1. Is the Chair of Peter Vacant? An Argument for Sedevacantism
2. Sunday within the Octave of Christmas
3. Pope Saint Sylvester
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices
I want to take this opportunity to thank all who have supported the Newsletter this past year. My intent is to provide you with solid Catholic teaching in a world that has adopted self-opinion as akin to truth and devise all manner of stories which confuse everyone but those properly instructed. Imbued with Catholic doctrine, and not what is someone’s opinion, will assist us in recognizing the errors of the zeitgeist and the Modernists—but also ensure that one does not reject the Catholic Church herself as I witness many caught up with sects that stress one teaching as their mantra and find they cannot reconcile the Catholic faith with their idiosyncrasies that follow.
I also want to wish all a blessed filled New Year. May this next year be one that we can conclude and say that we have been faithful to Christ, that we have not succumbed to the temptations of the world, that we have grown in our knowledge of the faith and the saints and expect that Our Father in heaven will bless us and our families. May we join the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary, Joseph—in making sure there is nothing in our lives displeasing to them.
There is a link that may be of particular interest and are provided for your benefit. It points out the distance Conciliarists have gone away from the truths of the Church and joined the forces of antichrist.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
Is the Chair of Peter Vacant?
An Argument for Sedevacantism
by Rev. Courtney Edward Krier
Sixth Contradiction: Holy Mass: A Sacrifice or a Meal?
It was just as one saw in 1964, with the double-speak of the motu proprio Sacram Liturgiam on January 25, which said to wait—yet not to wait—in implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II, which included the vernacular and unleashed all the committees coming up with unorthodox translations to offer for using vernacular in the Mass and Sacraments, so too, this document spells out changes not yet changed:
For these reasons it is apparent to all that it is our uppermost concern that all Christians, and especially all priests, should consecrate themselves first of all to the study of the already- mentioned Constitution and from now on, resolve to implement its individual prescriptions in good faith as soon as they enter into force. And since it is necessary by the very nature of things that the prescriptions concerning the knowledge and spread of the liturgical laws should take place immediately, we earnestly exhort shepherds of dioceses that with the help of the sacred ministers, “dispensers of God’s mysteries” (CONSTITUTION, Article 19), they should hasten to act in order that the faithful entrusted to their care may understand, to the degree permitted by age, by the conditions of their own life and by their mental formation, the strength and inner value of the liturgy and at the same time participate very devoutly, internally and externally, in the rites of the Church (CONSTITUTION, Article 19).
—so Memoriale Domini of May 29, 1969, was also double-speak, for by declaring it wanted to preserve tradition it also directed the liturgy to be open to change. The Conciliar Church seemed to be like most other cults at this time: wild, experimental, free to do as one pleases. But like the cults of this time, the leader would expel anyone who contradicted his illogical decrees and as everyone wanted to be part of the movement so they would agree to everything the leader said however illogical, however criminal (such as the followers of Charles Manson), however sacrilegious (such as placing the Body of Christ in the hands of laity):
For this reason it is of great concern that the Eucharist be celebrated and shared in most worthily and fruitfully, by observing unchanged the tradition that has reached us step by step, the tradition whose riches have been poured into the practice and life of the Church. The documents of history demonstrate that the ways of celebrating and receiving the holy Eucharist have been diverse. Even in our time many and important ritual changes have been introduced into the celebration of the Eucharist in order to bring it into accord with the spiritual and psychological needs of men today. Because of circumstances, communion under both kinds, bread and wine, which was once common in the Latin rite but had fallen into disuse little by little, has again been made a part of the discipline governing the faithful’s mode of receiving the holy Sacrament. At the time of the Council of Trent a different situation had arisen and was in effect everywhere; the Council approved and defended it as suited to the conditions of that period. (1)
With the renewal of the modes of communicating, however, the sign of the Eucharistic meal and the complete fulfillment of Christ’s mandate have been effected more clearly and vividly. At the same time a full sharing in the celebration of the Eucharist, expressed through Sacramental communion, has recently stirred up in some places the desire to return to the practice by which the Eucharistic bread is placed in the hand of the faithful who communicates himself by putting it in his mouth.
In some communities and localities this rite has even been performed without obtaining the prior approval of the Apostolic See and occasionally without appropriate preparation for the people.
