Plight of the Pilgrims
Open Letter to His Holiness regarding the state of souls today in the Conciliar Church and the vital need to return to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church
Dear Holy Father, Michael Cain, editor
This week here in the United States we celebrate that great American tradition - Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, primarily our lives, our families, and our Faith. Yet we also have so much that assimilates the perils which the pilgrims experienced in seeking freedom to worship, freedom to live. Nearly 40 million will not be celebrating this Thursday. I know you realize only too well why they can't. They never had a chance. They were aborted in the womb, once the safest place in the world, now a chamber of horrors. As we have written so many times - daily from Ash Wednesday to the Feast of Pentecost in our Herod's Heroes series - we have pleaded with the bishops you appointed to enforce Catholic Dogma, uphold the Ten Commandments and the Canonical Code of the Church. And so we prayed and hoped that the message would sink in. After all, they have the example of some of their peers in Peru and Mexico who have done so.
This past week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops just held their semi-annual conference and elected the first black bishop ever - Bishop Wilton Gregory, the ordinary of Belleville, Illinois as the new president of the body of bishops. Will he be any more persuasive and powerful than out-going president Bishop Joseph Fiorenza was? While many would like to hope and pray so, considering the track record of the NCCB or USCCB and their skewered priorities, optimism is not a feeling one readily gets here in the northern hemisphere of America.
Gary Morella, a devout, staunch Catholic activist and Research Assistant
at Penn State University, in a short commentary regarding the misguided agenda of priorities at the bishops' conference, had this to say:
"Given the state of the Church in America these days, when a majority of Catholics don't believe in the Real Presence, when a majority of Catholic students believe that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle, when directives from Rome, to include the most recent one on the liturgy, are dead-on-arrival, when our Churches and Cathedrals are being stripped of anything distinctively Catholic to include especially the Body and Blood of our Savior in His tabernacles, kneelers, any statues or icons conveying a sense of the sacred, when the liturgy continues to be Protestanized to the point of making it unrecognizable as Catholic with yet more options to further confuse the faithful to include changing the words of the Nicene Creed to make it more gender neutral, when the example of the Holy Father is uncharitably ignored in preventing Catholics who have an affection for the Traditional Mass from the opportunity to participate in that beautiful liturgy, when many of our Catholic schools are indistinguishable from their secular counterparts in regards to allowing our children to be exposed to harmful activities to include mandated AIDS curricula filled with the lies of the militant homosexual movement, when the most filthy of unneeded sex-ed programs are given an imprimatur by our bishops, when vocations are dwindling in the majority of dioceses to the point of being nonexistent, when public heresy repeatedly occurs on the part of clergy and laity alike in the de facto promotion of the culture of death by direct blasphemy and/or inaction to rectify the situation, when the majority of Catholics recently voted for a presidential candidate proudly supporting the culture-of-death in all its hateful manifestations, and when so-called 'Catholic' politicians openly promote mortal sin as public policy, it would seem that there should be more important concerns to our bishops conference than 'diversity' and allowing laymen to preach homilies, thereby further diluting the importance of the ministerial priesthood."
Imagine that! The bishops are now intent on allowing lay Catholics to preach from the pulpit, thus reducing the priesthood even more. It seems so much has been diluted. Oh, optimism is what we would dearly love to promote in these pages, Your Holiness. We have even had a few letters decrying the fact that so much of what we have exposed is depressing. Yes, compromising sin can be depressing - it should be depressing to all who truly know their Faith for it is depressing to loyal Catholics to see how many gullible Catholics - even many priests and bishops - have bought into the damaging and desensitizing rhetoric and ideology of Vatican II. To those who have swallowed the 'enlightened reforms' of Vatican II, then what we are now revealing in The DAILY CATHOLIC can be depressing. But we offer no apologies, Your Holiness, for printing the Truths of Holy Mother Church passed down by past Sovereign Pontiffs - many of them holy ones - and previous Councils - many of them decreeing infallible doctrines.
And speaking of infallible doctrines, to those who might think we are 'schismatic' for being so critical of Vatican II, the post-conciliar Church, and even you, our Sovereign Pontiff, I ask: How can a pastoral-only, totally fallible council trump a doctrinal Council which infallibly decreed dogmas, doctrines and disciplines of the Church that were to be observed forever? Furthermore, how can a pastoral-only council, where everyone and their sister had a say in the schemas, so watered down that all meaning and meat were lost, totally ignore those decrees and disciplines set in stone at the Council of Trent and ratified by a saintly Pope? How can the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, established by God and composed by saints, be stripped and replaced by a Mass fashioned by man, heretics at that? Point in fact, the Novus Ordo Missae - the Mass of Paul VI is the very same one proposed by Martin Luther and adapted by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer for the Anglicans. Point in fact, those who were the architects for that very Mass of Paul VI were six Protestants, a Marxist priest and a known Masonic prelate - Annibale Bugnini.
