A recent sermon given by Fr. Chad Ripperger on the problems effecting the so-called “traditional movement” has been receiving a fair bit of attention in certain circles, and not without reason.
UPDATE: A kind reader has pointed out that the sermon in question, although receiving renewed attention today and just recently uploaded to Youtube (linked above), was initially published back in August of 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI was still pope.
“I just want people to be aware that these are the kinds of problems that we’re up against,” Fr. Ripperger said. Why? Because, according to him, these issues are present “pretty much across the board in almost every traditionalist apostolate” and they are the reason “why the tradition isn’t being recouped as quickly” as it might otherwise.
Fr. Ripperger makes some good points; e.g., concerning the necessity of avoiding pride and remaining ever aware that it is only by God’s grace that any of us have either been born into, or drawn into, tradition.
At a certain point, however, Fr. Ripperger veers onto some shaky ground, saying:
We have to stop detracting against the Magisterium. Okay, why? Because in the end it destroys people’s ability to the virtue of piety. How you can expect people to want to submit themselves to Christ’s legitimate authority, handed on through the Magisterium, if you’re constantly running down the bishops and the priests and the Pope and things of that sort.
Certainly, there is a very important distinction to be made between attacking a person in an act of subjective judgment – be that man a member of the hierarchy or otherwise – and attacking his errors, false teachings and heresies in an objective sense. The former is sinful; the latter, necessary.
That said, it seems to me that the unwillingness to make this distinction is found every bit as often or more among those who reject tradition as compared to those attempting to defend it. In other words, those determined to remain entrenched in the comforts of conservatism often disingenuously accuse those who stand up for tradition of attacking persons; when in truth, false teachings and impious behaviors are truly being attacked.
Furthermore, let’s be clear, the duty of submitting to legitimate ecclesial authority presupposes that doing so is tantamount to submission to the authentic Magisterium of the Church. Submitting to the kind of garbage that is being freely cast about by so many of today’s priests and bishops (most especially the one presently dressed in papal whites) is a grave danger to souls. If a defender of tradition should inspire a lack of blind trust in modernist Rome and its leaders [UPDATE – Benedict XVI included!], praise God.
I think it is fair to say that pretty much all so-called “traditionalist apostolates” worthy of the name – meaning, those with a voice in Catholic media – are very clear about the necessity of submitting to the Church’s perennial Magisterium; as opposed to the contrary novelties that are so often put forth by the hierarchy of today.
Fr. Ripperger continued:
You should never say anything against somebody unless it’s necessary – that is, by necessary, it’s necessary for that person’s spiritual life, or their physical well-being or what have you; it’s just, don’t exaggerate it and it’s charitable. What does that mean? It means that it’s proceeds from a desire for people’s spiritual being and for the love of God not because you’re mad and angry and want to hack at people.
With respect to necessity, Fr. Ripperger left out something very important. More often than not, when the errors and offenses of a priest or bishop – including the one presently running the show in Rome – are being criticized, it is being done for the good of those who may be misled; i.e., for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. That said, he does make a good point; we should frequently examine our motives just to be certain that we are acting for the right reasons.
Fr. Ripperger then served up a some ice cold Full Communion Kool Aid, saying:
This negative attitude towards the Magisterium is one of the reasons why the Magisterium has been so slow to give us anything because people have had such a negative attitude, they’re just like, well, we have to be careful with what we’re giving these people because you know they’re gonna end up biting the hand that feeds them.
I’m not buying this for a second. There is only one reason why the so-called “Magisterium” of today (i.e., the hierarchy of today) does not “give us anything” authentically Catholic and genuinely nourishing for the soul, and that is because they are largely hirelings of the conciliar church-of-man who have not the true faith. Period.
To hear Fr. Ripperger speak one would imagine that some substantial number of the bishops of today actually have a genuine desire to lead the flock in the way of tradition, but it is the attitude of the faithful that is preventing it. The idea is absurd.
