Catholic Family News

This Month’s Edition

This month’s edition of Catholic Family News contains the articles listed below. Only a few of these are reprinted on this website. To read all of the articles contained in this month’s edition, choose one of our subscription options, each of which comes with access to the E-Edition of the paper so you can start reading these articles now.

March 2023 Contents

Can the Pope Abolish the Traditional Latin Mass (Matt Gaspers)

As Professor McCall notes in his article below, reports from various credible sources indicate that Pope Francis will soon issue a new document (most likely, an Apostolic Constitution) designed to close canonical loopholes and ensure that Traditionis Custodes is enforced to the letter by all diocesan bishops around the world — especially art. 3 § 2, which forbids the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass “in the parochial churches”.

In addition to addressing other related matters (e.g., further restrictions on the traditional rites for the other sacraments, including ordination), the document may even go further than Traditionis Custodes and claim to abolish the Traditional Mass altogether, and thus forbid priests to offer it henceforth.

In the face of such prospects, Catholics would do well to ask a very basic question: Does the Pope have the authority to abolish what the Council of Trent calls “the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church”? Other pertinent questions include:

  • How have popes since the Council of Trent understood and applied Trent’s teachings?
  • Is the Pope bound to faithfully preserve and hand on what he himself has received?
  • Does the Pope have unlimited power to change (or even abolish) the Church’s “received and approved rites” in whatever ways he thinks best, without regard for apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions?

These are the questions we seek to address in this article. Along the way, we will review some common prooftexts to which hyperpapalists appeal in favor of their erroneous position that the Pope has virtually absolute power over the Church’s liturgical rites. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Preparing for the Axe to Fall: How to Prepare for Further TLM Restrictions (Brian M. McCall)

A variety of credible sources report that something is brewing in Rome. It appears that Francis is preparing to issue an Apostolic Constitution that will further restrict or perhaps even purport to abrogate the Mass of All Time. In fact, by the time this article appears in print, the axe may have fallen already.

Preparing for the Axe to Fall

St. Thomas More spent his final days and weeks in prison preparing for his execution that seemed would arrive inevitably. He prayed and wrote a beautiful work on tribulation. This is the reaction of a saint to an impending persecution. The saint does not run in panic. The saint does not wring his hands, exclaiming there is nothing to be done. The saint fortifies himself in principles and plans pragmatic courses of action. If, as it appears likely, Francis is disappointed with the slow reduction of Traditional Latin Masses after Traditionis Custodes and is planning to kickstart the repression, we need to be ready. We should therefore assume the worst case. This accords with common sense. Hope and pray for the best, but prepare for the worst. The worst case would be that Francis purports to abrogate the Mass and then grants a short and well-defined period of transition from the true to the Protestantized Mass.

How should priests and faithful prepare for such an eventuality? This article will attempt to give some practical suggestions. It will not be an argument for the Old Mass or a detailed comparison of the two. It departs from the premise that the Old Mass is the true Catholic Mass that cannot be abrogated and the New Mass is “a banal, on-the-spot product” (Cardinal Ratzinger) that cannot be imposed on the Church. Obviously, details of preparation will vary depending on your local situation and resources. I will attempt to provide some general guidance. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

*The Popes Speak* Pius XI’s Encyclical Rerum Omnium Perturbationem on St. Francis de Sales, Part II

St. Francis de Sales: Model of Sanctity

7. No less well known are the ease and amiability with which he received everyone. Sinners and apostates especially flocked to his house in order, with his help, to become reconciled to God and to amend their lives. He was most partial to unfortunate prisoners whom he, by a hundred artifices of charity, sought to console during his frequent visits to the prisons. He likewise showed great kindness to his own servants, whose sloth and gaucheries he bore with heroic patience. His kindness of heart never varied, no matter who the persons were with whom he had to deal, the hour of the day, the trying circumstances he had to meet. Not even heretics, who often proved themselves very offensive, ever found him a bit less affable or less accessible. Indeed, his zeal was so great that during the first year of his priesthood, he attempted, despite the opposition of his own father, to reconcile the people of La Chablais to the Church. In this he was gladly seconded by Granier, the Bishop of Geneva. To accomplish this work, he refused no duty whatsoever, he fled no danger, not even that of possible death. His imperturbable kindness stood him in better stead in effecting the conversion of so many thousands of people than even the broad learning and wonderful eloquence which characterized his performance of the many duties of the sacred ministry.

