As some readers may already be aware, the Novus Ordo Watch blog has weighed-in on what it calls A Dispute between Steve Skojec and Louie Verrecchio.
This refers to my previous post, which, for the record, is not at all personal – for me, it’s about the Faith. Period. That said, I would like to offer the following.
In the aftermath of my post, Steve Skojec ran to social media to cry foul at having not been approached privately before I published my article. This reminds me of those persons who (especially in the early years of the Bergoglian Occupation) sanctimoniously complained that writers like me should do the Christian thing and send private letters to Francis rather than pen refutations of his soul-endangering errors.
Look, both Steve Skojec and I publish our thoughts and ideas on the Faith in the public realm by choice. This isn’t a place for men with fragile egos; those who can’t handle public criticism of their opinions shouldn’t disseminate them beyond the scope of the merely personal. Simple. That is why you won’t find me whining that Novus Ordo Watch didn’t first send me a personal note and a fruit basket before publicly denouncing my work.
On the contrary, I wish to begin by expressing my gratitude to NOW for the research that was done, and I encourage readers to follow the link to check it out for themselves.
I’ll begin my response by addressing a couple of tangential comments. NOW writes:
Why is neither Skojec nor Verrecchio quoting from pre-Vatican II Catholic theology books on this issue? Their failure to even attempt to do so illustrates the fundamental problem so prevalent in Resistance Land…
Speaking for myself, I can assure readers that I most certainly did attempt to do so, but even after spending literally hours searching for reliable pre-conciliar sources on this subject, I was unable to find much of value. It is a matter of genuine difficulty for those of us seeking nothing more than to be truly Catholic in our understanding.
Elsewhere in its post, NOW refers to Fr. Gregory Hesse as an “oddball canon lawyer.” They would have to explain what is meant by “oddball,” but having listened to a number of Fr. Hesse’s conferences, it is clear to me that he relies very heavily on the very pre-conciliar texts that are being encouraged. It is for this reason that I find it reasonable to put considerable stock in his opinion on the matter.
There are a number of valuable citations in the NOW post that are well worth consideration. I will limit myself, however, to just two, beginning with the following:
To consecrate outside the Mass would not only be a sacrilege, but probably also an attempt at invalid consecration. The priest would certainly not perform that action in the person of Christ, nor according to the intention of the Church, which is restricted to the celebration of the Mass.
(Rev. P. Charles Augustine, A Commentary on the New Code of Canon Law, vol. IV [St. Louis, MO: Herder, 1920], p. 156)
I get it. Theologians – faithful ones at any rate – frequently speak in cautious tones on questions that have yet to be definitively addressed by Holy Mother Church. [More on that momentarily.] In other words, they avoid expressions of absolute certitude on such matters, and it is for this reason, presumably, that Fr. Augustine writes, “probably also an attempt at invalid consecration.”
Be that as it may, Fr. Augustine left absolutely no room for doubt whatsoever in the very next sentence when he stated, “The priest would certainly not perform that action in the person of Christ, nor according to the intention of the Church…”
OK, folks, let’s do the math; it’s not difficult.
Basic sacramental theology is crystal clear: One of the indispensable conditions for validity is the intention to do what the Church does. According to Fr. Augustine, however, this is certainly not the case regarding an attempted consecration outside of Mass.
Furthermore, basic sacramental theology informs us that it is Christ Himself acting in the sacraments as the minister performs the rite in persona Christi. Fr. Augustine is equally as clear on this note, saying that this is certainly not the case when consecration is attempted outside of Mass.
If the pre-Vatican II Catholic theology book cited by the writers at NOW is worth the paper it’s written on, then a faithful Catholic has no choice but to conclude that a consecration outside of Mass is certainly not valid.
At this, I would remind readers that the current “dispute” concerns two very specific scenarios as presented in Skojec’s article on the Novus Ordo Paradigm. He writes:
Technically, a priest has the power to consecrate the Eucharist anywhere. It’s legally forbidden, but he can do it. He can sit at a bar, drunk, and consecrate bread and wine if he says the right words with the right intention. He could even do the same thing at a satanic Mass for the purposes of desecration.