Fr. Ripperger goes on:
Then they … allow the filial devotion to the office of the papacy to wane; that is, not making proper distinctions between the man and the office. It doesn’t matter what the man does. The fact of the matter is we must be faithful and loyal to the office.
Again, I’m not buying it. As anyone with authentic filial devotion to the papacy surely knows, it most certainly does matter what the man does – in the present case, Jorge Bergoglio; a man who has no respect for the papacy whatsoever. What he does, and has been doing since 13 March 2013, has arguably done more harm to the image of the Office of Peter, and therefore loyalty to said Office, than any other person of the last several centuries; with the only possible exception being his “bright light,” Paul VI.
So, in conclusion, is Fr. Ripperger a determined defender of tradition, or a company man who is willing, on occasion, to carry the water for corporate?
The answer seems to be a little of both. While Fr. Ripperger’s sermons often have much of substance to offer in the way of tradition, his words, like those of everyone else, must be carefully scrutinized for the presence of “a little leaven.” With respect to the present sermon, we find some of each.
This is perhaps not surprising given that he was initially ordained a priest of the Fraternity of St. Peter, a “full communion” society of which at least one newly ordained priest (who also happens to serve my parish) is pleased to credit “Saint” John Paul II with his vocation.
UPDATE: This same kind reader has also pointed out:
Fr. Ripperger is no longer with the FSSP and hasn’t been for a few years. He has started his own Society of exorcists under the title of Our Lady of Sorrows (www.dolorans.org.) at the request of the former bishop of Tulsa, OK (who’s liberal successor subsequently banished his order as well as an order of nuns who evangelized the Jews). The bishop of Denver invited his order to Denver where is currently operates.
In reality, the reason “why the tradition isn’t being recouped as quickly” as it might otherwise isn’t because so-called traditionalist laity are acting up – although, granted, this isn’t helping on the individual level. It is because… wait for it… the Council, the bastard rite of Paul VI, and a decade’s long series of men-in-white who are Hell bent and determined to promote them.
So, while we must labor to defend the true Faith and lead others to it as best we can, the tradition isn’t going to be recouped in any broad sense until such time as we are given a faithful pope who will abrogate both the Council and the Novus Ordo Missae. All indications are that the stage will not be set for this to occur apart from a very painful act of chastisement; one that will force the surviving portion of humanity back to its collective knees.
In the meantime, the Church certainly could stand to benefit from churchmen who are willing to forgo the role of company man entirely in favor of plainly condemning the Council, the Novus Ordo, and poisonous ideas of every kind; holding accountable, by name, the priests, the bishops, and the popes who have been peddling them.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider has penned a more than 7,000 word text, published by Rorate Caeli, On the question of a heretical pope.
In spite of its unwieldy length (and the corresponding length of this examination), the entire treatise can be boiled down to the following main points. According to Bishop Schneider:
– A pope guilty of formal heresy is a Cross that we – meaning all the Church – have no choice but to bear with patience.
– Only a future pope or a future ecumenical council can directly address this; e.g., by posthumously anathematizing such a pope, as in the case of Pope Honorius I, and even then, the formal heretic must be understood to have retained his office post-heresy.
– Only God can take the papacy away from a formal heretic pope, and there is absolutely nothing a reigning pope can do in the realms of theological heresy or grave immorality to effectively incur the loss of office; i.e., effectively cause God to remove the office from the man.
– Any attempt on the part of the Church (cardinals, bishops, etc.) to directly address, as an effort to remedy, the situation of a pope who pertinaciously persists in manifest formal heresy would do more damage than good for the Church – damage that would last far longer than the heretic’s reign as pope.
Overall, Bishop Schneider’s essay – in spite of his sincerity, which I am pleased to assume – ultimately amounts to little more than an excuse for his failure, and that of other prelates, to act in defense of the true faith in a manner commensurate with the damage being inflicted upon the Body of Christ, and individual souls, by the formal, manifest, pertinacious heretic Jorge Bergoglio, aka “Francis.”
