Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mistranslation of "pro multis" to be corrected, after only 36 years.

Pro multis means "for many," Vatican rules

Vatican, Nov. 18 ( - The Vatican has ruled that the phrase pro multis should be rendered as "for many" in all new translations of the Eucharistic Prayer, CWN has learned.
Although "for many" is the literal translation of the Latin phrase, the translations currently in use render the phrase as "for all." Equivalent translations (für alle; por todos; per tutti) are in use in several other languages.

Cardinal Francis Arinze (bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has written to the heads of world's episcopal conferences, informing them of the Vatican decision. For the countries where a change in translation will be required, the cardinal's letter directs the bishops to prepare for the introduction of a new translation of the phrase in approved liturgical texts "in the next one or two years."

The translation of pro multis has been the subject of considerable debate because of the serious theological issues involved. The phrase occurs when the priest consecrates the wine, saying (in the current translation):

...It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

The Latin version of the Missal, which sets the norm for the Roman liturgy, says:

...qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

Critics of the current translation have argued, since it first appeared, that rendering pro multis as "for all" not only distorts the meaning of the Latin original, but also conveys the impression that all men are saved, regardless of their relationship with Christ and his Church. The more natural translation, "for many," more accurately suggests that while Christ's redemptive suffering makes salvation available to all, it does not follow that all men are saved.

Cardinal Arinze, in his letter to the presidents of episcopal conferences, explains the reasons for the Vatican's decision to require

The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to “many” for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to have said “for all” (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the institution narrative is “for many”, and the words have been faithfully translated thus in most modern biblical versions.

The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the consecration of the chalice.

The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, the Slavic languages, etc., contain the verbal equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their respective languages.

“For many” is a faithful translation of pro multis, whereas “for all” is rather an explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.

The expression “for many”, while remaining open to the inclusion of each human person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some mechanistic way, without one’s willing or participation; rather, the believer is invited to accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be numbered among the “many” to whom the text refers.

In line with the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, effort should be made to be more faithful to the Latin texts in the typical editions.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Skeletons in the Conciliar Closet

Fr. Brian W. Harrison, O.S.

Like Christopher Ferrara, I saw George Sim Johnston’s article, “Why Vatican II Was Necessary” in the March 2004 issue of Crisis magazine, and I must confess I reacted in much the same way as Mr. Ferrara (Remnant, March 15, 2004). Johnston’s attempt to convince us why the Council was so necessary, valuable and important, in spite of its generally chaotic aftermath, struck me as consisting mainly of hollow, shopworn and unsubstantiated generalizations. I give my assent to Vatican II’s doctrinal teachings (interpreted, in the case of obscurities and ambiguities, in the light of Tradition). But I am inclined to agree that a strong case can be made out, with the benefit of nearly forty years of historical hindsight, for its overall lack of opportuneness.

I am afraid that Mr. Ferrara’s less-than-enthusiastic view of the Council tends to be supported by certain other skeletons in the conciliar closet that I have personally discovered in the last few weeks. They are ‘buried’ in the dozens of huge (and largely inaccessible) Latin tomes containing the complete record of everything officially done and said at the Council (the Acta Synodalia), and I doubt whether they have been made known to the general public so far.

One of the many difficulties in interpreting the Council’s Declaration on Religious Liberty, and reconciling it with traditional doctrine, lies in the fact that while the key article 2 of this document, Dignitatis Humanae (DH), begins by affirming that the right to religious liberty has to do with conscientiously held religious beliefs, it ends by affirming that the same right is enjoyed even by those who are not in good conscience (that is, those who “do not fulfill their obligation of seeking and adhering to the truth”). Curious as to whether this confusing, and at first sight contradictory, treatment of conscience in DH #2 was officially explained to the Council Fathers before they voted on it, I started fishing around in the Acta Synodalia (AS) in our university library. And what I dredged up struck me as a choice example of how that famous ‘Rhine’ flowed into the ‘Tiber’ during Vatican II: manipulation of the more conservative, but rather complacent and unsuspecting, majority by the powerful and ‘progressive’ Northern European bishops and their periti.

The above passage recognizing immunity from coercion for those whose religious propaganda is not in good conscience was absent from the first three drafts of DH. It finally appeared in the fourth (second-last) draft, presented on October 25, 1965, only a few weeks before the end of the Council (cf. AS IV, V, p. 79). Bishop Emil De Smedt, the Dutch relator (official spokesman for the drafting Commission), then gave his relatio (speech) to the assembled Fathers officially explaining this fourth draft and its changes to the previous draft. However, in doing so he did not even mention this important addition to the text! On the contrary, in commenting on the new version of article 2, De Smedt repeatedly stressed the importance of conscience, citing the (unchanged) words in the first paragraph of #2 which assert that the human person must not be forced to act against (or be prevented from acting in accordance with) “his conscience” (“suam conscientiam” – see ibid., pp. 101-102). True, the Fathers all had on their desks printed copies of the old and new drafts in parallel columns, but it looks as if De Smedt was hoping that if he didn’t draw their attention to this change, many would either overlook it or not attach much importance to it.

In another lengthy hand-out, which was not read on the floor of the Council, we find in the fine print that this change had been requested “in the name of more than one hundred” Fathers (ibid.,p. 116, #25). But the reader is not told who these hundred-plus Fathers were; and there is still not the slightest explanation from De Smedt as to how the role of conscience in religious liberty was now to be understood in the light of these contrasting statements within the same article of the document.

Did Bishop De Smedt perhaps honestly think this textual addition wasn’t important enough to warrant an official explanation? That excuse looks lame on the face of it, and looks even lamer in the light of what finally transpired. For during the next few weeks, when the fifth and final draft of DH was being worked on, three Fathers submitted a request to the Commission that this confusing addition favoring persons in bad conscience be simply omitted. A number of others asked that it be significantly amended. But in his final relatio, De Smedt acknowledged these requests only to dismiss them summarily, stating that the addition was too important and substantial to be omitted, and, moreover, it had already been approved by a large majority in the vote on the fourth draft taken back in October! But did the Dutch prelate finally give the Fathers at least some explanation of this “substantial” change which he now declared was immutable? No way. Still not a word. The unexplained amendment had been quickly, quietly, and misleadingly, pushed through without any debate and without public attention being drawn to it. But afterwards, when some more conservative Fathers finally expressed their disagreement with the amendment, they were told abruptly that it was now set in stone.

Another discovery I have made in the Acta Synodalia is relevant to the scandal provoked nearly two years ago when Cardinal William Keeler announced that, as far as he and an important committee of American theologians were concerned, the Catholic Church no longer believes it necessary, or even legitimate, to try and convert Jews to Christianity. Cardinal Keeler was soon backed up (with perhaps a minor nuance or two) by the top Vatican official entrusted with ecumenism and dialogue with Jews, the German Cardinal Walter Kasper.

Well, what, if anything, did the Council itself say in this point? In researching the textual history of the Vatican II Declaration on Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate (NA), I have found that the original draft of article 4 in that document was actually quite up-front and positive about Catholic hopes for Jewish conversions to the true faith. It included this passage: “It is important to recall that the integration of the Jewish people into the Church is part of Christian hope. For, according to the Apostle’s teaching (cf. Rom. 11: 25), the Church awaits with unshakable faith and deep longing the entry of this people into the fullness of the People of God, which has been restored by Christ” (AS III, VIII, p. 640, my translation). In the biblical verse cited here, the Holy Spirit, through Saint Paul, speaks of the “blindness” of the unbelieving Jews as being temporary, and prophesies in the next verse the salvation of Israel as a nation, after the “fullness of the Gentiles” has come into the Church.

Now, readers will probably agree that this original draft of NA #4, together with its biblical citation, doesn’t sound exactly in the ‘spirit’ of Their Eminences Keeler and Kasper. Come to think of it, have you ever heard any post-conciliar Pope or Vatican official declare that he is awaiting with “unshakable faith and deep longing” (fide inconcussa ac desiderio magno) the massive entry of Jews into the Catholic Church? And as for their present “blindness”, why, any official mention of that would now be out of the question! For it would of course be immediately drowned in worldwide howls of indignant media protest at such a recrudescence of top-level Catholic “anti-Semitism”.

In fairness, it should be added here that the new Catechism of the Catholic Church does present us with St. Peter at Pentecost preaching to the Jews their need for conversion, and continues to teach the revealed truth that Israel, after her present “hardening”, will eventually recognize Christ as her Messiah (see #674). Also, the Church in her post-conciliar Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office, still prays for the conversion of the Jews several times during the year (at least in the original Latin edition that I use – I can’t vouch for the generally more liberal English version). But, of course, we never hear any modern Church leaders publicly draw attention to these little-known official texts supporting the traditional doctrine. Nor do we hear any Vatican praise and encouragement for those few remaining Catholic individuals and small groups who actually make some concrete effort to evangelize Jews.

Let us return to Nostra Aetate. I have discovered that the near-silence and inactivity of the post-conciliar Church establishment regarding the Jews’ need for conversion can probably be traced to a conscious decision of the Council itself during the preparation of this Declaration. When the revised draft of NA was circulated, with the original draft in parallel columns, the Fathers found that the aforesaid section in article 4 about the conversion of the Jews, with its specific citation of Romans 11: 25, had now been totally omitted. And (unlike Bishop De Smedt) the relator for this document, the German Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea, was quite open about the reason why the original version was now considered unacceptable: “Very many Fathers,” Bea announced in his relatio, “have requested that in talking about this ‘hope’, since it has to do with a mystery, we should avoid every appearance of proselytism. Others have asked that the same Christian hope, applying to all peoples, should also be expressed somehow. In the present version of this paragraph we have sought to satisfy all these requests” (ibid., p. 648, emphasis added). The tactic of His Eminence and all those “very many” (but unnamed) Fathers was thus to tarnish the previous draft with the pejorative label “proselytism”, and to ‘elevate’ the future conversion of the Jews to the ethereal status of a “mystery”, thereby insinuating that it will somehow ‘just happen’ spontaneously one day without the necessity of any human missionary activity on the part of Catholics.

The tactic, combined with the great personal prestige of Cardinal Bea, worked perfectly. The vast majority of the Fathers duly voted in favor of the new draft, thereby relegating to the finest of fine print this particular point of our “unshakable faith” regarding the Jews. It proved to be literally unmentionable in a modern conciliar document, and so has been ‘buried’ in the middle of a much longer passage of the Epistle to the Romans which is indicated (but not cited) among various other biblical references to NA #4. What now appears in that passage is a much blander statement referring to Christian hopes for mankind in general. And in accord with the non-threatening spirit of this ‘pastoral’ Declaration, all explicit mention of anyone actually joining, entering or returning to the Catholic Church has been carefully excised. We read that “the Church awaits the day, known to God alone, when all peoples will call on God with one voice and ‘serve him shoulder to shoulder’ (Soph. 3:9; cf. Is. 66:23; Ps. 65: 4; Rom. 11: 11-32)”.

Doesn’t that sound a whole lot more . . . friendly than the original draft? At any rate, the history of this textual change perhaps helps explain why the top-level talk disparaging any further evangelization of the Jews has still, after nearly two years, not elicited any rebuttal from either the Supreme Pontiff or Cardinal Ratzinger (both of whom, of course, were active at Vatican II). For if he were challenged on this issue, Kasper the Friendly Dialogue-Partner could point straight back to the Friendly Kouncil. After all, how much difference is there between its officially endorsed admonition to “avoid every appearance of proselytizing” Jews and the Keeler/Kasper doctrine that Catholics should not “target the Jews for conversion”? It is not that Vatican II actually taught this falsehood now being propagated with impunity even by Princes of the Church; but we can see now that the Council paved the way for the diffusion of that error by consciously declining to teach – or even to suggest – the opposing, but ‘politically incorrect’, truth.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Catholic Encyclopedia (1922): St. Nilus was one of the many disciples and fervent defenders of St. John Chrysostom. He was an officer at the Court of Constantinople, married, with two sons. While St. John Chrysostom was patriarch, before his exile (398-403), he directed Nilus in the study of Scripture and in works of piety.