With regard to the first scenario, NOW provides the following:
Finally, regarding the question of a priest being drunk when attempting to confect a sacrament, we also have a rather clear answer from an unquestionably traditional source:
…[H]e who would administer a sacrament in a drunken, or somnambulistic [=sleepwalking], or hypnotic state, would perform an action that is null, even though before the occurrence he might have had the most formal intention of doing what the Church does; for in that abnormal state he no longer acts as a rational being capable of being the representative of Christ and the Church.
(Very Rev. P. Pourrat, Theology of the Sacraments [St. Louis, MO: Herder, 1910], p. 393)
Here, Fr. Pourrat does not refrain from expressing certitude in the least; he plainly informs us that the action of a drunken priest as described by Steve Skojec is null.
One of the wonderful things about the Catholic faith is that it makes good, logical sense. In the present case, the very idea that Our Blessed Lord can be ordered, as it were, by a drunken priest to become “truly, really, and substantially contained … His Body and Blood together with His Soul and Divinity” (Cf Council of Trent, Session XIII) under the species of a dinner roll on a bar is as illogical as it is offensive.
This notion has been expanded to include claims made by Skojec’s defenders (also addressed by NOW) that a priest can simply utter the words of consecration in a bakery (silently even) and turn all of the bread therein into the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, if only he intends to do so. In addition to the initial sin, just imagine the sacrilege that would ensue at the hands of innocent people who know no better!
Ask yourself, doesn’t it make far more Catholic sense for Our Lord and His Church to see to it that His Real Presence – the Bread of Life no less – should be recognizable as such by restricting valid consecration to the celebration of the Mass? (See Fr. Augustine’s quote.)
In conclusion, I wish to return to the idea of faithful theologians speaking in cautious tones on questions that have yet to be definitively addressed by Holy Mother Church. This pious predisposition can be observed in a number of the quotes offered in the NOW article; e.g., expressions such as probably invalid or at least doubtful.
Bear well in mind, however, that these men lived and wrote during the pontificates of Pope St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI and Pius XII – at a time when it made good sense to wait for Holy Mother Church to pronounce before speaking boldly on such matters.
Today, life is very different. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.)
Not only are there no such men-in-white to be found, the theoretical proposition of an attempted consecration outside of Mass (which for each of the theologians cited meant the Mass of Ages) is no longer just a matter of mere speculation thanks to the rise of the Novus Ordo – a bastard rite that all self-identified “traditionalists” (aka Catholics) recognize as evil.
For this reason, though it may offend the weaker among us, I feel no need to tiptoe through the tulips on this matter. What Steve Skojec wrote, even though offered in an effort to make a valid point concerning the deficiencies of the Novus Ordo, is repugnant and offensive to Catholic sensibilities.
Ironically, it only served to undermine the very point he wished to make, confirming in their error those who are hyper-focused on the idea that Jesus is made present on the altar no matter how evil the rite may be; even if it should cease to be the Mass at all.
Both Donald Trump and Elijah Cummings say that every American citizen deserves a quality education. Only one of them, however, is working to make that happen.
I grew up in Baltimore, west Baltimore to be more exact; a place that for some two decades running has been the congressional district of Representative Elijah Cummings, D – MD.
In recent days, Cummings has become the poster boy for the liberal left’s irrepressible reliance on the race card as their weapon-of-choice for attacking their political foes, painting poor Elijah as the victim of a racist assault at the hands of President Trump.
Opinions vary, even among Trump supporters, as to how statesmanlike the President’s comments were concerning Cummings’ district. I, however, am far more interested in things objective; like the actual state of affairs in my old neighborhood.
To the chagrin of Cummings’ defenders, much that they would have preferred to go unmentioned has been getting increased national attention thanks to the firestorm that President Trump deliberately ignited; e.g., Baltimore’s urban decay, its rat infestation problem, and last but not least the undeniable statistical fact that his congressional district is the murder capital of the U.S.