It is especially noteworthy that Bishop Schneider’s defense contains certain obvious errors and omissions, which suggest that the weakness of his response to the heretic Bergoglio is inspired not only by a lack of courage, but also, perhaps, by a deficit in right belief.
Let’s take a closer look.
Bishop Schneider relies very heavily on the case of Pope Honorius I; treating it as if it provides the closest thing to historical precedent that we have; thus providing indispensable instruction for the Church of today as it struggles under the weight of the heretic Bergoglio. He rightly describes Honorius as having “adopted an ambiguous attitude towards the spreading of the new heresy of Monothelitism.”
This, the seventh century pope did, inasmuch as “he had supported heresy in his letters to Patriarch Sergius,” Schneider states.
At this, it should be immediately obvious to all that very few if any genuine parallels exist between the case of Honorius and that of Francis. The former was guilty, in Schneider’s own words, of “an ambiguous attitude” regarding a heresy as evidenced in “letters” addressed to an individual patriarch. The heretical deeds of the latter, Francis, I trust, need no recounting.
Bishop Schneider writes:
Pope Honorius I was fallible, he was wrong, he was a heretic, precisely because he did not, as he should have done, declare authoritatively the Petrine tradition of the Roman Church. To that tradition he had made no appeal…
Given his reliance on the historical record concerning Honorius, if you are expecting Bishop Schneider to plainly and publicly state, Pope Francis is wrong, he is a heretic, you will be disappointed. Evidently, the case of Honorius provides a blueprint for prelates such as himself only insofar as it can be leveraged as justification for timidity.
Honorius, Bishop Schneider continued:
… [Honorius] had merely approved and enlarged an erroneous doctrine. But once disowned by his successors, the words of Pope Honorius I were harmless against the fact of the inerrancy in Faith of the Apostolic See. They were reduced to their true value, as the expression of his own personal view.
NB: According to Bishop Schneider, Honorius merely approved and enlarged a singular heresy. That this somehow reasonably compares to the actions of Jorge Bergoglio, who has disseminated numerous errors and heresies throughout the Universal Church in the name of Peter via official papal instruments (Apostolic Exhortations, Encyclicals, the AAS) is utterly absurd.
And yet, there are otherwise intelligent men of influence in Catholic media hailing Bishop Schneider as a modern-day St. Athanasius (his namesake).
Bishop Schneider also pointed to the case of Pope John XXII (1316 – 1334), who “taught his theory that the Saints would enjoy the beatific vision only after the Last Judgment in the Second Coming of Christ.”
What the good bishop fails to tell readers is that this error was taught in a sermon – not by way of an official papal instrument – and John XXII immediately vowed himself open to correction, and ultimately did stand corrected.
Even so, he goes on to say:
The Church in the very rare concrete cases of a pope committing serious theological errors or heresies could definitely live with such a pope. The practice of the Church until now was that she left the final judgment about a reigning heretical pope to his successors or to a future Ecumenical Council, such as in the case of Pope Honorius I. The same would probably have happened with Pope John XXII, if he had not retracted his error.
Bishop Schneider’s entire argument to this point hinges entirely on the absurd proposition that Francis is but another Honorius I and John XXII. According to this logic, one may just as reasonably state:
Given that a person can survive a nasty stomach virus until it naturally passes, surely one can also so live with stage four brain cancer.
With no intention of being flippant, I must say that I find the facility of Bishop Schneider’s argument stunning. He had, until now, impressed me as a man who “gets it,” but who only needed to find the courage to act. It seems evident having read his essay that he really does not grasp the gravity of the present situation. Whether this is willful or not is something that Our Lord alone can judge.
Bishop Schneider states:
The pope gets his authority directly from God and not from the Church; therefore, the Church cannot depose him, for any reason whatsoever.
In this, he is entirely correct, provided he means to say that the Church has no jurisdiction over a reigning pope. Unfortunately, however, he takes this notion too far by conflating, in a number of places in the text, “the loss of papal office by deposition” and a “declaration of the ipso facto loss” of said office.
