It was with a most heavy heart that I learned of your recent transference from the Sisters of the CMRI to a Novus Ordo group in town. Though I only got to know a few of you briefly at the various CMRI conferences, you had long made a real impression on my wife and me. I have to wonder how your parents must feel about this, after all the love and godly guidance they lovingly gave you all the growing up years of your lives. Their hearts must be breaking. Mine would. Most of all our Lady's heart is broken beyond belief to see your former chaste union to Christ so gravely violated, and with your own consent. Perhaps you have among you a painting of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, complete with thorns and swords. Look again more closely at it; there's another little sword there now, and that sword is over you.
I don't know all the sequence of events. Perhaps that is the sort of thing for all of us to learn at the final Great White Throne Judgment (which will come whether you choose to believe in it or not). But having seen all sides of the Novus Ordo in my years before converting to Catholicism I think I have some idea what at least some, perhaps most, of you are going through.
I don't doubt that this has to feel as a most exciting time as almost no sooner do you go to the Novus Ordo the famous, long-awaited Motu Proprio finally came out. Perhaps you might almost feel this has something to do with you, but I think you also must know better than that. Right now, everything must seem to be coming so easy. Everyone there in the Novus Ordo must all seem so friendly and supportive, and you are the center of attention. I suppose that probably surprised you. It shouldn't have. The issue was never about "nice people" but about Truth, and that is something you will find that these "nice people" care little to nothing about.
Right now, you are being courted, in a way. No doubt everything you say they listen to with seeming rapt attention and it must feel great to be "heard." Perhaps it will take some five to ten years for it to set in that all the great stuff about how your faith had formed you, how your discipline had well shaped your life for all those past decades, and all the times you may wax nostalgic about the other loving sisters you leave behind, all of that is ignored and forgotten by them, and that only the negative stuff is being retained and noted for future reference and use. I can already see it coming. Some years from now you will find yourself being quoted, something you are saying now. And it will be something about how Bishop Shuckardt mis-micro-managed you or some other grievous thing he did, or about some rotten Sister So-and-So who should never have been a sister, or some other such ugly gossip.
Right now you may think you have influence, as everyone seems so willing to follow your advice about things, to accommodate your wishes, so responsive to your needs. I wonder how long it will take before you notice others in your midst there not being treated so well. Think of the guy who treats his dinner date well but utterly chews apart the poor waitress who gets the order wrong. People will say things to each other that sound innocuous to you but there is history behind it, subtext and attitude, and the only clue is a moment's hurt expression on the part of one person in the hearing of it.
Even now, look at how they have had you abusing the authority and trust as a teacher placed in you by those at the Mount, undermining authority and even sneaking around behind the backs of not only ecclesiastical authority but even parental authority. Already, the Novus Ordo has taught you to lie, to cheat, and to steal, not at all Catholic behaviors by my way of looking at things. And don't for a moment suppose that they would be above doing the same thing to you the moment it serves their agenda. You are being most cynically ill-used.
Perhaps you think you can bring the Gospel to them, now that you seem to have their hearing, that they will set you to teaching their children in school as you did up on the Mount, or teaching at retreats and so forth. So many truly Catholic things and ideas and concepts that you have always grown up with and taken for granted are alien to them and unknown to them, and perhaps you imagine that you will gain in them an audience for what you can share about what real service to the Lord has been like.
But this will never happen. When all is said and done and the excitement wears off, you can count on being sequestered off somewhere that no Novus Ordoites will have to be affected by anything you have to say. They will use you for making Novus Ordoites out of traditional Catholics, never for making traditional Catholics out of Novus Ordoites. Within five years you will be seeing things that are gravely wrong and you will want to fix it and only then will you discover that Immaculate Heart Retreat Center is but a comfortable bubble where you might be treated well enough, but where your good influence will be contained so that you can in fact accomplish nothing good.
In a recent news report about you, I want you to take a close look at the following statement: "Bishop Skylstad has approved [your] statutes, erecting The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church as a private association of the faithful, a carefully defined term under Church law." Nothing in the Novus Ordo is ever "carefully defined" except when it comes to circumscribing the rights and prerogatives of what few traditional Catholics they manage to capture in their bell jar. Notice that bit that follows about being "recognized by the diocese for three years"? What that means is that should some unhappy reality of the Novus Ordo intrude upon your consciousness and shock you into returning to the real Church up on the Mount, they won't have to renew your existence and you won't be able to claim a new "canonical erection" once the three years expire. You might want to take a good hard critical look into that "carefully defined" term, but I leave this to you as a most sobering exercise to do on your own when the doubts about what you did begin to settle in.
