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.


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.


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, 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



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


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
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


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 -

"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 with the phrase TLM in the subject line. For more information visit our blog .

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:

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

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.

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


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.

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