8. He was accustomed to repeat to himself, as a source of inspiration, that well-known phrase, “Apostles battle by their sufferings and triumph only in death.” It is almost unbelievable with what vigor and constancy he defended the cause of Jesus Christ among the people of La Chablais. In order to bring them the light of faith and the comforts of the Christian religion, he was known to have traveled through deep valleys and to have climbed steep mountains. If they fled him, he pursued, calling after them loudly. Repulsed brutally, he never gave up the struggle; when threatened he only renewed his efforts. He was often put out of lodgings, at which times he passed the night asleep on the snow under the canopy of heaven. He would celebrate Mass though no one would attend. When, during a sermon, almost the entire audience one after another left the Church, he would continue preaching. At no time did he ever lose his mental poise or his spirit of kindness toward these ungrateful hearers. It was by such means as these that he finally overcame the resistance of his most formidable adversaries. Click here to continue reading

Self-Entanglement in Riches, or the Devil’s Conservatism (Peter A. Kwasniewski, Ph.D.)

Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:23–24)

But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:20–21)

Catholic Social Teaching and the Kingdom of God

In years past when I taught Catholic Social Teaching, students were often shocked to read the popes’ critical evaluation of liberal capitalism. And I don’t mean John Paul II, but Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno of 1931. The students wondered: How do we respond to Christ’s praise of poverty? How can we change our attitude toward and use of material things for the sake of the kingdom of God?

One must begin, of course, with the basics: not defrauding people of what one owes them; not wasting money on useless trinkets or a daily fancy drink from Starbucks; preparing one’s own food rather than buying only prepackaged goods; and the like. Then there are ascetical practices, including fasting, abstinence, tithing, and moderation in the use of technology. God evidently knew tithing would be a good approach, since He made it part of the law He handed down to the Chosen People. Although in the end what has to change are inner attitudes, nevertheless it would already make a huge difference if believers across the world gave one-tenth of their income to the poor and to worthy non-profits.

I was disgusted to see, at one point in my life, a diocesan gift campaign that asked, with heart-wrenching pleas and rhetorical somersaults, for lay Catholics to consider perhaps contributing even as much as 1% of their income to the Church. What kind of people are we if we have to be cajoled and hornswoggled into donating $1 from every $100? I suspect that if bishops decided to throw all caution to the winds and preach a strong message about the ideal of tithing 10%, the response, over time, would be surprisingly high — if, that is, we had bishops consistently worth supporting. A generous response requires not only the preaching of a generous ideal that honors people by telling them they are called to (and capable of) real sacrifice, but also trustworthy clerical stewards of temporal goods. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

“Radical Inclusivity” Threatens to Tear the Church Apart (Anthony P. Stine, Ph.D.)

The news of increased restrictions on Traditional Latin Masses and even more reverent Novus Ordo Masses, such as in Atlanta in early February,[i] combined with reports from trustworthy sources that Francis will soon issue an Apostolic Constitution functionally banning the Apostolic Mass at the diocesan level while putting new restrictions on former Ecclesia Dei groups (like the FSSP), has garnered significant attention from Catholic media.

Concerns over these admittedly important stories have led some, however, to neglect equally important news that the German Synodal Way and global Synod on Synodality continue to signal that at least some within the Church’s hierarchy, including Pope Francis, are in favor of softening Catholic teaching on sodomy and sodomitical unions. The debate over this issue has reached such intensity among the princes of the Church that a veritable civil war is breaking out among the bishops, with various lay voices taking sides in the debate. Although the intrinsically evil nature of sodomy remains a non-negotiable part of Catholic moral teaching,[ii] by all appearances a significant portion of the Church’s hierarchy is getting ready to surrender to the secular world on at least one of the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance (cf. Gen. 18:20-21).

