Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Catholic counter reformation continues! With Gods help, so does this blog.

I am a worthless sinner, yet if by God's grace he can use this sinner for the good of the Church then so be it. To say that my personal fight for the truth, and my personal effort of making it known has been an easy one would be a lie. To a large extent, it has been disheartening and difficult to say the least.

In all truth, my return to Catholic tradition has been met from hostility on all sides, both outside myself and within. Having been raised in the Novous Ordo dispensation with a firm Catholic foundation in terms of family life ( which I have my Grandparents to thank) has shown me how different the two are, one contradicts the other, the firm and solidly based Catholic home life and ultimately chatechesis of it was that which lead me to leave anything which embodied the " spirit of Vatican II", and lead me to a place where the faith handed to me by my convert grandparents was fully expressed and in conflict with nothing.

I do not presume myself to be a theologian or great philosopher, but I know what I believe and have been taught to be true, in the sense that it has been true for 2000 years. Thus with this background, it is my firm hope that our Dear Lord might use me if he so wishes, for the furtherance and greater exposition of this one truth. Unfortunately, it seems as if my little effort in creating this blog has to a large extent proved ineffectual. Nevertheless, it has never been my intention to use it as a means to convey my own beliefs , but rather to convey and teach the true and only faith.

I pray for Gods guidance in this effort, even if it only reaches one person and assists them in bringing their lives closer to God and his truth, I am only his tool in bringing this about.In achieving this, the ultimate intention of this blog has been fulfilled.

ROMAN PROTESTANTS

By Fr. Basil Wrighton

Originally written in August 1982 issue of The Angelus magazine, Fr. Wrighton expertly shows how "the spirit of Vatican II" is protestantizing Catholics.

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Whatever the new "ecumenism" may say or mean, the plain fact remains that there is fundamental antithesis between "Catholic" and "Protestant." One has only to reflect on the history of these two religions to see how they contradict and exclude one another. While the one claims to expound a divine revelation with divinely conferred authority, and to administer supernatural sacraments as a means of divine grace, the other professes only to comment on the Scriptures by the light of human reason, and fights shy of anything supernatural or miraculous. While the one upholds the great Christian mysteries of the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Redemption and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, the other has become very doubtful about these mysteries and included to reject some or all of them as outdated superstitions. The same holds good concerning angels and devils, hell, purgatory and heaven: these are very real for Catholics, very unreal for Protestants, at any rate for the contemporary type.


For the Protestant mentality is essentially skeptical and fissiparous. Once it had broken away from the parent Christian stock and committed itself to the vagaries of private judgment, it went on changing, evolving and splitting up into ever new sects. For a time it held on the main tenets of Christian faith, but as the sects became more and more liberal, they tended to drop them overboard or explain them away. Low-church grows into broad-church, and broad-church evolves toward no-church.


There have, of course, been reactions against this devolution. "Fundamentalist" minorities in various times and places have dug in their heels and refused to move with the times, hanging on to some semblance of the original faith. A more intellectual and more influential reaction was that of Newman and his Tractarian followers, who reasoned their way back to a substantially Catholic theology, emerging as a "high-church" party within the Anglican establishment. But they could never be really at home in that flock —how could they? Newman himself was quick to perceive that they had no future there; he thereupon made his submission to Rome, and many of his disciples followed him, to the great advantage of both the neophytes and their hosts. We never thought to see this historic decision reversed.


Now, however, since Vatican the Second we have been faced with the hitherto incredible spectacle of a mass movement in reverse —a movement of Catholics towards Protestantism. It began with the caucus of modernist prelates and their "experts" who brought off a successful coup d’etat at the first session of the Council, by tearing up the authorized agenda and substituting their own program [cf. the article, Archbishop Lefebvre Preparing the Council, and Fr. Wrighton's article, Collegiality]. This gave them a certain control of the proceedings and enabled them to devise loopholes and ambiguities in the acta for subsequent exploitation. The "pastoral" rather than dogmatic character of this Council made its texts all the more susceptible of tendentious interpretation.


It was of course the same progressive party which got the job of implementing the conciliar decrees, and that is where the trouble became most serious. The Party’s first concern was with the liturgy, which of all the Church’s institutions stood in least need of reform, and which no responsible Catholic wanted to change. The Council had made a few cautious, limited and reasonable concessions for the vernacular languages to be used in scriptural readings and prayers in which the people took a vocal part. These apart, it insisted on the retention of Latin. But that was not what the Party wanted. The existing lex orandi was an obstacle to their new religion, so it had to be destroyed. The Church text was defied, and the Holy Mass of all the Catholic ages, the Church’s most sacred treasure and the most beautiful thing this side of heaven, was cunningly demolished by installments and replaced by a completely different rite, entirely vernacular and frequently vulgar, celebrated back to front, and shorn of the traditional gestures of reverence and the verbal safeguards of Catholic Eucharistic doctrine —just the things that Cranmer himself had suppressed. The sacrificial element was consigned to oblivion, and all the emphasis transferred to the "memorial" and "meal" elements, just as in the Protestant "Lord’s Supper." The obvious purpose was to make the Eucharist so "ecumenical" that it could be shared by those who had no belief in either the Sacrifice or the Real Presence. Can one imagine anything more dastardly than this betrayal of the Holy of Holies for the beaux yeux of believers? Yet the Modernists were allowed —and are still allowed —to get away with it and to impose it on the whole Church of the West. No such subversion has ever before been known in the Catholic Church.


And what a vernacular! —the shabby, ephemeral speech of the streets and the pubs brought into the sanctuary! The whole concept of a vernacular liturgy is indeed a monstrosity, only to be excused by total illiteracy of the worshippers. Are the Catholics of the West so illiterate that they cannot read even the simplest prayer book? Liturgy is an essentially sacred thing, eternal truths clad in an unchanging form: in a word, it must be hieratic, not demotic. The Church has been telling us this for centuries, and had repeated it emphatically as recently as 1962 (the Apostolic Constitution of John XXIII, Veterum Sapientia); but the Church was now made to eat her own words and swing over to the Protestant slogan of "a language understanded of the people" —as if Latin had been a mere mumbo-jumbo to our people for all these centuries!


Since the Novus Ordo Missae was designed as an "ecumenical" liturgy, ambivalence was essential to it. Hence the many alternative formulas (Confiteors, Canons, etc.) left to the option of the celebrant, together with the studied ambiguity of the wording where any definite Catholic doctrine (such as transubstantiation or sacrifice) is involved. Hence the abolition of the Offertory prayers, and the reduction of the Consecration to what can be taken as a mere narrative. The result of it all has been to stir up controversy among the faithful as to whether the new liturgy can be regarded as sacramentally valid. To take the negative view would amount to questioning the God-given authority of the Church which has sanctioned the changes. But a careful study of such works as Michael Davies’ masterly trilogy on the Liturgical Revolution will show that the bare essentials of validity have been preserved, but in so thoroughly Protestantized a setting and mentality that lapses from validity are much more likely to occur, and the Catholic faith cannot be expected to survive or flourish in such an environment. All that used to protect and nourish this faith has been ruthlessly cut away in the interests of "ecumenism", and the effect of the revolution can be plainly seen in the vast exodus from the Church which has followed it.


The Novus Ordo was only a first step. The Party had many more changes up its sleeve. The revolution was to be "on-going," the faithful were to have no respite from shocks and scandals. Soon we had Communion in the hand, a gratuitous profanation borrowed from the Dutch dissenters and railroaded into the Church elsewhere by admiring episcopal conferences in face of papal protest and popular disgust. Then came the Lay Ministers, male and female, handing out Holy Communion, while the priest looks on from his chair —unemployed, redundant. It is a galloping process of "desacralization." Nothing is now to be held sacred or inviolable. All that was sacred in our religion from time immemorial is being dragged down to a common and profane level, to adapt it to the abject spirit of this age.


So much for what is going on with official approval, within the widening limits of the law. I have said nothing about the spate of outrages and sacrileges which have sprung up in the wake of the Novus Ordo, for these should be abhorrent even to progressives. They simply did not happen under the old order; therefore the new order is responsible for them. But authority does nothing to correct them. There seems to be no limit to what the bishops will now tolerate —so long as the abuses are committed on the liberal, revolutionary side. But if any poor deprived Catholic on the other side attempts to revive the Holy Mass, then the fulminations begin! The only capital offence that remains, it seems, is fidelity to Catholic tradition.


When the President of Una Voce at an interview with Archbishop (now Cardinal) Benelli in Rome in October 1976, pointed out the existing liturgical chaos and asked how, in view of this state of things, the suppression of the old Mass could be justified, he was told that "those who wish to retain the old Mass have a different ecclesiology." This from one of the closest advisors of the then Pope; it meant that those who were faithful to Catholic tradition were now to be treated as dissidents. The phrase quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus ("What has been believed always, everywhere, and by all") as a criterion of orthodoxy bad now been rejected in favor of a new Party Line which contradicted the Church’s entire previous tradition. What was forbidden and condemned yesterday becomes lawful today, and mandatory tomorrow. What had always been seen as black, is now white, and vice versa —because the Party says so. This comes close to the Bolshevik criterion of morality: what is right or wrong is simply what helps or hinders the Party.

Pope Paul VI himself used to speak of a "new orientation" of the Church’s life and liturgy following Vatican II, and the whole charge against Archbishop Lefebvre in that pontificate was that His Grace would not accept this fatal orientation. He could not accept it —we cannot accept it —because it is an entirely new thing in the Church, a new ethos incompatible with Catholic dogmatic tradition. If we accept this reorientation, we must hold that the Church’s teaching has been utterly mistaken all through the past twenty centuries of its history, from the Apostles onward, until light dawned at last in the nineteen-sixties, thanks to Bugnini and his men. It was an about-turn, away from the supernatural and transcendent towards the natural and worldly, from the divine to the merely human. Those who have eyes to see can see more clearly every day that such a periagoge, if persisted in, can only lead to the destruction of the Catholic and Christian religion.


