January 31, 2006
vol 17, no. 18

In THIS I Rejoice

    With St. Paul imprisoned, inspiration became the mother of necessity. That idiom evolved to "invention is the mother of necessity" and took its toll in 1988 when John Paul II introduced the "Indult"; redundancy supreme considering the True Latin Mass had never been abrogated. But envy and contention had forced his hand because one man dared to stand for the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church - Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Ever since it has, for the most part, been envy and contention that has motivated many of the conciliar bishops to reluctantly establish the "Indult" in their dioceses: not to feed souls, but to starve out Traditional chapels. Yet in this subterfuge there is great hope that others will see through the charade and eventually be reintroduced to what is truly Catholic.

      "It is an important ministry of the non-Indultarian traditional Catholics, SSPX, "independent," and sedevacantist alike, to provide to the Indult-attending Catholics the spiritual buttressing needed to sustain the Catholicism of those in the Indult, by providing Catechisms, spiritual books, and quiet but solid prayerful spiritual support for those within the Indult who fight to keep it Catholic and to oppose and frustrate those in the Indult working to suck it into the Novus Ordo or merely using it as a way to manipulate people. Advance and conquer, ye troops, for what they have taken from us is rightfully ours, and it will be ours again! Tradition shall reign supreme!"

    In his confinement within the Roman prison, the Apostle Paul wrote his last three epistles to the Ephesians, the Colossians, and the Philippians. It is a short passage from this last which I wish to discuss here as it pertains to the right attitude we Catholics ought to have towards the Indult offered by the non-Catholic Vatican of today.

    Paul writes, "Now, brethren, I desire you should know, that the things which have happened to me, have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the Gospel: So that my bands are made manifest in Christ, in all the court, and in all other places: And many of the brethren in the Lord, growing confident by my bands, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear" Philippians 1:12-14.

    This sets the context for what comes. The truth is very much as if in "bands" (bonds), kept from public view and known to few, ignored or at most only discussed in what small portions certain conservative segments of society might be willing to bring out in defense of some particular societal good (such as school vouchers or abstinence education) or resistance against some societal evil (such as abortion or homosexual "marriage").

    Yet, like the Apostle Paul of old, we continue faithfully, though way in the background, almost secret and unknown, and yet readily knowable, not hiding and yet hidden. We boldly speak the truth, calling attention to the evils of all sorts, from the civic evils to the more theological evils of false religion and indifferentism. Part and parcel of speaking that truth, of "preaching the Gospel," is the enabling of people to live the Gospel by means of the sacraments of God's holy Church. Every true Mass is "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven," and provides a glimpse to all in attendance of what the Heavenly glory will be all about, such that it is worth seeking, through difficulty, sacrifice, privation, suffering, and every other obstacle the enemy of our souls could ever throw at us.

    As we know, not even all true Masses have been offered with a right motive, often on the part of those "permitting" them, and occasionally even on the part of those performing them. Yet the Apostle Paul even anticipated this very situation. For in speaking of his bonds and how many have been emboldened to preach the Gospel, he goes on to say, "Some indeed, even out of envy and contention; but some also for good will preach Christ. Some out of charity, knowing that I am set for the defense of the Gospel. And some out of contention preach Christ not sincerely: supposing that they raise affliction to my bands" Philippians 1:15-17.

    Many of us realize that the so-called "indult" is offered, in most places anyway, merely because some other traditional Catholic priest is already operative in the vicinity. Let the SSPX or another traditional order send a priest into an area to set up shop saying Mass and doing all that a legitimate Catholic priest normally should be doing, and only then do those petitioners for an Indult in their area finally get heard. But clearly, wherever it happens that way, the purpose of that "approval" for the Indult is only to "raise affliction" to the bands of obscurity and unpopularity that the SSPX or other traditional priest already there is enduring.

    Of course, even behind that is the bare fact that the "indult" is an illusion, as no such specific or special permission is legally required since His Holiness Pope Saint Pius V so confirmed for all time in Quo Primum, and which even today's Vatican's "Cardinal" Hoyos again acknowledged in a recent 30 Days interview. Besides that, there is the additional fact that the Indult, as originally stated in 1984, requested that those availing themselves of it not question the legitimacy of Vatican II (well it IS "on the books," so to speak, but obviously it truly ought to be taken right back off as soon as possible) and the validity of the Novus Ordo (well again, some Novus Ordos CAN attain a sacramental validity, provided that a number of other additional and external conditions not taught to Novus Ordo seminarians today are met, though most frequently they are not).

