I’m pleased, and honored, to share below brief excerpts taken from an extensive interview that I recently conducted with Fr. Michael Rodriguez; including an update on his current situation.
The complete interview (over 6,000 words in length) will be published in the next print edition of Catholic Family News, wherein Father discusses his journey to tradition, explains why he is no longer able to celebrate the Novus Ordo in good conscience, and gives valuable advice to both laypersons and his brother priests, and a great deal more.
I can assure you that you will find Fr. Rodriguez’s insights and reflections deeply moving and of great benefit. If you’re not already a subscriber to CFN, you may do so HERE.
Lastly, during the course of the interview, Fr. Rodriguez recommended a number of books by name; each of which may make for good Lenten reflection material. You will find links to these books throughout. (Please note: purchasing them via these links will help support akaCatholic. In fact, I believe that entering Amazon via one of these links can benefit us regardless of what you purchase once there.)
LV: Can you bring us up to date on your status with respect to the Diocese of El Paso?
Fr. Rodriguez: At present, January 2016, I am a priest in good standing of the Diocese of El Paso, TX, with no pastoral assignment.
My Bishop, Most Rev. Mark J. Seitz, had appointed me as the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, Texas (a small mission in one of the most remote parts of the diocese), effective July 11, 2014, for a term of three years. However, as a sine qua non condition of the assignment, he insisted that I offer the Novus Ordo Missæ. At the time, I had already been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for almost three years!
On July 24, 2014, my Bishop issued a Personal Precept which included the order, “I enjoin you to celebrate the Mass and Sacraments according to the Novus Ordo in the Mission of Shafter. The Mass and the Sacraments must be celebrated in the vernacular of the people (English or Spanish) and not Ad Orientem.”
Throughout my nineteen years as a priest, I have always done my best to practice the virtue of obedience, but now I was put in an impossible situation. St. John of the Cross teaches, “Obedience is a penance of the intellect and therefore a more acceptable sacrifice than all corporal penances. Hence God loves your tiniest act of obedience more than all other homages you might think of offering Him.” What was I to do? Never before had the opening words of the prayer from the Divine Office struck a deeper chord in my soul, “Deus in adiutórium meum inténde. Dómine, ad adiuvándum me festína.” “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.” The decision I had to make was my most difficult one yet as a priest. Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, intercede for me, a poor sinner.
I wrote many letters to my Bishop. The following is a sample of this correspondence; it is an excerpt from a letter which I wrote to him on September 8, 2014, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
I am 100% committed to my priestly promise of obedience. You are my bishop, and thus, I have promised obedience to you. It is my firm and sincere intention to be obedient to you. Unfortunately for me (and my conscience), your July 24, 2014, Precept contains an order which is “problematic,” to say the least.
The order you are giving contradicts Pope St. Pius V’s Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum, Canon IX (a dogmatic canon) of Session XXII of the Holy Council of Trent, Pope Pius VI’s Constitution Auctorem Fidei (see the 33rd of 85 propositions which are condemned, Denzinger 1533), Pope Pius XII’s Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei 59, and the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 and 54. Moreover, your order appears to be irreconcilable with the Decree of the Council of Nicea II regarding ecclesiastical tradition (Denzinger 308), and Canon XIII (a dogmatic canon) of Session VII of the Holy Council of Trent.
In addition, the order contained in your Precept appears to (a) deny the Catholic priest’s legitimate right to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (presumably, exclusively) as expressed in Summorum Pontificum Art. 1, and (b) dismiss Summorum Pontificum Art. 1, “the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V . . . must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage.” Finally, from the pastoral perspective, your order appears to disregard the expressed needs and good of the faithful of Presidio/Shafter, who are specifically requesting parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass.
As I wrote to you in my July 1, 2014, letter, as a priest of the Diocese of El Paso, I am committed to do my very best to spiritually nourish, teach, and serve the souls placed under my care. However, I cannot do this apart from what has always been the lex orandi, lex credendi of Holy Mother Church. Thus, with respect to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments, it is not a matter of “preference” or my “unwillingness” to obey; rather, there are all-important ecclesial, theological, liturgical, spiritual, ascetical, and pastoral reasons which compel me, in conscience, to offer the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively.
In the end, I had to follow what Holy Mother Church has always taught. Out of fidelity to God and to the Church’s immemorial lex orandi, lex credendi, and for the good of the souls entrusted to my care, I could not, in conscience, follow the specific liturgical directive given by my Bishop.
Effective November 10, 2014, my Bishop revoked my appointment as Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission. I was unable to hold back my tears during the final Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which I offered in Shafter, TX, on Sunday, November 9, 2014. With a sorrowful heart and plenteous tears, I prayed the words of blessed Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, as it hath pleased the Lord so it is done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
I begged my Bishop for a minimum one-year sabbatical, in order to have ample time to pray, study, reflect, go on an extended retreat, and discern God’s will for my future. He refused, and instead gave me only six months, and restricted the use of my priestly faculties. Eventually, he extended my sabbatical to August 31, 2015.
