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October 2010

Weapon of Mass Destruction

~ Missa bugniniensis delenda est ~

THE EDITOR

When the ageing Communist tyrant of a brutal tropical gulag displays more honesty about fundamentals than the hierarchy of the most anti-Communist institution on earth, we know we've reached rock bottom.

Early last month, while discussing global issues with Fidel Castro over lunch (as you do), a correspondent for The Atlantic magazine asked if Cuba's economic system was still worth exporting to other countries. Castro casually replied: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."

So now the obvious is official: Cuban Communism is a busted flush. Not unlike the octogenarian cigar-chomper himself. Yet Fidel remains head of the Communist Party and neither he nor his fraternal successor President Raul Castro have any desire to depart from Cuba's socialist system. One develops a taste for the good life, you see: haciendas, caviar, vintage wine and all the fine spoils of bloody revolution. Even the fall of the Soviet Union didn't move them. State-controlled life in Cuba will endure, therefore, with limited economic reforms and calls for the impoverished proletariat to work harder and expect less from their dolce vita dictators.

Still, let's give Castro some credit for his mad moment of truth. He admits that the economic "model" essential to his Marxist worldview is a wreck, even if he refuses to abandon it. The concession is hollow and 50 years too late for Cuba, to be sure. Yet how many prelates are as truthful? Forty years on we're still waiting for the overwhelming majority of bishops to come clean in similar fashion: to concede the structural and systemic failure of the New Massand its devastating impact on souls and every aspect of Catholic faith and life. To admit, à la Castro: 'the new liturgical model doesn't work for us anymore.'

This is the bare-knuckle bottom line that dare not be mentioned. For as a visit to 90% of parishes anywhere in the world will amply testify, the Pauline liturgical model, too, is a busted flush. So inherently flawed, in fact, that it contains the seeds of its own destruction.

Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall mirrored the exhaustion of irrational Marxist economics, so the collapse of the Western Church reflects the incoherent pastiche we call the Novus Ordo. Nor will the "reforms of the reforms" - the endless patchwork quilt of liturgical repair - save us. Like the futile Five Year Plans of Soviet "reform," they merely delay the inevitable implosion.

Hidden hand
The Communist comparison is closer to the bone than neoconservative Catholics want to imagine. Defectors like ex-KGB officer Anatoliy Golitsyn have regularly confirmed that "penetration of the Catholic and other churches" is part of the Party's "general line [i.e. unchanged policy] in the struggle against religion." This involved mass infiltration of seminaries and religious houses throughout the last century and Moscow's cultivation of the closest possible relationships with 'progressive' Catholics and the financing of their activities. Moreover, based on the scale of 1950s Communist penetration of the American political and academic Establishment,
(1) we can be morally certain that the infiltration of the Church was equally comprehensive and effective.

The hidden hand of Communist manipulation and control can be seen most clearly in Vatican geo-political affairs, such as its unspeakably treacherous Ostpolitik. In his explosive book Moscow and the Vatican [Casa di Matriona, 1976], Civilta Cattolica's East European specialist, Fr Ulisse Floridi, S.J., said the implementation of this compromising policy in Communist countries prompted many to think and say out loud - "The KGB has infiltrated the Roman Curia, we have been betrayed" [p. 211].

Just as surely, however, many covert operatives in clerical collars were also charged with targeting the "progressive" liturgical establishment. In concert with their Masonic brethren they played a key role in the pivotal deconstruction of liturgical thought and practise in the decades leading up to the Council. And, subsequently, in the detonation of liturgical time-bombs written into official documents, which exploded thereafter like a Heinz 57 varieties of DIY 'liturgies.' Who else was sowing or encouraging the seductive errors, pulling the strings, stroking dissident egos, blurring reality and fiction and making the suicidal sound desirable if not the Lodge and its masonic subset, the Party: both sworn enemies of the Church and masters of disinformation and long-term ideological warfare.

Most Catholics were blissfully unaware of the new ideas percolating unofficially through European liturgical coteries in the first half of the twentieth century. They only became discernible decades later, during the first session of Vatican II. Yet even the official process and precursor of 1960s liturgical engineering was set in motion long before the Council. And as Fr. Stefano Carusi of the Institute of the Good Shepherd sets forth in The Reform of Holy Week in the Years 1951-1956, it had subversive fingerprints plastered all over it.

Recently posted on the Italian Disputationes Theologicae website and translated by the Rorate Caeli blog, Fr Carusi's lengthy study reveals the mixture of dilettantish and ideological Modernism which refashioned Holy Week in the image and likeness of its Liberal creators: men such as then-Msgr Montini (later Paul VI), the future-Cardinal Bea, the infamous Annibale Bugnini and his close collaborator Fr. Carlo Braga.

Liturgical "battering-ram"
The Liturgical Commission on which they worked was set up as early as 1948 merely "to study whether eventual reforms should be adopted." Yet from the outset "the calm necessary for such a work was not possible on account of the continual requests by the French and German episcopates demanding immediate changes with the greatest and most precipitous haste."

(This is not surprising. Photographs referenced by "World Trends" indicate the long-term strategy employed by the movers and shakers of liturgical change, suggesting early collusion on the part of European episcopates. They show a new-style Mass taken in France circa 1945; the priest was facing the people, he was using a table, the table was placed right in the middle of the congregation, and it was bare. The caption presented the Mass as a "meal.")

"The Commission," Fr Carusi repeats, "worked in secret and under pressure from the central European episcopates, though it is not clear if their pressure was meant to intimidate or encourage the Commission." Neither tack, however, was necessary. The Commission clearly shared the same revolutionary thirst for "change."

Msgr Bugnini, its ringleader-cum-ringmaster, described the reform of 1955-1956 as the first occasion for the inauguration of a new way to conceive of the liturgy. Fr. Braga "defined the reform of Holy Saturday in bold terms, calling it 'the head of the battering-ram which pierced the fortress of our hitherto static liturgy'." While in 1956, another Commission member, the future-Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli, defined it as "the most important act in the history of the liturgy from St. Pius V until today."

With trademark Modernist hubris, Fr Braga elaborated: "That which was not possible, psychologically and spiritually, at the time of Pius V and Urban VIII because of tradition, because of insufficient spiritual and theological formation, and because of a lack of acquaintance with the liturgical sources, was possible at the time of Pius XII."