    Finally, in the Indult, a man is referred to as though he were pope, when plainly he is not (indeed, grave doubts hover over the question of whether or not he was even validly made a bishop, owing to serious defects in the ceremony so used). So the question arises: Is the Indult bad; can anyone rightfully attend it? I think it is time to put the whole question of the Indult in context, that we may respond fairly and properly towards it.

    First of all, there are many limitations to it. Some doubt also hovers over the validity of some of the priests (?) saying it. Their bishops may not be real bishops. Their own "ordination" may be inadequate, being done in the new formula, and even in some cases, without going through all the minor orders and subdeacon before the grades of deacon and priest. (I should point out here that Bishop Bruskewitz, to his merit, and against the suggestions of current FSSP Superior General Fr. Devillers, insists upon providing tonsure and all seven degrees of Holy Orders on what FSSP priests he ordains.) However, even here there are still many over whom there is no question. Some come from the SSPX or other traditional order, others were ordained before the changes to ordination in 1968, still others are ordained by Bishops Rangel or Rifan for Campos all traditionally, and finally not all Novus Ordo ordinations are intrinsically invalid. Each case must be individually studied (which the SSPX does in accepting any priest ordained (?) in the Novus Ordo but willing to join their order), but I strongly believe that some few Novus Ordo ordinations would pass muster, hopefully a higher percentage of those which are performed expressly for the Indult.

    But what if the one performing the ordination is not validly a bishop? There is also the fact that, as Fr. Lucien Pulvermacher (Pius XIII) discovered, there was an instance where a priest-abbot of some religious house was asked by the Pope of his day to ordain some men from his order. When the fact emerged that he was only a priest himself and not a bishop, nevertheless the men he ordained were not reordained but simply pressed into service. Therefore, if, for example, were Bishop Bruskewitz not to have obtained a valid episcopacy (quite probable as he was "consecrated" in the new "rite") the fact remains that he is still validly a priest, ordained prior to 1968, and providing he really is as conscientious as he seems to be about it, he would be therefore nevertheless capable of making valid priests for the FSSP.

    But some number of other Indult priests would have to be considered highly questionable as to their ordination, as some were "ordained" in and for the Novus Ordo and only later given an Indult with of course no attempt to see to their real ordination.

    More serious is the fact that few Indult locations can provide the full run of all Catholic sacraments. There are a small handful of "indult" parishes, and perhaps as many further locations where one could obtain any needed sacrament if specifically asked for, but by and large it is only the Mass which is offered, maybe in some few additional cases, funerals or even weddings. I even know of one such instance where a traditional Confirmation was given to a certain Latin professor who was converting from the Anglican church. Granted, the other sacraments tend to be needed only rarely, whereas the Mass is needed Sundays and Holydays of obligation (and rightly to be made available daily except Good Friday), so while many Indult locations might be adequate for such regular weekly needs, one would have to turn elsewhere for most other sacraments in most cases. Even weekday Masses tend to be somewhat rare in the Indult.

    As to the question of attending a Mass where the Vatican leader is named as though he were pope, sedevacantist and St. Thomas Aquinas scholar John Lane fully demonstrated that attendance at an "una cum" Mass (that is, a Mass offered "in union with" the modernist Vatican leader), though advised against, is nevertheless a legitimate alternative for a Catholic, even a Catholic who fully understands that the Vatican leader is, technically, not an actual successor of Peter. Basically, being mistaken about who is or is not the real pope (as some priests indeed have been and are mistaken) does not constitute a formal heresy or schism from the Church, and as such, such a priest's Masses, in the absence of any declaratory sentence upon him, remain lawful for the faithful to attend. Reference: The Question of Assistance at the Mass of a Priest Who Professes Communion With John Paul II as Pope

    Now, what about the claim that those in attendance at an "Indult" Mass are thereby consenting to Vatican II and the Novus Ordo? With such reservations as I illustrated above, what is actually asked could be accepted, namely that Vatican II is on the books, and that some few Novus Ordos, under the very most favorable conditions, may have indeed attained sacramental validity, albeit fewer and fewer as time goes on. Furthermore, it is a widely known and commonly accepted fact that the vast majority of those in attendance at any typical Indult Mass do not in fact concede such points, and yet they are all still welcomed and permitted to receive the sacrament offered therein. Unless some guard at the door bars entrance to any who will not grant those claims, no such granting can be presumed on behalf of any in attendance.