At the beginning of October 2015, my Bishop initiated a canonical process to determine whether or not I have committed a Delict against Ecclesiastical Authority (i.e. disobedience). Currently, I await whatever decision he may make. If necessary, I am prepared to appeal to Rome. I am under no illusion that Rome will intervene to do what is right and just, but at least by appealing, I will know, in conscience, that I went to heroic lengths in the practice of obedience by following the juridical process instituted by the Church for recourse against the abuse of power.
At present, I continue to discern God’s will for the future of my priesthood. What is Thy will, O Lord? What wilt Thou have me to do? (Acts 9:6) In spite of some very difficult trials over the past four years, I am in awe of God’s goodness, mercy, and mysterious ways. Throughout this time, He has granted me so, so many unexpected blessings—and now, what shall I render to the Lord for all He hath rendered unto me? (Psalm 115:12)
LV: What would you like the outcome of this situation to be?
Fr. Rodriguez: Humanly speaking, I think the ideal outcome of my present predicament would be for my Bishop to either place me in charge of any diocesan parish/mission church, or designate me as a “Diocesan Missionary” with the apostolate of serving the restoration of the Mass and Faith of the Ages anywhere in the world. If ever there were a pipe dream, I realize this is it. Ultimately though, the ideal outcome is whatever the good Lord wills. I only hope to be able to fulfill, in some measure, the blessed words spoken by Mary, Virgin most holy, Virgin most pure, “Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum.” (Lk 1:38)
Please keep me in your prayers. Please pray especially to Our Lady in honor of her Immaculate Conception, that she may conform my heart to that of her Son. Please keep my Bishop in your prayers as well.
LV: Our pilgrimage to Italy with readers is less than six months away. What about this trip are you most looking forward to?
Fr. Rodriguez: I spent four years in Rome, from 1992 to 1996, completing my seminary training at the Pontifical North American College. I studied theology at both the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, St. Anselmo. Since I left the eternal city in 1996, I have only been back once, in 2006. Thus, this coming summer will be just my second time back in Rome, since my seminary days, so I am excited about simply returning to Rome, the city whose ground has been consecrated by the glorious blood of two princes.
However, what I am most looking forward to, is returning to Rome and Italy on a traditional pilgrimage. The last time I was in Rome, I was still in the initial stages of offering the Traditional Latin Mass, so this time around, with the Mass of the Ages as the centerpiece of our trip, it will be far more meaningful.
Imagine, I have not yet had the grand privilege of offering the Traditional Latin Mass in any of the Churches in Rome! I am definitely looking forward to meeting and enjoying the company of Catholic faithful who appreciate and love (and have suffered for!) the Mass of the Ages and the Faith of the Ages. During our pilgrimage, I hope to provide guidance, prayer, support, and especially the Sacraments, to Catholic faithful who are striving for holiness, the restoration of the Catholic religion, and the universal reign of Christ the King.
One final comment. Even though the number of pilgrims in our group will be statistically insignificant relative to the population of the cities we will visit, our Catholic presence will be very spiritually significant, since we will be bringing with us both the Mass and the Faith of the Ages!, not only for own spiritual growth and benefit, but also for the conversion, sanctification, and salvation of all the inhabitants of the places we visit. I look forward to seeing you in June!
[NOTE: Time is running out to register for the trip. The deadline is February 28th. For more information or to register, click the banner below.]
Father Rodriguez always teaches whenever he speaks/writes even informally as here.
The most striking thing about Father is that he never criticizes his Bishop, or the Holy Father. Instead he lays out the facts, brings forward the Traditional position, and asks us to pray for the situation, and the Bishop.
What a lesson!
The most obvious solution to your struggles with a disoriented Bishop, Father, is to join the SSPX.
I second the advice from Torkay above. We left the Novus Ordo in ’97 and never looked back. Have been going to the SSPX Chapel in Detroit-Livonia, Mich. since then. We couldn’t be happier. Suggest you contact Fr. Joseph Horvath at Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel in Walton, KY. He had a situation similar to yours. He is a wonderful son of Mary and will give you good advice. Here is the link: http://sspx.org/en/our-lady-assumption-church-priory . God bless you.
Fr. Michael, I still remember the Latin Mass you offered at San Sulpice in Paris in 2012. Penny Jo and I appreciated it and all the other Masses as well on the Paris to Chartres Pilgrimage. I’m a bit envious of all the Pilgrims who will be traveling with you and Louie. God bless you and Louie and all the souls in your charge. John & Penny Jo McGinn.
Obedience to God comes first. It’s a no brainer, you cannot be a Catholic priest and celebrate the New Mass. “Stand fast and hold to Tradition”. -II Thess. ii
We must hope and pray that all the Bishops (including the Bishop of Rome) practice the virtue of Obedience to Our Lord, Jesus Christ. No one is bound to be obedient to those who are themselves disobedient. We must especially pray that Father Rodriguez remain steadfast in his resolve to live his Holy Priesthood in the Traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic faith—in Her liturgy and Her tenets. God bless you, Father Rodriguez. I also agree that the SSPX is a safe haven for priests like yourself. They are insulated from the tyrants within. Your priesthood is awesomely valuable. We know you will not jeopardize your holy vocation.