Here, we will take a closer look at public education in Baltimore.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, the cost per pupil in the Baltimore City Public School system (pre-K to 12) is $15,168 per year.
As reported by the database Private School Review:
The private elementary school average in Maryland is $10,023 per year and the private high school average is $16,650 per year.
So, what do the children of Baltimore City receive in return for a public school investment that costs roughly the same as (and in many cases more than) a private school education?
According to data taken from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Census, compiled and published at Niche.com:
State Test Scores for Baltimore City Schools (The percentage of students that scored at or above proficiency levels on their state assessment tests.)
Percent Proficient – Reading – 17%
Percent Proficient – Math – 17%
Now, imagine you’re one of the many hardworking, law abiding parents living in my old neighborhood. Not only are you scared to death for the very lives of your children every time they so much as just sit on the front steps, you also know damned well that the chances of them receiving a decent public school education are extremely low.
As such, you cannot help but lament that if only you had the same means as a man like Elijah Cummings, surely you’d exercise your right to send your children to a private school of your choosing. Then again, if you had those means, you wouldn’t be living in west Baltimore in the first place.
The problem, however, isn’t really a financial one.
As the figures above aptly demonstrate, there is more than enough money in the public coffers to afford the parents of west Baltimore a real choice when it comes to where their children go to school.
Clearly, the solution isn’t continuing to dump more and more money into a public school system the budget of which has long failed to correspond to the results it produces. The obvious answer is to make better use of the funds that are already at hand.
One way to do this is through school vouchers; public funds that parents can use to exercise real choice in the matter of educating their children.
So, where does Elijah Cummings stand on the matter of school vouchers? According to his website:
Access to a quality education is not a luxury; it is every child’s right. I believe that we must provide every child with opportunities to be the best that he or she can be, regardless of background, socio-economic status, or geographic location.
In other words, he supports school vouchers, right? Wrong. It ends up that the “pro-choice” Cummings is anything but when it comes to education.
He’s a Democrat politician and, therefore, deeply embedded in the pockets of both the American Federation of Teachers (ACT) and the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, longtime contributors to Cummings’ campaigns each.
Both ACT and NEA vehemently oppose school vouchers, and on this front Cummings has consistently proven his worth; not to the public he claims to serve, but to the union bosses.
When, for example, the U.S. House of Representatives was faced with approving on-going funding for a Washington, D.C. school voucher program that by all measures was greatly benefitting families, Cummings stepped up to do the unions’ bidding, protesting:
It’s taking away money from the public school system. They need every dime they can get.
For this, the NEA gave Cummings a “Cheer” in its newsletter “for speaking out against the bill to renew the DC voucher program.”
The Trump Administration, by contrast, has proposed what amounts to a federal school voucher program that will be funded entirely by private, tax-deductible donations.
If passed as part of the 2020 budget, the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act will provide a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations made by private individuals to state-based scholarship programs. The scholarships can be used by parents as tuition for their child’s education at schools that choose to participate in the program. As explained on the Department of Education website detailing the program:
This proposal would empower students and families to choose the best educational setting for them – regardless of where they live, how much they make, and how they learn.
This sounds an awful lot like Rep. Cummings’ claim that access to a quality education is every child’s right, regardless of background, socio-economic status, or geographic location. What’s more, it is donor funded and doesn’t take one thin dime away from the public school system.
So, will Cummings support the measure, or will he continue carrying the water for the teachers’ unions that have already come out against it? According to a staffer with whom I spoke in Elijah Cummings’ office, the Congressman has yet to take a public position on the Act. That said for the record, there is no question where his allegiances lie.
Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Bobby Scott, D- VA, has gone on record making it clear that his party is determined to kill the measure, saying that Democrats “will not waste time” on the proposal.
If made available, Education Freedom Scholarships would allow the constituencies of both Scott and Cummings to gain access to the same kinds of choices that more affluent people have when it comes to providing their children with a quality education.