Demolishing such arrogance, Fr Carusi notes that "Tradition, far from posing an obstacle to the work of liturgical reform, is the foundation for it. To treat of the era following the Council of Trent with disdain and to define Saint Pius V and the popes that followed him as men of 'insufficient spiritual and theological formation' is presumptuous and proximate to heterodoxy in its rejection of the centuries-old work of the Church."

Enforcing this mindset was the bulldozing methodology which became Bugnini's signature. "Authoritative voices were raised in dissent but promptly constrained to silence despite their competence. Such was the case not only for certain episcopates but also for certain liturgists... Pope John XXIII himself, in 1959, at the celebration of Good Friday at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme followed the traditional practices, thus making evident that he was not in agreement with the innovations recently introduced and that he recognized the experimental nature of those changes."

Regardless, Father Carlo Braga's "battering-ram" had broken into the Roman liturgy for the holiest days of the year. "Something so revolutionary was bound to have repercussions on the entire subsequent spirit of the liturgy," writes Fr Carusi. "In effect, it signalled the beginning of a deplorable attitude by which things could be done or undone in liturgical matters at the pleasure of the experts. Things could be suppressed or reintroduced on the basis of historico-archeological opinions, without taking account later that the historians had been wrong."

As for Pope John's token 'protest,' it was the ineffectual shape of papal things to come.(2)

Experimental beachhead
Detailing the more obvious changes brought about by "The Restored Order of Holy Week” of 1955-1956, including the radical intent later admitted by the authors of the texts, Carusi concludes that "it certainly does not constitute a model of liturgical reform (thanks, in part, to the artificial way it was pieced together and its use of personal intuitions at odds with tradition)." Then, "with due respect to the papal authority that promulgated this reform," he provides a summary of what the experimental battering-ram knocked down:

In conclusion, as already affirmed, the changes were not limited to questions of the horarium, which legitimately and sensibly could have been modified for the good of the faithful; rather, they overturned the age-old rites of Holy Week. Beginning with Palm Sunday, a ritual of “versus populum” is created, so that the back is turned towards the altar and the cross. On Holy Thursday, the laity are made to enter the sanctuary. On Good Friday, the honours rendered to the Most Blessed Sacrament are reduced as is the veneration of the Cross. On Holy Saturday, not only is the reforming imagination of the experts allowed to run wild, but the symbolism relating to Original Sin and to Baptism as the doorway into the Church is demolished. In an era that claims it desires to rediscover the Scriptures, the passages read on this most important of days are reduced, and the Gospel passages on the institution of the Holy Eucharist in Matthew, Luke, and Mark are edited out. Traditionally, every time that the institution of the Eucharist was read during these days, it was placed in relation to the account of the Passion, to indicate how completely the Last Supper was an anticipation of the death on the Cross the following day, and thus to indicate how much the Last Supper is of a sacrificial nature. Three days were dedicated to the reading of these passages: Palm Sunday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday. Thanks to the reform, the institution of the Holy Eucharist disappears completely from the liturgical cycle!

All depressingly familiar to our modern eyes and ears, of course. But it does underline how early on the major protagonists of the post-conciliar free-for-all established their liturgical beachhead. We naturally talk of enduring 40 revolutionary years since the introduction of the New Mass. Yet, officially, it kicked off over 60 years ago. More than a dozen years before Vatican II, "expert academics" and "opportunistic liturgical experimenters" were frenetically engineering a minor revolution with the subtle prompting and encouragement of enemy agents; the basis of the major revolt to come.

Suicidal alteration
The strength of this subversive Liberal current can be gauged by the fact that it gathered force under Pius XII, the 1948 Liturgical Commission being established halfway through his nineteen year reign.(3) The great pontiff was swept along despite his famous vision of where it was all heading. While he was still serving as Vatican Secretary of State during the reign of Pius XI, even before Sister Lucy had committed the Third Secret to paper, he had foreseen a coming liturgical upheaval in the Church:

I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her ornaments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past.

In answer to an objecting cardinal, he went on:

A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken Him?”

This suicidal alteration of the very essence of the Church - "Her soul" - was to commence "in Her liturgy." And so it did. By the time Archbishop Bugnini was outed as a Masonic mole and banished to Tehran in 1975 by Paul VI, his erstwhile patron, the damage was irreversible.

No longer viewed as the divine guardian of the Deposit of Faith - a fixed and infallible reference point - the Church had become a giant test-tube; the Faith a radical experiment in self-indulgence. Living laboratories of Modernism like Holland, Belgium, Germany and France strapped down the Body of Christ, plundered its divine organs and cut off the flow of grace essential to its divine mission. Their Bugnini-like worldview set the pattern, throwing local Churches everywhere into convulsions of apostasy. Whether evidenced by the pluralism of Rahner or Schillebeeckx's denial of the immortality of the soul, this apostasy from the true Faith was deceitfully presented as aggiornamento (i.e., renewal/updating/modernisation).

Among the few who quickly denounced the utilitarian Frankenstein Faith rapidly taking shape was the acclaimed philosopher-theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand. And yet errors which were still disputed when he began writing about them in 1967 in The Trojan Horse in the City of God (a book L'Osservatore Romano urged all Catholics to read), were already entrenched and largely beyond dispute by 1973 when he penned The Devastated Vineyard [TDV]. "The active work of destruction [of the holy Catholic Church]," he wrote in the Preface, "is in high gear."

Noting that many in the Church after Vatican II "were deceived by such slogans as 'renewal,' 'aggiornamento,' and 'come out of the ghetto'," von Hildebrand was nonetheless encouraged by the sight of many of those initially duped quickly returning to orthodoxy. "Various movements have been formed which are taking the offensive against the destruction of the holy Church and the falsification of the Christian spirit..."

Christian Order, admirably led by Father Paul Crane, who himself had flirted with the new liturgy out of obedience, was one such organ which quickly set its face against the revolution and its "wretched idolatry of the experiment." This alien spirit, lamented von Hildebrand in TDV, "has penetrated deeply into the Church. It has affected those in positions of authority less in what they recommend than in what they permit. The slogan of experimentation is the key to get permission to undertake everything imaginable. The 'experimental' frame of mind nourishes the illusion that one is 'renewing' the Church, that one is freeing oneself from all conventionalisation of faith - although this attitude is from the outset incompatible with all true religious attitudes... ."

