Catholic Apologetics

I've written short introduction to what is known as "Traditionalism".  What this word really implies - what traditionalists really do - is, simply, believe & practice the Catholic faith as it truly is, as it was taught & practiced from Apostolic times to the revolution that ensued following Vatican Council II. 

Key to understanding the entire Traditionalist movement & mindset is understanding the nature and severity of the crisis the Church is currently living through.  This crisis is the greatest in the history of the Church, and was designed & implemented by the Vatican bureaucracy and the popes themselves (from John XXIII to the present supreme pontiff), difficult though that may be to the uninitiated to understand or accept.

The root of this crisis, if it can be reduced to a word, is "modernism", that "synthesis of all heresies" (Pius IX) that the popes of the 19th an early 20th century fought so strenuously to rid of the Church of.  This modernism did, in fact, infect the upper hierarchy of the Church (as was clearly predicted by Our Lady of Fatima), even the popes, who can quite freely err except when they choose to solemnly define doctrine and dogma for the universal Church with the protection of the Holy Spirit.

The essense of modernism is the notion that truth changes: ultimately that there really is no such thing as objective truth at all.  Of course, it would be difficult to concieve of a philosophy more antithetical to Catholicism, but that is what it is (according to modernists themselves at that).  

The main practical aspect of this new foundation has been an accommodation with the world (as Vatican Council II proudly and openly declared), including a new, false notion of "ecumenism", a denial of the Social Kingship of Christ based on a new, false notion of religious liberty, and the imposition of a new, contrived Rite of Mass that does not properly express Catholic theology - that, in fact, was designed to not do so, according to its architect.

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The notion of "ecumenism" that originated with Vatican II and is now a major part of the Church's new orientation is something completely foreign in the history of the Church.  True ecumenism refers to "the return of heretics and schismatics to the one, true Church", as Pope Pius XI put it.  What today's "ecumenism" means is an implicit denial of the Catholic dogma regarding the nature of the true Church along with the completely incoherent notion that mutually-exclusive teachings can exist without inherent conflict.  The teaching that the Catholic Church is, in fact, the one, true, Church, the specific, visible, hierarchal Church founded by Christ on Peter as its first head is constantly trivialized if not directly denied.  At the same time, Protestant and even non-Christian religions that contain numerous errors are praised in & of themselves (as opposed to simply acknowledging the humanity of their adherents - something the Church certainly always did).  Our new pontiff himself is on-record as stating that it is no longer necessary to convert to Catholicism, even for non-Christians (Muslims and Jews, whose Mosaic Covenant was nullified by the New Covenant and is no longer salvific, as the New Testament teaches clearly and the Church had always taught).

In fact, public prayer with non-Catholics had been expressly forbidden for the entire history of the Church.  "If someone preaches to you a Gospel different from the one I have taught", says the Apostle, "even if he be an angel from heaven, let him be accursed."  The Protestant Gospel is, unfortunately, very different from the Catholic Gospel, which is the actual Gospel.

Extra Ecclesium Nulla Salus - there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church - is a dogma of the faith.  Please understand that this teaching does not mean that in no case can a person who is not a visible Catholic be saved, for there is such a thing as baptism of desire, even implicit, that unites a person of good faith to the Church mystically.  But such a person is saved in spite of his false religion (if any), not because of it.  The denial of that truth is at the root of the error here.

The Church, especially via the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, gives people the means to attain the grace necessary to save their soul - so what kind of pure insanity is it to tell people not to convert to this Church?   (In addition to the Pope, Cardinal Kasper, the Vatican's main "ecumenical" point-man, has said the same thing publicly on numerous occasions.)

To quote Archbishop Levebvre:

"This [that false religions have no intrinsic right to be propagated] will certainly seem an exorbitant claim to those who do not have the Faith. But the Catholic uncontaminated by the spirit of the times will find it quite normal and legitimate. Unfortunately many Christians have lost sight of these realities: it has been so often repeated that we must respect other people's ideas, put ourselves in their place, accept their point of view.  The nonsensical “everyone to his own truth” has become the rule; dialogue has become the highest cardinal virtue, dialogue which necessarily leads to concessions. Through misplaced charity the Christian has come to think that he must go one step further than his interlocutors; he is usually the only one to do so. He no longer sacrifices himself for the truth, as the martyrs did. Instead, he sacrifices the truth."