Both President Donald Trump and Representative Elijah Cummings say that all citizens, including those that live in my old neighborhood of west Baltimore, deserve as much. Only one of them, however, is working to make that happen.
The other has long been profiting at the expense of a largely low-income minority constituency, while unhinged, race-baiting liberals feigning compassion for the under-priviledged rush to his defense.
A recent article written by Steve Skojek at 1 Peter 5, The “Novus Ordo Paradigm” — What It Is and Why It Matters, has been getting a good deal of positive attention in traditional circles; including among any number of my social media contacts.
When a friend stated that he planned to share it with “conservatives” who are hyper-sensitive to any critique of the Novus Ordo, I decided to read it.
For all of the good and valid points made in the article, and there are many, I feel compelled to caution readers not to share the article if they haven’t already; at least not without providing a major correction. [NOTE: If you have already shared the article on social media or elsewhere be sure to circle back offering the following rectification.]
The grave error in question concerns the following statement:
Technically, a priest has the power to consecrate the Eucharist anywhere. It’s legally forbidden, but he can do it. He can sit at a bar, drunk, and consecrate bread and wine if he says the right words with the right intention. He could even do the same thing at a satanic Mass for the purposes of desecration.
Frankly, I was positively stunned to read this; not because of the source, but mainly since so many people that I respect – people who should know better – had given the article a big thumbs up without making any mention of this horrendous falsehood.
Within the excerpt above, a link is provided to an article written by canon lawyer Cathy Caridi; presumably in support of Skojec’s stunning claim.
Oddly enough, however, Caridi’s article (which addresses a reader’s question that is quite unrelated) in no way lends credence to what Skojec stated; in fact, she pointed to Canon 927 in the new Code of Canon Law and her analysis of the normative Latin text makes it rather plain that he is incorrect.
The canon cited (in English) reads:
It is absolutely wrong, even in urgent and extreme necessity, to consecrate one element without the other, or even to consecrate both outside the eucharistic celebration. (CIC 917)
Even before dissecting the canon, Catholic commonsense alone suggests that the very notion of the Blessed Sacrament being confected by a drunken priest in a barroom, and worse, in the context of a Satanic rite, is as absurd as it is repugnant.
The words of consecration are not tantamount to a magical incantation that, strictly upon being pronounced by a priest, make Jesus appear as if ordered to do so; they are not hocus pocus, as the Protestants snidely allege.
At this, I’ll let Fr. Gregory Hesse explain (in the video HERE beginning at the 38-minute mark) in the measured, logical and eminently understandable way that only he can:
The intention of a Sacrament always has to be to do what the Church does; not to do what the Church wants, or to do what the Church did, or to do what the Church will do in the future, but to do what the Church does.
What is it what the Church does? Well, what the Church has always done is what the Church does. What the Church has always outlawed is what the Church does not. In the Code of Canon Law, be it the new Code of Canon Law or the old Code of Canon Law, or all the books before, it says to attempt to consecrate outside of Mass is “nefas” – sacrilege.
Nefas is a very strong Latin word derived from fas. Fas is Divine Law. Nefas, therefore, is not Divine Law; the contrary of Divine Law; therefore, something extremely evil. So, the canon in the old or the new Code of Canon Law should be translated, “to attempt to consecrate outside Mass is extremely evil.”
It is not the purpose of a law book to define if that is possible. It’s only the purpose of a law book to say if it’s allowed or not. Now, if the Church for 2,000 years has called the attempt to consecrate outside Mass a sacrilege, then you cannot say, you cannot say the Church does it.
That means if I was to play a terrible joke on our Lord, and if I attempted to consecrate the wine contained in this carafe, nothing would happen because it’s outside Mass; except that I will be in mortal sin, but otherwise nothing would happen.
Cathy Caridi echoed much of Fr. Hesse’s analysis, writing:
The Latin text of the canon (which is the only truly “official” version) is actually even stronger, although it’s difficult to find an equivalent phrase in English: the word nefas indicates that such an action is so horrible that it is utterly unthinkable! We’ve run into this term before in this space: in “Can a Priest Ever Reveal What is Said in Confession?” the word nefas was used with regard to a priest violating the seal of confession. This should give readers a pretty good idea of the seriousness with which the Church regards the notion of a priest consecrating either bread or wine outside of Mass. It is simply not to be done!