Perhaps you are impressed by their immense infrastructure, schools, hospitals, glorious cathedrals, charitable organizations and activities and so forth. Bear in mind however that this glorious infrastructure and all these wonderful things were built only by traditional Catholics laboring as you did for the previous 20 or 30 years or so. Long work, boring work, repetitive work, and with little glory or thanks for your efforts. No doubt a lifetime of the same old same old got boring to you and you grew weary in doing good. But it is only that hard labor, a labor of love, on the part of millions of traditional Catholics (for all Catholics were traditional only a couple generations ago and clear back to the beginning) is what built up that magnificent edifice.
Look around you. Can you seriously believe that the guitar-strumming hand-holding swaying swishy mass of lukewarm and worldly "parishioners" could have ever built all this up, or even anything at all? They have no concept of doing what you did for 20 or 30 years in the service of the Church in the order of the CRMI; they have no concept of the suffering and sacrifice that goes into building, well, anything, let alone the magnificent edifice and infrastructure that surrounds you now. Think of an immense family fortune, long built up over generations and generations, only to be squandered by one single selfish generation. The crumbling structure around you has only been torn down, vandalized, and sold off bit by bit to pay for grave scandals of the worst and most degenerate kind. It's amazing there is any of it left, but that is only a measure of just how immense the family fortune had been that even after some 45 years or so there is anything of it left. The Novus Ordo cannot build; they can only tear down. And under their auspices, tearing down is the only thing you will be allowed to do.
So you were impressed by your visit to Rome? We traditional Catholics built it, and as the saying goes, it was not built in a day. Those who inhabit it now are only thieves who stole it from us and would if they could tear it apart in a day. Certainly what they managed to do in a mere 45 years will take many centuries to repair, once the properties (or what's left of them) are finally returned to their rightful holders. Don't tell me you couldn't read that sign hanging over the Cupola of Saint Peter's that reads "Under New Management," a sign otherwise known as Vatican II. They're just not done remodeling it yet.
Look again at what's left of that infrastructure. WE built it, we traditional Catholics. For some 20 or 30 years or so, YOU helped to build it, again, afresh, and anew, from scratch, just as the Church once did those millennia ago. What are you doing now? In one year you can cancel out all the good you did for those so many years. The diligence you learned all your life is one thing you will unlearn from being in the Novus Ordo over time.
But I know that isn't all that you can see. I know much of the ways of the Novus Ordo, of how they will leave a piece of candy under your pillow with a note attached that reads "We've been praying for you" or "Jesus loves you" or hide a lovely hand-made drawing under your dinner plate, to be discovered at the most propitious moment. I know how they will hit you with a zillion little things like this to move you to tears and make you feel so loved in ways you never felt loved before. There is a name for this (at least among those who study cults) and that is "love bombing." But this takes work, and don't for a moment expect it to be sustained over time.
They will sustain the love bombing, the attention, the support and so forth only until they truly know that they have you. You may feel that you have already signed yourself over to them, but they know you better than you know yourself. They can still see the many levels on which you are still sitting on the fence, or even still very much on the traditional Catholic CMRI side of it. They see the bridges you haven't burned yet, and much more importantly the loving bishop, priests, and fellow sisters you leave behind and who even now would gladly welcome and accept you back should you return to your senses, and even after you will feel that you have destroyed all and made a complete mess of everything. And they also see the good habits, the piety, the diligence, and the sheer virtue that they can only try to imitate. These things too must be undermined before you are truly theirs and things can then settle into a humdrum "this horrible thing is all they use me for" existence that will leave you wondering yet also knowing just what you did to deserve it.
But there does come that point where they can sense you have really and truly passed over to them and that they no longer need to impress you and court you. When that happens, the "Missionaries of Charity," having served their purpose, will be scattered far afield from whence they came and you will be alone, trapped, with nowhere to turn. All of those people who seem so helpful and supportive and loving now will get on with their own little lives and you won't be a part of their lives. Instead you will only be trotted out from time to time as a means to get back at traditional Catholics and otherwise kept under wraps.
