Pray for the Pope: The Last One and the Next One
Editor's Note: This astute column appeared on Tom's website at www.christorchaos.com last week, but we have added it here to our permanent archives to his columns because it so powerfully says what we have been telling all for many years.
"The present situation in the Church is truly one of a chastisement, to be sure, that may not be resolved until some pope actually does consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. There are many complex and inter-related forces that have been at work in the world for about six to seven centuries that made their way into the Church herself in her human elements by the time of the early Twentieth Century, as John Vennari has pointed out in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita. Other than that, though, we have to accept the simple fact that many of the things that we hear and see emanating from Rome will be understood fully only in eternity, when all of God's mysterious plan will be seen by the elect who have persevered to the point of their dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace. This does not mean that we remain inert and impassive in the midst of the difficulties that face us. But it does mean that we must never lose our faith and that we must never stop praying for the soul of the late Holy Father, who presided arguably over the worst pontificate in history, while at the same time we pray that the Church’s bishops return to the sure path of Tradition."
The death of Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005, reminds Catholics of their obligations to pray at all times for the Successor of Saint Peter, both in life and after he has died. Pope John Paul II is now the fifth pope to have died in my lifetime. Indeed, one of my most vivid memories as a child is of watching, as a second grade student at Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, New York, filmed coverage of the Requiem Mass offered for Pope Pius XII in October of 1958. God has been good enough to this erring sinner to permit me to pray at the tombs of each of the four popes that preceded Pope John Paul II. Although I came to understand in the last ten years that Pope John Paul II's pontificate was plagued with problems of his own making, I hope to be able to pray for the repose of his immortal soul at his tomb when next Providence takes me to Rome. Pope John Paul II was our spiritual father, the visible head of the Church on earth, for twenty-six years, five months and sixteen days.
Apart from the bonds of filial piety that oblige us to pray for our shepherds, including the Chief Shepherd on earth, both in life and after his death, a Catholic should look upon the holder of the Throne of Saint Peter with special affection. I was in the presence of Pope John Paul II on twenty-one occasions from 1979 to 1996, having heard Mass in his private chapel on May 26, 1993. No matter the harm that I realize was done to the Church and the world during his pontificate, I will always have an affection of a son for Pope John Paul II.
It is no contradiction for a person who became critical of the now ended pontificate of Pope John Paul II to have deep feelings of affection for his spiritual father. Quite the contrary is true. As authentic charity wills the good of others, it was precisely my love for the Holy Father and my desire to have him embrace the glories of Catholic Tradition and to fulfill Our Lady's Fatima Message that prompted many of us to look at his pontificate with deep regret. We must pray for the repose of the soul of Pope John Paul II. Of special urgency for every Catholic at this moment is to pray fervently for the cardinals who will gather in the conclave on April 18, 2005, to select his successor.
I was one of those people who thought on October 16, 1978, that an end had been brought to the nightmare of confusion wrought by the Second Vatican Council and the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. Indeed, it was as a political science professor at Illinois State University that I started on October 17, 1978, to organize a conference, which was held in April of 1979, on the impact of the selection of the former Karol Cardinal Wojtyla on world politics. Pope John Paul II, just fifty-eight years of age at the time of his election following the death (probably by murder) of Pope John Paul I, spoke early on in his pontificate about the necessity of priests wearing their clerical garb and nuns wearing their habits. There was the declaration in December of 1979 that Father Hans Kung could no longer be considered a teacher of Catholic theology at the University of Tubingen. There was his seemingly stirring defense of the inviolability of innocent human life. Ah, thought I at the time, a leader has been sent to us.