Clearly, that which is “unthinkable” and therefore “not to be done” is not “what the Church does.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that, folks.
At this, there can be no question whatsoever – at least in the minds of so-called “traditionalists” (aka Catholics) – that a drunken priest sitting at a bar (or in the context of a Satanic rite) cannot consecrate the Blessed Sacrament – even if he “says the right words” and genuinely intends for it to happen. In such cases, it would be outwardly manifest for all to see that the priest is not intending to do what the Church does; i.e., he is obviously intending to do what the Church most certainly does not do, and in fact never has done.
One of the dangers invited by Skojek’s claim to the contrary (in addition to being a grossly offensive misrepresentation of the Catholic faith that innocent readers, God forbid, may accept as dependable) is that it serves to confirm those countless “conservatives” who, while recognizing the deficiencies of the Novus Ordo, are hyper-focused on the idea that “Jesus is made present.”
Well, even though Mass at my parish is an LGBT hoedown designed to encourage wider acceptance of mortal sin, Jesus is still there on the altar!
There is a point at which the rite can cease to be the Mass (more Catholic commonsense) – this according to +Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
Furthermore it can be said without any exaggeration whatsoever, that the majority of Masses celebrated without altar stones, with common vessels, leavened bread, with the introduction of profane words into the very body of the Canon, etc. are sacrilegious, and they prevent faith by diminishing it. The desacralization is such that these Masses can come to lose their supernatural character, ‘the mystery of faith,’ and become no more than acts of natural religion …
The New Mass, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is subject to the same reservations since it is impregnated with Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics)
Pay close attention to what the Archbishop stated: The Novus Ordo, even when carried out by the book, is subject to doubt as to whether it may be devoid of supernatural character having become nothing more than an act of natural religion.
When this takes place, there is no Mass, and when there is no Mass, there is no consecration of the Blessed Sacrament.
An uncomfortable proposition for many “conservative” Novus Ordo Catholics to consider?
It most certainly is, but our conservative friends deserve the truth no matter how hard it is to hear. In fact, the true Faith should make them uncomfortable; they are – many of them innocently so – wrapped up in a false religion, or as Hilary White is quoted as saying in the article under review, “Novusordoism and Catholicism are not the same religion.”
No argument here!
This being so, I would venture to say that celebrations of the Novus Ordo lack supernatural character far more often than most Catholics – whether of the traditional or conservative kind – would care to imagine.
This is one of those elephant-in-the-room topics that the overwhelming majority of self-identified “traditional” Catholic commentators wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. It is my conviction, however, that those blessed with a public voice in traditional Catholic media have an obligation to view ten-foot poles and elephant guns as basic tools of the trade!
Consider: If one day a future pope was to infallibly declare that every Novus Ordo ever offered was not the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament was never confected therein, who in their right Catholic mind could possibly be stunned?
At the very least, as things stand today there is considerable room for doubt regarding the Novus Ordo; in some cases more obviously so than others, and as Fr. Hesse also pointed out in the video linked above:
Blessed Innocent XI condemned the following sentence: “For pastoral reasons you may approach Sacraments according to the probability as to its validity.”
In other words, if there is reason to doubt, we may not approach.
But, then again, if we are to believe that a drunken priest in bar can conjure up Jesus…
On July 23, Church Militant published an article written by a freelance writer by the name of James Baresel under the title, Is the SSPX Sheltering a Sexual Predator?
As the article makes plain, the question posed in the title is purely rhetorical, at least insofar as Baresel is concerned. Evidently, it is his and CMTV’s opinion that the so-called “predator” in question (Fr. James McLucas, a suspended diocesan priest who is neither a member of the Society of St. Pius X nor occupies any permanent position therein) is in fact being “sheltered” by the SSPX.
