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Holy Week Webcast Schedule 2014

HWkClipCan’t attend? Watch over the Internet!

Once again, St. Gertrude the Great Church, West Chester, Ohio, will be simulcasting its Holy Week services live over the internet. If you can’t assist at services in person, this is an opportunity for you to do so using the proverbial “wonders of modern technology.”

If you are not familiar with the pre-1955 (“Bugnini-free”) Holy Week rites, moreover, our simulcasts are a good opportunity to view them. For a brief explanation of the differences between the old and new services, see the short series of articles I published several years ago on my blog Quidlibet. Have a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter!

— Fr. Anthony Cekada

Link to web simulcasts

Don’t forget to donate to support our webcast apostolate!

PALM SUNDAY:

  • 7:30 AM Low Mass
  • 8:50 AM Blessing of Palms, Solemn High Mass
  • 11:30 AM Low Mass
  • 5:45 PM Low Mass

SPY WEDNESDAY:

  • 6:30 PM Tenebrae

HOLY THURSDAY:

  • 9:00 AM Pontifical Mass
  • 12:30 PM Maundy (Washing of Feet)
  • 6:30 PM Tenebrae

GOOD FRIDAY:

  • 12:15 PM Pontifical Mass of the Presanctified, Tre Ore
  • 6:30 PM Tenebrae

HOLY SATURDAY:

  • 8:00 AM Easter Vigil, Pontifical Mass.

EASTER SUNDAY:

  • 7:30 AM Low Mass
  • 9:00 AM Pontifical High Mass
  • 11:30 AM Low Mass. Benediction

 

Should I Assist at a Mass that Names “Pope Francis” in the Canon?

OK to put it here?

No problem here?

Sedevacantists should be consistent, especially since the advent of Bergoglio.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

ONE HOT TOPIC endlessly discussed on traditionalist forums over the past few years is whether traditional Catholics should assist at a traditional Latin Mass in which the priest would mention the name of a false pope (like John Paul II, Benedict XVI or, currently, Francis) in the first prayer of the Canon.

These Masses are sometimes referred to as “una cum Masses,” because the Latin phrase into which the name of a reigning pope is inserted reads: una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N. (together with Thy servant N., our Pope)

Now, those of us who have arrived at a correct understanding of the actual situation in the Church — so-called “sedevacantists” — affirm that Bergoglio/Francis is a heretic (if not an apostate) and therefore no true pope. So, on the face of it, it makes no sense whatsoever for us to participate in a Mass where, a few moments before the consecration, the priest proclaims that Bergoglio is Papa nostro — “our pope.”

In many parts of the world, however, the only traditional Latin Mass available may be one offered by a priest (Motu Proprio, FSSP, Society of St. Pius X or independent) who puts the false pope’s name in the Canon. Faced with choosing this or nothing, a sedevacantist layman is sometimes tempted to assist at the Mass anyway. Why could he not simply overlook the name, and “just go for the Mass”?

To answer this question, I turned to the writings of pre-Vatican II liturgists, canonists and theologians, as well as to various papal pronouncements and decrees. This is where we priests are supposed to look for answers, rather than just relying on gut, personal opinion and shooting from the hip.

Based on that research, I wrote a lengthy study entitled “The Grain of Incense: Sedevacantists and Una Cum Masses” and published it in 2007.

My answer (roughly) was this: No, you can’t just “overlook” a false pope’s name in the Canon of a traditional Mass if you are a sedevacantist. His name there affirms that he is a true pope, and by actively assisting at such a Mass, you participate in that false affirmation. Since you know he’s not the pope, this is sinful.

I provided all the theological documentation for that answer in “Grain of Incense.” But since reading a long article is not every traditionalist’s cup of tea (even if I did manage to slide a few wisecracks into the footnotes…), I decided to write a short resumé of my arguments which was published in 2008.

Since then, of course, the supposedly “traditional” Ratzinger has been replaced by Bergoglio, and his crazy antics have started to make the previously unthinkable thought of sedevacantism quite thinkable for a lot of people. I thought it would be a good idea to update the original article here, in order to help these Catholics reason out the practical conclusions that flow from an understanding that the post-Vatican II popes are no true popes at all.

Una cum Francisco!

Might as well wear THIS!

I. What Does the “Una Cum” Prayer Mean?

There are two ways of looking at this phrase: its linguistic meaning (What do the grammar, terms and context mean?) and its theological meaning (What doctrines does it express?).

(a) Linguistically. From this perspective, putting Bergoglio’s name into the una cum in the Canon affirms that he is a true pope (“our pope”). Obviously, sedevacantists reject that.

It also affirms that Bergoglio is a member of the true Church, because his name is mentioned in the prayer for the Church.

Sedevacantists reject this too. For the very basis of our position is the teaching of canonists and theologians that loss of membership in the Church effects the automatic loss of the pontificate in a heretical pope. Heresy in a pope puts him outside the Church and thus out of office.

(b) Theologically (Doctrinally). In “Grain of Incense” I summarized the standard theological meanings that various theologians, canonists and liturgists assigned to the una cum phrase in the Canon.

When we plug Bergoglio’s name into the prayer and apply these meanings to that phrase, here is what results:

  • The heretic/false pope Bergoglio is “the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter.”
  • The acknowledgment of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon is “the chief and most glorious form of communion” with him, “the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity.”
  • The inclusion of the name of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon specifies him as “the principle of unity.”
  • Mentioning the name of the heretic/false pope Bergoglio in the Canon is a sign that you “are not separated from communion with the universal church.”
  • The mention of the name of the heretic/false Pope Bergoglio in the Canon “is a proof of the orthodoxy of the offerer.”
  • The heretic/false pope Bergoglio is the “ruling Pontiff, the visible pastor and the authorized intermediary with almighty God for the various members of his flock.”

Since we sedevacantists are logical about the situation in the Church — that Bergoglio is a heretic and no pope — these propositions are ridiculous.

Yet they are what results when a priest professes in the Canon that he offers the traditional Mass una cumtogether with Thy servant Francis, our Pope.

Follow the Nancy solution?

The way out?

II. Can’t I “Withhold My Consent”?

The priest at an una cum Mass, of course, is the one who utters the objectionable phrase. Couldn’t the sedevacantist in the pew who objects to it simply “withhold his consent” from that part of the Canon, but still assist at the Mass otherwise in order to fulfill his obligation or obtain sacramental graces?

Well, no. To fulfill your Sunday obligation or obtain sacramental graces at Mass requires active assistance or participation. This is an all-or-nothing proposition. You either actively assist or you don’t.

In “Grain of Incense,” I listed at least nine ways in which a Catholic actively assists at a traditional Mass when it is celebrated. Each of these is a true form of active assistance or participation, and according to Catholic teaching constitutes “cooperation or common action with another in the prayers and functions of worship.”

I quoted various popes and pre-Vatican II theologians who taught that the laity who assist actively at Mass, in so doing, manifest their consent and moral cooperation with the priest as he offers the sacrifice. Indeed, moral unity with the priest is required to fulfill the Sunday obligation.

Finally, I demonstrated that the Fathers of the Church, and indeed Pope Pius XII himself in the Encyclical Mediator Dei, teach specifically that the faithful who actively assist at Mass ratify, assent to and participate in the prayers of the Canon that the priest recites, even though they do not vocally recite these prayers themselves.

Thus there is no way for the sedevacantist to avoid it. The same active assistance at Mass required for fulfilling your Sunday obligation also inextricably joins you to the action of a priest at the altar. So, when the priest proclaims during the Canon that he offers the sacrifice together with Thy servant Francis, our Pope — the arch-heretic and false pope Bergoglio, the priest’s prayer is your prayer.

III. What is Wrong with Participating?

In “Grain of Incense,” I answered this question at great length. I demonstrated that if you have become a sedevacantist — concluded that Bergoglio is not a true pope — but actively assist at an una cum Mass nevertheless, by that fact you:

  1. Tell a pernicious lie.
  2. Profess communion with heretics.
  3. Recognize as legitimate the Ecumenical, One-World Church
  4. Implicitly profess a false religion.
  5. Condone a violation of Church law.
  6. Participate in a sin.
  7. Offer Mass in union with the heretic/false pope Bergoglio.
  8. Recognize the usurper of an ecclesiastical office.
  9. Offer an occasion for scandal
  10. In the case of Masses offered by “resistance” clergy (SSPX, its affiliates, and many independent clergy) participate in gravely illicit Masses and condone the sin of schism.

This list, I assure you, is not merely the product of my own personal whims and musings. It is based on the teachings of the various canonists, moralists, theologians, and papally-approved decrees I cited and quoted in my original article. If you are skeptical, read it.

Such acts are not ones you want to have on your conscience. A simple layman in good faith who had confused ideas about the pope question might not be subjectively culpable. But a sedevacantist who has figured out the issues?

The priest MEANS well...

But he MEANS well…

IV. Objections, Please…

In “Grain of Incense,” I listed ten (10) anticipated objections to my argument, and, based on various theological sources, responded to each.

Here, I will recap only the more common ones and offer a brief response. For a fuller explanation, once again, see the article.

(a) My Sunday obligation takes precedence? False. There are many legitimate causes that excuse from this. Active assistance at an una cum Mass implicates you in (among other things) the recognition of the false church and religion of Vatican II. Obviously, that constitutes “notable spiritual harm” — one of the conditions that excuse Catholics from the Sunday obligation.

(b) The priest “means well”? Irrelevant. This does not change what the una cum means or the fact that you participate in it. The priest may not know any better — but as a sedevacantist, you certainly know better.

(c) “Sedevacantist” priests have different opinions? These opinions are only as good as the reasons behind them, and from what I’ve seen, these are mostly off the cuff reactions. But theology, not gut, has to be the basis for addressing such an important issue.

If any priest disagrees with my conclusions in “Grain of Incense,” I invite him to research the issue in the various sources I cited, and then offer a point-by-point refutation of my arguments. In the years since “Grain of Incense” first appeared, no one has yet attempted this, so I am confident that my arguments and conclusions stand.

(d) My family and I will lose the graces of the Mass and thus the faith itself? I will be blunt: You can obtain no graces at a Mass where you knowingly and actively participate in a sacrilegious lie that affirms the legitimacy of the false hierarchy and religion of Vatican II.