It is true that, according to ancient usage, it was once permitted for the faithful to take the sacred food in their hands and themselves to place it in their mouths and even, in the earliest period, to carry the holy Sacrament with them from the place of celebration, especially in order to receive it as viaticum if they should have to suffer for the profession of the faith.
Why is this said? Because every innovation was either introduced with a committee to study the matter or a prohibition that was followed by an explanation that then approved the innovation under certain conditions that evolved into the general norm. The question always arose on one side, did he condemn? While on the other, did he approve? This led to some laissez-faire approach where priests did whatever they wanted and if there was no general uproar it became accepted. In fact, when the protest became too pronounced as to draw world attention, Giovanni Montini, as shrewd as he was, would send out a letter denying what he was doing, such as Sacrificum laudis of August 15, 1966, in which Montini states:
Yet, from letters which some of you have sent, and from many other sources, We learn that discordant practices have been introduced into the sacred liturgy by your communities or provinces. (We speak of those only that belong to the Latin Rite.) For while some are very faithful to the Latin language, others wish to use the vernacular within the choral office. Others, in various places, wish to exchange that chant which is called Gregorian for newly-minted melodies. Indeed, some even insist that Latin should be wholly suppressed.
We must acknowledge that We have been somewhat disturbed and saddened by these requests. One may well wonder what the origin is of this new way of thinking and this sudden dislike for the past; one may well wonder why these things have been fostered.
On the other hand it was Giovanni Montini himself that insisted on the vernacular and in which he, himself, participated in using. The Una Voce had been formed by this time to insist on the right to the Tridentine Mass, but it became a stumbling block as members were rejected who became too critical of Giovanni Montini. One member, the well-known author Tito Casini, wrote a scathing letter to Giacomo Cardinal Lercaro, who was President of the Consilium [Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de sacra Liturgia, or Committee to execute the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, shorten to Consilium]. It is now apparent, like Angelo Roncalli, that Giovanni Montini was playing two decks at the same time. For while it cannot be denied that Giacomo Cardinal Lercaro was President of the Consilium, he was unaware of what Bugnini and Montini were also doing without his knowledge. As the Catholic populace placed the blame on Lercaro, Montini was left unscathed and no one looked to Bugnini. The published letter, The Torn Tunic, in March, 1967, with a forward by Antonio Cardinal Bacci, drove Cardinal Lercaro to return to Bologna as Marini (137) states:
While the eighth plenary was meeting a book was published entitiled La tunica stracciata: Lettera di un cattolico sulla ‘Riforma liturgica’ (“The Shredded Tunic: A Letter from a Catholic on the Liturgical Reform”). The volume, written by Tito Casino was a harsh attack on the work of the Consilium and especially on Cardinal Lercaro, to whom the book was addressed in the form of a letter. [Cattaneo, Il culto cristiano, 658.] The publication caused considerable reaction, particularly because the preface was written by a member of the Roman Curia, Cardinal Bacci. He started the preface with an admission that the book was disrespectful of those involved in the reform, but then went on to support and finally approve it.
Lercaro, seeing the publicity given to the book in the press and aware that the Holy See had not challendge the book’s characterizations, sent a written protest to Cardinal Eugene Tisserant, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. He then returned to Bologna, leaving the following telegram for Bugnini, making reference to an article about the incident in a Rome newspaper, Il Messsagero: “I am leaving for Bologna on a one-way ticket.” Later there were official challenges to the claims of this book, and the situation became less tense. Nevertheless, this episode stands as yet another sign of the fierce hostility in certain circles toward the implementation of the reform.
Apparently Coetus X of the Consilium, which was developing the Mass of Paul VI, became nervous, for:
It was decided to establish a Consilium Praesidentiae [13 See Notitiae 3 (1967) 47.] to solve more urgent questions that might arise between plenary meetings. It would also maintain communication between plenary group and Consulta. The main purpose of the Consilium Praesidentiae, however, was to give gretaer weight to decisions made by the presidency and the secretariat and, in the absence of the plenary group, to render the Consilium lesss vulnerable to attacks from conservative circles, particualry from within the Curia. On October 11 seven members were elected to form the Consilium Praesidentiae. The bishops chosen were among the most open-minded and supportive of the Consilium’s role. None of them belonged to the Roman Curia. [The result of the vote was as follows: Rene Boudon, 31; Michele Pelegrino, 30; Otto Spulbeck, 29; Vinvente Enrique y Tarancon, 28; William Conway, 27; Clemente Isnard, 25; Jan Bluyssen, 24.] (Marini, 136-37)
The Consilium introduced the Missa Normativa, which was a butchered rendition of the Tridentine Mass with the addition of the Prayer of the Faithful or so-called General Intercessions and more readings. Presented on October 24, 1967, before an extraordinary synod of bishops, it was rejected. By January 1968, Lercaro, Larraona, and Ottaviani were retired from their posts (cf. Roman Catholics: Changing the Old Guard, Time Magazine, Friday, Jan. 19, 1968). By removing Ottaviani—who was blind and depended on what he was told— as Secretary of the Holy Office and Lercaro and Larraona with Benno Gut, there was no one to question Bugnini’s intentions, guaranteeing Bugnini would had no further opposition within the Consilium because Benno Gut was already unable to take on the task as President of the Consilium (Benno Gut died December 8, 1970).