St. Nilus left his wife and one son and took the other, Theodulos, with him to Mt. Sinai to be a monk. The Bishop of Eleusa ordained both St. Nilus and his son to the priesthood. The mother and other son also embraced the religious life in Egypt. From his monastery at Sinai, St. Nilus was a well-known person throughout the Eastern Church; by his writings and correspondence he played an important part in the history of his time. He was known as a theologian, Biblical scholar and ascetic writer, so people of all kinds, from the emperor down wrote to consult him. His numerous works, including a multitude of letters, consist of denunciations of heresy, paganism, abuses of discipline and crimes, of rules and principles of asceticism, especially maxims about the religious life. He warns and threatens people in high places, abbots and bishops, governors and princes, even the emperor himself, without fear. He kept up a correspondence with Gaina, a leader of the Goths, endeavoring to convert him from Arianism. He denounced vigorously the persecution of St. John Chrysostom both to the Emperor Arcadius and to his courtiers.

St. Nilus must be counted as one of the leading ascetic writers of the fifth century. His feast is kept on November 12th in the Byzantine Calendar; he is commemorated also in the Roman Martyrology on the same date. St. Nilus probably died around the year 430 as there is no evidence of his life after that.

The prophecy:

"After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognizable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, people's minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonor and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognizable. People's appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to their shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents and elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right-hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and of the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society.

At that future time, due to the power of such great crimes and licentiousness, people will be deprived of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in Holy Baptism and equally of remorse. The Churches of God will be deprived of God-fearing and pious pastors, and woe to the Christians remaining in the world at that time; they will completely lose their faith because they will lack the opportunity of seeing the light of knowledge from anyone at all.

Then they will separate themselves out of the world in holy refuges in search of lightening their spiritual sufferings, but everywhere they will meet obstacles and constraints. And all this will result from the fact that the Antichrist wants to be Lord over everything and become the ruler of the whole universe, and he will produce miracles and fantastic signs. He will also give depraved wisdom to an unhappy man so that he will discover a way by which one man can carry on a conversation with another from one end of the earth to the other. At that time men will also fly through the air like birds and descend to the bottom of the sea like fish. And when they have achieved all this, these unhappy people will spend their lives in comfort without knowing, poor souls, that it is deceit of the Antichrist.

And, the impious one! – he will so complete science with vanity that it will go off the right path and lead people to lose faith in the existence of God in three hypostases. Then the All-good God will see the downfall of the human race and will shorten the days for the sake of those few who are being saved, because the enemy wants to lead even the chosen into temptation, if that is possible... then the sword of chastisement will suddenly appear and kill the perverter and his servants".

Friday, September 29, 2006

"Global Cooling", 1975 Newsweek article

The following article was published in Newsweek Magazine on April 28, 1975. It warns of the coming ice age that will bring on "catastrophic famines" begin "quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now". Be sure to share this classic with those who now fear global warming.

The Cooling World
By Peter Gwynne

"There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production -- with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.

The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas -- parts ofIndia,Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia -- where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree -- a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, "because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century."

A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.

To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earth's average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras -- and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average.

Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the "little ice age" conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 -- years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.

Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. "Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions."

Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases -- all of which have a direct impact on food supplies. "The world's food-producing system," warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAA's Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, "is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago." Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.

Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality." END

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Claude Newman story

The following is the true story of the conversion of Claude Newman. I possess an audio tape of a talk given by Fr. O'Leary, the priest who gave Claude instructions at the prison. I found the following version of the story online; this version is taken almost verbatum from the audio tape version given by Fr. O'Leary.

Claude Newman was a negro man who worked the fields for a landowner. He had married when he was 17 years old to a woman of the same age. One day, two years later, he was out plowing the fields. Another worker ran to tell Claude that his wife was screaming from the house.

Immediately Claude ran into his house and found a man attacking his wife. Claude saw red, grabbed an axe and split the man's head open. When they rolled the man over, they discovered that it was the favorite employee of the landowner for whom Claude worked. Claude was arrested. He was later sentenced for murder and condemned to die in the electric chair.

While he was in jail awaiting execution, he shared a cell-block of some sort with four other prisoners. One night, the five men were sitting around talking and they ran out of conversation. Claude noticed a medal on a string around another prisoner's neck. He asked what it was, and the Catholic boy told him that it was a medal. Claude said, "What is a medal?" The Catholic boy could not explain what a medal was or what its purpose was. At that point, and in anger, the Catholic boy snatched the medal from his own neck and threw it on the floor at Claude's feet with a curse and a cuss, telling him to take the thing.

Claude picked up the medal, and with permission from the prison attendants, placed it on a string around his own neck. To him it was simply a trinket, but he wanted to wear it.

During the night, sleeping on top of his cot, he was awakened with a touch on his wrist. And there stood, as Claude told the priest later, the most beautiful woman that God ever created. At first he was very frightened. The Lady calmed down Claude, and then said to him, "If you would like Me to be your Mother, and you would like to be My child, send for a priest of the Catholic Church." With that She disappeared.

Claude immediately became terrified, and started to scream, "a ghost, a ghost", and fled to the cell of one of the other prisoners. He then started screaming that he wanted a Catholic priest.
Father O'Leary , the priest who tells the story, was called first thing the next morning. He arrived and found Claude who told him of what had happened the night before. Then Claude, along with the other four men in his cell-block, asked for religious instruction, for catechism.
Initially, Father O'Leary had difficulty believing the story. The other prisoners told the priest that everything in the story was true; but of course, they neither saw nor heard the vision of the Lady.

Father O'Leary promised to teach them catechism, as they had requested. He went back to his parish, told the rector what had happened, and returned to the prison the next day to give instruction.

It was then that the priest learned that Claude Newman could neither read nor write at all. The only way he could tell if a book was right-side-up was if the book contained a picture. Claude had never been to school. And his ignorance of religion was even more profound. He knew nothing at all about religion. He did not know who Jesus was. He did not know anything except that there was a God.

Claude began receiving instructions, and the other prisoners helped him with his studies. After a few days, two of the religious Sisters from Father O'Leary's parish-school obtained permission from the warden to come to the prison. They wanted to meet Claude, and they also wanted to visit the women in the prison. On another floor of the prison, the Sisters then started to teach some of the women-prisoners catechism as well.

Several weeks passed, and it came time when Father O'Leary was going to give instructions about the Sacrament of Confession. The Sisters too sat in on the class. The priest said to the prisoners, "Okay, boys, today I'm going to teach you about the Sacrament of Confession."
Claude said, "Oh, I know about that!"

"The Lady told me," said Claude, "that when we go to confession we are kneeling down not before a priest, but we're kneeling down by the Cross of Her Son. And that when we are truly sorry for our sins, and we confess our sins, the Blood He shed flows down over us and washes us free from all sins."

Father O'Leary and the Sisters sat stunned with their mouths wide open. Claude thought they were angry and said, "Oh don't be angry, don't be angry, I didn't mean to blurt it out."
The priest said, "We're not angry. We're just amazed. You have seen Her again?"
Claude said, "Come around the cell-block away from the others."

When they were alone, Claude said to the priest, "She told me that if you doubted me or showed hesitancy, I was to remind you that lying in a ditch in Holland, in 1940, you made a vow to Her which She's still waiting for you to keep." And, Father O'Leary recalls, "Claude told me exactly what the vow was."

This convinced Father O'Leary that Claude was telling the truth about his visions of Our Lady.
They then returned to the catechism class on Confession. And Claude kept telling the other prisoners, "You should not be afraid to go to confession. You're really telling God your sins, not this priest, or any priest. We're telling God our sins." Then Claude said, "You know, the Lady said [that Confession is] something like a telephone. We talk through the priest to God and God talks back to us through the priest."

About a week later, Father O'Leary was preparing to teach the class about the Blessed Sacrament. The Sisters were present for this too. Claude indicated that the Lady had also taught him about Holy Communion, and he asked if he could tell the priest what She said. The priest agreed immediately. Claude related, "The Lady told me that in Communion, I will only see what looks like a piece of bread. But She told me that THAT is really and truly Her Son. And that He will be with me just for a few moments as He was with Her before He was born in Bethlehem. And that I should spend my time like She did, in all Her time with Him, in loving Him, adoring Him, thanking Him, praising Him and asking Him for blessings. I shouldn't be bothered by anybody else or anything else. But I should spend those few minutes with Him."

Eventually they finished the instructions, Claude was received into the Catholic Church, and the time came for Claude to be executed. He was to be executed at five minutes after twelve, midnight.

The sheriff asked him, "Claude, you have the privilege of a last request. What do you want?"
"Well," said Claude, "you're all shook up. The jailer is all shook up. But you don't understand. I'm not going to die. Just this body. I'm going to be with Her. So, can I have a party?"

"What do you mean?", asked the sheriff.

"A Party!" said Claude. "Will you give Father permission to bring in some cakes and ice cream and will you allow the prisoners on the second floor to be turned loose in the main room so that we can all be together and have a party?"

"Somebody might attack Father," cautioned the warden.
Claude turned to the men who were standing by and said, "Oh no, they won't. Will you fellas?"
So, the priest visited a wealthy patron of the parish, and she supplied the ice cream and cake. They had their party.

Afterwards, because Claude had requested it, they made a Holy Hour. The priest had brought prayer books from the Church and they all said together the Stations of the Cross, and a had a Holy Hour, without the Blessed Sacrament.

Afterwards, the men were put back in their cells. The priest went to the chapel to get the Blessed Sacrament so that he could give Claude Holy Communion.

Father O'Leary returned to Claude's cell. Claude knelt on one side of the bars, the priest knelt on the other, and they prayer together as the clock ticked toward Claude's execution.

Fifteen minutes before the execution, the sheriff came running up the stairs shouting, "Reprieve, Reprieve, the Governor has given a two-week reprieve!" Claude had not been aware that the sheriff and the District Attorney were trying to get a stay of execution for Claude to save his life. When Claude found out, he started to cry.

The priest and the sheriff thought it was a reaction of joy because he was not going to be executed. But Claude said, "Oh you men don't know. And Father, you don't know. If you ever looked into Her face, and looked into Her eyes, you wouldn't want to live another day."
Claude then said, "What have I done wrong these past weeks that God would refuse me my going home?" And the priest said that Claude sobbed as one who was brokenhearted.
The sheriff left the room. The priest remained and gave Claude Holy Communion. Claude eventually quieted down. Then Claude said, "Why? Why must I still remain here for two weeks?"

The priest had a sudden idea.

He reminded Claude about a prisoner in the jail who hated Claude intensely. This prisoner had led a horribly immoral life, and he too was sent to be executed.

The priest said, "Maybe Our Blessed Mother wants you to offer this denial of being with Her for his conversion." The priest continued, "Why don't you offer to God every moment you are separated from Her for this prisoner so that he will not be separated from God for all eternity."
Claude agreed, and asked the priest to teach him the words to make the offering. The priest complied. At the time, the only two people who knew about this offering were Claude and Father O'Leary.

The next day, Claude said to the priest, "That prisoner hated me before, but Oh! Father, how he hates me now!" The priest said, "Well, that's a good sign."