These are two entirely different things. The latter in no way suggests that the Church (or any of her members) has the authority to depose a pope; it merely rests on the reality that any man – including the person of the pope – may, of his own volition, choose to sever himself from the Body of Christ.
If and when it occurs that a pope by his pertinacious attachment to heresy, following admonishment, severs himself from the Body of the Church, and has “in a certain way abdicated the Pontificate,” this can and must be declared by those who exercise ecclesial authority “so that he [the heretic] might not cause damage to the rest.” (cf Eminent 18th century theologian and canonist Fr. Pietro Ballerini)
NB: Bishop Schneider, however, does not believe that a pope can sever himself from the Body of Christ, and thus the Petrine Office (with the understanding that it is the Lord who will remove the office from the man in light of that man’s free choice).
Let me be clear: Bishop Schneider is basing his theory on an erroneous concept of the papacy, which is made known as he goes on to explain:
One can disinherit children of a family. Yet one cannot disinherit the father of a family, however guilty or monstrously he behaves himself. This is the law of the hierarchy which God has established even in creation. The same is applicable to the pope, who during the term of his office is the spiritual father of the entire family of Christ on earth. In the case of a criminal or monstrous father, the children have to withdraw themselves from him or avoid contact with him.
However, they cannot say, “We will elect a new and good father of our family.” It would be against common sense and against nature. The same principle should be applicable therefore to the question of deposing a heretical pope.The pope cannot be deposed by anybody, only God can intervene and He will do this in His time, since God does not fail in His Providence (“Deus in sua dispositione non fallitur”)
Once again, the argument is so facile as to be shocking. First of all, “avoiding” the pope is utterly antithetical to Catholic life. It is necessary for the faithful to do the exact opposite. In fact, it seems quite reasonable to understand that he who must be avoided in order that one’s faith not be corrupted must not be the pope!
More troubling is the fact that the essential nature of fatherhood is not akin to the nature of an individual man’s pontificate; the former is an indissoluble biological reality, whereas the latter can indeed be taken away, as Bishop Schneider himself suggests (“only God can intervene”).
Furthermore, if a man should disavow his fatherhood, he is powerless to dissolve that biological reality. He cannot even effectively invite God to remove fatherhood from him. By contrast, it is perfectly plain that a man can most certainly disavow the papacy and depart from the office; e.g., abdication (again, even if it is God who is moved to take the office away).
As will become more clear later, it seems that Bishop Schneider is in some way confusing the Petrine Office with the sacraments; e.g., marriage, whereby only death can bring it to an end, or perhaps baptism, which imparts an indelible mark upon the soul that cannot be removed.
Bishop Schneider is effectively suggesting that the man who is pope is the only member of the Church who no longer has the free will to sever himself from the Body of Christ (e.g., by willfully embracing heresy over truth); i.e., he seems to believe that there is nothing the man can do in this regard to facilitate his removal from the papacy by the hand of God. The idea is preposterous.
Bishop Schneider states:
The Church has always taught that even a heretical person, who is automatically excommunicated because of formal heresy, can nevertheless validly administer the sacraments and that a heretic or formally excommunicated priest can in an extreme case exercise even an act of jurisdiction by imparting to a penitent sacramental absolution.
Yes, heretics can at times validly administer sacraments; e.g., the Protestants can validly baptize. This, however, has nothing whatsoever to do with the present discussion concerning the Petrine Office.
The case of an excommunicated priest and his ability to minister in a time of grave necessity is likewise irrelevant; a formal, pertinacious heretic’s claim to the Office of Peter is another matter altogether.
The former scenario is based upon the sacramental character of the priesthood, imparted by Holy Orders – thus, “once a priest always a priest.” The papal coronation (or in our day, an inauguration) concerns the taking of an office, it does not impart sacramental character. As we have seen, Bishop Schneider is confusing these points; portraying the papacy as if it is in some way indissoluble.