Are you really all that persuaded that there must be a pope, and so therefore Benedict XVI must therefore be it? Are you really all that persuaded that the Novus Ordo might still be valid despite its grave defects from the standpoint of infallible sacramental theology? I think the decision to be persuaded is an emotional one, one that would never stand in the cold light of day and reason. Is it painful that the Church has been without universal leadership for so very long? Well it should be felt as pain (as I do). But what ought one do with a broken bone? Inject oneself with morphine to kill the pain and pretend that all is well? Or set the bone and go through a painful healing process?
No doubt the morphine feels real good right now, and especially with that Motu Proprio, yet in almost the same breath the same man just told all the Catholics in China to turn to the schismatic Patriotic "church" and let their spiritual needs be taken care of there. Compare that with the sentiment His Holiness Pope Pius XI expressed on that very question of abandoning a flock:
"What a terrifying account, Venerable Brethren, we shall have to give to the Prince of Shepherds, to the Supreme Bishop of souls, if we have handed over these souls to incompetent guides and incapable leaders."
Ad Catholici Sacerdotii, 44.
And even regards that Motu Proprio: My time to write is precious and limited and yet I took the time to write you first, my dear sisters, before setting about to address that document and its impact. But of that I will say this now. It is less than a month and already the Vatican is backpedaling from that document, even such as it is, in that they have proposed mutilating the Good Friday prayers even further than the 1962 Missal already did. No doubt "bishop" Skylstad and thousands of others like him all around the world have already noted this with a self-satisfied smirk on their collective face. By September it could practically be dead on arrival.
So some things they say sounded Catholic? Even Benedict XVI can at times sound almost like a Catholic Pope speaking. And in our emotional pain we so wish the crisis to be over that we are willing to accept any sign, no matter how patently false and fictitious, to convince us that the nightmare is finally over. But really, did you expect that everything they say would sound like Novus Ordo nonsense? Especially when they are catering directly to you (and being careful not to show that "catholic" face to their general run of parishioners), all of that is done merely to impress you with how "catholic" they can sound. But behind it all the poison still lies. In time you will see it again, but for now they are "putting on a happy faith" just to impress you.
But really, perhaps your expectations may have been distorted by an accident of how the Novus Ordo has been described in all your conferences and classes and teachings from the pulpit up at the Mount. But there is a reason for this. There is just so very much nonsense that goes on at the Novus Ordo that there is never enough time to even scratch the surface of it all. Imagine making a critique of something (a book or a play or whatever) and it goes like this: "It's fine except this thing here, and this thing here, and this, and this, and so on," to a very great number of things that the "it's fine except" part just gets lost in the shuffle.
Of course there are some fine things in the Novus Ordo, even as there are fine things in many other churches and groups all over the place. Even a rank Protestant can sound astonishingly Catholic when expositing on some particular Scripture which their Protestant Church has not as yet corrupted.
More importantly, perhaps you saw the sedevacantist finding as being about "the guy can just never do anything right; he's thoroughly evil and ever plotting the damnation of souls." It was never about that and I can only apologize on behalf of my fellow Catholics for having allowed that impression to come across if that was the case. Rather it is a strict canonical question. Can a man be pope whose jurisdiction does not extend over the whole Church? Can a man be pope whose election was to a different and lesser office, an office of man's making? And even good and nice people can be in error, but is that possible to a pope?
It is not and never has been about judging the man, or of deciding for ourselves whether he is orthodox enough or what not. If that was somehow what you thought, the issue was something that you have always misunderstood. No wonder you were so easily set up. The heresies of the men merely serve to call attention to the fact of some canonical defect of the man's claim to the papacy (be it whoever). The defect has been positively identified and the defect is still in place. That defect is Vatican II; it is Lumen Gentium with its notorious "subsists in" that allows for salvific religious hierarchies in no way answerable de jure to the Vatican leader in his new and thereby lesser and non-papal office. And it is in all that followed from it in the form of non-Catholic and frequently invalid services, the abuses that inevitably must follow in turn from that, and all the hostility against real Catholicism that either condemns it outright or else handles it with surgical gloves.
And maybe there is worse to all this: It is a well-known saying that "You become what you hate." Certainly, the Novus Ordo is a most hateful and despicable thing, causing the loss of faith and Heaven to billions of souls, betraying the trust so many placed in God, not even realizing that God's promises never applied to the Novus Ordo in the first place, and with all of its callous disregard and even flouting of spiritual things, grave pastoral malpractice performed in a systematic and ongoing manner, sheer mockery of God and of all things sacred and so forth. And this was known to you not only through sermons and teachings but in your own experience as teachers.
