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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



The Restoration of our Holy Church

The Mass of the Ages

and the Reclamation of our  Holy Catholic Faith


It is almost inconceivable  — and except for history, utterly unimaginable  — and yet it is undeniably true:  The visible and distinguishable Catholic Church virtually no longer exists in the world. Please be careful to note that I say virtually:

Remnants remain, memories are retained, and here and there actual Catholic parishes remain intact against implacable forces that would extinguish the Church altogether. These are the churches that still faithfully retain the ancient Tridentine Mass and distinctly Catholic Tradition in the face of the enmity, reproach, criticism, and mockery not only of the world, but of Modernist Catholics at large who have been nurtured on the spurious “Spirit of Vatican II”  in the “Faith Communities” that superseded the local “churches” which followed that tremendous breach in continuity that we call Vatican II.

Does such a statement appall you? It appalls me.

A Simulacrum — the Loss of Identity

Apart from the unchangeable Canon of the Mass (specifically, the words of Consecration), in nearly every other respect we have what dangerously verges upon a counterfeit. The real Roman Catholic Church (with its inviolable Sacraments and the  authentic and indefeasible Deposit of Faith) of our fathers and of their fathers and their fathers before them — certainly has not been destroyed, but it has been completely pulled own, totally vandalized, and a simulacrum erected in its place. The Church for which the Saints lived and the Martyrs died — which baptized our children and buried our dead … is, effectively (and I emphasize, effectively), no more:  it has been utterly eclipsed by a semblance-only that daily grows more diaphanous, threadbare, and meretricious.

Understand this: Vatican II was the end of Catholic identity as it had been understood, practiced, and  articulated through centuries; indeed, millennia. It was not the end of the Roman Catholic Church — which will endure until the Second Coming of Christ. What has resulted from Vatican II was nothing less than catastrophic for Catholic identity and Catholic culture. It is a theological iteration of Identity Theft: surreptitious, inviting trust, and then abusing the credentials — fraudulently acquired — that do not belong to the thief but serve his own devious ends, leaving the actual owner a trail of scandal and debt.

With a few exceptions

Is this to say that we have no more holy priests, bishops, nuns and Religious in the “modern” Church? Absolutely not! There are, I am convinced, a few — perhaps a very few — brave and holy priests and Religious who strive for authentic sanctity — and the sanctification and salvation of those entrusted to them — against an overwhelming current that would sweep them aside as so many artifacts of “a time gone by”, a time “that is no more”. There are priests and Religious who undoubtedly are so many pariahs to their local ordinaries and endure much in the way of reproach and indignity because it was precisely this reproach and indignity brought against Christ! They have cleaved to their vows, their promises, the Faith of their Fathers, and to the small flocks they tirelessly shepherd. They are the real heroes and heroines of the Faith, and often the sole reason that the faithful remain so. The faithful know that somewhere, in some uncelebrated corner of obscurity, priests, nuns, and Religious live as they have always lived throughout the life of the Church: in sanctity and in utter obedience to Christ and the Church that has always been — and will always be. By and large they are younger men and women who have seen beyond the tattered veil of the Bride of Christ to the beauty deeply within that cannot be marred by time or the vicious intrigues of men. They are the hope of the Church, and we pray that God give them holy and final perseverance. They have kept the Faith when so many have tossed it aside.

“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Indeed, when Christ asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”  (St. Luke 18.8) — this was no rhetorical question, but a profound, existential, and ultimately prophetic utterance — concerning the faithfulness and authenticity of the Church vis-à-vis post-modernity, its encounter with it, its subsequent transformation by it — and ultimately its assimilation into it. In a word it is no longer a competing narrative with the world zeitgeist but is increasingly indistinguishable from it.

The New Right of New Rites

The purpose, the focus (salus animarum: the salvation of souls) the language, the form of worship, the overwhelming intrusion of women in the sanctuary, priests leaving the sanctuary to “homilize”  in the manner of popular talk-show hosts weaving in and out of the audience with questions “engaging” the congregation (and, yes, people silly enough to answer, or too embarrassed not to), the catechesis, the sermons, the music, the manner of the administration of all the Sacraments and rites  (Holy Eucharist, Baptism, Penance, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, Extreme Unction or Last Rites),  the architecture, the demeanor of the congregation and its scandalous attire — in a word, the continuity of identity in every conceivable sense with a 2000 year old Church (no, not “Faith Community” or “Worship Space” or any other neologism!) is strikingly absent and no longer bears any credible resemblance to the Roman Catholic Church circa 33 AD until 1959.