    Finally, as we know, not all Indults are properly done. Many mix rites, using Novus Ordo readings, or being said out loud, or being a Sunday Mass done on the Saturday night before, or even in some cases being outright Latin Novus Ordos. There is also certain forms of pressure being put on many in the Indultarian milieu to get in step with the Novus Ordo, to tolerate it, or even participate in it, and the like. Recall what I formerly wrote here on The Daily Catholic about how His Excellency Bishop Rifan's new bad associations have led him into some various public sins and scandals in Bad Company Ruins Good Morals part two.

    Let us now examine the motives of those involved. We know that many (not all, I do believe there have been some very few exceptions) are finally "permitted" not because of any love of the authentic Catholic Mass or of allowing God to be worshipped as He desires, or even as His Church desires to worship Him, but merely as a means to try to rival and perhaps close down some competing priest from some non-Indultarian order, something quite on the level of gas station price wars. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul was speaking about when he mentioned some preaching the Gospel out of envy rather than goodwill. The typical Novus Ordo "bishop," frankly envious of the good that is being done by some SSPX or "independent" or sedevacantist priest nearby, thus opens up an Indult in the vicinity with the hope of putting the other traditional priest out of business, or at least of being able to tap in on some of the "traditional Catholic revenue" which is plainly in evidence nearby. Thankfully it almost never works as anything more than a small fund booster.

    But what about the Indult priest himself. How many bright young men, holy and eager to serve the Church with the fullness of their being, renouncing all the earthly compensations of beautiful wife and darling children, of hearth and home, would go through all that effort it takes to get through, say, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton (the FSSP seminary in Nebraska), merely to work towards the destruction of all that he dedicated his life to serve? Sadly, there are a few such, and I name among those the architects of the infamous "Protocol 1411" of which the above-mentioned Fr. Devillers is the only American. However, the general run of the priests in that order themselves truly love the authentic liturgy and seek also to instruct those under their care in the authentic catechism and so forth. And many of these fully understand the sick political reasons for their being permitted at all in many places, and fully understand that if ever the local non-Indultarian traditional priest were to close up shop, then their own services would be soon enough "no longer needed" there.

    Finally, there is the motive of those lay in attendance. Some simply come to the closest real Mass to where they live. Some others merely come for the nostalgia or for the beauty of the Latin chant or other aesthetic reasons, with no intent to live as a Catholic. Still others, too afraid to go to an "unapproved" Mass, nevertheless seek tradition and often find it there for the first time in their lives, sometimes staying (if the Mass location is adequate) and other times moving on to the other priest whose Mass they formerly feared to attend (especially if it is not adequate). Many attend the Indult because they know what a true Catholic Mass is, but reject the non-indult traditional Mass due to altogether unfounded and gravely misdirected fears of being "outside the Church." Despite that horrific error of fact, their hearts are still at least in the right place.

    Be all of that as it may, given that the intention of those in charge permitting it is in all too many cases founded on envy and ill will, what does the Apostle Paul have to say about it? He continues, "But what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion, or by truth, Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my expectation and hope; that in nothing I shall be confounded, but with all confidence, as always, so now also shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" Philippians 1:18-20.

    So even though the Indult might be offered out of envy instead of goodwill, I rejoice in it and desire and wish it every expansion as I desire and wish the expansion of all strains of the authentic Catholic Church. For in addition to the Apostle Paul's point, the Indult itself is also a beachhead of Catholicism in what is otherwise a non-Catholic organization. Though another traditionalist writer once described the Indult as an "odd flag of truce that has been hoisted, astonishingly enough, in the heat of battle," the Indult is in fact one of the principal battle arenas, and the one where the two different religions, Catholic and Novus Ordo, most directly meet head to head.

    It is an important ministry of the non-Indultarian traditional Catholics, SSPX, "independent," and sedevacantist alike, to provide to the Indult-attending Catholics the spiritual buttressing needed to sustain the Catholicism of those in the Indult, by providing Catechisms, spiritual books, and quiet but solid prayerful spiritual support for those within the Indult who fight to keep it Catholic and to oppose and frustrate those in the Indult working to suck it into the Novus Ordo or merely using it as a way to manipulate people. Advance and conquer, ye troops, for what they have taken from us is rightfully ours, and it will be ours again! Tradition shall reign supreme!

Griff L. Ruby

Griff's book is available from Books for $26.95 or can be read on-line at We at The Daily Catholic strongly urge you to share it with all you can for that could be the gentle shove that moves your friends back to where the True Faith resides forever, rooted in the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church as Christ intended and promised.

    Griff Ruby's STRAIGHT STUFF
    January 31, 2006
    Volume 17, no. 18