This organ or agency of the Pope technically fell under the presidency of Cardinal Lercaro and then later Cardinal Benno Gut, yet it is generally recognized that the Consilium’s moral leadership really depended on the monumental figure of its secretary Annibale Bugnini. (Kappes, 17-18)
As Kappes goes on to say: This rejection [of the experimental Normative Mass] was attributed by some important periti to be in no small part due to a lack of modern liturgical understanding and education on the part of many ecclesiastics (Ibid., 20) This is true, for there is no modern liturgical understanding when the liturgy has two thousand years precedence of understanding. That is, the understanding is taught by the apostolic tradition of the Church which is to be safeguarded, not rejected. The author goes on later to state:
This prompted a more inventive and creative effort that would become the Novus Ordo Missae. [For instance, it was a creative invention to use a substantially medieval private Confiteor as the basis of a public communal confession of sin in the Novus Ordo Missae. Another example would likewise be the transformation of the private Trinitarian formula and sign of the cross, beginning the old prayers at the foot of the altar, into a public and joint act of the priest and faithful together. A Final example would be to use the euchological Quod ore sumpsimus as a cleansing prayer for the vessels, which is merely the default Post-communion of the Gelasian sacramentary.] The Novus Ordo Missae represented an effort to enrich the Mass with both modern and medieval gestures and communal prayers in order to reach the minds and hearts of those who had rejected the Normative Mass as something deficient and stark. (ibid., 55)
Marini, who is another defender of the Novus Ordo, reflects on the Consilium as follows:
But more important than the quantity was the outstanding quality of the work achieved by the Consilium. The new liturgy, thanks to the extremely qualified and scholarly work of the Conslium’s experts, became a model that not only expresses the genuine liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite, but that can be used as a basis for liturgical adaptation in different nations and cultures. For the first time in the history of the church, we have a liturgy today which, rather than being an expression of a particular church, responds to the concept of the church universal. “What is essential for liturgy is that it not be the product of one epoch or one nation, but rather that it be Christian—that is, an express of the timeless faith of the church.” [63 6 «L’essentiel d’une liturgie, ce n’est pas d’être d’un siècle ou d’une nation, c’est d’être chrétienne, c’est-à-dire d’être l’expression de la foi de l’Eglise qui est de tous les temps.» B. Botte. Le mouvement liturgique. Témoignage et souvenir (Tournai: Desclee, 1973) 38.] This, it would seem, is the fundamental characteristic of the liturgy of Vatican II implemented by the Consilium. (Marini, 153)
What he is saying is the work of the Consilium was to create a liturgy—not renew the sacrifice of Christ—that was adaptable for all people to celebrate which means nothing because it could mean everything. There is no liturgical tradition to be found in the Novus Ordo because, contrary to what the conciliar authors state, there is no continual change in the Roman Rite, but a preservation of apostolic tradition that the Church, inspired by the Holy Ghost, infallibly hands down so that the faithful will unquestionably receive the same Eucharistic Sacrifice. That is not the case with a liturgy created to meet the modern world, because the Holy Eucharist is not what man chooses to give to God, but what Christ gave to the Church to be offered until His return. Alcuin Reid, writing for Antiphon (10.3 (2006): 277-295) a traditional publication of those attached to the Conciliar Church, quotes Bugnini:
All these details show how disagreeable many of the Fathers found the path of reform. It is not easy to cut one’s ties with age-old practices, open oneself to new horizons, and force oneself to accept the demands expressed in the signs of the times. That which may seem obvious in theory must come to grips in practice with armour-clad contingencies. (Reform of the Liturgy, 356)
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