Two weeks later, Claude was executed.
Father O'Leary remarked, "I've never seen anyone go to his death as joyfully and happily. Even the official witnesses and the newspaper reporters were amazed. They said they couldn't understand how anyone could go and sit in the electric chair actually beaming with happiness."
His last words to Father O'Leary were, "Father, I will remember you. And whenever you have a request, ask me, and I will ask Her."

Two months later, the white man, who had hated Claude, was to be executed. Father O'Leary said, "This man was the filthiest, most immoral person I had ever come across." His hatred for God, for everything spiritual," said the priest, "defied description."

Just before his execution, the county doctor pleaded with this man to at least kneel down and say the Our Father before the sheriff would come for him.

The prisoner spat in the doctor's face.

When he was strapped into the electric chair, the sheriff said to him, "If you have something to say, say it now."

The condemned man started to blaspheme.

All of a sudden the condemned man stopped, and his eyes became fixed on the corner of the room, and his face turned to one of absolute horror.
He screamed.

Turning to the sheriff, he then said, "Sheriff, get me a priest!"

Now, Father O'Leary had been in the room because the law required a clergyman to be present at executions. The priest, however, had hidden himself behind some reporters because the condemned man had threatened to curse God if he saw a clergyman at all.

Father O'Leary immediately went to the condemned man. The room was cleared of everyone else, and the priest heard the man's confession. The man said he had been a Catholic, but turned away from his religion when he was 18 because of his immoral life.

When everyone returned to the room, the sheriff asked the priest, "What made him change his mind?"

"I don't know " said Father O'Leary, "I didn't ask him."

The sheriff said, "Well, I'll never sleep if I don't."

The Sheriff turned to the condemned man and asked, "Son, what changed your mind?"
The prisoner responded, "Remember that black man ­ Claude - who I hated so much? Well he's standing there [he pointed], over in that corner. And behind him with one hand on each shoulder is the Blessed Mother. And Claude said to me, 'I offered my death in union with Christ on the Cross for your salvation. She has obtained for you this gift, to see your place in Hell if you do not repent.' I was shown my place in Hell, and that's when I screamed."

Monday, July 17, 2006

"The Importance of Spiritual Reading" by St. Alphonsus Liguori

To a spiritual life the reading of holy books is perhaps not less useful than mental prayer. St. Bernard says reading instructs us at once in prayer, and in the practice of virtue. Hence he concluded that spiritual reading and prayer are the arms by which hell is conquered and paradise won. We cannot always have access to a spiritual Father for counsel in our actions, and particularly in our doubts; but reading will abundantly supply his place by giving us lights and directions to escape the illusions of the devil and of our own self-love, and at the same time to submit to the divine will. Hence St. Athanasius used to say that we find no one devoted to the service of the Lord that did not practice spiritual reading. Hence all the founders of religious Orders have strongly recommended this holy exercise to their religious. St. Benedict, among the rest, commanded that each monk should every day make a spiritual reading, and that two others should be appointed to go about visiting the cells to see if all fulfilled the command; and should any monk be found negligent in the observance of this rule, the saint ordered a penance to be imposed upon him. But before all, the Apostle prescribed spiritual reading to Timothy. Attend unto reading. Mark the word Attend, which signifies that, although Timothy, as being bishop, was greatly occupied with the care of his flock, still the Apostle wished him to apply to the reading of holy books, not in a passing way and for a short time, but regularly and for a considerable time.

The reading of spiritual works is as profitable as the reading of bad books is noxious. As the former has led to the conversion of many sinners, so the latter is every day the ruin of many young persons. The first author of pious books is the Spirit of God; but the author of pernicious writings is the devil, who often artfully conceals from certain persons the poison that such works contain, and makes these persons believe that the reading of such books is necessary in order to speak well, and to acquire a knowledge of the world for their own direction, or at least in order to pass the time agreeably. But I say that, especially for nuns, nothing is more pernicious than the reading of bad books. And by bad books I mean not only those that are condemned by the Holy See, either because they contain heresy, or treat of subjects opposed to chastity, but also all books that treat of worldly love. What fervor can a religious have if she reads romances, comedies, or profane poetry? What recollection can she have in meditation or at Communion? Can she be called the spouse of Jesus Christ? Should she not rather be called the spouse of a sinful world? Even young women in the world that are in the habit of reading such books are generally not virtuous seculars.

But some one may say, What harm is there in reading romances and profane poetry when they contain nothing immodest? Do you ask what harm? Behold the harm: the reading of such works kindles the concupiscence of the senses, and awakens the passions; these easily gain the consent of the will, or at least render it so weak that when the occasion of any dangerous affection occurs the devil finds the soul already prepared to allow itself to be conquered. A wise author has said that by the reading of such pernicious books heresy has made, and makes every day, great progress; because such reading has given and gives increased strength to libertinism. The poison of these books enters gradually into the soul; it first makes itself master of the understanding, then infects the will, and in the end kills the soul. The devil finds no means more efficacious and secure of sending a young person to perdition than the reading of such poisoned works.

Remember also that for you certain useless books, though not bad, will be pernicious; because they will make you lose the time that you can employ in occupations profitable to the soul. In a letter to his disciple Eustochium, St. Jerome stated for her instruction that in his solitude at Bethlehem he was attached to the works of Cicero, and frequently read them, and that he felt a certain disgust for pious books because their style was not polished. He was seized with a serious malady, in which he saw himself at the tribunal of Jesus Christ. The Lord said to him: "Tell me; what are you?" "I am," replied the saint, "a Christian." "No," rejoined the Judge, "you are a Ciceronian, not a Christian." He then commanded him to be instantly scourged. The saint promised to correct his fault, and having returned from the vision he found his shoulders livid and covered with wounds in consequence of the chastisement that he had received. Thenceforward he gave up the works of Cicero, and devoted himself to the reading of books of piety. It is true that in the works like those of Cicero we sometimes find useful sentiments; but the same St. Jerome wisely said in a letter to another disciple: "What need have you of seeking for a little gold in the midst of so much mire," when you can read pious books in which you may find all gold without any mire?

As the reading of bad books fills the mind with worldly and poisonous sentiments; so, on the other hand, the reading of pious works fills the soul with holy thoughts and good desires.

In the second place, the soul that is imbued with holy thoughts in reading is always prepared to banish internal temptations. The advice that St. Jerome gave to his disciple Salvina was: "Endeavor to have always in your hand a pious book, that with this shield you may defend yourself against bad thoughts."

In the third place, spiritual reading serves to make us see the stains that infect the soul, and helps us to remove them. The same St. Jerome recommended Demetriade to avail herself of spiritual reading as of a mirror. He meant to say that as a mirror exhibits the stains of the countenance, so holy books show us the defects of the soul. St. Gregory, speaking of spiritual reading, says: "There we perceive the losses we have sustained and the advantages we have acquired; there we observe our falling back or our progress in the way of God."

In the fourth place, in reading holy books we receive many lights and divine calls. St. Jerome says that when we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us. St. Ambrose says the same: "We address him when we pray; we hear him when we read." In prayer, God hears our petitions, but in reading we listen to his voice. We cannot, as I have already said, always have at hand a spiritual Father, nor can we hear the sermons of sacred orators, to direct and give us light to walk well in the way of God. Good books supply the place of sermons. St. Augustine writes that good books are, as it were, so many letters of love the Lord sends us; in them he warns us of our dangers, teaches us the way of salvation, animates us to suffer adversity, enlightens us, and inflames us with divine love. Whoever, then, desires to be saved and to acquire divine love, should often read these letters of paradise.

How many saints have, by reading a spiritual book, been induced to forsake the world and to give themselves to God! It is known to all that St. Augustine, when miserably chained by his passions and vices, was, by reading one of the epistles of St. Paul, enlightened with divine light, went forth from his darkness, and began to lead a life of holiness. Thus also St. Ignatius, while a soldier, by reading a volume of the lives of the saints which he accidentally took up, in order to get rid of the tediousness of the bed to which he was confined by sickness, was led to begin a life of sanctity, and became the Father and Founder of the Society of Jesus—an Order which has done so much for the Church. Thus also by reading a pious book accidentally and almost against his will, St. John Colombino left the world, became a saint, and the founder of another religious Order. St. Augustine relates that two courtiers of the Emperor Theodosius entered one day into a monastery of solitaries; one of them began to read the life of St. Anthony, which he found in one of the cells; so strong was the impression made upon him, that he resolved to take leave of the world. He then addressed his companion with so much fervor that both of them remained in the monastery to serve God. We read in the Chronicles of the Discalced Carmelites that a lady in Vienna was prepared to go to a festivity, but because it was given up she fell into a violent passion. To divert her attention she began to read a spiritual book that was at hand, and conceived such a contempt for the world, that she abandoned it and became a Teresian nun. The same happened to the Duchess of Montalto, in Sicily. She began also by accident to read the works of St. Teresa, and afterwards continued to read them with so much fervor, that she sought and obtained her husband’s consent to become a religious, and entered among the Discalced Carmelites.

But the reading of spiritual books has not only contributed to the conversion of saints, but has also given them during their whole life great aid to persevere and to advance continually in perfection. The glorious St. Dominic used to embrace his spiritual books, and to press them to his bosom, saying, "These books give me milk." And how, except by meditation and the use of pious books, were the anchorets enabled to spend to many years in the desert, at a distance from all human society? That great servant of God, Thomas a Kempis, could not enjoy greater consolation than in remaining in a corner of his cell with a spiritual book in his hand. It has been already mentioned in this work that the Venerable Vincent Carafa used to say that he could not desire a greater happiness in this world than to live in a little grotto provided with a morsel of bread and a spiritual book. St. Philip Neri devoted all the vacant hours that he could procure to the reading of spiritual books, and particularly the lives of the saints.

Oh! How profitable is the reading of the lives of the saints! In books of instruction we read what we are bound to do, but in the lives of the saints we read what so many holy men and women, who were flesh as we are, have done. Hence, their example, if it produce no other fruit, will at least humble us and make us sink under the earth. In reading the great things that the saints have done, we shall certainly be ashamed of the little that we have done and still do for God. St. Augustine said of himself: "My God, the examples of Thy servants, when I meditated on them, consumed my tepidity and inflamed me with Thy holy love." Of St. Francis, St. Bonaventure writes: "By the remembrance of the saints and of their virtues, as if they were so many stones of fire, he has inflamed with new love for God."

St. Gregory also relates that in Rome there was a beggar called Servolus; he was afflicted with infirmities, and lived on the alms that he collected: he gave a part to the poor, and employed the remainder in purchasing books of devotion. Servolus could not read, but he engaged those whom he lodged in his little house to read for him. St. Gregory says that by listening to these spiritual readings Servolus acquired great patience and a wonderful knowledge of the things of God. Finally, the saint states that at death the poor man besought his friends to read for him; but before breathing his last he interrupted the reading, and said: "Be silent, be silent, do you not hear how all paradise resounds with canticles and harmonious music?" After these words he sweetly expired. Immediately after his death a most agreeable odor was diffused over the room, in testimony of the sanctity of the beggar, who left the world poor in earthly goods, but rich in virtue and merits.

But to draw great fruit from spiritual reading:

It is, in the first place, necessary to recommend yourself beforehand to God, that he may enlighten the mind while you read. It has been already said, that in spiritual reading the Lord condescends to speak to us; and, therefore, in taking up the book, we must pray to God in the words of Samuel: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. Speak, O my Lord, for I wish to obey Thee in all that Thou wilt make known to me to be Thy will.

In the second place, you must read not in order to acquire learning, nor to indulge curiosity, but for the sole purpose of advancing in divine love. To read for the sake of knowledge is not spiritual reading, but is, at the time of spiritual reading, a study unprofitable to the soul. It is still worse to read through curiosity. What profit can be expected form such reading? All the time devoted to such reading is lost time. St. Gregory says that many read and read a great deal, but, because they have read only through curiosity, they finish reading as hungry as if they had not been reading. Hence the saint corrected a physician called Theodore for reading spiritual books quickly and without profit.

