This edition of CF NEWS No.2263 posted at 10.57 am on Sunday, January 7tth 2019



PLEASE NOTE - Because of another cataract operation, it is unlikely that CF NEWS will be published next Sunday, January 13th


Vatican watch

Urbi etc Orbi    read more >>>
Pope Francis rails against ‘hypocritical Christians’: ‘Better to live as an atheist’
read more >>>
Vatican attempts McCarrick cover-up read more >>>
When loose lips sink a dogma read more >>>
Appeal launched urging bishops to break silence on crisis under Pope Francis read more >>>

Humanae Vitae

Restored in Christ, A Theology of Healing    VIDEO read more >>>
Human Rights Committee increases pressureon abortion/homosexuality read more >>>

China supplement

Christmas behind bars   read more >>>
An Advent dinner with Cardinal Zen
read more >>>

News from around the world

USA Cardinal O'Malley forwards concerns to Nuncio after Times bombshell read more >>>
USA James Grein on McCarrick, Pope Francis and the St Gallen Mafia
  VIDEO   read more >>>
   VIDEO   read more >>>
   VIDEO    read more >>>
INTERNATIONAL Some jihad headlines of the week
  read more >>>


A practical view read more >>>


Dementia: My Father's Story read more >>>

Comment from the internet

Catholic Goals for Battle    VIDEO   read more >>>
Pope Francis, Indifferentism, and Islamization
  read more >>>
On changing the Italian text of the 'Our Father'
The Child Is Born
read more >>>
Year of Scandal brings glimmers of hope amid bleak revelations
 read more >>>
Eliot’s Prophecy and the Chattering Church
read more >>>
Revolution and Counter-Revolution: The Fall and Rise of the Roman Rite read more >>>

Our Catholic Heritage

Site of the day : Elsham  read more >>>
Venite adoremus
   VIDEO   read more >>>


Charles Peguy read more >>>

By courtesy of LifeSiteNews




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Vatican watch




Urbi etc Orbi

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARI writes for Fatima Perspectives - In his 'Urbi et Orbi' Message for Christmas, Pope Francis proposes a conception of the Incarnation that reduces Christ to a mere passive facilitator of a humanistic brotherhood among men of whatever belief or persuasion, including those who reject His Gospel and His Church. The words Francis uttered leave no doubt of this:

What does that Child, born for us of the Virgin Mary, have to tell us? What is the universal message of Christmas? It is that God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters.

This truth is the basis of the Christian vision of humanity.

Without the fraternity that Jesus Christ has bestowed on us, our efforts for a more just world fall short, and even our best plans and projects risk being soulless and empty.

For this reason, my wish for a happy Christmas is a wish for fraternity.

Fraternity among individuals of every nation and culture.

Fraternity among people with different ideas, yet capable of respecting and listening to one another.

Fraternity among persons of different religions. Jesus came to reveal the face of God to all those who seek him.

The face of God has been revealed in a human face. It did not appear in an angel, but in one man, born in a specific time and place. By his incarnation, the Son of God tells us that salvation comes through love, acceptance, respect for this poor humanity of ours, which we all share in a great variety of races, languages, and cultures. Yet all of us are brothers and sisters in humanity!

Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness. As when an artist is about to make a mosaic: it is better to have tiles of many colours available, rather than just a few!

To summarise this astonishing message: according to Francis Christ has 'bestowed' fraternity on all men indifferently, regardless of their 'different ideas' and 'different religions,' and salvation comes not by converting to Him and accepting the truth of His Gospel and the authority of the Church He founded as the Ark of Salvation, but rather 'through love, acceptance, respect for this poor humanity of ours.'

Note well: salvation, according to Francis, comes though love, acceptance and respect for humanity, not love, acceptance and respect for Christ and obedience to the Law of His Gospel.

Worse, according to Francis, the differences among men - which is to say their differences respecting the very truth revealed by the Word Incarnate - 'are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness' and part of a marvelous 'mosaic' made of 'tiles of many colours…' This is nothing but an echo of the liberal mantra that 'diversity is our strength.' But there is no strength in a 'diversity' of ideas about right and wrong or the duties owed to God. There is only conflict and chaos and the risk of a loss of souls.

As the Bible says in a verse Father Gruner frequently quoted apropos the civilizational and ecclesial crisis Our Lady of Fatima came to address: 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.' (Hos 4:6)

Nowhere in Francis' message to the Church and the world for Christmas is there any reference, even the most veiled, to the words of Christ Himself to the Church He founded: 'Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.' (Matt 16:15) The divine commission has disappeared without a trace, and what we have now is precisely the humanistic counterfeit of the brotherhood of man promoted by the French Sillon movement and condemned by Pope Saint Pius X, as a false brotherhood 'which will be neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Jewish. It will be a religion… more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men become brothers and comrades at last in the 'Kingdom of God'.'

The organizers of the Sillon movement boasted that 'We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind' - as if working for mankind did not require precisely working for the Church as the means of both human flourishing in this world and eternal salvation in the next. Such thinking, St. Pius X warned, is but 'a miserable affluent of the great movement of apostasy being organized in every country for the establishment of a One-World Church which shall have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions…' A 'church' in which the differences among men, meaning differences between truth and error, are celebrated as 'a source of richness' rather than lamented and viewed as an evil to be overcome by the grace of God and the unity of one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism for the remission of sins. And a Gospel which, to quote Pius X, presents not Christ the King, but 'a diminished and distorted Christ' who merely presides over a pan-religious brotherhood in which truth no longer matters for salvation.

This, surely, is the situation the Mother of God had in view when She appeared to the three shepherd children at Fatima.

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Globe N A C F

Pope Francis rails against ‘hypocritical Christians’: ‘Better to live as an atheist’
BREE A, DAIL reports for OnePeterFive - Pope Francis addressed a crowd of faithful with some jarring remarks during his first Wednesday Audience of 2019. Speaking in the Paul VI Audience Hall, , the pope focused on two reoccurring themes of his pontificate: hypocritical Christians and the “revolutionary” nature of the Gospel.

“How many times do we see the scandal of those people who go to church and stay there all day or go every day and then live hating others or talking badly about people? This is a scandal – it is better not to go to church: better to live as an atheist,” the pope admonished.

Reading from his prepared statements, the pope continued, “The Christian is not one who commits himself to be better than others: he knows that he is a sinner like everyone else.”

According to the Italian media outlet La Repubblica, reporting from the audience hall, the pope continued to read from his prepared texts, “where there is Gospel, there is revolution: the Gospel does not leave us quiet, it pushes us: it is revolutionary.” Pointing to the Our Father, he would conclude that St Matthew placed Jesus’ prayer “at the center of the mountain’s discourse[.] … Blessed are the poor, the meek, the merciful, the humble people of heart: It is the revolution of the Gospel.”

The Roman pontiff’s use of the term “revolution” harkens to a recent LifeSite exclusive with Chilean author José Antonio Ureta on his book, Pope Francis’s Paradigm Shift: Continuity or Rupture in the Mission of the Church? In his full interview, Mr. Ureta would explain the concerning trend of some in the Vatican – to include Pope Francis – to label attempts at change in the Church as “revolutions” or “paradigm shifts.” Such terms have found their place in the theological narratives of Pope Francis and his close advisers.

To note, Pope Francis’s prepared statements are the first since news shook the international press of the joint resignation of Vatican spokesman Greg Burke, and his deputy, Paloma García Ovejero, over the New Year.

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Globe N A C F

Vatican attempts McCarrick cover-up

CHURCH MILITANT has learned from extremely reliable sources that the Vatican investigation into disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick appears to have gone into cover-up mode.

In an unbelievable turn of events, Church investigators are now presenting the accusations against McCarrick from a former altar boy as not credible. But what is proving to be astonishing is the rationale.

The case as laid out to Church Militant is that the then-16-year-old boy went to St. Patrick's Cathedral to seek out McCarrick and serve midnight Mass in 1972 where McCarrick groped and fondled him in the sacristy.

Even though the boy did not go to St. Patrick's with any sexual intentions in mind, investigators for the Vatican are spinning the details in such a way as to say that McCarrick is at least partially exonerated, if not totally, because the boy presented himself to McCarrick and McCarrick did not pursue him.

Additionally, they say that since the boy was 16, a question now arises regarding the age of consent and if this could still be viewed as sexual abuse of a minor.

Those with intimate knowledge of the investigation are saying it's part of a "cover-up," claiming the Vatican is trying to recast the molestation as somehow consensual sex — a theme actually brought forward by Chicago Cdl. Blase Cupich at the bishops' November meeting in Baltimore — that consensual homosexual sex involving a priest is a different matter.

The fallout from this latest news has sent shock waves through the ecclesiastical world, especially the archdiocese of New York, which publicly announced the McCarrick news back on June 20.

New York Cdl. Timothy Dolan's entire charge of credible evidence against McCarrick was now severely jeopardized by the way the Vatican was spinning the case.

And this is why: James Grein, longtime victim of McCarrick, was interviewed at length by New York archdiocese Vicar General Richard Welch last week about details surrounding his abuse at the hands of McCarrick.

With Dolan's original case against McCarrick apparently blown out of the water by Vatican investigators, Dolan needed to put together another case and do it fast. This one would have to be airtight, and in the case of James Grein, he found it.

Grein's story first appeared in The New York Times but did not identify him by his full name. He first came completely public at the Silence Stops Now rally in Baltimore hosted by Church Militant and a coalition of concerned lay groups.

In his speech at the rally, Grein gave details of the decade-plus homosexual abuse endured by him from McCarrick. He also gave further details on a YouTube video with Dr. Taylor Marshall.

Between the New York Times article, his speech at the rally, his interview with Taylor Marshall and an additional interview he gave Church Militant following his testimony against McCarrick given in New York last week, it appears Dolan may have his airtight case.

But what is extremely telling — as well as disturbing — according to insiders, is that the knee-jerk response from the Vatican seems to be to want to cover up, or in the very least discredit and downplay, the charges against McCarrick, and that, faithful Catholics tell Church Militant, is a big red flag that the Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth.

At the moment, U.S. bishops are huddled at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago for a week-long retreat about sex abuse ordered by Pope Francis, and in just six weeks time, the sex abuse summit gets underway in Rome.

Given these latest developments and leaks, many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smokescreen, that Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a "blame the victim" approach and is content to treat this entire scandal as just an "American thing" that will be forgotten soon enough.

Conclusion: Rome and Pope Francis are the problem here — Rome, Pope Francis and the homosexual clerical culture dominating the Church.


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Globe N A C F

When loose lips sink a dogma

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives-- An article published by LifeSiteNews reports on the latest doctrinal train wreck caused by the casual remarks of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter. Quoth Francis in his annual address to the families of those employed by the Holy See and the Vatican City State:

“So who is happy in the Nativity scene? Our Lady and Saint Joseph are full of joy: they look at the Child Jesus and they are happy because, after a thousand worries, they have accepted this gift of God, with so much faith and so much love. They are ‘overflowing’ with holiness and therefore with joy. And you will tell me: of course! They are Our Lady and Saint Joseph! Yes, but let us not think it was easy for them: saints are not born, they become thus, and this is true for them too.”

As Mary obviously was born a saint by virtue of Her Immaculate Conception — She is the Second Eve — She could not possibly be said to have “become” a saint at some later point in Her earthly life. Does this mean that Francis implicitly denies the Immaculate Conception? Not at all. As one desperate defender of these unfortunate remarks has pointed out, Francis has repeatedly affirmed the dogma in no uncertain terms (albeit generally in prepared statements that preclude the usual gaffes). The same defender also notes, however, that “Pope Francis often speaks casually and informally, versus using strict theological language. Whatever you think of this stylistic choice, it is only fair to interpret informal addresses knowing this.”

Yes, but why should the faithful be put to the task of constantly “interpreting” Francis’ “casual” remarks in an orthodox sense? Is it too much to ask of a Pope that his statements in any forum plainly conform to the dogmas of the Faith? There is no way around the problem created by the remarks in question here: not only is Mary said to have “become” a saint, She is placed on the same level as Joseph in that supposed labor of sanctification, even though She was “full of grace” at birth — and thus a saint.

Respecting Mary, to quote Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange: “Mary’s fullness of grace, however, did not cease to increase up to the time of her death. For that reason theologians usually speak of, 1st, her initial fullness or plenitude; 2nd, the fullness of her second sanctification at the instant of the conception of the Saviour; 3rd, the final fullness (at the instant of her entry into glory), its extent, and its superabundance.” (Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life, TAN Publishers, pp. 31-32)

By contrast, notes Fr. Garrigou LaGrange: “[T]he absolute fullness of Our Saviour knew no increase, for it was sovereignly perfect from the first instant of His conception by reason of the personal union with the Word. For, from the first instant, the lumen gloriae and the beatific vision were communicated to Jesus’s soul, so that the second Council of Constantinople could say (Denz. 224) that Christ did not grow more perfect by reason of His meritorious acts: ‘Ex profectu operum non melioratus est.’”

