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Christian Order is a British international monthly devoted to the defence and propagation of the One True Faith - Catholic, Apostolic and Roman - through incisive comment on current affairs in Church and State; at home and abroad.

February Editorial  THE PAPAL YEAR THAT WAS: 1

Through his endless outpourings, so often off the cuff (unbefitting the Vicar of Christ) and therefore imprecise (befitting Modernism), our celebrity pontiff continues to offer anti-Catholic ammo to secularists everywhere. Not least through rambling-stream-of-consciousness interviews which have served to confuse, worry, divide and inflame the faithful; to "make a mess," as Francis famously directed his young troops in Rio. Before all of this this, we can safely leave the false charity and false obedience to papolatrous neocons, who have reached new heights of complicity and self-deception these past twelve months: cheering their 'humble' hero's every show-stopping utterance and action. Even tradition-leaning neoconservatives are rationalising and blind-eye turning as Francis repeatedly deviates from Catholic truth and tradition. For our part, we remain ever mindful of St. Pius X's blunt denunciation of all-things-to-all-men Modernism; how it ebbs and flows between truths, half-truths and errors in the liberal process of synthesising all the heresies since Christ. To those, therefore, who insist we must divorce faith from reason, and accept the “mess” of neo-Modernist pottage passed off since 13/3/13 as the Faith of Our Fathers, we can only reply: Non possumus!


The descent into the world which has been the essence of post-Vatican II life has taken decades, and the Popes who engineered it have always seemed in internal conflict between the traditional and the new. They consistently claimed that the work of the Council was that of the Holy Spirit, while often seeming to draw back in trepidation from its consequences. The faithful were often confused and distraught at what appeared to be their conflicting messages and policies. With Pope Francis all this seems to have changed. He appears to be the first fully “natural” Pope of the Council. This explains why so many delight, and so few fear. It is the perfect recipe for seduction.


Many faithful Catholics are worried and confused by the looming canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II. The following brief extracts from “Magisterial Authority,” a series of articles by Father Chad Ripperger recently published in Christian Order, put the matter in Catholic perspective.

Papal Infallibility and the Canonization of Saints

“It is also commonly and rightly held that the Church is infallible in the canonization of saints, that is to say, when canonization takes place according to the solemn process that has been followed since the ninth century. Mere beatification, however, as distinguished from canonization, is not held to be infallible, and in canonization itself the only fact that is infallibly determined is that the soul of the canonized saint departed in the state of grace and already enjoys the beatific vision.”(1)

This quote is loaded and needs unpacking.

First, it is commonly held by theologians that the canonization of saints is infallible.

Second, beatifications are not.(2)

Third, infallibility regarding canonization is restricted to two things: (1) that the soul departed in a state of grace and (2) already enjoys the beatific vision.

“It is not a definitive judgment on his sanctity; it amounts directly to no more than a permission to pay him a cultus. When the Church grants this practical permission, she is, in the view of the best theologians, infallible, ‘errare practice non potest’.”(3)

Canonizations mean the person made it to heaven. It does NOT mean that they lived heroic Christian virtue in this life, necessarily, although in many cases it does. This should be kept in mind to avoid scandal in relation to canonizing people for political reasons, ideological reasons, etc.

Regardless of the human reasons, the papal magisterial act of canonization infallibly guarantees the person is in heaven and we can have public cult in relation to that person.(4)

For this reason, canonization should not be viewed as a stamp of approval of everything the person taught or did.



(1) Original Catholic Encyclopedia, Infallibility. For other theologians who discuss the infallibility of canonizations, see Ludovico Billot, Tractatus de ecclesia Christi, (Romae apud Aedes Universitatis Gregorianae, 1927), p. 423-429.

(2) This would explain Pope Benedict XVI’s return to having a cardinal preside over beatifications while the pope only presides over canonizations to make the clear distinction between what is and what is not infallible.

(3) Charles Journet, The Church of the Word Incarnate (Sheed and Ward, London and New York, 1955), p. 348.