To derive advantage from pious books it is necessary to read them slowly and with attention. "Nourish your soul," says St. Augustine, "with divine lectures." Now to receive nutriment from food, it must not be devoured, but well masticated. Remember, then, in the third place, that to reap abundant fruit from pious reading, you must masticate and ponder well what you ready; applying to yourself what is there inculcated. And when what you have read has made a lively impression on you, St. Ephrem counsels you to read it a second time.

Besides, when you receive any special light in reading, or any instruction that penetrates the heart, it will be very useful to stop, and to raise the mind to God by making a good resolution, or a good act, or a fervent prayer. St. Bernard says, that it is useful then to interrupt the reading, and to offer a prayer, and to continue to pray as long as the lively impression lasts. Let us imitate the bees, that pass not from one flower to another until they have gathered all the honey that they found in the first. This we should do, although all the time prescribed for the reading should be spent in such acts; for thus the time is spent with greater spiritual profit. Sometimes it may happen that you draw more fruit from reading a single verse than from reading an entire page.

Moreover, at the end of the reading you must select some sentiment of devotion, excited by what you have read, and carry it with you as you would carry a flower from a garden of pleasure.

Prayer: My Lord, I thank Thee for so many helps and lights that Thou gives me, in order to make me a saint, and to unite me always more closely to Thee. When will the day arrive on which I shall see myself freed from all earthly affections, and entirely united to Thy heart, which is so enamored of my soul! I hope for all things from Thy infinite mercy. My Jesus, I cannot bear to see myself any longer ungrateful to Thy love, as I have hitherto been. Create a clean heart in me, O God. Lord give me a new heart that will think only of pleasing Thee. This desire that Thou gives me makes me hope for Thy grace. My God, I believe in Thee, and for Thy faith I would give my life a thousand times. I hope in Thee through the merits of Jesus Christ; without them I should be lost. O Sovereign Good, I love Thee; and for the love of Thee, I renounce all things, and embrace every pain and every cross that Thou wishes to send me. I have offended Thee, but I feel more sorrow for having offended Thee, than if I had suffered every other misfortune. I now sigh only for Thy grace and love. My God assist me, have mercy on me.

Holy Virgin, assist me by thy prayers, which obtain from God whatever thou asks. My Mother, recommend me to thy Son; do not forget me.

From The True Spouse of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Redemptorist Fathers, 1929.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"Luther's Mass", by Archbishop Lefebvre

An Examination of the Shocking Similarities Between the New Mass and Luther's "Mass" by His Grace Archbishop LefebvreFebruary 15, 1975, Florence, Italy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to speak to you this evening about the evangelical Mass of Martin Luther, and of the striking resemblance between his Liturgical innovations of more than four centuries ago, and the recently promulgated new order of the Mass, the Novus Ordo Missae.

Why are such considerations of significance? Because of the prominent role, according to the President of the Liturgical Commission himself, accorded to the concept of ecumenism in bringing about these reforms. Because, further, if we are able to ascertain that a close relationship does indeed exist between Luther's innovations and the Novus Ordo, then the theological question, that is the question of the faith, must be asked in terms of the well known adage, "lex orandi, lex credendi"; the law of prayer cannot be profoundly changed without changing the law of belief.

It is well, in order to assist our understanding of the present liturgical reforms, to examine carefully actual historical documents on Luther's reforms.

To grasp Luther's goal in bringing forward his reforms we must briefly recall the Church's doctrine with respect to the Priesthood and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The 22nd session of the Council of Trent (1562) teaches that Our Lord Jesus Christ, wishing His Priesthood to continue after His death on the Cross, instituted at the Last Supper a visible Sacrifice destined to apply the salutary effect of His Redemption to the sins of mankind. Christ therefore, instituted Holy Orders, and choosing His Apostles and their successors to be the priests of the New Testament, marked them as such with a sacred and indelible character.

This Sacrifice instituted by Christ is performed on our altars by the sacrificial action of the Redeemer Himself, truly present under the species of bread and wine, offering Himself as a victim to His Father. And by partaking at Communion of this Victim, we unite ourselves to the Body and Blood of Our Lord, and offer ourselves also in union with Him.

Thus, the Church teaches, first, that the Priesthood of the priest is essentially different from that of the faithful, who do not have the Priesthood but who belong to a Church which essentially requires a Priesthood. It is deeply fitting that this Priesthood be celibate, and that its members be differentiated from the faithful by clerical dress.

Secondly, the essential liturgical act performed by this Priesthood is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, different from the Sacrifice of the Cross only in that the latter was a bloody sacrifice, and the former is an unbloody sacrifice. The Sacrifice of the Mass is accomplished by the sacrificial action of reciting the words of the Consecration, and not simply by reciting a narrative, or by a remembrance of the Passion or of the Last Supper.

Thirdly, it is by virtue of this sublime and mysterious act that the effects of the Redemption are applied to the souls of both the faithful on Earth and the souls in Purgatory. This doctrine is most admirably expressed at the Offertory of the Mass.

Fourthly, the Real Presence of the Victim is thus required, and comes to pass through the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Accordingly, we are required to adore the Eucharist and reserve for it the very highest respect, whence comes the tradition that priests alone distribute the Holy Eucharist and see to Its custody.

It follows, finally, that although a priest celebrates the Mass and takes Communion alone, yet he performs a public act, a sacrifice equal in value to any other Mass, and of infinite value to both the celebrant and the entire Church. Privately celebrated Masses, accordingly, are highly encouraged by the Church.

The above principles are the basis of the prayers, the music and the ceremonies which have made the Latin Mass of the Council of Trent a veritable liturgical jewel. The Council of Trent's deeply moving doctrine on the Canon, the most precious element of the Mass, states:

"As it is becoming that holy things he administered in a holy manner and of all things this Sacrifice is the most holy, the Catholic Church, to the end that it might be worthily and reverently offered and received, instituted many centuries ago the Holy Canon, which is so free from error that it contains nothing that does not in the highest degree savor of a certain holiness and piety and raise up to God the minds of those who offer. For it consists partly of the very words of the Lord, partly of the traditions of the Apostles, and also of pious regulations of holy Pontiffs." (Acts of the Council of Trent, session 22, chapter IV).

Let us examine the manner in which Luther achieved his reform of the liturgy, that is implemented the "evangelical Mass", as he himself called it. Of particular interest in this effort are the actual words of Luther himself, or of his disciples, with respect to the reforms. It is enlightening to note the liberal tendencies which inspire Luther:

In first place", he writes "I would kindly and for God's sake request all those who see this order of service or desire to follow it: do not make it a rigid law to bind or entangle anyone's conscience, but use it in Christian liberty as long, when, where, and how you find it to be practical and useful."(T,C. Tappert, ed., Selected Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 3,p. 397). "The cult", he continues, "was formerly meant to render homage to God; henceforth it shall be directed to man in order to console him and enlighten him, Whereas the sacrifice formerly held pride of place, henceforth the most important will be the sermon". (from Léon Christiani, Du luthéranisme au protestantisme (1910), p. 312)

Luther's Thoughts on the Priesthood

In his work on privately celebrated Masses, Luther seeks to demonstrate that the Catholic Priesthood is a creation of Satan. He bases this assertion on the principle, henceforth fundamental to his thinking, that what is not in Holy Scripture is an addition of Satan. Accordingly, for Luther, since Scripture makes no mention of the visible Priesthood, there can be but one priest and one Pontiff, Christ. With Christ we are all called to the Priesthood, thus making the Priesthood at once unique and universal. What folly to seek to limit it to the few. Similarly, all hierarchical distinctions between Christians are worthy of the Antichrist; "Woe therefore, to those who call themselves priests". (Christiani, Ibid., p. 269)

In 1520, Luther wrote "To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian State", in which he attacks the Romanists and urges the convocation of a free council: "The first wall built by the Romanists is the distinction between the clergy and the laity. It is pure invention that pope, bishop, priests, and monks are called the spiritual estate while prince', lords, artisans and peasants are called the temporal estate. This is indeed a piece of deceit and hypocrisy. All Christians are truly of the spiritual estate, and there is no difference among them except that of office... The pope or bishop anoints, confers the tonsure, ordains, consecrates, and prescribes garb different from that of the laity. He might well make a man into a hypocrite in so doing, but never a Christian or a spiritual man... Whoever comes out of the water of baptism can boast that he is already a consecrated priest, bishop, and pope, although of course it is not seemly that just anybody should exercise such office". (Tappert, Ibid., vol. 1, 23-65)

It was from this doctrine that Luther concluded against both clerical garb and celibacy. He and his disciples, in fact, showed the way by marrying.

How many of the reforms of Vatican II reflect Luther's own conclusions? The abandonment of clerical and religious dress, widespread marriages of the religious sanctioned even by the Holy See, the suppression of distinctions between priest and layman. This egalitarianism is further manifested in the sharing of liturgical functions formerly reserved to the Priesthood.

The abolition of the minor orders and the sub-diaconate, and the creation of a married diaconate, have also contributed to the purely administrative conception of the priest, to the detriment of his essentially priestly character, Thus one is ordained primarily to serve the community and no longer for the purpose of offering Christ's Sacrifice which alone is the justification for the Catholic concept of the Priesthood.

Worker priests, priests in labor unions, or in positions renumerated by the State similarly contribute to the blurring of distinctions between Priesthood and laity. In fact, the innovations go much further than those of Luther.

Luther's second grave doctrinal error flows from the first and is founded upon its guiding principle: salvation comes from faith and confidence in God alone, and not from good works; thus negating the value of the sacrificial act which is the Catholic Mass.

For Luther, the Mass is a sacrifice of praise; that is, an act of praise, of thanksgiving, but most certainly not an expiatory sacrifice which recreates the Sacrifice of Calvary and applies its merits.

Describing the liturgical "perversions" he observed in some monasteries, he wrote: "The Principal expression of their cult, the Mass, surpasses all impiety and abomination in that they make of it a sacrifice and a good work. Were this the only reason to leave habit and convent and abandon the vows, it would be amply sufficient". (Christiani, p. 258)

For Luther, the Mass, which is meant simply to be a communion, has been subjected to a triple bondage: the laity has been deprived of the use of the chalice, they have been bound as to a dogma to the Thomistic opinion on transubstantiation, and the Mass has been made into a sacrifice.

"It is, therefore, clearly erroneous and impious", he declared, "to offer or apply the merits of the Mass for sins, or the reparation thereof, or for the deceased. Mass is offered by God to man, and not by man to God". (Christiani)

"With respect in the Eucharist, since it ought first and foremost to move one to the Faith, it is fitting that it be celebrated in the vernacular in order that all may comprehend the grandeur of God's promise to man". (Christiani, p. 176)

The logical consequence of this heresy was for Luther to abolish the Offertory of the Mass, which expresses unequivocally the propitiatory and expiatory aims of the Sacrifice. Similarly, he abolished a major part of the Canon, retaining only the essential passages as a narrative of Christ's Last Supper. In order better to emphasize the latter event, he added to the formula of the Consecration of the bread the words "quod pro vobis tradetur" ("which will be given up for you"), and deleted both "mysterium fidei" ("the mystery of faith") and "pro multis" ("for many"). He considered that the passages which both immediately precede and follow the actual Consecration of the bread and Wine were essential.

