No doubt you've heard of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' most recent document "Built of Living Stones" which is, in effect, a feeble effort to placate the orthodoxy that loyal Catholics cry for and rightfully demand because Rome says so, because Tradition says so. What basically "Built of Living Stones" does is replace the atrocious "Environment and Art in Catholic Worship" that served as the butcher block to deconstruct our beautiful churches and let goblins into our sacred places of worship, into the hallowed sanctuary.
While it is an improvement over the Bishops' 1978 Liturgical statement, it is not the answer. Like their excellent, but too lengthy 1998 statement on Life, "Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics," it is merely a statement, a paper tiger, if you will, with no teeth behind it. We say this for a number of reasons. First, from research we have uncovered that the 1978 Liturgical statement is another of the grandfathered documents that never had the implicit approval of Rome for it did not follow Canon Law 455, paragraph 2 which specifically states that conferences of bishops can only issue these decrees when two-thirds of their membership votes in plenary session.
In further research the 1978 document was not approved by two-thirds but rather only a committee, the same kind of committee that tried to sneak "Always Our Children" past us. Furthermore, no document is effective unless reviewed and approved by the Apostolic See. In the case of both the 1978 and the 2000 document "Built of Living Stones" was NOT approved by Rome! Therefore, the approved document which preceded it would still be in vogue; which means the tabernacles should NEVER have been moved, nor should the Communion Railings separating the sanctuary from the apse or the rest of the church have been removed. It also means they had no right to dismantle the altar per se or take out the edifying statues they unceremoniously dumped. All the Vatican II documents called for was allowing another altar placed in front of the old to allow for the Novus Ordo.
But any remembrance of the old would not suit those intent on protestantizing Holy Mother Church. Therefore the emergence of banners, the rationale that the Tabernacle was a distraction, and the unCatholic resurrexix or plain crosses went up against barren walls stripped of culture. We did it, folks, we let them do it. We let them take Our Lord - the bleeding Christ - off the cross just as Martin Luther and John Calvin did. It all played into their modus operandi of eliminating the "reminders" of a Mystical Body of Christ who must carry their cross daily and be crucified with Him on the cross in order to merit eternal life.
But eternal life was not the goal of those who denuded our altars. They were looking at the temporal welfare. Why else would the sedalia be placed front and center behind the new altars and the Tabernacle - the House of the Holy of Holies be relegated to the side or, worse yet, stuck in a "chapel" accommodating only a few? Whether we realize it or not, the Bishops have enabled man to replace God. I for one am not happy about it! And, though I can't speak for Him, I am relatively sure, the more I study the documents of Vatican II and Trent, that God's not happy either!
Some have criticized us for criticizing the bishops in the past and we offer no apologies because the bishops have betrayed us by their allowing these practices to be perpetuated. We duly note their sacred office and the consecrated sacramental gifts they have been given as shepherds. We respect the office, but it's hard to respect disobedience and by the adaption of these documents are not the bishops disobedient to Rome per Canon Law?
It's that same liberal rationalization, that relativism that has so saturated society today and our Church that we have to "adjust" to society rather than seeking to save society from itself. This whole tolerance garbage is an easy way to turn our heads and not be held accountable for the actions of others. We saw it first in 1968 when so many American Catholics rejected Pope Paul VI's inspirational and necessary encyclical "Humanae Vitae". The bishops saw it, they could have done something then. They could have enforced it with muscle. But, they opted to go along with the majority and, by their silent consent, allowed the sins to multiply.
Yes, it would not have made them very popular with many of their flock whose American mindset was that we are our own nation and no celibate European, even if he is the Roman Pontiff, is going to tell us what to do. Sadly, few stood up against this malaise and, well, friends, you see the results. Today the barn is so full of manure that there aren't enough shovels to dig out. Homosexuality is gaining acceptance everywhere, especially in the Church. How can this be? The answer is simple, majority consensus coaxed by intimidation and ostracization for any who object. When was the last time someone called you a homophobe? Just as I consider it an honor to be called a "Jesus Freak," I consider it right and proper to be called a homophobe for I do want to be associated with someone who abhors sin. I don't hate sodomizers, I love them as God's little ones who are so lost; but I hate the sin, reel from it and will in no way subscribe to tolerance for it.
And in the same vein I hate the sin of fornication. While many might rationalize that that isn't as bad as sodomy, let me remind you that in God's eyes a sin is a sin. While an abortion would seem to be a greater sin because it takes the life of one of God's Own, realize that any mortal sin against any of the Ten Commandments also takes the life of a soul.
