First, get things straight with God – the rest will follow.
Amidst Traditional Catholics there has recently been disputed again the question of whether Catholic bishops’ Consecrations performed with the new rite fabricated by Pope Paul VI following on Vatican II are valid as Consecrations, or not. In other words, can we be sure that a priest who has undergone the new rite of Consecration is himself truly a bishop? The question is of immense importance, because upon valid bishops depends the very survival of the Catholic Church and of souls being able to get to Heaven, because souls absolutely need priests and sacraments to die in that state of sanctifying grace without which they they gravely risk falling into Hell.
Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought on the question. The huge majority of Catholics, down to and including the Newsociety of St Pius X, as reoriented in 2012 by the successors of Archbishop Lefebvre at the head of the Society which he first oriented in 1970 to defend Faith and Church against the ravages of the Conciliar revolution, see no problem. Of course Vatican II (1962–1965) was not such a disaster, they say, that God allowed His enemies to gain so much power inside the Church that they could succeed in tampering seriously with the very wellsprings of its future, the rite of consecration of its future leaders. The mere idea is ridiculous! Vatican II was bad, but it cannot have been that bad. Alas, it was!
Just look at the fruits, which show infallibly what is at work. Between 20 years before and 20 years after the Council, a mass of Catholic hospitals, schools, convents, seminaries, priories, monasteries – all closed down or turned over for the keeping of apples (Ps. 78, 1). Have there ever been at any one time so many vocations abandoned, or so few new vocations arising, as in the period after Vatican II? Why? Surely because, for instance, the mass of citizens today are persuaded that a social worker is more useful than a priest. Where there is no Faith, at least as it used to be understood before the Council, the bishop and the priest are at a discount for what they properly are, and all that is left for them is to do a bad imitation of somebody who they are not at all, like a social worker. And who should be preaching that Faith? Bishops and priests! How brilliantly with Vatican II the Devil turned the churchmen’s minds inside out and upside down! Maybe the new rite of Consecration has, somehow, been a problem for the bishops after all . . .
Fr. Alvaro Calderon is one of the Society’s best theologians, stationed at the Society’s priestly seminary in Argentina. Over ten years ago he wrote a tract on this question of the validity of the new rite of bishops’ Consecration. He concludes that it is “very probably valid,” but not certainly. However, since valid bishops are absolutely essential to the life and survival of the Church, then that shadow of doubt involved is still that too much doubt, and all Catholic bishops consecrated only with the new rite should consent to being reconsecrated conditionally also with the old rite, with its old, certainly valid, sacramental Form. Likewise, he says, all priests ordained only with the Conciliar rite of ordination should seek conditional re-ordination with the traditional rite to repair any serious defects in their Conciliar priesthood.
And where does Fr Calderon say that this shadow of a doubt lies? He says the intention of the new rite is not to make regal authoritative bishops, with a divine authority behind them immediately over the sheep, true thunderclouds of God; but rather a diocesan facilitator, a nice man, a democratic administrator, ready to obey to the letter the local Sister Snap-dragon who rules all cocks in the roost for miles around, and who is dreaming of the day when she can at last celebrate what tatters remain of the Holy Mass. Boys, keep the women in their place, because they are unbearable when they are out of control! God first!