The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church
Griff L. Ruby's excellent, lucid, understandable and concise compendium on the Traditional Catholic Cause
A Book Review by
Michael Cain, Editor, The Daily Catholic
"In the thirteenth century, Christ asked a simple Friar from Assisi to 'Rebuild My Church;' today Our Lord has used many other vehicles for conveying the same thing. Griff Ruby's magnificent "The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church" is an excellent practical instrument to begin the process of rebuilding so that the tree will once again grow stronger, taller and fuller, bearing abundant fruits for the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of countless souls."
There have been many books written which chronicle the crisis in the Church over the past 40 years; many excellent works by Atila Sinke Guimar„es, Romano Amerio, Father Ralph Wiltgen, Father James F. Wathen, Michael Davies, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Father Nicholas Gruner, Father Paul Kramer, Fathers Dominic and Francisco Radecki, and many other books that have explained the Traditional Catholic movement from their particular perspective. However, until now there has not been a compendium gathering the tents of the various tribes of Tradition that so clearly explains the trials and tribulations of Traditional Catholics as Griff L. Ruby's "The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church."
It is subtitled "A Guide to the Traditional Catholic Movement" and indeed it is. From the Preface and Introduction through twelve chapters, the Epilogue and three Appendixes - which answer practically any question anyone could muster - Griff takes the reader on a journey of common sense, dispelling myths, rumors and suppositions in a totally charitable Christian manner that avers the true sensus Catholicus , leaving little doubt what truly loyal Catholics must do to keep the Faith.
While the book "The Great Facade" by Christopher Ferrara and Dr. Thomas Woods was targeted toward Catholics who still embrace the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI (Giovanni Montini) - to which the authors attributed the term "neo-Catholics" - this work by Ruby is written for both the former and for Traditional Catholics who, despite their own convictions about what happened to Holy Mother Church in the final decades of the twentieth century, are still somewhat confused about fellow Traditional Catholics. Griff is like that dependable ecclesial weatherman, assuring us that the Son will rise again and shine on all who cling to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church, despite the storms and dark clouds. Those clouds which have shadowed so many Traditional Catholics in different camps, often resulting in backbiting and sniping almost in the manner of the Pharisees, have been lifted in Griff's book as he charitably treats each Traditional group of note, showing that Traditional Catholics won't bite and that most of them are decent people who have first and foremost the salvation of souls and obedience to the infallible, perennial Magisterium of the Church as their goal.
Griff illustrates very clearly beginning in Chapter One "How to identify the Roman Catholic Church" the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and the church that grew from the shifting sand-scattered seeds of Vatican II. He uses a most appropriate title for this church which was, in actuality, coined by Paul VI himself - the Novus Ordo Church of the "People of God." To abbreviate it to POG allows the reader to see the ridiculousness of what has been perpetrated on the gullible faithful who have been so dumbed down over the decades. The "POGS" remind one of a hybrid civilization right out of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings."
To assure the reader that these are not his own personal opinions, but rather fully backed by Holy Mother Church, Griff proceeds to reinforce his statements with scriptural references that confirm that what has occurred over the past half century was not only possible, but very probable considering all circumstances, the state of the world, and the state of man's rebellion. His comparisons to Pontius Pilate are very revealing for indeed, the church of Vatican II placed Christ and His Church on trial and passed sentence on the Mystical Body of Christ. This "sentence" continues to this day with the current hierarchy constantly harassing and slandering those who desire to practice as Catholics always have.
Without going through each chapter, for sake of brevity in this review, Mr. Ruby lucidly describes how the authorized hierarchy lost control and was eclipsed by the new religion which, slowly but surely, pushed the true Catholic Church to the outer regions of exile while the usurpers gained control of the visible Church. It was the Apostle of Tradition, the noble, heroic Doctor of the Church St. Athanasius who said of the Arian usurpers, "They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in this struggle - the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?"
And it is those today as well who keep the Faith that retain all aspects of the True Church. As Griff has noted, it is no longer, "Where Peter is there is the Church, but where the Church is, there is Peter." It is not the Arian heresy that so pollutes the Church today, but the VaticanTwoArian heresies that have, as their core - Modernism, which Pope St. Pius X in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis called, the "mother of all heresies."