I shudder to think how many souls have been lost because of the direction the bishops took over these past forty years. As appointed shepherds, how will God judge them? Remember, He keeps the books, not us. But when you look at the carnage it doesn't take an Oxford scholar to realize someone has to account for the laxity in our Church today. Since when did we start rationalizing sin? Since Vatican II, that's when.
The more I research, the more the sad reality is hitting home. I would love for someone to prove me wrong, truly wrong, but at every turn there it is staring me in the face: a barren tree devoid of fruits. We have had 36 years now of the manipulated Novus Ordo and the "new Church" that seeks an identity with the world today rather than the world Christ promised us in the hereafter. Each year we see more traditions being discarded as the amchurch architects seek to nullify nearly two millenniums of Tradition.
It has come to the point where "Traditionalist" is a bad word today. Since when? I'm proud of the term. And so are many, many Catholics who have for the most part, until now, been silent, been afraid to be called by such an endearing term, feeling a great void and not being heard by the herd or the heads. But there is hope on the horizon.
That hope would be the on-going talks underway in Rome between the Society of Saint Pius X's bishops and the Vatican's heavyweights whom the Holy Father has assigned to the Pontifical Council Ecclesiae Dei. The whole intentioned effort by Pope John Paul II is to rectify the differences between the Universal Church since Vatican II and the small remnant of the LeFebvre movement that followed one bishop; one who saw the dangers ahead and chose to be obedient to the dogmas and doctrines of a Church rather than allow it to be hijacked. I dare say, the more I uncover the more I realize - without a shadow of a doubt - that Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre, the same man so many have villainized for breaking away from the Church, will someday be recognized as a wise and holy voice crying in the wilderness. The problem is we didn't hear him soon enough.
In my extensive research I realize more and more that we've been jobbed, folks, by the modernists. Even the Holy Father has to realize this. I say this because the Vatican, in effect, has admitted it as well. We have it on good authority that the Vatican has agreed to bring Archbishop LeFebvre back into good standing in the Church posthumously. Remember, he was excommunicated in 1988 because he ordained four bishops. Now some of those same bishops are dialoging on equal terms with heavyweight prelates Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos. Who will blink first? The Vatican realizes only too well the mess the modernists have made and they need help. That help can be greatly provided by the priests and faithful of SSPX who have kept the traditions of Trent. They are more than willing to do anything to help return the Church to orthodoxy. It begins with the Liturgy. That's their trump card. Yet the one bugaboo is that SSPX wants Rome to announce that the Mass of All Ages - the Latin Mass - can be said by any and every priest universally. But the Holy See is balking because to admit that means to admit the wrongs of Vatican II.
That's right, the Vatican, by allowing the abuses to get out of hand over the past 36 years, has painted itself into a corner. That is what is so sad. How they will extricate themselves will be interesting. The Pope dearly wants to soothe this one blemish on his pontificate. When you look at the "accusations" of why Archbishop LeFebvre was sadly handed the "Bell, Book and Candle" you have to shudder at how many in the Curia sabotaged him and funneled this direction by their intent, not his. John Paul II realizes this now. What can he do? That is another reason he has accelerated and intensified talks with SSPX principles. We all realize he is getting on in age and his health is deteriorating rapidly. It is important not only to him, but to the welfare of the Church - yeah, for its very life, to reconcile with the one group who remained totally loyal to the tenets many of us were weaned on. That is why he has appointed his top people to accelerate an agreement. He is, as we know, going to Greece in May and later the Ukraine, two hotbeds of the Eastern Orthodox Church. He desperately would love to have a reconciliation of the East West Schism and one way this would be more palatable to the Greeks, and ultimately the Russian Orthodox Church as well, would be a sincere effort to preserve the traditions. You see how SSPX holds the trump card? They have preserved these traditions and there are high level Orthodox prelates who are skeptical of dialoging with Rome because they perceive the Vatican to be leaning toward modernism.
So you might ask, why then wouldn't the Vatican bend over backwards to welcome SSPX back. Why wouldn't they announce that the Latin Mass may be said universally and "in perpetuity" as the Church already has? The reason is very sad. There are strong indications the Curia is intimidated by the bishops. Can you believe that? We can because these conferences of bishops have empowered themselves and, though the collegiality of bishops only has muscle when in concert with the Bishop of Rome, they have even given Rome the impression they're more powerful than they are. And they have the people believing this too. Why? Because Rome didn't censure them earlier when the bishops started to go astray. This conveyed the impression that what they were doing was okay. This opened the door, as we have documented throughout the life of this publication, of the vast abuses that have alienated so many loyal Catholics, confused the common Catholic and empowered the 'cafeteria' Catholic.