The Party, modernist and progressive, which seized power in the Church from the Council onwards and is constantly building it up by selective appointments, is moving in the same direction as the Protestant reformers whom it copied so closely in the new liturgy. But it is going much faster and further than they went. It is Liberal-Protestant, which means in the long run non-Christian and anti-Christian. It has allied itself with the secular humanism which now rules the Western world, and is even making overtures to the communist powers, after having rendered the Council virtually ineffectual by refusing to condemn the world’s greatest menace.


It should be noted that the ideology of Liberal-Protestantism is practically the same as that of the Modernism which appeared somewhat later in the Catholic Church. It disintegrates traditional beliefs in much the same way, and both can be seen as concurrent stages in the destruction of Christianity itself. St. Pius X remarked this in his encyclical Pascendi in 1907: historical Protestantism and Modernism, he says, are successive stages in the progress to Atheism.


Contemporary liberals (e.g., those who write in the ex-Catholic Tablet) are apt to crow with delight over the notion that the Catholic religion has undergone a "mutation" in consequence of Vatican II —or rather, "the spirit of Vatican II," a spook which as often as not is made to contradict the letter of the Council. They fail to understand, it seems, that the Catholic religion is of such a nature that a "mutation" —i.e., a radical and permanent change —can only destroy it.


From these observations, and from many others which could be mentioned, there emerges the picture of a Church which is unrecognizable as the Church we were brought up in —rather like an ugly stepmother, all spots and wrinkles, in place of the Holy Mother Church we knew and loved in pre-conciliar days. It is not only the ecclesiology that is different; everything is different. The bogus "ecumenism" aims at ironing out the distinctions of true and false in religion, so that Catholic doctrine goes into the melting pot with everything else. The Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation are dismissed as no longer "relevant" to the "adult man" of the twentieth century. Christ’s hierarchical Kingdom of God, transcending space and time, must now give place to the "People of God," this-worldly, democratic, liberal and egalitarian. The ministerial priesthood must no longer be distinguished from the common priesthood of the faithful, and the Pope must forego his supreme and paternal authority and resign himself to being a mere primus inter pares, the spokesman of the bishops, whose claim to "collegiality" implies that it is for them to decide all questions in committee, by a majority of votes.


With doctrine thus being whittled away for the sake of specious agreement with heterodox bodies, and with the supreme authority being put into commission, the prospect before the Conciliar Church becomes bleakly Protestant, and ultimately non-Christian. A further catastrophic development is that the Neo-Modernists, unlike the earlier breed, have now scrapped the Ten Commandments, done away with moral absolutes and the notion of sin as an offence against God, and reduced morality to the "situation ethics" of secular humanism, where literally everything is permitted as long as one thinks it meets one’s needs of the moment or develops one’s "personality."


Now that sin has been swept under the carpet, those two bastions of Catholic spirituality, confession and penance, are of course found to be superfluous. The deserted confessionals are being removed from the churches, and the sacrament, when it is used, tends to become a sort of psychiatric session. As for the laws of fasting and abstinence, they are virtually abolished. Before the Council about a hundred days of the year were affected by fasting or abstinence or both. Since then a series of wholesale swipes has reduced them to a derisory two days in the year! Another concession to Protestantism, which from its earliest days has despised these weapons of the spirit. This progressive ideology has of course taken over the Catholic schools, seminaries and universities, and bought up the Catholic press: all these institutions are failing, or have already fallen, into the "ex-Catholic" category. Even the expensive schools run by the religious orders themselves have joined the Modernist bandwagon. Many faithful Catholics have found themselves obliged to take their children away from "Catholic", schools in order to save their faith. As for the others, the present hapless generation of children will, for the most part apparently, become a write-off. The only hope of a genuinely Catholic education lies now in new foundations, at the cost of much sacrifice and struggle for the faithful remnant. A grace-selected remnant there will certainly be, for the continuance of the Church, but the majority of our once-Catholic population, those who will not bestir themselves to resist and protest against what has been done to them, finding it easier to swim with the post-conciliar stream, are becoming daily and visibly more and more assimilated in manners, morals and beliefs to their Protestant neighbors, and will soon be indistinguishable from them. "Ecumenism" will then have attained its goal, not by a return of the separated brethren to the one true fold, but by a massive apostasy from that fold, led by its own shepherds —a massive sell-out of Catholic truth.


A fearful example of this sell-out may be seen in the "pastoral" councils and congresses of recent years —an updated kind of "robber councils" of lay persons and clerics, approved and attended by the national hierarchies for the furtherance of "renewal" or revolution. Among the most notorious have been those of Holland and America (the Detroit "Call to Action"), and (in 1980) Liverpool. At this latest festival of loquacity and pop-theology the participants (hand-picked Modernists, of course) called for the scrapping among other things, of considerable portions of the moral law (God’s eternal law). At the end of it all, the bishops got up and effusively thanked and congratulated the pastoral freebooters. If anyone cares to remember this conciliabulum, it may well go down in history as the Latrocinium Liverpolitanum ("The Robber Council of Liverpool").

What shall we call the multitudes of ex-Catholic shepherds and their sheep who have
either defected or drifted into a new religion? Perhaps we might call them "Roman Protestants." We older Catholics did not like being called Roman Catholics, for we did not admit that there was any other kind of Catholics. But there are various kinds of Romans, and many kinds of Protestants; and Rome is now the headquarters, not only of the Catholic Church, but of the Modernist Mafia which has invaded and subjected it. At the English CoIlege in Rome, that venerable nursery of episcopabiles, we got occasional pep-talks on the cardinal virtue of romanita (Romishness). That was in the nineteen-twenties, when Rome was the citadel of orthodoxy, and we saw nothing incongruous in such a virtue. Things are very different in the Deutero-Vatican era, and I often wonder whether my contemporaries and epigoni, mitred or otherwise, might not have done well to dilute their romanita with a much stiffer dose of cattolicita. It might have saved some of them from ending up as Roman Protestants.


When obedience to the constant tradition of the Church is so clearly in conflict with obedience to certain office-holders who have departed from that tradition, we rank-and-file Catholics must use our common sense and opt for the superior obedience. The simple faithful have always done this in times of epidemic heresy. Such crisis are happily very rare. The gravest in the Church’s past history was the Arian crisis of the fourth century, when, as St. Jerome expressed it, "the whole world groaned in astonishment to find themselves Arian;" or, as Newman puts it, "there was a temporary suspense of the functions of the ‘ecclesia docens’." We are living in such a crisis now, that of the Modernist Reformation. The Church was drugged for a major "mutation" in the nineteen-sixties, and is now gradually coming round to find itself Liberal-Protestant. It is in this situation that faithful Catholics are finding themselves faced with the stark alternative of becoming either recusants or renegades.


Sixteen hundred years ago, when the bulk of the hierarchy had strayed from the faith of Nicaea and even the Pope faltered for a time, St. Athanasius headed the faithful few who stood out for Catholic truth against a world in the grip of heresy. He had much to suffer, and was even excommunicated, but eventually his cause prevailed and the faith was saved. In our day likewise, amid the ceaseless babble of post-conciliar Newspeak, one episcopal voice has been heard to observe, in plain French, that one religion is not as good as another, that faith and morals are not variable with times and circumstances, and (with regard to "renewal") that the emperor has no clothes! For the audacity of these views, and for his fidelity to Catholic tradition, he is denounced and persecuted by the liberal establishment, but will not recant. His witness and his work continues, and the day will come when a restored Church will bless his name. Once again, magna est veritas et praevalebit.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is this blog obsolete?

Kindly, if anyone wishes to pass comment on this question, feel free to do so.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Canonistic Notes on Summorum Pontificum

From the New Liturgical Movement,

"The article (Liturgisches Jahrbuch 1/2008, p. 3 ff.) is written by Prof. Norbert Lüdecke who teaches Canon Law at the University of Bonn. A summary of the article is given in the current issue of Una Voce Korrespondenz, the quarterly of the German Una Voce association (4/2008, p. 371 ff.), of which a summary appeared, on December 1st, 2008, on the website kath-info.de, which we present to you here in an NLM translation:



1. The bishops may issue "annotations and instructions for the implementation" of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, but they may not add "new mandatory content" (cf. the analysis of the "guidelines" of the German Bishops' Conference by Prof. Georg Muschalek).

2. The "guidelines" of the German Bishops' Conference of 27 September 2007 are not binding upon the individual diocesan bishop.

3. The celebration of the Missa sine populo is, except in the case of insurmountable obstacles, to be allowed "at any legitimate place". "Restrictions of the usus antiquior to certain places or times by particular law are (...) inadmissible."

4. In a Missa sine populo (literally translated: "Mass without people") the faithful may participate sua sponte (i.e. without compulsion). They may also advert other faithful to this Holy Mass.

5. For a group, which according to the Motu proprio is a prerequisite for the celebration of a Holy Mass with the people, the number of three persons is sufficient. The diocesan bishop cannot establish a higher minimum number.

6. The parish priest must not discriminate against Masses according to the old use "by keeping them secret or scheduling them at times difficultly accessible".

7. "The Pope has not ordered that the parish priest could meet the request of interested faithful. He has mandated that the parish priest must do so"(Lüdecke).

8. Faithful whose right to Holy Mass in the older use is being denied by the parish priest do not only have the possibility, but the duty to inform the diocesan bishop about this.

9. "Applications" for the traditional liturgy are "not petitions of grace or favour." "Parish priests as well as diocesan bishops are legally held to meet this request" (Lüdecke).

10. The consent of the bishop to a Holy Mass according to the old use instituted by a parish priest according to the desire of faithful is not required.