I was wrong. The other signs were all there from the very beginning. Pope John Paul II followed the lead of his immediate predecessor, Pope John Paul I, and refused to be crowned. He did not take the Papal Coronation Oath, which forbade the acceptance of novelties and innovations. His first encyclical letter, Redemptor Hominis, issued in March of 1979, was a harbinger of how he would further cloud the clarity of Catholic language that become obscured by the ambiguity of the conciliar and postconciliar documents. His personalist, phenomenological approach to the Church and the world was there on display in that first encyclical letter. While reminding theologians to be faithful to the Church's magisterium, he also spoke against "Triumphalism" in an address to Catholic university educators at the field house of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on October 7, 1979. Yes, all of the signs were there very early on in the pontificate. I was simply too blinded by the cult of personality to recognize those signs for what they truly signified. Many of us failed to see that Pope John Paul II was a true Twentieth Century liberal, both theologically and politically.
As I have written on many other occasions, including in G.I.R.M. Warfare, Pope John Paul II further institutionalized and expanded the liturgical revolution. His Papal extravaganza Masses were used quite deliberately by one of Annibale Bugnini's chief henchmen, Piero Marini, to provide precedents of “inculturation” for the rest of the world. Gross sacrileges against the Blessed Sacrament were committed repeatedly in Papal Masses around the world. All of the late Pope's personal devotion to Eucharistic adoration can never redeem the sacrileges that he permitted to occur over and over and over again in his own Masses. No outpouring of human affection for the late Holy Father can undo the outrages committed against desecrated Hosts at Papal Masses. No amount of human praise for the Holy Father’s “humanity” and for his being so “pro-life” can take away the fact that permitted Our Lord’s Real Presence to be manhandled and trampled underfoot in Papal extravaganza Masses in Rome and throughout the world. Anyone who thinks that we are going to restore protection to the unborn in the womb while the true Church herself permits the sacrilege of Communion in the hand and the desecrations of Our Lord's Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity that follows as a result is practicing self-deception of the highest order.
These unspeakable acts against Our Lord’s Real Presence were not isolated to one or two different Papal Masses. I personally saw a woman passing consecrated Hosts repeatedly to people in back of her at a Papal Mass in Philadelphia on October 3, 1979. The priest who was distributing Holy Communion realized what was happening and exclaimed, “Hey, lady, you can’t do that! Stop it!” This incident occurred less than twenty-four hours after Father James McLucas, a young priest of the Archdiocese of New York at the time, saw hundreds of consecrated Hosts being dumped into burlap sacks after the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium, something he has written about in The Latin Mass: A Journal of Catholic Culture and has spoken about in various talks. In an incident that occurred twenty-two years and eight months later, in June of 2002, twin brothers from Long Island reported to me that they saw scores of consecrated Hosts strewn on the Via Della Concilazione after the Papal canonization Mass of Saint Padre Pio. These men, Michael and Marco Posilico, consumed as many of the Hosts as they could. None of these things happened in the pontificates prior to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Some priests were known to lick the floor with their own tongues if a consecrated Host fell to the floor as they were distributing Holy Communion on the tongue of one of the faithful. The large-scale desecration of Hosts during Papal Masses alone, no less the average parish offering of the Novus Ordo Missae, is a documented fact that no one can honestly dismiss as trivial or inconsequential.
Indeed, the sale on eBay of what was reported by a seller to be a consecrated Host from a Papal Mass on October 18, 1998, in Saint Peter's Square on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the late Holy Father's accession to the Throne of Saint Peter adds further documentation to the way in which the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the God-Man, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, has been manhandled as a result of sacrileges permitted by Pope Paul VI and continued by Pope John Paul II. These are grave matters that no Catholic who says he loves Our Lord and adores Him in His Real Presence can dismiss as inconsequential or not reflecting very, very poorly on the recently ended pontificate of Pope John Paul II. The fact that the discovery of this matter came on eBay only days following the Holy Father's burial is quite a Providential reminder of the harm done to Our Lord in His Real Presence as a result of the novelties fostered by the Novus Ordo Missae and its apologists, including Pope John Paul II himself.
