31 August 2021

31 August – The Church Triumphant and a Patron Saint for “Cancelled” Priests

Fr Zed looks at a few of the Saints whose Feast Day it is today, including the horrific story of St Raymond Nonnatus.

From Fr Z's Blog

Unless you are either a true student of a) history, b) hagiography, or c) liturgy, you might have no idea what the phrase “Church Triumphant” means.

Of course that phrase ultimately has an eschatological meaning, but for us in the Church Militant – another nearly entirely forgotten concept – it means immediately our connection with the glories of Heaven and how they trickle, sometimes gush down to us here in this earthly, teary vale.

We have a foreshadowing of the glory of Heaven in the way the Church has, through the ages, always overcome, even after internal upheaval.  History reveals that to be true.

We have a foreshadowing of Heaven in the lives of the Saints.  Study of the saints and of their relics reveals that to be true.

We have that foreshadowing in an exceptional way in our sacred liturgical worship, preeminent because we are by our baptism actively receptive participants in the primary way by which we fulfill the virtue of Religion, thus acting more as we are supposed to act as images of Christ, now gloriously risen.

Today, you would hardly know that the Church of this vale of tears is either Militant or has anything to do with the Church Triumphant.

Our leaders are feckless cowards, sometimes corrupt.   Even official teaching documents seem to give more and more place to the “wisdom of this world” that Paul inveighed against.   Our worship is in disarray and the virtue of Religion nearly totally eclipsed with narcissistic anthropocentrism.    And the most powerful corrective we have working in the Church to get her back on track is under savage attack by those whose duty it is to guide us to Heaven.

With that as a preamble, there are some beautiful foreshadowings of Heaven listed in the Marytrologium Romanum today.  They help us to have hope and to persevere.

Today in the MartRom is an entry for St. Joseph of Arimethea and St. Nicodemus, from the New Testament.  Think about how they went against the current of the Sanhedrin.  Consider the enormous pressure they must have experienced to condemn Christ.  Instead they helped Him in the only way they could and even had dealings with the Romans to accomplish it.  Do you image that, afterwards, they were treated well by their Jewish brethren?

Today is also the feast of St. Aristides, a philosopher who wrote to the Emperor Hadrian.

There is an amazing Paulinus, bishop and martyr, who was deeply involved with the Arian controversy. The MartRom calls him ariana infestatio.   Infestatio! A delightful word, meaning “disturbance, annoyance”.  We might say a “plague” in the sense of some person who “plagues” another.  Paulinus was an “Arian annoyance/plague”, that is, he was a thorn in their sides, who plagued them in their error.

At Lindisfarne, St. Aidan, bishop and abbot.   I greet a friend of mine today on his name day.

Blessed Andrew of Borgo San Sepolcro, which was the birthplace of one of the most perfect paintings ever conceived by the mind of man.  I am sure one of you can tell me what this painting is.  It is in Borgo San Sepolcro, btw.

And today we have the amazing St. Raymond Nonnatus (yes, from Latin non natus).   Insofar as he is a Raymond, like Raymond Penafort, he is a patron saint the now-recovering Leo Raymond Card. Burke.  St. Raymond became Master General of the Mercedarians who labored to raise money to ransom slaves from the infidel Muslims, took up the sword to fight for them, or offered their own persons in their stead.  St. Raymond, get this, when he exchanged himself for a captive in North Africa was tortured.  He was eventually ransomed.  He was named cardinal by Pope Gregory IX but died on his way to Rome at the age of 36.

Members of the religion of peace spiked St. Raymond’s lips and sealed his mouth to keep him from preaching.   

Perhaps St. Raymond Nonnatus could be a patron saint of cancelled, muzzled priests>

Think of St. Raymond Nonnatus today and say a prayer for the continued recovery of Card. Burke from the Wuhan Devil, the demonically accursed (I believe) COVID.

Think of St. Raymond Nonnatus today as hundreds of American citizens and Afghanis who collaborated with US and international forces are now abandoned by the Biden Administration to the Taliban.  They must be terrified.  They are being rounded up.  There are efforts to smuggle them out now… now that they have to be smuggled rather than evacuated in an orderly way.  But… no.   Having robbed the American people at the polls, they now rob Americans in Afghanistan of their lives.  So much for sacred honor.