Well, not really sheltered, you see; that was just click bait.
In the back-and-forth that ensued between the SSPX and CMTV following the initial article, it appears that Church Militant is accusing the Society of nothing more than allowing Fr. McLucas to “occasionally help” them.
I’ll leave it to readers to review the articles under discussion to determine for themselves whether and to what extent mistakes may have been made by the Society. The truth is the truth, and people of good will are necessarily motivated see it brought out into the full light of day, no matter what it is.
As for what motivates CMTV in this case, they aren’t fooling anyone, save perhaps for Michael Voris’ army of groupies; an emotional faction largely comprised of weak men and middle-aged women who are quick to pounce on any perceived slight of their hero.
Even though CMTV and Voris seem to have found their “sweet spot” in reporting on the homo-clerical abuse scandal (for the record, Fr. McLucas is accused of sexual impropriety with a woman), the aim of the aforementioned series of articles has little to do with such things. Rather, it is driven first and foremost by CMTV’s longstanding fixation on the SSPX.
Baresel aired his own bias against Catholic tradition when he wrote of Fr. McLucas:
His editorship [of Latin Mass Magazine] was marked by promotion of the more bizarre wing of “traditionalist” opinion, including publication of an article claiming that Pope Paul VI’s encyclical reaffirming Church doctrine on the immorality of artificial birth control, Humanae Vitae, broke with established Church teaching on account of its failure to make explicit mention of the distinction between the primary and secondary ends of marriage.
There is nothing whatsoever “bizarre” about this. It is an undeniable truth (not merely an opinion) that Humanae Vitae did indeed obscure (if not outright deny) the traditional teaching regarding the ends of marriage; thereby promoting the very “contraceptive mentality” that the text supposedly combatted, and heroically so according to most neo-cons – a point made in this space on more than one occasion.
Baresel, having thus shown the shallowness of his Steubenville formation, then went into full blown #FAKE mode, proposing:
For a conservative clergyman guilty of sexual misbehavior to go off into a “traditionalist” apostolate of a disobedient or schismatic nature is not unusual…
So, readers should simply take it on Baresel’s say so that it’s a usual occurrence for “conservative” clerics who are guilty of sexual misbehavior to seek refuge in a traditionalist apostolate?
Common sense alone suggests that this is utter nonsense. The overwhelming majority of “conservative” clerics by definition are all-in with the Almighty Council and the Novus Ordo. Most have little interest in offering the Traditional Roman Rite. Add guilt for sexual misconduct to the mix, and it is clear that Baresel is unhinged.
If Michael Voris – who has anointed himself the media’s lone knight-in-shining-armor capable of defending the Kingdom of Christ from homo-deviant clerics – was half the journalist he pretends to be, CMTV wouldn’t have anything to do with a hack like James Baresel. But alas, they have a common enemy and so anything goes.
I also asked if Fr. Stamos knew how Fr. McLucas might be contacted. I never said that I wanted information about Fr. McLucas because I had known him and I never said that I wanted to contact Fr. McLucas.
So, which is it, Jimmy? Did you ask how Fr. McLucas might be contacted, or did you never say that you wanted to contact him?
And this from a guy who, in the manner of a Bergoglian, wrote of “traditionalists” (so-called), “even the non-sordid among them are a group of oddballs.” Pot, meet kettle.
Believe it or not, Baresel wasn’t quite finished making an ass of himself and his imprudent publisher. He writes:
Making matters even worse is Pope Francis’ grant to priests of the SSPX faculties to validly hear confessions and give absolution and, under certain conditions, to officiate at marriages.
Q: What kind of a self-identified “Catholic” is troubled by the fact that the entirely valid priests of the SSPX actually absolve the sins of penitents?
A: One so blinded by hatred for tradition that the salvation of souls is no longer of any concern.
On July 24, CMTV issued yet another follow-up piece – this one published without a byline, which necessarily means that it met with Voris’ approval. In it, readers are provided with what it calls “Other Evidence of Protecting Sexual Predators” by the SSPX.