And as for your children, the crypto-modernism of the Motu Mass clergy — even if you do get the “good” ciborium with the validly-consecrated hosts — or the poisonous errors of SSPX on the papacy will eventually corrupt your children’s faith. In three decades as a priest, I have seen many families that were once solidly traditionalist surrender step by step to the new religion because of a decision to go to a “convenient” una cum Mass.

Don’t take the first step on that path.

Center of unity!

In union with THIS???

V. And Now, in Union with Bergoglio?

I suspect that many souls allowed the una cum issue to slide by because of the general perception that John Paul II and Benedict XVI at least gave the appearance of being somehow more “traditional,” and that this would somehow mitigate the act of a clueless priest who named either John Paul or Benedict in the Canon.

On this point, though, the election of Bergoglio is game-changer. He is an open modernist set on a course of implementing Vatican II and destroying the very foundations of the Church’s magisterium. As I noted in a previous article in October 2013, this becomes apparent when you group together summaries of the outrageous statements Bergoglio has made on questions of faith and morals:

(a) Faith: There is no Catholic God, doctrinal security exists no more, he who claims to have all the answers does not have God within him, proselytism is nonsense, atheists can go to heaven, etc.

These declarations blow away the meaning of the Creed, the nature of God, the possibility of arriving at doctrinal truths, the divine mission to convert others to those truths, and faith as a requirement for eternal salvation.

(b) Morals: Moral teachings (on the 6th and 9th commandments) are a disjointed multitude of doctrines that cannot be imposed insistently, one must not obsess about such matters (abortion, gay “marriage” and contraception), what is objectively adultery admits of a “pastoral solution,” who am I to judge, each one has his own vision of good and evil, spiritual interference in personal life is impossible, etc.

These declarations portray mortal sins as trifles, castigate as “obsessed” those who say otherwise, trivialize adultery, reprove moral judgments, enthrone the conscience as autonomous and supreme, and effectively renounce the right of the magisterium to tell the individual conscience anything.

Since I wrote the foregoing, we have seen Bergoglio misrepresenting the contents of the (blasphemous) Koran and publicly encouraging Moslems to follow it, address a Protestant layman his “brother bishop,” characterize Protestant pentecostalism as a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, wink at contraception and “civil unions,” and most recently, praise a speech by Cardinal Walter Kaspar that paved the way for giving sacraments to Catholics in (adulterous) second marriages.

Could any sedevacantist in his right mind now defend the proposition that assisting at a Mass where such a heretic is proclaimed a true pope, and indeed offered in union with him, is not offensive to God, and simply a matter of mere indifference?

*     *     *     *     *

Martyrs Nicomed

Martyrs of Nicomedia

FOR THOSE who have not yet read our original article, its title, “Grain of Incense,” might seem a little puzzling. It alludes to the Roman practice during the persecutions of allowing a Christian to escape death if he would put but a single grain of incense into a fire set up to honor false gods. Time and again, Christians chose martyrdom rather than make this one small act of tribute to a false religion. One touching account is found in the Roman Martyrology and chanted each year on the Vigil of Christmas:

At Nicomedia, many thousand holy martyrs. Upon the feast of Christ’s birth they had come together unto the Lord’s house, and the Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut, and all things made ready for fire round about it. Then he set a tripod and incense in front of the door, and sent an herald to proclaim in a loud voice that whosoever would escape burning should come forth and offer incense unto Jupiter. Whereunto they all replied with one voice, that they would far rather die for Christ’s sake; whereupon he kindled the fire and they were consumed, and were born in heaven upon that same day whereupon it had pleased Christ to be born into this world to save it.

Vatican II and the post-Conciliar “popes,” as we know, have sought to create a dogma-less, ecumenical, one-world religion — a big tent for all religions, under which each is regarded as more or less good. There is a place for you in this circus, even if you are “attached” to the traditional Latin Mass. All you have to do is recognize Bergoglio as your ringmaster

This is what you do when you actively assist at a Mass in which the priest — Motu Proprio, FSSP, SSPX, or independent — proclaims in the Canon that he offers Mass together with Thy servant, Francis, our Pope and all true believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Better to have no Mass at all, than partake in such a blasphemy. Better to die than offer this grain of incense to the ecumenical religion of the anti-Christ.

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SSPX, “Resistance” and Sedevacantism: A New Video

A conference by Most Rev. Donald J. Sanborn

IN A clearly-presented and tightly-reasoned 110-minute talk, delivered in London on Dec. 21, 2013, Bishop Sanborn lays out the case for sedevacantism. He explains that the fundamental question every Catholic must ask himself in our times is: “Does the religion of Vatican II represent a substantial or merely an accidental change as regards the Roman Catholic religion? In other words, do the doctrines, disciplines, and liturgical practices of the Novus Ordo Church represent Roman Catholicism?”

Bp. Sanborn explains how one must answer the question, and then offers a dispassionate theological critique of the answers given by Indult/Motu Proprio groups (e.g. the Fraternity of St. Peter), the “recognize and resist” groups (the Society of St. Pius X and many others) and those in “conservative” Novus Ordo circles.

The bishop also refutes many of the objections commonly made against sedevacantism such as:

  • We cannot judge the pope”
  • “These popes are only material heretics, not formal heretics”
  • “Only the Church can declare the pope a non-pope”
  • “A bad father is still a father”
  • “We have had bad popes before”
  • “Sedevacantism denies the visibility of the Church! Where is the hierarchy?”
  • “How then could we ever get a true pope back?”
  • “All this is just your opinion!”

One of the advantages of Bp. Sanborn’s argument is that it eliminates the need to address the issue of personal guilt for the sin or the crime of heresy, a topic that some find unsettling or confusing.

This conference is destined to become a classic!

For further information on the topic, see our earlier post: Sedevacantism: A Quick Primer.

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For more info, click here!

 

 

Personal Recollections of Abp. Thuc

 

Abp. Thuc offering Pontifical High Mass in Munich, 1982, a few months after the consecrations

Abp. Thuc offering Pontifical High Mass in Munich, 1982, a few months after the consecrations

A priest who lived with the archbishop as a seminarian in 1982–3 offers insights into the prelate’s personality and character.

By Rev. Anthony Cekada

 

IN A PREVIOUS post, I presented a video I had made on the validity of the episcopal consecration conferred by Archbishop Pierre-Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc in 1981. The video deals mainly with various theological and factual issues I had researched, but in passing, I mention the testimony of Fr. Francis Miller OFM of Lafayette LA as to the piety, the virtue and the mental acuity of the archbishop when Fr. Francis was a seminarian and lived in the same house with him in 1982-3. This, I noted, was another nail in the coffin for the slanderous accusation that the good archbishop did not possess the requisite “mental state” to confer a sacrament validly.

The end of Abp. Thuc’s stay in Rochester came more than a year later when he was spirited off to New York City by Novus Ordo Vietnamese priests. He was eventually taken to a Vietnamese community in Carthage MO, where he died in 1984.

Last month, a priest in Europe wrote to Fr. Miller for details of his recollections. Father sent the priest a copy of a lengthy affidavit he had sworn to in late 2005 for a book on the Thuc consecrations. I have reproduced the text of the affidavit below, followed by some additional comments from Fr. Francis.

I highlighted a few particularly interesting passages. The account of the remark’s of the archbishop’s doctor about his complete competency are extremely significant. Even more interesting, Mgr. Thuc taught himself Spanish during his time at Rochester, so he could teach Latin in Spanish to the Mexican seminarians. Moreover, with the arrival of the archbishop, the friars instituted speaking conversational Latin for one day a week:

On that day the Archbishop’s voice would ring through the house. Latin was as easy for him as his mother language, Vietnamese. His fluency overwhelmed our untrained ears, and the days offered an opportunity for him to exercise and direct his students in their lessons.

I can assure readers that none of the clergy I know who have attacked Abp. Thuc could pull off either one of these feats. And if you doubt that, you might want to ask one of them!

For those who are truly objective and interested in the facts, Fr. Francis’ words should once and for all dispel their unreasonable prejudices against this devout and edifying prelate.

———————————

Affidavit of Francis Miller OFM

 

Abp. Thuc in Rochester, 1982, Fr. Miller 3rd from right.

Abp. Thuc in Rochester, 1982. Fr. Miller, 3rd from right.

My name is Francis, a solemnly professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor, O.F.M.: Franciscans. My entrance into Religion was August of 1980, in Rochester, New York, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 3376 Mt. Read Blvd., Rochester NY 14616. I was ordained to the priesthood in 1985 by Bishop Louis Vezelis. Currently I dwell in Lafayette, LA and serve at the Church of Christ the King, where the traditional Mass, and faith, of the Roman Catholic Church is offered. I write this short testimonial to review my memories of Archbishop Peter Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc, and to give a first-hand witness in order that others may know more of His Excellency.

About the middle of October, 1982, it was announced that Archbishop Ngo-dinh-Thuc would join our life in the Friary at Rochester, New York. Preparations were made to receive him, and an escort was sent to smooth the way for his coming. Upon his arrival, His Excellency joined immediately into the rhythm of our religious life and schedule: midnight Office, meditation and community meals. For every Divine Office he joined us in chapel. His Mass was offered where the public might and did attend. On Sundays he would occasionally offer Holy Mass both in Rochester and in Buffalo, New York at Sacred Heart Church. The year and almost four months that I knew and lived with His Excellency ran much like this.

Dinner with Bp. Musey, Fr. Vida, Fr. McKenna, Bp. Vezelis.

Dinner in Louisiana with Bp. Musey, Fr. Vida, Fr. McKenna, Bp. Vezelis.

Other Activities

His Excellency looked after all his personal needs by himself. These included care for needs of daily living such as bathing, dressing, etc. Often he would go into the yard and walk though the grass, sometimes with a seminarian, for fifteen to twenty minutes almost every day. Winter was more difficult as New York weather must be considered. The house staircases within the Friary, two of which he negotiated several times a day, were never a major barrier to him. But for the most part he walked unassisted outside of ice, stairs new to him or without a banister. He used no walker but we encouraged the cane, which he used sometimes. His posture was only a little stooped, his gait short and occasionally studied, especially on the stairs. This may be because he was not both limber and strong. However, his sense of duty gave him determination when he had an end in view with much to do physically. At Holy Mass he was willing to sing the Mass and did a beautiful job. There was as well as singing the Divine office with the community. I never knew the Archbishop to drive a car.