11. Laypeople as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and women as altar servers are not allowed in the traditional liturgy."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A PROPOSED UNITED FRONT OF CATHOLIC TRADITION NATION WIDE

J.M.J


Ever since the advent of the Sovereign Pontiff's moto proprio, 'Summorum Pontificum', traditionally minded Catholics have been literally "crawling out of the woodwork" and for the first time , voicing their opinions on the state of the Church as well as, (and most importantly) making their voices heard concerning their desire for Traditional Catholicism to be re-established here in Southern Africa.


Out of ignorance one might make a bold statement and say that tradition is making a comeback to South Africa. Such a belief would be unfounded , as in all truth Catholic Tradition has been in place since the close of the Council with a handful of the clergy who refused to accept the conciliar reforms and remained faithful to the Church of all time. With such a situation, it was a need also to provide for those lay catholics who refused to participate in the destructive consequences of the 'renewal' of Vatican II.

The Society of St. Pius X, has been operating in South Africa since this time and dutifully attending to the spiritual needs of these same Catholics and the generations that were to follow them. Thus in all fairness, it would be wrong to assume that Catholic Tradition is only now making a comeback in South Africa, understandably with the 'official' return of the Latin Tridentine Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King, one step has been made in the right direction so to speak, however , the fundamentals of Catholic life and faith in its traditional sense as upheld by the Society, have been lost and will take quite a few more generations to eventually restore.

Its is our supreme hope to see such a goal realised in our lifetime, however, in all reality the widespread errors which have entrenched themselves in the post Conciliar Church, both locally and abroad still hold sway over a vast majority of Catholics. Only a minority is seen to uphold the traditional faith in its true and exact sense. Thus , in the face of such widespread destruction of our beloved faith, we need to take courage and not loose hope in our efforts of restoration, no matter how small, in this great trial to which the whole of Christendom has been subjected.


With all this in mind, we can take courage in the fact that we are not the first to fight for the rights of true Catholicism. Others, much braver than ourselves have passed before us, some have fallen, some have lost the faith completely, yet those who remained to continue the fight armed with nothing but charity and obedience to God and his truth, were faced as some of us are now, with hostility and scorn by those very same people who are charged with this exact purpose, namely the defense of the Truth.


It would therefore be a suggestion, that all these newcomers to the fight for tradition, unite themselves under one banner, one which would exact more force in the great effort of restoration than that which is currently in place, (small groups even individuals who are giving their all in this same effort).


Is there any possibility of such a thing here and now?


In Christ and our Good Mother


Calvin

Friday, December 12, 2008

Updates on the Pretoria Latin Mass Group

From a recent email,

"As matters stand at present, I am interacting with Fr Craigh Laubscher here at Christ the King, Queenswood, on us taking up the matter of the Tridentine Mass with Msgr Hill. If the latter is willing and able to help us, we will have taken a step forward for the Pretoria group.

So my proposal would be that we indeed meet in the New Year once we have something to report, and then discuss how to move forward in tandem."

All prayers are needed for this important initiative

God is with us!

More on 'Ad Oreintem' worship in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite

From the New liturgical Movement,

Ad Orientem – Fr. Peter Stravinskas
12/05/08
Homily at 7am Mass


The Season of Advent has a two-fold emphasis which many, many people do not seem to either remember or ever have known. And it’s on two comings of Christ: the first on His coming into time as the Judge of the world; His second, which most people associate with Advent exclusively, is His coming in history as the Babe of Bethlehem. But actually, until December 17, it is His final or second coming that the Church would have us focus all our attention on. And, the themes that the Church brings to our attention during this time period are those to do with light - the Light that is coming into the world. You see that in all of today’s readings as a matter of fact.

The early Christians believed that Jesus would come again during the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, and that He would come to them out of the east. And so, whenever possible churches were constructed so that they faced east.

When you came into the Chapel this morning, if you were somewhat awake, you may have noticed that there is a slightly different arrangement of the sanctuary. The different arrangement is to suggest a different focus.

In theological or liturgical language, we call this liturgical orientation, the liturgy celebrated facing east; which cannot always be a geographical east. But it does mean that priest and people face Christ, the coming Dawn, together, who’s coming to them out of the east.

And there are some very practical implications to all of this: there is much less attention on the priest and much more attention on Christ. John the Baptist, the particular voice and figure par excellence for the Advent Season, said, “He [Christ] must increase, I must decrease.” And so, there is less of a personality cult centered on the priest, there is less distraction for the priest who ought to be looking at God not the congregation and less distraction for people - who are not diverted by some of the idiosyncrasies of priests.

And let me then offer a few clarifications.

First, there is nothing in the Second Vatican Council that ever once called for the turning around of altars, just as nothing in Vatican II called for getting rid of Latin in the Liturgy, nor did they ever envision things like communion in the hand, or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion or female servers. All of that is something that happened many, many years after the Council, and that the Council Fathers themselves would have been quite shocked to discover ever happened.

Secondly, the current or reformed Roman Missal, even in English as a matter of fact, presumes that the priest is not facing the congregation, and, therefore, the rubrics (the directives for the celebration of the Liturgy) consistently say things to the priest like, “The priest now turns faces the people and says, ‘The Lord be with you.’”

Thirdly, for the parts of the Mass that are directed to the people, the priest continues to face the people, and so, the Liturgy of the Word. It makes no sense for me to read the Gospel facing the wall or to preach in that direction. (Although, sometimes you get the impression you might get as much of a reaction.)

Fourth, for years, Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, wrote repeatedly about the importance of returning the former practice of facing east. Why? To restore a healthy sense of the sacred, the transcendent. So that this is not perceived as a social hour or “Entertainment Tonight”, but the Church’s worship of the triune God.

Fifthly, many priests (especially younger ones interestingly enough) are taking the former Cardinal’s, now present Pope’s, admonition to heart. Last week, I was in Greenville, South Carolina, and all the Masses in that parish have been celebrated ad orientem, as we say, facing east for a full year now. Just Wednesday, I visited Holy Family Church in Columbus, where since the beginning of Advent, three of the four Sunday Masses are now celebrated facing east.

As I indicated the other day, Advent is a time of new beginnings. And so, this is a good time for us to make this act of restoration here at the Monastery and, appropriately, also during the nuns’ annual retreat. Now, this may take a bit of readjustment for some of you, but I think you’ll find great spiritual benefit in reasonably short order.

You may not realize it, but all religions have used geography as a theological reference point. You know, I’m sure, that Muslims turn to face Mecca, no matter where they are. When they go to pray, they turn to face Mecca. Orthodox Jews, to this very day, turn to face Jerusalem. Each day in the celebration of Lauds (or Morning Prayer) the Church prays the Benedictus, the Canticle of Zechariah, which he recited as he reacted to the birth of his newborn son, John the Baptist. In that canticle Zechariah prophesies, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the Dawn from on high shall break upon us. We know that the dawn breaks in the east; that Dawn, that rising Sun shall appear on this altar in but a few minutes. And so, let us, you and I, priest and people, face east together, prepared to meet the One who is coming into the world as the Light of the world.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pretoria Latin Mass Update

Greetings once again in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Since the September meeting in Lynwood at St.John Fisher Parish, not much has been said in terms of the Pretoria Group of Faithful who are requesting the Traditional Latin Mass.

It would seem profitable to call another meeting so as to regroup and merge this group with those here in Johannesburg who have already been supplied with the Mass.

I hope to be in contact with the Pretoria Group and put forward my suggestions. Any further developments will be posted immediately.

In Christ and our Good Mother

Calvin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some more Beautiful Pictures of the First Latin Tridentine Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in nearly fourty years







Celebrant: Fr. Shaun Mary von Lillienfeld
Server: Andrew Martin
Pictures: Michael Poverello

How to Distinguish the True Faith from Heresy

Article taken from - http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/n026rp_Lerins_PreserveFaith.htm

"At the moment when many Catholics are making, or considering making, compromises with Progressivism regarding the New Mass and Vatican II, it seems to us opportune to remember the criteria to maintain the true Catholic Faith given by St. Vincent de Lerins.

Facing these compromises, Catholics are taking sides – “I will take the position of my team, not your team.” This is a superficial approach. Each one of us is individually responsible before God for the right or wrong position he takes.


St Vincent de Lerins



In the 5th century, St. Vincent of Lerins saw that the people were faced with various errors and heresies of Donatus, Arius, Photinus, Pelagius and others, and gave them this good advice on how they could know with security the true Catholic Faith. Even if it is taught by distinguished men or Prelates, the bad doctrine should not be accepted by Catholics, who should cling to Tradition and what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all [quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est]. Actually, he stated:
I have continually given the greatest pains and diligence to inquiring, from the greatest possible number of men outstanding in holiness and in doctrine, how I can secure a type of fixed and, as it were, general, guiding principle for distinguishing the true Catholic Faith from the degraded falsehoods of heresy.

And the answer that I receive is always to this effect: That if I wish, or indeed if anyone wishes, to detect the deceits of heretics that arise and to avoid their snares and to keep healthy and sound in a robust faith, we ought, with the Lord's help, to fortify our faith in a twofold manner, first, that is, by the authority of God's Law, then, by the tradition of the Catholic Church.

Here, it may be, someone will ask: ‘Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and is in itself abundantly sufficient, what need is there to join to it the interpretation of the Church?’ The answer is that because of the profundity itself of Scripture, all men do not place the same interpretation upon it. The statements of the same writer are explained by different men in different ways, so much so that it seems almost possible to extract from it as many opinions as there are men. Novatian expounds in one way, Sabellius in another, Donatus in another, Arius, Eunomius and Macedonius in another, Photinus, Apollinaris and Priscillian in another, Jovinian, Pelagius and Caelestius in another, and latterly Nestorius in another. Therefore, because of the intricacies of error, which is so multiform, there is great need for the laying down of a rule for the exposition of Prophets and Apostles in accordance with the standard of the interpretation of the Catholic Church.

Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic,' as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself, we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, Bishops and Doctors alike.

What then will the Catholic Christian do, if a small part of the Church has cut itself off from the communion of the universal Faith? The answer is sure. He will prefer the healthiness of the whole body to the morbid and corrupt limb.

But what if some novel contagions try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty.

What if in antiquity itself two or three men, or it may be a city, or even a whole province be detected in error? Then he will take the greatest care to prefer the decrees of the ancient General Councils, if there are such, to the irresponsible ignorance of a few men.

But what if some error arises regarding which nothing of this sort is to be found? Then he must do his best to compare the opinions of the Fathers and inquire their meaning, provided always that, though they belonged to diverse times and places, they yet continued in the faith and communion of the one Catholic Church; and let them be teachers approved and outstanding. And whatever he shall find to have been held, approved and taught, not by one or two only but by all equally and with one consent, openly, frequently, and persistently, let him take this as to be held by him without the slightest hesitation.

The Vincentian Canon, in Commonitorium, chap IV, 434,
[ed. Moxon, Cambridge Patristic Texts]

Some Beautiful Pictures of the First Latin Tridentine Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King in nearly fourty years




Rev.Fr. Shaun Mary von Lillienfeld celebrates the tridentine latin Mass for the first time within the Cathedral walls after a period of about fourty years since the implementation of the Novous Ordo reforms of 1969.

Updates on the TLM at Christ the King

The organising committee of Una Voce SA is pleased to announce that a unique event will take place on the 21st December 2008. The first celebration in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass, Tridentine Mass) on a Sunday in the Cathedral of Christ the King in close on forty years.

This will be a low mass begining at 11:30am.

The Cathedral of Christ the King is located at the corner of Saratoga Ave. and End Street, Johannesburg. Parking is available

We wish to express our thanks to the Cathedral Administrator Fr. Shaun Mary von Lillienfeld who will be celebrant.

If you would like us to keep you informed please send an e-mail to christopher.cordeiro@yahoo.co.uk with the phrase TLM in the subject line. For more information visit our blog http://unavocesa.blogspot.com/ .

It would assist the organisers if those who would like to attend would e-mail me to indicate how many will be coming. But this is not a requirement and we would be very happy to see you.

The mass will be followed by a meet-and-greet with tea and cake. If possible kindly bring something small to eat at the meet-and- greet.

The Traditional Latin Mass is also celebrated at the Cathedral every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at 17:30pm and on Saturday mornings at 7:30am. On the first Sunday of every month it is celebrated at 11:30am. The schedule for December/ January is as follows:

Sundays:
21st December 2008 11:30am Low Mass followed by tea and cake.
4th January 2009 11:30am Low Mass.

Weekdays & Saturday:
Tuesdays, Thursdays 17:30pm
Saturdays, 7:30am

Exceptions/Additional Masses
No 5:30pm Mass on Reconciliation Day (Tuesday 16th) replaced with a TLM at 10:00am on that day.
No 5:30pm Mass on Christmas Day (Thursday 25th) replaced with a TLM at 10:00am 26th December - Feast of St. Stephen.

Christopher Cordeiro
Acting national co-ordinator, Una Voce SA.

PS: Please forward this message to every Catholic that you know. Even if they live outside the JHB Archdiocese, they may have friends who live in Johannesburg.

The Beauty of Marianhill Monastery, recollections on return from the Coast




Here are some shots of the Monastery itself, the cloister and a interior view of the Church Proper. Unfortunatly the Magnificence of the Church Proper has been lost since the 'reforms' of the Vatican Council. Prior to this, one could obviously immagine what the place looked like with high altar in place.

Article taken from http://www.mariannhill.org/dcms/sites/cmm/english/geschichte/mariannhill_entsteht.html

"MARIANNHILL
The name alone arouses curiosity. Its founder, Abbot Francis Pfanner fascinates. Its history offers something amazing. Thomas Merton has spoken about the missionary work of Mariannhill in these terms:
Here was the astonishing spectacle of a Trappist mission in which the contemplative monks had achieved in few short years, a success more spectacular than many active order had dared dream of. The most astounding thing about this new mission was that it was operating on purely Benedictine lines. It was an apostolate of prayer and labour (ORA ET LABORA), of liturgy and the plough. What was taking place in the outposts established by Dom Francis Pfanner was exactly the same process that had marked the Christianization of Germany and all northern Europe by the Benedictine monks hundreds of year before.(1)
Furthermore, after having visited the Mariannhill mission Mahatma Gandhi sang its praises.
In time this missionary work of Abbot Francis and of his monastery, dedicated to Mary and Saint Ann, brought about "an Order within an Order". Contemplation and intense missionary activity meant a marriage that the Order of the Reformed Cistercians could not bless.
So in 1909 Pope Pius X decided to separate Mariannhill from this Order. The Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill was thus born. A providential birth that would make the expansion of this remarkable work possible! The new family will draw its fundamental inspiration from Abbot Francis. this great missionary monk, and from his monastic community, missionary like him. Everything had started in 1882 with the initiative of this courageous apostle: when he founded his monastery that year, he had already received from Rome the mandate to go and "spread the light that enlightens the nations."
1999 was the year of the 90th anniversary of the death of Abbot Francis Pfanner (May 24). It was at the same time the 90th anniversary of the separation of Mariannhill from the Order of the Reformed Cistercians (February 2), in other words of the birth of the Missionaries of Mariannhill. Can we blame the spiritual sons of Mariannhill for being proud of their origins? For wanting to talk about their family? Obviously, it is out of the question for them to claim as their own the merits of the generous years of the beginning. Nevertheless, "noblesse oblige": they ought to go and draw from these roots of theirs the sap of a new spring shoot. They ought to permeate the present with the dynamism of their past. They cannot keep for themselves alone the wealth of their heritage, while always remaining open to the Spirit who "blows where he wills."
Here are the yesterday and the today of the Missionaries of Mariannhill. This Web page is in some way an identity card. May it give rise to other encounters with our religious community! Maybe to friendly regular contacts! Maybe - who knows? - to an active cooperation! May God make the prophetic vision and great power of attraction and of persuasion of Abbot Francis still bear fruit today! The Kingdom of God has no end. Nothing can hinder its expansion

(1) In The Waters of Siloe, Harcourt, Brace and company, New York, 1949, (1st edition), page 1157.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

JHB TLM Schedule Dec/Jan‏

The following is the Traditional Latin Mass Schedule at Christ the King Cathedral for December 2008/January 2009.

Sundays:
21st December 2008 11:30am Low Mass followed by tea and cake.
4th January 2009 11:30am Low Mass.

Weekdays & Saturday:
Tuesdays, Thursdays 17:30pm
Saturdays, 7:30am

Exceptions/Additional Masses
No 5:30pm Mass on Christmas Day (Thursday 25th) replaced with a TLM at 10:00am 26th December - Feast of St. Stephen.

The 'Official' return of the Latin Mass to Johannesburg

From Christopher Cordeiro


Friends,

A big thank you to all of you, those who could attend and those who couldn't but have been praying for us. A special thanks to Fr. Shaun, the celebrant and to Andrew Martin who served the Mass. Also to Megan at the Cathedral who prepared the altar. My friend, Michael Poverello, came to the rescue with his camera and took the official photographs. I knew that I would forget something and just prayed that it would't be something like an altar card. Half-way to the Cathedral I realised that it was my camera. Our Lord sent us not only a camera but a skilled photographer.

The mass was a great success, if we can speak in these terms about the Holy Sacrifice. About 70 people attended and the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral was packed to overflowing. I have already received a number of e-mails from people who were deeeply moved.

I am still a bit overwhelmed by the experience, but will hopefully eventually find the right words to use and will post an article on the Una Voce SA blog. http://unavocesa.blogspot.com/

Michael's photo's will also be there.

Please keep inviting friends and family to the weekday masses.

On the 21st December at 11:30am we will have the first Sunday TLM Mass followed by a small reception. I will in the course of this week and the next be asking all of you to help to publicise this event and to help in a number of other ways. My hope is to reach as many people in the Archdiocese as possible with the news of the Sunday mass.

As soon as I have a moment I will respond individually to those of you who have e-mailed me.

God Bless

Christopher

Sunday, November 30, 2008

ORATE FRATRES, TLM is back after 40 years!

Indeed Brethren, pray! After a period of nearly forty years the Tridentine Latin Mass will again be celebrated here in the archdiocese beginning tomorrow at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Feast of St. Bibiana.

The schedule for TLM masses for the first week in December is as follows:

Cathedral of Christ the King
Saratoga Ave. and End Street
Johannesburg.

Tuesday (2nd December) 17:30 (Beggining Tomorrow December 2nd)
Thursday (4th December) 17:30
Saturday (6th December) 07:30

I beg your prayers for this wonderful occasion, indeed the prayers of many will accompany Father as he pronounces for the first time within forty years ' Introibo ad altare Dei', we thank God for his great providence in answering the prayers of many of his faithful children, in restoring the Tridentine Latin Mass back to its rightful place within Holy Mother Church.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Modern Ecumenism is a Fraud

Article taken from Catholic Aplogetics
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/
"A Novel and Deadly Force Ravages the Church
Originally Published in
Crying in the Wilderness Newsletter



The purpose of this expose is not simply to throw stones at modern ecumenism, but to warn faithful Catholics to the danger of surrendering their "pearl of great price'; their one true Holy Roman Catholic Faith to the liberal spirit of the age.

Modern Ecumenism is a Fraud


In the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia, the word "Ecumenism" does not even appear. It goes straight through from Ecuador to Ecumenical Council to Edda. The heading Ecumenical Council contains nothing more than this: "ECUMENICAL COUNCIL: SEE COUNCILS, GENERAL"

In the 1965 Catholic Encyclopedia, however, no less than seven pages are devoted to the "Ecumenical Movement': Ecumenism is, therefore, a twentieth century phenomenon. In the short span of sixty years, ecumenism as we know it today, has come from a state of non-existence, to being the integral fabric of the "New Theology of the Church."