The Issue of Homosexuals Unions was Settled Long Ago

For any Catholic who wrestles with the question of what the Church should do in an increasingly secularized world — one which false claims that a “right” exists for those afflicted with same-sex attraction to “marry” a member of the same sex — the answer is simple: the question is settled. It was settled by God Himself in the beginning, when He created human beings “male and female” (Gen. 1:27) and gave the command, “Increase and multiply” (Gen. 1:28); and further, when He defined unnatural sexual acts as “an abomination” (Lev. 18:22). As a result, such acts have been held as repulsive to the common sense and consciences of peoples throughout history. But after a concerted campaign waged by sodomites and their enablers using a warped definition of “tolerance,” Christians of all stripes have been guilted into supporting the normalization of such acts, followed by a societal endorsement of them through the fabrication “right” to “marriage” administered by the secular state. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Francis Calls for the Conversion of Bishops — But Not to the Catholic Faith (Brian M. McCall)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who currently occupies the papal throne (even though he will not acknowledge that throne or even sign his name as pope), loves to give interviews to reporters. He seems to relish freewheeling conversations with the press more than a secular politician. He also seems to love saying shocking (and in many cases scandalous) things in these bizarre interviews.

Long gone are the days when popes maintained a reserved distance from the journalistic sharks. Prior pontiffs were keenly aware that their public statements would heavily influence Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Even when not speaking in their magisterial capacity, popes such as St. Pius X and Pius XI knew that, due to their high office, their personal words and opinions would have an enormous impact. They also understood how to protect the dignity of their sacred office, which is why their public statements were usually carefully scripted and distributed through their own trusted communication channels. Much of this system began to break down with John Paul II, who made frequent jet-setting around the world part of the regular papal routine for the first time in history. Yet, even the Polish Pope knew how to be more circumspect with reporters.

The Associated Press Interview

On January 24, the Argentine Pope did it again. Francis sat down for a freewheeling and wide-ranging discussion with the Associated Press. He used the opportunity to both undermine Catholic moral doctrine and to attack bishops who support the natural and divine law.

He was asked about a topic that has apparently been on the forefront of his mind since his unfortunate election (a decade ago this month), namely, unnatural sins against the Sixth Commandment involving the simulation of marital acts by two people who are biologically incapable of completing the marital act because they are of the same sex. One of his first shocking interviews became infamous when he responded to a question about people who live a lifestyle in which they engage in these unnatural acts by uttering the phrase, “Who am I to judge?” The obvious answer to that question is, “The Vicar of Christ on earth, the man who holds the keys to bind and loose.” Yet, my impression is that reply would not endear the speaker to this vindictive invader of the papal palaces (or rather, the papal hotel, since Francis shuns the traditional papal residence).

According to the Associated Press, Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust.” The Associated Press quotes him as saying, “We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.” He further stated, “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” and that Catholic bishops who support laws which criminalize sodomy “need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone…. These bishops have to have a process of conversion.” Note that he doesn’t call for those engaging in immoral acts to convert, but only bishops who support laws which recognize that such acts are wrong. We will explore how many errors and scandals are contained in these flippant statements. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Apologia Pro SSPX (Kennedy Hall)

There has been a bit of a firestorm online regarding the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) as of late, with some usual suspects and other adversaries bandying about various old arguments dressed up with some new rhetoric in an attempt to prove to the masses that the SSPX is “schismatic.”

In fairness to the recent critics, it cannot be said that they are ignoring the mountain of evidence to the contrary of their position (although they do ignore some!), but instead they have taken it upon themselves to try and prove that even though the SSPX is not formally in any sort of schism, the Society is schismatic at its very core.

It is outside the scope of this article to present a complete case for the SSPX, as it is a large topic, to say the least. However, in this piece, we will go over some “SSPX 101” in order that the reader can be confident that he is not a schismatic if he supports the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s army of good priests and religious. In addition, I have recently authored a book, The SSPX: A Defense, which is set to be released on March 25 (God willing) and can be found at

For our purposes, we will tackle the basic accusations of schism, as well as touch on some of the more novel arguments.

Is the SSPX in Schism?

The short answer is, no.