$10.00 says the bishop hasn’t read any of the documents you have submitted to him….they just do not care what the Church taught before the hippie 60’s and no amount of reason will make them change their mind. To them Vatican II was a super -council that abrogates everything before it – their precious council is in fact their idol. The veil is over their eyes, minds and hearts. It’s refreshing to hear of a priest with a spine. Stand your ground.
Peace and blessings Father
Michael F Poulin
Dear Fr Rodriguez,
As part of an SSPX Mission in Asia which can only receive traditional priestly visits once/month, I beg of you to join the SSPX. The amount of good which only one traditional priest can accomplish is absolutely incalculable, and we need every good man we can get; especially in parts of the world which are far, far worse off than even the USA when it comes to Tradition.
It is my dream that I will one day be able to attend the Traditional Mass every Sunday, and so far, it is only visits by these incredibly holy SSPX priests which have helped me keep my sanity before this goal is accomplished. Please Father, join the Society.
Father, I would second most of the advice above and strongly consider the SSPX. I think you would make a great addition to their order and your experience and journey to tradition are one that I’m sure many people will find both uplifting and encouraging. God Bless you for all that you do and stay faithful to tradition! Thank you for your service to Our Lord.
Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Sadly, in truth, you will simply be teaching communion with belial – by your example you will be supporting the corruption of the Faith, not keeping it. You will worship in union with the man and men you make claims of resisting because of his/their manifest antichristness.
No concessions with error. That is Catholic. God is not the author of error, and Catholics of true faith should be witnesses to this by abstaining from all communion with error.
Our Lady, hammer of heretics, intercede.
But hasn’t Father taken the most Catholic position? Obedience first. If that is not possible under these circumstances the next step is to work through the remedies provided by Holy Mother Church. This Father is doing. And he is doing it with charity and prudence towards his bishop.
Surely this kind of action is to be lauded and supported? This crisis, this Passion, of The Bride must be. We all must suffer it in imitation of Christ. Jumping ship when we should be manning the pumps is not the way.
my2cents, I think you may be in error when you say “No one is bound to be obedient to those who are themselves disobedient.” You might have meant that we are not to obey laws that cause us to sin.
Should a child only obey a perfect parent? Should citizens only obey a perfectly holy President?
No, we are to obey in all things unless directed to sin. Only then can we use obedience to a Higher Authority as a reason for disobedience.
Some would argue that saying the Novus Ordo would be sinful for a priest but that is surely false. Father has made a decision based on his understanding of his own situation, and the state of his own soul. We can’t take that as a general principal to disobey lawful superiors – even sinful ones.
This flies in the face of the truly Catholic way. Working through existing protocol and Cannon Law is the way at present. There are protections available for priests, and bishops.
Saying ahead of time that these protections are evil and won’t be honoured by the bishop anyway is to abandon Catholicism. Father is using all the tools at his disposal prior to making an prudent judgement. To abandon his duty would be a worse evil than the errors of his bishop.
Saying also that the visible Church and all its members are no longer Catholic so none of this has any relevance is simplistic at best.
Father is leading us in the right way.
If I can comment at length here, I quote from the Commentary for Benedictine Oblates Chapter 7 on Humility. The Commentary says:
“This obedience…may manifest itself also through the positive orders of Superiors. It is in this case that it often requires the most abnegation on the part of our human nature. The fact is that even if faith shows us Christ in the person of the Superior, a certain latent naturalism murmurs to us that after all, this Superior is only an equal, and that perhaps – at least we are tempted to think so – he understands things less well than we and is inferior to us in virtue.
“Now perfection, according to the third degree of humility, consists in listening only to faith and in submitting ourselves totally, omni obedientia, to this form of authority.
“To be sure, the Superior is fallible; but as for the subject, he knows that he makes no mistake in obeying, unless, of course in the case … in which the order given would be contrary to the law of God, to justice or to charity, something which can only be very exceptional.”
Of course for us, it’s this last part where we can stumble. Father Rodriguez may have discerned after six months of prayer that his Bishop is asking something of him which goes against the God’s Law, or which is unjust or uncharitable.
But isn’t that Father’s decision? And has he not decided to obey right up to the very last moment where decisions must be made? He has returned to the diocese which has caused him so much pain – because he wants to be, he must be, obedient.
Those of us who maintain the Church is not the Church any longer have jumped ship before any of the above has been worked through. It is very hard for us to live that obedience Jesus Himself lived – to the death – obeying civil superiors even when their law killed Him.
At Quito, Our Lady described some of the passion the Church would undergo in our time. But, mark, she described the passion of THE CHURCH as it is visible on earth. We cannot step aside, into a vacuum, and wait for the renewed Church to rise from the ashes of the “NewChurch.” That’s not what She envisioned. She asks us to suffer with the Church, and to do penance, so that the Bride of Christ would glow in the world – that means we stay and pray.