Accordingly, this "liberation" required clerics and laity to cast off traditional Catholic theology and morality in favour of the "new theology" and hedonistic tenets of the 1960s: the teachings of the divinely guided Magisterium being dumped for heretical Modernism and the nihilism subversively packaged by disciples of Wilhelm Reich.(4)

Overnight, the purposeful Church Militant commanded by virile prelates morphed into an aimless Pilgrim Church where effete hirelings led sheep without shepherds into a secular pit. Pointing to the Council's gregarious Gaudium et Spes as vindication, they embraced the world and its perverse "values" by renouncing the Christian values intrinsic to the mystery of the Cross: sacrifice and penance.

Subjective "situation ethics" and a faddish psycho-social focus on the "person" and "personal relationships" replaced Aquinas and the objectivity of the natural law, shoring up Reich's view of man as a vessel of repressed animal instincts made for material pleasure.

Major Catholic publishing houses spewed out works of pseudo-morality and pseudo-theology along these lines by the ton, filling the shelves of Catholic seminaries, presbyteries, monasteries, libraries and bookshops with "secular realities considered without sufficient reference to the Gospel," as Pope Benedict politely phrased it in his recent Letter to the Irish faithful.(5)

The corruption of clergy and religious, even to the sexual abuse of children by a very small minority, was bound to follow over time.

Finally, on Good Friday 2005, on the eve of his papal election, Cardinal Ratzinger denounced the bad consequences of the bad ideas peddled in all that perverse post-conciliar literature: "What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to Him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!"

And again in his pre-conclave homily of 18 April (as if summarising the poison drip-fed into the arteries and capillaries of the Church week after week, year in and year out, by the Tablet, the National Catholic Reporter and other organs of dissent): "How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14)."

Liturgical platform
To arrive at this chronic point, however, the liturgical revolution prophesied by Pius XII, which he unwittingly set in motion, was crucial.

The universal chaos described by Pope Benedict before and after his election both reflects and is fed and sustained by the universal liturgical shambles. In dioceses and parishes worldwide the Mass is merely "something the parish liturgical team fixes up each week!" as a disgusted Cardinal Arinze, former Prefect of the Congregation for Worship and Sacraments, once exclaimed.

And yet very many neoconservatives of goodwill and admirable liturgical intent persist in viewing the Novus Ordo crisis as peripheral to the wider Catholic crisis.

Fortunately, the Vicar of Christ does not share their myopic vision and historical ignorance. Interviewed in 1982 as Cardinal Ratzinger, he insisted: "The question of liturgy is not peripheral: ... we are dealing here with the very core of Christian faith" [The Ratzinger Report, pub. 1985, p.40]. Later, in his memoir, he stated emphatically: "I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy" [Milestones, 1998, p.148].

The infiltrators knew that false catechesis and control of the seminaries and teacher-training colleges alone was not nearly enough to reach their goal: whereby the Catholic religion would no longer inform modern culture but, rather, modern culture would deform the Catholic religion. It is true that even during the Council Cardinal Heenan had seen the crisis brewing, complaining that the bishops had ceased exercising the office of the magisterium. In 1995, Romano Amerio, one of the greatest Catholic intellectuals of the last century, also noted that "Today the magisterium is exercised by theologians who have shaped all of the opinions of the Christian people, and have disqualified the dogma of the faith." For Amerio, "This arrogance of the theologians" constituted "the most visible phenomenon of self-demolition." Yet without the liturgical revolution, the abstruse errors of the bogus "parallel magisterium" could not have been diffused and absorbed by the faithful en masse.

The scourge of false ecumenism, for example, could not possibly have advanced so rapidly without an upheaval in the nature and purpose of Catholic worship i.e. the embrace of antithetical Protestant notions and our churches denuded of every traditional symbol of Catholic faith and life to reflect that betrayal. (Most especially, of course, Communion in the hand and the wholesale smashing of the altars, despite Pius XII's express warning that "It would be wrong... to want the altar restored to its ancient form of a table" - Mediator Dei.)

Ultimately, therefore, it is the New Mass and its alien spirit that has induced the English and Welsh episcopate's frightening loss of Catholic faith - on full display in their latest ecumenical screed, Meeting God in Friend and Stranger (to be reviewed next month). Ditto for the dumbed-down, secularised clergy in general. Since it is the Eucharist, as Cardinal Ratzinger once explained, which is the first casualty and revolutionary point of call in attempts to de-Catholicise the Church by de-sacralising the clergy.

As the dimension of Catholicity is removed or reduced in a parish, he wrote, the Eucharist within that parish becomes "just a meal in common, a self-fulfilment of the community." Its theological meaning is then limited to the meals Jesus took with sinners. "When sacramentality [Mass] is attacked, sacrality is also attacked; when that occurs, sacramental ministry [priesthood] is replaced by an organisation that determines itself and has, consequently, only functions to offer; it is no longer a state to which one is called. The danger that the community will become just a recreation centre is then perilously near."

In sum, if the Catholic crisis was above all a clerical crisis (notably among the most highly trained like the Jesuits and Dominicans) it was due to the Mass crisis. The "changing "winds of doctrine," destructive "ideological currents," non-Catholic "ways of thinking" and resultant clerical "filth" Pope Benedict decried before the 2005 conclave only found sanctuary (within the Church) via the sanctuary. The history of the Reformation is testimony to the degrading process, as documented assiduously by the late Michael Davies.

On the one hand, despite the defects and catastrophic consequences of the Novus Ordo Missae, Michael ardently defended the Indefectibility of the Church (i.e. that it will always remain faithful to its essential characteristics and the transmission of truth and grace). On the other, he would point out and emphasise the subtitle of the first volume of his Liturgical Revolution trilogy: Cranmer's Godly Order: The Destruction of Catholicism through Liturgical Change:

I showed in this book that it was not so much by their heretical doctrinal teaching that Cranmer and his fellow Protestants in England destroyed the faith of the Catholic people, but by forcing them to worship in a manner that was a negation of that Catholic faith. The law of prayer is the law of faith (lex orandi, lex credendi). The way we worship reflects what we believe. I have devoted countless articles, pamphlets, and, above all, my book Pope Paul's New Mass, to documenting the manner in which the Catholicism of millions has been destroyed by the liturgical revolution which has followed Vatican II.