Thus, when the Gospel of Luke (2:52) recounts, following the Finding in the Temple, that Christ “increased in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men,” this does not mean that Christ acquired wisdom and grace He did not already possess, but rather (to quote the Haydock Commentary): “He chose to manifest increasing signs of wisdom as He increased in years. — In the same manner also He increased in grace by displaying, as He advanced in age, the gifts of grace with which He was endowed.”

Indeed, the same Chapter of Luke also recounts that when Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple, where He was astounding the doctors with his wisdom and probing questions, Mary Immaculate asked Her divine Son: “Why has thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee, sorrowing.” And when Our Lord replied “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about the things that are my Father’s?”, Mary and Joseph “understood not the word that he spoke to them,” but Mary “kept all these words in her heart” where they would mature in the progressive revelation of Her own glory as Co-Redemptrix.

What is called for in such theological matters is a degree of precision of which the impromptu Francis seems incapable. Loose lips in a Pope — especially in the age of the Internet — can sink a dogma without any intention to deny it. But that, sad to say, is the least of the problems with this calamitous pontificate.


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Globe N A C F interests

Catholics launch appeal urging world’s bishops to break silence on crisis under Pope Francis

DIANE MONTAGNA reports for LifeSiteNews — A prominent group of Catholic laity are calling on bishops and priests to break their silence surrounding the “homosexual networks” in the Church’s hierarchy, which many believe are at the “root” of the clerical sexual abuse crisis to be discussed next month at the Vatican.

In an appeal launched in Italian, English and Spanish on Jan. 5 (see full text below), the president of the Rome-based Lepanto Foundation, Italian historian Professor Roberto de Mattei, is urging Catholic bishops and priests to abandon “the path of absolute silence” about the moral and doctrinal crisis in the Church, arguing that it is only precipitating her “self-destruction.”

He is also entreating them to place “the of the Church, which are those of Jesus Christ,” above their own personal interests, and to join their voices to prelates like Archbishop Viganò who have openly denounced what they call “homosexual networks” in the hierarchy that thrive in “secrecy” as they “strangle innocent victims, priestly vocations, and […] the entire Church.”

Titled, “Dare, Monsignor!,” the appeal urges bishops and priests to ask God for the supernatural grace needed to respond courageously to the current crisis.

“If you will dare to ask Him, the Holy Spirit will not fail to suggest to your conscience times, ways, and tones of coming out into the open, in order to be ‘the light of the world, a city set on a hill, a lamp set on a lampstand’ (Mt 5:13-16),” the appeal reads.

“What are you afraid of? The world may attack you with defamation and slander. Your superiors may deprive you of your authority and external dignity. But it is to the Lord that you must render an account, as must each one of us on the Day of Judgment,” it adds.

Until now, de Mattei observes, many bishops and priests — even those who sympathize with the “unease” and “concern” expressed by cardinals and laity — have adopted “silence as the supreme rule” and counselled others to follow suit in the name of “following the Pope” and “preventing schism.”

But, he argues, “there is only one way to save the Church from schism. Proclaim the Truth. By remaining silent we will only further the schism.”

The lay group is therefore urging bishops and priests: “Dare to openly encourage those who defend the Church from within, and who publicly profess the entire Truth of the Catholic Faith. Dare to seek out other confreres who will join you and us in issuing that cry of war and of love which St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort raised in his “Fiery Prayer” [Prière embrasée] with these prophetic words: “Fire! Fire! Fire! There is a fire in the house of God! There is fire even within the Sanctuary!”

In comments to LifeSite, de Mattei explained why the Lepanto Foundation is issuing their appeal now, what they hope to achieve, and also why they focused on the issue of homosexuality. He said:

On February 21, a summit on clerical sexual abuse with presidents of episcopal conferences around the world will open at the Vatican. Pope Francis has just sent a letter on this issue to the US bishops gathered at Mundelein Seminary in the Chicago archdiocese for their week-long retreat. Pope Francis, however, seems to limit the problem of the moral corruption of pedophilia to one of clericalism and the abuse of power, without extending it to homosexuality — which Archbishop Viganò has rightly denounced as a true “scourge” in the Church today.

In issuing our appeal, we are acting as the laity have done many times in the course of history. The laity by their action have contributed to the moral reform of the Church in key moments; for example, through the “Pataria” movement of the eleventh century in Lombardy.

The Pataria was a religious movement in the northern Italian archdiocese of Milan that sought to reform the clergy and ecclesiatic government, and supported papal sanctions against simony and clerical marriage. The “patarini” — or “ragpickers” as their opponents called them — were generally lay tradesman who were motived by personal piety.

De Mattei continued:

Today, however, the problem is not only moral but also theological, because even more serious than the practice of homosexuality is the affirmation by many members of the clergy that a bridge between the Catholic faith and LGBT culture is possible. These pastors and theologians are likely a minority, but they are an active minority, and have been encouraged by the Supreme ecclesiastical hierarchies through a general silence. I often meet both in Rome and in other cities around the world, clergy who privately criticize these positions and complain about the situation of the Church, but do not dare to make their voices heard and lock themselves up in silence.

Our appeal aims not only at shaking the sleeping clergy from their lethargy, but at serving as a symbolic act of indignation and defense of the Church’s honor. We hope that our voice as simple lay faithful will not be despised, but will be listened to and respected, also as a contribution to the debate that must precede the February summit.

The official English text of the Lepanto Foundation appeal may be accessed here in pdf format.

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Humanae Vitae


Restored in Christ, A Theology of Healing

DR. MATTHEW BREUNINGER, Professor of Psychology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivers his talk entitled "Restored in Christ, A Theology of Healing: Called to be Healed, Healing Life's Hurts". Dr. Breuninger's talk was part of the Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium at Franciscan University of Steubenville.



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Globe N A C F

UN Human Rights Committees increase pressure on abortion/homosexuality

REBECCAAS, Ph.D., reports for the Friday Fax -- For decades, the expert bodies monitoring compliance with UN human rights treaties have been increasingly bold in promoting abortion along with sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). While this exceeds their mandates and falls outside the agreed text of the treaties they monitor, their activities have gone largely unchecked, and this trend has only continued in the past year.

When a UN member state ratifies

While none of the six major treaties addressing human rights issues, including those of women, children, and persons with disabilities, includes direct references to abortion or SOGI, each of their monitoring bodies have pressured countries on these issues in the past year.

The committee monitoring the women’s rights treaty pressured countries on abortion in 88% of cases. In a joint statement with the committee monitoring the rights of disabled persons, they asserted that abortion is a prerequisite for women’s rights and disputed the claim of pro-life groups that special allowances for abortion in the case of fetal abnormality constitute discrimination on the basis of disability.

Ninety percent of the concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee in 2018 included pressure on SOGI. In November, this committee issued a general comment stating that its understanding of the “right to life” includes a right to abortion. The comment was also favorable to euthanasia.

While pro-life groups, including international human rights experts and members of these same committees, have expressed concern and even outrage at these developments, concrete steps toward treaty body reform remain elusive. UN human rights treaties themselves continue to maintain considerable credibility, with high rates of ratification by member states. All but one country—the United States—have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for instance. Its monitoring body pressured states party to the treaty on both abortion and SOGI at unprecedented levels in 2018, in 65% and 53% of cases, respectively.

Although treaty monitoring bodies involve experts talking to the governments of member states, another UN mechanism allows countries to address each other directly and encourage their promotion of human rights. In the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), each country undergoes a broad review every few years and receives recommendations from fellow countries. Although SOGI and abortion pressure are widespread within the UPR, it comes from a relatively small group of countries, clustered predominantly within Western Europe and its allies. At the end of last year, C-Fam reported that some countries have begun using the UPR to encourage their fellow nations to protect life in the womb and support a traditional understanding of the family. In January, Kenya urged Botswana to “affirm that there is no international human right to abortion” and resist pressure to liberalize its abortion laws. Also in 2018, Egypt issued calls to several countries to protect the family as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society,” quoting the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which had its 70th anniversary this year.

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China supplement


Christmas behind bars

SANDRO MAGISTER blogs from Rome -- 'Looking To China' was the five-column headline that 'L'Osservatore Romano' - no longer directed by Giovanni Maria Vian, but by Andrea Monda - ran in presenting the news that 'two Chinese children, ages six and seven, brought flowers before the statue of the Child Jesus together with Pope Francis,' on Christmas Eve in Saint Peter's Basilica.

Meanwhile, however, things are happening in China that the official Vatican media will never be able to report, gagged as they are by the accord signed on September 22 between the Vatican and Beijing.

Here, in fact, is what was revealed on December 28, the feast of the Holy Innocents, in a press release from the CESNUR, the Center for Studies on the New Religions. It is reproduced below in full. With just one notification, that 'Bitter Winter' has been referenced repeatedly by 'Settimo Cielo' as among the most reliable sources at the international level.

45 journalists arrested in China. They were sending news to the Italian magazine 'Bitter Winter'

45 journalists have been arrested in China this month, under the accusation of sending news, videos, and photographs to the daily magazine on religious freedom and human rights in China 'Bitter Winter,' published since May 2018 in Turin, in eight languages, by the CESNUR, the Center for Studies on the New Religions, and directed by the Turinese sociologist Massimo Introvigne, who is also director of the CESNUR.

'Bitter Winter' publishes exclusive news from China every day, provided by a substantial group of Chinese journalists and with commentary by specialists of the CESNUR.

The magazine attained international notoriety when, last month, it published three videos shot inside the heavily guarded reeducation camps for the Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang, which were rebroadcast by numerous international news sites and television networks.

Together with the publication of confidential documents of the Chinese Communist Party on matters of religion and photographs of destroyed churches, mosques, and statues of Buddha, as well as news on the mistreatment of dissident Catholic priests that continues in spite of the accord between China and the Holy See, these videos provoked a tough response from the regime.

The arrests have been reported by the CESNUR and by 'Bitter Winter' itself. 'We have credible news,' Massimo Introvigne affirms, 'on the fact that some of the journalists arrested have been tortured to obtain information on who else was sending us news and documents from China. And unfortunately the reporter who shot the videos inside the reeducation camps of Xinjiang has disappeared without leaving a trace. And as has happened to other journalists in China, we fear that he is destined never to be seen again.

'We trust that anyone who takes the freedom of the press to heart will raise his voice to protest against these very grave episodes. As for China, I believe that it underestimates the number of journalists who are willing to risk their freedom for the sake of telling the world about the violations of human rights in that country. The network of 'Bitter Winter' does not number a few dozen, but hundreds.'

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Globe N A C F

An Advent dinner with Cardinal Zen

The Vatican’s “provisional agreement” with the Chinese government has had a demoralizing effect on the country’s faithful Catholics, according to Hong Kong’s Cardinal Zen.

DAVID PINAULT writes for the Catholic Worl Supoort - Outdoors, a night of mist and drizzling rain on the slopes of Tai Ping Shan (otherwise known to Hong Kongers as Victoria Peak). But here indoors, good food, good red wine, and good conversation, and all thanks to the hospitality of Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

Shortly before Christmas, His Eminence hosted Jody (my wife and Santa Clara University colleague) and me at a dinner in the private dining room of a guesthouse owned by the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong. For Cardinal Zen it was a chance to publicize once again his longstanding concerns about the future of Catholicism in China. For us it was an extraordinary opportunity to meet a hero of the 21st-century Church, a defender of Christ, and a tireless foe of the Chinese Communist Party.

Many today fear antagonizing the CCP. But His Eminence can draw on a lifetime of surviving harsh challenges. A childhood in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. Emigration to Hong Kong just ahead of Mao Tse-Tung’s conquest of the mainland. And a return to China during the Cultural Revolution as a member of the Salesian order of priests, where he witnessed close-up the brutalities inflicted on Christians by Mao’s hordes of Red Guards.

As bishop of Hong Kong and subsequently as a cardinal appointed by Benedict XVI, His Eminence has repeatedly defied Beijing. He spoke out against the Communists for their massacre of students in Tiananmen Square. He defended Falun Gong followers as the CCP moved to crush them. And he has voiced support for the right of Hong Kongers to have some say in how they’re governed even as Xi Jinping’s government tightens its grip on the former Crown colony.

Cardinal Zen recalls all these fights as we sit down to dinner. But no sooner has he said grace than he focuses on his latest concern: the “provisional agreement” lately arranged between Pope Francis and Beijing.

Under the terms of this deal, the Communist government will supposedly recognize the Vatican’s authority. But the agreement will also allow Xi Jinping and his officials to hand-pick candidates for appointment as bishops in Chinese dioceses. The Pope will be permitted to veto a choice he dislikes—but he will have no say in initiating the selection of candidates.

