April 30, 2002
volume 13, no. 82

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Vatican II: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Part Three

by Michael Matt , editor, The Remnant
    Reprinted with the gracious permission of editor Michael J. Matt of The Remnant

It's the Council, Silly!

    This used and abused Council—regardless of what Pope John XXIII’s intentions might have been when he first decided to call it—was in the end commandeered by enemies of the Church of one stripe or another. And, as such, it will surely go down in history as having facilitated a revolution, such as the Church has never before seen. In fact, history’s verdict is already coming in—and it doesn’t look good for the Council. More and more historians are beginning to see Vatican II for the catastrophe that it was.

    In his new book, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church (published in 2001 by Prima Publishing, Roseville, CA, and endorsed by the likes of Robert Novak, Ralph McInerny and EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo), H.W. Crocker III gives the following less-than-positive critique of Vatican II:

        The new pope who was to lead the Church on this pilgrimage was Paul VI (1963-1978). He inherited an almost impossible situation. Vatican II was drenched with worldly praise, which is always a bad sign, and its inarguably disastrous results came pouring in soon after. The number of seminarians collapsed. Thousands of priests and religious abandoned their vows to more fully participate in the world—in a manner of speaking. Laypeople followed, becoming more like their Protestant and agnostic brothers and sisters, divorcing, contracepting, and eventually aborting at similar rates. “Openness to the world” brought with it a spirit of indiscipline. Vatican II documents were broadly interpreted to justify experimentation, beliefs, and practices that were unjustifiable. This should have been no surprise—and to conservatives in the papal curia, it wasn’t. It was ever thus with liberal reforms—they do not easily end or define themselves. In one horrible flush, the postwar Catholic recovery was lost…. (my emphasis)
    (Page 416, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church)

    Vatican II had “inarguably disastrous results”? We’ve been saying this for almost four decades, but were routinely labeled “schismatic” for doing so. Somebody might want to give EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo a call and make sure he knows exactly what he endorsed. He gives this book “two thumbs up” right there on the back cover: “A biting, unapologetic romp,” gushes Mr. Arroyo, “through Catholic history that debunks some long-held myths and celebrates the glory of the Catholic faith. A much needed Triumph.” I’ll say! The book (not penned by a Traditionalist, by the way) inadvertently debunks the number one myth of the twentieth century—that Vatican II was the work of the Holy Ghost.

    Whether EWTN is finally beginning to figure it out, or whether Raymond just neglected to finish reading the book before reviewing it, I don’t know. But the point is, a lot of voices are now admitting what has long been the Traditionalists’ unavoidable conclusion—Vatican II was a cataclysm without precedent in the history of the Church.

    In addition to having been hijacked while it was still in session by the most liberal Rhineland bishops (see The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber), Vatican II’s total impact on the Church after a mere forty years is now being described by historians as “inarguably disastrous” (see the new book Triumph), and there’s a very good chance that Vatican II was also part of a Masonic plot to destroy the Catholic Church (see Athanasius and the Church Of Our Time), making it anything but the work of the Holy Ghost (see I Accuse The Council!). So, what are we talking about here? At best, the Council, because of its novelty and abounding ambiguities, was an unmitigated disaster with a calamitous ripple effect throughout the entire Church; and at worst it just might have been the crowning achievement of international Freemasonry and, as such, an affront to Almighty God!

    Some Council!

    Of course, Cardinals Ratzinger, Castrillon and Medina Estevez are passionate believers in the great Council. They still work tirelessly for a more rapid implementation of its sixteen decrees. But for other churchmen, some of whom were at the Council, it was indefensible. Bishop Graber, Bishop Dwyer, Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop Castro-Mayer are among the churchmen history will no doubt hail as the Noble Objectors, because they were faithful to the timeless Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, despite Vatican II and its infamous Spirit. Again, in I Accuse the Council, Archbishop Lefebvre writes:

        ...It is nonetheless certain that the Council was deflected from its purposes by a group of conspirators and that it is impossible for us to take any part in this conspiracy, despite the fact that there may be many satisfactory declarations in Vatican II. The good texts have served as cover to get those texts which are snares, equivocal, and denuded of meaning, accepted and passed.

        We are left with only one solution: to abandon these dangerous examples and cling firmly to tradition, i.e., to the official Magisterium of the Church throughout 2000 years.
    (Taken from “A Note on the Title” in I Accuse The Council!)


    So, let’s review the incontrovertible facts: Mainstream Catholics have been rushing for the Church’s exits in droves ever since the close of Vatican II; well-respected historians are beginning to expose the “disastrous results” of the Council in large-scale literary works; Traditionalists have long been pointing out that the Council was part of a larger plot to subvert the Church; and everybody else in the world has pretty much forgotten all about it.