To bolster his case, Bishop Schneider cites the following:
“No cardinal elector may be excluded from active and passive participation in the election of the Supreme Pontiff because of or on pretext of any excommunication, suspension, interdict or other ecclesiastical impediment. Any such censures are to be regarded as suspended as far as the effect of the election is concerned.” (Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifice eligendo, n. 35).
Bear in mind, this comes to us from that bastion of orthodoxy Giovanni Battista Montini, the same who shoved the Novus Ordo Missae down our collective throats. Even so, an accurate reading of the above suggests that impediments upon cardinals are suspended only with respect to the act of electing a pope; i.e., casting a ballot. That’s it. This says exactly nothing about a pope who has fallen into formal heresy.
And yet, Bishop Schneider immediately insists:
This theological principle must be applied also to the case of a heretical bishop or a heretical pope, who in spite of their heresies can validly perform acts of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and therefore do not lose ipso facto their office because of heresy.
Theological principle? Excuse me? It is nothing of the kind. Romano Pontifice eligendo merely proposes a procedure, and this from the pen of the Church’s most disastrous pope ever, bar none (although Bergoglio is laboring to take the title for himself.)
At one point, Bishop Schneider favorably quotes the Council of Constance (1414 – 1418), which pronounced:
“Since the Roman Pontiff exercises such great power among mortals, it is right that he be bound all the more by the incontrovertible bonds of the faith…”
How true! And yet, Bishop Schneider labors to convince us that the person of the Roman Pontiff effectively enjoys utter freedom from the bonds of faith inasmuch as there is no heresy or heresies so great that his willful, self-imposed severance from the Body of the Church is made plain.
As for the major errors of omission made plain in Bishop Schneider’s essay, he states in the opening sentence:
The issue of how to handle a heretical pope, in concrete terms, has not yet been treated in a manner which approaches anything like a true general consent in the entire Catholic tradition.
This is true inasmuch as we have no specific procedure for such a scenario, and yet Bishop Schneider fails to call attention to those parts of Sacred Scripture that speak very clearly about how we are to approach the heretic; e.g., Galatians 1:8, Titus 3:10-11, and Matthew 18:15-17. In the interest of space, let’s consider just the latter:
But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. (Mt. 18:15-17)
Numerous “rebukes” of Francis and the heresies enshrined in Amoris Laetitia alone have been made; some, even prior to its publication.
In response to these rebukes, Francis will not hear them.
With the dubia, for example, the Church as represented by members of the College of Cardinals has rebuked him.
In response to this rebuke, Francis will not hear the Church.
As such, and according to Our Lord’s own instructions, we are to treat him as a heathen and publican – that is, as one who cannot possibly be the pope! One notes that no exemption exists for bishops in white. Even so, Bishop Schneider is pleased to take refuge in the false notion that Catholic tradition contains next to nothing “concrete” concerning how to solve a problem like Bergoglio.
Bishop Schneider states:
The situation of a heretical pope will always be relatively short in comparison with the two thousand years of the existence of the Church. One has to leave an intervention, in this rare and delicate case, to Divine Providence.
In other words, it is above the bishop’s pay grade to meaningfully address the reality of a pope who – in spite of numerous rebukes, admonitions, and calls to faithfulness – has chosen the lies of Satan over the doctrines of Holy Mother Church. Sorry, but this is a monumental cop out.
What’s more, it reflects a shameful lack of concern for the salvation of souls; one that simply shrugs at the plight of those persons who have the unfortunate bad luck of living under the reign of a formally and pertinaciously heretical pope – a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.
Bishop Schneider ends his essay with a number of suggestions for “binding canonical norms for the case of a heretical or a manifestly heterodox pope;” among them, canonical obligations imposed firstly upon the Dean of the College of Cardinals to publicly correct the heretic pope if private corrections prove unsuccessful. If the Dean should fail in his duty, the obligation then proceeds down the hierarchical chain until it reaches the lay faithful.
And what of the heretic “pope” in this case?
