Tag: John XXIII

Cardinal Smiles

Cardinal Smiles posted in Eleison Comments on June 19, 2010

A recent smile of Cardinal Kasper confirms my long-standing belief that despite the profound liberalism of the Conciliar Popes since John XXIII, still one need not doubt their really having been Popes. A number of serious and believing Catholics do doubt it because they cannot see how real Vicars of Christ can depart so far from the Catholic Faith and Church of Christ as these Popes have done. Indeed there is a problem, grave beyond all measure.

These “sedevacantists,” as they are usually called, argue that if anybody walks like a heretic, talks like a heretic and, as Americans say, quacks like a heretic, then he IS a heretic. But a heretic excludes himself from the Church. Therefore these Popes have excluded themselves from the Church and cannot possibly have been its Head – how can a non-member be a head?

The true answer, I believe, is that the heresy which automatically casts out of the one and only Ark of Salvation is so grave that to commit it, somebody must fully know and fully mean what he is doing. He must realize that he is denying Catholic truth that has been defined with God’s own authority by God’s Church, in other words that he is defying God. Without this realization, called “pertinacity” by the Church, he may be denying divine truths, but he is not yet defying God, or casting himself out of the Church.

Now “sedevacantists” find ridiculous the idea that Popes, profoundly educated in Church teaching, do not know what they are doing when they utter such enormities as does Benedict XVI, to take just one example amongst many, on the on-going validity of the Old Covenant. To make a heretic fully realize what he is doing, in olden days, when the Church was in her right mind, the Pope’s Inquisition (or Holy Office) would pull him over, confront him authoritatively with his error, and urge him to renounce it. If he refused, then his pertinacity was clear to all, and the wolf was cast out of the sheepfold. But such a confrontation requires authority, both to summon the heretic and to declare his error. What then if, since Vatican II, it is the highest Church authority which no longer discerns Catholic truth?

Enter Cardinal Kasper. At a press conference he held on May 4 in Paris (already referred to in EC 148), he is reported as saying, correctly, that the Society of St Pius X staunchly opposes the Catholic Church’s dialogue with other Christian churches for which he is responsible. “They’ve attacked me as a heretic,” he said with a smile.

Well might he smile. By what authority, if you please, does the mere SSPX condemn the ecumenical dialogue which has been the Universal Church’s principle and practice ever since Vatican II, which is preached everywhere by Benedict XVI, and for which he is the Pope’s prime agent? Surely it was only charity towards those misguided “Traditionalists” that prevented the good Cardinal from bursting into laughter!

Humanly speaking, the Church is finished. But not divinely.

Kyrie eleison.

Perillous “Sincerity”

Perillous “Sincerity” posted in Eleison Comments on August 22, 2009

If Benedict XVI is not a positive destroyer of the Church, then like John XXIII, Paul VI and John-Paul II before him, he is at least presiding over its destruction. A recent critique of Fr. Peter Scott’s excellent analysis of Benedict XVI’s latest Encyclical (accessible at angelqueen.org) raises once more the crucial question, have these Popes been aware of the destruction taking place under their responsibility? Broadly speaking, there are three main answers.

Firstly, liberals and modernists deny that any destruction has been going on, so of course the recent Popes are unaware of being or having been destroyers. They have been good Popes, they are not to be blamed, they need only be followed. Secondly on the contrary, Sedevacantists say these Popes have been responsible for a devastation of the Church, and they have all been far too well educated, they have known too well the pre-Conciliar Church (being all of them older men) and they have all sworn too often (in their younger days) the daunting Anti-Modernist Oath, for them not to have been aware of the destruction they have wrought. Not only must we blame them, but we cannot logically hold them to have been Popes, let alone fit to be followed.

Thirdly, as dawn and dusk are not contradictory or illogical simply because they mix night and day, but both are real happenings once every 24 hours, so the position of Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society of St Pius X is not contradictory simply because it is more complicated, falling as it does between the relatively simple positions of the liberals and Sedevacantists. On the contrary it is more real than either, corresponding better to the complicated reality of these liberal Catholic Popes. (Archbishop Lefebvre used to say that a liberal Catholic is a walking contradiction.)