Although it seems relatively trivial now in comparison to the ultimate liturgical abuse, that is, the Novus Ordo Missae itself, the permission of "altar girls" in 1994 was a resounding slap in the face to the theology of service at the altar (that males serve at the altar as the extension of the hands of the priest, who is himself a male in the likeness of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) and a stunning victory for the forces of using the Mass as a pretext for placing an ecclesiastical stamp on the ideologies of the moment, especially egalitarianism and feminism. The Pope's steadfast adherence to the ossified formulas of the liturgical revolution is what would lead him to refuse to entertain all entreaties by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X that Quo Primum means what it says and that no priest needs any permission to offer the Immemorial Mass of Tradition.
Not much needs to be written about the Pope's embrace of the errors of ecumenism, condemned in no uncertain terms by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos. The Assisi events were occasions of great scandal to the Catholic Faith. Would Our Lord, Whose Vicar on earth the former Karol Wojtyla was, have kissed the Koran or permitted himself to have been "purified" in pagan rituals? Of course not. The late Pontiff, however, permitted the Catholic Faith to be undermined with his own words and actions and put men into power, such as Walter Kasper, who further undermined the Faith without ever a word of Papal rebuke. And all of the Pope's repeated condemnations of abortion were couched in the language of conciliarspeak, refusing to admit that the problems of Modernity, including abortion, have been caused by the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King that was the direct intention of the Protestant Revolt and of the rise of Freemasonry and the scores of ideologies spawned thereafter. His refusal to excommunicate solemnly all Catholic pro-abortion politicians is one of his saddest legacies.
Sadder still, the late Pope's pontificate embraced the very notions of the modern State that had been condemned by Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, and Pius XI. Indeed, the late Holy Father was incapable of admitting that the loss of "Christian identity" in Europe that he deplored so frequently was the specific result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King and that the Church's own refusal to proclaim this immutable doctrine in the conciliar and postconciliar era has only served the interests of the enemies of Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother.
Pope John Paul II pleaded repeatedly for clemency to be extended to death row prisoners by name while he refused to plead by name for those about to be starved and dehydrated to death, including the late Hugh Finn and the late Mrs. Terri Schiavo, whose own murder presaged the Pope's death by natural causes by a matter of two days. The Pope was near death when Mrs. Schiavo was being starved and dehydrated to death, you say? True. He was nearer death on Friday, April 1, 2005, when he named seventeen new bishops from his deathbed. The Pope, even at the point of death, demonstrated that he could attend to those things that he wanted to attend to by the sheer force of his incontestably strong will. Speaking by name for Hugh Finn or Mrs. Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo was not one of the things he sought to do as it would have meant contradicting his bishops and thus running afoul of the Vatican II novelty of episcopal collegiality.
A very astute observer asked the following question after Mass today, Easter Saturday: Which is worse: the world's unjust criticism of Pope Pius XII or the world's lavish praise for Pope John Paul II? It is a very bad thing when the world heaps praise upon a Successor of Saint Peter for speaking in terms of humanitarianism and naturalism that appealed to people of "all religions without distinction." One Italian prelate, interviewed on CBS Radio, said, "The Pope turned the papacy from a purely Catholic institution into a spokesman for human and social rights." Oh, yes, the Holy Father did indeed appeal to the spirit of Modernity's rejection of the necessity of every State's public and confessional recognition of the Social Reign of Christ the King as the absolute foundation of social order, which is a large part of the reason why there was such universal praise accorded him in the days following his death. “Woe to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets” (Lk. 6: 26).
The Pope's governance of the Church was so abysmal that even sources generally favorably inclined to the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Missae began to question whether the late Holy Father deserved to be called what his reflexive supporters, who viewed any criticism of him as disloyalty and proof of a "schismatic" mentality, kept insisting in the past few years as "John Paul the Great," no less “Saint” John Paul the Great. His appointment of bishops was atrocious. His refusal to remove bishops who were doctrinally deviant and/or personally corrupt was inexcusable. This writer knows personally that were many instances in which individuals brought the Holy Father incontrovertible evidence of episcopal wrong-doing, including a lack of belief in basic elements in the Creed. The Holy Father refused to do anything even when he was perfectly healthy and mentally fit. He continued to reward the revolutionaries time and again.