Once in a while some Novus Ordo family would send their child to the school on the Mount instead of the Novus Ordo school. They did this because they did not want their child coming home from school sporting a Mohawk, tattoos, and pierced body parts. Or else some families simply wanted their sons to be on the best High School Basketball team in the Spokane area. But you as their teachers could easily enough identify the pupils coming from Novus Ordo families, as they were frequently the worst behaved, the discipline problems that you and their fellow pupils had to bear with in considerable patience and fortitude. They were always trying to bring in their worldly jokes and music and were a bad influence on the other pupils. Indeed, you should consider paying an unexpected visit to a Novus Ordo High School in the area and see for yourself the sort of rebellious kids they are, in such stark contrast to those you taught up at the Mount.
Hateful thing that the Novus Ordo indeed be, hate itself is never a useful thing. If you grow to hate a thing enough and long enough, something else can happen, something the thought of which I am sure both fascinated and horrified you in bygone days. I notice that there does not even seem to be even one Indult Mass (or even "mass" service simulation presided over by an invalid cleric) anywhere in or near Spokane. Where do you go for Mass? Something tells me you go to the Novus Ordo. If that is indeed the case, how can I help but doubt that at least some of you attend it, not with a heavy heart, looking to correct it as some of you might imagine possible, but with that secret perverse thrill that comes from doing something you have always been forbidden to do, both by good sense and by lawful authority (in the person of our holy Bishop, Mark Pivarunas). You have become what you have always hated. And I know that repentance from that will have to be the deepest and most tearful of all for I have had to do it myself.
That is the result of hatred. We were never called to hate, but to love these poor misguided souls who sadly populate the Novus Ordo (and all false religions). And true love for them does not aid and abet their error but calls them from it. True love for an alcoholic does not give him another drink but instead helps him to free himself from the bottle. But where before you were called to help free them from their "bottle," now you instead hand them another "drink." Who knows but some Novus Ordoites might have been seriously thinking of returning to the Church and now you, who represented the Church, have instead gone over to them, not as a missionary, but as a runaway from a most loving home.
Perhaps some of you wondered about God's promises, and how the Church could be left without a pope for so very tragically long. The unpleasantness of a fact does not make it untrue. And there most certainly is not any dogmatic time limit as to how long the Church can function without a Pope. There is no number of years past which one becomes rightly able to say "well, the Church cannot have gone this long without a pope so it's time for me to start casting about for some Wanna-be claimant out yonder somewhere to take as my own personal pope." The sick irony to all this is how you all watched and saw and were part of God's fulfillment of His promises up there on the Mount and in service to the CMRI.
Were you without a priest? Were you without the sacraments? Were you without guidance? Were you without a spiritual family that loves you for who you are and not merely for what you can do for them? Was not every legitimate aspiration of your soul keenly felt and met by your true Family in Christ up at the Mount, and subject to possibly the most princely Prince of the Church our own Most Reverent Bishop Pivarunas? Even when His Church is so gravely wounded by lack of human leadership and unity as it is today, are not the real needs of His flock met even now? God truly HAS fulfilled all His promises in the CMRI and in all the other faithful traditional Catholic orders and faithful clergy around the world; how can you dare to not fulfill your promises to them? And in time (we must be patient; some crises have lasted up to 70 years, and this one could go even longer than that at the rate things are going) God WILL restore the papacy. But where will you be found on that glorious day?
How long can it be before those left in the Novus Ordo all look at each other and say "Who are we all kidding here, anyway" and fold it all up? Their show will not last, but we are truly the Catholic Church and we shall continue to the end of time. We will always be here, ever ready to welcome you back home, with open and loving arms, we who are your real family and the only ones who love you for yourselves. I pray that you may be still in a position to return to us and to the True Faith and Church when the realization finally comes that here with the CMRI your true congregation is where you truly belong. For there can come that horrible point beyond which your Mother and Father and all of us who love you can no longer help you though with all our hearts we would if we could.
Your loving Brother in Christ, Griff
Griff L. Ruby
Griff's book is available from iUniverse.com Books for $26.95 or can be read on-line at www.the-pope.com 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.