This also means that we obey the Holy Father when we are taught Catholic things, and we can disobey when and if he asks us to do un-Catholic things. Same with our Bishops. Not everything in NovusOrdoLand is sinful. There are holy people there in spite of the minefield they must navigate – this is God’s Promise. He does not mock us!
Bottom line: prudence, the spirit of obedience, and discretion, must flavour all our decisions.
There is no such thing as a “perfect” parent or a “perfectly holy President”. I’m not speaking of perfection. However, the Traditional Latin Mass was NEVER abrogated! Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum did not declare the right to celebrate this Mass, it only confirmed what Traditional Catholics already knew. Father Rodriguez should not be told he must celebrate the N.O. Mass. He is well within his right to celebrate the TLM without permission from any one, including the Bishop of his diocese.
After World War II, Nazi war criminals used the defense of obedience when they carried out orders from the monster Hitler. Obedience to what???? I am sure that not all orders followed by soldiers and followers of Nazism were sinful. However, obedience to these laws only gave further credibility and power to the diabolical Nazi regime. What are the TRUE objectives of this order to Father Rodriguez?
Barbara,when it comes to the faith, I believe we are “on the same page”. Let us join together to pray for Father Rodriguez and other holy priests like him. God bless!
Happy Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success to you Rodriguez, Louie and to all who read and/or post here.
May She intercede for us soon for the complete restoration of Holy Mother Church!
And for a happy resolution to your unhappy situation, Father.
“Star of the stormy sea of my mortal life, may your light shine upon me so that I do not stray from the path that leads me to heaven.”
(Prayer from Our Lady of Good Success)
Although I cannot understand every aspect of what we are living through, Our Lady of Good Success promised that a “saint” (a “victim soul”) would live in the convent in Quito, Ecuador, “until the end of time.” All of the nuns in the convent in Quito have daily only the Novus Ordo Mass available to them.
That “saint” is subjected to the daily NO Mass! Our Lord and Our Lady find that suitable for her sanctification. So be it. Blessed be God!
I do not attend the NO Mass and find this fact hard to believe/understand. It does, however, give me comfort in knowing that we do not have to know everything and have everything “perfect” in order to be the saint God wants each of us to be.
I have been watching and praying for Fr. Rodriguez for some time. He is a courageous and devout priest. May God protect him and guide him in this difficult time.
I’m sorry. I did not intend to post that twice.
The New Order Mass and the Traditional Latin Mass are worlds apart in theology. The first is MAN centered, the second is GOD centered. They cannot be reconciled. You cannot serve two masters.
Thanks for that info re Quito, I didn’t know that Our Lady had made that prophecy. I hate the NO, so don’t think I am an apologist for it – however, even though it can erode the faith of Catholics, there ARE many holy souls within that milieu and we must remember that. Don’t we risk alienating them when we criticize their Mass?
Criticize we must, but just as our position when attacked makes us circle the wagons, their position when attacked hardens also. CHAITY OVER ALL.
It seems to me that running to the SSPX, as much as I love them and attend their chapel, is too easy an option for a man of the caliber of Fr. Rodriguez. For a long time, I have prayed that all those priests who desire to say the TLM exclusively would join forces and make a stand against those bishops who seek to control them. Perhaps Fr. Rodriguez can accomplish that. As long as diocesan priests who desire to offer the TLM exclusively run off to the Ecclesia Dei groups or the SSPX, then Rome and the local bishops have them controlled. Then these troublesome priests, who expose the conciliar religion as something mitigated and dangerous to the faith, become “suspect” Society priests or they become “controlled” Ecclesia Dei priests. I love all priests who are seeking to do God’s Will. Isn’t it time to fight for the right of all priests to offer the TLM without compromise? The bishops are never going to listen to the laity on liturgical and doctrinal issues, but if one to five priests in every diocese said “Enough is enough!”, what a stand that would be! Viva Cristo Rey! Our Lady of Good Success, pray for us!
Daily subjection to …
Our Blessed Lord…Body,Blood,Soul and Divinity
What a blessing
I am so sorry, Father Rodriguez.
I meant to say Happy Feast Day to you, FATHER Rodriguez.
I thought Father recommended Fr. Gruner’s “Crucial Truth to Save your soul” before.
“Can’t it be said that Our Lady of Good Success will be the so happily chosen patroness of the hour in which the Reign of Mary will finally be born on Earth?”
——– Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Quote taken from:
“Our Lady is the patroness of all those who seek a good success in the service of Her cause.”
– ——– Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
May She grant you “good success” in the service of Her cause, Father Rodriguez.
No. Protestants commune with error and negotiate with error. Leo XIII said loud and clear, the Bride of Christ makes ‘no terms with error’. To remain a part of the Novus Ordo which is a vehicle of the ‘synthesis of errors’ and to celebrate in communion with its apsotate heirarchy is not Catholic. The truth is plain and easy to grasp. Conforming to it, based on the evidence, seems very very difficult for most folks, almost impossible. But God can convert any soul, so I won’t say impossible.
Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 1914 Pope Benedict XV, “Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected…” (If the Novus Ordo is Catholicism and the mageterium of its heads are Catholic, one must embrace the whole as Catholic)
Pope Leo XIII Satis Cognitum: “There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition.” (VII and the Novus Ordo rites from ordination through to its ‘mass’ are ‘infected’, ‘poisoned’. Yet people think they can commune with this poison, this infection through the means of the ’62 Missal and somehow they will be immune?!)
For those determined to believe the Novus Ordo has validity and Catholicity, you have no reason to reject the magisterium of Bergoglio which is that of his VII fathers, which teaches the non-neccessity of the Faith, the freedom of innovation which flies in the face of Sacred Tradition, and all manner antichrist doctrines.
Fr Perrone on the magisterium. “The Church when she discharges her function of teaching performs a three-fold office – the office of witness, of judge and of magistera/teacher. She performs the office of magistra…daily wherein by verbal and by practical inculcation – viva voce praxi – she instructs to the faithful all those things which conduce to their training in pure doctrine and morality and leads them, as it were, by the hand along the path of eternal salvation; and that Christ has endowed His Church with infallibility for the performance of these several offices is the truth which Catholics maintain and all non-Catholics deny…”
The Vatican II ecclesiology is the ground of Novus Ordo worship – it is not Catholic but is a blueprint for a ‘One World ‘Religion’ of utter indifference.
The Catholic position is obedience to the truth, not to corrupt bishops – a position which Father has already begun to take. No doubt he will avail himself of the remedies provided by Holy Mother Church, but in the present crisis these will bring him nothing but frustration, denial and a waste of time. Therefore, if his obedience to the truth extends to its logical conclusion, he will vest no further energy in his present course, and complete his transition to Tradition. But that, of course, is up to God’s answer to his prayers.
Furthermore, joining the SSPX is not “jumping ship,” but in reality clinging to it with fervor – or are you one of those who mistakenly think that the Society is “schismatic”?
I believe we belong to the same Chapel!
Is that priest in the biretta at marker 1:49 Fr. Michael Rodriguez?
The “Church will be in eclipse” Our Lady said in one of the approved apparitions I believe, and so it is. Fr. Rodriquez is doing the right thing. He stands with the Truth and is suffering for it, like so many of us.
This will end sooner or later. May we all persevere til the end.
November 9 is Feast of the Dedication of the Archbasilica of our Savior (John Lateran), The Mother and Mistress of of all Churches throughout the world, was the first publicly consecrated. It was built by Constantine, the first Christian emperor and consecrated by Pope St. Sylvester on Nov 9 AD 324. It was built atop the site of a palace confiscated by Nero.
“Our laws prohibit it, and divine law forbids a son to kill his mother, who gave birth to him”
“And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are the spirits of devils working signs, and they go forth unto the kings of the whole earth, to gather them to battle against the great day of the Almighty God. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he shall gather them together into a place, which in Hebrew is called Armagedon.” Apoc 16:13-16
Here is a letter any man who has a vocation to the priesthood of Christ – the Eternal Order of Melchsedek, should read.
Rejecting the Impostor Church
(Letter to the Clergy of the Diocese of Rockford)By Rev. Michael Oswalt
Editor’s note: After a 6-year seminary course at Mundelein, a Conciliar seminary in Chicago, Michael Oswalt was ordained with the new rite of ordination. Although he adhered to traditional Catholic thinking in the seminary, his eyes were really opened to the effects of Modernism on the parish level, when he received his first assignment. By the grace of God, obtained especially through his daily Rosary and total consecration to Jesus through Mary, Michael became convinced that the new Conciliar Church is not truly the Catholic Church. The final ray of light came when his superior one day asked him: “Do you want to be a member of the pre-Vatican II Church or the post-Vatican II Church?” Michael knew he could no longer remain in the Conciliar Church. The following is the letter he sent to all priests in the diocese, in March, 2009, regarding the reasons he abandoned the Novus Ordo. He is now studying to be properly ordained to the priesthood with the traditional rites of the Church.
Dear fellow clergy of the Diocese of Rockford:
I have decided to leave the Diocese of Rockford for the reason that I have come to the conclusion that the changes enacted by Vatican II are not compatible with Roman Catholicism.
No one denies that Vatican II imposed deep and vast changes upon the Catholic Church. But all change is either accidental or substantial. If the changes wrought by Vatican II are merely accidental, then there could be no justification in mounting opposition to them, even if one found them to be distasteful. On the other hand, if these changes are substantial, then the changes of Vatican II represent nothing less than the establishment of a new religion which differs essentially from Roman Catholicism. In such a case it would be the duty of every Catholic, and especially priests, to resist these changes and strive to dispel them from Catholic buildings and institutions, as Catholics have striven in the past to drive out Arianism, Nestorianism, Protestantism and the many other heresies which have attempted to overtake the Roman Catholic Church.