(4) It is an unfortunate fact that the rigour of the canonization process has been reduced since the Second Vatican Council. The Church needs the rigour in the process to avoid the process being used for bad intentions as well as ensure the good example of those canonized as leading lives of heroic Christian virtue.


Five-day Ignatian Retreat

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius conducted by
the Benedictine Fathers of the Abbey of Saint Joseph de Clairval

The Spiritual Exercises are a programme of guided spiritual recollections and sessions of private contemplation based on the key events and mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Holy Gospels. They aim to bring retreatants to sincere spiritual conversion through an intimate encounter with Jesus Christ, and to arm them with the disposition and tools required to seek God’s will and to follow it. The Ignatian Exercises are a spiritual gift from Our Lady to the Church through St Ignatius – the Soldier of Christ par excellence – which have formed generations of priests, religious and lay people in heroic sanctity.

Since 1972, the Benedictine Fathers of Saint Joseph Abbey in France have been conducting Ignatian retreats for men which condense the original 30 day retreat into 5 days, giving all the opportunity to share in the riches of the monks’ contemplative life by means of this “…admirable book of Exercises…which has made its mark as the most wise and most universal code of laws of salvation and of the perfection of souls, as the untarnishable source of the most elevated and solid piety, as an irresistible goad and alert guide for aiding souls to reform themselves and to attain the summits of the spiritual life.” (Pope Pius XI, Mens Nostra, Dec. 20, 1929).

In 2014, the Fathers of Saint Joseph Abbey will be visiting once again U.K. to deliver the Ignatian Exercises. It is an opportunity to experience the Spiritual Exercises within the context of the Benedictine liturgical tradition so dear to Pope Benedict XVI, now emeritus. The retreat is open to all men aged 18 and above, and caters for all levels of spirituality. Non-Catholics are welcome to attend.

Daily Mass will be conducted according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (1962 Missal).

Take up the challenge – Reform your life – Serve Jesus Christ


Dates: From Sunday 24th to Friday 29th August 2014 (Men’s retreat)
Location: Franciscan Retreat Center, at Pantasaph, Flintshire, N. Wales, UK.
Cost: £210.00. Nobody should be prevented from making a retreat for financial reasons.
Those who are able to contribute more will help us accommodate the less well-to-do.

Br. Basil Mary by email at
For more information, visit the website of the Abbey St Joseph at





Christian Order supports Roberto de Mattei’s petition in support of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, against the unjust Vatican decree of 11 July 2013 forbidding the Friars from freely offering the Traditional Mass.

Sign at the link below and encourage others to do likewise!





"Francis, go and rebuild my Church,
which you can see has fallen into ruin."

Just as Saint Francis obeyed God's command to rebuild the
spiritual and moral foundations of His Church, Pope
Francis immediately exhorted his world-weary brethren:

"When we do not confess Jesus Christ, we confess the
worldliness of the devil. When we confess a Christ without
the Cross ... we are worldly, we are bishops, priests,
cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord!"

A unique case-study of that "worldliness" and
its devastating consequences can be found in

Death of a Catholic Parish

You can now read this tragic tale of our times at

Browse the website! Sign the petition! Post a comment!

Use this evangelical tool to educate the ignorant,
rouse the lukewarm, and confirm the Faith


Heavenly Father, we ask Thy blessing on our efforts. Show us the way to spread the Truth of the Catholic faith in the midst of error and infidelity. Fill our hearts with authentic love for our priests, bishops, pope and all the clergy, a love that moves us to unceasing prayer for their souls and to constant exhortation to faithfully fulfill their sacred task of preaching the whole truth of the Catholic faith without compromise. Grant us wisdom in our deliberations, courage in exposing error and corruption, and humility and charity in all the things we do. Bless our Holy Father with the wisdom and holiness to discern and carry out Thy Will, and the loyalty and fidelity of bishops, priests and all Religious in helping him carry out this task. May Thy will be done in all things.

We ask this through the intercession of our Holy Mother Mary.