Again, I’m all for shining the light of truth on every single detail, and if the allegations made in this article are true, I’ll be the first to say that they are troubling to the point of being practically indefensible.
Following Baresel’s initial article, the SSPX swiftly responded with a press release. This most recent CMTV article, however, is to be taken far more seriously. As of this writing, the SSPX has yet to respond.
In this case, for the good of the Society and its faithful, “I will not say a word” isn’t going to cut it. As such, I am looking forward to a response from the SSPX and have every confidence that one is forthcoming.
That having been said, one of the truths made plain by the article itself (albeit inadvertently) is a truth that CMTV is loath to acknowledge; namely, that the Society of St. Pius X is in no way schismatic. This, not according to some “oddball traditionalist,” but according to the conciliar church’s “full communion” gatekeepers themselves.
One of the cases highlighted by CMTV concerns a now former-Society priest, Fr. Philippe Peignot. CMTV reports that “the Vatican authorized the SSPX to begin a canonical trial against Peignot, which found him guilty of sex abuse.” They even provided readers with an image of the 2013 “Letter of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking Bp. Fellay to begin proceedings against Fr. Peignot.”
To my knowledge, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has never asked any of the Orthodox Church’s to begin a canonical trial against one of their own. The reason? They are schismatic. You get the picture.
In conclusion, two things have emerged from CMTV’s recent series of articles on the Society of St. Pius X; each one well beyond dispute:
– Church Militant, under the leadership of Michael Voris, remains as consumed as ever with an irrational hatred for the SSPX, to the point where even the salvation of souls is of lesser concern than their desire to inflict damage upon the Society. What truly lies in their crosshairs, whether they realize it or not, is Catholic tradition itself.
– The SSPX owes it to their faithful (at the least) to answer the very serious charges made concerning Fr. Peignot and others. If mistakes were made in the handling of credibly accused persons within the Society, they should be admitted and explained.
Of course the hierarchs of the conciliar church treat clerical sexual abuse as a PR challenge; doing whatever they can to protect their image. They’re humanists first and foremost; their mission, entirely earthbound. The Society of St. Pius X, by contrast, reasonably invites being held to a much higher standard.
In a two-part column published on the Catholic Culture blog, conservative journalist Phil Lawler declared, “I quit … I can’t do it anymore.”
The “it” to which Lawler refers is “reporting and writing about scandal within the Catholic Church.” He went on to clarify:
“The scandal” in the Church is actually three related scandals: the scandal of sexual abuse of children by priests; the scandal of widespread homosexual influence in the clergy; and the scandal of bishops who are more interested in protecting their positions than in defending the faith.
Having read Lawler’s entire valediction, it is clear that he is fixated on sexual scandal. It is as if he is blindfolded to the fundamental and far greater problem; namely, the post-conciliar doctrinal and liturgical crises.
“I’ve spent 25 years studying how the Church got into this mess,” writes Lawler.
In that period of time alone, more than two-thousand parishes in the United States have closed, and the homo-clerical scandal is far from the primary cause; rather, it is because much of what has been presented to us as “the Church” – not just in the U.S., but globally – is barely recognizable as Catholic from either a doctrinal, moral or liturgical standpoint.
Good intentions aside, Phil Lawler provides a shining example of the mindset that I described in an article of last year:
I would argue that the current homo-clerical moral crisis never would have reached such depths had the doctrinal crisis inaugurated at Vatican Council II not happened first. The mere suggestion is beyond consideration in the minds of most neo-conservatives, who, among other things, have been anesthetized into complacency by a combination of the “hermeneutic of continuity” deception and a form of ultramontanism that effectively places the pope beyond any meaningful doctrinal reproach – most notably as it concerns John Paul II.