Think of St. Raymond of the spiked lips and pray for “cancelled” priests.

St. Joseph of Arimethea, pray for us.
St. Nicodemus, pray for us.
St. Aristides, pray for us.
St. Paulinus, pray for us.
St. Aidan, pray for us.
Bl. Andrew, pray for us.
St. Raymond, pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Church, take the reins!

When Catholic Officials Order Vaccines, They Command That Sin Be Committed

Whatever your personal feelings on the vaccine are, this article is still well worth the read. 

From Restore DC Catholicism

First, let's look at whether or not Catholic officials are canonically able to order that those under their authority take the Covid vaccines.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will link now to an excellent treatment on the subject by Canonist Cathy Caridi on her blog. It's clear from this that when these officials, from bishops down to school principals, try to order those under their authority to take the vaccine, that they overstep the legitimate bounds of their authority.  Church teaching over the years holds that the taking of vaccines must be voluntary.

But is that overstepping the only harm that they commit?  I think not.

The vaccines themselves are causing injury.  See hereherehere,  Most of us know that hospital and other medical workers are being ordered by their various employers to "take the jab".  Consider: if the vaccines were these miraculous substances that Fauci et al are claiming them to be, why are those mandates necessary?  Wouldn't those health-care workers be flocking to the vaccine centers by the droves?  They aren't - quite to the contrary.  See herehere,   The pfizer vaccine is not yet FDA-approved, but only authorized for "emergency use", whatever the hell that means.

The paragraph above illustrates why one would be committing sins of imprudence and against the 5th Commandment by taking the vaccines.  Superseding the gravity of those sins are those sins involving the cooperation with baby-murder.  Here is an anthology of posts dealing with the Church hierarchy's complicity with the vaccine moguls, some of them dealing with the nine ways in which a Catholic can cooperate with the mortal sin of another, thus also incurring the guilt of that mortal sin.  When I wrote this one, the hierarchy had not yet begun to order its employees, students, seminarians, religious, etc to take this vaccine into their bodies.  One can now add "by command" to the list of ways by which bishops et al incur the guilt of cooperating with the mortal sin of baby-murder.

Obviously we must not only resist their urgings to take the vaccine ourselves, but to call out their evil.

Meanwhile, a little story to warm your heart.  Pro-baby-murder, pro-vaccine-mandate, anti-God Justin Trudeau was chased out of a British Columbia town by citizens who have had enough of his draconian policies.  Good for them!  

(HT - Canon 212)

Screwtape Talks

Mundabor meditates on the time we are given for our lifespan and how we use it.

From Mundabor's Blog

How valuable time is to us may be gauged by the fact that the Enemy allows us so little of it. The majority of the human race dies in infancy; of the survivors, a good many die in youth. It is obvious that to Him human birth is important chiefly as the qualification for human death, and death solely as the gate to that other kind of life. We are allowed to work only on a selected minority of the race, for what humans call a ‘normal life’ is the exception. Apparently He wants some—but only a very few—of the human animals with which He is peopling Heaven to have had the experience of resisting us through an earthly life of sixty or seventy years. Well, there is our opportunity. The smaller it is, the better we must use it. Whatever you do, keep your patient as safe as you possibly can,

Your affectionate uncle


This quote comes from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, a book I was recently re-reading and which I suggest to everyone as a reading (Yes, I know he wasn’t Catholic…).

For those who don’t know, Screwtape is a “senior demon” in hell, and his letters are written to his nephew, Wormwood, whom Screwtape is tasked with “training” in the “art” of leading people to damnation. Wormwood tries to do his “best”, but he is inexperienced and frequently errs. Screwtape, who is more experienced in the subtle art of slowly leading people to hell, is his “mentor” whilst the latter is learning. The book is very funny at times, entertaining most of the times, and deadly (see what I am doing here?) serious at all times.

In the fragment above, C.S. Lewis gives us another of his brutal insights in the real business of life.

When I re-read those words, I was shocked at how different Lewis’ perspective – which is, actually, the proper Christian perspective – is compared to the way not only most people, but most people who call themselves Christians, see life nowadays.

