THE FAITH MATTERS Maryfaithful publication Jan/Feb of 1998

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You can go to Heaven without the Tridentine Mass, but you cannot go to heaven without the True Catholic Faith.

We are not really astonished at this “slippage ” in a Catholic sense. Acting and reacting like a Catholic requires the Faith. The virtue of faith is the principle of a truly Catholic life, and in most Catholics today, as we commonly observe them going about their business at home, at church, and in society this principle, if not dead, remains fruitless. In other words, the Catholic religion makes little impression in their lives and little difference that would set them apart from their non-Catholic contemporaries.

The decline of Catholic religious practice and the surge of ignorance in matters Catholic is enough to make us shudder. The devil can pull more souls to hell through laxity and inexcusable ignorance than most of us are willing to admit. We tend to easily do these same two faults ourselves; so let us not be too harsh, right?

Has the “return” of the Tridentine Mass, officially since 1984, really put the brakes on the Catholic decline we have been witnessing without question since the close of the Second Vatican Council? Outside of some relatively small pockets of resistance and individual conversions to integral Catholicism, which resulted from exposure to the undeniably Catholic liturgy enshrined by Saint Pius V In the Tridentine Missal, the decline of Catholic life continues. But with the ongoing betrayal of Jesus Christ taking place within the Church at the hands of His own, comes the recollection of Saint John’s account of Judas’ treachery, and how the holy Evangelist associated the traitor’s evil deeds with darkness: “[Judas] therefore, having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night” (Saint John 13:30). So it is in the Church today. Why does the decline continue and the darkness prevail? Let us dare to reply: Because our struggle to restore the traditional Roman Rite liturgy to its rightful place in the Church is but one facet of our fight for the Faith. If the Catholic Faith is to be proclaimed, defended, nourished and propagated, it is not enough to fight for the traditional Roman Rite liturgy, while ignoring or abandoning the fight for the Faith on ALL other fronts. Do we falsely imagine that only the Mass matters to Catholic life? The fight for the Faith must be integral, or the fight is already lost.

The Tridentine Mass is not the be-all end-all of Catholic life, nor is it assuring a ticket to eternal paradise. How many Catholics on the day of their judgment will cry out in vain to their Divine Judge: “Lord, Lord, we always went to the Tridentine Mass!?” So did countless millions of others for generations prior to the advent of Pope Paul VI’s Novus Ordo Missae. The Tridentine Mass covereth not a multitude of our sins; it cannot be the excuse to allow our failures in other areas of Catholic life to go unchecked.

We are not demeaning the Mass or dismissing the importance of the question of liturgy as we struggle to survive the current upheaval in the Church. The restoration of the Tridentine Mass, however central it may be to any Catholic restoration as a whole, is only a part of that restoration. The Tridentine Mass divorced from the supporting framework of Catholic Faith and morality is reduced in some way to a freakish sideshow, a museum-piece making little sense because it is torn from the ambiance of unadulterated Catholicism; it is reduced to a soup thrown to Traditional Catholics to keep them quiet, while the larger battles dealing with the Faith are being won by the enemy and his legions.

I got this email from a Traditional Catholic in India. Today more than ever before I find our laity unwilling to discus the issues in an objectionable manner and the evangelistic spirit is just not there.

When I inform people about my web site, for the most part it falls on deaf ears. No matter that I have given Catholics over 21 Mysteries of the faith over the last 49 years. Of course without the Vatican II Council this would have been impossible. My 16 page booklet “The Day of the Lord & the Signs of His Coming,” approved by a number of Traditional Catholic prelates along with my “The Great Apostasy” booklet of which I ask $5.00 each for, are bypassed for more expensive books which don’t explain the true status of the Church today. It’s no wonder that God’s wrath, directed at this sinful world has caught many Traditionalists in its path and will continue to do so until judgment day.
Grace be with you, in Christ, Joseph