Definition of Ecumenism


The Ecumenical Movement is basically the movement toward reunion of all Churches into a single Church, one in body, but not necessarily holding the same religious tenets... spotlighting things we have in common, hush-hushing those things which divide us. Should you ask, however, ten different theologians of ten denominations for a definition of ecumenism, chances are you would receive ten slightly different replies. This is the greatest weakness of ecumenism. it is a slippery sloppy expression devoid of any solid orthodox definition. It thus avails itself of ambiguity and double talk--as do subversive movements in general. The Second Vatican Council had a great deal to say about ecumenism, without ever giving the definition of the word!

Prior to 1960, the Catholic Church had always kept the Ecumenical Movement at arms length from the mystical Body of Christ, now and then touching it with the proverbial ten-foot pole, but never taking an active part.

Any student of ecclesiastical history will tell you that the Roman Catholic Church's particular charism was to clarify the truth in times of confusion and, to counter what was novel or erroneous by clinging to and defining what she has always believed since the time of the Apostles. Thus when Martin Luther denied so much of what the Roman Church held true, she took care of this problem at the Council of Trent... defining in detail each one of the Seven Sacraments, indulgences, justification, etc. The Church does not invent new doctrines at these councils, but defines and clarifies in a solemn and official manner what she has always believed. The Councils of the past took the Church and the world from a time of confusion, into a period of theological stability. Unfortunately, Vatican II is the first council in the history of the Church that did not help in this regard. As a matter of fact, we must regretfully admit that all evidence clearly shows she only made things far worse.

Origin of Ecumenism


The ecumenical movement as it exists today owes its origin to a conference of Protestant missionaries at Edinburgh in 1910. Its original purpose was among Protestant missionaries of different denominations to promote a spirit of collaboration in order to "evangelize" the pagan world. Doctrinal differences were to be played down... unity of action and what was held in common by all was to be exalted.

It was during this time that Charles Brent, an American Episcopal Bishop of the Philippines conceived the idea of assembling a great conference of delegates from all Christian confessions. A second conference was formed shortly after by Brent called the "Conference on Faith and Order." In 1919, the Holy See being invited to send delegates, politely declined. Pope Benedict XV explained that although his earnest desire was one fold and one shepherd, it would be impossible for the Catholic Church to join with others in search of unity. As for the Church of Christ, it is already one and could not give the appearance of searching for itself or for its own unity. It is reported that the Holy Father did not disapprove of the movement as something outside the Catholic Church, but by his own words it is obvious he knew it was not only futile, but dangerous and even scandalous to the Catholic Faithful to participate in seeking unity in such a manner.

It was through this movement that the World Council of Churches was born.

Mortalium Animos and Humani Generis


There is no doubt that certain priests and theologians, influenced by a distorted notion of Christian Charity became interested in this "Movement of Unity", and that many were literally straining at the leash to take part. Thus Pope Pius XI was moved to provide the excellent Catholic guidance he did in his 1928 encyclical Mortalium Animos, (ON FOSTERING TRUE RELIGIOUS UNITY) an encyclical which, for obvious reasons, is seldom quoted these days. Pope Pius XII also sounded the alarm to this error in his great 1950 encyclical Humani Generis (TREATING CERTAIN FALSE OPINIONS THAT THREATEN TO RUIN THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH). He warned of those who wished to "reduce to a minimum the meaning of Catholic dogmas..." and "the desire to do away with the barriers that divide good and honest men. "The term he employed was "eirenism" calling it a "serious danger" because "it is concealed beneath the mask of virtue."(See Humani Generis par. 12 to 25). Father Vincent Micelli has called this "the Forgotten Encyclical". It seems more likely that it was not forgotten, but vehemently ignored! Strangely enough, the very acts considered immoral by both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII were urged upon Catholics following the 1962-65 Council as being suddenly justified by the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II."

Ecumenism Prevailed at the Council


I must be here noted that Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies which had been condemned and effectively brought under control by Pope St. Pius X was nevertheless alive and well underground as St. Pius X expressed it, "within the very bosom of the Church." The Second Vatican Council brought all the world's bishops and their most "prestigious" theologians to gather in Rome, and to the great tragedy of the Church, the liberal and modernist element prevailed.2 The fruits of which are strikingly before our eyes. A spirit of Ecumania became rampant at this time. No longer was the first concern "is it orthodox?", but "is it ecumenical?': A lust for change and innovation was inexplicably brought to a euphoric height! Protestants and schismatics were invited to attend the Council not to participate, but to come as observers. A few bishops noted this made it somewhat awkward to debate issues where their errors were involved. The New Rite of Mass was conceived by this spirit of ecumenism. This is why it so closely resembles a Protestant service. The "Ecumenical Spirit" has been the primary formative principle in the whole range of the new liturgical and sacramental forms established by the new Church. In the immediate wake of Vatican II, the entire Catholic world was suddenly rocked off its axis by profound and unprecedented changes blasting their way through the entire Church with inexhaustible energy and intense fury. The unfortunate Catholic laity, who certainly did not ask for this revolution, and who were totally unaware of what their leaders had in store for them were taken completely by surprise. The Council, therefore, was like a great launch pad supporting the rocket of ecumenism about to blast its way violently through every single parish church, every religious community, and every seminary in the world.

Modern Ecumenism: An Ecclesiastical Swamp!


The difference between a river and a swamp is great! A swamp has no banks, and the waters mish-mash wherever they will. A swamp is useless as a waterway, as a source of life for fish, or for cleansing. Whereas a river has fixed banks which keep the waters flowing in the proper direction. Since it has boundaries, and depth, and width, it can be a great source of life, health, and practical benefit.

Modern ecumenism is a swamp! We have been sling-shot into this Ecumenical Movement without a clear definition of ecumenism itself, and what are to be the safe guidelines for ecumenism... in other words, where does one stop? All ecumenical activity, no matter how scandalous or ludicrous is justified by appealing to Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism... which, along with the other Council documents, is lacking in definition and is deliberately ambiguous. On this point, Cardinal Ruffini expressed particular concern that the Decree on Ecumenism failed to provide any adequate definition of the word "ecumenism" itself... a dangerous factor since the word is used in a different sense by Protestants and Catholics. But this was no accident! The liberal Dutch theologian Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, a periti at Vatican II admitted: "We have used ambiguous terms during the Council and we know how we shall interpret them afterwards."

Likely, the reason why no definition of Ecumenism was given by the Second Vatican Council for its use of the term "ecumenism" was that if the actual intent of the Decree of Ecumenism was openly declared, any well informed Catholic of good will would have repudiated it, and the value of the Decree as an instrument of subversion would have been lost. At face value, how could any true Catholic subscribe to the absurd notion that a religious unity according to God's will is possible by playing down any aspect whatsoever of God's revelation concerning Himself, His Church, and our salvation only to magnify what is believed "in common"? It's as if twenty centuries of Catholic Teaching and Tradition should bow down before the great "messiah" of ecumenism and utter the immortal words` "it must increase, and the Church of Christ must decrease."

All Religions on the Same Footing


The great danger of ecumenism is that it places all religions on the same footing. Modern ecumenism would have us believe that all men of whatever religious persuasion are equally "on their way to God." They are merely taking different means to get there... so if you re a Protestant, be a GOOD Protestant, if you're a Jew, be a GOOD Jew, if you're a Moslem, be a GOOD MOSLEM, if you’re a Hindu, be a GOOD Hindu. God is portrayed as being at the summit of a mountain, and there are many roads and paths up that mountain that lead to Him. ANY MAN IS FREE TO CHOOSE THE PATH HE WILL. TO GOD IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHICH ROAD A MAN CHOOSES TO COME TO HIM. CERTAINLY NO MAN CAN DECLARE HIMSELF TO HAVE THE "ONLY WAY!"

Now once Catholics get the bug of "Ecumenitis" into their bloodstream, the infection can only bring about spiritual sickness and death. They will start to be careless about their own Catholicism. They will join in worship with persons of false religions and end by abandoning the True Church of Christ. They will come to look upon the Seven Sacraments as merely "optional" means of grace, no better than the ceremonies of other cults... free to use, free to reject with no consequences upon their eternal salvation.

Modern ecumenism is therefore strikingly at odds with the mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ to His Apostles when He entrusted them with His Divine Law, established His Church with Peter as the head, (Matt. 16: 18-19) and gave them the Divine commission to "Go... and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. 18:19). It ignores the warning of Christ when he told us "no-one comes to the Father but through Me."(John 14:6) and furthermore, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned."(Mark 16:16) It is in opposition to the will of Christ: "There shall be one fold and one Shepherd," (John 10:16) He being the Shepherd. Modern ecumenism is opposed to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ... it is ecclesiastical lunacy.

An Ecumenical Moses?


The book of Exodus tells us of Moses coming down the Mountain of God with the tablets of the Law... the Ten Commandments. Now there were twelve tribes of Israel. Suppose one of the tribes, just say the tribe of Juda, after examining the 10 Commandments distinguished themselves saying "We'll accept all the Commandments except Commandments 8 and 10,"and solidified their protestation proclaiming "We cannot and will not recant!" Do you think Moses would have pursued "ecumenical dialogue" with these people, or danced around in a state of ecumenical euphoria exuberant over the fact that they at least agree with him in regard to the other eight? Furthermore, do you think he would have made sure that in the Israelite's liturgies and religious services there be no mention of the 6th and 8th Commandment because he did not wish to offend the tribe of Juda? In doing this, would Moses be serving God's design, or a perverted human design? Is not the answer ferociously obvious?