This life is but a short moment. Time is, indeed, valuable both for Screwtape and us. However, I have more than a passing feeling that an awful lot of people who call themselves “Christians” on a sunny Sunday would lose their faith if they happened to lose a child in his early years. I don’t mean here that they would be devastated by the loss of the separation, which is a natural and obvious reaction. I mean that they would consider God unjust for taking their child away from them and, therefore, conclude that, God not being unjust, there must be no God. I myself once watched a guy on TV stating exactly the same: that he had lost his faith after losing his young daughter of, if memory serves, five. You might, or might not, also know of people who deemed themselves Christians and took their lives in cold blood after suffering the loss of a child. Please do not fabricate excuses for suicide: “depression”, “not her fault”, and the like. Cold-blooded suicides have no excuses. It’s Screwtape at work. If you think otherwise, you need to revisit your Catholicism, stat.

Not so our Christian predecessors; who were, actually, Christian. Many of them – very many, in those times – suffered the excruciating pain of the loss of a child. But their pain was, at all times, tempered by the sweet awareness that their beloved child, *invariably baptised* and died at two, three, four, six years of age, was most certainly in Heaven. Heaven is the only reason why we are born, and the only real goal we have in life, as everything else disappears into nothingness when compared to the infinite value of eternal life. Therefore, the only possible conclusion for a Christian is that God was very good to a soul He allowed to be born and to be happy with Him forever after a short sojourn on this Vale of Tears.

I might repeat this to you, but I think it’s faster if you read it again and again, until you have interiorised the concept.

If I ended up in hell, it would have been better for me if I had never been born, even if my damnation came after 120 years of a very happy life (which almost no one enjoys anyways). The child who died in his infancy would be graced by God with infinitely more than me.

But even if – as I certainly hope – I should end up in Purgatory, I very much doubt that I would be able to say that I had a better lot than said child: a life spanning one or two handfuls of decades, during which some Wormwood is “allowed to work on me”, is hardly a compensation for the risk of sending myself to hell. Plus, Purgatory is not a walk in the park, either. Bar a minority of really saintly people, the vast majority of us pays a steep price for the decades on the Vale of Tears. God’s ways are always good; but don’t think you had it better than the small child who died of leukemia at 5. You were likely worse off, by a distance.

The world does not understand this, because the world does not understand God. The world is angry at God for the people who live in “inequality”, and for the people who die young, and for the animals that die, and for the plants that die. The same world, however, does not hesitate in making people die in their mother’s womb. Loss of God always translates into madness.

Screwtape’s words above are a fairly strong reminder of real wisdom. We might do worse than reminding ourselves of it, then the world surrounding us tries to make us forget all the time.


[1] Now, we have shown above that we have been freed by Christ from what we incurred by the sin of the first man; and, when the first man sinned, not only was the sin itself passed on to us, but also, death, which is the punishment of sin, in the Apostle’s words: “By one man sin entered into this world and by sin death” (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, it necessarily is by Christ that we are freed from each of these; namely, from the fault and from death. Accordingly, the Apostle says in the same place: “If by one man’s offence death reigned through vie; much more they who receive abundance... of the gift and of justice shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:37).

[2] Therefore, in order to make each of these clear to us in Himself, He chose both to die and to rise. He chose to die, indeed, to cleanse us from sin; hence, the Apostle says: “As it is appointed unto men once to die, so also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many” (Heb. 9:77-2.8). But He chose to rise to free us from death; hence, the Apostle says: “Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep. For by a man came death and by a man the resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20-21).

[3] It is, then, the effect of the death of Christ in regard to the remission of sin which we achieve in the sacraments, for, it has already been said, the sacraments work in the power of the passion of Christ.

[4] But the effect of the resurrection of Christ in regard to our liberation from death we shall achieve at the end of the world, when we shall all rise by the power of Christ. Hence, the Apostle says: “If Christ be preached that He arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again. And if Christ be not risen again then is our preaching vain and our faith is vain (1 Cor. 15:12`14). It is, then, a necessary tenet of faith to believe that there will be a resurrection of the dead.

[5] There are, however, some who are perverse in their understanding of this and they do not believe in the future resurrection of bodies, but attempt to ascribe what we read about the resurrection in the Scriptures to a spiritual resurrection in which some arise from the death of sin by grace.