For many years I have studied the differences between pre-Vatican II Catholicism and the post-Vatican II religion. These differences appeared to me to be profound. But in all cases I strove as best I could to give the benefit of the doubt to those who were promulgating these changes. In many cases I was driven to denial, that is, to a blinding of myself to facts which I knew in my heart were true, but which I could not face as true.
No one denies, furthermore, that the Faith which was believed and practiced up to the Second Vatican Council was Roman Catholicism, that is, the religion and Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, which we believe to be the one, true Church outside of which there is no salvation. All must concede, therefore, that in order that the post-Vatican II religion qualify as truly Roman Catholic, it must conform substantially in all things with the pre-Vatican II Faith and practice. In other words, in order to legitimately and truthfully claim that we are Roman Catholic priests, it is necessary that there be a substantial continuity between the pre-Vatican II Faith and the post-Vatican II changes. If this substantial continuity is broken, then we as priests lose our link to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Roman Catholic Church, to every true Roman Pontiff who ever sat on the throne of Peter, to all of the saints of heaven, indeed to every Catholic who has preceded us in the Faith. We lose our claim to apostolicity, to unity of faith, to catholicity, and to sanctity. Indeed it would be difficult to think of anything more false, more absurd, more useless, nay more dangerous, than a priest who claims to be Catholic, but who has lost continuity with the sacred tradition of Roman Catholicism.
It remains for me, therefore, to prove this claim of discontinuity between present and past, a claim which for some may seem outlandish, but for other some a truth which lies deeply buried in their minds, and weighs heavily on their hearts. The evidence for the position which I am taking is indeed vast. It would require a book of many volumes to do justice to the evidence which must be presented. But I will present these convincing facts and arguments in a condensed manner, and invite at the same time all who may be interested to further reading in various books, web sites, and periodicals.
I will present the evidence in the following manner:
the heresies contained in Vatican II;the heresy taught in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and the sinful practices sanctioned by it;how the 1969 New Mass is false and non-Catholic worship, as it is a liturgical expression of the heresies of Vatican II;the heteropraxis of the Vatican II religion, that is, the confirmation of the heretical nature of Vatican II by the common observances and practices of the Vatican II religion, whether officially sanctioned and practiced by its hierarchy, or merely approved by silence on a universal level;how the sacraments have been altered substantially, leading in many cases to either invalidity or doubt of validity;the heresies which are publicly professed by Benedict XVI;how the four marks of the Catholic Church cannot be found in the new religion of Vatican II.
I will then summarize by pointing out that in the three essential elements of any religion, namely in doctrine, worship, and discipline, Vatican II and its subsequent changes have effected a substantial change of the Catholic Faith. From thence I will draw all of the logical conclusions, both speculative and practical.
The heresies contained in Vatican II. There are four principal heresies contained in this Council.
The first is that of ecumenism, found in the document Redintegratio Unitatis, which teaches that non-Catholic religions are means of salvation. This heretical doctrine was later emphasized in John Paul II’s Catechesi Tradendæ. This assertion is directly contrary to the doctrine that outside the Church there is no salvation, which Pope Pius IX called “a most well-known Catholic dogma.” Both the notion and the practices of ecumenism were condemned by Pope Pius XI in the encyclical Mortalium Animos of 1928.
The second heresy is that concerning the unity of the Church, namely that the Church of Christ is not exclusively identified with the Catholic Church, but merely subsists in it. This heretical doctrine is contained principally in Lumen Gentium, and its heretical meaning is confirmed in statements of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, in the 1992 Statement concerning Church and Communion, and in the Ecumenical Directory. It is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church, contained principally in Satis Cognitum of Pope Leo XIII, Mortalium Animos of Pope Pius XI, Mystici Corporis of Pope Pius XII, and in the condemnations of the “Branch Theory” made by the Holy Office under Pope Pius IX.
The third heresy is that of religious liberty, in Dignitatis Humanæ, which nearly word for word asserts the very doctrine which was condemned by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, by Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, and by Pope Leo XIII in Libertas Præstantissimum. The teaching of Vatican II on religious liberty also contradicts the royalty of Jesus Christ in society as expressed in Quas Primas of Pope Pius XI, and the constant attitude and practice of the Church with regard to civil society.
The fourth heresy is that of collegiality which alters the monarchical constitution of the Catholic Church, with which she was endowed by the Divine Savior. The doctrine of Vatican II, confirmed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states that the subject (the possessor) of the supreme authority of the Church is the college of bishops together with the pope, is contrary to the defined doctrine of the Council of Florence and of Vatican I.
The heresy taught in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and the sinful practices sanctioned by it. The 1983 Code of Canon Law contains the heresy of Vatican II concerning the unity of the Church, contained in Lumen Gentium.1 It also permits sacrilege to the Blessed Sacrament, by approving of its reception by non-Catholics, which is a mortal sin, and permits communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics, which is also a mortal sin. In addition, the Ecumenical Directory of 1993 permits ecumenical practices which have always been taught by the Church to be mortally sinful.