The subtitle of von Hildebrand's Trojan Horse in the City of God is just as telling: How Godlessness Crept Into the Sanctuary - And How to Thrust It Out Again.

Rapid meltdown
It was no coincidence, therefore, that by the time the Masonic trojan horse packed his square and compass and headed off to Tehran in 1975, the Catholic roof had already caved in. Having set the liturgical dominoes falling with the Pope's promulgation of the New Mass in 1969, Bugnini's momentum for "change" had snowballed out of control in just six short years on the back of his worldly Novus Ordo concoction; his liturgical platform for secularising Catholic faith and life.(6)

A private letter from an English priest, dated November 1973, captures the early feeling of alarm and shock at the speed with which Bugnini's secularising agenda had set in - without a peep from an increasingly faithless hierarchy:

O! that more priests and Bishops would speak up for the Church instead of remaining dumb. ... Unless the Bishops awake soon to the tragedy, it will be too late in another few years. Old Religious Congregations in Britain are "dissolving themselves," to become women of the world and citing Vatican II for their decision. Bishops are selling out the property of the Church and even churches themselves to be used as building land for the new houses for the people. The process of secularisation is like the biblical herd of swine - rushing to its own destruction.

Only the Church's Founder can save the Church from extinction. What a laugh must Satan have, - but then who believes in him? An English Bishop told me recently that he does not accept the immortality of the soul, and I know with certainty two other English Bishops who reject Hell. We have Atheistic and Protestant Bishops dressed up as Catholics.

The Irish clerical subscriber who recently passed me this letter had himself visited Rome in the same year, to discuss matters of contraception, seminaries and bishops with the Pontifical Council for the Family. An official candidly told him that the problem was universal: "It is the same over the Church - the official bodies are not upholding Catholic teaching."

Within twelve months Paul VI himself was famously lamenting the self-demolition of the Church in his speech at the Lombard Seminary on 11 September 1974. Less than a decade later, in 1982, Cardinal Ratzinger declared that the Faith had been so thoroughly perverted from top to bottom that it was heading towards an altered conception of the Catholic Church other than the one founded by Jesus Christ.

Those returning to the practise of their faith after years of lapsation were shocked to discover this widespread apostasy. Duly enlightened after happening across the works of von Hildebrand, one 'revert' soon realised that "the battle for mindshare has largely been lost, and the errors that Von Hildebrand wrote of in his books are pretty much accepted by most Catholics, by the clergy (bishops and priests and religious sisters and brothers), and by the laity (university professors, RCIA directors, practically everyone down to the least educated person in the smallest parish in the least cosmopolitan town in the world). It took me years after I returned to the Catholic Church to find anyone who did not believe the errors Von Hildebrand wrote about, even if they had internalized them and would not be able to call the errors by name."

Generational "creativity"
This thoroughgoing secularisation of hearts and minds is now generational. It is the ongoing and deepening reality behind the crowds and hoopla of fleeting papal visits and World Youth Days. And indeed for many years it was repeatedly reinforced through the agency of the papacy, via the trans-generational spirit of Piero Marini, the former papal Master of Ceremonies.

According to Inside the Vatican, as a young cleric Marini was personally recruited from a small-town seminary by one Annibale Bugnini. He entered the Curia in 1965 immediately after ordination and was “involved in implementing” the liturgical revolution, serving as Bugnini's personal secretary. Whether he was ever introduced to the Lodge by Bugnini is a moot point. But he was more than a mere "useful idiot." A subversive tool expertly fashioned by Bugnini to preach his secular gospel, Marini described the Mass not as the Sacrifice of Calvary re-enacted by Jesus Himself but as a “celebration” planned “with a view toward the result one wants to obtain.” The celebration for Marini is “acting upon a stage. Liturgy is also a show.” Despite espousing these shocking views, he became personally responsible for “creative” papal Masses and was consecrated bishop (1998) and archbishop (2003).

As a consequence, more people watched Masses planned by Marini than by any other liturgist in the world, which gave him "enormous power to shape the public idea of what Catholic worship is all about.” And, by extension, what Catholics believe. Thus, touring the world with John Paul II (and briefly with Pope Benedict) overseeing papal liturgical abominations, he served to continue and further his mentor's destructive agenda.

His Broadway production numbers were legion, including Mother Teresa's Hinduised 2003 beatification Mass in St Peter's Square. Among much else, as two clerics held aloft the consecrated Host and Wine "a troupe of middle-aged-to-elderly women, dressed in saris the colours of the Indian flag, sashayed along the foot of the altar to the beat of a hokey tune." Holding metal trays bearing flowers and flames they strewed petals and offered up incense to "the discordant wails of a Tamil chant and Indian instruments," as the crowd clapped and cheered "the 'entertainment' that disguised a Hindu ritual" [CO, Aug/Sept 2004].

Other spectaculars saw a hula dance in the middle of Fr Damien's 1995 beatification Mass in Brussels (despite being banned by the Vatican after becoming common practise among Hawaiin Catholics), and Aztec dancers gyrating down a walkway towards the pope as native music blared forth in the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. More native song-and-dance followed the next day in Mexico City as Indian women bearing smoking pots of incense effectively exorcised the pontiff of evil spirits.

By the time Benedict finally dumped him in 2007, Piero Marini's extravaganzas had for twenty long years shored up the liturgical irreverence and sacrilege endemic in local Churches, showcasing the corrosive power of the Novus Ordo's intrinsic instability (aka "creativity"). Deliberately written into the structure of the New Rite, even Redemptionis Sacramentum [2004], one of many Vatican documents issued to reign in Marini-like excesses, insists that “Ample flexibility is given for appropriate creativity aimed at allowing each celebration to be adapted to the needs of the participants...” [ 39]. Our worldly prelates and clerics have driven their dissident tanks, ecumenical Mac Trucks and inculturated bulldozers through that massive loophole with ease, levelling our sanctuaries, worship and beliefs in the process. Hence the Mexican hierarchy could rightly demand that the Pope allow the above perversion in their basilica. "The bishop wanted the rite at any cost," insisted Marini.