We no longer hear the stentorian voice of the Apostle, but the lisper of the priest-psychoanalyst eager to affirm your inflated, albeit contorted self-image, your holiness and goodness as most certainly the “People of God.”  Gone are the male voices. In their place we find the ascendancy of woman, which is to say, Feminism. From the troop of women eagerly lining up to be “Eucharistic Ministers” (“Extraordinary” is never suffixed to the quasi-sacerdotal title), to the DREs (Directors of Religious Education), the Music “Ministers”, to the Parish Council (predominantly feminist women) to the stumbling on any nouns that may suggest a masculine gender (“Coheirs AND “Coheiresses” as one local priest insists on interjecting in deference to or in advocacy of, feminism). What self-respecting unapologetic man — comfortable in his manliness — would be comfortable with, feel welcome, in such company that considers men in general “oppressively patriarchal”?  This explains the absence of so many men at Mass, and so few vocations to the priesthood.

It has been said that a single drop of poison in a bottle of medicine suffices to make it deadly. 1 How many drops of poison have entered the teaching of today’s Catholic Church! The bottle looks the same but the label is fraudulent. The seal was broken by Vatican II and the contents tampered with.

I will no longer tolerate the patently false nonsense about how well the Church is doing Her job — saving souls is no longer a topic in homiletics (when did you last hear of it?) and this clear spiritual mandate appears to be far less pressing than social and environmental issues.  Still less will I tolerate the never-ending drivel that Vatican II was good for the Church and that the Church needed it and is better for it. None are true in the least: in fact, they are demonstrably untrue in quantifiable ways of every measure.

400 Years of Heresy

It must be remembered that the Arian heresy (which denied the divinity of Christ) ravaged the Church for more than 400 years. 400 years! It was the dominant belief of most bishops and ecclesiastics even after its condemnation by the First Council of Nicaea (325 AD) and the First Council of Constantinople (381 AD). The greatest champion of Catholic orthodoxy and the divinity of Christ — ever — was Saint Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria (d. 373 AD). Resistance to Saint Athanasius was so widespread within the Church during that period that the world’s acquaintance with Saint Athanasius is largely through the phrase “Athanasius contra mundum” (Athanasius against the world — so widespread and accepted was the heresy against which he tirelessly fought, and at so great a cost). Indeed, so great was the hierarchical resistance against him by an overwhelming number of bishops that he was exiled no less than five times, driven to living in a dry well and in his own father’s sepulcher when the Arians sought to kill him. So few bishops, and still fewer priests, held fast to the Apostolic Faith handed down by Saint Peter.

It was the laity who held the line and transmitted the one, true Faith when the bishops and priests fell into heresy. This is nothing short of miraculous.

The Synthesis of all Heresies

I will not go into the many councils (there were 19, excluding the possibly spurious Vatican II) to recount the many heresies to which most of them responded. Vatican II is unique in that it was not a response to a heresy, but in many ways has resulted in the instantiation and institution of one. It can be reduced to the heresy of Modernism condemned by Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis on the Doctrines of the Modernists published  8 September 1907— called the “Synthesis of all Heresies”—and which has been resoundingly ignored. It begins with this sentence:

“The office divinely committed to Us of feeding the Lord's flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called.” (emphasis added)

And ends with this sentence:

“… we beseech for you with our whole heart and soul the abundance of heavenly light, so that in the midst of this great perturbation of men's minds from the insidious invasions of error from every side, you may see clearly what you ought to do and may perform the task with all your strength and courage. May Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, be with you by His power; and may the Immaculate Virgin, the destroyer of all heresies, be with you by her prayers and aid.” (again, emphasis added)

And in between:

“… the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and

 feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable

 Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who,

 feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the

 poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the

 Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the

person of the Divine Redeemer, Whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man.”

Do the names Father Richard McBrien (Christ never intended to found a Church, His impeccabilty is dubious as is Mary's Virginal Conception of Christ and Original Sin, to name just a few) Daniel C. Maguire (“We listened much too much to the penis when we should have sought an audience with the clitoris.” 2), Kung , Schillebeeckx, Kasper, Thomas Merton (a convert to Zen Buddhism) —  to name just a very few— come to mind? How about Cardinal Marx from Germany (“We are not a branch of Rome. Each conference of bishops is responsible for pastoral care in its cultural context and must preach the Gospel in its own, original way” 3) , or Cardinal Danneels of Belgium (head of the infamous “St. Gallen Club” which actively undermined an insufficiently liberal and progressive Pope (Benedict XVI) and publicly applauded itself as having machinated the accession of the liberal Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina (“their man” in their own words) to the papacy? 4 Indeed, Pope Francis in an obvious quid pro quo invited them to a place of honor after his election (heedless of the flagrant scandal).5  How many souls have lost their way, even their faith, because of the personal example and heterodox teachings of these men?

