of all these heresies is that they exclude those wishing to be truly Catholic from membership in the Mystical Body of Christ and rob them of their eternal salvation.

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Novena to the Sorrowful Mother

(Can be started at any time before the actual feast on Sept. 15)

MOST BLESSED and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother’s pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart.

I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the Cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request.

(Here pause and name the favors which you are asking Our Sorrowful Mother to obtain for you through this Novena. Let your secondary intention be to pray for the intentions of all the people making this Novena anywhere in the world, and especially for the prayer associates on this site. Thus a great mass prayer for all Novena intentions will arise to Our Blessed Mother.)

For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary, Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us. (Seven times)

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