We have arrived at the point where no liturgical sacrilege, desecration or blasphemy is beyond imagination. On 15 September 2010, LifeSite News [LSN] reported a priest in Austin, Texas, handing over his church of St. Louis to a pro-abortion rabbi during Jewish holy days. As with the previous year, Mass was to be relegated to the chapel, while the Jewish service, led by the notorious rabbi, was to meet in the main body of the Church. Disturbing photos showed the altar stripped and decorated with Jewish symbols.

It turned out that the newly installed bishop, whose authority the parish priest had invoked, was unaware of the rabbi's Planned Parenthood affiliation and the event was cancelled due to adverse publicity. But this, rather than the even more important liturgical dimension, seemed to dictate his decision. Thankfully, however, some parishioners "were disturbed by the prominence given the Jewish ceremonies over the Catholic Mass." LSN reported that "When the first such event took place at St. Louis church last year, the church was transformed into a non-Catholic worship space. The altar was decked with apparel for the Jewish ritual, the tabernacle was covered, Catholic statues were removed and the Stations of the Cross covered."

Doubtless, English and Welsh episcopal hearts would have pounded with interfaith delight at ensuing Austin media reports; of the "particular significance" of “A shared Catholic church pulpit between a rabbi and a priest on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar." Just as they would have cheered on the dire parish priest as he insisted that the issue was really about hospitality and the repentance of Catholics for the "damage that Christians have caused Jews over the years.”

This remains the core problem: infinitely elastic liturgical options suit the corrupted hierarchical temper. Vienna's Cardinal Schönborn is a case in point. His recent travesties have involved balloons, disco light shows, rock & pop, thick mini-pizza shaped hosts, you name it. There is no need to relate them here. The photos and videos are available online, where they entertain the bigots and broadcast the shameful state of the Church to the universe.(7) Suffice to say that he could only get away with such horrors because the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite facilitates them. As his unimpressed Russian Orthodox counterpart in Vienna, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, put it:

"[A]fter the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, services in some Catholic churches have become little different from Protestant ones. They often share the same lack of wholeness and the same alternation of incoherent, unrelated prayers and hymns.... the liturgical texts... as a rule... contain much 'piety' that often borders on the sentimental, and very little theology."

It was certainly hard to discern the Catholic theology behind the orange vestments worn by Dutch Father Paul Vlaar on 11 July 2010. This was because they represented the colour of the Netherlands’ World Cup soccer team! The YouTube clip showed him acting as a goalkeeper during Sunday Mass, standing in front of a goal as a parishioner kicked a ball down the aisle of a church decorated with orange flags, to the delight of the orange-outfitted congregation which sang football ditties.

Dreadful toll
It is nice to know that Fr Vlaar was suspended by Bishop Joseph Punt of Haarlem-Amsterdam for this particular blasphemy (stating that the priest "failed to do justice to the holiness of the celebration of the Eucharist"). Just as it was good to hear that Bishop Joe Vásquez stopped the latest planned desecration of St Louis' church in Austin. But let's not kid ourselves. Only eliminating the Novus Ordo itself will stop the rot: the de-sacralising and de-Catholicising described earlier by Cardinal Ratzinger. A liturgical corruption which takes a dreadful toll, whether on individuals, communities or entire nations.

Individually, Cardinal Schönborn is emblematic. The more his local liturgy converges with Protestant incoherence and secular pop-culture, the further this once "conservative" prelate lapses into Protestant thinking and perversity. In June 2009, for instance, he presented the Holy See with a Protestant wish list: the so-called "Initiative of the lay faithful." A petition by Austrian Catholics, it asked for the abolition of compulsory celibacy, the return to activity of married priests and the opening of the diaconate to women, among other delights.

He has also allowed the vicar of his cathedral to bless sodomites on St. Valentine's day and both commissioned and displayed in his museum and cathedral (to howls of protest worldwide) the blasphemous, homo-erotic "art" of a renowned Austrian pornographer and self-professed Stalinist. Early this year he reached new depths of shame when personally rebuked by his old friend and professorial mentor, Pope Benedict himself. For upsetting the episcopal "peace" - arriving unannounced in the diocese of Mostar on 31 December 2009 to stoke the "Gospa" fantasy alongside one of the bogus Medjugorje 'seers' condemned by the local Bishop, Ratko Peric - he was forced to write a letter of apology to Peric. Sadly, the Holy Father did not request a similar apology from Schönborn for disturbing liturgical peace.

On a national level, Holland exemplifies the Ratzinger thesis linking abuse of the Holy Sacrifice to ramifications far beyond the corrosive impact on individual Catholics and local Churches.

One of the original cluster of "ecclesial laboratories" of Modernist experimentation in Central Europe, Dutch Cardinal Adrianus Simonus admitted that “There is no doubt that public criticism of the Magisterium and hierarchy, which became widespread in the whole Church, did start more or less in the Netherlands.” Indeed the Dutch disease became synonymous with postconciliar corruption (New Zealand is labelled "the Holland of the Pacific" for good reason).

The sensational collapse of once obedient and dynamic Catholic Holland involved many factors: the errors and heresies disseminated via the infamous Dutch Catechism; the dismantling of traditional seminaries and priestly formation; irreverent and vulgar versions of the Bible; persistent and unchecked defiance of Church authority. But all of this and the rapid loss of millions of faithful happened against a backdrop of rampant liturgical abuse. As early as October 1965, the Holy See had formally requested Cardinal Alfrink to stop the abusive practise of Communion in the hand: “Preserve the traditional manner of distributing Holy Communion…. The Holy Father … does not consider it opportune that the sacred Particle be distributed in the hand and later consumed in different manners by the faithful... he vehemently exhorts [that] the Conference offer the opportune resolutions so that the traditional manner of communicating be restored throughout the world.” Clearly, the letter was binned.