His Excellency desired to be useful and help as best he was able. His energy was not that of his youth, but it allowed him to offer himself in several ways. At that time, the house had seven seminarians in their first year of Latin. He taught them regularly in a classroom setting using Latin and Spanish to speak with them.

When an occasion arose for His Excellency and Bishop Louis to travel to Mexico I accompanied them as an aide. His Excellency was most insistent on greeting the parents of the seminarians whom he had instructed in Rochester. Small exchanges were made, which were tokens of respect and gratitude for their parental sacrifices for Holy Mother Church, and His Excellency delighted to have greeted these good families. He was able to speak with them, with his newly learned Spanish, of their sons. Acapulco, Guadalajara and Colima were the locations of these homes and travel between the last of these two cities is no small feat on such highways. This is an example of His Excellency’s determination of purpose of meeting with the family in Colima, Mexico.

It was very often the case that I would accompany His Excellency to the doctor’s office for his regular visits. He particularly enjoyed these visits, as the good doctor spoke excellent French. It was the doctor’s opinion that his health was good, except for some difficulties he had with sweets affecting the good Bishop’s blood sugar levels. This was the only concern of the good and respected Doctor. In all of my conversations the Doctor never was expressed concern for Archbishop’s mental condition. He stated, rather, that I need not worry at all, that His Excellency was quite competent. He holds this position to this day. To my knowledge the doctor, though a Catholic, has never regularly attended the Tridentine Mass.

Offering Mass, Rochester, 1982.

Offering Mass, Louisiana, 1982.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Of all the memories of my life, among the sweetest and most edifying were to watch His Excellency offer Holy Mass. His observance of the rubrics was impeccable. His poise, prayerfulness and attention were keen. He truly prayed the Mass. Many times he required help to rise from a genuflection and for this reason the older cleric friars stood by his side to assist Him. Many times his example caused me to aspire to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as well as did the Archbishop. Anyone who attended His Mass could not miss his keen attention and devotion at the Altar. Here he was at his finest and edified us all.

Other Memories

On a winter’s day we walked to the chapel, a distance perhaps of 100 feet, over pavement. The ground was frozen, and the Archbishop lost his footing. Slipping, he fell upon his back. Immediately fear and shame came upon me for not taking better care of him for a broken hip could be too much for a man of his age. Rocking to an upright position he began to laugh Ça ne fait rien de tou. Un peu souffrance pour le purgatoire, which means “it does not matter at all. A little more suffering for purgatory.” While on the ground, he offered his hands, and we pulled him to his feet. We then went into the chapel for Prime, Holy Mass and meditation. He never complained of the incident.

Consecration of Bp. Guérard, 1981

Consecration of Bp. Guérard, 1981

Another often repeated saying of His Excellency was: Une petite croix pour le bon Dieu: A small cross (to offer to) for the good God.

To return for a moment to the Mexican seminarians, it was for their sake that he began to practice and perfect his Spanish. His mastery of languages permitted him to make quick progress with that language over the months he was in Rochester.

Among the young seminarians who joined the house that year, two Mexicans drew the Archbishop’s attention in particular. They were quick of mind, cordial and focused. Had he been able to patronize them, they might have enjoyed great favors, if I dare speculate. His encouragement and interest made a difference in their enthusiasm for the studies and work before them.

Among the practices taken up at the Friary with the coming of the Archbishop was the speaking of Latin, exclusively, one day a week. On that day the Archbishop’s voice would ring through the house. Latin was as easy for him as his mother language, Vietnamese. His fluency overwhelmed our untrained ears, and the days offered an opportunity for him to exercise and direct his students in their lessons. The Archbishop enjoyed these days, even though he saw us struggle in our Latin.

Consecration of Bps. Carmora and Zamora, 1981.

Consecration of Bps. Carmora and Zamora, 1981.

Overall Impressions

As a young man, I did not always understand His Excellency’s opinions and judgments. His wisdom often surprised and still surprises me even as I’ve grown older. The western mind must appreciate that he was of the mandarin culture and was certainly not egalitarian. From those who belonged to his household he expected reverence and obedience. He was careful to be charitable and fulfill the duties towards those who had a claim upon him, but, again in charity, he himself would not be a burden or overreach. He trusted others, and that was clearly a habit with him.

His Excellency was attentive to the world around him. He took interest in his students, their progress and their interest. His health was good, except for some the concern about sugar. His sense of humor was good, and he was long suffering. He was proud of his healthful appearance, but not absorbed by such things. He kept the religious schedule exactly, and his prayerful offering of the Holy Mass was a thing to be admired. In short, I never witnessed any loss of the faculties of reason and memory. Even in his interests in the world around him he was lucid. Above all, He loved Our Lord and Holy Mother Church and this was obvious to me and I believe to all who witnessed him in action.

Signed this December 7th and I declare it to be true to the best of my memory.

/s/ Fr. Francis Miller O.F.M.

Witnesses: /s/ Bruce Billeaud /s/ Miles Duthile [followed by attestation Donna M. Thibodeaux, Notary, Id # 23574]

——————————–

Abp. Thuc's coat-of-arms

Abp. Thuc’s coat-of-arms

Subsequent Comment from Fr. Miller

This [affidavit] is straight from my files and contains what was used [in the book] I believe.

I would be glad to add a few points that have always weighed heavily and recently been brought to my attention again:

Archbishop Ngo was not one to speak to freely when needled (agitated by others). He generally would go silent and suffer abuse. Knowing him so well taught me to listen and wait for a better disposed moment to approach a subject. He knew what he was up to, clearly. Again, he had his favorites some may fault him for that — but this choice seemed based on the good will of the person, intelligence, and sometime generosity toward himself. He did go out of his way to make himself lovable to the youngest of the Mexican seminarians, 13 years old at that time, and that is generosity on his part. No one who ever was known to attend the Archbishop’s Mass ever accused him of not being attentive, devout and exact in his rubrics of the Mass. He is renowned for his beautiful Masses. Never did I see him defect in the Mass’s action, his only clear weakness being occasional difficulty in genuflecting at the altar, for which reason I stood beside him to steady and lift him throughout the moments of the Mass this might occur. In fact you will find many praise his rubrics and piety throughout his life.

With such experience as this if is impossible to concede that he did not know what he was about when conferring sacraments as I never witness reason to doubt the clarity of the mind. As a much older and experienced man that impression only grows stronger.

As His doctor told me over and over again on 3 separate (by over 20 years time) “only someone who never knew Archbishop Ngo would make such an accusation”.

Further, I heard in a debate between Bishop Donald Sanborn and Dr. Robert Fastiggi that a claim was made that the good archbishop reconciled before his death. This point I could not concede as:

  1. No signed document was ever brought forward, though they show [the archbishop] smiling in a picture, pen in hand suggesting he had done so.
  2. Among His last words to me as he was being abused in New York [City, where the Novus Ordo Vietnamese clergy had taken him — ed.] during the terrible events that lead to the loss of our shared household, he said: “They want me to sign a reconciliation and renounce all that I have done. [Laughing now, he continued:] Why would I do this? [Then very serious:] This would destroy the work God gave me to do of preserving the sacraments for the future. I cannot do that!“
  3. There is no written evidence to my knowledge that that last statement of a change of mind was ever given privately or publicly, only assertions have been offered.
  4. I know that he was very lonely, and wanted more companionship which he may have privately thought a change of residence may have brought. It may be that he, as I could tell that his mind was not clear in New York [City] due to the severe change of diet and reflected by lack of interest in doing anything but sleeping at that time, would have induced him to be silent and wait till a better time to act, to decide how to proceed. A time that never came for him, and he was never permitted [by the Novus Ordo clergy who had taken him away] to see me again, nor to see any of his sons in the Faith to my knowledge.

These last statements of mine have never been offered in the public forum, but Restoration Radio has asked for an interview and there would be a place to examine many other points perhaps.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Francis Miller OFM

February 26, 2014

 

Abp. Thuc: A Conversation with Fr. Cekada

A video from True Restoration Media and some links

 

Thuc Guer Anoint

Abp. Thuc consecrating Bp. Guérard, 1981

ANYONE familiar with my writings and the history of the traditionalist movement knows that while I was initially skeptical of the validity of the episcopal consecrations Archbishop Pierre-Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc conferred on three traditional Catholic priests in 1981, I became firmly convinced of their validity, once I researched the theological and factual issues myself.

The result was The Validity of the Thuc Consecrations, which appeared in the priests’ magazine Sacerdotium in Spring, 1992. Since that time, I produced a few other pieces touching on this matter, including a short article on the claim that Abp. Thuc had incurred automatic excommunication (Pius XII, Excommunication and Traditional Catholic Bishops), and a brief discussion of validity again in the concluding section of The Great Excommunicator, an article dealing with a number of related controversies.

My research and writings on the question, together with those of the then-Father Donald Sanborn, eventually led eight of the twelve former-SSPX priests who had formed the Society of St. Pius V to accept Abp. Thuc’s consecrations as valid. Since then, an ever-increasing number priests in the traditionalist movement have accepted the consecrations, to such an extent that only a small number of hold-outs among the traditionalist clergy still exists, and this among Bishop Clarence Kelly’s SSPV/CSPV

In January 2013, Stephen Heiner of True Restoration Media interviewed me about how I came to my conclusions. I am now happy to present that video here.

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In the foregoing video, I mention that in 1989 Father Kelly’s principal objection to the validity of the Abp. Thuc’s consecrations was that no certificate existed. About three years later, however, I discovered a certificate which Abp. Thuc wrote out in Latin in his own hand the day after he consecrated Bps. Carmona and Zamora. (See accompanying document) In translation the text reads:

Thuc Cons Cert“We, Peter Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc, Titular Archbishop of Bulla Regia, give notice of the following to all: on the 17th day of the month of October, in the year 1981, we conferred the episcopal rank of the Catholic Church on Father Moses Carmona Rivera, with all rights pertaining to said rank. Given on the 18th day of the month of October, in the year of Our Lord 1981. [signature] +Peter Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc. The eyewitnesses were: Doctor Kurt Hiller and Doctor Eberhard Heller. [signature] Dr. Kurt Hiller. [signature ] Dr. E. Heller.