The holy Athanasius affirmed in a Letter to his flock that "Even if Catholics who remain faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ." So also with the various Traditional Catholic factions which, through the excellent research and explanations provided by Ruby, show these factions are really functions being used by Almighty God to keep the Faith alive for, as Our Lord promised, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16: 18) . Knowing this and knowing that the post-conciliar popes have promulgated error and the savor of heresy, if not heresy itself, if one were to accept that Paul VI and John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) were truly appointed by the Holy Ghost and should be recognized as authentic Vicars of Christ, bad as they are, then one would have to admit that the gates of hell have prevailed. Knowing this is not possible, Griff's arguments for sedevacantism gain great credibility.
Yet, unlike so many others who have taken this stance, Griff considers all the possibilities, all the nuances and treats each with respect, something most admirable considering the invectives hurled by various Traditional Catholics toward fellow Traditional Catholics. He proceeds to show the differences between the One True Church and the New Church of Vatican II, commonly referred to as the post-conciliar, postconciliar or Conciliar Church, or, as stated earlier Novus Ordo Church of the "People of God" (POG). Griff's best explanation, which he refers to throughout his book, is the "Vatican institution" in defining the current church of Modern Rome vs. the divinely protected Church of Eternal Rome. He leaves no stone unturned in showing how each Traditional Catholic group perfectly fit in the peg God intended for them to keep the Faith alive even in these devastating times when so many are so confused that despair is setting in. Griff's purpose for this book is to dispell that despair by offering hope that just as Christ was crucified, tortured beyond recognition, so also His Church has been beaten down beyond recognition but have hope all ye of little faith, for just as Christ rose from the dead, so also the True Church will rise again and become stronger than before. We have God's promise on that and Our Lady's that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
He begins by giving a backgrounder on how the Traditional Catholic movement originated and grew in Chapter Six "The Beginnings of Today's Stand for the Faith." He devotes two chapters to the advances of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X which Archbishop Lefebvre founded out of necessity. Griff sandwiches these chapters around Chapters Eight and Nine in elaborating on the Apostolic succession of bishops who, until now, may have been suspect. In order to diffuse this sophism, he proceeds to trace the lineage and trials and travails, and yes triumphs, of the beleaguered Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc. In so doing he gives much credibility to the necessity of various groups who, of late, despite their early struggles such as the CMRI and SSPV, have contributed much to fostering the Faith as it was always practiced.
With this albatross lifted, he offers in Chapter Nine "The Advance of the Sedevacantists," the rationale as well as a history of how these camps formed; many evolving from the Society of St. Pius X, which remains to this day by far the largest and most influential group among the Traditional Catholic movement. That, I believe, is why he devotes more than a few chapters to the Society and its fruits. And, it is the charitable, factual ways in which Griff lays out the facts and fruits that impressed this reviewer. While not shying away from describing the warts and scars of each group, he has shown how each is growing and is obviously blessed because of their filial obedience to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church and the good will exhibited in submitting to God's will in all things.
Griff even devotes a chapter to the Indult, "The Advance of the Indult Priests and FSSP" in illustrating that in the spectrum of Tradition there is a need and place for each group in keeping the Faith alive. Just as God has created each person individually and different from every other person, making each of us unique, so also He allows these individual groups who may differ in their take of what has happened, but who will not compromise on dogma and doctrines, or on the Sacraments, most specifically the Immemorial Mass of Tradition - the Apostolic Mass of Sts. Peter and Paul - also known as the Tridentine Mass or Traditional Latin Mass. said since the 4th Century in Latin, the mother tongue of the Universal Church.
In summing up his arguments and syllogisms, the author shows in the Conclusion "We belong to Rome, and Rome is Ours" that the post-conciliar Church cannot possibly be the Roman Catholic Church because of the loss of the four indelible marks of the Church - One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. He uses the analogy of the empty tomb in which St. Mary Magdalen is told by the Angel, "He is not here, He is risen." Hence, the title for his book which shows that even though Modern Rome has suppressed the Mystical Body of Christ and tried to transform it into another body, it is not possible; for the True Mystical Body of Christ is not in Modern Rome but forever in Eternal Rome - the Church promised by Christ in Matthew 16: 18-19. As Griff writes,
"He has risen! He has gone to Galilee. Let us focus on the meaning of that.