For Luther, the Mass is firstly the Liturgy of the Word, and secondly a Communion. For us the fact that the current liturgical Reforms have adopted precisely these same modifications is nothing short of astounding. Indeed, as we well know, the texts in use by the faithful today no longer make reference to the Sacrifice, but rather to the Liturgy of the Word, to the Lord's Supper and to the breaking of bread, or to the Eucharist. Article VII of the instruction which introduced the new Liturgy reflected a clearly Protestant orientation. A corrected version which followed in the wake of the outraged protests of the faithful remains sadly deficient.

It goes without saying that, added to these substantial alterations, the large number of lesser liturgical modifications have contributed further to the inculcation of Protestant attitudes which seriously threaten Catholic doctrine: the suppression of the altar stone, the use of a single altar cloth, the priest facing the people, the Host remaining on the paten rather than on the corporal, the introduction of ordinary bread, sacred vessels of less noble substances, and numerous other details.

There is nothing more essential to the survival of the Catholic Church than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To play it down is to threaten the very foundation of Christ's Church. The whole of Christian life, and the Priesthood, is founded upon the Cross, and upon the re-enactment of the Sacrifice of the Cross, upon the altar.

For Luther the substance of bread remains. Consequently, in the words of his disciple Melanchton, who strongly opposed the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, "Christ instituted the Eucharist as a memorial of His Passion. To adore It is therefore idolatry".

It follows that Communion is to be taken in the hand and under both species, which reinforces the denial of the presence of Our Lord's Body and Blood; it is thus normal to consider the Eucharist as incomplete under a single species.

Once again we note the strange resemblance between the present renewal and Luther's Reform. Every recent promulgation on the Eucharist tends towards a lessening of respect, a retreat from adoration: Communion in the hand and its distribution by lay men and lay women; the reduced number of genuflections, which many priests have discontinued altogether; the use of ordinary vessels and ordinary bread, all of these innovations have diminished belief in the Real Presence as taught by the Catholic Church.

One cannot but conclude that, principles being inseparable from practice ("lex orandi, lex credendi"), the fact that the Liturgy of the present day imitates Luther's reforms leads inevitably towards the adoption of the very principles propounded by Luther. The experience of the six years which have followed the promulgation of the Novus Ordo is sufficient proof. The consequences, of this so-called ecumenical effort, have been nothing short of catastrophic, primarily in the area of faith, and especially in terms of the perversion of the Priesthood and the serious decline in vocations, in the scandalous divisions created among Catholics the world over, and indeed in the Church's relations with Protestants and Orthodox Christians.

Protestant concepts on the essential questions of the Church, the Priesthood, the Sacrifice and the Eucharist are irrevocably opposed to those of the Catholic Church. It was for no idle purpose that the Council of Trent was convened, and that the Church's Magisterium has spoken so frequently on these very questions for more than four centuries since Trent.

It is impossible in psychological, pastoral and theological terms for Catholics to abandon a Liturgy which has always been the true expression and sustenance of their Faith, and to adopt in its place new rites conceived by heretics without exposing this Faith to the most serious peril. One cannot imitate Protestantism indefinitely without becoming Protestant.

How many of the faithful, how many young priests, how many bishops even have lost their Faith since the adoption of the new liturgical Reforms? One cannot expect to offend both Faith and nature and not expect that these in turn should reap their own vengeance.

In order to grasp the striking analogy between the two Reforms, it is well worth reading contemporary accounts of the early Evangelical Masses. Leon Christiani's descriptions remain vivid:

"During the night of December 24/25 1521, large crowds began arriving at the parish church... The evangelical Mass was about to begin; Karlstadt goes to the pulpit; he is to preach on the Eucharist. He claims that Communion under both species is obligatory and that prior Confession is not required. Faith alone matters. Karlstadt approaches the altar in secular dress, recites the Confiteor, and begins the Mass proper in the usual manner, up to the Gospel. The Offertory and the Elevation, that is those parts which express the idea of the Sacrifice, are omitted. After the Consecration comes the Communion. Many of the congregation have not been to Confession and many have not fasted, not even from alcohol. They approach the Communion table with the others. Karlstadt distributed the hosts and offers the chalice. The communicants receive the consecrated bread in the hand and casually drink from the chalice. A host falls to the ground and Karlstadt beckons to a lay person to pick it up. The layman demurs, and Karlstadt allows it to remain where it is for the time being, cautioning the congregation, however, not to step on it." (Christiani, p. 281-83)

That same Christmas day another priest in the same district gave communion under both species to about fifty persons, of whom only five had gone to Confession. The rest had received a general absolution, their penance being the recommendation to resist sin.

The very next day - December 26 - Karlstadt announced his engagement to Anna de Mochau. Numerous priests followed suit.

In the meantime, Zwilling, having left his monastery, was preaching at Eilenberg. He had discarded the habit and was now bearded. Dressed in lay clothes, he fulminated against privately celebrated Masses. On New Year's Day, he distributed Communion under both species. The hosts were passed from hand to hand. Several were pocketed by the communicants. One lady, while receiving, allowed fragments to drop to the ground. No one appeared to notice. The faithful helped themselves generously to the chalice.

On 29 February 1522, Zwilling married Catherine Falki. By this time there had occurred a rash of marriages of priests and monks. The monasteries were beginning to empty. Those monks who remained removed all altars save one, destroyed statues and images and even the Holy Oils.

Among the clergy, Anarchy reigned. Each priest celebrated Mass in his own fashion. It was resolved finally to prescribe a new Liturgy with a view of restoring order and consolidating the Reforms.

The order of Mass was set to include the Introit, the Gloria, the Epistle, the Gospel and the Sanctus, followed by a sermon. The Offertory and the Canon were both abolished. Henceforth the priest was to simply narrate the institution of the Lord's Supper, reciting aloud in German the words of the Consecration, and distributing Communion under both species. The Agnus Dei, the Communion prayer and the Benedicamus Domino were sung to end the Mass. (Christiani, p 281-85).

One of the preoccupations of Luther at this time was the institution of a repertory of appropriate hymns. With considerable difficulty he was able to enlist the efforts of lyricists. The Saints feast days were abolished. Generally, however, Luther attempted to minimize out-and-out abolitions. He directed his efforts to retaining as many of the ancient ceremonies as possible, seeking rather to orient their significance toward the spirit of his Reforms.

Thus for a time the Mass retained in large measure its external appearances. The churches retained the same decor and the same rites, with modifications but directed towards the faithful, for henceforth much more attention was to be paid to the faithful than formerly, in order that they might be conscious of a more active role in the Liturgy: thus, they were to participate in the singing and in the prayers of the Mass. And, gradually, Latin gave way definitively to the German vernacular.

Even the Consecration was sung in German, in these words: "Our Lord on the night He was betrayed took bread, rendered thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take you and eat of this for this is My Body given up for you. Do this, as often as you shall do it, in memory of Me. In like manner, when the supper was done, taking also the chalice saying; Take you and drink of this for this is the chalice of the new covenant, of My Blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you shall drink of this chalice, in memory of Me."

Thus were added to the Consecration of the bread the words "which is given up for you", and deleted from the Consecration of the wine, the words "the mystery of faith" and "for many".

Do these considerations on the Evangelical Mass not reflect our very feelings towards the reformed liturgy since the Council?

All of these changes which comprise the new Liturgy of the Mass are truly of perilous consequence, especially for younger priests. Not having been nourished with the doctrines of the Sacrifice, of the Real Presence, of Transubstantiation, these no longer have any significance for young priests who, as a result, soon lose the intention to perform what the Church performs. Consequently, they no longer celebrate valid Masses.

Older priests, on the other hand, even when they celebrate according to the Novus Ordo, may still have the Faith of all time. For years they have celebrated Mass according to the Tridentine rite, and in accordance with the intentions of that rite, we can assume that their Masses are valid. To the degree, however, that these intentions disappear, even their Masses may become invalid.

It was intended that Catholics and Protestants draw closer together, but it is evident that Catholics have become Protestants, rather than the reverse.

When five cardinals and fifteen bishops participated recently in a "Council of Youth" at Taizé in France, how were young people to distinguish between Catholicism and Protestantism? Some received Communion from Catholics, others from Protestants.

Recently Cardinal Willebrands, in his capacity as the Holy See's Envoy to the World Council of Churches at Geneva, declared solemnly that we shall have to rehabilitate Martin Luther!

And what has become of the Sacrament of Penance with the introduction of general absolution? Is it truly a pastoral improvement to teach the faithful that, having been granted general absolution, they may receive Communion provided, should they be in the state of mortal sin, that they take the opportunity to go to Confession within the following six months, or year? Who will suggest that this is indeed a pastoral improvement? What concept of mortal sin are the faithful to retain from this argument?

The Sacrament of Confirmation is in a similar situation. A common rite today is to pronounce simply "I sign you with the Sign of the Cross. Receive the Holy Spirit." In administering Confirmation, the bishop must indicate precisely the special sacramental grace whereby he confers the Holy Ghost. There is no Confirmation if he does not say, "I confirm you in the name of the Father..."

Bishops frequently reproach me, and remind me, that I confer the Sacrament where I am not authorized. To them I answer that I confirm because the faithful fear that their children have not received the grace of Confirmation, because they have a serious doubt as to the validity of the Sacrament conferred in their Churches. Therefore, in order that they might at least be secure in their knowledge of the validity of the sacramental grace, they ask that I confirm their children. And I respond to their plea because it appears to me that I may not refuse those who request that their confirmation be valid, even if it may not be licit. We are clearly at a time when divine natural and supernatural law takes precedence over positive Church law when the latter is opposed to the former, when in reality it should he the channel leading to it.

We are living in an age of extraordinary crisis, and we cannot accept its Reforms. Where are the good fruits of these Reforms, of the Liturgical Reform, the Reform of the seminaries, the Reform of the religious congregations? What have all of these General Chapters yielded; what has become of their congregations? The religious life has all but disappeared: there are no more novices, no more vocations!

Archbishop Bernardin of Cincinnati recognized the problem clearly when he declared to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, "In our countries" - he was speaking for English-speaking countries of the world - "there are no more vocations because the priest has lost his sense of identity," It is essential, therefore, that we remain loyal to Tradition, for without Tradition there is no grace, no continuity in the Church. If we abandon Tradition, we contribute to the destruction of the Church.

I have had occasion to say to the Cardinals, "Do you not see that the Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom is a contradiction? Whereas the Introduction states that the council leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine, the body of the document is entirely opposed to Tradition: it is opposed to what has been taught by Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII."

We are now faced with a grave choice: either we agree with the Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom, and thus oppose the teachings of the Popes, or we agree with the teachings of the popes, and thus disagree with Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Freedom. It is impossible to subscribe to both. I have made my choice: I choose Tradition. I cling to Tradition over novelty which is merely an expression of Liberalism, the very Liberalism condemned by the Holy See for a century and a half. Now this Liberalism has penetrated the Church through the Council, and its catchwords remain the same; liberty, equality and fraternity.

The spirit of Liberalism permeates the Church today, though its catchwords are thinly veiled: liberty is religious freedom; fraternity is ecumenism; equality is collegiality. These are the three principles of Liberalism, the legacy of the 18th century philosophers and of the French Revolution.

The Church today is approaching its own destruction because these principles are absolutely contrary to nature and to faith. There is no true equality possible, and Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical on freedom clearly explained why.

And fraternity! If there is no Father where shall we find fraternity? If there is no Father, there is no God, how then shall we be brothers? Are we to embrace the enemies of the Church, the Communists, the Buddhists, the Masons?

And now we have word that there is no excommunication for Catholics who become Freemasons. Freemasonry nearly destroyed Portugal; Freemasonry was with Allende in Chile, and is now in South Vietnam. Freemasons see it as important to destroy Catholic States. Thus it was during the First World War in Austria, thus it was in Hungary and in Poland. Freemasonry seeks to destroy the Catholic nations. What is in store for Spain and Italy and other countries in the near future? Why does the Church feel compelled t">Deen her arms to the enemies of the Church?