Once this came to light, Fr. Kelly denied that the foregoing was a consecration certificate (not really “authentic,” “official,” “formal,” “public,” etc.), and in a series of monthly bulletins in the 1990s, began began attacking Abp. Thuc’s “mental state.”

The argument was so ridiculous (Insufficient “mental state” to confer a sacrament one day, but able to write about it in Latin the next?), that my response in 1994 was a satire, written in the same, grim, choppy, Fr. Kelly style, entitled The Dental State of Abp. Thuc. (= there was no authentic certificate to prove that the prelate’s teeth were not decayed; tooth decay could have interfered with how he pronounced the essential sacramental form; therefore the consecrations were “doubtful,” etc., etc.)

For those interested in further pursuing such issues (apart from that of tooth decay…), I highly recommend the site ThucBishops.com and Mario Derksen’s January 2011 Open Letter to Bp. Kelly. Mr. Derksen presents unassailable evidence and airtight arguments that lead to an inescapable conclusion.

Divorce Bergoglio Style

Divorceitalian-2Francis applauds “profound theology” that blesses adultery.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

JUST ABOUT anyone who claims to be a Catholic can tell you that the Church teaches that divorce and remarriage are forbidden. He might even be able to tell you that the teaching is not just a “Church” law, but one that comes from Our Lord Himself: ”Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” And he might even add that if you remarry while your first spouse is alive, you commit adultery.

Until now that is. For as we predicted last year, Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) is pressing forward with his program to dismantle Catholic teaching on giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried, one of the six key points of Bergoglio’s revolutionFor some reason Bergoglio believes that implementing this change will lure hordes of disaffected nominal Catholics back to the emptied and emptying churches of Europe and South America.

Since the traditional teaching is so deeply rooted not only in Catholic dogmatic and moral teaching, but also (despite Vatican II) in the consciousness of many Catholics, it was necessary to engage in extensive preparation for such a seismic shift. The biggest step came recently with Cardinal Walter Kasper’s keynote address to a meeting of all the cardinals in Rome on February 20-21, a gathering intended to prepare for the October Bishops’ Synod, which will have the family as its theme. Bergoglio’s personal choice of Kasper as keynote speaker for this topic was considered very significant. The cardinal has a reputation for being one of the more “liberal” modernists in the once-Sacred College.

The text of Kasper’s address to the cardinals was not supposed to be made public, but it was leaked to the Italian paper Il Foglio, which printed it in full. (It has yet to appear in English.) On February 21, at the end of the consistory, Bergoglio lavishly praised the speech:

Yesterday, … I read or rather re-read the work of Cardinal Kasper, and I would like to thank him because I found profound theology, and even serene thinking in theology. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what Saint Ignatius told us about, that sensus Ecclesiae, love for Mother Church. It did me good and an idea came to me — excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you — but the idea is that this is called “doing theology on one’s knees.” Thank you. Thank you.

Vatican commentator Sandro Magister says that Kaspar’s proposals represent nothing less than “a paradigm shift” on the issue — a complete change of context or perspective —  and that it enunciates the program that Bergoglio intends to implement.

So what is Bergoglio’s program for the question of giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried, and what are the problems with it?

The cardinal rules!

I. Kasper’s “Serene Theology”

The speech begins with a lengthy introduction, followed by four sections on the family in the order of creation, the “structure of sin” in family life, the family in the Christian order of redemption and the family as “domestic church.” This consists of several thousand words of convoluted modernist piffle which few in the Novus Ordo church will bother to read.

The fifth section, however, contains the real point of the speech: to provide Bergoglio and the “left” of the post-Vatican II hierarchy with a theological fig leaf for giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried. Here is Kasper’s warm-up before he gets to the nitty-gritty of practical proposals:

  • The situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics poses a thorny problem.
  • We can’t just consider it from a sacramental and institutional perspective. We have to “change the paradigm” and consider it from the point of view of those who “suffer.”
  • Priests have to strive to reconcile the parties when marriages are in crisis. [Brilliant, Your Eminence! Brilliant!] They shouldn’t cease doing so “after the failure of a marriage.” [Wow!]
  • After the “bitter experience of the past” with a Catholic marriage that ended in divorce, civil marriage and the new “relationship” can seem “like a gift from heaven.”
  • What should the Church do? “[The Church] cannot propose a different or a contrary solution to the words of Jesus…. The indissolubility of sacramental marriage and the impossibility of a new marriage during the lifetime of the other partner is part of the tradition of the Church’s binding faith that cannot be abandoned or undone by appealing to a superficial understanding of cheapened mercy.”
  • But now in the modern age, we face a “new situation” [of course!]. While formerly church law imposed the penalties for bigamy on those civilly married, including excommunication, these are gone. They are now invited to participate in the life of the Church. “This is a new tone.”
  • Why not apply to their situation the same strategy Vatican II did with religious liberty and ecumenism? Sure, encyclicals and decrees of the Holy See “seemed to preclude other ways. Without violating the binding dogmatic tradition, the Council opened doors. We can ask ourselves: is it not perhaps possible that there could be further developments on the present question as well?”

Although he doesn’t say it, Kasper’s real aim is to allow the parties in the invalid second marriage to engage in marital relations with each other. Since the spouse from the first sacramental marriage is still alive, he must find a way to excuse them from adultery, either by claiming the first marriage didn’t really exist (was invalid) or by justifying adulterous marital relations on some other grounds. Kaspar proposes two possible solutions along these lines, both of which are “already mentioned in official documents.”

Better than a tribunal!

Better than a tribunal!

1. Let Parish Clergy Annul Marriages. This would, in effect, ditch the whole system of church marriage tribunals, and allow a member of the local clergy to decide whether or not a first marriage was valid.

  • “Some of the divorced and remarried are in conscience subjectively convinced that their irreparably broken previous marriage was never valid.” In many cases their local priest is also convinced of this.
  • Evaluating the validity of marriages was left to church tribunals, but this isn’t a matter of divine law and can be changed to a more “spiritual and pastoral” procedure.
  • Perhaps a priest with “spiritual and pastoral experience” designated by the bishop could decide the validity of the marriage.
  • This would be in line with Pope Francis’ January 24, 2014 speech to the Roman Rota (supreme marriage tribunal) in which he said “the juridical dimension and pastoral dimension [of resolving marriage cases] are not in opposition… Pastoral care and mercy are not opposed to justice, but they are so to speak the supreme justice, because behind each appeal they discern not only a case to be examined through the lens of general regulations but a human person who, as such, can never represent a case and always has a unique dignity.”
  • The different levels of higher appeal in the marriage tribunal system cannot effectively decide “the good and the bad of persons” on the basis of “paperwork… without knowing the person and his situation.”

The consequences of the foregoing we will discuss below. However, merely expanding the procedure for annulling marriages this way, the cardinal says, is not enough. “This would create the dangerous impression that the Church is proceeding in a dishonest manner in granting what in reality are divorces.” Hmm. With the divorced and remarried one could also therefore allow…

Showing the way forward

Have a great escape!

2. “Penitential” Second Marriages. Kaspar’s argument runs thus:

  • In 1994 and 2012, Ratzinger said that “that the divorced and remarried cannot receive sacramental communion but can receive spiritual communion.” This reflects “true openness.”
  • “But it also brings up a number of questions. In fact, someone who receives spiritual communion is one with Jesus Christ. [. . .] Why, then, can he not also receive sacramental communion?”
  • The answer was: Out of concern for “the sanctity of the sacrament.”
  • “The question that is posed in response is: is it not perhaps an exploitation of the person who is suffering and asking for help if we make him a sign and a warning for others? Are we going to let him die of hunger sacramentally in order that others may live?”
  • “The early Church gives us an indication that can serve as a means of escape from the dilemma.”
  • The basis is an article Joseph Ratzinger wrote in 1972: “In the individual local Churches there existed the customary law on the basis of which Christians who, although their first partner was still alive, were living in a second relationship, after a time of penance had available [. . .] not a second marriage, but rather through participation in communion a table of salvation. [. . .]“
  • This would be “the way of conversion.” It would apply to a divorced and remarried person who (1) repents of his failure in the first marriage, (2) “clarified its obligations,” (3) can’t avoid abandoning the civil marriage “without further harm,” (4) does his best to “live out the possibilities” of the second marriage, and (5) has the desire for the sacraments, after a “conversion” or “a period of time in a new direction.”
  • It would “not be a general solution.”
  • “Should we not take into account the fact that we will also lose the next generation and perhaps the one after it too? Our long-established practice, is it not showing itself to be counterproductive?”
  • The foregoing was the practice of “the early Church,” according to the studies of Cereti (1977) and Crouzel/Ratzinger (1972).
  • “There can be no doubt however about the fact that in the early Church, in many local Churches, by customary law there was, after a time of repentance, the practice of pastoral tolerance, of clemency and indulgence.”
  • This is proven by reference to the Council of Nicea (against the rigorism of Novatian), Origen, Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen.
  • “J. Ratzinger suggested that Basil’s position should be taken up again in a new way. It would seem to be an appropriate solution, one that is also at the basis of these reflections of mine…. In the changed current situation we can however recover the basic concepts and seek to realize them in the present, in the manner that is just and fair in the light of the Gospel.”

And for those who find Kasper’s proposals appalling and who still long for the days of the Rottweiler of Orthodoxy, let us note in passing here that the cardinal bases his arguments on the work of Ratzinger himself.

A slap in the face

A slap in the face

II. Analysis and Consequences

Even to many souls with only a limited understanding of the traditional Catholic doctrine on divorce and remarriage, Kasper ideas will seem extremely fishy: You’re “subjectively convinced” that your first Church marriage was invalid, and all you need is a priest’s say-so before marrying again? Spiritual communion is equivalent to sacramental communion? Receiving communion while still in an adulterous relationship is OK? The early Church permitted this?

But Kasper’s address will have enormous consequences, so we must look at it a bit more closely. And to aid us in our analysis, we are very fortunate to have Professor Roberto de Mattei’s extensive critique, also published in Il Foglio, and then promptly posted in an English translation on Rorate Caeli.