There is nothing more important a pope can do than to appoint bishops and to provide for their censure and removal if they prove to be wayward. The late Pope John Paul II could not even govern his own curia. Those who are in actual schism with the Church or guilty of abject heresy (the Orthodoxy, the Anglicans, the Lutherans, Jews) could count on warm words of welcome from the late pontiff while those who held fast to the authentic Tradition of the Church were disciplined and said to be guilty of schism and disobedience. Great leeway was accorded those in official teaching positions in the Church worldwide to place articles contained in the Deposit of Faith into doubt. No such courtesy was accorded those who simply believed as Catholics had always believed until an "ecclesiogenesis" of a "new Church," the "new springtime of the Church," arose in 1958. And despite words of concern about the scandal of perverted clergy in the United States and elsewhere, the Holy Father rewarded the former Archbishop of Boston, Bernard Cardinal Law, whose protection and promotion of perverted priests shook the faith of many poorly catechized souls, with the appointment as the Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, to say nothing of the prominent role he played in the Pope’s funeral Mass. The Holy Father refused to act on the incontrovertible evidence presented to him about perverted bishops, such as the disgraced former Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, Daniel Ryan, and priests until these scandals exploded into public view. And it took the former Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, Thomas O’Brien, to be involved in a hit and run automobile accident that killed a drunken pedestrian before he was forced to resign after a cascade of perverted priests scandal in his diocese.
Look at this merely partial and grossly incomplete record of the wretched state of the hierarchy in the United States alone and ask yourself if a pope of true sanctity would have refused–and the word is refused–to have acted in defense of the Catholic Faith:
- Bishop Tod Brown of the Diocese of Orange has agreed to pay out millions of dollars to victims of priest perversion in his diocese. He remains a bishop in “good standing” despite the decisions that enabled the perverts, spending even more millions of the contributions given him by the poor sheep of his flock to build a “cathedral” to rival the monstrosity built by his classmate to the north, Roger Cardinal Mahony.
- Roger Cardinal Mahony gets to keep his cardinal’s red hat and to serve as an elector for the next pope despite his promotion each year of a catechetical conference featuring those who promote teachings contrary to the Catholic Faith and despite his own record with respect to the whole issue of perversion.
- Bishop Patrick McGrath of the Diocese of San Jose gets to remain a bishop in “good standing” even after he has denied the historicity of the Gospels.
- Bishop Sylvester Ryan of the Diocese of Monterey gets to remain a bishop in “good standing” despite his having had an actual abortionist on his priests’ abuse “advisory board,” the subject of two articles of mine on the Seattle Catholic site in late-2003 and early-2004. No response was ever forthcoming from Bishop Ryan's office following a series of questions that I had posed to him about this matter.
- Archbishop Thomas Kelly, O.P. of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, gets to remain a bishop in “good standing” after he reaffirmed Mrs. Michele Finn in the belief that it was morally licit for her to seek to remove the feeding and hydration tubes from her brain-damaged husband, Hugh Finn, in 1998.
- Bishop Walter Sullivan of the Diocese of Richmond was permitted to serve until the mandatory retirement age despite his own affirmation of Mrs. Michele Finn’s actions in 1998.
- Bishop Matthew Clark of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, remains a bishop in “good standing” despite his having said in the 1990s that the Church must find some way to “bless” perverted “unions.”
- Bishop Robert N. Lynch of the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida, remains a bishop in “good standing” despite his refusal to support Mrs. Theresa Marie Schindler-Schiavo’s absolute right to the provision and food and water and despite his own attacks upon Solemn Eucharistic Adoration.
- Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza was never reprimanded publicly for his having written to Father Stephen P. Zigrang that he, Father Zigrang, had associated with a “schismatic” group, the Society of Saint Pius X, that did not believe in the “enduring validity of the Old Covenant God made with the people of Israel.” To do this would be to contradict the spirit of false ecumenism practiced by the late Holy Father himself.
- As noted above, the thoroughly disgraced Bishop Daniel Ryan, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, between 1983 and 1999, was permitted to remain in power for nearly three years after Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., brought incontrovertible evidence of his own perverted activities to the attention of the Holy See. He was permitted to retire in good standing in 1999 and to function as a retired bishop in good standing until the Diocese of Springfield had to admit, despite all of its protestations to the contrary and despite all of Ryan's spokeswoman's denunciations of Roman Catholic Faithful President Stephen G. Brady, in January of 2003 that the charges were correct all along.
- Every bishop in the United States countenances some form of explicit, classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments, specifically and categorically violating the purity and innocence of the children entrusted to their pastoral care unto eternity and absolutely prohibited by Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri.
- Most every bishop in the United States of America and elsewhere remains deaf, dumb and blind to outright denials of articles contained in the Deposit of Faith by priests and deacons from the pulpit during the offering of Holy Mass and in the classrooms of Catholic educational institutions.
- The hostility of most of the bishops in the United States and in the world to the glories of the Traditional Latin Mass borders on the diabolical, exceeded only by the scions of Bugnini himself who are still very much in power in the Holy See. The progenitors of a different religion must hate anything that reminds them of the immutability of God and His truths, and the fact that the Church’s Sacred Liturgy revolves around God, not man. These bishops and their chancery factotums have a palpable hatred and disgust for those who believe what the Church has taught perennially and who worship God in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church as He has been worshiped for most of the past two millennia, deeming such miscreants" to be worthy of excoriation and thus to be dismissed as reactionaries of some bygone era that is best sent down the Orwellian memory hole.
This is just a partial listing of the utter devastation of the Church begun under Pope John XXIII, expedited under Pope Paul VI, and institutionalized under Pope John Paul II. Nevertheless, a man named Thomas Cahill wrote an op-ed article in The New York Times on April 5, 2005, commenting on how Pope John Paul II had subjected dissenters such as Fathers Hans Kung, Leonardo Boff, and Edward Schillebeeckx to “star chamber” interrogations of their writings. Surely, Mr. Cahill, you are joking.
Father Kung remains a priest in good standing despite his attacks on Papal Infallibility, a solemnly defined dogma of the Catholic Faith. Father Edward Schillebeeckx remains a priest in good standing despite his having said that “God has no son” and that “Jesus is the natural son of Saint Joseph,” thereby attacking the Divinity of Our Lord and the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady and the celibate self-giving of Saint Joseph. Father Leonardo Boff left the Church of his own accord when he faced a second one year period of silencing for his embrace of “liberation theology.” Nothing, though, has happened to the hundreds upon hundreds of Boff’s disciples, both priests and laity, who teach this heresy in Catholic universities and colleges and seminaries and workshops and “update” programs. The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was “excommunicated” by Pope John Paul II without so much as a trial to hear his claims that a State of Emergency existed that justified his episcopal consecrations in June of 1988. Priests who put into question and/or deny articles contained in the Deposit of Faith were simply questioned during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II while never losing their faculties as priests even if, as in the cases of Kung and Father Charles Curran, they were denied the ability to teach theology in Catholic universities. No human being who is in contact with reality can claim with a straight face that the late Pope John Paul II “disciplined” heretical priests. This is simply not true.