How the 1969 New Mass is false and non-Catholic worship, as it is a liturgical expression of the heresies of Vatican II.
It contains a heretical definition of the Mass in the original General Instruction;2it was composed with the express purpose of making an ecumenical liturgy, pleasing to Protestants, stripped of Catholic truths concerning the priesthood, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist;it was composed with the help and input of six Protestant ministers, which shows the heretical spirit in which it was conceived and formulated;its authors systematically deleted from its prayers and lessons doctrines which would be offensive to heretics;it teaches, both by its omissions and its symbolism and gestures, heresies and errors concerning the priesthood, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist;it is most probably invalid owing to a defect of intention which it causes in him who celebrates it, and owing, at least in the vernacular, to a blasphemous alteration of the words of Christ in the consecration formula;the original edition contained the Arian heresy in the fourth eucharistic prayer, by saying to God the Father: “You alone are God,” without any reference to the other Persons.3
The heteropraxis of the Vatican II religion — that is, the confirmation of the heretical nature of Vatican II by the common observances and practices of the Vatican II religion, whether officially sanctioned and practiced by its hierarchy, or merely approved by silence on a universal level. That Vatican II did indeed inject a new and false religion into the institutions of the Catholic Church can been seen from the years of abominable practices. These include:
sins against the First Commandment of God in the form of ecumenical services of all kinds;pastoral and liturgical practices which implicitly condone homosexual sins;weird and profane liturgical aberrations, at times using indecently dressed girls and/or rites which are derived from paganism;the destruction of the Sacrament of Matrimony by indiscriminate granting of annulments, and for false reasonsthe implicit, or sometimes explicit, condoning of artificial birth control;the reign of heresy in Catholic seminaries, universities, and parochial schools;the substantial alteration of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction by conferring it upon those who are not in proximate danger of death;the practice of communion in the hand, with the result that what purports to be the Body and Blood of Christ is many times treated in a gravely sacrilegious manner.
How the sacraments have been altered substantially, leading in many cases to either invalidity or doubt of validity. Episcopal consecration was rendered invalid in the Latin rite by the introduction of the 1968 rite of the ordination of bishops. Although it purports to be using a form which is derived from the Eastern rites, in fact what was taken from these rites was not the essential form of episcopal consecration, but instead the ceremony for the installation of patriarchs, who were already consecrated. The 1968 rite of consecration fails to mention the grace of the episcopal dignity as the fullness of the priesthood.
There is no need to mention the enormity of this problem, that since 1968 the validity of bishops in the Latin rite has been gradually snuffed out, and with it the validity of the priests whom they attempt to ordain. Apart from every other consideration of Vatican II and its effects, this is by far the worst. In turn, it has invalidated or promises to invalidate every other sacrament except Baptism and Matrimony.
The validity, furthermore, of the Mass has been compromised by the intention of the rite, which is expressed in the General Instruction. In this document, the words of consecration, formerly set apart from the rest of the text and in bold type, are now referred to as the “institution narrative.” But if a priest, even validly ordained, says these words as merely an institution narrative, he does not consecrate, owing to lack of proper intention, the Body and Blood of Christ. Indeed, these very words, “institution narrative,” in referring to the sacred declaration of the priest, “This is My Body,” effecting Transubstantiation, are proof positive of the Protestant character of the New Mass.
The validity of the consecration of the wine is rendered doubtful by the false translation of pro multis as for all. Anyone with a fundamental knowledge of the original Greek knows that this is a mistranslation of these most sacred words, indeed a blasphemous distortion of the actual words of Christ. Because it is possible that these words are required for validity, the consecration of the wine at the New Mass is made doubtful, since this mistranslation could constitute a substantial alteration of the essential form.
But the Vatican II religion has abandoned the very idea of the necessity of matter and form, in any case, since John Paul II approved as valid “Masses” of the Assyrian church, a schismatic sect which descends from the Nestorians, in whose “Masses” there are no words of consecration. Such an approval abandons the Church’s universal teaching and practice concerning the validity of the sacraments, and is therefore heretical.
Other alterations have cast doubt upon the Sacraments of Extreme Unction, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.
The heresies which are publicly professed by Benedict XVI and other members of the Vatican II hierarchy. Benedict XVI teaches the following heresies, among others:
That ecumenism does not seek that someone in another religion convert to the Catholic religion.That Jewish messianic expectation is not in vain.That there are perfectly good reasons to say that the Old Testament does not refer to Christ.Calling into doubt the dogma of the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.The fact that he recognizes schismatic bishops as “pastors of the Church.”The fact that he hopes that Protestant sects not dissolve, but “that they will be strengthened in their confessions and in their ecclesial reality.”That the Catholic Church has no right to absorb other Churches, but instead that a “basic unity — of Churches that remain Churches, yet become one Church — must replace the idea of conversion.”That there is “the saving presence of the Lord in the [Protestant] Evangelical Lord’s Supper.”That Protestantism is not a heresy.That the “validity of the liturgy depends primarily, not on specific words, but on the community of the Church…”That the baptism of infants is a questionable practice.That the biblical creation story is in part based on pagan accounts.That the Koran, which explicitly denies the divinity of Christ and refers to women as cattle, is a holy book of a great religion for which he has respect.That there are such things as pagan saints.That non-Catholic religions are means of salvation.That the term “original sin” is misleading and imprecise.That the Church of Christ exists outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church.That the Church of Christ is divided.That the unity of the Church is still in the process of formation.That it is important that everyone can belong to the religion of his choiceThat there will be no resurrection of bodies from the dead.That in the Holy Eucharist, “Christ is in the bread,” thereby espousing Luther’s doctrine of impanation or consubstantiation.