Let us ask some real — indeed vital — questions concerning the Post-Vatican II Church: Were all Catholics who preceded this most unfortunate generation worshipping illicitly, or in ignorance, or in any manner less genuine, less pious, and with less understanding, than the present generation? Does our generation alone possess the culmination of truth about the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, sacred Dogma, and the Deposit of Faith — while preceding generations worshipped and lived their holy Catholic vocations either  deficiently or defectively? Are not Saints examples set before us by the Church?  How do our current bishops — including Pope Francis — together with current day priests and laity measure up to these examples from “dark and unenlightened times”? It is pitiful indeed.

 “Quis est homo qui non fleret ...?” 6

Quite nearly everything identifiably Catholic from a historical perspective … has been lost. It is cause for unspeakable sorrow, inconsolable tears:

“The city of Thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert, Jerusalem is desolate. The house of our holiness, and of our glory, where our fathers praised Thee, is burnt with fire, and all our lovely things are turned into ruins.” (Isaiah 64.10-11)

 Vatican II was the point of historical rupture in the continuity of our 2000 year old Church. Mass has become the venue of emptiness, meaninglessness, foolishness, comedy, and the worship of man, collectively celebrated as “the People of God” in their “Faith Communities” and “Prayer Spaces”. Latin in Church is as welcome as German in a synagogue. The priests are elderly activists and there are none in line to replace them: that queue now belongs to Woman Church and Feminists who gladly would fill that sacred void as so many priestesses at a Wicca assembly. The Church is no longer a sacred refuge. It is a bland, unadorned space more suitable to the waiting room of a dental office than a place for worshiping God. Respect for the sacred is utterly absent. It is the post-apocalypse of the dark and demonic dreams of Vatican II: a place of sterility, cleansed of hierarchy, difference, separateness, holiness — all are the same, all are “equal”,  and all are “Ministers of this and that”, ministering to other “Ministers of this and that”.

Ironically enough, it is Hollywood (which detests our Catholic Faith) which alone brings out vestiges of what once was holy and in contention with evil: The Cross, the priesthood, Nuns in full habits, Holy Water, Censors, priestly collars — all as distinguishable symbols against evil. Why not use symbols of Judaism? Islam? Protestant preachers? Think of the horror film genre. It is often replete with Catholic symbols and thus has unwittingly preserved vestiges of the very thing it detests. Why? Because they are identifiable as holy. Or were … such “memes” no longer are.

To what will the post-Vatican II, post-Christian world appeal as unmistakably holy, as supernatural, as transcending the insipid culture that inspires only despair, narcosis and death? With the absence of the Church as identifiably and unmistakably holy — as much within as without — as distinct and set apart by God (which is what holiness is: being set apart — from the world, from the profane, the mundane, and the earthly — for God!) as the Nouveau Catholic Church continues to descend into schizophrenic ambivalence and self-loathing? More troubling still, the clarity of doctrine and the indissolubility of dogma distinctly and perpetually Catholic, increasingly appears to be the subject of enigmatic and often deeply controversial interpretation by our present Pope Francis much to the confusion of Catholics worldwide. This invites — even encourages — dissent, division and a lack of conviction that should not emanate — of all places — from the Chair of Peter. “Render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.” (St. Mat. 22.21) We must not conflate the two and pretend that rendering to the one is also somehow rendering to the other.

No Compromise

There can be no compromise between the world and the Church. This is the failed rapprochement of Vatican II through which the sanctity of the Church gradually succumbed to the banality of the world. We must take sides, and choosing the one is repudiating the other. There is the Prince of Peace and the Prince of Darkness — you cannot serve both. Remember the Second Temptation of Christ which presents to us the clearest dichotomy between the Church and the world.

“And the devil led him into a high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (St. Luke 4.5-8)


The Church is the paradigm of holiness because it is the Bride of Christ, but she has been mocked, ridiculed, and denounced … by Her own children. They have torn Her veil, marred her beauty, and treated Her as a harlot:  She — their Mother who baptized them, sanctified them, and will bury them.  In a word, Her children have behaved like bastards, and only Matricide will satisfy their perverse lust for shame. Unable to tolerate their own sins, they have projected them on their Mother and disowned Her in favor of their father who was a liar and murderer from the beginning. 8


1 Satis Cognitum, Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on the Unity of the Church: “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).”

2 (ex-priest) Daniel Maguire's (Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit Institution) address to address to Planned Parenthood Federation of America 2002 Annual Conference Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, March 21, 2002

4 and 5

6 Quis est homo, qui non fleret, Christi Matrem si videret ... Who is the man who would not weep? (from Jacopone da Todi's famous Stabat Mater (1230-1306 A.D.)

7 St. John 8.44

Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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