Subsequently, the Dutch took to Bugnini's fabrication like ducks to water, as Fr Vlaar's recent World Cup liturgy recalls. Disaffection for the Old Mass quickly set in, taking deep root, even among the 'remnant' neoconservatives who promoted the Novus Ordo in Latin. By 2000, only around a thousand were left to support the traditional liturgy, and most had no access to the Mass they cherished due to severe obstruction by the bishops and Modernist clergy. In 1997, the Bishop of Rotterdam even withdrew earlier permissions for the regular celebration of the Old Mass, citing fears of a "parallel structure" (as opposed to the "parallel magisterium" which fitted the New Mass like a glove).

From more than 80 per cent Mass attendance in 1960, Holland now has single digit attendance, and often those derisory few that do practise are Catholics In Name Only [CINOs], favouring contraception, women priests and all the rest. As a consequence, the CINO Church in the Netherlands is so compromised and feeble that it is unable to mount any resistance to the myriad horrors of contemporary Dutch society.

Since a healthy Church gives rise to a healthy State, a liturgically diseased Church will surely engender a diseased society. In The Spirit of the Liturgy [2000], Cardinal Ratzinger affirms the nexus, explaining that God revealed in the Old Testament that He wants to be worshipped according to His exact prescriptions. Everything else flows from this fidelity and exactitude, including law and ethics which do not hold together when they are not anchored in the liturgical centre and inspired by it.

"For Benedict," says philosopher Tracey Rowland, "the most important question about any culture is, where does liturgy stand within this culture? Is it the highest good? Are we dealing with a liturgical city? Or are we dealing with a culture which is driven by economic factors? Who are the gods of this culture? What is the dominant vision of the human person? How are the sick and vulnerable treated?"

The depths to which Dutch society has fallen shows precisely where "liturgy stands within this culture": nowhere. Far from being "a liturgical city," it is a dissolute and murderous city infested by devils who abhor souls made in the image and likeness of the one true God; especially those who offer Him powerful exorcistic worship through the rubrical inflexibility and precision of the Old Mass. Hence, in 2002, with Church and nation long swept clean of that God-oriented sacrifice and demonic deterrent par excellence, it became the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia since the Nazis. It is also a place where 12-year-olds are now empowered to commit suicide without parental interference and the practise of non-voluntary euthanasia is growing by the year. Doctors are rarely prosecuted for giving lethal injections to disabled newborns, euthanizing children up to age 12 or murdering the elderly comatose.

The same point could be made about the corrupt and enfeebled state of the New Mass-saturated, Old Mass-desolate Belgian Church, vis-à-vis the homicidal Belgian culture. According to a 2007 study, about half the deaths of babies in Flanders were the result of non-voluntary euthanasia, and almost seventy percent of physicians surveyed either admitted to having used lethal drugs to kill newborns or to conceiving of using them. Further research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal this year found that a fifth of Belgian nurses admitted being involved in the assisted suicide of a patient and nearly half of these - 120 of 248 - admitted to researchers that they had taken part in "terminations without request or consent."

How telling that the only Belgian prelate who speaks out forcefully against such barbarism, Archbishop Léonard of Malines-Bruxelles, is also the lone episcopal promoter of the Old Mass, which liturgical preference earns him more scorn and opprobrium than his defence of doctrine, morals and life.

Episcopal obstruction
Like the rest of the Dutch and Belgian bishops, pitifully few Western prelates have earned that badge of honour: to be despised for preferring a liturgical city powered by the Mass designed in heaven. Instead, proud citizens of the secular city, proponents of liturgy tailored for this world, they fail to comprehend Jeremiah's lament: "How does the City sit desolate that was full of people." Recalling that this was the theme chosen by the late Canadian writer Anne Roche Muggeridge for her classic work, The Desolate City: The Catholic Church in Ruins [1986], Father Johnathan Robinson said last month at her Toronto requiem: "She had nothing but contempt, and said so, for any rewriting of the stark message of Catholicism about the human condition in terms of pop-psychology and sloppy sociology. And, when it came to the effects of this rewriting on the Liturgy of the Church she could be very angry indeed."

Far from contempt and righteous anger, however, even as the West disappears beneath the rising tide of its own blood the hierarchy refuse to offer God the sacrificial solemnity, reverence and precision He requires. They smugly persist in their psycho-social "rewriting" of Catholicism via communal informality, familiarity and ever more "creativity." Jesuit liturgist [oxymoron?] Hermann Schmidt effectively spoke for all these horizontal hirelings when he opined that "In the last four centuries the ideal has become immutability.... but we are men, and we cannot always express ourselves the same. This is a crisis of immutability. [Liturgy] will not exercise any influence on the mass of the people if it is divorced from modern civilization and from the existing social situation."

Voilá! We hardly need to study the three year progress reports on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum which bishops worldwide have submitted to Rome at the Holy Father's request. We understand and are painfully familiar with their Modernistic mindset, neatly summarised by Fr Schmidt, which drives their ruthless obstruction of the traditional Mass: a liturgy which kills their dogmatic mutability and mania for "change" stone dead!

We also know that the major excuse for episcopal failure to comply with the Pope's wishes, certainly on the part of the hostile English and Welsh episcopate, will be their spurious plaint that there is no great call for the so-called Extraordinary Form within their dioceses. The ultra-Modernist Director of Liturgy for the Lutheranised Portsmouth diocese, Paul Inwood, claims that "The dioceses of England and Wales have undertaken an informal survey via their liturgical commissions, and have detected no discernible increase [in people attending the Extraordinary Form]. There are more opportunities than there were previously, but the numbers attending have not increased."(8)

This is the party line they use to rationalise, ignore, pervert and disobey the clear, generous, juridical provisions of the Motu Proprio - which provides for free celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in parishes everywhere, without any need of episcopal permission.(10) It is all about avoiding eye contact with the Pope for fear of blurting out the truth, as in: 'Holy Father, we have done nothing whatsoever to promote your Motu Proprio, nor do we have the slightest inclination or intention of making it widely known and understood among our people. Accordingly, there is no demand for the Extraordinary Form and the faithful remain happy in their blissful ignorance of your express liturgical wishes.'

Big Lie debunked
The self-fulfilling lie of 'no demand' has been comprehensively debunked by a series of surveys commissioned over the past few years by the tireless French group Paix Liturgique [Liturgical Peace]. Unlike the dilettantish efforts of partisan English and Welsh liturgical commissions, these were conducted in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and England by professional pollsters of the highest scientific acumen and integrity. And contrary to the findings of episcopal apparatchiks, they have all produced similar results indicating the excellent disposition of the Catholic faithful towards the Old Mass.