Oh, he is simply be left to spout all the heresy he wishes. That way, the less well-formed among us will be faced with believing either a handful of true Catholics – many of whom are laity – or the guy on television wearing the pope costume and telling persons the world over to do, believe, and worship whatever they damn well please.
In other words, we will be left precisely with the situation of the present day wherein “Francis” is leading souls straight to Hell while the cream of the episcopal crop more or less wrings their hands waiting for God to step in.
Has it never occurred to Bishop Schneider that God stepped in the day he was consecrated a bishop, equipping him with all that he needs to protect the flock?
Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso, est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, omnis honor et gloria.
In my hand missal (publisher: Baronius Press, 2009), the Per ipsum is translated in English as follows:
By Him, and with Him, and in Him, is to Thee, God the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory, world without end.
Following this, the priest then either speaks aloud or sings, “Per omnia saecula saeculorum.” To this, the server (schola or choir) responds, “Amen;” thereby giving assent, on behalf of the faithful, to all of the preceding prayers of the Canon.
In the official English translation of the Novus Ordo, the priest elevates the Host and Chalice following the so-called “Eucharistic Prayer;” praying the Per ipsum aloud as follows:
Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.
To which, all of the faithful respond with what is commonly called the “Great Amen.”
Clearly, there are some noteworthy differences between the two. First, the Per ipsum in the Traditional Roman Rite is prayed by the priest in low voice, whereas it is prayed aloud in the Novus Ordo (and nearly always facing the people).
More importantly for our purposes, the Novus Ordo prayer in English reads, Through Him…, as opposed to By Him…, as it is translated in the Baronius hand missal.
Is there a difference? Perhaps I am overthinking the matter; aware as I am of the “reformers” deliberate effort to impart a Protestant flavor to the Novus Ordo, but I would say yes, there is a difference, and a rather profound one at that. Readers can decide for themselves.
When the contrast between these two translations first caught my attention, I spoke with several traditional priests about it and discovered that, unlike Baronius, certain other publishers of Latin Mass hand missals also translate the words “Per ipsum” as “Through Him.” I was surprised – at least initially – to find that this is true even of hand missals that were published prior to the Council and the advent of the Novus Ordo.
Before we attempt to make sense of these facts, let’s consider how, if at all, Through Him differs from By Him in a theological sense.
It seems to me that the latter expression communicates much more clearly the reality that it is Jesus Christ the High Priest Himself who offers His Body and Blood to God the Almighty Father at Holy Mass; i.e., the perfect Sacrifice of the Altar is truly being offered By Him.
By contrast, the expression Through Him seems to suggest that it is we – be this understood as the priest, the faithful, or both – who are the primary offerers of the Sacrifice; with Our Lord’s role being that of an intercessor.
One of the priests with whom I spoke (a native English speaker) consulted his Latin-English dictionary and confirmed that per can be translated as either by or through; i.e., both are correct. Furthermore, he takes the position that the English words by and through mean essentially the same thing.
The website Dictionary.com, however, captures the nuanced difference between the two words rather well. It defines “by” to mean “through the agency, efficacy, work, participation, or authority of,” whereas it defines “through” to mean “by the means or instrumentality of; by the way or agency of.”
With this in mind, one would have to conclude that while these words can perhaps be used interchangeably, it is not always fitting to do so inasmuch as “through” can suggest instrumentality; in the present case, intercessory action as opposed to direct action, which the word by necessarily captures.
I believe that this nuanced understanding of these words is well-applied to the translation of the Per ipsum.
Evidently, the publishers of the Baronius hand missal also believe that through and by are not truly interchangeable when applied to the theology of the Mass, or at least not profitably so in that setting.
On close inspection, one discovers that the Latin word per, which occurs frequently in the Mass, is consistently translated by the publisher as through; the solitary exceptions being the Final Doxology that follows the Minor Elevation, which we have already discussed, the Supplice te rogamus, and the priest’s prayer after the proclamation of the Gospel, both of which we will consider momentarily.