Do you realize, your Holiness, that if Catholics were to take a look inside a neighborhood Lutheran or Methodist church today, or a Masonic shrine temple near them, they would find little difference between these false religions and the way more and more Catholic churches are set up today? They all have a table, candles, banners, a chair behind and a pulpit. None have a tabernacle, statues or kneelers. All sit, stand and sing, all join hands and celebrate themselves. This 40-year effort to placate Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Jew and atheist has produced a sterile, stark gathering place that reflects little difference from the next place of worship. In all respect, Your Holiness, ecumenism is not working. In truth it is only casting a mythical myst over a chasm that can only be closed by conversion of all to the Church founded by Jesus. No matter how much you want unity, it takes two to tango and few there are who are willing to admit they were wrong; that the only True Church has its seat in Rome. All others are imposters. Catholic Dogma proclaims it. We cannot deny those truths or apologize for them.
However those truths don't seem to phase a great majority of Catholics - be they lay or cleric. Yea, they even feel right at home in the Protestanized liturgy because so many have already compromised so much that they have become desensitized to the uniqueness of the Holy Catholic Church and have come to accept all churches as nothing more than a 'spiritual, social Starbucks' nearest to them. After all, we have been told in the actions and response by you, Your Holiness, and by the bishops you have appointed that all faiths are worthy and have the same God and so it doesn't really necessitate trying to convert the 'heathen' or 'schismatic' or 'misguided Christian' today.
Does Your Holiness realize how many have forgotten their Faith? The bishops won't tell you because they only want to impress you, forgetting Who they really need to impress through their calling as Apostolic successors. Bishops, priests and laity alike have forgotten the Baltimore Catechism. They have forgotten the true Scriptures of Saint Jerome's inspired Latin Vulgate - translated in the Douay-Rheims version of the bible. Please don't allow them to browbeat you and the Curia into accepting the inane New American Bible translations ICEL is trying to push down the throats of Catholics. These translations hardly resemble the Traditional readings held sacred for so many centuries in the Roman Catholic Church. In all respect, Your Holiness, have you forgotten what great Doctors of the Church and the Fathers of the Church and holy Pontiffs of the Church have passed down and set in stone? Do you realize how many neo-Catholics today have forgotten the Ten Commandments?
Do you realize the bishops pay so little attention to their importance as well? As the shepherd goes, there go the sheep. I have just read the fourteen page "Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities - A Campaign in Support of Life" just issued by the bishops conference. As much as I hoped it would contain some clout, some direction and affirmation of the Faith, sadly it is more of the same ol', same ol'.
It is written in the intellectual, schema format that takes up a lot of words but says so very little. It also does not single out abortion but lumps it into the same category as capital punishment. As long as the Conciliar Church holds capital punishment on the same immoral plane as abortion, Catholics will remain confused and anesthetized to the consequences of sin. As long as the bishops remain timid about enforcing Canon Law and making it known far and wide, the number of innocents will only mount as Catholic pro-abort politicians and voters continue to traipse up to Communion every Sunday without even so much as a scolding, only patronized smiles which translate to pure, unadulterated condoning of sin.
This Pastoral Plan was a golden opportunity for the body of bishops to follow the example of Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani of Peru and Norberto Cardinal Rivera of Mexico in stating definitively that anyone who legislates for or knowingly votes for a pro-abortion agenda has excommunicated themselves from the Church latae sententiae. It's Canon Law, the same Code of Canon you revised and approved in 1983. They are evidently afraid that might offend the violators. Researching back on your previous successors of note, such as Popes Saint Leo I, Saint Leo II, Saint Leo III, Blessed Gregory X, Saint Pius V, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Pius XI and Pius XII, they weren't afraid to call a spade a spade. They didn't pussyfoot around an issue taking extreme care not to offend sinners. Rather they took great care in offending sinners so their flocks would repent of their sinful ways and return to what Jesus Christ has always commanded through the One, True Church He founded. Indeed, past Pontiffs knew that only through the Sacraments could they effectively persuade souls that only in the state of Sanctifying Grace and in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church could souls obtain salvation. All other roads were dead-ends. These Popes had a responsibility before God and their flock to enforce the disciplines and uphold the teachings. They refused to compromise. Because of their perseverance the Church grew stronger, the fruits greater.