Well, what about the fall of the Soviet Union? Didn't Pope John Paul II play a role in that? Unquestionably. Unfortunately, the "fall" of the Soviet Union was a smokescreen used by the devil to convince us that Russia had been converted. The fall of the overt manifestations of Bolshevism in Eastern Europe and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has not stopped the spread of the errors of Russia there or elsewhere, including the United States of America. The Pope returned icons to the Russian Orthodox, warned against Catholic "proselytism" there, and stood by as his curial cardinals said repeatedly that Russia, steeped in the errors of Orthodoxy, did not have to be converted to the Catholic Faith, turning Our Lady’s Fatima Message on its head. Pope John Paul II's steadfast refusal to consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will rank as one of the worst acts of betrayal of Heaven next to King Louis XIV and the bishops of France refusing the pleas of Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689 to do what Our Lord had requested at that time: the consecration of France to His Most Sacred Heart. And there is the nasty little reality that overt Communism is very much alive and well in Red China, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The end of Communism? The Conversion of Russia? These things have not happened. They are myths.
Each of the first twenty-nine Successors of Saint Peter were martyred as the forces of secularism and Roman imperialism sought to crush out the infant Church in the manner that King Herod the Great sought to crush out the infant Jesus shortly after His Nativity in Bethlehem. Try as evil rulers have during the past two millennia, however, the Church founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, remains as a Sign of Contradiction in the midst of a world today that is eerily similar to that in which Saints Peter and Paul lived and gave up their lives to bear witness to the true Faith.
We must remember that not even a pontificate fraught with Modernist overtones can destroy the Church. And we must remember that God alone is the judge of any one person's soul, including the late Pope John Paul II. Each of us is going to have enough to answer for at the moment of our own Particular Judgments. Noting the defects of the late Pope's pontificate in no way means that I am presupposing the judgment of God on the soul of the son of Poland, Karol Wojtyla. We thus pray fervently for Pope John Paul II's soul. It is a fundamental act of presumption, though, for people to speak and to act in such a way as to lead the impression that Pope John Paul II is a saint and that there is no need to pray for his soul. The move for canonization of the late Holy Father by popular acclamation is not of God.
The pontificate of the late Pope John Paul II either represented an authentically new way of the Church presenting herself to the world or it represented a tragic departure from the sure path of Tradition that had been followed by every single pope prior to 1958. If the pontificate of the recently deceased Holy Father was an authentic inspiration of the Holy Ghost, there is at least one minor problem, which has been mentioned and documented before: the countless numbers of desecrations of Our Lord in His Real Presence on a regular basis in Catholic Masses around the world, including those offered by the Holy Father himself, who had been informed of these abuses by cardinals and other curial officials. The Holy Ghost would never approve of such sacrileges. The Catholic Faith can never be reconciled with offenses against the Blessed Sacrament and denials of articles contained in the Deposit of Faith. No priest such as Father Bruno Forte, who had written in the 1990s that the Resurrection of Our Lord never happened, would have been approved to be a bishop by a pope concerned about the integrity of the Faith and then consecrated personally by the cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Catholic Church is the Mystical Bride of Christ, Who is her Invisible Head. She will last until the end of time despite all of the assaults waged against her by the enemies of the God-Man from without. She will last until the end of time despite all of the efforts of her members, including each one of us, to undermine her authority by our sins and our indifference and our bad example. She will last until the end of time despite this current epoch of novelty that has been embraced by one pope after another since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. (And Pope Pius XII put into place most of the key players--Giovanni Montini, Annibable Bugnini, Angelo Roncalli--who would undermine the Church in her human elements.) She will last until the end of time despite all of the multifaceted and inter-related problems that beset her at present. The jaws of Hell will never prevail against the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church headed on earth by the Successor of Saint Peter, the Vicar of Christ.
Sadness at the events of the late Pope John Paul II's pontificate, though, must not be mistaken for a lack of faith in the Omnipotence and Omniscience of God, Who has known from all eternity that these events would take place during our lifetimes. As I noted last year, our faith must never be shaken by this or that scandal or this or that abomination. Our faith in the indefectibility of the Catholic Church must be absolutely unshakable. I do not pretend to understand why these things are occurring. I know, though, that the graces won for us on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood are sufficient for us to bear the crosses we are asked to bear in the life of the Church at present.
Remember well these words of Pope Pius XI, contained in his 1925 Encyclical Letter on the Social Reign of Christ the King, Quas Primas:
We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before.