A number of prayers in the Mass conclude with the phrase, Per Christum Dominum nostrum; that is, Though Christ Our Lord. In each instance, it is clear that Christ is acting as intercessor; presenting our intentions to God on our behalf, as in the Nobis quoque peccatoribus, which is said just before the Minor Elevation.
Now let’s consider the exceptions.
Following the Gospel, the priest prays Per evangelica dicta, deleantur nostra delicta, which is translated, “By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out.” [Emphasis added]
This particular instance does not seem especially relevant to the present study as the word by is not used in a literal sense; i.e., it is understood that our sins are not blotted out by the words of the Gospel themselves directly, per se, but it is in embracing, believing and living according to them that makes this possible in Christ.
The remaining exception is by far the more informative. Following the consecration, the priest prays:
Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: iube haec perferri per manus sancti Angeli tui in sublime altare tuum, in conspectu divinae maiestatis tuae: ut quotquot, ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum Filii tui, Corpus et Sanguinem sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. [Emphasis added]
We most humbly beseech Thee, Almighty God, command these offerings to be borne by the hands of Thy holy Angel to Thine altar on high, in the sight of Thy Divine Majesty, that as many as shall partake of the most holy Body and Blood of Thy Son at this altar, may be filled with every heavenly grace and blessing. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. [Emphasis added]
Here, we see that the central action, as requested in the prayer, is to be directly accomplished by the holy Angel. And yet, the prayer – the plea itself – is being submitted to Almighty God through Christ, who acts in this instance as intercessor. In this, we find that the two actions, each denoted by the Latin per, are translated by the publisher with sharp specificity; i.e., mindful of the fact that by and through are not always profitably treated as if interchangeable.
To be perfectly clear, it is helpful to note what St. Thomas Aquinas taught with respect to the Supplices te rogamus. He writes:
The priest does not pray that the sacramental species may be borne up to Heaven; nor that Christ’s true body may be borne thither, for it does not cease to be there; but he offers this prayer for Christ’s mystical body, which is signified in this sacrament, that the angel standing by at the Divine mysteries may present to God the prayers of both priest and people… (Summa, III, Q. 83, art. 4, Reply to Obj. 9.)
In other words, the Angelic Doctor is telling us that the offerings of which this prayer speaks concerns the Church Militant and the intentions that are offered by her members in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
This distinction is crucial in order for one to understand that the Minor Elevation is unique inasmuch as it pertains to the offering – not simply of a prayer or an intention – but the Body and Blood of Christ to the Almighty Father; an action accomplished Per ipsum, that is, by Him; not simply through Him.
It is indeed the case, as Aquinas makes plain, that our prayers and sacrifices – joined to the perfect Sacrifice of Christ made present on the Altar – are also offered to God the Almighty Father at Holy Mass. This, we can say, does indeed take place through Him in an intercessory way, and the remainder of the Per ipsum accounts for this with the words et cum ipso, et in ipso – in English, and with Him, and in Him.
As such, it seems to me that those hand missals that use the English translation Through Him, and with Him, and in Him are guilty, not only of redundancy, but far worse as the omission of the word by leaves an opening for misunderstanding as to what is actually taking place in the Mass.
Prior to the advent of the Novus Ordo Missae, this danger was not exactly the clear and present one that it is in our day thanks to the Protestantized rite of Paul VI. This perhaps explains why some pre-conciliar publishers at times used the less-than-ideal translation Through Him…; i.e., the theology of the Mass was plainly taught and much more widely known then, and not the source of confusion that it is today.
As for the bastard rite of Paul VI, was the choice of through Him over by Him in the English text merely incidental, fifty-fifty proposition that could have gone either way?
I don’t believe so for a moment. Though Him is perfectly acceptable to Protestants – the same that the “reformers” were at great pains to placate – whereas by Him is most certainly not in keeping with their liturgical sensibilities. Indeed, deliberately avoiding the latter accomplishes precisely what Cardinal Ottaviani noted of the rite elsewhere; namely, “the priest’s position is minimized” (cf Ottaviani Intervention). Far more injurious to all concerned, the Lord’s position is minimized in the process as well.