Given that Lawler is unable or unwilling to identify the actual problem at hand, it comes as little surprise that his thoughts concerning the remedy are likewise off-base. Speaking directly to bishops and cardinals about their “sacred duty,” he writes:
To restore the Church, you must first restore your own credibility. Drop the damage-control approach. Stop fearing the truth, start telling it, and demand that others do the same. Face the fact that right now, the credibility of Catholic bishops ranks somewhere between that of used-car salesmen and telemarketers—and with reason! And you are charged with the duty of proclaiming the Gospel, carrying on the mission of the Apostles, introducing the world to the Word. You must make the elimination of corruption, the restoration of credibility, your top priority. If you don’t nothing else that you do will matter.
The above will likely strike many as perfectly sound, but let us consider:
Q: Even if every single bishop takes Lawler’s advice and ceases doing damage-control, starts telling the truth about the scandal, and makes the elimination of corruption and the restoration of their own credibility their top priority, what would remain?
A: An earthbound quasi-political social justice organization that is working hand-in-hand with the United Nations and other enemies of Christ the King toward the establishment of a One-World government and One-World religion based upon the tenets of humanism. (NOTE: This description of Modernist Rome predates the Bergoglian occupation by some six decades.)
In other words, “the restoration of the credibility of the Catholic Church” that Lawler identified as his “top priority” won’t be brought even one inch closer to fruition thanks to his efforts. Though it evidently eludes him, the reason is simple:
The “gospel” proclaimed by the hierarchs of the conciliar church is little more than secular humanism deceptively dressed-up in religious verbiage; it is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nor is the mission of the conciliar church the one that Our Lord entrusted to His Church – this being precisely how scandal came to permeate the institution in the first place.
In fact, we can say (along with +Archbishop Lefebvre) that the institution that has been operating out of Rome for the past six or so decades, presenting itself to the world as the Catholic Church, is a counterfeit.
Sadly, Phil Lawler, like so many other conservatives, has bought into the deception hook, line and sinker; writing in conclusion, “Of this much I am quite sure: The leadership in reform will come from the Catholic laity.”
Sorry, Phil, that’s not the Church established by Christ. Leadership in His Church comes from the top down, starting with Himself; His authority made present and visible in the person of the Roman Pontiff, His Vicar, to whom He has given full power to tend, rule and govern the Universal Church.
The laity can no more lead the way in fixing the present crisis than a toddler can restore order to his childhood home when mom and dad are off on a drunken sabbatical. The best we can do is to labor for personal sanctity while warning our brothers and sisters about the evil of their elders; pointing the way to safety to the extent that we are able.
“Somehow our bishops must be shocked out of their complacency, compelled to recognize the crisis, convinced to purge the corruption from within their own ranks,” Lawler insists, his frustration clearly palpable.
“And somehow,” he continues, “we, the loyal Catholic laity, must do the shocking, the compelling, the convincing, the demanding.”
As of yet, unfortunately, Lawler himself does not recognize the crisis. Last year, however, there were some hopeful signs that his awareness may be growing. In his book, Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock, he wrote:
I did my best to provide assurance – for my readers and sometimes for myself – that, despite his sometimes alarming remarks, Francis was not a radical, was not leading the Church away from the ancient sources of the Faith. But gradually, reluctantly, I came to the conclusion that he was … I found I could no longer pretend that Francis was merely offering a novel interpretation of Catholic doctrine. No, it was more than that. He was engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.
What Lawler fails (or refuses) to acknowledge is that Francis is not the first hireling to mislead the flock; that operation has been well underway for more than sixty years.
In conclusion, Phil Lawler seems to be a sincere man who is slowly coming to the realization that the corrupt, scandal-ridden institution headquartered in Rome, as well as the men who are leading it – up to and including Jorge Bergoglio – have no genuine interest in carrying out the mission that Christ gave to His Church. Indeed, none of them – the institution included – are truly Catholic.
Let us pray for him, that his eyes may one day be opened to the point where he will write:
I did my best to provide assurance – for my readers and sometimes for myself – that, despite its alarming propositions, Vatican II was not radical, was not leading the Church away from the ancient sources of the Faith. But gradually, reluctantly, I came to the conclusion that it was … I found I could no longer pretend that the Council was merely offering a novel interpretation of Catholic doctrine. No, it was more than that. It was a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.