[6] But this error is rejected by the Apostle himself, he says: “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they grow much towards ungodliness, And their speech spreads like a canker: of whom are Hymenaeus and Pbilebus: who have erred from the truth of the faith, saying that the resurrection is past already” (2 Tim. 2:16-18). And this was not understandable except of a spiritual resurrection. It is, therefore, contrary to the truth of the faith to accept a spiritual resurrection and deny a bodily one.

[7] There is more. It is clear from what the Apostle says to the Corinthians that the words cited are to be understood of a bodily resurrection. For, after a bit, he adds, “It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body,” wherein, manifestly, the body’s resurrection is touched on; and a little later he adds: “This corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:44, 53). But the corruptible and the mortal mean the body. Therefore, it is the body that will rise.

[8] Moreover, our Lord promises both resurrections, for He says: “Amen, Amen, I say unto you that the hour comes and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live.” And this seems to pertain to the spiritual resurrection of souls, which even then was beginning to be completed, when some were cleaving to Christ in faith. But, later, it is the bodily resurrection He expresses, saying: “The hour is coming, when all who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God” (John 5:25, 28). For, clearly, souls are not in the graves, but bodies. Therefore, this predicts the bodily resurrection.

[9] The bodily resurrection was also expressly foretold by Job. For he says: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and on the last day I shall rise out of the earth, and shall be clothed again with my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God” (Job 19:75-76).

[10] Moreover, to establish that there will be a resurrection of the flesh there is an evident supporting argument which is based on the points made earlier. For we showed in Book II that the souls of men are immortal. They persist, then, after their bodies, released from their bodies. It is also clear from what was said in Book II that the soul is naturally united to the body, for in its essence it is the form of the body. It, then, contrary to the nature of the soul to be without the body. But nothing which is contrary to nature can be perpetual. Perpetually, then, the soul will not be without the body. Since, then, it persists perpetually, it must once again be united to the body; and this is to rise again. Therefore, the immortality of souls seems to demand a future resurrection of bodies.

[11] Furthermore, there was shown in Book III the natural desire of man to tend to happiness. But ultimate happiness is the perfection of the happy one. Therefore, anyone to whom some perfection is wanting does not yet have perfect happiness, because his desire is not entirely at rest, for every imperfect thing naturally desires to achieve its perfection. But the soul separated from the body is in a way imperfect, as is every part existing outside of its whole, for the soul is naturally a part of human nature. Therefore, man cannot achieve his ultimate happiness unless the soul be once again united to the body, especially since it was shown that in this life man cannot arrive at his ultimate happiness.

[12] Moreover, as was shown in Book III, by divine providence sinners deserve punishment, and those who do well a reward. But in this life men, composed of soul and body, sin or act rightly. Therefore, in both the soul and the body men deserve reward or punishment. But that in this life they cannot achieve the reward of ultimate happiness is clear from the points made in Book III. And time after time sins are not punished in this life; rather, in fact, as we read in Job (21:7) here “the wicked live, are advanced, and are strengthened with riches.” Necessarily,. then, we must assert a repeated union of the soul with the body, so that man can be rewarded and punished in the body as well as in the soul.


In Defense of Monarchies Post the Afghanistan Collapse

An American educated Arab takes a look at the problems of 'democracy' in the Arab world. Not that the West will listen!

From Alarabiya News

By Ali Shihabi

With the Afghanistan collapse, the time has come to revisit an ongoing obsession among Western politicians and pundits: the promotion of democracy in the Arab and Muslim world.

The fundamental flaw in Western thinking has always been the assumption that democracy is some sort of a plug-and-play program that can be rapidly and successfully activated in any country. This type of thinking resulted in the disastrous experiment in Iraq, where the war and subsequent “rebuilding” process killed more than 800,000 people. It also left the oil-rich country, nearly two decades after the invasion and imposition of a “democracy,” devoid of even basic security for its people and often lacking in essential services like electricity and water.

This flawed thinking was further exposed as we saw the much-heralded Tunisian experiment come to a grinding halt after a decade of “democracy” that produced 10 governments in 10 years, continuously deadlocked, corrupt, and unable to deliver any of the inflated promises that politicians had to make to get themselves elected. Concurrently, for the last two years we have been witnessing the implosion of Lebanon’s corrupt, bankrupt, sectarian “democracy” led by criminal warlords that not only has succeeded in stealing its people’s savings from the country’s collapsed banking system but has now failed to deliver even the most basic elements of daily life such as fuel, electricity, and medicine.