Even if one were to take the accusations levelled at Archbishop Lefebvre following the 1988 consecrations at face value, committing a “schismatic act” does not create a schism. I do not believe that Lefebvre was a schismatic or did anything schismatic; however, we can consult the data that critics of the SSPX use to attack the Society and still find that the SSPX per se is not in any schism.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, affectionately known as Father Z, was an employee of the now-dissolved Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (PCED) in Rome, which was established in 1988 under Pope John Paul II to handled traditional communities, including the SSPX. In an article posted on EWTN, an outlet that still unironically labels SSPX priests as “Lefebvrists,” he was called a “noted authority” on matters pertaining to Tradition. It was his job to aid the Holy See in promulgating relevant information regarding the SSPX.

In a blog post from 2020, he wrote:

“[I]t is claimed that the SSPX has been in schism since 1988 because the illicit consecration of bishops by Archbp. Lefebvre was a ‘schismatic act’ (cf. Ecclesia Dei adflicta, 3). However, it takes more than ‘an act’ to create a real schism.

It was obviously, manifestly, NOT Archbp. Lefebvre’s intention to set up a separate or rival Church, or to make himself or someone else an anti-Pope, or to create other aspects of a true schism. The SSPX priests quite openly have used the names of the Popes in the Roman Canon during Mass. They have recourse to diocesan tribunals in marriage and other matters. They follow the decrees of the Sacra Paenitentieria Apostolica in the matter of indulgences. They accept faculties for marriages, etc. from local bishops. Recently, they communicated to their followers the dispensations and provisions given by local bishops in this time of Coronavirus lockdown. These are not the acts of schismatics.”

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Spiritual Spring: A Reflection on Byzantine Lent (John A. Monaco)

The word “Lent” often conjures up images of black ash on one’s forehead, fish on Fridays, and purple vestments. For many of us living in the northern hemisphere, Lent is also connected with a defrosting of the earth, the blossoming of vegetation once dead, and the gradual increase of light during the day. Lent is a time of profound change in the natural order, and also serves as a visible sign of inward change in the supernatural ordering of our lives. While there is no shortage of traditional Roman Catholic exhortations for the season of Lent, the Eastern Catholic experience of Lent remains somewhat of a mystery to those unfamiliar with Eastern Catholic customs. For Catholics in the Byzantine Rite, Lent is undoubtedly connected with the aforementioned time of change, but also has particular liturgical, spiritual, and theological emphases of their own. In what follows, I wish to introduce readers to a general overview of Lent in the Byzantine Rite, and how the liturgical and ascetical practices of the Christian East help us understand Lent as a true springtime for the soul.

Pre-Lenten Preparation: West and East

In the traditional Roman Rite, Lent does not suddenly spring upon the faithful, but is prepared through a pre-Lenten season called Septuagesimatide. Septuagesima itself, as the Latin prefix “sept” indicates, is the seventieth day before Easter. Septuagesima is followed by Sexagesima and “Quinquagesima”, the sixtieth and fiftieth days before Easter, respectively. This pre-Lenten season has a psychological advantage insofar as it allows adequate time for the faithful to prepare their souls and bodies for the Lenten penitential season. Certain customs that belong to more festive and joyous seasons are put aside. In the Latin tradition, the Alleluia, which is typically sung throughout most of the year, is buried — quite literally. Similar to the authentic Roman Rite, the Eastern Rites likewise witness to a pre-Lenten period.

In the Byzantine Rite, the pre-Lenten period is known as Triodon, which takes its name from the three odes found in the pre-Lenten Matins. The Triodon is also the name of the liturgical book used by the Byzantine-Rite Churches during the ten-week period preceding Easter (called Pascha in the East). There are four Sundays of the pre-Lenten period, each entitled after their respective Scriptural lessons: the first Sunday of the Triodon period is called the “Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee,” in which Luke 18:10-14 is read. The second is called “Sunday of the Prodigal Son,” where the famous parable is read (Luke 15:11-32). The third Sunday before Lent is the “Sunday of the Last Judgment,” where the Church repeats Our Lord’s famous parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. This Sunday is also commonly called “Meatfare,” as Eastern Christians bid their farewell to meat. The final Sunday prior to the start of Great Lent is “Forgiveness Sunday,” when the hymns, lessons, and icons focus on the casting away of Adam and Eve from Paradise. This Sunday is also called “Cheesefare,” as cheese and other dairy products are removed from the Eastern Christian’s diet. Great Lent begins on the evening following Cheesefare Sunday, with the “Forgiveness Vespers.” To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Fatima and the Five Simple Steps to Sanctity, Part III (Marianna Bartold)

This month marks the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ most controversial consecration, which I have from the beginning maintained cannot fulfill Our Lady’s conditions for the collegial consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That fact is mentioned due to my previous two installments in this series, in which I addressed the Fatima Message and the “five simple steps to sanctity,” applicable to the whole Church Militant.