Against the liberals this third position holds that of course there has been a destruction of the Church under these Popes, who with their education, pre-Conciliar experience and solemn Oaths should certainly have known better. So all are to be blamed for failing in their grave responsibilities, even if the exact degree of blame due is known to God alone.

Against the Sedevacantists however, in our profoundly sick modern age, while blindness like that of these Popes is objectively blameworthy, it may be subjectively more or less sincere. For instance in his post-war German seminary, the young Joseph Ratzinger was exposed to brilliant and no doubt charismatic modernist professors who will have taught him that the Traditional Church needed to be, if not destroyed, at least changed beyond recognition to fit modern man. And Joseph Ratzinger has believed it ever since: the Traditional doctrine, the Tridentine Church and its solemn Oaths were all good, even excellent in their day, but that day is past! Objection: did not Pius X (“Lamentabili” #58) solemnly teach that Truth cannot evolve? Cardinal Ratzinger said that “Lamentabili” too was excellent teaching – for the past!!

Again, God alone is judge of the exact responsibility of the young Joseph and his teachers for his mind having fallen into the trap of evolving truth, but what is certain is that once a mind has fallen into that trap, it can, in today’s environment, only with supreme difficulty be pulled out again. Until a divine Warning and/or Chastisement cleanses the environment, liberals can easily be in grave error, yet sincere.

SSPX, beware of that “sincerity” which makes error feel nice! Truth first, and no lies or ambiguity, even if our sick world comes down on you like a ton of bricks!

Kyrie eleison.

John XXIII Missal

John XXIII Missal posted in Eleison Comments on October 25, 2008

The Society of St. Pius X gets attacked, but so long as it is attacked about equally from modernist left and from sedevacantizing right, it need not worry too much – it is probably doing something right. However, equality here is not to be measured by quantity alone – attacks from the right make up in venom for what they lack in numbers! Presently the SSPX is again being attacked for its use of the Tridentine Missal of 1962, as opposed to that of 1955, or 1945, or 1905 – you name it! Three comments:

Firstly, as Archbishop always used to explain, the “Missal of John XXIII,” so called because it was promulgated under his reign in 1962, was actually fully prepared before 1958, under Pope Pius XII, no darling of modernists. Moreover the Archbishop personally knew the Benedictine liturgist who did the preparing, and the Archbishop testified that the Benedictine he knew was no modernist either.

Secondly, as always needs to be repeated, if the Archbishop chose the 1962 Missal for his Society of St. Pius X, it was because on the one hand that Missal contains nothing against the Faith, whereas the Novus Ordo Missal of 1969 is heavily protestantized and the 1967 missal was already being de-catholicized; on the other hand the Pope is master of the liturgy in the Catholic Church, which is why the 1962 missal was the last fully orthodox rite of Mass to have been also lawfully promulgated by a reigning pope, and as such the Archbishop chose it, by a reasoned judgment and not by personal taste. Previous rites were superseded. Following rites were not Catholic.

Thirdly, the difference between, let us say, the “John XXIII” and the Pius X missals lies in the former’s omission of many a detail from the latter, but in essence the two missals are the same – otherwise how could it be so easy to celebrate a “John XXIII” Mass from a Pius X missal? Now in no situation can I overestimate the importance of detail without underestimating that of essentials. If then by my furious refusal of the “John XXIII Missal” I declare that in the details omitted by “John XXXII” the essence of the Tridentine Missal has been betrayed, I am in actions, not words, albeit unawares, so downgrading the essence of the Tridentine missal, for instance the unchanged Canon and Consecration, that by my exaggeration of the relative importance of details, I am, funnily enough, paving the way for souls to lose sight of the absolute importance of essentials, and I am helping souls to quit the Tridentine Mass altogether! It will not have been the first time that unbalanced exaggerations on the right have driven souls to the left!

Divine Lord, please bring soon your lawful Vicar back to his fully Catholic senses!

Kyrie eleison.