And now with the disastrous Afghanistan collapse, we have another failed experiment in democracy leading to state breakdown, and the return of a medieval Taliban regime to power.

Will all this trigger a rethink in Washington, DC, about governance in the wider Middle East? Maybe numerous failed experiments in democracy set against the stability and prosperity delivered by Arab monarchical rulers for over 100 years will lead the West to appreciate that autocratic forms of governance, while unfashionable in the West, have been by far the most successful in the region.

Accepted dogma in the West ignores the centuries - in the UK, a millennium since the Magna Carta - of turmoil and bloodshed that ultimately forced its exhausted people to accept the rules and outcomes of democracy. The people of Europe, after all, only finally achieved widespread democracy in 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Western Europe itself had only achieved it after 1945, under a US occupation.

The Western focus on democracy in the Middle East has obscured what could have been a much more productive and substantive focus on better governance - not so much how a government gains or holds power, but how it governs and delivers basic services and legal rights. Placing the focus on governance would enable the establishment of realistic metrics for any government to work toward. This could involve ensuring, first, the delivery of basic services such as security, electricity, and water - which many governments today do not even deliver - then medical care, education, and jobs, followed by working to ensure the fairness of the legal system - a level playing field - with the ultimate goal of ensuring freedom of speech and other freedoms.

It should not be overlooked that successful democracies need to be underpinned by a relatively narrow political spectrum in society like that between the Republicans/Conservatives and Democrats/Labor Party in the US and United Kingdom. Even Trump’s alt-right movement tested this balance in the last administration in Washington, and the divide between communism and fascism in the first half of the 20th Century in Europe made the accommodation of a democratic process impossible.

Such a wide spectrum unfortunately pervades the Middle East today, where radical Islam, such as ISIS or the Taliban, competes with Westernized political and social liberalism, a divide that simply does not lend itself to any compromise. Hence the fact that only autocracy has been able to deliver the stability required to guarantee the basic right of security and the services required for daily life.

The art of the practical and the possible should be the focus here, rather than the loud, self-righteous, and often cynical virtue signaling that so many in the West love to indulge in. The daily lived experiences of the region’s people are the ultimate proof of concept. The absolute Arab monarchies, even the ones without oil wealth such as Morocco and Jordan, have, despite all their faults, delivered a better experience to their people over the last century than any other form of government.

They took their countries, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula, out of the dark ages of massive underdevelopment and brought them into the 21st century with a good standard of infrastructure, education, and medical care underpinned by decades of stability that allowed these gains to be retained by society.

They also provided them with globally respected passports that facilitate travel, trade, and education for their people, a privilege that Westerners take for granted but one that the millions of Arabs and Muslims lining up at Western consulates, or post the Afghanistan collapse at Kabul airport, in mostly futile quests for visas understand very well. While all this progress has hardly been accompanied by any political freedoms, it has at least delivered the critical building blocks of a modern society.

Today post the Afghanistan collapse, its people, the people of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and so many others in the region’s failed, and failing states can only look upon the citizens of these autocratic monarchies with envy given what their own regimes, theocracies, and “democracies” have deprived them of and destroyed.

Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz on Traditionis Custodes: "Frighteningly Reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984"

If you have not read Dr Fiedrowicz's book, you need to! He is a brilliant expert on the Traditional Rite of the Mass.

From Rorate Cæli

We publish today an English translation of a powerful piece written by Prof. Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz (b. 1957), an expert on church history and liturgy, and author of the best scholarly book on the TLM: “The Traditional Mass: History, Form, and Theology of the Classical Roman Rite” (Angelico Press, 2020). This piece appeared first in the “IK-Nachrichten” of the association Pro Sancta Ecclesia and then on August 30 at CNA-Deutsch. Professor Fiedrowicz teaches at the Faculty of Theology in Trier at the Chair of Ancient Church History, Patrology and Christian Archaeology. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Berlin.