We can’t help but ask: why give a Communist government such ecclesiastical clout? Cardinal Zen frowns in reply. The Holy Father wants a grand entente that will allow him to make a celebratory trip to Beijing and consolidate the papacy’s position on the Communist-ruled mainland.

Francis is also eager, says the cardinal, to heal the split in China’s Catholic Church. Since 1951 Beijing has sought to nullify the Vatican’s authority and Catholicism’s moral independence through the creation—and suffocatingly close supervision—of the Chinese “Catholic Patriotic Association” (CPA). Yet to this day more than half of China’s Catholics have refused to join the CPA, instead remaining adherents of an underground Church that is loyal to the Vatican and to a chain of authority that goes back to Peter the Fisherman.

This loyalty comes at a cost. “Anything may happen to you,” the cardinal points out to us, “if you’re a member of the underground Church.” Attend a Mass unauthorized by the CCP-approved Patriotic Association, and you risk denunciation, job loss, arrest, or worse. Through it all, China’s underground Catholics have stayed true to Rome.

And all for what?

“China’s underground Catholics,” our host tells us, “aren’t afraid of being poor or in prison, of losing their property, or even of dying for their faith. But now they feel betrayed.”

They understand, His Eminence continues, that bishops appointed by Beijing are collaborators with the government, all too willing to rubber-stamp whatever the Communist Party decrees.

So Francis’ “provisional agreement” has had a demoralizing effect. “The Communist Party is now pressuring underground priests to join the Patriotic Association. ‘Sign, sign! The Pope says it’s okay.’ But the priests don’t want to.” Cardinal Zen pauses for emphasis. “They understand what the Communist government is truly like, even if the Holy Father fails to see.”

Both John Paul II and Benedict, His Eminence reminds us, understood a basic reality: there is nothing to hope for in negotiating with a totalitarian dictatorship. Yet the current pope and his advisers think they can bargain with the Communists and get a good deal. “But they will give a lot, and get nothing in return.”

Read these words, and you might mark Cardinal Zen as a gloom-and-doom prophet. And in fact he acknowledges Catholic China’s prospects are grim. But he hasn’t lost hope. He cites the example and inspiring life-story of a fellow Salesian priest—”a confrere of mine,” he says.

Imprisoned under Mao, this missionary was sentenced to slave labor in China’s coal mines. He kept his faith and bore witness to Christ through 30 years’ confinement.

Propaganda officials tried and failed to break him. One day an interrogator slapped a gun on the table and threatened to shoot him on the spot. The Salesian simply smiled. “I’m ready every day for martyrdom.”

Now aged 100 and living in Hong Kong, this survivor recently told Cardinal Zen: “I really thank the Lord for all those years in prison. Before, I used to have so many distractions when I tried to pray.” Through all his sufferings, God gave this living martyr the consolation of divine communion in prayer.

This recollection of his Salesian colleague generates the cardinal’s concluding reflection of the evening. Over coffee he tells us, “In persecution, God has the victory. God is still able to lead everything to a good conclusion.”

To illustrate his point Cardinal Zen cites from memory a meditation on Saint John’s Apocalypse authored in 2006 by Pope Benedict (whom His Eminence refers to with very evident reverence and affection).

Benedict draws attention to John’s vision of Christ as a wounded sacrificial Lamb, who appears before a throng of believers seeking refuge from the torments inflicted by the pagan Roman empire. A mysterious scroll suddenly appears in the midst of this multitude, “a scroll, previously sealed with seven seals, that no one had been able to break open.”

His Eminence quotes Benedict’s reflection on this scene: “Only the sacrificed Lamb can open the sealed scroll and reveal its content, give meaning to this history that so often seems senseless. He alone can draw from it instructions and teachings for the life of Christians, to whom his victory over death brings the message and guarantee of victory that they too will undoubtedly obtain.”

What Jody and I remember most vividly from our evening with the cardinal is his summary of Benedict’s meditation: Only the Lamb that has suffered, that has been martyred and slaughtered, is able to open the sealed scroll. Suffering undertaken in self-giving love can convey wisdom, compassion, and perspective.

What John’s audience faced then, says His Eminence, is what Chinese Christians face now: persecution at the hands of a violent and seemingly all-powerful state. The path pursued by these believers is the path urged on us all by Benedict: “Follow the Lamb Jesus, entrust yourselves to Jesus, take his path, and even if in this world he is only a Lamb who appears weak, it is he who triumphs!”

For decades underground Catholics have stayed faithful to the Lamb’s path, despite everything inflicted on them from the time of Mao to today’s regime of Xi Jinping.

No one in the 21st century has offered better witness to the suffering of these believers than His Eminence Joseph Zen. Let’s all pray that Pope Francis heeds the wisdom voiced by this cardinal, who urges the Vatican to shun power-politic deals with the Communist state. Let today’s papacy follow instead the path of the “Lamb who appears weak”—the path followed faithfully for so many years by the martyred Church of China.


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News from around the world


United States Cardinal O'Malley forwards concerns to Nuncio after Times bombshell on New York priest

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY reports -- The Archbishop of Boston has forwarded to the pope's U.S. representative concerns sent to him about a New York priest who was in active college and parish ministry while under investigation for charges of sexual abuse.

The cardinal forwarded the correspondence the day after media reports emerged detailing the allegations made against the priest.

On Dec. 21, Cardinal Sean O'Malley sent to Archbishop Christophe Pierre correspondence he had received regarding Father Donald Timone, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, who was being investigated by the review board of that archdiocese.

'I note the seriousness of the allegations [redacted] presents with regard to Rev. Timone,' O'Malley wrote, in a letter published Dec. 28 by Spanish Catholic news site Religión Digital.

The cardinal said he had received a letter expressing concerns about Father Timone in early November, referencing the author of that letter whose name was redacted. Sources familiar with the letter told CNA that the person who wrote to Cardinal O'Malley about Father Timone's ministry was himself a victim of sexual abuse by a New York priest.

The cardinal said he had not forwarded the correspondence sooner because he was 'away from the Archdiocese for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops last month, [for] commitments in other dioceses, and meetings with the Holy Father in Rome this month.'

O'Malley acknowledged in his letter that 'today the New York Times has published an extensive report concerning the allegations against Rev. Timone.'

Father Timone is accused of sexually abusing two teenage boys during the late 1960s and early 1970s. On Dec. 20, the New York Times reported Father Timone was allowed to continue to publicly minister as a priest despite allegations made against the priest, and a 2017 settlement with two of Father Timone's alleged victims, one of whom was represented by his widow after succumbing to suicide. The priest was prohibited from ministry shortly after the Times report was published.

CNA subsequently reported that the archdiocese sanctioned the priest's continued college ministry even while he was under investigation, telling a California college in a Dec. 4 letter that Father Timone had never been accused of abuse.

In August, O'Malley apologized after reports emerged that his office had received a 2015 letter detailing accusations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and failed to pass it on to Church officials.

The apology came after media reports revealed that New York priest Father Boniface Ramsey had tried to warn church officials about McCarrick multiple times, including in the 2015 letter, which he sent to O'Malley because of his role as President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

O'Malley said his secretary Father Robert Kickham received the letter and responded to Ramsey himself, saying that the accusations fell outside of the jurisdiction of O'Malley's office, as they did not involve minors. O'Malley said he only found out about Ramsey's letter after the recent media reports.

O'Malley promised at that time to revise the policies of his office to ensure that all complaints of sexual abuse or episcopal negligence sent to him would be forwarded to appropriate authorities.

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United States James Grein on McCarrick, Pope Francis and the St Gallen Mafia

JAMES GREIN, the victim of ExCardinal Theodore McCarrick, explains to Dr Taylor Marshall his recent testimony to Catholic Vatican Officials regarding ex Cardinal McCarrick and further explains McCarrick's connection to St Gallen, Switzerland (Sankt Gallen Mafia) and the plan in Rome with Pope Francis moving forward into 2019.





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International The World Over with Raymond Arroyo



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International Michael Voris

Vade, propheta ad populum meum '. . flicking his whip at the Bishops, cutting them in tender places, throwing stones at Sacred Congregations, and discharging pea shooters at Cardinals' (Newman).


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International gloria.tv.news



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International Some headlines of the week


Iraq : Muslim claric decries Christmas celebrations, 'not a single act they don't commit'

Netherlands : Airport evacuated after Muslim screaming 'Allahu akbar' clains to have bomb

Netherlands : Migrants screaming 'Allahu akbar' throw fireworks at police

UK: Man stabs three,crying 'Allahu akbar, long live the caliphate'

UK : Three stabbed after ISIS call for 'lone wolf' attacks


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A practical view

WITH Christians, a poetical view of things is a duty. We are bid to colour all things with hues of faith, to see a divine meaning in every event.' -

[Blessed John Henry Newman] 2263.9























Dementia: My Father's Story

DEMENTIA EVENT at St Gregory and St Augustine Catholic Church, Oxford. Please consider advertising in your newsletters

The Newman Colloquium is a new monthly initiative in which prominent Catholics discuss interesting areas of the Faith with one another. It is open to all Catholics who might be interested in the topics.

Dementia: My Father's Story

Dr Adrian Treloar (Old Age Psychiatrist and Dementia Specialist, and author of 'Dementia - Hope on a Difficult Journey') talks with Mr John Smeaton (Chief Executive of SPUC) about the very emotive topic of dementia. In the late 1990s John's father, Jack Smeaton, was diagnosed with dementia. As Jack's physician, Adrian helped John's father and the entire Smeaton family through this difficult journey.

John's father, Jack Smeaton, died in 2003 fortified by the last rites.

When? January 12th, 15:45 (for a prompt 16:00 start) - 17:30

Where? Parish hall at Catholic Church of Ss Gregory and Augustine, Oxford, OX2 7NS (limited parking available)

Cost: Free, a retiring collection will be taken at the end for the speakers

For more details and to register please visit: newmancolloquium.eventbrite.com

Registration essential as places limited

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Comment from the internet


Catholic Goals for Battle



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Pope Francis, Indifferentism, and Islamization

Popec FrancisWILLIAM KILPATRICK writes for Deep Calls to Deep -- Two young Scandinavian women who were hiking in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco were found dead in mid-December in their tent. ISIS terrorists later posted a video of themselves decapitating one of the victims.

The mother of one of the women told reporters, 'Her priority was safety. The girls had taken all precautionary measures before embarking on this trip.'

'Except,' as Robert Spencer commented in JihadWatch, 'that it no doubt didn't even occur to them that what they thought they knew about Morocco's religion and culture might be inaccurate and designed to whitewash Islam, leaving them ill-informed about a threat that they actually did end up facing.'

If one depended on European media and European schools for one's knowledge of Islam, one would indeed come away with a misleading picture of Islam. But the same could be said of Catholics who rely on Church pronouncements about Islam. Ever since the Second Vatican Council, Church leaders have presented a smiley-faced version of Islam which emphasizes the commonalities with Catholicism and leaves out the scary parts.

Over the last six years, the chief proponent of this bowdlerized view of Islam has been Pope Francis. He has reassured Christians that Islam is opposed to violence, advised Muslim migrants to find comfort in the Koran, and has portrayed terrorists as betrayers of true Islam.

More significantly, he has become perhaps the world's foremost spokesman for an open-borders, let-everyone-in policy toward immigration. Seemingly indifferent to the increasingly dangerous situation created by jihad-minded Muslims in Europe, Francis has encouraged a welcoming attitude toward all while scolding opponents of mass migration as fearful and xenophobic.

In short, Pope Francis has acted as an advocate for Islam. He has portrayed it as a religion of peace, the moral equivalent of Catholicism, and a force for good. A number of people, however, now feel that the pope has seriously misled Christians about the nature and goals of Islam and Islamic immigration. Like the teachers and other cultural elites who left the two Scandinavian women 'ill-informed about a threat that they actually did end up facing,' Pope Francis, by whitewashing Islam, has left millions of Christians unprepared for the escalating threat that is now facing them.

The analogy between the misinformed Scandinavian friends and misinformed Europeans does break down in one respect, though. No one forced the young women to travel to Morocco. They went there of their own accord. It's one thing to invite yourself into the high mountains of Morocco and take your chances. It's another thing altogether to invite Morocco into Europe and let ordinary Europeans bear the consequences. That is what European elites, with much encouragement from Francis, have done.

The combination of high Muslim birth rates, mass Muslim migration, and European concessions to Islam's blasphemy laws has set Europe on a course toward Islamization. Islamization, in turn, will spell dhimmitude for Christians. As the Islamic influence grows, Christians will be subject to increasing restrictions on the practice of their faith, perhaps even to persecution. It's possible that Christianity in Europe will be exterminated.

Is Francis Naïve About Islam?