1. A Slap in the Face to the Virtuous and the Suffering. In my priestly life, I have known many men and women whose marriages in the Church ended in bitter conflict and civil divorce, but who despite tears, suffering and human loneliness, remained resolutely faithful to the vows they had pronounced before God, even though their spouses did not. They knew what their obligations were and made every effort to sanctify themselves in order to live up to God’s law. I have also known Catholic couples who contracted an invalid second marriage from which they could not depart due to children, old age or poverty, but who, in order to return to the sacraments, vowed before God to live henceforth as brother and sister. Kasper’s proposals are a slap in the face to souls like these who struggled mightily and long to observe the divine law whatever the cost, and who, unlike the cardinal and his master, Bergoglio, took God’s law seriously enough to suffer for it.

2. “Pastoral” Camouflage for Overthrowing Dogma. In a post late last year, we pointed out that in his public discourses Bergoglio repeatedly employs the term “pastoral,” a ’60s modernist code word. After discussing how the term was applied to bishops in the post-Vatican II era and after summing up Professor de Mattei’s analysis of how Francis uses it in his public pronouncements, we concluded that

The key to decoding what Bergoglio and other modernists like him mean by “pastoral” [is that] through actions, silence or dissimulation one seeks to undermine Catholic dogma and morality by changing men’s experience of them.

This is exactly the dynamic at work in Kaspar’s speech. He pays lip service to the traditional Catholic teaching, saying we cannot undo it by “appealing to a superficial understanding of cheapened mercy.” And guess what? He then proposes practices which offer exactly that — “cheap mercy” purchased at bargain basement prices without true repentance for sin and without a firm purpose of amendment. When it comes to the first, valid marriage, the dogmas of the unity and indissolubility of the marriage bond are ignored, because you are free to continue the adulterous marital relations of the second invalid marriage.

In practice, the dogmas no longer exist, because Bergoglio and Kasper have come up with a “pastoral” workaround that renders them moot. De Mattei latches onto the connection Kaspar makes between his proposals on marriage and Vatican II’s “opening of the doors.”

Opened the doors to what? To the systematic violation, on the level of praxis, of that dogmatic tradition where the words affirm it legally binding.

3. No Mention of Sin. “Cheap mercy” of the sort Kasper and Bergoglio envision, moreover, becomes possible because, as de Mattei says, “the word sin does not enter into Cardinal Kasper’s vocabulary and never appears in his report to the Consistory.” This is probably because anything more than a generic notion of sin (against the environment, against “the poor,” against “the immigrants,” etc., as opposed to particular sinful acts by an individual) is considered “negative” theology in the modernist system. Moreover, “Cardinal Kasper does not express even one word of condemnation on divorce and its disastrous consequences in western society.” This in turn allows him to use the weaselly expression…

sarah-clarke-quote-theres-no-one-at-fault-its-the-normal-course-of-bus4. “Failed Marriages.” Here, after reading Kaspar, one is left with the impression that impersonal objects called “marriages” are constantly floating around,  and that when they somehow undergo enough stress fractures from causes unknown, they fly apart on their own, damaging the husband and the wife who happen to be nearby. “Marriage failure” is something like getting cancer. Stuff happens, marriages explode, etc.

The notion constantly pops up in Bergoglian discourse. Here is Francis talking about marriage on Feb. 28, just a few days after the appalling Kasper speech:

When this love fails — because many times it fails — we must feel the pain of the failure and accompany those who have failed in their love. Not condemn them! Walk alongside them.

The love-fails/marriage-fails formulation intentionally sidesteps the issue of the moral responsibilities of the respective spouses in a marriage that breaks up. The husband fails, the wife fails, or they both fail. By this we mean that one or both do not live up to the moral responsibilities of their state of life, commit sins, and as a result, destroy a grace-filled union that is blessed by God. The husband, the wife or both, drink, fight, commit adultery, show contempt for the spouse, scandalize the children, pout, seek revenge, lie, abandon the other, take drugs, use porn, contracept, undermine the other’s authority, spend money recklessly, are miserly, talk endlessly at the other, refuse to communicate at all, disappear, control every aspect of the spouse’s life, show no interest in the spouse’s life, or intentionally wound the other. In any break-up, at least one of the spouses has not tried to overcome his sins and faults, and to live up to the duties of his vocation by cooperating with the graces of the sacrament he has received.

This is not to say that one or both spouses cannot repent of the habitual sins that ultimately led to their separation, and achieve sanctity thereafter. But Kasper’s formulation, abstracted from any clear notion of individual sin and moral responsibility for the divorce, conceals the reality that the illicit second relationship — far from being what Kasper calls “a gift from heaven” — is the consequence of sin in the first marriage.

Available for annulments, too!

Available for annulments, too!

5. Drive-Thru Annulments. The Church established an elaborate system of ecclesiastical tribunals and a whole body of procedural and substantive law to protect the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. It was difficult to obtain an annulment before Vatican II precisely because the grounds for declaring a marriage contract null were very few (e.g. force, grave fear, error) and the system was weighted against deception or self-serving claims by the parties. Even though annulments were granted on spurious grounds after Vatican II and handed out like candy, the fiction of a legal system that protected the sanctity of matrimony was at least maintained.

This fiction may disappear. Kasper says that since some of the divorced and remarried are “subjectively convinced” that their first marriage in the Church was invalid, and that the clergy involved in their care often agree with them, let a priest with “spiritual and pastoral [that word again!] experience” decide the issue. Maybe a confessor or the bishop’s vicar for the area.

This is the ’60s “internal forum” solution followed by modernist clergy of the era, but writ large and officially canonized.

Poof, no need for all those tribunals! Father Chuck can decide! And what do you think Fr. Chuck will decide if you walk into his office or confessional, say you were really immature when you got married, did not understand its “covenant” aspect, felt pressured because you were living together, didn’t really know what love was, just wanted to make mommy and daddy happy, and cry Fr. Chuck a river? Poor boy, poor girl, you didn’t really intend to get married, did you? I’m sure you’re in perfectly good conscience. And didn’t good Pope Francis say we should be merciful? So repent of that bad, old, first “failed marriage,” do penance for it (a decade of the Rosary if you remember how, or alms to Greenpeace if you don’t), feel free henceforth to approach extraordinary minister Ms. Gauleiter for the Eucharist, and now go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

If this procedure were allowed, says Professor de Mattei, “it is easy to imagine how the annulment of marriages would spread, introducing de facto Catholic divorce, if not by law, and incurring devastating damage to the human good.”

6. An Invitation to Derision and Scandal. As for the foregoing proposal, as we noted above, even Kaspar himself says it “would create the dangerous impression that the Church is proceeding in a dishonest manner in granting what in reality are divorces.” The impression of dishonesty? The impression of divorce? It would create the REALITY of both.

Any Protestant, any non-believer, who had an ounce of sense would say that the Catholic Church has changed its teaching and now permits divorce and second marriages. To dress the procedure up as an “annulment” — as if a real marriage never existed in the first place — is to invite mockery and accusations of utter dishonesty, even (according to a recent poll of Austrian and German Catholics) from people who would supposedly benefit from it:

But reforming and streamlining the church’s annulment process would not make a big difference in Germany, the bishops’ report said, because most remarried people do not regard their original unions as “null and void,” but rather as having failed. “They therefore frequently consider an annulment procedure” — which declares that an apparent marriage was null from the start —”to be dishonest.”

Maximum limit?

Henry’s maximum limit?

7. Make It a Six-Pack? The change would also be a source of scandal in countries where polygamy is rife, as even some African bishops recently said. Those who join the Church must choose one wife and leave the rest. If the Church can permit Westerners in developed countries to engage in serial polygamy, why not allow Africans to engage in simultaneous polygamy? And once you set aside the principle of indissolubility of marriage through the praxis of Kasper’s new “juridical and pastoral hermeneutic,” is there a limit to the number of marriages you can, in good conscience, declare “failed”? The one to Catherine of Aragon, say, then followed by another to Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Paar? No need to send anyone to the scaffold, Your Majesty! You don’t even have to bother Archbishop Tom, because his delegate, Father Chuck, can handle it all for you.

8. Fraudulent Appeals to the Fathers. Kasper, as we have seen, says that in the first centuries a “praxis” existed for some Christians by which they contracted a second relationship after “a period of penitence,” even if their first spouse was still alive. 

Professor de Mattei demonstrates, however, that this claim is entirely false.

Father George H. Joyce, in his historical-doctrinal study on Christian Marriage (1948) showed that during the first five centuries of the Christian era, no decree by a Council, nor any declaration by a Father of the Church, which sustains the possibility of dissolving the matrimonial bond, can be found.

In the second century, when Justin, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, mention the evangelical prohibition of divorce, they do not give any indication of exceptions. Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian are even more explicit. And Origen, even if he looks for some justification in the practices adopted by some bishops, specifies that this contradicts Scripture and the Tradition of the Church [...] Two of the first Councils in the Church, Elvira (306) and Arles (314) repeat it clearly. In every part of the world, the Church regarded the dissolving of the marriage bond as impossible and divorce with the right to a second marriage was completely unknown.

De Mattei continues his argument, adding proof after proof from the Fathers to refute Kasper’s claim, and makes the damning statement:

The “canonical, penitential practice” that Cardinal Kasper proposes as a way out of the “dilemma” had the exact opposite significance in the first centuries to what he seems to attribute to it. It was not done to expiate the first marriage, but to repair the sin of the second one, contracted only under civil law, and obviously demanded repentance of this sin, and the abandonment of the pseudo-matrimonial condition.

Note well: The exact opposite.

Kasper even distorted the famous Patristic phrase about “the second plank after the shipwreck of sin” by applying it to the Eucharist instead of to Confession, as the canonist Thomas Peters pointed out.

Too late now!

Too late now!

9. The Horse Has Left the Stable. Naturally, those who in the post-Vatican II church still try to adhere to traditional Catholic doctrines hope that the October Bishops’ Synod and Francis himself will not officially endorse Kasper’s proposals. But endorsement or non-endorsement will make no difference in the practical order. As with artificial contraception issue in the ’60s, once you allow for widespread and well publicized debates over whether to retain a Catholic moral principle or not, temporize over resolving the issue, and link ignoring the principle to the feel-good bromides of modern secular discourse (tolerance, individual conscience, human values, no-fault marriage failure, accommodation to “reality,” etc.), the game is over. Those who reject the principle have already found their justifications for doing so.

And to boot, our beloved, media-anointed Holy Father has already said we must not have a pharisaical, old-fashioned, “casuistic” approach to moral issues, but “walk with” people, show “mercy,” be “pastoral,” and respect the supremacy of the individual conscience, even for atheists, who can also get to heaven. So why can’t I, with my second marriage “in good conscience”? Or my third, or fourth, for that matter?