“They Do Not Even Know What Has Been Taken from Them”

Prof. Dr. Michael Fiedrowicz

Lex orandi–lex credendi

On July 16, 2021, the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Apostolic Exhortation in the form of a Motu proprio Traditionis custodes on the use of the Roman Liturgy before the 1970 reform was promulgated. Article 1 reads, “The liturgical books promulgated by Popes St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council are the sole expression (l’unica espressione) of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

To appreciate the full implications of this provision, it is necessary to know that the term lex orandi—the law or rule of prayer—is part of a broader formula coined in the 5th century. The Gallic monk Prosper of Aquitaine, between 435 and 442, formulated the principle: “so that the rule of prayer may determine the rule of faith” (ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi). In the background was a theological controversy about grace. The question was whether the first beginning of faith (initium fidei) also proceeded from the grace of God or from the decision of man. Prosper referred to the Church’s prayer of intercession and thanksgiving, which is significant for the doctrine of grace: “But let us also take into account the mysteries of the priestly prayers, which, handed down by the apostles, are solemnly offered uniformly throughout the world and throughout the entire Catholic Church, so that the rule of prayer may determine the rule of faith” (indiculus 8). Prosper then enumerated various requests made by the Church in her official prayers and deduced from them the necessity of divine grace, since otherwise the Church’s petition and thanksgiving would be useless and meaningless. For Prosper, then, the faith of the Church manifested itself in the prayer of the Church, so that the Church’s official prayer is the standard by which the Church’s faith is to be read.

Already Prosper’s teacher Augustine had developed the idea that the prayer of the Church testifies to its faith and makes it recognizable. The principle lex orandi–lex credendi was henceforth part of the basic understanding of Catholic doctrine. The liturgy, like the Scriptures and Tradition, is a locus theologicus, a place of discovery, a source of knowledge and a witness to what the Church believes. Pope Pius XII called the liturgy “a faithful reflection of the doctrine handed down by our ancestors and believed by the Christian people” (Encyclical Letter Ad Coeli Reginam, 1954). Likewise, he emphasized, “The liturgy as a whole, therefore, contains the Catholic faith insofar as it publicly testifies to the faith of the Church” (Encyclical Mediator Dei, 1947).

The sole expression of all the elements of the Roman Rite?

Pope Francis, however, now defines, or rather reduces, the liturgy of the Roman Rite to that which is expressed in the liturgical books promulgated by Paul VI and John Paul II. These books are “the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” If one assumes the original [i.e., face-value] meaning of the terminology used here, then the lex credendi—what is to be believed—would also have to be taken from those books alone. But is this true? Are these books really the only ones that suffice to be able to read the Catholic faith from them?

Certainly, the papal letter accompanying the motu proprio suggests that all the essentials of the Roman Rite before the liturgical reform can also be found in Paul VI’s missal: “Those who wish to celebrate with devotion the earlier liturgical form will not find it difficult to find in the Roman Missal, reformed according to the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, all the elements of the Roman Rite, especially the Roman Canon, which is one of the most characteristic elements.” Leaving aside the experience of liturgical practice, where the Roman Canon is almost never used in the Novus Ordo—either in parish services, in episcopal churches, or at papal liturgies—the question must be asked whether indeed “all the elements of the Roman Rite” are to be found in the new liturgical books. This question can be answered in the affirmative only by someone who considers obsolete much of what has characterized the Roman Rite for centuries and constituted its theological-spiritual richness, as is evidently the case with Pope Francis.

Liturgical reform: 
damnatio memoriae

This would include everything that was eradicated by the driving forces of the liturgical reform, whether to accommodate Protestants in a misguided ecumenical effort or to meet the supposed mentality of “modern man.”

To name just a few examples: Feasts of the saints were abolished or degraded in the liturgical hierarchy. The Offertory prayers with the clear and unambiguous idea of sacrifice were replaced by a Jewish table prayer. The Dies irae, the poignant depiction of the Last Judgment, was no longer tolerated in the Requiem Mass. The Apostle Paul’s warning in the Maundy Thursday epistle that he who communicates unworthily eats and drinks condemnation (1 Cor 11:27) was omitted. The Orations: those “most beautiful jewels of the Church’s liturgical treasure” (Dom Gérard Calvet OSB), which are among the most ancient components of her spiritual heritage and are completely imbued with dogma, constitute virtually a ‘summa theologica’ in nuce, expressing the Catholic faith unabridged and concisely… The Orations of the Classical Rite alone, of which only a very small part was incorporated unchanged into the Missal of Paul VI, contain and preserve numerous ideas that have been weakened or have disappeared altogether in the later modified versions, but which belong indissolubly to the Catholic faith: detachment from earthly goods and the longing for the eternal; the struggle against heresy and schism; the conversion of unbelievers; the necessity of returning to the Catholic Church and to unadulterated truth; merits, miracles, apparitions of the saints; God’s wrath against sin and the possibility of eternal damnation. All of these aspects are deeply rooted in the biblical message and have unmistakably shaped Catholic piety for nearly two millennia.