The pope has done much to promote the cause of Islam-so much so that he has been praised by Islamic leaders for his defense of their faith. The questions that then arise are these: Is Francis aware of the possibility that Islam will become dominant in Europe? Is he aware that this may spell the end of European Christianity? And if he is aware, does he care?

For a long time, I thought that Francis was simply naïve about Islam. His counterfactual statements about Islam and his Pollyannaish view of mass Muslim migration must, I thought, be the result either of blissful ignorance or of bad advice from 'experts,' or a combination of both.

Now, however, I have my doubts. The catalyst for these doubts is Francis's approach to the current sex-abuse crisis. I originally supposed that he was naïve about that also: perhaps he didn't realize the full extent of the problem or the full extent of the cover-ups; perhaps he wasn't aware of the numerous lavender networks in seminaries, in dioceses, and in the Vatican itself. But in light of recent revelations, it no longer seems possible to give him the benefit of the doubt. In several cases, he not only knew of the crimes and cover-ups, he took steps to protect and/or promote those involved. Francis seems determined to push through a revolution in doctrine and morals-what he calls 'a radical paradigm shift'-and it doesn't seem to matter that the men he has chosen to help him achieve his goals are the ones most deeply implicated in the scandals. By all accounts, Pope Francis is a 'hands-on' pope who knows exactly what he wants, carefully calculates his moves, and leaves little to chance.

Why, then, should we suppose Francis is completely naïve about the extent of the threat from Islam and from Islamic immigration? It's difficult to imagine that he isn't fully aware of the widespread persecution of Christians in Muslim lands. And it's just as difficult to think that he's ignorant of the Islamic crime wave on his own doorstep-the escalating incidence of rape, riots, and terrorist attacks in Europe. Does he really believe that such things have nothing to do with Islam?

Unless one assumes that Francis is ignorant of past history and out of touch with current events, one has to entertain the possibility that-to repeat a favorite slogan of his-he wants to 'make a mess' in Europe.

But why? Why risk the damage to the Church that would surely follow on the Islamization of Europe? Doesn't Francis care about the Church? Increasingly, it seems that he doesn't care. That's to say that he doesn't have much use for the 'old' Church-the one that was handed down by the apostles, and has now become too narrow and tradition-bound to suit his liberal tastes.

The Fluid Church of the Future

What he does care about is the new Church of the future-a Church of openness, inclusiveness, and fluidity. Led by the Spirit and free of bothersome dogma, this liberated Church would be able to adjust to the changing needs of the times. If one reads between the lines, that is what Francis and those around him seem to desire.

Indeed, one needn't bother to read between the lines. Here's Fr. Thomas Rosica, a media advisor to the Vatican: 'Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is free of disordered attachments.' Moreover, 'Our Church has indeed entered a new phase. With the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.'

And here's Francis himself speaking at a conference on Church closings:

The observation that many churches, which until a few years ago were necessary, are now no longer thus, due to a lack of faithful and clergy … should be welcomed in the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflection and requires us to adapt.

Translation: Francis is not particularly concerned about church closings. Perhaps he even thinks of them as a blessing: a necessary end to the old order of things that will clear the way for the construction of the new order.

What's the new order? In many respects, it resembles the new world order envisioned by politicians and academics on the left. Like them, Francis has a dim view of national borders and national sovereignty, and like them, he has an almost unquestioning belief in the benefits of international institutions. One gets the impression that Francis would be quite content to let the UN run the world, despite the fact that the UN is increasingly run by leftists and Islamists. For example, Francis has praised the UN's Global Compactfor Migration because he believes that immigration must be governed globally rather than by individual nations.

What does this have to do with Christianity and Islam? Just as Francis seems to favor a one-world government, he also seems to be drawn by the vision of a one-world religion. He hasn't said so in so many words, but he has given several indications that he envisions an eventual blending of religions. This would not be the 'one flock, one shepherd' Church that Christ spoke of but something a bit more diverse.

One way to achieve this unity in diversity is by deemphasizing doctrine. Doctrinal differences are, after all, the main dividing line between different faiths. Thus, by downplaying the importance of doctrine-something he has done fairly consistently throughout his papacy-it's probable that Francis hopes to smooth the path to interreligious harmony. Just as Francis disapproves of borders between nations, it's likely that he looks upon borders between religions as artificial and unnecessarily divisive.


This is speculation, of course, but it's not sheer speculation. As George Neumayr points out in The Political Pope, Francis frequently shows signs of indifferentism-the belief that all religions are of equal value. For example, when speaking of the murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel by two jihadists, he drew a moral equivalence between Islam and Christianity, saying 'If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.'

Other signs of his indifferentism are not difficult to find. In 2014, he told a group of Protestants, 'I'm not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community.' One another occasion, he criticized Pope Benedict's 'ordinate' for Anglicans interested in becoming Catholics by saying that they should stay 'as Anglicans.' On still other occasions, he has waxed enthusiastic over Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

Ironically, several examples of his indifferentism can be found in Evangelii Gaudium-ostensibly an exhortation to evangelize. Although the document urges us to spread the joy of the Gospel, it provides a number of reasons why we shouldn't bother. The main reason is that we already share so many ethical and spiritual values with other faiths that there's no point in converting non-Catholics.

Thus, Evangelii Gaudium leaves the impression that Jews shouldn't be evangelized (an impression that was later explicitly confirmed by the Vatican). Moreover, Francis also seems to exempt Muslims from any need to convert. As I wrote previously in Crisis:

After reading Evangelii Gaudium's positive assessment of Islam, one could be forgiven for concluding that the conversion of Muslims is not an urgent matter. And, indeed, there is no suggestion in the document that Muslims should be evangelized. At the most, Christians should dialogue with Muslims about their 'shared beliefs.'

Rather than converting others, Francis seems more interested in learning from them. In Evangelii Gaudium and in numerous talks, he frequently extols the 'richness' and 'wisdom' of other cultures. Whereas Christ commanded his apostles to 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…,' Francis's message is more along the lines of 'Go therefore and learn the wisdom of other cultures.' Francis's attitude toward evangelization seems to be summed up in something he said to atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari: 'Proselytism is solemn nonsense.'

If that's so, then Pope Francis probably has no desire to convert the Muslims streaming into Europe. After all, like Evangelicals, Muslims also can 'find Jesus in their community.' It's not the same Jesus, but perhaps the resemblance is close enough for someone with scant interest in doctrinal differences. Exactly what, then, does he have in mind by encouraging mass migration into Europe? One possibility, as I suggested earlier, is that he envisions a multicultural-type blending of religions. But in order for that to happen, it would be necessary for the respective faiths to dilute their doctrinal positions. Pope Francis seems quite willing to do this on the Catholic side. He has already made substantial concessions to the Chinese communist government on the appointment of bishops. He seems willing to alter Church teachings in order to build bridges with the LGBT 'community' and other sexual revolutionaries. And, in general, he prefers to be guided by the prompting of the Spirit rather than by the teachings of the Church.

Moreover, he seems more concerned with political and humanitarian goals than with the goal of getting to heaven. As George Neumayr has noted in The Political Pope, when awarded the Charlemagne Prize, Francis 'used his acceptance speech not to call for the restoration of Christianity, but for the spread of a 'new European humanism.'' And, as Francis sees it, the main obstacle to achieving these humanitarian goals are fundamentalist Christians who refuse to integrate with Muslim migrants and, in general, fail to adapt to changing times. Perhaps he thinks that a flood of migrants will force fundamentalists to encounter the 'other' and come to terms with their 'otherness.'

But what about fundamentalist Muslims? A harmonious world religion dedicated to humanitarian ends would require not only a watering-down of Christianity, but also a considerable moderation of Islam. Both in terms of percentages and in absolute numbers, there are far more fundamentalist Muslims in the world than fundamentalist Christians. Francis has acknowledged the existence of fundamentalist Muslims, but he claims that they do not represent 'authentic' Islam, and he seems to believe, contrary to much polling data, that they are only a small minority. 'All religions have these little groups,' he once said.

A Self-fulfilling Prophecy?

Whether or not he actually believes that fundamentalists are a small minority, he does seem to have a rough strategy for facilitating the emergence of a more moderate Islam. And that strategy is to claim that Islam is already and always has been a moderate and peaceful faith. Most notably, he asserted in Evangelii Gaudium that 'authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.' For his considerable efforts in defending Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion, he has won much praise from important Muslim leaders.

The strategy Francis seems to be employing is referred to by sociologists as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The idea is that if you express high expectations for others, they will endeavor to live up to the expectations and thus fulfill your 'prophecy.' But, according to Robert K. Merton, the sociologist who coined the term, 'the self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation.' But the false definition or assumption can evoke 'a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true.'

Sometimes self-fulfilling prophecies work and sometimes they don't. A lot depend on the awareness of the subject. Young children are more susceptible to such influence, while adults who understand what is being attempted are less so. I recall reading an article on a radical Islamic website which accused Pope Francis of using just such a strategy. I don't remember if the author actually used the term 'self-fulfilling prophecy,' but he did complain that the pope was deliberately painting a false but pleasing picture of Islam in order to win over Muslims to a moderate view.

In any event, the self-fulfilling prophecy strategy seems an awfully slender reed upon which to stake the future of the world. For decades now, global leaders have been assuring us that Islam means peace, that violence has nothing to do with Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. Yet most of the evidence suggests that the Western 'prophecy' about Islam's pacific nature is not working. With some notable exceptions, moderates have been losing ground, while fundamentalists are in the ascendancy.

Just as he has little anxiety about the wave of church closings, Francis seems to have little anxiety about the Islamization of Europe. Indeed, as evidenced by his encouragement of mass migration, he seems to have no objection to Islamization.

Either because he really believes the false narrative that Islam is a religion of peace, or because he believes that the self-fulfilling prophecy strategy will create a more moderate Islam, Francis seems to be at peace with the fact that Islam is spreading rapidly.

Whatever he has in mind, it seems that Pope Francis is betting against the odds. A few weeks ago, those two young Scandinavian women mentioned earlier took a similar gamble when they embarked on a camping trip in Morocco. They were betting their lives on the assumption that the whitewashed narrative about Islam that they had no doubt learned in schools and universities was the correct one. They lost that 'bet.' They had, to borrow a line from Casablanca, been 'misinformed' about the situation in Morocco.

Whether Francis has been misinformed about Islam or whether he has adopted a strategy of misinformation, he is taking a huge gamble-not only with his own life, but with the lives of millions. When the religion of Muhammad meets the religion of indifferentism, which seems most likely to prevail?

[Deep Calls to Deep 2263.12



















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On changing the Italian text of the 'Our Father'

FR. JOHN ZUHLSDORF blogs -- At First Things, Charlotte Allen deftly explains the spectacularly bad move to change the official wording of the Lord's Prayer in Italian.

In effect, she points out that this tinkeritis (my word) is yet another abysmally obtuse reaction by bishops and so-called experts to the decades ongoing erosion of Catholic identity that they caused in the first place. Okay, that last part was mine.

Here's a sample, though I recommend that you read the whole thing. She starts out with an explanation of how the wording - in Italian - of the Lord's Prayer will change and why (hint: it's called a 'bad translation'). Then she gets into the meat of it: dumbing things down doesn't help. My emphases:


It is always irritating when professional liturgists, theologians, and prelates deem ordinary Catholic laypeople mentally incapable of looking beyond the surface meaning of 'lead us not into temptation' and understanding that the words might actually imply a subtle and nuanced understanding of God the Father's providential concern for sinful humanity. It is especially irritating for English-speaking Catholics to face-possibly-the prospect of changing, on a whim of bishops or pressure from the pope, the deliberately archaic language of their own beloved Christian prayer that has included the words 'lead into' as a translation of inducas since Anglo-Saxon times. Proposals to 'modernize' the English Our Father have surfaced from time to time, but so far both clergy and faithful have rejected them.

The problem is deeper than just the unwarranted dumbing down of an ancient phrase. Updating the ne nos inducas is another knot in a long string of failed efforts to reverse the catastrophic decline of practiced Catholicism (especially European Catholicism) in the wake of Vatican II by piling on more of the accommodations with secular modernity that Vatican II supposedly mandated. To most of the theologians-nearly all hailing from Europe-who engineered the supposed liturgical and disciplinary 'reforms' of the Church in the wake of the Council, many traditional rules and practices were simply too arcane and rigid for the secularized modern mind to deal with.


In this context, fiddling with translations of ne nos inducas in tentationem isn't just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It's doubling down on a strategy of post-Vatican II accommodation with secular culture that has so far failed miserably. Even worse, it's playing fast and loose with the Gospels and Christ's own words.

Brava. Fr. Z kudos.

The answer: Tradition.

If only we had a common language of prayer in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.

Somewhere in my stacks and stacks of books I have a reprint of an old Italian catechism. It lays out everything that the children were to learn for 1st Communion, etc. Included are lots of prayers in Latin.