10. The First Step towards More. In his devastating critique of the Kaspar address, published on March 1, Professor de Mattei warned:

Once the legitimacy of second-marriage cohabitation is admitted, one cannot see why pre-matrimonial cohabitation, if it is stable and sincere, should not be permitted. 

Well, it doesn’t take much time in the Bergoglio pontificate to be proved a prophet. Sure enough, only three days later, we encounter an article entitled “Church teaching must change on sexual morality, says German bishop.” According to an account of an interview published in National Catholic Reporter, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, stated:

Declaring a second marriage after a divorce a perpetual mortal sin, and under no circumstances allowing remarried divorced people ever to receive the Sacraments, was not helpful… “We bishops will have to make suggestions here. We must strengthen people’s sense of responsibility and then respect their decisions of conscience.

It was also no longer tenable to declare that every kind of cohabitation before marriage was a grievous sin, and “the difference between natural and artificial birth control is somehow artificial.”

And speaking of contraception, we see in an interview with Bergoglio published the following day, the same duplicitous approach that Kasper, with his approval, took on the question of sacraments for the divorced and remarried. Bergolio pays lip service to the principle, and then hints that it can be ignored in practice on “pastoral grounds.”

The question is not that of changing the doctrine, but to go deep and to ensure that pastoral care takes into account situations and what is possible for people.

And how did modernist clergy in the ’60s ensure that “pastoral care” took into account “situations and what is possible for people”? As Bergoglio well knows, by either remaining silent when Catholics confessed using contraception or by telling them, “Follow your conscience.” Think it’s “possible” not to pop that birth control pill?

*    *    *

“Life is not all black and white, but is in fact full of little nuances,” Cardinal Kasper assured his listeners.

But the faithful Catholic knows that law of God is indeed black and white about those very principles that Kasper and his fan, Bergoglio, pay lip service to in theory but seek to overthrow in practice  — that marriage is indissoluble, that adultery is wrong, and that the unworthy reception of the Eucharist is sacrilege.

Where, though, is the outrage at this frontal attack on Catholic dogma? Apart from Professor de Mattei in Italy and the Rorate Caeli blog in the English-speaking world, there is nothing but silence from conservatives or traditionalists who are still part of the post-Vatican II church. Is there not even one Novus Ordo bishop who still retains enough of the moral law and enough courage to denounce Divorce Bergoglio Style with all the force he can muster?

After fifty years of Vatican II, apparently not. So the revolution presided over by Jorge Bergolio will increasingly gain momentum — motus in fine velocior, as Professor de Mattei predicts — causing everything that Catholics once regarded as solid to melt into air.

 

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Mister Bergoglio’s Neighborhood

Berg Bro BpsFrancis greets his Pentecostal “brother bishop” and gives away the store.

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

For thirty-five years Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, a TV show presided over by a likable and low-key Calvinist minister named Fred Rogers, taught American children the advantages of cooperation and generic “niceness,” and did so utterly without reference to any religious dogma, Calvinist, Catholic or otherwise.

It was Fred’s sweater-clad specter that came to mind when I chanced upon a video message Jorge Maria Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) recently made for the Protestant charismatic Bishop Tony Palmer and a Kenneth Copeland Ministries conference. Here was Bergoglio — supposedly Successor of Peter, Roman Pontiff, Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth — delivering an address to American Protestants that undermines one Catholic teaching after another.

It is a cringe-inducing dose of emotional, dogma-free, Vatican II ecumenical “niceness.” Give each other “hugs”! If you have even an ounce of Catholicism left, you want roll your eyes, say “yuck,” move the cursor, and quickly click on something (anything!) else. But as much as we might feel like averting our eyes from the horror of this train wreck, we have to force ourselves to look closely at the devastating doctrinal carnage that Bergoglio has strewn throughout a mere 600 words:

  • Bergoglio says he will not speak Italian or English “but ‘heartfully,’ a language more simple, and more authentic, and this language of the heart has a special language and grammar. A simple grammar.”
  • For Bergoglio, Tony Palmer, a bishop in something called the  Anglican Episcopal Communion of the CEEC (Celtic Anglican Tradition) and a pentecostal, is “my brother bishop.
  • It is a joy to Bergoglio that pentecostal groups like this come together “to receive the Spirit,” because this way “we can see that God is working all over the world.
  • Bergoglio is filled with yearning because it happens “in our neighborhood [quartiere],” where there are “families that come together and families who separate themselves. We are kind of… permit me to say, separated.”
  • Why are the Catholic Church and pentecostal groups separated from each other? “It’s sin that has separated us, all our sins. The misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord.”
  • Both of us, the Catholic Church and pentecostal groups, have our “currency” — “The currency of our culture. The currency of our history. We have lot of cultural riches, and religious riches. And we have diverse traditions. But we have to encounter one another as brothers. We must cry together like Joseph did. These tears will unite us. The tears of love.
  • “Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug and let God complete the work that he has begun. And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”
  • I ask you to bless me, and I bless you. From brother to brother, I embrace you.”

It almost sounds like a parody of reheated ’60 liberalism. Or, as if a sedevacantist ghostwriter were regularly feeding Bergoglio talking points over the Casa S. Marta breakfast buffet: “OK, Jorge, today start by calling the Protestant your ‘brother bishop,’ hint that the Holy Ghost is behind the jabbering in tongues, and wind up with teary hugs. Let’s see how the SSPX and The Remnant crowd will try figure out a way to insist you’re a real pope after that!” (Full disclosure: Bergoglio has not phoned me — at least within the past two weeks….)  But duty obliges us to step beyond parody in order to examine the array of errors and heresies encoded in these idiotic vaporings.

a2d6419328a0dea271bed110.LI. Bergoglio-Speak Decoded

1. Language of the Heart. Mushy, emotional clap-trap, of course, but what’s behind it? The classic modernist notion of religion in general and faith in particular as a “personal experience” or an “encounter with Jesus.” Bergoglio’s public statements are shot through with this theme, and it is the opposite of the Catholic understanding of faith — adhesion of the intellect under the influence of grace to truths revealed by God (dogmas) on account of His authority as revealer.

For modernists like Bergoglio, subjective emotion trumps objective revealed truths, especially when these truths have been systematically presented, because they then become what Bergoglio denounced in an address to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith  as “an ensemble of abstract and crystallized theories.” Instead of all this precise and picky dogma stuff, we get what Bergoglio calls “a simple grammar.” Don’t sweat the dogma with Protestants, because they can “encounter Jesus” without it.

Palmer

A bro from da hood!

2. My Brother Bishop. This is another Bergoglian two-fer. First, you continue the program of diminishing the traditional Catholic teaching on papal authority by putting the pope on the same level as a bishop — and not even a putatively Catholic one, mind you, but a functionary in a heretical Protestant sect.

Second, you trash Pope Leo XIII’s teaching on apostolic succession and holy orders, according to which Bishop Palmer (photo above) would be nothing more than a layman. More “abstract and crystallized theories,” no doubt. Modernists utterly reject the standard teachings of traditional Catholic theology on what is required for the validity of a sacrament. The concepts of sacramental matter and form are not even found in the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church. So while it is not surprising that a ’60s modernist like Bergoglio believes that a Protestant is a “brother bishop,” it is indeed quite shocking to hear a man in a white cassock who claims to be the pope say it out loud. Where is the outrage from the pretzel-minded conservative cheerleaders like Fr. Zuhlsdorf, Jimmy Aikin, and The Wanderer staff?

You need a hug!

Aww, he needs a hug!

3. God Working through Heretics Speaking in Tongues. Pentecostals like Palmer, Copeland and their followers jabber incomprehensible gibberish aloud at their gatherings and claim it is the Holy Ghost speaking. According to Bergoglio’s reasoning, this way “we can see that God is working all over the world.”

Uh, God works. We receive the Holy Ghost. Through gibberish. Spouted by heretics.

How can Bergoglio say something so stupid about a Pentecostal sect like Palmer’s and Copeland’s? Easy. Because of Vatican II’s teaching on ecumenism, according to which even non-Christian religions are means of salvation used by the Holy Ghost, and because faith for Bergoglio is not dogmas, but personal religious experience or “the language of the heart.”

4. Church and Sect are “Families” in the Same “Neighborhood.” Got that? The article in the Creed “I believe in one… Church” has been updated to “I believe in one neighborhood,” and the understanding of the Church as “the kingdom of God on earth governed by apostolic authority” (D. Palmieri) is replaced by the Neighborhood Family Club. You don’t have one family of God under one authority (Christ’s Vicar) over all its servants (famuli) but multiple families who “separate themselves” from each other — do not participate, perhaps, in the same barbecues, sack races and water balloon fights at the neighborhood clubhouse.

Good neighbor!

Good neighbor!

5. Church and Sect are Separated Because of “Sin.” By this Bergoglio certainly doesn’t mean a sin of heresy on the part of non-Catholics. Given his concept of faith, such would be impossible, because for him dogma does not exist except as “abstract and crystallized theories.” “Sin” for him, rather, seems to mean nothing more than moral faults and misunderstandings that lead to quarreling among families in the neighborhood — the Pope, Calvin, Luther, Tudor and Kenneth Copeland families.

The Copeland Ministries family believes in the “prosperity Gospel” (God wants Christians to be rich, and “faith,” positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase your material wealth), that “Adam was God manifest in the flesh,” that God is a man and a woman, and for that matter, so was Adam. Do doctrines like this really separate us from the Copeland “family”? Oh please, don’t sweat the small stuff, and let’s concentrate on speaking the “language of the heart.”

slaini20spirit

Now THAT’s “rich”!

6. Church and Sect Alike Have Cultural/Religious Riches. They also have “diverse traditions.” Catholic: Gregorian chant, transubstantiation, Thomistic theology, authority handed down from Christ and the apostles. Pentecostals: snake-handling, jabbering in tongues, spirit-slaying, one-man television ministries. Lots of diverse religious riches there, and all equally precious since “tears” (rather than dogma) are the new currency to deposit at Bergoglio’s reformed Vatican bank.