And is this not what we see to have happened in the wake of Vatican II and the euphoria over ecumenism? Whose ends are being served in this novel approach to false religions, Christ's designs, or a perverted human design? Just as Moses would have had absolutely no right to play down, or worse yet, be ashamed of the revelation of which God had made him the custodian, so too no authority in the Catholic Church has any right whatsoever to be ashamed of the revelation of which God has made them custodian... sweeping even the smallest particle of Catholic Truth under the ecumenical carpet so as not to offend disbelievers. Such activities subvert the mission of Christ causing irreparable scandal not only to the faithful, but to all non-Catholics as well, each of whom we should regard as a Catechumen in spe (a prospective catechumen) Such a thing is an abandonment of the Evangelical Law in principle and a repudiation of Christianity itself. "Not one jot or tittle shall be lost from the Law" our Lord says, (Matt. 5. 18) and "he who does away with one of these least commandments and so teaches men, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 5 18-19).

Why is it a Fraud?


Modern Ecumenism is a fraud because it is a false principle "concealed beneath the mask of virtue." It can only operate to the destruction of the Catholic Church. Though it deserves a more full and lengthy treatment than presented here, the most striking problems are:

1) IT SUBVERTS THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST.

The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ. Christ came to redeem man from sin and teach him what he must believe and do in order to gain salvation. Christ came also to govern and sanctify... and we must accept the full message of Christ, not a slim or distorted portion of it. This full message of Christ is found in the Catholic Church alone. Ecumenism will have us play down or diminish Catholic Truth for the sake of ecumenical union. It will have us leave people alone in their religious error, and acknowledge that all religions, both true and false, are all parallel ways to God. ECUMENISM, THEREFORE, ACCEPTS THE FALSE AND DANGEROUS PRINCIPLE THAT THE FULL MESSAGE OF CHRIST AND HIS ONE TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION. The Church loses her role as teacher of mankind ("The Roman Church is the Mother and teacher of all the churches." {Dogma of Faith} Vatican I). "Go forth and teach" has been transformed into "Go forth and dialogue."

2) IT PLACES A MERE EXTERNAL/MATERIAL UNION OF RELIGIOUS BODIES AS ITS HIGHEST POSSIBLE GOOD.

Theological truth and the acceptance of it is no longer the primary aspect of religion. On the contrary it becomes a simmering-of-all-religions together in a kind of "Ecumenical Stew" where each one must boil out his own distinctive taste in order to blend with the other ingredients. IN CONTRAST TO THE TRUTH THAT GOD HAS REVEALED TO MANKIND, THEIRS IS AN EXTERNAL UNION WHERE THERE IS NO UNION OF TRUTH AND THUS NO UNION AT ALL. God demands that He be believed and worshiped in truth, that is according to what He is, and what He has told us. Ecumenism ignores all this and places not truth, but the blueprint of a kind of "United Nations of Religions" as its highest possible end. This is false religion. (It should be noted that no other religious body has made such sweeping changes for the sake of Ecumenism than has the post-Vatican II Church. Protestants, Jews, Moslems, etc. have not changed anything... only Catholicism.)

3) THE FIRST CASUALTY IN THE SEARCH FOR UNITYIS CATHOLIC UNITY

The authorities in our Holy Church have sacrificed their own unity on the altar of ecumenism causing a severe fragmentation of the Catholic Church in the name oi unity, to the point where we find, if we may use "big-media" terminology, everything from the "extreme right" to the "extreme left" within our parishes, within our seminaries, within our chanceries... with a heavy emphasis on the left, and a curious intolerance of the right. If "following one's own conscience" and "sincerity" be the only barometer of religion, then it necessarily follows that this will immediately strike and disintegrate the unity of the Church. ECUMENISM IS UNITY AT THE EXPENSE OF CATHOLICISM!

May Catholics Question Vatican II's Ecumenism?


Vatican ll was not a doctrinal Council... it did not make any solemn definitions binding our conscience on Faith and Morals. It was a pastoral Council... a Council for guiding souls. We may therefore, be permitted to ask "To where have we been guided?" At the close of the Council, the Bishops asked Cardinal Felici for that which theologians call the "theological note" of the Council. He replied "We have to distinguish according to the schemas and the chapters those which have already been the subject of dogmatic definitions; as for the declarations which have a novel character, we have to make reservations." Now ecumenism is clearly a novelty. The practice of modern ecumenism is clearly in contradiction to the teaching and actions of previous Popes, and the effect of ecumenism is a disastrous and catastrophic path bulldozed through the entire Church, the uprooting of the very foundations of the Faith, and the shattering of every aspect of Catholic Truth down to the last molecule. Ecumenism is an ecclesiastical atom bomb! It is at the very heart of the present crisis of Faith. Catholics are completely within their rights, therefore, to "make reservations" and even resist this questionable "novelty" of ecumenism.

This does not mean, however, that Catholics and non-Catholics cannot work together in the civil order for the common good, as Bishop Duane Hunt put it in 1949, "even if we cannot be united in faith, we can be united in good works." All men of good will can and should rally their forces and present a united front against the onslaught of militant atheism in the East, and soft-sophisticated atheism in the West. It is necessary to unite and fight these great evils in all their forms, but this does not mean Catholics are to be coerced into sacrificing one iota of Catholic Truth in these endeavors, particularly within the very household of the Faith.

The Only True Unity: The Catholic Church


No matter what the odds, we must diligently and unceasingly work toward all men coming within the fold of the one true Church. As far as Christ is concerned, nothing else will do. Even if this idea seems "next to impossible" in our day - another illusion - we must not abandon this ideal, for the eternal salvation of the non-Catholic depends on it. It is only cowardice, lack of conviction, and a distorted notion of Christian Charity that looks to ecumenism for the answer. Let us fervently pray that perhaps, through the grace of God, we may return to the Catholic principle of Pope Pius XI who in his no-nonsense 1928 Encyclical Mortalium Animos,(ON FOSTERING TRUE RELIGIOUS UNITY) left no room for doubt:

"lt seems opportune to expound and refute a certain false opinion on which that complex movement by which non-Catholics seek to bring union of Christian Churches depends. They add that the Church, in itself, or of its nature, is divided into sections, that is to say, that it is made up of several churches or distinct communities, which still remains separate, and although having certain articles of doctrine in common, nevertheless, disagree concerning the remainder; that these all enjoy the same rights; and thus, in their contention, the Church was one and undivided from, at the most, the Apostolic age until the First Ecumenical Council. Controversies, therefore, they say, and longstanding differences of opinion, which have kept asunder till the present day members of the Christian family, must be entirely put aside, and for the remaining doctrines a common form of faith drawn up and proposed for belief, in the profession of which all may not only know but feel that they are brothers... They go on to say that the Roman Catholic Church also has erred, and has corrupted the original religion by adding and proposing for belief certain doctrines , which are not only alien to the Gospel, but repugnant to it... meanwhile, they affirm that they would willingly treat with the Church of Rome, but on equal terms, that is, as equals with an equal... This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See cannot on any terms take part in their assemblies, nor is it lawful for Catholics to support or to work for such enterprises; for if they do so, they will give countenance to a false Christianity, quite alien to the one Church of Christ... Who, then, can conceive a Christian Federation, the members of which retain each his own opinion and private judgement, in matters which concern the very object of Faith, even though they may be repugnant to the opinion of the rest? ...Unity can arise only from one teaching authority, one law of belief, and one faith of Christians... the union of Christians can only be furthered by promoting the return to the true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it."

This traditional teaching on Christian unity (ecumenism) was set forth, again, in the Instructio de Motione Oecumenica(Instruction of the Ecumenical Movement, A.A.S., 31 January 1950) published by the Holy Office on 20 December 1949, which emphasizes the teaching of Pius XI in his encyclical Mortalium Animos of 1928. (Information added to original)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A few weeks away, Deo Gratias



Dearest Friends of the Traditional Latin Mass,

We are just weeks away from having the TLM celebrated 'officially' in the Archdiocese. The first celebrations of Holy Mass should take place within the first weeks of Advent, twice a week as a low mass.

I hope to have the privilege of assisting at the mass as one of the very few altar 'boys' who have knowledge of serving the TLM. I beg you all to thank God with me for this great gift to us Catholics here in Johannesburg. As of yet both Father ,as well as those older gentlemen who have knowledge of serving mass have to further refine and correct a few things before the Mass is officially reintroduced into the Archdiocese.

With regard to the place, The Cathedral shall provide the first venue for the reintroduction of the TLM, one is forced to think of the wonder of the ways of God. What better place to reintroduce the Sacred liturgy of 1962, other than the Mother Church of the Archdiocese?

After much pain and suffering , our prayers have been answered, we can only continue to pray that this one seed might take root in the hearts of many and spread with the help of our Loving Father.

Updates will be posted as soon as they are made known to me.

In Christ and our Good Mother

Calvin James Montgomery
President
Summorum Pontificum Johannesburg

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letter to Friends and Benefactors SSPX

Dear Friends and Benefactors,



In this letter, I would have liked to give you first of all some news about the internal life of the Society. However, current events in the Church at large and especially concerning the developments in favor of Tradition compel us to dwell longer upon these topics of a more external nature, because of their importance. Once again, it seems to us necessary to tackle this subject, so as to express as clearly as possible something which might have caused some concern at the beginning of the summer.

As the media related in a rather surprising manner, I must say, we did receive an ultimatum from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos. But the thing is rather complex and needs to be clarified in order to be well understood. A glance back at recent past events will help us to grasp things a little more clearly.