In the days of the original Resurrection of Christ, the center of the Faith instituted by God was in Jerusalem. It had long been so with the Temple, the High Priests, and the Kings of the nation of Israel. Under the Christian covenant it continued there in Jerusalem until Peter took his See to Antioch, and then later to Rome. What was Galilee? What is it now? A boondock! A backwater! Nowhere important! Jerusalem had abandoned the Faith, with the Jews cooperating with the pagan Romans to crucify their Messiah, and even Peter himself running for his life, and denying his Lord. What was in Galilee? Simple, pious folk who only knew to obey God and precious little else.
What Galilee was then, Econe is today! And not only Econe, but Winona, Weissbad, Spokane, St. Mary's, Campos, Oyster Bay Cove, Fribourg, Acapulco, Omaha, Post Falls, Denton, and indeed every other bastion of the traditional Catholic Faith! These places where the true Faith is taught, and where the true sacraments of the Church are dispensed precisely where and how Christ Himself wants, are where Christ Himself resides and lives in the sacraments and activities of the Church."
It is in his Appendix A that perhaps the most damning evidence against Vatican II is presented in which previous reliable Popes, not Griff himself, condemn the Council and all that proceeded from it by documenting decrees that cannot be refuted or recalled. He shows where Paul VI's Missale Romanum can never trump St. Pius V's Quo Primum or De defectibus; that the post-conciliar encyclicals or Apostolic Constitutions, specifically the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Consilium runs counter to not only Quo Primum, but Pope Leo XIII's Apostolicae Curae and the two encyclicals by Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei and Sacramentum Ordinis.
He shows how the Pope, in the person of reliable Sovereign Pontiffs before the advance of Vatican II, condemned not only Vatican II but the actions of Paul VI and John Paul II. In no way can Dignitatis Humanae be justified in light of Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas on the Sovereign Kingship of Christ; likewise the same Pope's clear and concise encyclical Mortalium animos most certainly refutes and condemns the ecumenical novelties and heresies of John Paul II's Ut Unum Sint. There are many other examples, but these are a few which bring the point home so effectively and definitively.
Griff Ruby is a no-nonsense writer who gets to the heart of the matter immediately and offers specific and vivid imagery and analogies that makes it so easy for the reader to understand. As this reviewer pointed out above, "The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church" is one of the most lucid, understandable and concise compendiums on the Traditional Catholic cause that I have ever read. Over the past few years I had heard many rumors and Griff's book was a breath of fresh air in putting flesh to facts that dissolves many vicious rumors which had cosmetically concealed the epidermis of epikea which, as he defines in several chapters and in the Glossary, is "a sense of proportion or common sense by which jurisdiction is not denied merely because the usual channels do not apply." That is the situation in the Church today when Modern Rome has become the Jerusalem of old, abandoning Christ and the faithful have scattered to the boondocks for the specific purpose of preserving the Faith.
Those who read his book should be regenerated to do the same and not look so cynically toward their fellow Traditional Catholics no matter what specific group it might be or their background. Consider the many Religious Orders founded by Saints over the centuries. The vast majority were subject to many obstacles, even subterfuge, sabotage and slander, but because they were of God, nothing could stop the pure of heart. So also Griff has identified the obstacles facing the Traditional Catholic movement in his book in which he covers 95% of all Traditional Catholics, and concludes vere dignum et justum - it is truly meet and just that each group has a specific purpose to carry out in keeping the Faith alive and restoring it someday to Eternal Rome as he writes in "We belong to Rome, and Rome is Ours":
"It is Christ Himself, in His Mystical Body, Who is taking action, not us ordinary believers. We may not know all of what He is planning, and how it will all work out, but we make ourselves a part of His plans by adhering to our traditional Catholic Faith and Sacraments. All traditional Catholics today are similarly united in their Faith, their Morals, and their Latin Worship. Priests from the FSSP, the ICR, the SSPX, the SSPV, the IR, the CMRI, and all other "independent" Catholic priests, all teach from the same Catechism, and say the same Mass."