In addition to these direct modifications to the Roman Rite itself, however, we must not forget the other concomitants that reveal a profoundly changed basic understanding of the Holy Mass: precious high altars destroyed, with meal tables taking their place; valuable paraments burned or sold off; “Tinnef and Trevira” (M. Mosebach) made their entrance,[1] Gregorian chant and the Latin sacral language were banished from the liturgy. The approach of the liturgical reform is partly reminiscent of the damnatio memoriae in ancient Rome, the erasure of the memory of disliked rulers. Names on triumphal arches were erased, coins with their images melted down. Nothing should remind us of them any more. All the changes that actually took place in the course of the liturgical reforms unmistakably resemble a damnatio memoriae, a deliberate erasure of the memory of the traditional Catholic liturgy.

Parallels in the fourth century

In the history of the Church there have been similar situations again and again. In the middle of the fourth century, the divinity of Christ and that of the Holy Spirit were denied: Son and Spirit were only creatures of God. Bishoprics and churches were widely in the hands of the Arian heretics. Those who remained orthodox gathered in remote places to worship. In 372, Bishop Basil of Caesarea gave a moving description of the situation:

The teachings of the fathers are despised, the apostolic traditions are ignored, and the churches are filled with the inventions of innovators. The shepherds have been driven out, and in their place they bring in ravening wolves to tear apart the flock of Christ. The places of prayer are deserted by those who gathered there, the wastelands are filled with wailing people. The elderly lament as they compare the former time with the present; the young are even more pitiful because they do not even know what has been taken from them. (Epistula 9:2)

These words from the fourth century undoubtedly also applied to the generations born after the Council: for a long time they did not even know what had been taken from them, knowing only the present appearance of the Church.

Above: Velazquez, Las Meninas (1656); Below: Picasso, Las Meninas (1957)

Two expressions or one?

Pope Benedict XVI, with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007, made the treasures of the Church’s undiminished deposit of faith accessible again, so that younger generations could now know again and witness from their own experience what had originally been taken from them. The then-pontiff spoke of there being “two expressions of the lex orandi of the Church,” the ordinary expression (ordinaria expressio) found in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, and the extraordinary expression (extraordinaria expressio) found in the Roman Missal reissued by St. Pius V and John XXIII (SP, art. 1). In his most recent motu proprio, Pope Francis refers directly to this passage (espressione della ‘lex orandi’) in his choice of words and sentence structure, but places himself in diametrical opposition to it by now determining only a “single form of expression” (l’unica espressione) of the lex orandi as valid (TC, art. 1).

But what significance can the traditional form of the liturgy still claim for the Church’s consciousness of faith? If the recent motu proprio and the accompanying letter make readily apparent that the real goal in the middle or long-term is the total destruction of the traditional liturgy, and that for the time being it is still being granted a grace period with drastic restrictions that are intended rigorously to prevent any possibility of its further expansion, then—should decisive resistance fail to materialize—St. Basil the Great’s lament about the fate of the younger generation of his time will once again obtain with renewed force: “For they do not even know what has been taken from them.”