Now we are bound to pray, to redouble our prayers! We are witnessing an assault by Satan against the Church, as has never been seen. We must pray to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, to come to our assistance, for we can have no idea what horrors tomorrow may bring. It is not possible for God to tolerate indefinitely these blasphemies, these sacrileges which are committed against His Glory and Majesty! One need only reflect on the horror of abortion, on rampant divorce, on the ruin of moral law and of truth itself. It is inconceivable that all of this can continue without God punishing the world by some terrible chastisement.

This is why we must beg God's mercy for ourselves and for all mankind, and we must struggle, we must fight. We must fight fearlessly to maintain Tradition, to maintain, above all, the Liturgy of the Holy Mass, because it is the very foundation of the Church, indeed of Christian civilization.
Were the true Mass no longer to be celebrated in the Church, the Church would disappear.

We must, therefore, preserve this Liturgy, this Sacrifice. Our churches were built for this Mass and for no other: for the Sacrifice of the Mass, and not for a supper, a meal, a memorial or a Communion. Our ancestors built magnificent cathedrals and churches, not for a meal or a simple memorial, but for the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ which continues upon our altars.

I count on you for your prayers for my seminarians, that they may become true priests, priests who have the faith, in order that they may administer the true Sacraments and celebrate the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Thank you.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Ecumenical "Unity" vs. theUnity Willed by Christ

By John Vennari

Note: What follows is a slightly edited transcript of a portion of the speech, "The Church of Christ is One," given at the CFN Conference, November 2000. The speech was a commentary on the March 12 "Day of Pardon" that contained an apology for alleged "Sins that Have Harmed the Unity of the Body of Christ". The presentation noted that this ambiguous "apology" ended up asking more questions than it answered, and discussed the "apology" within the framework of four basic questions that it raised. Presented here are two of the four questions addressed. The answers to these two questions reveal that the ecumenical "unity" launched by Vatican II is directly opposed to the positive will of Christ.

Here we will ask,

1) What is the unity among Christians willed by Christ?

2) Did Vatican II and its ecumenical orientation advance or hinder the unity willed by Christ?

The answer to the first question must be sought in Scripture and Tradition; and most importantly, in the defined and infallible dogmas of the Catholic Church, as well as the teachings that flow from these dogmas.

There are three ex cathedra papal pronouncements that outside the Church there is no salvation. The most explicit and forceful of the three is from Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447), who infallibly taught at the Council of Florence:

"The Most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics can never be partakers of eternal life, but that they are to go into the eternal fire ‘which was prepared for the devil and his angels,’ (Mt. 25:41) unless before death they are joined with Her; ... no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved unless they abide within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church." (1)

It is doctrinally defined that salvation and unity exist only within the Catholic Church.
Likewise, the Catechism of the Council of Trent speaks of the Catholic Church as ONE (as one of the four marks of the true Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic). It describes this "oneness" by quoting Saint Paul: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". (Eph. 4:5) (2)

Elaborating upon this teaching of Trent, Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, has given the finest definition of what constitutes the nature, membership and unity of Christ’s Church. Bellarmine’s formula is recognized as the most precise scholastic definition of the Church to this day. (3) Saint Robert explained that Christ’s one true Church is the Catholic Church, and this Church is a Perfect Society:

"The Church is one, not twofold, and this one true [Catholic] Church is the assembly of men united in the profession of the same Christian faith and in the communion of the same sacraments, under the rule of legitimate pastors, and in particular, that of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff." (4)

Bellarmine makes it clear that union of belief is necessary for the true Church; that it is impossible to have a conception of "church" in which some members accept defined doctrines (such as Papal Primacy or Transubstantiation) and others do not. Bellarmine’s definition further demonstrates that the Catholic Church is a visible, hierarchical society that does not need to go outside of itself for anything. It is a perfect society within itself, and outside of this Catholic Church there is no salvation.

The Catholic Church has consistently taught this doctrine as part of its ordinary and extraordinary Magisterium for 2,000 years, right into modern times.

Blessed Pope Pius IX repeated forcefully this doctrine while combating the growing liberalism of his day:

"We must mention and condemn again that most pernicious error which has been imbibed by certain Catholics who are of the opinion that those people who live in error and have not the true faith and are separated from Catholic unity, may obtain life everlasting. Now this opinion is most contrary to the Catholic faith, as is evident from the plain words of Our Lord, (Matt 18:17; Mark 16:16; Luke 10:16; John 3:18) as also from the words of Saint Paul (2 Tit. 52:11) and of Saint Peter (2 Peter 2:1) To entertain opinions contrary to this Catholic faith is to be an impious wretch." (5)

Modernists have tried to get around this by claiming that the Church of Christ is actually bigger than the Catholic Church. This heretical concept of the "Church of Christ" being larger than the Catholic Church was countered by Pope Pius XII when he insisted, without ambiguity, that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are one and the same. In fact, he pronounced this doctrine twice within the short span of 7 years.

In the 1943 encyclical Mystici Corporis, Pope Pius XII taught that "the true Church of Jesus Christ... is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church." (6) This clearly means that the Church of Christ is not composed of the Catholic Church and other "Christian" denominations.
Pope Pius XII reiterated this doctrine in his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis: "The Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing". In the same paragraph, Pius complained of those who "reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation." (7)

Along the same lines, the eminent theologian, Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton published in 1954 an article entitled "The Meaning of the Word Church" in which he explained that the Catholic Church is the only religious body that can actually call itself a church, because the word ‘church’ has a very definite meaning – a meaning that was in the mind of Our Lord at the time, a meaning that was understood by the Apostles. It is the Kingdom of God on earth, the assembly of the people of the Divine Covenant, the continuation (and the supersession) of the Israel of the Old Testament, the one social unity established by Christ outside of which there is no salvation. (8)

In light of what has been said regarding Church unity, we can understand why Pope Pius XI taught in Mortalium Animos:

"... unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of beliefs and one faith of Christians... There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true (Catholic) Church of Christ of those who are separated from it..." (9)

Vatican II

This, then, leads us to the next question:

Did Vatican II, and its ecumenical orientation, advance or hinder the unity willed by Christ?
We will answer by quoting some fascinating material from the 1960's. The first is an 1963 article from The Thomist, entitled "Unity: Special Problems, Dogmatic, Moral" by Father David Greenstock, a superb theologian. The Thomist, a scholarly theological journal, was publishing special issues in 1963 discussing the Second Vatican Council.

Father David Greenstock was a clear-thinking Thomist who, as early as 1950, recognized the unorthodox threat of the so-called "New Theology" of Henri De Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar. (10) He also identified the danger of the ambiguous ecumenical language that was emanating from theologians at the Council.

The 1963 article opens with Father Greenstock quoting an unnamed Bishop of Darwin who complained on his way back from the Council that "some modern theologians are turning somersaults backwards in their anxiety to please non-Catholics. He (the bishop) pleaded with the orthodox theologians to take up their pens in order to offset such writings." (11)

Greenstock said, "too many of our modern theologians are trying to bring into being a new ‘situation’ theology, to fit modern needs. We are frequently told... that orthodox theology, especially if it takes the shape of scholasticism, is one of the main obstacles to reunion." He spoke of the pressures being exerted to "adapt our theology, both in concept and in language, to ecumenical needs..."

(When we speak of "scholasticism" we are speaking of Thomism, which is the system of philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Pope Saint Pius X, in his encyclical condemning Modernism, taught that scholasticism is the remedy to modernism. (12) This explains why modernists and progressives nurture a positive aversion to Thomism, a we shall see.)

Throughout the entire 1963 article, Father Greenstock is still speaking in terms of what true Christian unity should be: to "bring back to the unity of the true Church those who are at present outside it." He rightly observed that this is the only purpose for "ecumenical dialogue."
Reunion, he stresses, cannot be "attained without complete unity in the faith." It is "distressing", he laments, "to notice that some Catholic theologians do not seem to realize the importance of this."

In order to combat the ecumenical and progressivist theologians running roughshod over the Council (in compliance with the Bishop of Darwin who asked orthodox theologians to ‘take up their pens" against these new trends), Greenstock presented six basic principles that the Catholic theologian must follow regarding so-called "ecumenism". Again, the goal always is to present the Catholic position without ambiguity, in the clearest possible terms, in order to facilitate the conversion of the non-Catholic to the one true Church of Christ.
Six Basic Principles

Here we will outline Father Greenstock’s points: (13)

1) "Fidelity to the dictates of Humani Generis... together with a rejection of the temptation to use the ecumenical excuse as a weapon for the destruction of scholasticism and the creation of a new ‘situational’ theology."

As will be demonstrated, the progressivist theologians have done precisely that! They’ve abandoned scholastic theology for the sake of a new "ecumenical" theology, and they’ve abandoned scholastic language for the sake of what they call "pastoral language." (14) Its language is so ambiguous and muddy that it tells the sheep to go north and south at the same time, and then issues an endless series of "clarifications" trying to explain what it really means.
The final "clarification" usually tells us that to go North and South at the same time is actually to travel in the same direction – thanks to "new insights into the profundity of cartography as mystery."

2) "A realization that there is no basic division between theology and faith." This is an interesting and important point that we do not have time to discuss in this presentation. (15)

3) "There is now an even greater need to return to the basic principles of Saint Thomas that reason is an instrument by which we can express and deduce the virtual content of revelation. It would be an error of the first magnitude to neglect the development of Neo-Thomism in favor of some vague new theology." Father Greenstock stressed that the scholasticism of Saint Thomas is a "glorious part of our Catholic inheritance" and that it is "our finest instrument for precise thought and careful definition – both of which are essential to bring the faith to our separated brethren."

Contrast this with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who admits he had an aversion to Saint Thomas. He wrote, "I had difficulties in penetrating the thought of Thomas Aquinas, whose crystal-clear logic seemed to be too closed on itself, too impersonal and ready made." (16) In Ratzinger’s seminary studies, rather, "a large place was accorded to literature and to contemporary philosophico-scientific thought." (17)

In light of these statements by Ratzinger, it is obvious that the "modern" theologians whom Father Greenstock was combating were the Rahners, Ratzingers, Wojtylas, (18) De Lubacs, the entire liberal clique at Vatican II.

Of these progressives, Greenstock warns: "Modern theologians have nothing to offer which can compare with this [Thomism] and it should serve as a model of theological writing at the present day." Sadly, as will be demonstrated, scholastic terminology was deliberately rejected at Vatican II.

4) "In this connection, every theologian would do well to read and digest G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. Speaking of the great theological ‘wars’ of the past and of the reasons for them, he says:

‘It is enough to notice that, if some small mistake were made in doctrine, high blunders might be made in human happiness. A sentence wrongly phrased about the nature of symbolism would have broken all the best statues in Europe. A slip on the definitions might stop all the dances, might wither all the Christmas trees or break all the Easter eggs. Doctrine had to be carefully defined within strict limits, even in order that man might enjoy general human liberties. The Church had to be careful, if only that the world might be careless’." (19)

"We are in much the same position today;" cautions Greenstock, "one slip now may cost us years of effort". Father Greenstock was truly prophetic. He said further, "It is necessary to explain to our separated brethren in simple language the doctrines of the Church, together with the fact that she dare not depart from them by one iota!"

5) "We must not give non-Catholics the impression that the great Conciliar decrees of the past can be modified or made easier for their acceptance by a new expression of those truths in more modern language. This would imply that such decrees are capable of radical reform – which is untrue."