7. Mutual Blessings and Hugs! The superior usually blesses the inferior — the father, the son; the pope, the bishop; the priest, the layman — but since we’re all equals in Mister Bergoglio’s Neighborhood, there’s nothing anymore to prevent a Protestant brother bishop (or even a gaggle of his Pentecostal followers) from blessing that twinkly-eyed, garrulous, grandpa-like geezer, the “Bishop of Rome.” And — seal the dogma-free deal with a nice big hug!

Simple grammar alert.

Simple grammar

II. Claptrap Has Consequences

In 600 words, Bergoglio has once again given away the store. As I pointed out in 9/11 for the Magisterium: The Francis Interviews, his public statements have created “a magisterium which destroys its own foundations.” There is no doctrinal certitude about anything in his system, nor is there any real need for any. All you need is “encounter with Jesus,” the “simple grammar of the heart,” respect for other “religious traditions,” neighborly spirit, “tears,” hugs and mutual blessings — more of what Italian theologian Peter De Marco has already called Bergoglio’s “relativistic slippage.” Everything — everything — is subverted.

Some conservatives would be tempted to shake their heads and say that such a debacle would never have occurred under that Rotweiler of Orthodoxy, Ratzinger. But not so fast! It turns out that Bergoglio’s brother bishop, Tony Palmer, said at the same charismatic conference where the video was played that there is no reason  now for divisions to exist between Catholics and Protestants.

We are not protesting the doctrine of salvation [taught] by the Catholic Church anymore. We now preach the same Gospel.

Ratz Peek

Peeking at the future.

Huh? Since when? Well, His Excellency Bishop Palmer tells us, since the 1999 Catholic-Lutheran Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which was approved, of course, by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith chief, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. (For a critical analysis of this heresy-laden document, see here.)

At an ecumenical colloquium in 1993, moreover, Ratzinger said we could not predict what the papacy would look like twenty years later. In a contemporaneous article entitled Ratzinger: 99% Protestant, Don Francesco Ricossa offered a penetrating analysis of Ratzinger’s thinking and concluded that it would lead to the creation of a dogma-free ecumenical super-church.

Berg Clown Small

The future is here!

Well in Bergoglio, we have seen the face of this new papacy: it wears a clown nose, poses for selfies, trashes traditionalists, says “no Catholic God,” and reduces the Church’s dogmatic and moral teachings to mush in pursuit of ecumenism. After the Palmer/Copeland video fiasco, the “Francis Phenomenon” has prompted even some Protestants to express their worries that Bergoglio is creating “an emerging one-world religion.” This prospect should spook faithful Catholics all the more. The centuries-long goal of the Church’s enemies — the organized forces of naturalism that have existed since the 18th century — has been to create a dogma-free, one world religion that appeals to emotion without imposing doctrinal or moral constraints. In Bergoglio they have the man for the job.

Of the reign of Bergoglio, conservative commentator Professor Roberto di Mattei recently warned:

The events succeed one another more quickly. The Latin motus in fine velocior is commonly used to indicate the faster passing of the time at the end of an historical period…. The more one distances himself from God the more chaos, produced by the change, increases.

February 11[, 2013] marked the start of an acceleration of time, which is the consequence of a movement which is becoming vertiginous. We are living through an historical hour which is not necessarily the end of times, but certainly the end of a civilization and the termination of an epoch in the life of the Church….

The city is already in ruins and the enemy soldiers are at the gates.

Nay, more. The enemy is already within the walls, and the most dangerous of its leaders now rules the neighborhood, a smiling Mister Rogers type in reassuring white robes — but with the heart of a Robespierre.

———————————————-

SGG Gosp

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A Milestone for Restoring the Traditional Liturgy

8f4e4140f8357038bb118b228bca8d70_st5yThe pre-1955 altar Missal is being reprinted at last!

by Rev. Anthony Cekada

OVER THE PAST twenty years or so, Catholics who criticize the post-Vatican II reform of the Mass have become increasingly aware that the new rite did not appear out of nowhere, and that quite few of its features appeared as trial balloons in the liturgical changes promulgated by Pius XII and John XXIII during the years 1955–1962. It is now common knowledge, moreover, that person primarily responsible for these pre-Vatican II changes was the same man who personally oversaw the creation of the New Mass after Vatican II: Father Annibale Bugnini.

I myself have written extensively on the reasons for returning to the pre-55 Missal as part of a program to restore the integral, traditional and timeless Catholic liturgy. The interim forms that paved the way for the post-Vatican II changes, particularly the 1962 Missal of John XXIII authorized by Benedict XVI in 2007, represent transition rather than tradition.

af601835ac998f3e732795858ef07442For this reason, my book Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI contained an Appendix entitled “Which Missal Should Be Used,” which recommended that all traditionalist groups return to the use of the older Missal. I concluded by expressing the hope that it would one day be reprinted.

As the distressing facts about the pre-Vatican II changes became more widely known, there were inevitably more calls to return to the older Missal, rubrics and calendar. However, while excellent Latin-vernacular editions of the older Missal and its companion chant book, the Liber Usualis, together with St. Lawrence Press’s excellent yearly edition of the priest’s Ordo, have been widely available for several decades, editions of the priest’s altar Missal became more and more difficult to find.

I am now delighted to announce that this problem has been solved. Earlier this month, Roman Catholic Archive, a recently founded publisher of traditional liturgical books, announced that it would print a new and high-quality edition of the pre-1955 Latin altar Missal. This is a project that many traditional Catholic priests have been hoping for for a very, very long time.

By a felicitous coincidence, this Missal appears during 2014, the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope St. Pius X. Because it was the end result of the liturgical reforms implemented by this great pope and hammer of modernists, it is often rightly called “the Missal of St. Pius X.”

Because a Missal is in constant use every day over the course of years and decades, the physical quality of the book is a paramount consideration. On this point, the publisher’s release announcement says:

This Missale is made with the finest craftsmanship available today. The binding is triple-reinforced genuine leather with gold end-sheets that lay flat when open. The gold stamping on both the inside and outside covers is truly suitable for an altar. The tabs are made of genuine leather and the raised bands along the spine are made from natural materials. This Missale is made to last.

It is published in a convenient 11.5″ x 8.5″ x 2.75″ size (29cm x 22cm x 7cm) that make it suitable for use on larger and smaller altars, as well as a convenient size for serious study. The typesetting and design of the pages shown in the promotional material is very attractive. The classic traditional Missal engravings appear throughout the Missal to embellish major feast days.

d39ea16e46f25afe8e80b73c42ee8a56_51mcI spoke with the publisher today. He is very committed to this project, and has been working on it for five years. He has invested his own funds in it, and seems highly knowledgeable about all the details involved in a complex project such as this. He was also grateful for a number of practical suggestions I made about details that only a priest (and liturgy fanatic like me) would notice: where to put common commemorations so that they are easily accessible, certain page turns, the number of ribbons, adding a few more recent texts that might have been overlooked, etc.

The pre-publication cost of the Missal is $450. This is absolutely worth it for a high quality book that must be used by several priests every day for decades.

Who should order it?

  1. Every priest and every church using the pre-55 Missal. Obviously! Whatever book is on your altar now is not going to last forever. Chances are, the Missal you are using is already wearing out or worn out. Replace it now, or at least buy one to keep in reserve. You never know when one will be come available again.
  2. Students of the sacred liturgy. There is absolutely nothing like having a real book, full-sized and with a good binding to use for study, especially for the sacred liturgy, which is conducted in the real world, rather than the virtual one.
  3. Priests thinking about using the old Missal. If you use the ’62 Missal, having this new edition will give you a concrete basis for comparing the pre-55 liturgy with the version you are using. The old liturgy is not as complicated as some people claim!
  4. Priests who use some of the Pius XII revisions. Surprisingly, this Missal will be of more use to you than the ’62 version. Pius XII ordered that no changes be made in the texts of missals, so nearly everything in this Missal, apart from Holy Week, is identical to the Missal you are using. The main difference is that it will be a new, clean book! For those who still want to use the revised Holy Week, that is always readily available in a separate book, Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae

The printer and binder require a considerable payment up front, so the more early orders the publisher obtains, the quicker these precious books will be available. Support this project – it is a milestone in the process of restoring the traditional liturgy everywhere — and order a copy or several!

For orders and info click here.

   de712d32eec5b8997104980d4bc9969a_ugqp

Christmas Mission to Nigeria

** FR. CEKADA ON THE NEW MASS :  7:00 PM TONIGHT Restoration Radio**

A newly ordained priest brings the Mass back to his countrymen.

NOTE FROM FR. CEKADA: Today we present a little report from Fr. Bede Nkamuke, a Nigerian who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Daniel Dolan on November 6, 2013. Fr. Nkamuke, a student at Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville, Florida, visited Nigeria for several weeks in late December and early January to bring the Mass and the sacraments to groups of faithful traditional Catholics in different parts of his country. Here is a report he sent back to Bishop Dolan.

Nigeria Gr 1I ARRIVED in Ghana around 11:00 AM Saturday, December 14th, after a smooth flight from New York. I was welcomed by Paul Mensah (the only traditional Catholic in Ghana), William, Kenneth and Comfort, and taken to a hotel. I said Mass for them on the same day. There was a question and answer session, where I summarized the origin and history of the traditional Catholic movement. The next day, Sunday, I said Mass. This time Paul brought a new person. After Mass (and thanksgiving), I was asked a few questions, especially by the new person. He wanted to know how one can become a traditional Catholic. I responded that all it takes is to be baptized and reject the false doctrines of the modernist religion (and yes, I explained what I meant by “modernist”). I promised to keep in touch. On Monday I said an early morning Mass with only Paul in attendance, the others having to go to school.

I must tell you with a heavy heart that the ciborium which you gave me was stolen from my bag. I did not realize this until I arrived at the hotel. I am really sorry for this loss. I also lost my Kindle tablet and a CD player, but all that is nothing compared to the ciborium.

Christmas High Mass

Christmas High Mass

Quite a Christmas

My stay in Lagos from the 16th–22nd went well. Due to the fact that the faithful live so far apart, I can only say Mass in Lagos at 8:00 PM. Usually there are questions and answers, Rosary, and the Mass. I sang a high Mass on Sunday the 22nd and went to Port Harcourt and said Mass the same day and the next, then went to Owerri and said Mass the night I arrived (the 23rd) and also on the morning of the 24th. I could not say Mass in Port Harcourt on Christmas Eve as planned because I was late for my flight.