To deny or subjugate truth is to deny or subjugate Christ.  And, as the Church teaches, error has no rights.  

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Possibly the single worst aspect of the crisis is what has been done to the Mass.  There is barely any way to succinctly describe how serious are the ramifications of the new missa.  It is completely unprecedented in the history of the Church to create a Mass from scratch.  But that, the many misinformed or dishonest spin-doctors aside, is indeed exactly what occurred, according to the doers themsevles.  The Roman Rite of Mass codified by St. Pius V had evolved naturally from Apostolic times, and in fact was substantially the same from at least the sixth century.  The liturgist Paul VI chose to remake the Mass, Fr. Annibal Bugnini, started over.

However, that fact is not the real problem.  Fr. Bugnini's goal in crafting a new Mass was, by his own admission, to subjugate Catholic theology so as to make the Mass more appealing to Protestants.  Two things can be said about this fact (stated by Bugnini himself):

1) It is a grotesquely evil and shockingly anti-Catholic sentiment.

2) Most Catholics today have no appreciation of (1), which is itself a sign of how deep is this crisis.

Jean Guitton, a close friend of Paul VI said, "The intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy... there was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass."

This revelation was one of the things that put to an end reasonable speculation that Paul VI never really understood what Fr. Bugnini was really up to.  (However, as is widely known, the pontiff did sack Bugnini, exiling him to Iran for the remainder of his ecclesiastic life, after obtaining information indicating that Bugnini was a freemason.  Buginini himself admitted in his memoirs that the Pope had become convinced he was a mason.)

So, the construction of the novus ordo missa proceeded with the intention of doing what the Protestants themselves had not been able to do: eradicating the Mass of Catholic theology, of its very core nature.  To that end, six Protestant "advisors" were part of Bugnini's team - another stunning and utterly unprecedented innovation for which exists hard proof (contrary to the wishful thinking of some neo-Catholic spinsters).  Creating an Order of Mass essentially from scratch was again, completely unprecedented and radically antithetical to all Catholic spirit, but to include formal heretics as consultants?  Luther, the originator of the Protestant Revolt, loathed the Mass, which he called the worst "abomination" in the world, and sought to destroy it.  He loathed it because its purpose, the propitiation of God for the sins of man, offended him because he, like the present modernists, believed in the "Cult of Man" (as Pope Paul declared the Council was welcoming), and could not stand the thought of man humbling himself before God in supplication, and offering an eternal Victim for sin.

The man-centered nature of the Novus Ordo - especially in its typical form - permeates.  For but one example of literally dozens that could be offered, instead of facing God in the tabernacle and God to the east, as was the Apostolic custom, the priest faces the people - he is the presider over an assembly, an entertainer even, rather that in persona Christi.  Indeed, the thick line between the sacrificial priesthood and the priesthood of the people is heavily blurred - again, this is by intention, in line with the democratic ideals of the Protestant revolt (the Church is not a democracy).

Even John Paul II wrote, in Dominicae Cenae (1980), that "To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained."  That means that lay people have no business ever touching the Body of Christ - period - much less distributing It as a matter of practice when there is absolutely no need for it.  Yet, of course, the novelty of Communion in the hand was introduced illicitly by rebellious bishops, then tolerated silently, then grudgingly permitted via an indult, then vociferously defended by professional neo-Catholics.

Modern man cannot tolerate being humbled before God and enjoys being the center of attention himself, so the priest becomes an entertainer (witness the transparent attempts to impress in sermons, the banal jokes, etc.) and the faithful, to "participate", now believe they must usurp the priest's proper role in the reading of Scripture and even enter the sanctuary.  However, not long ago, St. Pope Pius the X explained what Mass participation truly consists of:

"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists.  It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar.  If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar.  Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him.  You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar.  When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass."