1. Our Pre-conditions

From the very first times when Rome approached us and proposed some solutions, that is, at the beginning of 2001, we clearly stated that the manner in which Church authorities were treating the problems raised by those who desired to attempt the experience of Tradition with Rome did not inspire confidence in us. Logically we had to expect to be treated in like manner once the issue of our relationship with Rome would have been settled. Since that time, and in order to protect ourselves, we have been asking for concrete actions which would unequivocally show Rome’s intentions towards us: the Traditional Mass for all priests, and the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication. These two measures were not sought directly in view of gaining some advantage for ourselves, but to re-instill into the Mystical Body a breath of traditional life, and thus, indirectly, help to bring about a sound rapprochement between the Society and Rome.

The first responses were hardly engaging and were rather a confirmation of our misgivings: it was not possible to grant freedom for the Mass, because, in spite of the realization that the Mass had never been abrogated, some bishops and faithful thought it might be repudiation of Paul VI and of the liturgical reform… As for the excommunication, it would be lifted at the time of the agreement.

In spite of this demurrer, we did not cut the slender thread of fairly difficult relations, aware as we were that what is at stake far exceeds our own plight. It is not a matter of persons, but of an attitude which for centuries has been that of all the members of the Church, and which remains ours, unlike the new spirit, called “the spirit of Vatican II.” And it is obvious for us that this new spirit is at the root, and is the main cause of the present misfortunes of Holy Mother Church. Hence, the basic motivation behind our actions and our relations with the Roman authorities has always been to do prudently all we can to bring about the return of the Church to what she cannot deprive herself of without rushing headlong to suicide.

Our situation is very delicate: on the one hand, we recognize both the Roman authorities and the local bishops as legitimate. But on the other hand, we contest some of their decisions, because, in various degrees, they are opposed to what the Magisterium always taught and ordered. In this, there is no pretense on our part of setting ourselves as judges or of picking and choosing. It is nothing more than the expression of an extremely painful observation of a contradiction which goes against both our Catholic consciences and faith. Such a situation is extremely grave, and cannot be treated with levity. This is also the reason why we move only very slowly and with the utmost prudence. If we are obviously greatly interested in obtaining a situation which is concretely livable in the Church, the clear awareness of the much more profound key issue which we have just described, forbids us to place the two issues on an equal footing. It is so clear for us that the issue of the faith and of the spirit of faith has priority over all that we cannot consider a practical solution before the first issue is safely resolved. Holy Mother Church always taught us that we had to be ready to lose everything, even our own life, rather than lose the faith.

What is strange is that the blows are now coming from within the Church, and that is the stark reality of the drama through which we are living.



2 – In 2007, One of the Pre-conditions was Fulfilled, the Motu Proprio

In 2007, the new Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI finally granted the first point we had requested, the traditional Mass for the priests all over the world. We are deeply grateful for this personal gesture from the pope. And it causes us a great joy, because we have a great hope that we can see in this a renewal for the whole Mystical Body. Yet, the Motu Proprio has become (because of the very nature of what it states and gives back, i.e. the traditional Mass), the object of the fight we mentioned earlier in this letter because the traditional worship is opposed to the cult which meant to be “new”, the “novus ordo missæ”. It has become an occasion of fight between the progressivists, who give lip service to their full ecclesial communion while they more or less openly oppose the orders and the dispositions coming from the Sovereign Pontiff, and the conservatives, who consequently find themselves in a situation where they resist their bishops… So whom are we to obey? The progressivists know quite well that what is at stake is much more than a liturgical dispute. In spite of the efforts of the Motu Proprio to minimize opposition by affirming continuity, what is at stake is the very fate of a Council which meant to be pastoral, and which was applied in such a way that Paul VI already could speak of the “self-destruction of the Church.”



3 – Hope of a Rapid Fulfillment of Second Pre-condition

This first step of Rome in our direction gave us to hope that a second would soon follow. Some signs seemed to point this way. But, whereas we had long ago proposed the itinerary we had mapped out, it would seem that Rome has decided to follow another route. In spite of our reiterated request for the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication, and as it seemed that there was no longer any major obstacle to prevent the accomplishment of this act, we witnessed a sudden turn of events: Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos wants to impose upon us conditions before going any further, even though we had clearly said that we expected a unilateral act. Our attitude seems to him ungrateful towards the Sovereign Pontiff, and even worse: haughty and proud, since we continue to openly denounce the evils from which the Church is suffering. Our latest Letter to Friends and Benefactors particularly aroused his displeasure. This earned for us an ultimatum, the precise conditions of which we still have not yet been able to figure out. For either we accept the canonical solution, or we will be declared schismatic!

When we take a stand this is interpreted as a delay, a voluntary procrastination. Our intentions and our good will to discuss really with Rome are doubted. They do not understand why we do not want an immediate canonical solution. For Rome, the problem of the Society would be resolved by that practical agreement; doctrinal discussions would be avoided or postponed. For us, each day brings additional proofs that we must clarify to the maximum the underlying issues before taking one more step toward a canonical situation, which is not in itself displeasing to us. But this is a matter of following the order of the nature of things, and to start from the wrong end would unavoidably place us in an unbearable situation. We have daily proofs of this. What is at stake is nothing more nor less than our future existence. We cannot, and will not leave any ambiguity subsist on the issue of the acceptation of the Council, of the reforms, of the new attitudes which are either being tolerated or fostered.

Confronted with these new difficulties, we take the liberty of appealing once more to your generosity. Given the success of our first rosary Crusade to obtain the return of the Tridentine Mass, we would now like to offer to Our Lady a new bouquet of a million rosaries (5 decades) to obtain the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication through her intercession. From November 1st until the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, we will take it to heart to pray with renewed fervor that, in these difficult hours of history, the Holy Father may fulfill with fidelity his august functions in accordance with the wish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the good of all the Church. We are utterly convinced that such a gesture coming from the Sovereign Pontiff would have as profound an effect on the Mystical Body as the freedom of the traditional liturgy.

Indeed, the excommunication did not cut us off from the Church, but it has driven away a good number of her members from the Church’s past and from her Tradition. And she cannot deprive herself of them without suffering serious harm. It is truly obvious that Holy Mother Church cannot ignore her past, since she has received everything and is still to this day receiving everything from her divine founder, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the excommunication, what has been censured and penalized is the very attitude which specified the combat of Archbishop Lefebvre, i.e. this relationship to the Church’s past and to her Tradition. Since then, because of this reprobation, many fear to come to the sources of living water which alone can bring back the good old days of Holy Mother Church. Yet, Archbishop Lefebvre did nothing more than adopt the attitude of St. Paul, to the extent that he requested that the following words be engraved on his tomb: “Tradidi quod et accepi”—I have handed down what I have received. Did not St. Pius X himself write that the “true friends of the Church are not the revolutionaries, nor the innovators, but the traditionalists”?

For this reason, dear faithful, we launch again this Rosary Crusade on the occasion of our pilgrimage to Lourdes for the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin. We thank the Mother of God for the maternal protection she extended over us during all these years, and especially for the twenty years since the episcopal consecrations. We entrust to her all your intentions for yourselves, your families and your work. To her we entrust our future and beg for this fidelity to the faith and to the Church without which no one can work out his salvation.

I thank you wholeheartedly for your untiring generosity which enables us to continue the magnificent work founded by Archbishop Lefebvre. We ask our good Mother in Heaven to protect you and to keep you all in her Immaculate Heart.



Menzingen, October 23, 2008, on the feast of St. Anthony-Mary Claret



+Bernard Fellay

SSPX Pilgrimage to Lourdes

Some woderful pictures of the Society's pilgimage to Lourdes



Archbishop Raymond Burk, on Benedict XVI's Reform of the Reform



Archbishop Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in an interview given to Inside the Vatican Magazine, confirmed the Sovereign Pontiff's intentions toward the reform of the liturgy, indeed by stating that with the release of Summorum Pontificum, the intended result is the influence of the extraordinary on the ordinary, this is already evident in the changes that have already been made at the Vatican and elsewhere around the globe.




"7. You were also very supportive of groups in St Louis, wishing to make use of Summorum Pontificum. With the looser restrictions in the celebration of the Old Mass, is the movement for tradition likely to grow, and what effect is this likely to have on the liturgical reform?

Pope Benedict XVI has made clear his reasons for the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, among which is the enrichment of the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite through the celebration of the Extraordinary Form. Such enrichment will be natural, since the Ordinary Form developed organically from what is now the Extraordinary Form. The more that the faithful come to appreciate the Extraordinary Form, the more they will also come to understand the profound reality of every celebration of the Holy Mass, whether in the Extraordinary or Ordinary Form. If I understand the Holy Father correctly, with time, a further reform of the Sacred Liturgy may take place, which more fully draws upon the richness of the Extraordinary Form. The legislation given in Summorum Pontificum, I am convinced, will foster greatly the liturgical reform which was the goal of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Update on the effects of the Rosary Crusade,Decree for the removal of excommunications on the Pope's desk?

"Monday, November 03, 2008
IMPORTANT

From Spanish blog La Cigüeña de la Torre:



On the Holy Father's bureau stands a prepared decree which will lift that of excommunion, of 1988, which applied to the consecrating [Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer] and consecrated bishops [Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Alfonso de Galarreta, and Richard Williamson]. I mean removing the decree, and not absolving of the excommunication.

The thesis of the subjective element, extenuating or mitigating of fault, and, therefore, of the penalty, according to Canons 1323, 4 and 7, and 1324, 1, 8, and 3, has prevailed.



The information sounds highly credible, it matches recent events (including the Rosary Crusade), and Spanish conservative Catholic lawyer Francisco José Fernández de la Cigoña usually only posts on future events (such as the nomination of Bishops) when he is truly certain of the matter. Nonetheless, even if the information is accurate, there is no way of knowing when the Holy Father will sign the document, or when it will be made public.



The referenced canons of the Code of Canon Law (CIC) are the following:



Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:
...
4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
...
7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.