    Here, then, is the sixty-four thousand dollar question: Why is the Vatican still so desperate to force Traditional Catholic priestly fraternities such as the Society of St. John Marie Vianney in Campos to endorse Vatican II in exchange for ecclesiastical “approval”? In my opinion, it has something to do with Traditionalism’s growing success in exposing the Council for the fraud that it was. Campos may well be about the Vatican’s campaign to stomp out opposition to the conciliar revolution—which means that, ultimately, it must reign in the worldwide Traditionalist movement, starting with the largest order of Traditional priests in the world: the Society of Saint Pius X.

    Many of us—rightly or wrongly—suspect that Campos was made the unwitting bait for a much larger game. Even The Wanderer’s Farley Clinton, by the way, is now admitting that the Campos deal was obviously aimed at the SSPX. On page 1 of the February 7, 2002 issue of The Wanderer, we read the following: “We don’t need to pretend that Roman negotiations with the Brazilian group were not really aimed at the SSPX as much as the Society of St. John Vianney.”

    Indeed, let’s all stop pretending!

    It’s becoming pretty apparent that the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei has backfired, and I think some folks in Rome are worried about that. Traditionalism is clearly on the way up, not on the way down, while the corrupt Novus Ordo establishment is tottering toward ruin, its final collapse being hastened by the growing weight of endless priest-pedophile scandals. Even the events of 1988 served more to strengthen Traditionalism than to divide and conquer it. And now, even from the grave, Archbishop Lefebvre’s voice of protest against the Council and the New Mass grows only louder, as it echoes across the Tiber and haunts the Eternal City. Some aging churchmen still joust with his ghost, but are unable to land that deadly blow against the memory of his now-legendary resistance. After all, wraiths cannot be excommunicated, seduced, or burned at the stake. The only way to silence Lefebvre once and for all is through the SSPX—and Rome knows it. As crazy as it may sound to some of our more moderate friends, I believe that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos went to Campos as part of the larger campaign to rescue the Council.

    Traditionalism throughout the world, as far as some inside the Vatican are concerned, MUST BE SILENCED! And to varying degrees, every approved Traditional order has been forced to make some kind of demonstration of fidelity to the revolution in exchange for Vatican approval. In France, for example, most of the great traditional Benedictine monasteries are reportedly using the 1965 missal. Most of the heads of the approved priestly fraternities have had to concelebrate the New Mass in highly publicized venues. And all of the superiors have been made powerless to prevent their own priests from offering the New Mass should they so desire (a divisive time bomb that could well explode all over the place in the decades to come). Many traditional priests are more or less expected to concelebrate the New Mass at least once a year, or when invited to do so, with all the other diocesan priests by the bishop. Outfits such as the Society of St. John in Scranton, PA, from the very moment they gained their approved status, were developing (and offering) their own version of the New Mass (which is why The Remnant NEVER supported them).

    We all remember protocol 1411 and the attempted bullying of the Fraternity of St. Peter on the part of the Vatican. I bring all of this up not to be critical of these good priests in France or in the FSSP or in the Institute of Christ the King, who are obviously doing the very best they can in terrible circumstances, and who are helping thousands save their souls. Rather, I’m trying to point at the handwriting on the wall—the Vatican has an agenda, the signs of which can be easily detected in every single approved order in the world today. And that agenda, still only in its initial stages, mind you, is already beginning to silence Traditionalism’s historic protest against Vatican II and the New Mass. Gradually, we’re being transformed into rebels without a cause. It’s almost as if someone is committed to stripping our valiant priests of the crusader’s mantles they wore for so long with such honor…as if someone is counting on Traditionalism growing complacent and cold without the heat of battle to spur it on. Will this strategy succeed? It’s too soon to tell. But I believe that it’s wise for the SSPX to remain detached from all this—for their own good and for the good of all the Traditional orders—at least until after the next conclave, when perhaps things will become more clear.

    Like Bishop Fellay himself, we should all at the very least have “mixed feelings” about the Campos agreement, even as we hope that it will prove in the end to be a victory for our movement. Unquestionably, we should all want the resistance in Campos to succeed, despite our misgivings. Even if our pessimism is warranted as, sad to say, I believe it is, we should still pray that the best-laid plans of the Vatican apparatus will be turned against them by the Holy Ghost, just as the Indult has to a large extent backfired against them. For the moment, however—as the expression goes—I’m from Missouri. My pessimism is based on the inherent contradiction at the heart of all this: How can these churchmen possibly do anything to sincerely advance the Traditionalist movement, while, at the same time, remaining enthusiastic promoters of the Second Vatican Council which sought to wipe out the Traditional Catholic orientation of the Church altogether? It just doesn’t make any sense! It seems appropriate to have Archbishop Lefebvre provide a concluding thought:

        …The conclusion is inescapable, especially in the light of the widespread turmoil which the Church has experienced since the Second Vatican Council. This destructive occurrence for the Catholic Church and all Christian civilization has not been directed nor led by the Holy Ghost.
    (Preface to the French Edition, I Accuse the Council, Angelus Press, Kansas City, MO)

    For the first two installments see Part One and Part Two

April 30, 2002
volume 13, no. 82
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