It's time to rein in the abusers and if Rome is timid, then we're in trouble.
But there is a way around this that would, for the time being accommodate all parties. I truly believe the only way to realize LeFebvre was right, that the fruits of Vatican II are dry, is to allow an outlet for loyal Catholics to exit the modernist amchurch they're trapped in today. Over time, the exodus will tell Rome what Archbishop LeFebvre was trying to tell the Church. That way would be to either establish a special rite, like the Maronite, or Byzantine Rites. Some say "Latin Rite" would be appropriate. The interesting thing is we already have a Latin Rite. It is what the Roman Catholic Church is supposed to be. But the modernists have tried to eradicate all references to Latin.
Though it would seem a natural because the other rites are based on culture, precedent does not favor it and politics could very well prevent it.
However, when things might look the darkest, that's when the Divine Light shines brighter. Word is that the best and fastest avenue is a personal prelature in the same vein as Opus Dei. Think how great that would be. No matter where you lived, you could gather under this prelature and be beholden to Rome, not your local bishop.
How fast do you think these modern edifices would soon be empty of true loyal Catholics? The numbers of the new prelature would swell beyond anyone's expectations and, eventually, encompass once again the entire Church, reclaiming the Traditions and culture of the doctrines, dogmas and teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
We can only hope and pray that, in God's time, this will become His Ordaining Will and that we have learned and grown stronger during this 36-year exile which was allowed through His Permitting Will. Have we learned that God is not to be mocked and that His House must be reverent, must be focused on Him, not man or his conveniences? Show me a Tridentine Mass and you'll find nothing but reverence, devotion, and, yes, obedience. Show me these modernist parishes and you'll find nothing but celebrating self and a psuedo sense of "feeling good", of "growing in our faith" through a lot of euphenisms without substance. I am so tired of the doublespeak and rationalized rhetoric. Let's get back to basics. It was good enough for nearly 2000 years, why isn't it now? If we were right then, how can we be wrong now?
We can't stop the gargantuan temples of temporal tenacity like the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Cardinal Roger Mahony is building for himself in Los Angeles. Still a year and a half away, it will in no way represent a Catholic cathedral. It is more representative of the ancient egyptian tombs except this modern monstrosity will rise eleven stories into the smog with solid brass doors three stories high. Maybe he's planning it as an airport hanger, because if Rome grants a prelature, there will be a lot less dollars going into all these dioceses. No dogma, no dollars. He might have a more difficult time paying off the $165 million dollar "mistake waiting for the quake." It's the fear of losing this flow of revenue that has many bishops starting to panic. That's why the modernist bishops are so desperate and digging in to dissuade Rome from acknowledging the lack of fruits from their own efforts. They'll try anything to intimidate the Holy See into not recognizing the Latin Mass. Just look at how they've cooperated thus far in allowing the Latin Mass and you'll see what I mean. They've given it a token representation and that's it. They realize if Rome does the right thing they'll lose a lot of revenue and, sadly, that's what's important to them. They realize only too well that monies they were expecting will be earmarked to rebuild our Church, one stone at a time. But only until we begin will they realize their efforts, no matter how opulent, have been in vain. The new Old Church will be like the old Old Church of the saints and sinners who came before us: reverent, not ribald; simple, not sterile; eternal, not temporal.
Jesus came that we might have life and have it oh, so much more abundantly (cf. John 10: 10), but not to the extent of the temporal abundance these new modern monstrosities have carved out of the coffers of Catholics who have been so deceived by shepherds they trusted. No, no document without Rome's imprimatur is going to change things. Words have no impact if they're not backed up with action. We've been saying this about the Bishops' document on life. They feel that's all they need to do and that's it. This 'Challenge to American Catholics' will only be heard, understood and responded to as it should when the bishops put teeth to their remarks by exacting the discipline on those who persist in disobedience to the Church. That is the reason we will not back down in calling for them to notify pro-abort 'Catholic' politicians of their errors and warn them that if they do not repent immediately, they have incurred automatic excommunication - latae sententiae - and it will be so published and told to all. Then, and only then, will American Catholics be challenged to change their ways.
Until they do, we're stuck with this fence-sitting or ostrich mentality. But in the hope of a personal prelature for the Latin Mass being recognized we can take refuge that all is not lost; that we can indeed breathe again the fresh air of a culture so rich in Tradition; that we can be protected from the stale modernistic ozones that pollute our spirituality. In order to truly build living stones, we must go back to the foundation - the Rock upon which our Church was founded. It's the only way the "living stones" can breathe life back into the Church.