Compare that with what we have today. Despite your popularity, Your Holiness, can you identify any true fruits? Almost everything that comes out of the bishops and you, as well, reference only Vatican II and anything since, but seldom, if ever, anything prior to Vatican II. It is as if nothing existed prior to John XXIII's impromptu brainchild. Have so many so thoroughly and totally lost focus with what went before? I have been repeating ad infinitum for our neo-Catholic conservative friends who think we have gone off the deep end: The Roman Catholic Church did NOT begin in the 1960's! You know that, you were ordained in 1946. You know what the Church always taught. Many Catholics today don't.
Last week you announced that you wanted to eliminate certain words in inter-religious dialogue; one of them being 'compromise.' Why is that? Could it be because you really don't want to be reminded of how much you and your predecessors in the Conciliar Church have compromised? I know that sounds harsh, but in all respect and fidelity, hasn't this only spawned more compromise in the Church through the trickle-down effect? Consequently, can you see how this has greatly weakened Holy Mother Church's undaunting moral strength in the world? Could that be another reason there have been no fruits for nearly 40 years? I know, I know there are some out there who will accuse me of bashing you, your Holiness. That is their perception. Be assured we love and pray for you daily. But we are troubled by many things you have allowed, by unorthodox things you have done that, in the past, would have caused great scandal not only to Catholics but non-Catholics as well.
Space does not permit me to list all these here, but I encourage you to review our archives and stay tuned to this publication in future issues where you'll find many of the problems I'm referencing, documented and detailed so there are no ambiguities. Though we are mere, humble, insignificant souls, I think it is fair, Your Holiness, to hold you to the same standards every Pope before you was held accountable for. In any organization, if there are problems throughout, you naturally look to the top, not the mailroom. Therefore, if there are problems at the parish level which extend to severe problems in practically every diocesan chancery and ignored at the national level with constant in-fighting at the Curial level, then someone has to be held responsible. Harry Truman put it very bluntly, "The buck stops at the top." We all know the top of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope. There's no getting around it. On this earthly pilgrimage there is no one higher than you. You are Christ's Vicar on earth.
Yes, it's true you inherited a great mess, but we're troubled that you have done little to alleviate the problems.
Consider carefully that if satan was well entrenched in the sanctuary in the mid 70's as Paul VI clearly indicated during one of his audiences, how far the evil one has dug in today - a quarter of a century later. Know this: the prince of darkness is not going to slither out if he is not cast out. No, he is only going to poison more with his venom. Rather, in truth, Your Holiness, do you understand why we believe you have only compounded the problems by appointing more of the same ol', same ol' bishops to key positions that further enable the cancer to linger and spread even more?
Why, despite countless documents like the ambiguous one on Pro-Life, are the bishops so lax in enforcing the disciplines of the Church? Why are they all for compromise? Why are they so tolerant to 'diversity' and so intolerant to those who strive to uphold the Traditions of Holy Mother Church? Consider that at their meeting last week they issued a document on their stance on the war on terrorism as if they were the Democratic Party in miters expressing their societal opinions with very little spiritual guidance. I know they want to have the same powers as the Primacy of Peter and we entreat you to resist their pressure. But scandal is tearing at the ramparts here in the states. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton- you know of this prelate from Detroit I'm sure - was quoted as saying about the U.S.' current efforts in Afghanistan, "It's causing death and suffering to huge numbers of innocent people. If we're religious, moral leaders we ought to be looking for a different set of guidelines and that should be the Gospel."
Gumbleton fails to realize the Gospel where Jesus clearly says to the adulterous woman in John 8: 11, "Go, and now sin no more". Christ didn't say, "well I understand your humanity and those things happen and we'll just have to try better" or "some people just can't help it, they're made that way so try not to sin as much." No, He lovingly forgave her on one condition, one He emphatically commanded: "sin no more!" I ask, Your Holiness, why have Gumbleton and so many others of his spineless ilk catered to sodomites, celebrating blasphemous Masses, encouraging their 'condition' instead of following the Gospel? The common, modernist retort to that is always 'one shouldn't throw stones' or 'one shouldn't judge.' They all conveniently forget that vital part of 'sin no more!' Confession is a wonderful healing sacramental salve only Catholics have the privilege of partaking in, but it should not be abused. As you and I were taught in our fundamental pre-Vatican II catechisms when we confess our sins, when we say the Act of Contrition fervently, we firmly and solemnly promise, with the help of God's grace, to amend our life and avoid the near occasions of sin.