Those are the rallying points for keeping the Faith alive in these times when it is hardly recognizable anywhere but in the underground churches and catacomb chapels where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass remains the same today as it was four hundred years ago. Time stands still for those who assist at the Holy Mass of All Ages. Griff points out that all the above have the common bond of allegiance to "the Universal and Historical Magisterium of the Church on which the various disputants all base their arguments."
Few books have been published which better provide reasons to unite the Traditional Catholic movement. It needs to be circulated far and wide within the Traditional Catholic community as well as shared with Novus Ordo Catholics, Protestants, and others outside the Church so that they will, in God's time, through such excellent vehicles as this book, realize why Traditional Catholics guard their Faith so well and regard it as such a precious gift that can never be compromised, but can be obtained only through conversion, not dialogue.
I will conclude this review by excerpting part of Griff's Epilogue which he subtitled, "A Parable for the Church Today." In this one page analogy, he puts it so clearly. In it he speaks of the tree from Matthew 13: 32 which eventually over the years and many, many centuries was cut down and the wood made into lumber and pulp, eventually finding its use as a billboard advertising humanistic conveniences and modern vices that prior had been forbidden. Many who had a longing for the Tree, instead of staying with the stump, followed the felled tree to the lumber yard and then to its eventual place high above as a billboard. No doubt the bright lights shining on the billboard blinded many to the fact that it was no longer the Tree, but splintered lumber no longer connected with the Tree but pretending to still be the Tree, even taking on the facade of being so. While few noticed the wood had changed visibly, still far too many claimed it to be of the same tree. That was the argument those who insisted on staying with the visible wood claimed. Yet that would not jive with what Christ had said in John 15: 4-5, "Remain in Me: and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine: so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing."
As the years passed, the wood of the billboard, true to form despite all kinds of innovations to revitalize the lumber, began to rot and show its age. With each new coat of preposterous paint, more began to realize the lumber used for this billboard and pulp was no longer the true Tree. And with that we pick up the excerpt from Griff's Epilogue:
"Loyally, they stuck by the billboard made from the tree because they believed that the tree could never die, even though the lumber in the billboard showed every sign of being dead.
Yet the tree was still very much alive, not in the part that had been cut off, but in the stump left behind in the forest. Small branches had sprouted out of the sides of the stump, just under the place it had been cut down. These small branches sprouted green shoots and leaves and grew by leaps and bounds.
Because the stump had been so large, some of the branches grew quite some distance from each other. Because of that, some people mistook these branches for distinct little trees with no relationship to each other or to the original tree, but if only they dug down just a little bit, they could see where the stump was and where each of them was attached to it, growing from it.
At first, only a scattered few dared to leave the billboard to return to the stump. Many at the billboard denigrated those who left it to return to the stump for deserting the tree, but as the health and vigor of the tree at the stump grew, and as more people became aware of that, the small trickle of persons transferring from the billboard to the stump grew into a steady stream and finally into an avalanche as everyone eventually came to realize that the life of the tree is in its roots, and not in the branches (nor even the trunk) which have been cut off.
'For Saint Augustine answers precisely: 'The branch lopped off has the shape of the vine; but what avails the form if has not the root?' (Mirari Vos, Paragraph 14). Needless to say, in time the branches grew into an even bigger tree, more glorious than the original had been, and all the stronger for what it had been through."
In the thirteenth century, Christ asked a simple Friar from Assisi to "Rebuild My Church;" today Our Lord has used many other vehicles for conveying the same thing. Griff Ruby's magnificent "The Resurrection of the Roman Catholic Church" is an excellent practical instrument to begin the process of rebuilding so that the tree will once again grow stronger, taller and fuller, bearing abundant fruits for the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of countless souls.
Editor's Note: The Daily Catholic heartily endorses this book. His book is available from iUniverse.com Books for $26.95 or can be read on-line at www.the-pope.com I strongly urge you to share it with all you can for that could be the gentle shove that moves your friends away from the billboard of the world and back to the living sprouts where the True Faith resides forever, rooted in the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church as Christ intended and promised.