One notes that following the Per ipsum, spoken aloud by the priest in the Novus Ordo, is the so-called “Great Amen.”
This serves to give one the impression that the faithful, every bit as much as the priest, are offering the Sacrifice of the Altar to God; thus not only blurring the line between those actions that are proper to the priest and those that are proper to the people, but also between those which are purely human and those that are carried out by Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Let us not be naïve: This was, after all, the very purpose of the so-called liturgical reform; to craft a rite that would be acceptable to the heretics, who cannot bear the theology of the Mass as a true and propitiatory Sacrifice offered by a priest who acts in persona Christi.
And why should those of us who are steeped in the Traditional Latin Mass concern ourselves with the failings of the Novus Ordo?
First and foremost, because souls are at stake, but also because the Novus Ordo is very much like a contagion that is capable of infecting even those who are sincerely determined to remain faithful to Catholic tradition. Other than those who, by the grace of God, have never been exposed to the Novus Ordo and have known only the Traditional Latin Mass, many of us – priests included – likely still carry some Protestant residue left over from the bitter “new Mass” experience.
So, the next time you assist at the Traditional Latin Mass, regardless of what your hand missal might say, be mindful of the reality that the Body and Blood of Christ is being offered, not so much through Him, as by Him; with the priest at the altar acting in persona Christi.
Ad Majórem Dei Glóriam!
One can just imagine that some readers saw this click-worthy headline and thought to themselves, Wow, Bergoglio is going issue a correction of his own heresy; showing that he really is a ‘son of the Church’ by affirming the true faith!
Those who took the bait, clicked through and read the interview, however, quickly came to the realization that they had been had. Let’s take a closer look.
The Bishops of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, during their recent ad lumina, were given the opportunity to speak with His Hereticalness directly; after which, Bishop Schneider was asked by LifeSite News:
Can you say more about how Pope Francis responded to your concern about the Abu Dhabi statement on the diversity of religions? The controversial passage reads: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
Bishop Schneider replied:
On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God.
I tried to go more deeply into the question, at least by quoting the sentence as it reads in the document. The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes.
I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will.
But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this. But he said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.
OK, here’s the real deal. First, while many will be moved to applaud Bishop Schneider for addressing the issue, he has shown himself to be timid and ineffectual.
To say of the Abu Dhabi statement, “the sentence can be understood erroneously” is but a half-truth at best; more appropriately, it is a lie. The reality is that the sentence as written is heresy plain and simple. Schneider knows this, and yet, in confronting Bergoglio to his face, unlike St. Paul, he evidently feared the man more than God.
More importantly, what Bergoglio revealed of himself is not that he is correctable; on the contrary – he revealed himself to be a formal heretic. Recall Bishop Schneider’s account:
…he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God.
You can say this too. How very big of Bergoglio; giving a bishop permission to teach like a Catholic! The only thing this proves is that Francis couldn’t possibly care less what is taught; much less what is believed, which is why he has no problem with the diversity of religions in the first place.
What all of this adds up to is simple: Bergoglio has confirmed that he knows damned well what the Church teaches in this regard, and yet, he is sticking to his error. He is determined to allow the document and the heresy within it to stand as it is written; a document, I might remind readers, that bears the signature of the man that most of the world considers to be the Successor of St. Peter and the Vicar of Jesus Christ!
Once again, it is perfectly clear where we find ourselves at this remarkable moment in Church history: A formal, manifest, pertinacious, obstinate heretic is posing as the pope, and even the cream of the episcopal crop has not the Catholic faith to declare as much to the world for the good of souls.
By: Cornelia Ferreira
In this issue of the Fatima Newsletter, Lucia writes about the second apparition of the angel to the three young seers:
“Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners…”
A perfectly timed message as we begin the penitential season of Lent.
Please click the HERE or the banner to the right to read the rest of this issue.