He then warned of the danger of the new "ecumenical language" by quoting the Protestant Dr. Visser’t Hooft who admitted, "the simple ABC’s of ecumenism" is that "there is no ecumenical language which is completely unambiguous." (20)

"There is, of course, only one real answer to it" says Greenstock, "clear definition of terms! We are forced back to Neo-Thomism in the end."

6) "The need is for clear, definite exposition of the true Catholic position, without fear or favor, yet with all due charity" and that we must not give non-Catholics "the impression that the Catholic Church is ready to betray her dogmatic mission."
Greenstock is stressing fidelity to Catholic doctrine; and to scholastic terminology as the finest means of expressing that doctrine with precision, without ambiguity or compromise. All of this, he reminds us, is to facilitate the return of non-Catholics to the one true Church of Jesus Christ: "Reunion to a Catholic must mean unity in faith and worship. To imply the opposite is to destroy the truth and betray Christ."

Further, he emphasizes the need for an uncompromising fidelity to the decrees of the Council of Trent and to Vatican I. "Above all" he says, "there should be no attempt to create a new ecumenical theology to fit the ecumenical situation".

Throughout the entire article, Father Greenstock is unyieldingly faithful to the perennial Catholic teaching of the necessity of the non-Catholic abandoning his false religion and becoming a member of the true Church of Christ for unity and salvation. In this, Father Greenstock is reiterating the teachings expressed infallibly by the Popes throughout the centuries; and as especially expressed in Leo XIII’s Satis Cognitum, Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos, and Pius XII’s 1949 Instruction on the Ecumenical Movement which stated clearly:

"True reunion can only come about by the return of dissidents to the one true Church of Christ" (21) (the Catholic Church).

A New "Unity"

Again, then, the same question: did Vatican II promote this unity willed by Christ?
We find the answer in an article that appeared in an ecumenical publication, the International Jewish-Christian Documentation Service (SIDIC), which is from a Catholic association "founded in Rome in 1965 at the request of a group of experts of the Second Vatican Council following the promulgation of Nostra Aetate", to promote Catholic-Jewish "dialogue". (22)

In 1999, it published a special issue on the subject, "Fundamentalism and Extremism: Challenges for the 21st Century". It was a survey of those within various religious groups who have resisted ecumenism; including those from Judaism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism.
Under the heading "Integralism and Fundamentalism: Christians Confronting Ecumenism", it spotlighted, as the central figure fighting ecumenism within Catholicism, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

When explaining the reasons for Archbishop Lefebvre’s refusal to accept ecumenism, the journal made an amazing admission:

"Lefebvre’s refusal to accept ecumenism originates in clear teachings from the Magisterium: the encyclical Satis Cognitum of Leo XIII (1896); the encyclical Mortalium Animos of Pius XI (1928); the Dec. 20, 1949, Instruction of the Holy Office regarding Ecumenism. The only ecumenism accepted by Lefebvre and his followers is that which strives for the unconditional return of the members of other confessions to the one Church of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church. This hardened sectarianism is precisely the kind of logic which Vatican II, through profound reflection on the nature of the Church, refused to accept. Though rooted in Tradition [sic] the scope of the Council’s reflection was without precedent in the history of Christianity. For integralists, ecumenism is one of the fundamental betrayals by Vatican II." (23)

The journal admits openly that Lefebvre rejected the Council’s ecumenism because it contradicted the clear teaching of the Magisterium that preceded it for centuries,
that Vatican II refused to accept the Catholic position that it is necessary for the non-Catholic to convert to the Catholic Church for unity and salvation, and that this is "without precedent" in the history of Christianity. (It should be obvious that Vatican II’s new teaching is not "rooted in Tradition" as the journal falsely asserts).

A Progressivist Boasts of Victory

This leads us, then, to another question. Did this ecumenical journal "misrepresent" the Council’s teaching?

In order to answer this, we will turn to one of the progressive theologians at Vatican II, who was involved in drafting the documents, and who can tell us what was in the minds of those men who drafted the documents. What were the true intentions of the architects at Vatican II?
In 1966, Paulist Press published a revealing little book entitled Theological Highlights of Vatican II. The book’s author is the progressivist theological peritus from Vatican II, Father Joseph Ratzinger (who is now Cardinal Ratzinger).

Ratzinger here explains that the Council texts Lumen Gentium (which is the Council’s Document on the Church) and the Decree on Ecumenism, are absolutely linked. The groundwork for ecumenism was established within Lumen Gentium, so that the ecumenical initiative and orientation could follow. (24)

Ratzinger writes:

"The text on the Church was favorably predisposed toward ecumenical thinking in that its basic theological line was ecumenical."

He is telling us, as one involved with the drafting of the documents, that the basic text of Lumen Gentium is ecumenical. He continues:

"It also attempted to slough off particularisms coming from Latin and scholastic sources and to keep the door open on all legitimate theological questions." (26)
Here we see what Father David Greenstock was warning against in his 1963 article. The goal of the progressives was to get rid of scholasticism, because the precision of scholasticism does not allow them to formulate their new, sloppy, unorthodox ecumenology. It doesn’t allow them to play fast and loose with the terminology.

On the same page, Ratzinger says:

"The title of the text no longer referred in scholastic fashion to the ‘nature of the Church’, but spoke rather of its ‘mystery’."

This is another trend we see since Vatican II. Before the Council, we spoke precisely of the "nature of the Church", which had a strict definition. Now, instead, we speak of the "mystery of the Church". Before the Council, we spoke of the unchangeableness of Sacred Tradition. Today, however, we talk about the "mystery of the living tradition". This is a semantic tactic to introduce confusion. The progressives take our defined certitudes, they turn them into vague "mysteries". Once they do this, they can do anything they wan t with the terminology. It is precisely what’s happening here.

Ratzinger then addressed the question of who is really a "member" of the Church. Again, he admits that he and his liberal clique played games with the language:

"The first schema of 1962 still clung to the traditional scholastic formula which saw membership in the Church as dependent on the joint presence of three prerequisites: baptism, profession of the same faith and acceptance of the hierarchy headed by the Pope, (That’s Saint Robert Bellarmine’s precise definition, Ed.). Only those who met these requirements could be called members of the Church. Obviously, this was a very narrow formulation." (27)
We see how dead on-target was Father David Greenstock who warned that the liberals want to abandon scholasticism so as to create a new situational (ecumenical) theology. It’s precisely what we have here with Ratzinger and the Council. Ratzinger continues:

"... the result was that the notion of ‘member of the Church’ could be applied only to Catholics. With such an answer to the question of Church membership, it became very difficult to describe the Christian dignity of the non-Catholic Christian... Accordingly, modifications were made in the text submitted in 1963 to the Council Fathers." (28)

Regarding "modifications in the text", the original draft of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium reiterated Pope Pius XII’s teaching that the "Church of Christ IS the Catholic Church". The progressivist theologians at Vatican II, to the delight of the Protestant observers at the Council, changed the sentence to "The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church." This new wording was hailed as a great victory for Ecumenism. (29) The term "subsists" is deliberately ambiguous and admits to a definition of "Church" as being bigger than the Catholic Church, that "in some mysterious way", includes non-Catholics.

Ratzinger elaborates on other changes of terminology that were made to accommodate the new, ecumenical orientation:

"The new text avoided the expression ‘member of the Church’ hallowed by long usage in Catholic theology. Use of this expression would have immediately aroused the scholastic theologians, who saw this notion as necessarily including the three above-mentioned prerequisites. In view of these difficulties, the decision was made to avoid this controversial term." (30)

This i precisely what Father Greenstock was warning against. They’ve abandoned scholasticism in order to bring in a new ecumenical language. Suddenly a precise term that used to give us certitude is now a "controversial term" that we must discard.

Ratzinger continues: "The new text describes the relationship between the Church and non-Catholic Christians without speaking of ‘membership’. By shedding this terminological armor, the text acquired a much wider scope." (31) By shedding this terminological armor? Again, we see that Father Greenstock was truly a prophet!

Ratzinger then mentions that the new text submitted to the Council Fathers in 1963 spoke of the "multiple internal ties" among Christians, such as Baptism, belief in Christ as the Son of God and Savior, and believe in Sacred Scriptures as Divine Revelation. This is something they’re just discovering?

The fact is that heretics have always shared many common beliefs with Catholics. This is what heresy is. It accepts much of the truth, but rejects or corrupts a portion of it. Saint Thomas Aquinas defines heresy as "a species of infidelity in men who, having professed the faith of Christ, corrupt its dogmas." (32)

However, liberals such as Ratzinger have attempted to turn these "multiple internal ties" from something negative into something "positive". It is spin-doctoring, pure and simple.
Ratzinger goes on:

"The new text now says unmistakably and clearly, though in passing, that these Christians exist not merely as individuals, but in Christian communities which are given positive Christian status and ecclesial character." (33)

Now, that statement is loaded!

The Catholic Church had always dealt with Protestants as individual heretics. It never recognized them as a valid religious group, because their so-called "church" or "ecclesial community" is actually a fiction. A group of Protestants is simply a gathering of individuals who have become interiorly convinced of their salvation in Christ. They do not really constitute a "church".

In September of 1868, just before Vatican I, Pope Pius IX issued a public letter entitled Iam vos Omnes that was addressed "to all Protestants and other non-Catholics". He was not inviting them to the Council, but urged them to consider the event of the Council as an opportunity to convert to the one true Church. Pius called the letter "To All Protestants..." He chose that title on purpose. He addressed them as individuals, because he rightly refused to recognize that they, in their groups, constituted valid "churches" or "ecclesial communities". Commenting on this text in 1959, Msgr. Fenton pointed out that Pius IX chose these words deliberately because Protestant groups "are not Christian churches" but are actually "heretical assemblies." (34)

This explains why Ratzinger is so smug boasting that "the new text now says... clearly... that Christians exist not merely as individuals, but in Christian communities, which are given positive Christian status and ecclesial character." This is a progressivist revolution that thrills him to the marrow of his bones.

Ratzinger then explains that the Constitution on the Church and the Decree on Ecumenism form one teaching, and one new ecumenical orientation.

"The text on the Church was kept open primarily because it was to be supplemented by a text on ecumenism which would develop a viewpoint only hinted at in the Church text. Taking both texts into account, we can view in a positive light the undeniably admitted ecumenical outlook of the schema on the Church." (35)

Later he makes the absurd statement:

"The ecumenical movement grew out of a situation unknown to the New Testament and for which the New Testament can therefore offer no guidelines." (36)

Now wait a minute! I thought the purpose of the Council was to return to the "pristine purity" of the Apostles. Here, however, Ratzinger is asserting that if we look to the pristine purity of the Apostles, the only thing they have to tell us regarding the ecumenical movement is that they have nothing to tell us. This is a lie, anyway.

The Apostles had plenty to say on the Catholic’s duty to shun religious camaraderie with heretics.

Saint Peter, in his Second Epistle warns "There shall be among you lying teachers who shall bring in sects of perdition." (2 Peter 2:1).

Saint John: "If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God speed you." (2 John, 1:10)

Saint Paul, warning of heretical teachers, said "I know that after my departure, ravenous wolves will enter among you, not sparing the flock... Therefore watch." (Acts, 20:28, 29, 31) In Philippians 3:2, Paul says, "Beware of dogs", and these dogs are the same false teachers as those whom he called "ravenous wolves."

Thus, Ratzinger is not telling the truth. (37) What he is admitting, however, without saying it openly, is that Vatican II’s ecumenism has no basis in Sacred Scripture.
Ratzinger then sums up the new teaching of the Council:

"... the recognition of a plurality of Churches within the Church implies two lines of change:

"(a) The Catholic has to recognize that his own Church is not yet prepared to accept the phenomenon of multiplicity in unity; he must orient himself toward this reality. He must also recognize the need for a thorough Catholic renewal (translation: revolution, Ed.), something not to be accomplished in a day. This requires a process of opening up, which takes time. Meantime, the Catholic Church has no right to absorb the other Churches. The Church has not yet prepared for them a place of their own, but this they are legitimately entitled to."