Sin is what has been compromised today. We hear so often neo-Catholics saying "everyone is going to Communion, but so few go to confession." They're right, but they still accept it and lukewarmly avoid correcting others, afraid of being accused of 'judging others' for that is not politically correct. Do you see the plight of those seemingly sailing on a rudder-less ship? How can the common parishioner be faulted if his pastor is not willing to stand up for the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church, if he is not bold enough to call a sin a sin? How can the parishioner be faulted if the priest is not willing to extend the time of Confessions, make it more readily available? After all it is a Sacrament of healing and should not be restricted to just half an hour or so on Saturday afternoon at the priest's convenience. How can the priests be faulted if their bishops do not emphasize this, do not make it widely known that any sin is an offense against God and, if mortal, is a grave, grave offense that impales one on the jagged edge of lucifer's pitchfork? How can the bishops be faulted if they are not severely called to task for allowing heresy, only giving mild rebuke to avowed pro-aborts who claim to be 'Catholic', and permitting the sodomite agenda to gain such steam? By their silence they are condoning the most obnoxious, nauseating sin imaginable. Yet seminaries and even bishops' residences reek of this vile, perverted mentality. And we wonder where vocations are today? So many of the good, orthodox ones have been drummed out. Truth be known, Your Holiness, those who have persevered are most likely studying for the priesthood with the Society of Saint Pius X or burning the midnight oil in progressive, secular schools learning the truths of their Faith on their own. It is these men who struggle against the tide who are our hope for the Church of tomorrow though they are demeaned by the Bishops' Conferences. Yet I ask, how can the episcopal conferences be faulted if your Curia only gives lip service to all these abuses, and does not unmitigatedly and uncompromisingly enforce the disciplines, as your predecessors of past generations and centuries did in upholding the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church? The facts are that we can all be faulted - from me to you, our Roman Pontiff - if we do not adhere to what Christ preached and handed down through His Holy Church. Remember also Our Lord's words in Luke 12: 48, "And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required; and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more."
If your bishops ignore what you have strongly recommended - your motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" is a good example - how much respect could they have for you behind your back? Many believe you have been a prisoner within the Vatican for many years, suffering so and being curtailed. Your Holiness, Peter and Paul were also imprisoned in Rome, but that did not stop them from speaking the Truths regardless of the consequences. For their unyielding efforts they are now reaping their everlasting reward and stand as role models for all, especially those who would follow as successors of the man called Simon Bar Jonah. We pray you will have the fortitude to right the Barque of Peter and steer her closer to the Two Pillars of the True Holy Eucharist and sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary's Immaculate Heart. At your age, it can't be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. It wasn't easy for Our Lord to encounter our sins at Olivet or to carry that heavy cross up Calvary. It wasn't easy for His disciples to give their lives for Him. It was never 'easy' for the countless saints and sinners who shed their blood rather than compromise their Faith.
To every human life is precious, but to Catholics their Faith must be more precious than life itself for life is fleeting, whereas their Faith is the key to Heaven. You have been entrusted with the Keys of the Kingdom. We beg you to unlock the Truths and Traditions that have been locked away for the last 40 years. We beg you to reassert the rock-solid foundations of the Council of Trent as they once stood for nearly 500 years and must stand again for the Council Fathers and the Pope who affirmed their decrees - Pope Saint Pius V proclaimed that they must stand "in perpetuity" as in forever. You, Your Holiness, hold the key to returning the Church to God's good graces by taking out the tables that serve as psuedo altars today and commanding that God in His Tabernacle be placed back in its rightful place front and center on the altar and re-establishing the Tridentine Mass as the proper Mass to be said in every parish for, after all, it is 'the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven.' You must know in your heart that until these drastic but necessary measures are taken, there will be no fruits and the auto-demolition will continue until all that is left is a remnant of the True Church. None of us want it to come to that, your Holiness. Yet it will if we continue to compromise. I know, I know you don't like that term, but there's no getting around it. Compromise should be a dirty word.
If so many from common parishioner to Pope are willing to compromise the Faith so as not to offend anyone, then are we any better off than the bewildered pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock looking for a temporal utopia? The only 'Utopia' is the one God promised us if we obey His Commandments and strive to do His Will. The path is narrow, much more difficult than even the early pilgrims encountered, but the rewards are so great that no cornucopia concept on earth can compare to the Thanksgiving Feast that awaits us in eternity. Because we have lost focus of the strict measures Holy Mother Church set in stone for gaining entry to this everlasting banquet, we can easily see how the harvest in today's Church is so barren. I turn to you, our Pilgrim Pope, to please hear those striving to live as Catholics should and must. The very salvation of over one billion souls depends on you for guidance. Much like the chosen people, who wandered in the desert for 40 years before Moses led them out, we turn to you to lead us - your loyal flock, who have been wandering and wondering in a turbulent sea for 40 years, out of this morose malaise. That is why we turn to you, our Pilgrim Pope, in our plea for the Plight of the Pilgrims.