Also, I have a new edition of the classic catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine, translated into English with an introduction by Athanasius Schneider. Doctrina Christiana: The Timeless Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine This is terrific. Remember that St. Robert Bellarmine wrote in a time before we moderns got all grown up an too sophisticated to do things like… you know… think, make distinctions, remember stuff. His catechism breaks down all the articles of the Creed and of the Our Father. He provides a crystal clear explanation of 'ne nos inducas'. This catechism is written as a dialogue. It was intended for catechists and it was written at the express bidding of Pope Clement VIII and was approved in 1598.

S. Enlighten me about the sixth petition: 'and lead us not into temptation.'

T. In this petition, we ask for help against future evils, clearly against temptations, through which we fall into sin. Therefore, you would know that here we especially pray to God, lest he would permit us to be conquered by temptation. To be sure, because temptations are very dangerous, and victory over them is uncertain, therefore, we ask God, lest he would permit us to be tried, especially when he sees the devil will be the victor. For that reason, we gather a characteristic proof that it is beyond doubt the devil not only cannot conquer us, but cannot even tempt us, unless God should permit it.

S. I do not sufficiently understand this matter of speaking, 'and lead us not into temptation.' It seems this phrase means that God usually leads us into temptation, and we ask him lest we would do that.

T. To lead into temptation, or to send into temptation, or to send one into temptation or to urge one to sin is proper to the devil, but by no means is it proper to God, who pursues sin with the utmost hatred. Just the same, by speaking, according to this phrase of Sacred Scripture, where it is repeatedly attributed to God, to lead into temptation is nothing other than for God to permit someone to be tempted, or to be conquered by temptation. This is why the sense of this petition is what we have said, namely, that since we recognize on the one hand, the weakness of our nature, and on the other, the deceit and power of the devil, we pray to God that he would not simply prevent us from being conquered by temptation, but also by being beaten by temptation when he sees that we are not going to be victorious.

In Bellarmine's Short Catechism of 1614, for children, he explains.

Student: Declare the sixth (petition of the Our Father).

Teacher: We demand (ask) in the sixth that God deliver us from temptations which are evils to come, or not permitting us to be content, or giving us grace that we will not be overcome.

Heck… even Lutherans get this. In Luther's Small Catechism he wrote:

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean? God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.

It is the task of bishops and priests to explain all these articles of the Creed, the petitions of the Our Father, the meaning of the Decalogue, and the basics, to their people. That's why after Trent, the Roman Catechism was produced: so that parish priests had a sure reference to the content of the Faith, the fides quae creditur, so that they could preach and teach it to their people. The fact is, back in the day, the Fathers of Trent realized that catechism was in appalling shape. That's why they did what they did.

Can we say that things are a whole lot better now? Sure, we have greater resources than even before. However, today we have to fight also the debilitating effect of horrible sentimentlist education and the accumulative brain-melting effect of screens.

Priests and bishops are included.

When I was in major seminary in these USA, one day we were walking out of a Christology class. I heard one guy say to another, 'That whole two natures in Christ thing is pretty interesting.'

PRETTY INTERESTING? He had never heard of this before and he was in 2nd year of major seminary.

Okay… end of rant.

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The Child Is Born

BellocHILAIRE BELLOC wrote in The Universe (Advent 1936) In the midwinter and the turning of the year to new things, Christendom has fixed the Mass of the Incarnation: of the divine birth, the renewal, the recovery of mankind.

Those who sneer at our origins tell us that the long dark Pagan time, which ended in a dawn, made this season also sacred to the Nativity of the Light. Let them learn that we glory in such coincidences. All those groping instinctive worships, symbols and imaginations, with which our Fathers sought to mitigate human despair, are the advent of the Faith. The Faith put substance suddenly into those shadows, and the forms of myth became alive with reality. The Child was born.

The Child is born; it is the Mass of Nativity, and the growth begins of That by which mankind is to be saved.

So long as Christendom held in one body and was quickened by a universal life - so long as our western world, the leader and teacher of the globe, was Catholic - the season was one of recognition and mere happiness. A Guest had arrived and was to be received with general ecstasy.

All men were brethren in the feast for all were hosts and subjects of that Guest. After the promise of this holy night, the sun which rose would shine forever. Such a spirit inhabited Christmas and the Twelve Days.

But can a secure rejoicing be the spirit of Christmas today? Hardly. Within the household of the Faith it remains undimmed, but without these walls, in the growing murk of the modern world, it is fading or has gone. For long, even those who had abandoned unity (and, at last, all doctrine) retained some savor of the thing. It was weakened, lessened and diffused into a vague kindliness, the cherishing of human ties and a sort of sentimental pretense to forget mortality for a while.

Later, even that vague reminiscence grew tenuous. Now at last, in our very time, for millions, increasing in number, the faint vestiges of Christmas glory are disappearing: have disappeared. The old despair returns.

What, then, is the command issued at Christmas to us of the Faith? It is our pride and boast that we have stood the siege and that, within our fortress, the Feast retains its splendor of reality. If we only look inwards, we may have the same business with Christmas and the Epiphanal uprising as has been the practice of all our blood for fifteen hundred years.

But what if we look outwards? From our walls we survey twilit and ever darkening plains whereon the great mass of men sinks back from the high order which the Faith had erected, into chaos.

The shades, as they spread, grow confused by an extending cloud wherein men clash at random stumbling through fruitless effort and envenomed with mutual hatreds, following uncertain lights that drift and fail again, float tenuously for a moment in the thick night air and lead no whither. The host has become a herd. Its blind energies move towards its own destruction.

It would seem that in such a peril the command we receive at Christmas is to recover the world - if that may be - before it shall be lost. The ancient joy, the unchanging beauty, of the Twelve Days and their music we may cherish for our own heritage; but that does not redeem those who feel them not any more, nor can conceive them.

Yet it is the spring of growth, the entry into life, this season of the Twelve Days; and the command issuing from it is that we restore the world: for, lacking extension of the Faith, even the mere material body of the modern world is doomed.

The task to which, in the crisis of such new but final evils, we are summoned has about it little of festivity and nothing of repose. Each of those who obey must prepare himself for an encounter. He will not carry with him the warmth and brightness of the Stable. He will enter the darkness and the mist. He will himself be enveloped by them and will be struck by the mortal chill. He will live an enemy among enemies, and very probably alone. Such trials are the conditions of his challenge, the essence of the cause he serves.

No one of those who undertake this task today will live to experience triumph. Those who are granted the supreme gift of perseverance will be disappointed. They shall not see victory nor be present (on earth at least) to hear the cry: Vincit Regit Imperat.

But the Child is born and shall command us through what will have the semblance of a losing fight. That air of failure and those temptations to abandon the effort shall be our guarantees, our witnesses to divine inspiration. The ever-wavering line can only advance at the cost of such wounds, and they that are the victims of them are, even as thy renew their suffering, victors.

We shall be told that, from the outset, the cause is hopeless and the battle already lost before it is begun.

What weapons are provided us with which to attack the spreading evil? What common ordering have we? What accepted tactic which can even doubtfully reassure us? We cannot but be starved by impoverishment, abandoned to neglect, left unheard: we must act isolated and alone without companions, and, as intelligence and instruction decline, our high message has a lesser and a lesser audience. How, against these odds, can we do anything at all?

Long ago such a war was waged and won. The heathen was thrust back and Christendom was established: the struggle was desperate and long but hopeful and united, and it was concluded - or seemed concluded - on our own terms. The Catholic Faith at last illuminated all Europe. But the settlement did not endure. Four hundred years ago it was menaced. Unity, by which alone a thing is what it is, suffered shipwreck and the fragments drifted apart into the welter before which, today, we stand appalled.

The old victory was won upon a rising curve. But a summit was passed, and now for long the curve has been falling. We have lost ground unceasingly for generations and are still losing ground. What prospect can there be of reversing such a tide?

To all of which questions, and many more (and worse) to come, the answer in the proclamation of this season: The Child is born.

[The Catholic Thing] 2263.14



















Globe N A C F

Year of scandal brings glimmers of hope amid bleak revelations

Until the corruption is eradicated, the Church cannot be the force for saving souls that it is meant to be.

JANET E. SMITH writes for The. Catholic Regjster - For many devout Catholics in the U.S., the months since the disclosures of the predation of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick on seminarians and a man in his youth, and the fact that so many 'high up' knew, have been the bleakest in our lives in respect to our Catholic faith.

Daily we have been assaulted with stories about the ineptitude, and often much worse behavior, of some of our bishops in respect to the sexual misconduct of clergy - not only of those who abuse minors, but also of sexual misconduct among priests and within their own ranks.

To call these stories disheartening is a gross understatement. Several of the bishops for whom I have had the highest regard have been greatly diminished in my eyes as I learn how they have mismanaged cases of sexual misconduct of their priests in respect to dealing with the victims, the predators and laity and how reluctant they are to do a cleanup of their dioceses. Moreover, there is too little transparency about the nature and number of 'indiscretions.'

In the midst of this bleak reality, there are some signs of improvement.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, prayed with the laity in Baltimore who were there to express their distress at what has been happening to their Church. Admirably, he did the pastoral and fatherly thing. But why was he the only one?

At the Baltimore meeting of the USCCB, he was refreshingly candid in his regret that the Vatican may never fully investigate Archbishop Carlo Viganò's charges against McCarrick and several cardinals. He has followed his own plea that bishops should focus on the salvation of souls in their own diocese by communicating his concerns about the scandal with the laity and asking his priests to do a daily holy hour. One of the few willing to engage in fraternal correction of his fellow bishops, he called upon them to exclude speakers who undermine Church teaching on homosexuality from speaking in their diocese - a clear reference to Jesuit Father James Martin, who is regularly invited to speak at diocesan events in Los Angeles and throughout the U.S.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Satin Paul and Minneapolis released all victims bound by confidentiality agreements from strictures about speaking out about their abuse. That is a tremendously helpful act, since it no longer puts the reputation of the Church or predators above the necessity of having the full truth known.

Why haven't all the other bishops followed his example? He also has forbidden his predecessor, Archbishop John Nienstedt, from exercising his priestly faculties in the archdiocese until a full investigation is done of accusations against Archbishop Nienstedt, and he has called for independent lay-run mechanisms for investigating accusations against bishops.

Some bishops have made it known that they do everything they cannot only to address accusations of clergy sexual abuse against minors but also against homosexual predation.

Bishop Michael Olson from Fort Worth, Texas, is taking a lot of heat from parishioners who disapprove of some of his decisions, to the point of petitioning the USCCB and the nuncio to do an investigation into his decisions. Bishop Olson has addressed the accusations against himself in a pastoral way and with documentation that seems to me to show that he has acted very responsibly - perhaps there may be some form of mediation that would clear up the matter.

Pope Francis' statement that it is best that active homosexuals should leave the priesthood rather than live double lives is extremely welcome. It should give the bishops any prodding they need to invite those having sex with males to leave the priesthood.

What we need to note here is that, unfortunately, bishops can expect to meet enormous resistance from many, if not most, laity when they remove unworthy priests from ministry. After all, laity love their priests and are rightly tremendously grateful for the sacraments made available only through priests.

Sadly, a large number of laity would rather have priests who do not teach the fullness of the faith than those who challenge them, for instance, to stop using contraception, and to lead more generous, apostolic lives. They will not be happy when they lose a popular priest, when priests need to be shifted around and when parishes may need to be closed because of a shortage of priests.

Basilian Father Douglas Mosey, the president and rector of Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. may win the prize for the bravest action, an action reported in a blockbuster story in the Register. Not only did he act swiftly and effectively to address a problem of sexual misconduct at his own seminary in 2012, he and his chief investigator have released the (redacted) report done on the investigation and revealed that there had been tampering of the files on seminarians by their home dioceses to hide important background information on the seminarians.

He names dioceses that facilitated networks of homosexual seminarians and priests - Paterson, Newark, Hartford and Buffalo. Father Mosey's action qualifies as the bravest because he has done what no other seminary director known to me has done - jeopardized his relationship with bishops (the bread and butter of seminaries) in order to make the truth known.

So many seminaries have appalling histories, especially in the '70s, '80s and '90s. Bishops must acknowledge that seminaries in the not so distant past (and some even now) have been breeding grounds for sexual misconduct.

Some dioceses had vocation directors who recruited males who have sex with males into the seminaries, seminaries governed by priests who had sex with males and who tolerated if not a culture of sexual depravity. It is for this reason that some priests who have sex with males have risen to the episcopacy and that others have great influence on the operations of dioceses.

Until these scandalous truths are acknowledged, and until the corruption still present in some seminaries and possibly the majority of dioceses is eradicated, the trust of the laity will not be restored and the Church will not be able to be the force for saving souls that it is meant to be.