All the great saints from antiquity until 1969 prayed the Mass this way, participating quite fully, thank you.  The claims that modern man could no longer relate to the Mass or the Church, both of which needed "updating", and that laymen just weren't given enough to do during Mass, were borne of modernism and lead to modernism, and to the almost total collapse of the faith that has ensued - period.

Belief follows prayer ("lex orandi, lex credendi") and so this Protestantized Mass has given us Protestant belief: Around three quarters of modern Catholic do not believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist, and even fewer are even aware of the Catholic teaching that the Mass is primarily a sacrifice: that it is the making-present of Calvary, the re-presentation to the Father of the same spotless Victim, immolated for the sins of man!

One prelate involved in the creation of the new missa bragged that "the Roman Rite is dead".  Another declared that Calvinists could now celebrate the same Lord's Supper as Catholics!

It seems that those who claim that the Novus Ordo does demonstrate and proclaim the core Catholic theology of the Mass as clearly, unambiguously, and beautifully as does the Tridentine rite are either unfamiliar with the latter or lacking in honesty.  I myself clung to that view for some time, but learning the Tridentine Rite in depth makes it completely impossible to hold with intellectual honesty.

Aquinas' definition of evil is the lack of a necessary good.  The Novus Ordo Missa lacks the necessary good of openly and thoroughly expressing the Catholic theology of what the Mass really is.  This does not mean that a valid Mass cannot be said with the missal, as form, matter, and intent are the necessary elements (though there are surely many modernist priests who do not intend to do what the Church wills in the Mass).  However, the theologians agree that the grace derived from the Mass is a function of several factors, including the the extent to which proper praise and supplication are offered to God.  With its man-centered focus and lack of sacrificial overtones, even when said reverently, the Novus Ordo missa is objectively inferior to the Tridentine, the Rite of Mass that evolved organically from that given to the Apostles and was codified in the 16th century to defend Catholic doctrine (which is truth), not to obscure it to satisfy Protestants who hate the Mass and the Church.

It is no wonder why the world is in the state it is, exactly as predicted by Our Lady of Fatima, whose requests were not honored.

For one thorough treatment of the pernicious errors of the Novus Ordo Missae, seek out The Ottaviani Intervention.

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What's the root cause of all of this?  It is complex, but simple.  As above, in a word, the answer is "modernism", defined by Pope St. Pius X as "the synthesis of all heresies".  It certainly is as insidious and diabolical as that implies (the devil, it seems, has saved his best trick for last.)

The Oath Against Modernism that Pope Saint Pius X required all new clergy to take was done away with by Paul VI - one of those gestures perhaps not damning in itself (no pun intended - seriously) but actually representative of the entire situation.  Along with modernism, the essentiality of which is the denial of the concept of truth itself, the popes warned of a plan by Freemasonry, the arch-enemy of the Church, to infiltrate and corrupt it.  In fact, the very plan itself was intercepted by the Vatican and ordered to be published by Pius IX and again by Leo XIII as The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita.  The plan called for an infiltration of the Church beginning with a subtle liberalizing of seminarians and culminating in the Church preaching the Masonic ideals of religious liberty and ecumenism.  No matter what one says of this plot, the undeniable fact is that in the name of Vatican II these exact teachings are being taught as Catholic.

Another factor is that this subjugation of Catholic truth makes these churchmen and their new faith more palatable to the world - indeed, they and it are now largely praised by the world because of it.  They are certainly not hated and condemned as they would be if they preached true Catholicism, as had essentially always been the case before this bizarre enigma of an ecumenical council.