Saving the Bride of Christ from amnesia

The newly enacted regulations are frighteningly reminiscent of what the author George Orwell described as a bleak vision of the future in his 1948 novel 1984. There is the dictatorship of a Party, which rules in a totalitarian surveillance state: “Big Brother is watching you.” In this state there are different ministries. The Ministry of Peace prepares the wars. The Ministry of Abundance manages the socialist economy of scarcity. There is no mention of a Ministry of Health, but there is a Ministry of Truth, which spreads the official propaganda of lies: the party is always right. For this to be so, every memory of the past must be erased. No more comparisons must be possible; everything must appear to have no alternative. The Ministry of Truth is busy changing everything that reminds of the past and could make such a comparison possible. Orwell writes:

Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered.[2]

To associate Orwell’s words with the recent Council does not seem illegitimate, since Vatican II was widely celebrated as a “revolution of the Church from above.” Thus the paradoxical situation arises: in order that the Bride of Christ, the Church, may be preserved from amnesia, from a loss of memory, Catholics faithful to tradition will now have to prove themselves as counter-revolutionaries, conservative faithful will have to assume the role of rebels, in order to be themselves ultimately found to be, before the judgment of history and above all in the eyes of God, the true and only traditionis custodes, guardians of tradition, who really deserve this name.

[1] “Tinnef” means items made out of recycled plastics. “Trevira” is a type of polyester fabric.
[2] Signet Classics edition, p. 155.

A Plea For Help From The FSSP

The Fraternal Society of St Peter (FSSP) have issued a request for assistance in the form of prayer from the lay faithful.

PM Trudeau Chased Out of Town by Crowd: 'You Monster! You Ruined Families!'

As I said, this election may be the last chance Canada has to return to being the 'True North, Strong and Free'. Elect anyone but Trudeau!

From LifeSiteNews

By Jack Bingham

Video footage of the confrontation in White Rock shows a masked Trudeau surrounded by a team of police bodyguards, walking and waving while the crowd responds with loud boos and shouts.

WHITE ROCK, B.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Prime Minister was chased out of a town in British Columbia this week.

A swarm of angry Canadians in the electoral district of South Surrey- White Rock shouted their disapproval at Justin Trudeau on a residential street this Monday because of his support for vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and other draconian measures taken in response to COVID-19.

Trudeau is on the campaign trail, seeking re-election.

Video footage of the confrontation in Surrey-area White Rock, which contains expletives and strong language, shows a masked Trudeau, surrounded by a team of police bodyguards, walking and waving while the crowd responds with loud boos and critical shouts.

“You monster! You ruined families! You’re responsible for death! There’s blood on your hands!” shouted one of the Canadians.

“Your employees don’t want to get the vax!” another man added.

In the video, dozens of people can be seen following Trudeau as a fleet of officers help him escape the town, with one man saying, “Look at this, chased out of Surrey.”

“Nobody wants you here, you monster! How many jabs? How many boosters?” one man demanded.

“Are you proud of the two-tier society you’re responsible for?” a voice in the distance inquired.

“I thought you were against segregation,” stated another.

Matt Brevner of Rebel News peppered Trudeau with questions about his COVID-19 policies as the crowd seethed.

“Prime Minister Trudeau was in White Rock BC today to discuss home affordability,” he tweeted above his own footage of the disturbance.

“When the locals in the neighbourhood caught wind of what was supposed to be a quiet and curated event, they spoke their mind and they chased him out.”

Trudeau, eventually placed in a tinted-window SUV, was separated from the concerned citizens he was elected to serve by a perimeter of police officers placed around the vehicle.

“Talk to us, you coward,” cried an onlooker. The entire crowd continued to boo while Trudeau’s vehicle sped off down the road.

Trudeau, who had visited the same area of South Surrey in both 2015 and 2017, was previously met with applause and cheers by roughly one thousand people, according to the Williams Lake Tribune.

The confrontation followed Monday’s news of the digital vaccine passport system that will go into effect on September 13 throughout the province of British Columbia.

The passport system will be contested in the B.C. Supreme Court by civil rights attorney Rocco Galati. Galati is representing Tanya Gaw’s Action4Canada, among other groups.

The claim filed by Gaw and Galati seeks to repeal the Orwellian COVID-19 measures put in place in the province of British Columbia. The suit is also seeking damages and aims at holding Trudeau, B.C. Premier John Horgan, and B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry liable for the harm caused by their “unconstitutional” actions.

The federal election called by Trudeau, to be held on September 20, features only one major candidate publicly opposed to the COVID-19 measures and the proliferation of vaccine mandates: Maxime Bernier, the leader of the conservative People’s Party of Canada.

LifeSiteNews reached out to both the Conservative MP for South Surrey-White Rock, Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, and the Liberal candidate for the riding, former MP Gordie Hogg, but has not yet received responses.