The U.S. bishops are going on a retreat in early January, at the behest of Pope Francis, to pray about the crisis. What an opportunity for blessings and reform! We the laity need to fast and pray for the bishops and communicate to them our ardent desire that they take up their responsibilities and reform their own dioceses. They need to comb their priest files and attend to any unattended accusations against priests - accusations ignored by their predecessors or themselves, often with the claim that there is not enough evidence (investigate!) or that a man's private life is his private life, or because of fears of 'outing' a friend or popular priest or good fundraiser. They need to be guided in their decisions only by a concern for the truth and for the salvation of souls - their own souls, the souls of the priests and laity in their care, and the souls of all those who should be evangelized.

We should all write to our bishops and assure them of our prayers. I recommend sending along the reader 'What We, the Laity, are Reading that has Shaken Us to the Core?' or send an article or two from that reader or elsewhere that we believe will help them understand our point of view. We need to implore them to take brave measures and to assure them we will forgive them for past inaction if they move forward boldly now and that those of us who want them to purify the clergy even if that means a seriously reduced presbyterate, will defend them to laity who are not so receptive to reform.

Recently I recommended sending to bishops a copy of In Sinu Jesu, a book recounting the locutions a Benedictine priest received from Jesus conveying his request that priests do Holy Hours of reparation for the corruption in the clergy. How I wish that before the retreat every bishop would receive and read that book, as well as Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics, by Father Thomas Berg.

In this book Father Berg recounts his own experience of being a Legionary priest for more than 20 years, in an order known for its zealous orthodoxy but which had a pedophile for a founder and a culture of extreme secrecy. Speaking out of that wound he acknowledges with great sympathy the many kind of wounds that priests and the Church have inflicted on people, much of it resulting from the failure of priests to seek holiness.

Seeking holiness. Whatever does not advance the pursuit of holiness needs to be purged from our lives. Please, bishops, respond to the graces of your office and be the leader Christ begs you to be.

[Janet E. Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit]

[NCRegister] 2263.15




















Globe N A C F

Eliot’s Prophecy and the Chattering Church

CHRISTOPHER A. FERRARA writes for Fatima Perspectives -- T.S. Eliot was a poetic genius who, as one wag put it, had the effrontery to be a Christian. Although he never became a Catholic, so far as we know, his High Anglicanism of the 1920s and 1930s would stand in stark contrast to the spreading social and cultural nihilism of the interwar period, as to which Pope Benedict XV had prophetically warned as early as 1914, three years before the apparitions at Fatima: “Such, moreover, has been the change in the ideas and the morals of men, that unless God comes soon to our help, the end of civilization would seem to be at hand.”

Eliot’s leanings toward Christianity seeped into his poetry amidst a vast jumble of other sources and influences, forming a kind of veiled apologetic whose import, however, was not lost on his unbelieving critics. Perhaps this sort of apologetic was all the more effective for its indirection, as was Evelyn Waugh’s in Brideshead Revisited, a chronicle of despair and redemption during the interwar period and World War II, the “worse war” Our Lady predicted at Fatima as the consequence of sin and the failure to heed Her requests. In an epoch where civilization did indeed appear to be coming to an end, the Christian author had to be careful about where and how he planted his suggestions of apostasy and its consequences.

Nowhere is Eliot’s apologetic more explicit than it is in Choruses from the Rock, verses extracted from the musical play The Rock and which appear in his collected poems. Therein we read the following:


The Word of the Lord came unto me, saying:

? miserable cities of designing men,

O wretched generation of enlightened men,

Betrayed in the mazes of your ingenuities.

Sold by the proceeds of your proper inventions:

I have given you hands which you turn from worship,

I have given you speech, for endless palaver,

I have given you my Law, and you set up commissions,

I have given you lips, to express friendly sentiments,

I have given you hearts, for reciprocal distrust.

I have given you power of choice, and you only alternate

Between futile speculation and unconsidered action.

Many are engaged in writing books and printing them.

Many desire to see their names in print.

Many read nothing but the race reports.

Much is your reading, but not the Word of God,

Much is your building, but not the House of God.

Will you build me a house of plaster, with corrugated roofing,

To be filled with a litter of Sunday newspapers?


In a column published on Christmas Eve, Antonio Socci recalls these verses in connection with his observation that the void of modern life “fills with words (also empty): of politics, of various humanity, of gossip, of religion now become worldly chatter (on immigration, the climate, or waste separation). In the epoch of ‘in my opinion’ truth and falsity are conflated and nothing remains but to insult. Nothing fulfills expectations and nothing heals the pain of men. Among the words which still say something are those of poetry” — meaning those quoted above — “which seem to have been written for today.”

In my view, Eliot succeeded in making modern English sing in a way not possible within the traditional constraints of verse. And what does it say about our epoch that an apologetic as veiled and indeed confused as Eliot’s has more to offer than the “endless palaver” of the generality of Catholic churchmen? It says that we are in the time of an apostasy that “begins at the top” — precisely as predicted in that precious Secret whose entirety has yet to be revealed. A time in which it can be said of Church leaders: “Much is your reading, but not the Word of God / Much is your building, but not the House of God.”

[FP] 2263.15a



















Globe N A C F


Revolution and Counter-Revolution: The fall and rise of the Roman Rite

REMNANT COLUMNIST Micheal Davies wrote in Febuary 2004
- During the first session of the Second Vatican Council, in the debate on the Liturgy Constitution, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani asked: “Are these Fathers planning a revolution?” The Cardinal was old and partly blind. He spoke from the heart about a subject that moved him deeply:

'Are we seeking to stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite that has been approved for so many centuries and is now so familiar? The rite of Holy Mass should not be treated as if it were a piece of cloth to be refashioned according to the whim of each generation'.

So concerned was he at the revolutionary potential of the Constitution, and having no prepared text, due to his very poor sight, the elderly Cardinal exceeded the ten minute time limit for speeches. At a signal from Cardinal Alfrink, who was presiding at the session, a technician switched off the microphone and Cardinal Ottaviani stumbled back to his seat in humiliation. 1 The Council Fathers clapped with glee. While men laugh they do not think, and, had these men not been laughing, at least some of them may have wondered whether, perhaps, the Cardinal might have had a point.

He did indeed. The answer to his question as to whether the Council Fathers were planning a revolution is that the majority of the 3,000 bishops present in Rome most were not, but that some of the influential periti, the experts who advised the bishops, most definitely were, and the Council’s Liturgy Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium was the instrument by which it was to be achieved.

The schema, or draft document, of the Liturgy Constitution, which the bishops would use as the basis for their discussions, was primarily the work of Father Annibale Bugnini, Secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy, 2 so much so that it was known as "the Bugnini draft." 3 Bugnini had long been in contact with the more radical members of the Liturgical Movement who had deviated from the sound principles set out by St. Pius X and Dom Prosper Guéranger. He had been present at a gathering of radical liturgists at Thieulin near Chartres in the late forties. Father Duployé, one of those present writes:

'The Father [Bugnini] listened very attentively, without saying a word, for four days. During our return journey to Paris, as the train was passing along the Swiss Lake at Versailles, he said to me: "I admire what you are doing, but the greatest service I can render you is never to say a word in Rome about all that I have just heard." 4

Bugnini was appointed Secretary to Pope Pius XII’s Commission for Liturgical Reform in 1948, and in 1957 as Professor of Liturgy in the Lateran University. In 1960, he was appointed to a position which enabled him to exert a decisive influence upon the history of the Church—Secretary to the Preparatory Commission for the Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council.

Within days of the Preparatory Commission endorsing his draft, Bugnini was dismissed from his chair at the Lateran University and from the secretaryship of the Conciliar Liturgical Commission which was to oversee the schema during the conciliar debates. The reasons which prompted Pope John to take this step have not been divulged, but they must have been of a most serious nature.

The dismissal of Father Bugnini was very much a case of locking the stable door after the horse had bolted. His allies on the Conciliar Liturgy Constitution, who had worked with him on preparing the schema, now had the task of securing its acceptance by the bishops without any substantial alterations. They did so with a degree of success that certainly exceeded their wildest expectations. It received the almost unanimous approval of the Council Fathers on 7 December 1962.

In his book, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, Mgr. Klaus Gamber writes: “One statement we can make with certainty is that the new Ordo of the Mass that has now emerged would not have been endorsed by the majority of the Council Fathers.” 5 Why, then, did these bishops endorse a document that was a blueprint for revolution? The answer is that they saw it as a blueprint for renewal. They were reassured by clauses which gave the impression that there was no possibility of any radical liturgical reform. Article 4 states that: "This most sacred Council declares that holy Church holds all lawfully acknowledged rites to be of equal authority and dignity: that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way." The Latin language was to be preserved in the Latin rites (Article 36), and steps were to be taken to ensure that the faithful could sing or say together in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertain to them (Article 54). The treasury of sacred music was to be preserved and fostered with great care (Article 114), and Gregorian chant was to be given pride of place in liturgical services (Article 116), and, most important of all, there were to be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly required them, and care was to be taken that any new forms adopted should grow in some way organically from forms already existing (Article 23).

It is an instructive exercise to go, step by step, through the changes which have been made in the Mass, beginning with the abolition of the Judica me and ending with the abolition of the Last Gospel, or even the Prayers for Russia, and to consider carefully why the good of the Church genuinely and certainly required that each particular change must be made. Has the good of the Church really been enhanced because the faithful have been forbidden to kneel at the Incarnatus est during the Creed? Did the good of the Church genuinely, certainly, require that, following the example of Martin Luther, the doctrinally rich Offertory prayers should be abolished? Luther condemned the offertory as an abomination that stinks of oblation and should therefore be cast aside. Has any Catholic anywhere in the world become more fervent in his faith as a result of its absence in the 1970 Missal? In my opinion not one change made to the Ordinary of the Classic Mass of the Roman rite was genuinely and certainly required for the good of the Church. I would challenge anyone to cite an example which conforms to these criteria.

In addition to these superficially reassuring clauses, the Constitution contained others which opened the way to radical or even revolutionary change. These were "time bombs" inserted into the text, ambiguous passages which the liberal periti or experts intended to use after the Council when, as they were sure would be the case, they gained control of the Commission established to interpret and implement the Constitution. Is this simply a wild accusation made by a layman with conspiracy mania? By no means. In his book A Crown of Thorns, Cardinal John Heenan of Westminster wrote:

The subject most fully debated was liturgical reform. It might be more accurate to say that the bishops were under the impression that the liturgy had been fully discussed. In retrospect it is clear that they were given the opportunity of discussing only general principles. Subsequent changes were more radical than those intended by Pope John and the bishops who passed the decree on the liturgy. His sermon at the end of the first session shows that Pope John did not suspect what was being planned by the liturgical experts (my emphasis). 6

What could be clearer than this? One of the most active and erudite Council Fathers stated that the liturgical experts who drafted the Constitution phrased it in such a way that they could use it after the Council in a manner not foreseen by the Pope and the Bishops. To put it plainly, the Cardinal states that there was a conspiracy. This was evident even to an American Protestant Observer, Robert McAfee Brown, who remarked: “The Council documents themselves often implied more in the way of change than the Council Fathers were necessarily aware of when they voted.” 7 He made particular mention of the Liturgy Constitution in this respect: “The Constitution opens many doors that can later be pushed even wider, and does bind the Church to a new liturgical rigidity.” 8

The column space available in this issue of The Remnant will enable me to discuss only a few of the time bombs that would destroy the Roman Rite. Article 4 of the Constitution has already been cited stating that all lawfully acknowledged rites must be preserved in the future and fostered in every way. But these reassuring words are qualified by the statement that: "Where necessary the rites be carefully and thoroughly revised in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet the circumstances of modern times." No explanation is given as to how it is possible both to preserve and foster these rites and at the same time to revise them to meet certain unspecified circumstances and certain unspecified needs of modern times. Nor is it explained how such a revision could be carried out in the light of sound tradition when it had been the sound and invariable tradition of the Roman rite never to undertake any drastic revision of its rites, a tradition of well over 1,000 years standing which had been breached only during the Protestant Reformation, when every heretical sect devised new rites to correspond with its heretical teachings. In their defense of Pope Leo XIII’s Bull Apostolicae Curae, the Catholic Bishops of the Province of Westminster in England insisted that:

In adhering rigidly to the rite handed down to us we can always feel secure . . . And this sound method is that which the Catholic Church has always followed... to subtract prayers and ceremonies in previous use, and even to remodel the existing rites in the most drastic manner, is a proposition for which we know of no historical foundation, and which appears to us absolutely incredible. 9

It is intrinsic to the nature of time to become more modern with the passing of each second, and if the Church had always adapted the liturgy to keep up with the constant succession of modern times and new circumstances there would never have been liturgical stability. When do times become modern? What are the criteria by which modernity is assessed? When does one modernity cease and another modernity come into being? The complete fallacy of the adaptation-to-modernity thesis was certainly not lost upon some of the Council Fathers. Bishop (later Cardinal) Dino Staffa pointed out the theological consequences of an "adapted liturgy" on 24 October 1962. He told 2,337 assembled Fathers:

It is said that the Sacred Liturgy must be adapted to times and circumstances which have changed. Here also we ought to look at the consequences. For customs, even the very face of society, change fast and will change even faster. What seems agreeable to the wishes of the multitude today will appear incongruous after thirty or fifty years. We must conclude then that after thirty or fifty years all, or almost all of the liturgy would have to be changed again. This seems to be logical according to the premises, this seems logical to me, but hardly fitting (decorum) for the Sacred Liturgy, hardly useful for the dignity of the Church, hardly safe for the integrity and unity of the faith, hardly favoring the unity of discipline... Are we of the Latin Church going to break the admirable liturgical unity and divide into nations, regions, even provinces? 10

The answer, of course, is that this is precisely what the Latin Church was going to do and did; with the consequences for the integrity and unity both of faith and discipline which Bishop Staffa had foreseen.