The present situation in the Church is truly one of a chastisement, to be sure, that may not be resolved until some pope actually does consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. There are many complex and inter-related forces that have been at work in the world for about six to seven centuries that made their way into the Church herself in her human elements by the time of the early Twentieth Century, as John Vennari has pointed out in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita. Other than that, though, we have to accept the simple fact that many of the things that we hear and see emanating from Rome will be understood fully only in eternity, when all of God's mysterious plan will be seen by the elect who have persevered to the point of their dying breaths in states of sanctifying grace. This does not mean that we remain inert and impassive in the midst of the difficulties that face us. But it does mean that we must never lose our faith and that we must never stop praying for the soul of the late Holy Father, who presided arguably over the worst pontificate in history, while at the same time we pray that the Church’s bishops return to the sure path of Tradition.
Many saints gave up their lives over the course of the past two millennia to bear witness to the truths and the traditions of the Church that have been cast aside, at least in a de facto if not de jure manner, in the past forty-seven years or so. We need to learn from these great saints, not apologize, as the late Holy Father did repeatedly in the past decade or so, for their not having embraced the novelties of ecumenism and ambiguity of language that have been the hallmarks of the conciliar and postconciliar eras. The next Pope is going to need to recover the voice of the first Pope, Saint Peter, who said:
"Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath, raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole. 'This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.' Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under Heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4: 10-12).
Praying for the Church in this time of sedevacantism (we're all sedevacantists at this point until the white smoke appears from the chimney of the the new election building where the cardinals will convene to elect the next pope; even the State of Vatican City issues "Vacant Seat" postage stamps from now until a new pope is elected) to recover all of the glories of Tradition, including the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, which built Christendom and safeguarded it against the onslaught of heretics and infidels and revolutionaries, we remain steadfast in prayer upon the death of Pope John Paul II and prior to the election of his successor. We beseech Saints Peter and Paul as Catholics who have total confidence in Our Lord's promises to His Holy Church, mindful that we must rid ourselves of sin and sinful influences in our own lives and be assiduous in our prayers before the Blessed Sacrament and the Mother of God if we want to be instruments of building up the Church and helping to plant seeds for the day when a Pope will once again reign monarchically and govern decisively for the glory of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Deus, qui inter summos Sacerdotes famulum tuum Joannem Paulum ineffabili tua dispositione connumerari voluisti: praesta, quaesumus; ut qui unigeniti Filii tui vices in terris generebat, sanctorum tuorum Pontificum consortio perpetua aggregetur. Per eumden Dominum.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence was pleased to number Thy servant John Paul amongst the sovereign pontiffs; grant, we beseech Thee, that he who reigned as as the vicar of Thy Son on earth, may be joined in fellowship with Thy holy pontiffs for evermore. Through the same Lord. (From the Collect of the Mass for a Deceased Pope, The Saint Andrew Daily Missal, p. 1813).
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen. Anima ejus et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misercordiam Dei requiescant in pace. Amen.
Eternal rest grant unto Pope John Paul II, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all of the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
The Collect from the Mass for Election of a Pope:
Súpplici, Dómine, humilitáte depóscimus : ut sacrosánctæ Románæ Ecclésiæ concédat Pontíficem illum tua imménsa pietas ; qui et pio in nos stúdio semper tibi plácitus, et tuo pópulo pro salúbri regímine sit assídue ad glóriam tui nóminis reveréndus. Per Dóminum.
O Lord, with suppliant humility, we entreat Thee, that in Thy boundless mercy Thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff, who by his zeal for us, may be pleasing to Thee, and by his good government may ever be honored by Thy people for the glory of Thy name. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee livest and reignest world without end. Amen
Tom has also recommended praying the Veni Creator Spiritus
For past articles by Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey which appeared in The Daily Catholic or of particular importance from his site, see www.DailyCatholic.org/2005coc.htm Archives