Therefore, in this third part, I highlight the history of the sixth “request”: The Virgin’s explicit command, directed to the Holy Father, to order the bishops to join him in the public act of the collegial consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.

The Clear Conditions for the Consecration of Russia

June 13, 1929: As she promised in 1917, Our Lady returned to Sr. Lucia to make the formal request regarding the collegial consecration of Russia. During this apparition, Sr. Lucia saw the Holy Trinity, with Jesus on the Cross. Beneath the right arm of the Cross stood Our Lady of Fatima.  Under the left arm of the cross, large letters “as if of crystal-clear water which ran down upon the altar, formed these words: ‘Grace and Mercy.’” The Virgin spoke to Sr. Lucia, saying, in part:

The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”

Sr. Lucia noted, “I gave an account of this to my confessor, who ordered me to write down what Our Lady wanted done.”

May 29, 1930 (Ascension Thursday of that year): In a letter of Sr. Lucia’s, written to her confessor, Father Goncalves:

“The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as well as ordering all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution, he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion [the Five First Saturdays] already described.”

August 29, 1931: In a letter to her bishop, Sr. Lucia revealed the words of Our Lord Himself wherein He referred to His command for the collegial consecration of Russia. By the choice of God’s own words, He left no doubt that the request of His Mother was also His own command and will:

Make it known to My ministers that given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.” To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

*Apologetics Series* Msgr. Fenton’s Handbook on Catholic Apologetics: The Process of Proof (Matthew Plese)

The Need for Historical Evidence

After having systematically covered the topic of Divine Revelation — its concept, characteristics, possibility, discernibility, and necessity — Msgr. Joseph Clifford Fenton next turns to consider the historical evidence of Jesus of Nazareth.

Our instructor opens the eighth chapter of his book by explaining the need for historical evidence of Our Lord that was written in close proximity to His own earthly life:

“There can be no such thing as a rational demonstration of credibility for the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth unless we have at our disposal historical sources which are obviously reliable. Since He lived and died over nineteen hundred years ago, the only naturally and historically acceptable testimony about Him and about His activity is ultimately to be sought in genuine and incorrupt volumes, written during the lifetime of His contemporaries by men who intended to tell the truth and who actually had at their disposal means for ascertaining the matters about which they wrote. Actually we do possess such historically reliable testimony. It is the business of apologetics to point out the existence of these writings and their evidence of reliability.

The writings pertinent to the life and the teaching of our Lord are both Christian and non-Christian. Among these latter books are some of pagan, and others of Jewish origin. The extant pagan sources tell us very little about the activity of our Lord, although even in themselves they show that He existed and exercised an incomparably powerful religious influence during the first century of our era. In spite of their many imperfections, they constitute valuable sources for the science of apologetics, testifying as they do to the knowledge about Christ and His work….”

Roman Sources on the Life of Our Lord

As a real, historical Person Who lived, died, and walked on this earth, and Whose lasting contribution to human history can never be emphasized enough, it is natural to expect historical testimony regarding Our Lord’s admirable life to be present in both Christian and non-Christian (both Jewish and pagan) sources. The mention of His life in pagan sources is important because it demonstrates that non-believers considered His impact important enough to document. Msgr. Fenton thus cites the ancient Roman historian Seutonius, who refers to Christ in his writings…. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Understanding and Overcoming Scrupulosity (Randall C. Flanery, Ph.D.)

Throughout history, many famous religious figures have struggled with scruples, a consequence of intemperate striving to be without sin. Martin Luther and John Bunyan, among Protestants, as well as Catholic saints including Aloysius Gonzaga, Alphonsus Liguori, Catherine of Siena, and Thérèse of Lisieux, all of whom were beset by the demon of scruples. St. Ignatius of Loyola engaged in excessive amounts of time in prayer, fasting, and mortification, harming his health, and without finding peace. After he was able to escape this emotional morass, he formulated rules for the discernment of spirits, for managing scruples, and for thinking with the Church.