This list could be much longer, but space does not permit us to elaborate further. (If anyone wishes to see references and quotations which substantiate these accusations of heresy, he may obtain them by requesting them from me).
How the four marks of the Catholic Church cannot be found in the new religion of Vatican II. The four marks of the Church, found in the Nicene Creed, are the essential characteristics of the true Church of Christ, by which it is distinguishable from false sects. But these four marks — one, holy, catholic, and apostolic — are missing from the Vatican II religion.
The new religion is not holy because of (1) its public profession and promulgation of heresy with regard to both faith and morals; (2) its false and evil disciplines; (3) the grave sins against the First Commandment which it condones and promotes in the name of ecumenism.
The new religion is not one, because the unity of faith has been completely destroyed in it. It has lost its unity of faith with the previous ages of the Church, since it has broken away from the ancient doctrines. It has, furthermore no unity of faith within itself. Indeed every doctrinal aberration is permitted. The only doctrinal sin after Vatican II is to adhere to the Catholic Faith as the one, true Faith.
The new religion is not catholic, or universal, since without unity of doctrine, without consistency with the past, catholicity is impossible. For catholicity is nothing else than to be one thing, i.e., one faith, one discipline, and one worship, applied to all places and times in the world. But I have already pointed out the break with the past in so many ways, as well as the interior doctrinal, disciplinary, and liturgical chaos which currently exists in the new religion. There is, therefore, no mark of catholicity.
Finally, there is no apostolicity. The Vatican II religion has dissolved the bonds of unity with the apostles in doctrine, worship and discipline. It has broken the line of apostolic succession by the invalid consecration of bishops. It has altered the Apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church by altering the notion and role of the Roman Pontiff.
In short, the new religion is nothing but a non-Catholic sect, just one of so many which have risen up in the past two thousand years in an attempt to alter the Church of Christ.
For this reason, after much prayer and reflection, I have decided to leave this religion which is alien to the Catholic Faith as it has been always known and practiced, and cherished by my Catholic ancestors. I want to die in the same faith as they did, and not in Modernism. I want to be a true Catholic priest, and say a valid and Catholic Mass, which sanctified souls so efficaciously for centuries, and built up the Church to the magnificent structure which it was in 1958, when Pope Pius XII passed away.
Since that fateful day of his passing, the Catholic Church has gone into a tailspin of decline, immorality, and misfortune. It has been reduced, miserably, to a small number of faithful who have undertaken to resist the onslaught of Modernism, so forcefully condemned by Saint Pius X. May God grant me the grace to live in the true and holy Catholic priesthood, and to die in the sacred Faith of our ancestors.
— Rev. Fr. Michael Oswalt
1The heretical notion of the Church is seen in Canons 825 and 844, where there is a distinction made of catholic [sic] members of Christ’s faithful versus Christ’s faithful (christifideles catholici vs. christifideles, the latter being used most often). Careful reading of this Code reveals very astute wording of the canons in such a fashion that no one could strictly identify Christ’s faithful with the members of the body of the Catholic Church. Rather it becomes very clear that Eastern schismatics and Protestants are considered to be members of “Christ’s faithful” and members of the Church, since they are baptized, and “constituted the people of God.” No mention is made of impeding the effect of baptism through adhering to heretical or schismatic sects, the public profession of heresy, or by exclusion by competent ecclesiastical authority. Instead, mere baptism makes you a part of the People of God, Christ’s faithful, the Church.
2This definition was quickly changed in the second edition, owing to its heretical nature.
3This too was later corrected because of its obvious heretical content.
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– See more at: http://www.cmri.org/02-oswalt-letter-to-rockford-diocese.shtml#.dpuf
Torkay- Well summed up! You explained things perfectly:+)
We are called to follow Truth, who is Christ Himself, not a heretical bishop…just like St. Athanasius. And the SSPX indeed holds on to the barque of the Deposit of Faith given to us by Christ.
Thank you for speaking the truth is such clarity:+) God bless~
I am so glad to see the update of Fr. Rodriguez. Ever since I learned his situation, I kept him in my daily prayers. Could Father come to the diocese of Charlotte?
Our Bishop Jugis is a great bishop. He supports Latin Mass in our Diocese. I know there were priests came from other places to join our diocese. Just a thought.
Fr. Rodriguez will continue to be in my prayer.