Article 14 states that the active participation of the faithful is the primary criterion to be observed in the celebration of Mass. This has resulted in the congregation (rather than the divine Victim) becoming the focus of attention. It is now the coming together of the community which matters most, not the reason they come together; and this is in harmony with the most obvious tendency within the post-conciliar Church—to replace the cult of God with the cult of man. Cardinal Ratzinger remarked with great perceptiveness in 1997:

I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy...when the community of faith, the worldwide unity of the Church and her history, and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else, then, is the Church to become visible in her spiritual essence? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless.”11

Once active participation of the congregation is accepted as the prime consideration in the celebration of Mass, there can be no restraint upon the self-appointed experts intent upon its total desacralisation. Despite the requirement in Article 36 that the Latin language was to be preserved in the Latin rites and Gregorian chant was to be given pride of place in liturgical services, it was argued that Latin and plainchant were obstacles to active participation. Both, then, had almost completely vanished within a few years of the conclusion of the Council. Commenting with the benefit of hindsight in 1973, Archbishop R. J. Dwyer of Portland, Oregon, remarked sadly:

Who dreamed on that day that within a few years, far less than a decade, the Latin past of the Church would be all but expunged, that it would be reduced to a memory fading into the middle distance? The thought of it would have horrified us, but it seemed so far beyond the realm of the possible as to be ridiculous. So we laughed it off .12

While the Latin language remained the norm there could, in fact, be no revolution. In his Liturgical Institutes, Dom Guéranger makes clear that the Latin language had always been a principal target of those he termed “liturgical-heretics”. He writes:

Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the heart of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond of Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit... We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory.

Prophetic words indded!

It is important to stress here that at no time during the reform have the wishes of the laity ever been taken into consideration. When, as early as March 1964, members of the laity in England were making it quite clear that they neither liked nor wanted the liturgical changes being imposed upon them, one of England's most fanatical proponents of liturgical innovation, Dom Gregory Murray, OSB, put them in their place in the clearest possible terms: "The plea that the laity as a body do not want liturgical change, whether in rite or in language, is, I submit, quite beside the point...It is not a question of what people want; it is a question of what is good for them.”13 The self-appointed liturgical experts treat not only the laity with complete contempt, but also the parish clergy whose bishops insist that they submit to the diktat of these experts. Monsignor Richard J. Schuler, an experienced parish priest in St. Paul, Minnesota, explained the predicament of the parish clergy very clearly in an article written in 1978 in which he made the very poignant comment that all that the experts require parish priests and the faithful to do is to raise the money to pay for their own destruction. He laments the fact that:

Then came the post-conciliar interpreters and implementers who invented the "Spirit of the Council." They introduced practices never dreamed of by the Council Fathers; they did away with Catholic traditions and customs never intended to be disturbed; they changed for the sake of change; they upset the sheep and terrified the shepherds. The parish priest, who is for most Catholics the shepherd to whom they look for help along the path to salvation, fell upon hard times after the pastoral council. He is the pastor, but he found himself superseded by commissions, committees, experts, consultants, coordinators, facilitators, and bureaucrats of every description. A mere parish priest can no longer qualify. He is told that if he was educated prior to 1963, then he is ignorant of needed professional knowledge, he must be updated, retread and indoctrinated by attending meetings, seminars, workshops, retreats, conferences and other brainwashing sessions. But down deep, he really knows that what he is needed for is only to collect the money to support the ever-growing bureaucracy that every diocese has sprouted to "serve the "pastoral needs" of the people. While the parishes struggle, the taxation imposed on them all but crushes them. The anomaly of having to pay for one's own destruction becomes the plight of a pastor and his sheep who struggle to adapt to the "freedom" and the options given by the council.

The requirement of article 14 that active participation by all the people must take priority in every celebration of Mass has resulted in what can only be described as a “dumbing down” of the liturgy, and it must be dumbed down because the experts consider that, as a body, the laity are dumb, incapable of relating to the ethereal beauty of plainchant or the magnificent ceremonial of a solemn Mass. Dietrich von Hildebrand has correctly defined the issue at stake:

The basic error of most of the innovators is to imagine that the new liturgy brings the holy sacrifice of the Mass nearer to the faithful; that, shorn of its old rituals, the Mass now enters into the substance of our lives. For the question is whether we better meet Christ in the Mass by soaring up to Him, or by dragging Him down into our own pedestrian, workaday world. The innovators would replace holy intimacy with Christ by an unbecoming familiarity. The new liturgy actually threatens to frustrate the confrontation with Christ, for it discourages reverence in the face of mystery, precludes awe, and all but extinguishes a sense of sacredness. What really matters, surely, is not whether the faithful feel at home at Mass, but whether they are drawn out of their ordinary lives into the world of Christ—whether their attitude is the response of ultimate reverence: whether they are imbued with the reality of Christ. 14

Professor von Hildebrand denounced the contempt of liturgists for the ordinary faithful in very severe terms:

They seem to be unaware of the elementary importance of sacredness in religion. Thus, they dull the sense of the sacred and thereby undermine true religion. Their "democratic" approach makes them overlook the fact that in all men who have a longing for God there is also a longing for the sacred and a sense of difference between the sacred and the profane. The worker or peasant has this sense as much as any intellectual. If he is a Catholic, he will desire to find a sacred atmosphere in the church, and this remains true whether the world is urban, industrial or not.... Many priests believe that replacing the sacred atmosphere that reigns, for example, in the marvelous churches of the Middle Ages or the baroque epoch, and in which the Latin Mass was celebrated, with a profane, functionalist, neutral, humdrum atmosphere will enable the Church to encounter the simple man in charity. But this is a fundamental error. It will not fulfill his deepest longing; it will merely offer him stones for bread. Instead of combating the irreverence so widespread today these priests are actually helping to propagate this irreverence. 15

Article 21 states that elements which are subject to change "not only may but ought to be changed with the passing of time if features have by chance crept in which are less harmonious with the intimate nature of the liturgy, or if existing elements have grown less functional." These norms are so vague that the scope for interpreting them is virtually limitless. No indication is given of which aspects of the liturgy are referred to here; no indication is given of the meaning of "less functional" (how much less is "less"?), or whether "functional" refers to the original function or a new one which may have been acquired. Under the terms of Article 21, the Lavabo, the washing of the priest’s hands, could be abolished as its original purpose was to cleanse them after he had received the gifts of the people in the offertory procession, but it now has a beautiful symbolic purpose, symbolising the cleansing of the soul of the priest who is about to offer sacrifice in the person of Christ and to take the Body of Christ into his very hands. The entire liturgical tradition of the Roman rite contradicts Article 21. "What we may call the 'archaisms' of the Missal," writes Dom Cabrol, a "father" of the liturgical movement, "are the expressions of the faith of our fathers which it is our duty to watch over and hand on to posterity." 16

Article 21, together with such Articles as 1,23,50,62, and 88, provides a mandate for the supreme goal of the liturgical revolutionaries—that of a permanently evolving liturgy. In September 1968 the bulletin of the Archbishopric of Paris, Présence et Dialogue, called for a permanent revolution in these words: "It is no longer possible, in a period when the world is developing so rapidly, to consider rites as definitively fixed once and for all. They need to be regularly revised." Once the logic of Article 21 is accepted there can be no alternative to a permanently evolving liturgy.

Writing in Concilium in 1969, Fr. H. Rennings, Dean of Studies of the Liturgical Institute of Trier, stated:

When the Constitution states that one of the aims is "to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change" (Art. 1; see also Arts. 21, 23, 62, 88) it clearly expresses the dynamic elements in the Council's idea of the liturgy. The "needs of our time" can always be better understood and therefore demand other solutions; the needs of the next generation can again lead to other consequences for the way worship should operate and be fitted into the overall activity of the Church. The basic principle of the Constitution may be summarized as applying the principle of a Church which is constantly in a state of reform (ecclesia semper reformanda.) to the liturgy which is always in the state of reform (Liturgia semper reformanda). 17

This could hardly be more explicit. Father Joseph Gelineau was described by Archbishop Bugnini as one of the "great masters of the international liturgical world". 18 In his book Demain la liturgie, he informs us that:

It would be false to identify this liturgical renewal with the reform of rites decided on by Vatican II. This reform goes back much further and goes forward far beyond the conciliar prescriptions (elle va bien au-del). The liturgy is a permanent workshop (la liturgie est un chantier permanent). 19

This concept of a permanently evolving liturgy—liturgy as a permanent workshop—is of crucial importance. St. Pius V's ideal of liturgical uniformity within the Roman rite has now been cast aside to be replaced by one of pluriformity, in which the liturgy must be kept in a state of constant flux, resulting inevitably in what Cardinal Ratzinger described with perfect accuracy as “the disintegration of the liturgy.” In 2002 the Bishops Conference of the United States decreed that the faithful must stand for the reception of Holy Communion. This decision is not binding on individual bishops, but even a conservative such as Charles Chaput of Denver kow-towed to the conference and informed his flock that “This will be new for many of the faithful, because the formal act of reverence was not widely promoted in the past.” What utter nonsense! Standing has never been considered an act of reverence within the Roman Rite. Does the Archbishop truly imagine that the laity are so dumb that they do not know this? He continues:

While the act of reverence will be new for some, it may be "different" for others. In the past, we may have made a sign of the cross, a profound bow (one from the waist), genuflected or simply knelt as our act of adoration. The Church now asks us to submit our personal preference to her wisdom. 20

I repeat, standing is not an act of reverence, it has never been an act of reverence, and its imposition has nothing to do with the wisdom of the Church—it is antithetical to that wisdom. It is simply the latest step in the imposition of a permanently evolving liturgy by liturgical commissars, destitute of what Von Hildebrand describes as a sensus Catholicus, a true Catholic instinct.

Article 34 states that the reformed liturgy must be "distinguished by a noble simplicity." There is, needless to say, no attempt to explain precisely what constitutes "a noble simplicity". It must be “short”—how short? It must be "unencumbered by useless repetitions," without explaining when a repetition becomes useless. Does saying Kyrie eleison six times and Christe eleison three times constitute useless repetition?

Article 38 constitutes a time-bomb with a capacity for destruction almost equivalent to that of the principle of permanent liturgical evolution: "Provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is maintained, the revision of liturgical books should allow for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands." The mention of mission lands here is highly significant as most Fathers would presume that this was where these adaptations would take place. However, the carefully worded text does not say "only" but "especially" in mission lands. Article 38 does indeed state that "the substantial unity of the Roman rite" is to be maintained—but what "substantial unity" means is not indicated. It would be for the Consilium to decide, and for the members of the Consilium (like Humpty Dumpty) words mean whatever they want them to mean.21 Once this principle of adaptation has been accepted there is no part of the Mass which can be considered exempt from change.

Without giving the least idea of what is meant by "legitimate variations and adaptations," the Constitution goes on in Article 40 to state that in "some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed." Without explaining what is meant by a "radical adaptation" the need for "an even more radical adaptation" is postulated! More radical than what? Once this bomb has exploded the devastation it unleashes cannot be controlled. The Council Fathers, like Count Frankenstein, had given life to a creature which had a will of its own and over which they had no power.

The Liturgy Constitution contained no more than general guidelines, and to achieve total victory, Bugnini and his cohorts needed to obtain control of the post-conciliar commission established to interpret and implement it. Cardinal Heenan, of Westminster, England, had warned the bishops of the danger if the Council periti were given the power to interpret the Council to the world. "God forbid that this should happen!" he exclaimed, but happen it did.22 The members of these commissions were "chosen with the Pope's approval, for the most part, from the ranks of the Council periti.”23 The initial membership of the Commission, known as the Consilium, consisted mainly of members of the Commission that had drafted the Constitution. Father Bugnini was appointed to the position of secretary on 29 February 1964. What prompted Pope Paul VI to appoint Bugnini to this crucially important position after he had been prevented by Pope John XXIII from becoming Secretary of the Conciliar Commission is probably something that we shall never know. The weapon that he had forged for the destruction of the Roman Rite was now firmly within his grasp.