Despite every effort to keep them in the dark about Summorum Pontificum, when apprised of its existence and provisions by the pollsters, 30-40%+ of practicing Catholics in each country (i.e. more than one in three, and in England twice that number) indicated they would gladly attend the traditional Mass weekly if it were celebrated in their parish. All similar scientific polls have confirmed these findings.(9) A very strong tendency which is even more impressive considering the Novus Ordo's longstanding monopoly of parish life.

The French, German, Italian and Portuguese findings are summarised in the ensuing report. But local adherents to the traditional liturgy, marginalised and treated with the same disdain as their continental counterparts, will be particularly interested in these results from Pax Liturgique's most recent survey. It was conducted from 21-28 June 2010 by Harris Interactive under the usual professional conditions: a sample of 800 English Catholics drawn from a representative sample of 6153 persons aged 18 or over.

Question 1: Do you attend Mass?

Weekly: 24.3%
Monthly: 7.8%
On Holy Days: 10.1%
Occasionally (e.g. for weddings): 45.6%
Never: 12.3%

Question 2: In July Pope Benedict XVI restated that the Mass could be celebrated both in its modern, "ordinary," or "Paul VI" form - i.e. in English, with the priest facing the faithful, communion received standing - and in its traditional, "extraordinary," or "John XXIII" form - i.e. in Latin and Gregorian chant, with the priest turned towards the altar, communion received kneeling. Were you aware of this?

Yes: 39.4%
No: 60.6%

Question 3: Would you consider it normal or abnormal for both liturgical forms to be celebrated regularly in YOUR parish?

Normal: 44.9%
Abnormal: 21%
No opinion: 34.1%

Question 4: If Mass were celebrated with Latin and Gregorian chant in its extraordinary form rather than in its ordinary form in English, would you attend it?

(a) Responses from all Catholics (practising or not):

- 15.6% would attend weekly
- 10.8% once a month
- 11.1% for Holy Days
- 46.1% occasionally
- 16.4% never

(b) Responses from the regularly practising (weekly and monthly):

- 43% would attend weekly
- 23.4% once a month
- 7.8% for Holy Days
- 17.6% occasionally
- 8.2% never

So much for the self-serving propaganda of Mr Inwood and his episcopal paymasters. They should know that Pope Benedict is alert to their Big Lie, having been apprised of the results of the equally impressive Italian survey which received widespread favourable comment in the Italian press. He has learnt that far from no interest in his Motu Proprio there is a massive latent demand, as reconfirmed by this latest poll. In Britain, as everywhere else, a huge proportion of Catholics find it absolutely normal for the two forms of the Roman Rite to coexist peacefully within a parish, and they would willingly attend the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite if (as demanded by the Holy Father) it was offered in their own parish.

In fact, the results of this survey surpass the results of the earlier polls, according to which approximately one third of regularly practising Catholics would attend the Old Mass each week if celebrated in their own parish. In England, 43% of those who regularly practise at least once a month would attend a weekly Old Mass if offered in their own parish. Even more impressive than Italy, where 40% of regularly practising Catholics responded similarly.

Furthermore, if we combine the weekly and monthly responses at 4b, among the practising English no less than 66.4% (2 in 3) - surpassing Italy's remarkable 63% - would like to benefit from the generosity of the Motu Proprio. Considering that 60% of English Catholics are not even aware of the existence of Summorum Pontificum (2), the 66.4% is surely a lower proportion than it would otherwise be if the shepherds enlightened their flocks.

Pax Liturgique makes some additional observations in regard to the English results:

  • In Great Britain as elsewhere, the wish of the faithful to see the Motu Proprio being applied seems in direct proportion to the opposition that the Pope’s texts elicits among most bishops. The hierarchy’s lack of awareness of the reality before it, brought out by this study, is noteworthy.
  • Only 21% of the faithful find the peaceful coexistence of both forms of the Roman rite abnormal. This figure might be lower if more of the Faithful (i.e. more than the current 39.4%) knew the provisions in Benedicts XVI’s Motu Proprio. One can legitimately think that, among these 21%, there are some who believe what has been repeated to them for so long, namely that this liturgy had been “abrogated,” if not “forbidden” ... .
  • In Great Britain as elsewhere, the argument resting on the lack of interest among the Faithful for the application of the Motu Proprio is unfair. When their point of view is solicited in an opinion poll, the results are quite different to those obtained when one merely speaks in their name ... all the while taking care not to consult them, unless it’s through parish councils, which as a matter of principle (whether because of ideology, fear, or simple post-conciliar conservatism) are not inclined to favour the reform of the reform undertaken by Benedict XVI.
  • Above all, this new survey underscores the (in this case British) bishops’ astounding deficiency - to put the best face on it - when it comes to communication. Indeed, a full three years after the publication of the Motu Proprio on 7 July 2007, only 40% have been informed of it. In fact one must call a spade a spade, particularly in so serious a matter as liturgical and sacramental life: in Britain as elsewhere, the issue is pastoral blindness to the expectations of the faithful. This blindness on the part of bishops has once again been scientifically measured and put into figures. It is tempting to wonder whether the bishops might not need a new pastoral Council entirely dedicated to listening skills for the benefit of the “Silent ones of the Church,” and to meeting their expectations.

Tale of two "forms"
All of this, Pax Liturgique rightly states, "is a massive pastoral fact, one that simply cannot be ignored. Only the blind can fail to see it." And only the ideologically blind could possibly ignore it when the observable fruits of Bugnini's liturgy, re-labelled as the Ordinary Form, are death and decay within and without the Church, while flourishing vocations and a fervent pro-life, pro-family flock are observable everywhere the Extraordinary Form is accommodated. Only Liberal prelates with a perverted vision of the Church, such as the newly appointed Bishop of Bruges who openly advocates "gay" marriage and women priests, would seek to avoid such a liturgical guarantee of priestly vocations and orthodoxy.