Sister Lucy of Fatima predicted exactly this "diabolical disorientation" in the Church - and, the Third Secret predicts it as well, according evidence incontrovertible to the rational thinker.  It speaks of an "apostasy" that begins "at the top" of the Church.  It is one of a multitude of disturbing and amazing facts that the "new theologians" who were suppressed and condemned by the Holy Office before the Council to a man went on to become the very Council periti, and, further, that every post-conciliar Pope has been a student of this new theology, which is modernist through and through.  (According to de Chardin, truth is ever-evolving - that statement directly implies that absolute truth does not exist.  Both John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (I do not say Benedict XVI, as what I'm referring to predates his ascedency to the Chair of Peter) were admirers of de Chardin, openly praised him, and were clearly heavily influenced by his work.)

The immediate but facile objection is to assert that "Vatican II is an ecumenical council of the Church" - it cannot err.  But it can, and the Popes who presided over it said it could themselves, numerous times.  They insisted that it was merely a "pastoral" council that would define no doctrine and declare no anathemas (which alone makes it unique in all the councils of the Church, incidentally).  Such a declaration directly implies a lack of protection by the Holy Spirit; only Church doctrine and dogma are infallible.

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On to the Society of Saint Pius X.  In the midst of this "auto-demolition" (Paul VI) of the Church, there was one man who stood most clearly in opposition to it and loyal to the Tradition of the Church: Archbishop Levebvre.  The result of his extremely courageous fight to uphold truth and sanity in the Church was that he was persecuted by Vatican liberals and his lawfully-founded Society eventually illegally suppressed.  (Canon Law prescribes that such an organization once lawfully founded can only be destroyed by the pope, who never personally approved of such an action.)

I have no doubt that one day Archbishop Levebvre will be declared saint one day, alongside Athanasius, who fought the churchmen of his time when 90% of the bishops had accepted the Arian heresy and was invalidly excommunicated by Pope Liberius but later canonized.

Archbishop Levebvre, who was clearly possessed of the keenest intellect along with great humility and supreme love of the Church, understood the nature of true obedience - true obedience is always in the service of God and thus the service of the true faith.  "Obedience" granted to assist in or comply with that which violates the Church's primary mission, the salvation of souls, is a false obedience to man only.  He explains this here:

http://archives.sspx.org/archbishop_lefebvre/archbishop_lefebvre_can_obedience_oblige_us_to_disobey_1988.htm

and

http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/Archbishop-Lefebvre/OpenLetterToConfusedCatholics/Chapter-18.htm

A few excerpts and comments.

"Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

This statement makes it clear even the Pope does not have the power to do anything that is not in the service of the faith.  Furthermore, all of the major theologians and doctors, including Augustine and Aquinas, stated that a pope who errs or command error must be publicly resisted.  

"Nobody can oblige anyone to change his monastic vows into simple promises, just as nobody can make us become Protestants or modernists." - true obedience is in service of the faith, which ecclesiastical law exists to serve!  St. Thomas: "“One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.”

"They prefer to be mistaken with the pope, than to be with the truth against the pope."  

His statement is absolutely true!  I have myself experienced people, backed into a corner in debate by the overwhelming evidence that the teachings and policies pursued by the modern Vatican are not of the faith, claim exactly that it is better to agree with the pope even if he is wrong!  Such an attitude is a madness that belies a properly Catholic understanding of the papacy.

He continues:

"That is not what the natural law teaches, nor the Magisterium of the Church. Obedience presupposes an authority which gives an order or issues a law. Human authorities, even those instituted by God, have no authority other than to attain the end apportioned them by God and not to turn away from it. When an authority uses power in opposition to the law for which this power was given it, such an authority has no right to be obeyed and one must disobey it."

"People accept in every case the authority of the Pope, who is supposedly infallible in his government and in all words. Such an attitude betrays a sad ignorance of history and of the true nature of papal infallibility."

A long time ago St. Paul said to St. Peter that he was "Not walking according to the truth of the Gospel" (Gal. 2:14). St. Paul encouraged the faithful not to obey him, St. Paul, if he happened to preach any other gospel than the Gospel that he had already taught them (Gal. 1:8)."

And here is what Pope Leo XIII said in his Encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20,1888:

"If, then, by any one in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law."

"But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man, we become disobedient to God."

"For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience."  I have had that thought many times myself - it seems we are indeed witnessing at least some aspect of his last hurrah.