The fervor found in the lives of the Saints can be admired, as well as being on object lesson in the limits of human agency in the absence of submitting to God’s mercy and thoroughly entrusting oneself to His care.

Scrupulosity and Doubt

You, dear reader, have probably encountered such people, or perhaps yourself have on occasion been overly concerned about some moral deficiency you might have. All individuals have doubts. Doubts about religious matters are generally resolved by rational examination of the matter. For most, careful reflection and consultation with a priest or a trusted friend in Christ is sufficient to resolve the matter. For some, unfortunately, doubts about their moral responsibilities become all-consuming. Almost every decision in daily life seems to require a careful analysis of moral risk, accompanied by anxiety and fear about the correctness of the conclusion. Guilt, worry, doubt, and fear of punishment from God should improper actions be taken. Sadly, despite an obsessive examination of the matter, no reassurance seems attainable, no matter how respected the religious authority to which one might appeal.

All humans have doubts. Scrupulosity occurs when the doubts extend beyond a temporary concern, dominate the individual’s life, and appear unresolvable. It should be noted that scruples are found in many religions, besides Christian denominations, and even among agnostics and atheists.

Over time, obsessive thoughts become more frequent and troublesome, with the scrupulous person allocating increasing amounts of time to distract themselves, seeking reassurance, or engaged in behaviors that bring temporary relief. It can be a lasting affliction with serious negative consequences for the individual, for those around them, and most importantly can destroy one’s spiritual life and damage your relationship with God. To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News

Abp. Viganò on Liturgy Debate: “Coexistence Between the Vetus and Novus Ordo is Impossible, Artificial, and Deceitful” (Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò)

I have followed with interest the ongoing debate about Traditionis Custodes and Father Reid’s comment (here) in which he refutes Cavadini, Healy, and Weinandy, without however reaching a solution to the problems identified. With this contribution, I would like to indicate a possible way out of the present crisis.

Vatican II, not being a dogmatic Council, did not intend to define any doctrinal truth, limiting itself to reaffirming indirectly — and in an often equivocal form — doctrines previously defined clearly and unequivocally by the infallible authority of the Magisterium. It was unduly and forcibly considered as “the” Council, the “superdogma” of the new “conciliar church,” to the point of defining the Church in relation to that event. In the conciliar texts there is no explicit mention of what was later done in the liturgical sphere, passing it off as the fulfillment of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium. On the other hand, there are many critical issues with the so-called “reform,” which represents a betrayal of the will of the Council Fathers and of the pre-conciliar liturgical heritage.

We should rather ask ourselves what value to give to an act that is not what it wants to seem: that is, if we can morally consider as “Council” an act that, beyond its official premises — that is, in the preparatory schemes formulated at length and in detail by the Holy Office — showed itself to be subversive in its unmentionable intentions and malicious in the means to be employed by those who,  as it turned out, intended to use it for a purpose totally opposite to what the Church instituted the Ecumenical Councils for. This premise is indispensable in order to be able to evaluate objectively also the other events and acts of governance of the Church that derive from it or that refer to it.

Allow me to explain. We know that a law is promulgated on the basis of a mens, that is, of a very precise purpose, which cannot be separated from the entire legal system in which it is born. These at least are the foundations of that Law which the wisdom of the Church acquired from the Roman Empire. The legislator promulgates a law with a purpose and formulates it in such a way that it is applicable only for that specific purpose; he will therefore avoid any element that could make the law equivocal with respect to its addressee, its purpose, or its result. The convocation of an Ecumenical Council has as its purpose the solemn convocation of the Bishops of the Church, under the authority of the Roman Pontiff, to define particular aspects of doctrine, morals, liturgy or ecclesiastical discipline. But what each Council defines must in any case fall within the scope of Tradition and cannot in any way contradict the immutable Magisterium, because if it did so it would go against the purpose that legitimizes authority in the Church. The same applies to the Pope, who has full, immediate and direct power over the whole Church only within the confines of his mandate: to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the Faith, to feed the lambs and sheep of the flock that the Lord has entrusted to him. Click here to continue reading