Can. 1324 §1. The perpetrator of a violation is not exempt from a penalty, but the penalty established by law or precept must be tempered or a penance employed in its place if the delict was committed:
...
8/ by a person who thought in culpable error that one of the circumstances mentioned in can. 1323, nn. 4 or 5 was present;
...
§3. In the circumstances mentioned in §1, the accused is not bound by a latae sententiae penalty"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Urgent Prayers Needed!

Of your charity , I ask of you all to please keep in your prayers three Salesian priests and an as of yet unknown number of students who were violently attacked yesterday evening at St. John Bosco retreat house in Daleside, south of Johannesburg. Fr's. Coleman, Ivo and Bruno were stabbed and beaten , Fr. J.Coleman's condition still remains serious.

Unfortunately such an event is not a uncommon occurrence here South Africa, and clearly shows the extent of the depravity which pervades throughout South African culture, indeed we are living in a Godless society. I beg you to please keep in your prayers, not only these three priests but also their attackers, who as of yet remain at large. We pray that our Lady , Help of Christians, may bring the light of Christ into their hearts.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In all humility forgive me

Reading through one of the comments left on the blog relating to a specific article, I was kindly made aware of one of my spelling mistakes.

I ask you as the readers of this blog to please excuse the occasional mishap when it comes to my spelling or grammar. Strange, you wouldn't believe that I graduated as a English major!

And so, please in the future, if it so happens that I misspell something or use the incorrect grammar, please contact me so that I may rectify it.

English with many other things came on a boat with my ancestors, so I beg you to forgive my sometimes careless use of the language.

In Christ and our Good Mother

Calvin

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monsignur Jan Jaworski , 22 June 1920 - 8 October 2008



Apostle of the Divine Mercy
Protanary Apostolic
Beloved Son of the Polish People

Requesicant in Pace!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From Bl.John XXIII on the Study of Latin

On the Promotion of the Study of Latin

by Pope John XXIII

The wisdom of the ancient world, enshrined in Greek and Roman literature, and the truly memorable teaching of ancient peoples, served, surely, to herald the dawn of the Gospel which Gods Son, "the judge and teacher of grace and truth, the light and guide of the human race,"1 proclaimed on earth.

Such was the view of the Church Fathers and Doctors. In these outstanding literary monuments of antiquity, they recognized mans spiritual preparation for the supernatural riches which Jesus Christ communicated to mankind "to give history its fulfilment."2


Thus the inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of mans past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, just, noble and beautiful.



Venerable languages

The Church has ever held the literary evidences of this wisdom in the highest esteem. She values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold. She has likewise welcomed the use of other venerable languages, which flourished in the East. For these too have had no little influence on the progress of humanity and civilization. By their use in sacred liturgies and in versions of Holy Scripture, they have remained in force in certain regions even to the present day, bearing constant witness to the living voice of antiquity.



A primary place

But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.


And since in Gods special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire— and that for so many centuries— it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See.3 Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.



The nature of Latin

Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.


Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin for mal structure. Its "concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity"4 makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.



Preservation of Latin by the Holy See

For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority "as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws."5 She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.


Thus the "knowledge and use of this language," so intimately bound up with the Church's life, "is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons."6 These are the words of Our Predecessor Pius XI, who conducted a scientific inquiry into this whole subject, and indicated three qualities of the Latin language which harmonize to a remarkable degree with the Church's nature. "For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time . . of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non vernacular."7



Universal

Since "every Church must assemble round the Roman Church,"8 and since the Supreme Pontiffs have "true episcopal power, ordinary and immediate, over each and every Church and each and every Pastor, as well as over the faith-full"9 of every rite and language, it seems particularly desirable that the instrument of mutual communication be uniform and universal, especially between the Apostolic See and the Churches which use the same Latin rite.


When, therefore, the Roman Pontiffs wish to instruct the Catholic world, or when the Congregations of the Roman Curia handle matters or draw up decrees which concern the whole body of the faithful, they invariably make use of Latin, for this is a maternal voice acceptable to countless nations.



Immutable

Furthermore, the Church's language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority. Thus if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. There would, moreover, be no language which could serve as a common and constant norm by which to gauge the exact meaning of other renderings.


But Latin is indeed such a language. It is set and unchanging. it has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.



Non-vernacular

Finally, the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.


In addition, the Latin language "can be called truly catholic."10 It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed "a treasure . . . of incomparable worth."11. It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church's teaching.12 It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.



Educational value of Latin

There can be no doubt as to the formative and educational value either of the language of the Romans or of great literature generally. It is a most effective training for the pliant minds of youth. It exercises, matures and perfects the principal faculties of mind and spirit. It sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for teaching highly intelligent thought and speech.



A natural result

It will be quite clear from these considerations why the Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin, and why they have prescribed its study and use by the secular and regular clergy, forecasting the dangers that would result from its neglect.



A resolve to uphold Latin

And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons—the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods 13—are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.


We believe that We made Our own views on this subject sufficiently clear when We said to a number of eminent Latin scholars:



"It is a matter of regret that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvelous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects. . . . Yet, in spite of the urgent need for science, Our own view is that the very contrary policy should be followed. The greatest impression is made on the mind by those things which correspond more closely to mans nature and dignity. And therefore the greatest zeal should be shown in the acquisition of whatever educates and ennobles the mind. Otherwise poor mortal creatures may well become like the machines they build—cold, hard, and devoid of love."14


PROVISIONS FOR THE PROMOTION OF LATIN STUDIES

With the foregoing considerations in mind, to which We have given careful thought, We now, in the full consciousness of Our Office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following:



Responsibility for enforcement

1.Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic Sees decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.


2.In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy Sees will in this regard or interprets it falsely.



Study of Latin as a prerequisite

3. As is laid down in Canon Law (can. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors, before Church students begin their ecclesiastical studies proper they shall be given a sufficiently lengthy course of instruction in Latin by highly competent masters, following a method designed to teach them the language with the utmost accuracy. "And that too for this reason:


lest later on, when they begin their major studies . . . they are unable by reason of their ignorance of the language to gain a full understanding of the doctrines or take part in those scholastic disputations which constitute so excellent an intellectual training for young men in the defense of the faith." 15


We wish the same rule to apply to those whom God calls to the priesthood at a more advanced age, and whose classical studies have either been neglected or conducted too superficially. No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly grounded in this language and capable of using it.



Traditional curriculum to be restored

4. Wherever the study of Latin has suffered partial eclipse through the assimilation of the academic program to that which obtains in State public schools, with the result that the instruction given is no longer so thorough and well-grounded as formerly, there the traditional method of teaching this language shall be completely restored. Such is Our will, and there should be no doubt in anyone's mind about the necessity of keeping a strict watch over the course of studies followed by Church students; and that not only as regards the number and kinds of subjects they study, but also as regards the length of time devoted to the teaching of these subjects.


Should circumstances of time and place demand the addition of other subjects to the curriculum besides the usual ones, then either the course of studies must be lengthened, or these additional subjects must be condensed or their study relegated to another time.



Sacred sciences to be taught in Latin

5. In accordance with numerous previous instructions, the major sacred sciences shall be taught in Latin, which, as we know from many centuries of use, "must be considered most suitable for explaining with the utmost facility and clarity the most difficult and profound ideas and concepts."16 For apart from the fact that it has long since been enriched with a vocabulary of appropriate and unequivocal terms, best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic faith, it also serves in no slight measure to prune away useless verbiage.


Hence professors of these sciences in universities or seminaries are required to speak Latin and to make use of textbooks writ ten in Latin. If ignorance of Latin makes it difficult for some to obey these instructions, they shall gradually be replaced by professors who are suited to this task. Any difficulties that may be advanced by students or professors must be overcome by the patient insistence of the bishops or religious superiors, and the good will of the professors.



A Latin Academy

6. Since Latin is the Church's living language, it must be adequate to daily increasing linguistic requirements. It must be furnished with new words that are apt and suitable for expressing modern things, words that will be uniform and universal in their application. and constructed in conformity with the genius of the ancient Latin tongue. Such was the method followed by the sacred Fathers and the best writers among the scholastics.


To this end, therefore, We com mission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to set up a Latin Academy staffed by an international body of Latin and Greek professors. The principal aim of this Academy—like the national academies founded to promote their respective languages— will be to superintend the proper development of Latin, augmenting the Latin lexicon where necessary with words which conform to the particular character and color of the language.


It will also conduct schools for the study of Latin of every era, particularly the Christian one. The aim of these schools will be to impart a fuller understanding of Latin and the ability to use it and to write it with proper elegance. They will exist for those who are destined to teach Latin in seminaries and ecclesiastical colleges, or to write decrees and judgments or conduct correspondence in the ministries of the Holy See, diocesan curias, and the offices of religious orders.



The teaching of Greek

7. Latin is closely allied to Greek both in formal structure and in the importance of its extant writings. Hence — as Our Predecessors have frequently ordained—future ministers of the altar must be instructed in Greek in the lower and middle schools. Thus when they come to study the higher sciences—and especially if they are aiming for a degree in Sacred Scripture or theology— they will be enabled to follow the Greek sources of scholastic philosophy and understand them correctly; and not only these, but also the original texts of Sacred Scripture, the liturgy, and the sacred Fathers.17



A syllabus for the teaching of Latin

8. We further commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to prepare a syllabus for the teaching of Latin which all shall faithfully observe. The syllabus will be designed to give those who follow it an adequate understanding of the language and its use. Episcopal boards may indeed rearrange this syllabus if circumstances warrant, but they must never curtail it or alter its nature. Ordinaries may not take it upon themselves to put their own proposals into effect until these have been examined and approved by the Sacred Congregation.


Finally, in virtue of Our apostolic authority, We will and command that all the decisions, decrees, proclamations and recommendations of this Our Constitution remain firmly established and ratified, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, however worthy of special note.


Given at Rome, at St. Peters, on the feast of St. Peters Throne on the 22nd day of February in the year 1962, the fourth of Our pontificate.


JOHN PP. XXIII