"(b) A basic unity – of churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church – must replace the idea of conversion, even though conversion retains its meaningfulness for those in conscience motivated to seek it." (38)

There you have it.

Ratzinger is telling us, as one of the drafters and major influences of Vatican II (as a co-worker with Karl Rahner) that Vatican II teaches that conversion is an option. The non-Catholic need not convert to the true Church for salvation or for unity.

Again, this is why Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, rather than giving a precise definition, speaks vaguely of "The Mystery of Church Unity". (39)

Now, has Cardinal Ratzinger changed his views since then?

In 1990, during a visit to Brazil, Cardinal Ratzinger gave an interview to the press, who asked him "What are the most marked differences between the Ratzinger of Vatican Council II and the Ratzinger of today? In other words, who has changed more?" Ratzinger replied, "I do not see a real, profound difference between my work at Vatican Council II and my present work." (40)
To the journalist Vittorio Messori, in 1984, Ratzinger admitted that since the Council, he "has not changed." (41)

The past autumn, after issuing Dominus Iesus, Ratzinger still defended using the word "subsist" to describe the Church.

In a recent interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemine, Cardinal Ratzinger explained,

"Vatican II did not use Pius XII’s expression according to which ‘the Roman Catholic Church is the only Church of Christ.’ Instead, it preferred the expression ‘The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church...’ because," he said, "it wished to ‘affirm that the being of the Church as such is a larger identity than the Roman Catholic Church’." (42)

We can see that it is the same Ratzinger with the same progressive message. He may not be as cocky as he was in 1966, but he’s promoting the same flawed teaching. He is saying that the Church of Christ is broader than the Catholic Church and not strictly identical with it.
Here, then, is the main point. This flawed teaching on Christian unity is the true teaching of the Council. It was the intention that was in the minds of those who drafted the documents, and they constructed the texts accordingly. (43) As such, it is a head-on collision with what the Catholic Church has taught on unity and salvation for 2,000 years.

Thus, in answer to our question: Vatican II teaches a doctrine of Christian unity that is contrary to Scripture, contrary to Sacred Tradition, contrary to the express and positive will of Jesus Christ.

Msgr. Fenton’s Warning

In the October 1962 issue of the American Ecclesiastical Review, the renowned theologian Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, published an article entitled "The Virtue of Prudence and the Success of the Second Vatican Council." (44) It is the only article I’ve read from the period which leveled the sober warning: Do not think that just because this Council has been called, it will automatically be a success!

Fenton noted that the announcements regarding the upcoming council always called upon the faithful to offer prayers for its success. He was worried, however, that the call for prayer lacked any note of urgency. It seemed as if the call for prayer was nothing more than a formality.
No, Fenton remonstrated, the faithful must pray diligently for the success of the Council, because there is the real possibility that the Council may be a failure.

He said that many "imagine that the Council will automatically be a success, and that, as a result, there is no particular need of any prayers for the attainment of the ends for which it was conceived and summoned. Many seem to have imagined that the calling of an ecumenical council was like pushing a magic button, which would automatically and painlessly do away with all of the difficulties being faced by the true Church of Jesus Christ in the 20th Century. And, as is obvious from a study of the history of previous general councils, and from the consideration of the very nature of the Catholic Church, it is plain that there could be no more serious misconception. The fact of the matter is that the success of the ecumenical council really depends on the effectiveness and the ardor of the prayers of the faithful."

He then lays out what the Council will have to achieve in order to be considered a success:

"In order to be successful, in order to accomplish the purpose for which it has been called into being, the ecumenical council must speak out effectively and adequately against the doctrinal aberrations which are endangering the faith, and hence the entire spiritual life, of the faithful at the time the council is working.

"Furthermore, in the disciplinary field, it is impossible for an ecumenical council to attain its purpose unless it sets forth regulations and directives which tend to achieve the following objectives.

"First, these disciplinary decrees must be such as to make it easier for the faithful in the state of friendship for God to advance in His love.

"Second, they must be so calculated as to make it easier for those who are members of the Church and who are not living the life of grace to return to the friendship of God.

"And finally, they must be such as to aid in the conversion of non-Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ."

In the same vein, he elaborated, "those who are not favored with membership in the Church (should) be able to see even more clearly that the presently existing visible Catholic Church is really the one and only supernatural kingdom of God on earth."

Again, he warns, "It is by no means automatically certain the council will be successful, speaking from the point of view of this supernatural prudence."

As if predicting the future, Fenton closes: "It is possible that the Council might act other than with the fulness of supernatural prudence. It is possible that, seen in this perspective, it may not be successful."

Tragically, the Council has been a failure on the very points pinpointed by Msgr. Fenton.
The Council did not speak out effectively against the doctrinal aberrations of the time. In fact, it made everything far worse, due to its liberalization and Protestantization of doctrine. As a result, it has shattered the interior unity of Catholics who have never been more divided among themselves.

As far as disciplinary measures:

1) The Council has not made it easier for the faithful in their friendship of God to advance in His love. If anything, tens of thousands of Catholics have ceased practicing their religion since the Council because of the progressivist revolution that the Council generated, especially regarding liturgy.

2) The Council has not made it easier for fallen-away Catholics to return to the Church. In fact, as already noted, the liberal reforms from the Council have generated a massive falling away of Catholics from the practice of the faith, not to mention the mass defections of thousands of priests and religious away from their sacred vocation.

3) The Council has not been an aid in the conversion of the non-Catholics to the one and only true Church of Jesus Christ. We see that Cardinal Ratzinger admitted openly that the Council did away with the notion that it is necessary for non-Catholics to convert to the one true Church of Christ for unity and salvation.

Thus, the Council has been a failure. Its ecumenism, a disaster.

So, rather than apologize for our renowned Catholic ancestors who had the proper understanding of Christian Unity and acted accordingly, it is Vatican II for which our Church leaders should offer a great apology, along with a firm purpose of amendment, to conform their teachings, their actions, their policies, and their liturgies so as to protect and promote once again the traditional and true teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.


1. The Bull Cantate Domino published by Pope Eugene IV, Feb. 4, 1442, Council of Florence.
2. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, (Tan Books) Page 102. It is worth noting that the New (1994) Catechism’s section on the "oneness" of Christ’s Church does not include this quotation from Saint Paul. Further, it is this section of the New Catechism that contains some of the worst "ecumenical" exhortations. See New Catechism, #’s 813 through 822.
3. For a superb theological treatise that demonstrates this comprehensively, see "The Scholastic Definitions of the Church", by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, (Parts I-III) published in American Ecclesiastical Review (Washington, D.C.) July, August, September, 1944.
4. De Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus Huis Temporis Haereticos, Tom. 1, (Ingolstadt, 1586). Quartae Controversia Generlist Liber Terisus, De Ecclesia Militante, cap. 2, col 1263. English translation cited from "Scholastic Definitions of the Church", Part II, by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review, August, 1944.
5. Quoted from The Catholic Dogma by Father Michael Muller (Benzinger Brothers, 1888), p. xi. Emphasis added.
6. Mystici Corporis, Pope Pius XII, N.C.W.C. edition, 1943, NO. 13, p. 8.
7. Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII, N.C.W.C. edition, 1950, No. 27, p. 12.
8. "The Meaning of the Word Church" by Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton. First published in the American Ecclesiastical Review, Oct., 1954. Republished in its entirety in Catholic Family News, November, 2000. (Reprint #528 available from CFN for $1.75).
9. Mortalium Animos, Encyclical on Fostering True Christian Unity, Pope Pius XI, From The Popes Against Modern Errors, (Tan, 1999) 299-301. Emphasis added.
10. See "Thomism and the New Theology", David Greenstock, T.O.P. The Thomist, 1950.
11. "Unity: Special Problems, Dogmatic and Moral", David Greenstock, The Thomist, 1963, p. 599. (Quotation from the Bishop of Darwin is footnoted in the article as from the Universe and Catholic Times, Jan. 25, 1963). On all quotes from this article, emphasis added.
12. Pascendi.
13. The Six Principles are found on pp. 602-610 in article cited. Emphasis added.
14. For keen insights into the quagmire of "Pastoral Language", see Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting in Assisi, Part I, Father Johannes Dormann (Angelus Press, 1994), pp. 34-42.
15. Father Greenstock elaborates on the relationship between Faith and Theology in the article "Thomism and the New Theology", The Thomist, 1950.
16. Quotation from Cardinal Ratzinger’s Milestones, (p. 44). Cited from Si Si No No, English language edition published in The Angelus, March, 1999.
17. Description given by author of Si Si No No, ibid.
18. Fr. Ludvik Nemek, a "conservative" Catholic, writes in praise of John Paul II that "Bishop Wojtyla took a progressive stand" at Vatican II, and that he "interacted with progressive theologians" at the Council. Pope John Paul II, A Festive Profile, (Catholic Book Publishing, NY, 1979), p. 98.
19. Cited in article as from Orthodoxy, (London, 1908) p. 166 ff.
20. Cited in article as from The Ecumenical Review, VIII, January, 1956.
21. Instructio, (The Instruction from the Holy Office on the Ecumenical Movement, Dec. 20, 1949) Entire English translation published in The Tablet (London) March 4, 1950.
22. The Rome-based SIDIC has local representatives in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, United States.
23. Service Internatial de Documentatoin Judeo-Chretienne, Rome, [English edition from Washington, D.C.] Vol. XXXII, No. 3, 1999, p. 22. (Emphasis added).
24. Theological Highlights of Vatican II, Joseph Ratzinger, (Paulist Press, New York, 1966), p. 61.
25. Ibid. P. 64.
26. Ibid., emphasis added.
27. Ibid., p. 65.
28. Ibid., pp. 65-66.
29. See Pope John’s Council by Michael Davies, (Angelus Press, Kansas City) pp. 60-61.
30. Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 66.
31. Ibid., p. 66. Emphasis added.
32. Summa (II-II, 11:1), Cited in "Heresy", Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910 (entry by J. Weilhem).
33. Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 67. Emphasis added.
34. "The Ecumenical Council and Christian Reunion", Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review, July, 1959.
35. Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 68.
36. Ibid., p. 72.
37. It may be argued that at the time of the Apostles there was not an "ecumenical movement" among heretical groups seeking to get along with one another. This, however, leaves untouched the Apostles’ firm directive for Catholics to avoid religious camaraderie with heretics.
38. Theological Highlights of Vatican II, p. 73. (Emphasis added)
39. Unitatis Redintegratio. Also see reference in Catechism of the Catholic Church, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishopss English edition (1994), p. 178.
40. J. Ratzinger, Interview with Walter Falceta, "Ratzinger reafirma identidade catolica," in O Estado de St. Paulo, 7/29/1990.
41. J. Ratzinger, interview with Vittorio Messori, "Ecco perche la fede e in crisi", in Jesus, November, 1984, p. 69. Both quotations from Ratzinger interviews (1990 & 1984) cited from In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, by Atila Sinke Guimaraes, (Meata, 1998), pp. 121-122.
42. Frankfurter Allgemine, English translation taken from newsletter of Father Jean Violette, SSPX, Toronto, October, 2000.
43. This remains true even if Cardinal Ratzinger would completely change his own personal views to a more orthodox position. The Council texts themselves remain ambiguous, imprecise, flawed, and oriented toward an unorthodox ecumenism.
44. "The virtue of Prudence and the Success of the Second Ecumenical Council", Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, American Ecclesiastical Review, October, 1962, pp. 255-266.