In May 1969 the Consilium was incorporated into the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and Bugnini was appointed secretary, becoming more powerful than ever. It is no exaggeration to claim that the Consilium, in other words Father Bugnini, had taken over the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. He was now in the most influential position possible to consolidate and extend the revolution behind which he had been the moving spirit and principle of continuity. Nominal heads of commissions, congregations, and the Consilium came and went—Cardinal Lercaro, Cardinal Gut, Cardinal Tabera, Cardinal Knox—but Father Bugnini remained. He attributed this to the Divine will:

The Lord willed that from those early years a whole series of providential circumstances should thrust me fully, and indeed in a privileged way, in medias res, and that I should remain there in charge of the secretariat.”m0

Father Bugnini was rewarded for his part in the reform with an Archbishop's mitre. In 1975, at the very moment when his power had reached its zenith, he was summarily dismissed to the dismay of liberal Catholics throughout the world. Not only was he dismissed, but his entire Congregation was dissolved and merged with the Congregation for the Sacraments. Bugnini himself was exiled to Iran. Once again it was a question of locking the stable door after the horse had bolted. In 1974 he had boasted: "The liturgical reform is a major conquest of the Catholic Church.” 25 It is indeed, and Msgr. Gamber sums up the true effect of this conquest in one devastating sentence: “At this critical juncture, the traditional Roman rite, more than one thousand years old, has been destroyed.” 26 Is he exaggerating? Not at all. His claim is endorsed from the opposite end of the liturgical spectrum by that “great master of the international liturgical world”, Father Joseph Gelineau, who remarks with commendable honesty and no sign of regret:

Let those who like myself have known and sung a Latin-Gregorian High Mass remember it if they can. Let them compare it with the Mass that we now have. Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists (le rite romain tel que nous l'avons connu n'existe plus). It has been destroyed (il est détruit).27

The Constitution required that all lawfully acknowledged rites were to be “preserved in the future and fostered in every way." How you preserve and foster something by destroying it is something that even Archbishop Bugnini might have found difficult to explain.

In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesia De Eucharistia of 17 April 2003, Pope John Paul II has provided an admirable explanation of the sacrificial nature of the Mass which is phrased in terms that are reminiscent of the teaching of the Council of Trent. After his excellent doctrinal exposition, the Pope insists, as he has done on previous occasions, that Vatican II has been followed by a liturgical renewal rather than a revolution, good fruits rather than bad fruits.

The Magisterium's commitment to proclaiming the Eucharistic mystery has been matched by interior growth within the Christian community. Certainly the liturgical reform inaugurated by the Council has greatly contributed to a more conscious, active and fruitful participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar on the part of the faithful.

With all due respect to the Holy Father, one must insist that this is simply not true. If there has indeed been an “interior growth within the Christian community” it is certainly not reflected in the catastrophic collapse of Catholic life throughout First World countries which can be documented beyond any possible dispute.

In what seems to be a complete volte face, the Holy Father goes on to provide a list of liturgical deviations and abuses concerning which traditional Catholics have been protesting since the first changes were imposed upon the faithful. These abuses take place, he tells us, alongside the lights, but he nowhere tells us where these lights are shining:

Unfortunately, alongside these lights, there are also shadows. In some places the practice of Eucharistic adoration has been almost completely abandoned. In various parts of the Church abuses have occurred, leading to confusion with regard to sound faith and Catholic doctrine concerning this wonderful sacrament. At times one encounters an extremely reductive understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. Stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet. Furthermore, the necessity of the ministerial priesthood, grounded in apostolic succession, is at times obscured and the sacramental nature of the Eucharist is reduced to its mere effectiveness as a form of proclamation. This has led here and there to ecumenical initiatives which, albeit well-intentioned, indulge in Eucharistic practices contrary to the discipline by which the Church expresses her faith. How can we not express profound grief at all this? The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation. It is my hope that the present Encyclical Letter will effectively help to banish the dark clouds of unacceptable doctrine and practice, so that the Eucharist will continue to shine forth in all its radiant mystery.

These deplorable abuses did not exist before the Vatican II reform, and it can hardly be denied that they are indeed its true fruits. We must indeed pray that this encyclical will help “to banish the dark clouds of unacceptable doctrine and practice,” but, alas, these unacceptable practices have now become so ingrained in parish life that, short of a miracle, they will not be eradicated. The well-entrenched liturgical bureaucracy throughout the First World completely ignores any admonitions from Rome which conflict with its agenda, and I am certain that it will continue to do so.

Mgr. Gamber describes the present state of the liturgy in scathing but realistic terms:

The liturgical reform, welcomed with so much idealism and hope by many priests and lay people alike has turned out to be a liturgical destruction of startling proportions—a débâcle worsening with each passing year. Instead of the hoped-for renewal of the Church and of Catholic life, we are now witnessing a dismantling of the traditional values and piety on which our faith rests. Instead of the fruitful renewal of the liturgy, what we see is a destruction of the forms of the Mass which had developed organically during the course of many centuries.28

The Holy Father is evidently hoping for a reform of the reform, but, alas, this will not take place. It is, I fear, the mother of all lost causes. This is why we agree fully with Mgr. Gamber when he writes:

In the future the traditional rite of Mass must be retained in the Roman Catholic Church ... as the primary liturgical form for the celebration of Mass. It must become once more the norm of our faith and the symbol of Catholic unity throughout the world, a rock of stability in a period of upheaval and never-ending change.29

In the early days, when traditional Catholics worked for the restoration of the Traditional Mass, this objective was certainly considered to be the mother of all lost causes, but now the traditional Mass movement is spreading throughout the world. The time will certainly come when Rome implements the unanimous conclusion of the 1986 Commission of Cardinals that every priest of the Roman Rite, when celebrating in Latin, is entitled to choose between the Missals of 1962 and 1970.

In seeking to extend the restoration of tradition, rather than reform the reform, traditionalist Catholics are not being negative but realistic. We shall not criticise those who wish to reform the reform, but we will not devote our time, our money, and our energy to what is a hopeless cause. In working for the restoration of tradition we are rendering the Church a service. Dietrich von Hildebrand rightly termed the post-conciliar Church “the devastated vineyard”. In opposition to this devastation we are engaged in a fruitful renewal.

The essence of a true liturgical reform is that it contains no drastic revision of the liturgical traditions that have been handed down. Its most evident characteristic is fidelity to these traditions. This means that the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council should, like that of the Protestant Reformation, be termed a revolution. It is not necessary for the Catholic position to be expressly contradicted for a rite to become suspect; the suppression of prayers which had given liturgical expression to the doctrine behind the rite is more than sufficient to give cause for concern. The suppression in the Novus Ordo Missae, the New Mass, of so many prayers from the traditional Mass is a cause not simply for concern but for scandal. In almost every case they are the same prayers suppressed by Luther and by Thomas Cranmer. The suppression of these prayers which had given liturgical expression to the doctrine behind Traditional Mass is more than sufficient to give cause for concern to all those faithful who, like the martyrs of England and Wales, possess a true sensus Catholicus.

The fact that the Mass of Pope Paul VI as it is celebrated in so many parishes today constitutes a breach with authentic liturgical development has been confirmed by Cardinal Ratzinger:

A. Jungmann, one of the truly great liturgists of our time, defined the liturgy of his day, such as it could be understood in the light of historical research, as a “liturgy which is the fruit of development”...What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of the liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it, as in a manufacturing process, with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product. 32

We are engaged in a war with the same objectives as the martyrs of Elizabethan England, and when we bear in mind the sacrifices that they made because the Mass truly mattered to them, we should be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to restore the Mass of St. Pius, V, sacrifices involving time, money, travel, bearing the disapproval or even ridicule of fellow Catholics, clerical and lay. If this means that we are rebels then I for one am happy to be one. Those of us who fight for our Latin liturgical heritage may be termed reactionary, ignorant, or even schismatic, but in reality we are in the direct tradition of the Maccabees of the Old Testament. The commentary upon the Mass for the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost in the St. Andrew Daily Missal states:

One of the most outstanding lessons which may be drawn from the books of Maccabees...is the reverence due to the things of God. What is generally called the rebellion of the Maccabees was in reality a magnificent example of fidelity to God, to his law, and to the covenants and promises that he had made to his people These were threatened with oblivion and it was to uphold them that the Maccabees rebelled.

The Mass of St Pius V is the epitomization of the faith of our fathers, it is the liturgy celebrated in secret by the martyr priests of England and Wales, it is the liturgy that was celebrated at the Mass rocks of Ireland, it is the liturgy celebrated by the North American martyrs who died deaths that are too horrific to describe, it is the Mass described by the Father Frederick Faber, (1814-1863), Superior of the London Oratory, as “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven”.


1M. Davies, Pope John’s Council (PJC) (Angelus Press, 1977), p. 93 www.angeluspress.org

2Biographical details of Archbishop Bugnini are provided in Notitiae, No 70, February 1972, pp. 33-34.

3C. Falconi, Pope John and his Council (London, 1964), p. 244.

4Didier Bonneterre, The Liturgical Movement (Angelus Press, 2002), p. 52.

5K. Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (RRL), (Harrison, N.Y., 1993), p. 61.

6J. Heenan, A Crown of Thorns (London, 1974), p. 367.

7R. McAfee Brown, The Ecumenical Revolution (New York, 1969), p. 210.

8R. McAfee Brown, Observer in Rome (London, 1964), p. 226.

9A Vindication of the Bull "Apostolicae Curae" (London, 1898), pp. 42-3.

10 R. Kaiser, Inside the Council (London, 1963), p. 30.

11Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1998), pp. 148-149.

12Twin Circle, 26 October 1973.

13The Tablet, 14 March 1964, p. 303.

14Triumph, October 1966.

15D. von Hildebrand, Trojan Horse in the City of God (Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, 1969), p. 135.

16Introduction to the Cabrol edition of The Roman Missal.

17Concilium, February 1971, p. 64.

18Annibale Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 (The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1990), p. 221.

19J. Gelineau, Demain la liturgie (Paris, 1976), pp. 9-10.

20Denver Catholic Register, 5 February 2003.

21“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, Chapter VI.

22RFT, p. 210.

23The Tablet, 22 January 1966, p. 114.

024Bugnini, p. xxiii..

25Notitiae, No 92, April 1974, p. 126.

26K. Gamber, The Reform of the Roman Liturgy (RRL), ( Harrison, N.Y.,1993), p. , p. 99.

27J. Gelineau, Demain la liturgie (Paris, 1976), pp. 9-10.

28Gamber, p. 9.

29Gamber, p. 114.

32Preface to the French edition of The Reform of the Roman Liturgy by Msgr. Klaus Gamber.






















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AN AUGUSTINIAN priory was founded in Elsham, Lincs, in the 12th-century by Beatrice de Amundeville. At the end of the 12th century the Knights Hospitallers lost a bid to take over the foundation .All that remains is a monastic fish-pond in the grounds of an 18th-century house, Elsham Hall (photo). A nature trail takes you through 400 acres of woods and gardens of the Elsham Hall Country Park. There are three lakes, animal farmyard, and an arboretum with 80 varieties of British trees. In some outbuildings there is a craft centre. There is also a Falconry Centre. Open all year, mid-Sep to Easter Thu, Sun and BHs 1100-1600; Easter to mid-Sep daily 1100-1700. Occasionally closed in winter, telephone for details 01652 688698.



















Globe N A C F

Venite adoremus



[Laban Tall] 2263.17























Charles Peguy

A free act

EVERY MAN who begets a free act projects his personality into the infinite. If he gives a poor man a penny grudgingly, that penny pierces the poor man's hand, falls, pierces the earth, bores holes in suns, crosses the firmament and compromises the universe. If he begets an impure act, he perhaps darkens thousands of hearts whom he does not know, who are mysteriously linked to him, and who need this man to be pure as a traveler dying of thirst needs the Gospel's draught of water. A charitable act, an impulse of real pity sings for him the divine praises, from the time of Adam to the end of the ages; it cures the sick, consoles those in despair, calms storms, ransoms prisoners, converts the infidel and protects mankind' ? Léon Bloy, Pilgrim of the Absolute

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.

[Charles Peguy] 2263.18






















































































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GRANT US, Father a spirit of wisdom and insight, so that we may know the great hope to which we have been called.

Let peace and harmony reign among all the dwellers on the earth.

To those who exercise the ministry of authority in the service of their brothers, send a spirit of wisdom and humility.

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Be ever mindful of your mercy, exalt the lowly; fill the hungry with good things.

Both in life and death, let us be yours, O Lord.

Free the world from its slavery to corruption, to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.