Servers and choir.

Servers and choir.

I flew to Lagos on the 24th and offered the midnight Mass at about 12:30 AM, and went back to Port Harcourt for the second Mass of Dawn. I was on my way to Owerri for the third Mass, driven by a chapel member, when the tire burst while we were on the highway. The car veered off into the brushes on the roadside. Our Lady was in charge and we were unhurt, and with the help of some good Samaritans we got the spare tire on and continued the journey, only for the back tire to get spoiled again. We had to buy a used tire from some people. We continued our journey, but got to Owerri so late that I couldn’t possibly say the Mass. However, the next day (the 26th) we had a sung Mass at my house in Mgbidi. Today (Dec. 27th) I said a Mass in Owerri, and will be doing the same daily through the first of January.

I now keep the chalice in my carry on bag. I’ve been told by the airport officials that I should put it in my checked bag, but I’m paying no mind to them.

Nigeria SeatedFinishing Up

Since the last time I wrote, I have been in the South and Southeast of Nigeria. I say Mass twice daily in those two places (about 90 minutes apart). The people appreciate it and do their best to attend. Thy also help provide money for my transport fare. On January 1st, I supplied ceremony for Philomena, the daughter of William, and I also baptized Silvester (13 years old and well informed about Traditional Catholicism). It was quite an experience for me. I have one more baptism this Sunday before I go to Lagos (the Southwest).

The rest of my program is as follows: I fly to Lagos on Sunday the 5th, then to Abuja to speak to some Feeneyites on the 6th. I return on an early flight on the 8th, then fly to Ghana and onward to the U.S. the same day.

Except for one or two hitches, everything has worked according to plan. Already I am being asked when I will return.

* * *

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Gaga on Islam

Bergoglio Draws a Jesuit’s Fire for Whitewashing the Koran

By Rev. Anthony Cekada

 

On Islam, "de medietate looney"?

Position on Islam: “de medietate looney”?

BEFORE VATICAN II, the absolute last thing you’d expect to find a Jesuit doing was publicly attacking a papal pronouncement. The Jesuits, whatever their other considerable shortcomings, were regarded as fiercely loyal defenders of the papacy, the “shock troops of the Holy See,” who even took a special fourth vow to go wherever the pope would send them.

But as the trite 70s saying goes, “That was then and this is now” — the “now” being fifty years into the Vatican II demolition job on the Church, and nine months into the madcap reign of “Pope Francis,” a.k.a. Jorge Bergoglio.

In the months since his election, Bergoglio has produced torrent of pronouncements that have been alternately heretical, blasphemous, theologically ignorant, offensive, wrong-headed, goofy, clichéd, shallow, contradictory, or crypto-Marxist. Just as we predicted, this man is a loose cannon. He is a constant source of worry and appalling embarrassment to those people in the Novus Ordo establishment, now a minority, who still hold on to vestiges of the old religion. Many of these souls, however, have begun to criticize Bergoglio, openly and in mainstream media outlets.

The latest to take Bergoglio to task is an Egyptian Jesuit and expert on Islam, Rev. Samir Kahil Samir, who teaches in Beirut, Rome and Paris, and is the author of several books and essays on Islam and on its relationship with Christianity and the West. On December 19 the “Asia News” site of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions published an extensive commentary by Fr. Samir on the passages dealing with Islam in Bergoglio’s September 24 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Thereafter, his article received a much wider publication when the respected Vatican correspondent Sandro Magister posted a large section of it in his blog on December 30.

While the first part of Fr. Samir’s commentary praises what he regards as “many positive things” in the exhortation, his second part, “Points of ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ that Require Clarification,” is of great interest to us — for it demonstrates that Bergoglio’s optimistic-sounding declarations about Islam are either the product of stupidity or are simply a pack of lies.

Here is synthesis of Fr. Samir’s catalogue of Bergoglian howlers on the subject of Islam, Moslems and the Koran, taken from Nos. 250-253 of Evangelii Gaudium.

 

1. Muslims “together with us adore the One, merciful God” (No. 252)

Sure, any traditional Catholic knows this is utterly false, just the sort of ecumenical garbage that the Conciliar Church has been putting out for decades. But what is significant is that Fr. Samir recognizes that Begoglio’s declaration is false, because “it suggests that the two conceptions of God are equal” — and does not hesitate to say so.

2. “Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration” in Islam (No. 252)

While Muslim women may indeed venerate the Blessed Virgin, says Fr. Samir, Our Lord “is not an object of veneration.” In fact, “all that is said of Jesus in the Koran is the exact opposite of Christian teaching. He is not the Son of God, but a prophet, and that’s it.”

3. “The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings” (No. 252)

Fr. Samir says Mohammedans retain “words or facts” from the four Gospels and “pious tales” from the apocryphal gospels, but “do not draw from them the theological sense they contain, and so do not give these facts or words the meaning that they actually have…”

Moreover, Fr. Samir points out, the Koran is opposed to all the fundamental Christian dogmas:

  • It explicitly condemns the notion that Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity.
  • It condemns the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • It denies the divinity of Christ.
  • It denies the Redemption, claiming that Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross.

In short, Fr. Samir says, the Koran and Muslims deny the essential dogmas of Christianity. “One cannot then say that ‘the sacred writings of Islam regain part of Christian teachings.’” The Jesus of the Koran “has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Gospels.”

4. Muslims “acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment” (No. 252)

Bergoglio tries to draw a parallel between Christians and Muslims on this point, and Fr. Samir demonstrates that this, too, is false.

  • While for Christians, all men in need are supposed to be objects of their charity, among Muslims fellow Muslims are aided as a means of promoting “solidarity within the Islamic community,” as can be seen from the response of rich Arab countries to natural disasters.
  • While for Christians, the discomfort of fasting aims to bring us closer to Christ’s own sacrifice, the farcical Ramadan “fast” allows you to eat as much as you want of the best food you want from dusk to dawn, as long as you eat nothing during the day. Ramadan is a time to stuff yourself with delicacies all night.
  • While the Christian is supposed to forgive, as long as a Moslem observes Islamic law, everything is in order, and there is no obligation in the Koran to forgive.
  • While Christian marriage raised the dignity of the woman through its indissolubility and through the obligations it imposed upon the husband, the Koran permits polygamy, allowing up to four wives; and as if this were not degrading enough, it even allows the husband to divorce and replace these, as long as the number remains at four.

5. “Obstacles and difficulties” from “fundamentalism on both sides” (No. 250, 253)

Of this particularly ripe bit of idiocy, Fr. Samir observed:

“Christian fundamentalists do not carry weapons… [But among Muslims,] armed fundamentalism seeks to replicate the Mohammedan example. In his life, Mohammed waged more that sixty wars, and if Mohammed is the supreme exemplar (as the Koran claims in 33:21), it is now not surprising that some Muslims also employ violence in imitation of the founder of Islam.”

6. “True Islam and the proper interpretation of the Koran oppose all violence.” (No. 253)

Fr. Samir really has to bite his tongue on this one to keep from calling Bergoglio either an idiot or a liar. Of the notion that “true Islam” opposes all violence, Fr. Samir says, “this does not seem to true,” and “needs a lot of explaining. It is enough to cite Chapter 2 and 9 of the Koran.”

“Here in the East,” Fr. Samir adds, “we understand very well that Islamic terrorism is religiously motivated.” Moreover, the question of giving a proper interpretation to the Koran, says Fr. Samir, is “the most heated — indeed, the most forbidden — debate in the Muslim world.”

*    *    *    *    *

THE VERDICT on Bergoglio’s treatment of Islam in Evangelii Gaudium, then, is obvious: Just about everything he says is false. It is a fatal combination of theological stupidity, ignorance of even basic facts about Islam, ecumenical wishful thinking and stale ’60s obsessions, spiced with a dash of anti-traditionalist rhetoric (“fundamentalists on both sides” — that’s you and me, folks). And the proof for these conclusions comes not from some dreaded sedevacantist (like me), but from a thoroughly “mainstream” Novus Ordo source, Fr. Samir, a former adviser to the Vatican on Islamic affairs and, like Bergoglio, a Jesuit to boot.

Bergoglio’s doctrinal errors and idiocies in Evangelii Gaudium are not limited to his four paragraphs on Islam. One could devote several weeks’ worth of blogs to dissecting the rest of the document and still not run out of material. It is loaded with errors and — there’s no other way to put it  — idiocies.

Waving the revolution forward.

Waving the revolution forward.

Then there is the bigger picture: We have repeatedly stated (in a radio show the day after his election and in posts here and here on this site) that one of Bergoglio’s principal aims since he first stepped out onto the balcony at St. Peter’s after his election has been to diminish the papacy. He has relentlessly pursued this goal over the last nine months in his words and his intentionally hammy and well-publicized deeds. While Bergoglio is a typical ’60s Stalinist liberal who does not hesitate to use his authority to crush traditionalist opposition (“self-absorbed Promethean neo-Pelagians”), he realizes that one can also manipulate opponents as pawns in a scheme to achieve the larger revolutionary goal. This was the strategy Mao followed in his “Revolution of a Hundred Flowers” in order to draw out and then eliminate opposition.  So, Bergoglio has even said publicly that he appreciates it when people correct him (it “manifest[s] love”) thus getting himself yet another twofer: publicizing his self-aggrandizing “humility” and diminishing deference and respect for the papal office. And he appreciates public correction? Tell it to Cardinal Burke.

All this, though, has a silver lining for those Catholics who have rejected the Vatican II revolution. Unlike the relatively staid and conservative front John Paul II and Benedict XVI tried to put on Vatican II, Bergoglio has pulled off the mask to reveal its true face: a revolution — in its original sense of an “overturning” — in Catholic faith, discipline, liturgy and morals. It is far easier for us to demonstrate that Vatican II caused a mess with Bergoglio running amok virtually every day. The contrast and opposition between the Catholic religion and the modernist religion of Vatican II will thus come into increasingly sharper focus for those souls in the Novus Ordo institution who still retain a traditional understanding of Catholic doctrine and morality.

So, if in the long run more Catholics eventually come to understand that Vatican II is the real problem and needs to be dumped, it will be due in large measure to the madcap antics of its Number One Fanboy — Jorge Maria Bergoglio, “Chaos Frank,” “Papa Gaga.”