France, one of the first post-conciliar "laboratories," tells the comparative tale, so representative of the Novus Ordo-effect:

  1. The most recent survey issued by the Institut français d'opinion publique (IFOP Institute) reports that the Church in France is in freefall. Between 1965 and 2009, the number of French identifying themselves as Catholics fell from 81 per cent to 64 per cent. The number attending Mass once a week or more fell from 27 per cent to 4.5 per cent in the same period.
  2. According to official Church statistics, the total number of Catholic marriages (-28.4%), baptisms (-19.1%), confirmations (-35.3%), as well as priests (-26.1%), and religious sisters (-23.4%), has continued to fall between 1996 and 2006.
  3. The statistics, published in the Catholic weekly La Croix, show the effects of institutionalized Liberalism reinforced by Liberal liturgy. Sixty-three per cent of those who still consider themselves Catholic believe that all religions are the same; 75 per cent asked for (yet another!) “aggiornamento” in the Church to overturn Humanae Vitae, while 68 per cent said the same thing for abortion.
  4. The number of French diocesan priests working in France is fewer than 9000. For a number of dioceses, (Digne, 25 priests, Nevers, 38, Auch, Saint-Claude, Gap, Digne, Viviers, Verdun, Pamiers, Langres, etc) in ten years time the number of priests in active ministry will be ten at the most. In Bishop Gueneley’s diocese of Langres, the most liberal of French dioceses, one frequently finds one sole priest for 60 churches.
  5. The number of seminarians has now fallen below the 750 mark (740 in 2008, and this number includes a good hundred seminarians from non-diocesan communities). Pamiers, Belfort, Agen and Perpignan have no seminarians. 120 vocations have been declared for the class beginning in 2009.
  6. The number of ordinations remains fewer than 100 (90 in 2009: Paris, which is one of the best situated, had 10, with seven predicted for 2010, and four for 2011)

The conclusion is dramatic: a third of the dioceses of France - some dating back to the second century AD - will cease to exist within the coming 15 years.

Against all that despair, consider this traditionalist reservoir of hope, which is becoming more and more difficult to ignore:

  1. The ‘Extraordinary’ clergy serve nearly 400 Mass Centres in France, of which 184 are served by the SSPX and their allies. The number of SSPX centres has remained stable, albeit with a notable increase in patrons since Summorum. But the number of "authorised" places has increased by 61%, to 213 in the last three years, compared to an increase of between 2 and 5 per cent between 1988 and 2007.
  2. 3% of working priests are traditionalists (officially traditionalists, that is, not even including the diocesan priests who observe the same liturgical practice). There are 260 priests equivalent to diocesan priests (140 in the SSPX and allied communities, around 120 priests in the communities under Ecclesia Dei).
  3. More than 14% of ordinations are for the Extraordinary Form. In 2009, 15 French priests were ordained for the Extraordinary Form (of whom 6 were for the SSPX).
  4. Almost 20% of seminarians are destined for the Extraordinary Form (there are 160 of them, of whom about 40 were for the SSPX in 2008-9). If this crossover continues as in past years, then in two years or more, a quarter of seminarians will be destined for the Extraordinary Form. Everybody knows that if the traditional priests had the assurance of a ‘normal’ apostolate in the dioceses, the number of these seminarians would be even greater.
  5. 25% of vocations are inclined towards the traditional form. At the beginning of the academic year, September 2009, there were 41 entries (of whom 17 for the SSPX) into a traditionalist seminary.
  6. However, since a third of practising Catholics would willingly attend a traditional Mass if it were available in their parish, it is no exaggeration to say that if we add to the fully traditionalist vocations those vocations of traditional sensibility that are found in diocesan seminaries, that a third of priestly vocations, were it permitted to them, would regard themselves as directed to the Extraordinary Form, or to Bi-Formalism.

"A third of the laity, and, eventually, a third of the priests. It would only seem reasonable, then," suggests Pax Liturgique, "officially to give these priests a proper freedom - no longer in ghettos, but now in the hearts of the parishes - to celebrate Mass according to their preferences. And by this act, these priests would be able to give help by administering many other sacramental services, conduct missions, catechize…

"But for the majority of the French bishops, this group of their flock, priests and faithful - who are willing, who demand nothing, but to be allowed to live and let live - simply do not exist, except as a thorn in their flesh. The dioceses are dying, but their ideology remains alive and kicking."

Blind fury
The irrational fear and repugnance of the overwhelming majority of French bishops towards the Extraordinary Form - reflecting the Western episcopate as a whole - knows no bounds of intransigence, calumny or violence. It is embodied in the person of Cardinal Vingt Trois of Paris, President of the French Episcopal Conference, whose reputation for self-mastery disappears before the dreaded spectre of the Old Mass, his recent (hopefully enlightening) visit with the 2010 Chartres' pilgrims notwithstanding.

Notorious for his defamatory rants against traditionalists, labelling them psychologically disoriented "extremists" and "integrists," the Cardinal's policy of negation has seen dozens of formal requests by young Parisien families for the application of the Motu Proprio in their parishes rejected. Since it's enactment three years ago, more than 25 serious demands for the celebration of Sunday Mass in the Extrarodinary Form has resulted in only two such celebrations being introduced to the city, both scheduled at inconvenient, marginalising times. And this despite the fact that within all the parishes of Paris a minimum of 15% of the faithful desire to live in union with their bishop according to the "rhythm" of the traditional liturgy.

It was in this vein that on 23 January this year, Cardinal Vingt Trois had three teams of police sent to evict 32 traditional parishioners quietly praying the rosary after evening Mass in the church of the Immaculate Conception (12th arrondissment). Part of a group comprising more than 90 families, for several years they had been politely petitioning their Curé for the application of the Motu Proprio. He had continually ignored and scorned them under cover of his Cardinal Archbishop. On the evening in question, being unable to "dialogue" with their priest, they had simply decided to say a rosary before leaving the Church, to pray for peace and unity. That was all, as photos of the serene gathering clearly reveal.

Without any discussion or warning, the clerical chain of command all the way up to the Cardinal signed a demand for expulsion. Three police teams duly arrived brandishing the document, declaring "The Curé doesn't want to talk to you," and seeking to remove them from the church: i.e., thirty-two parishioners, aged 18 to 91 years, praying quietly to Our Lady, who at no stage had threatened to disturb the peace or occupy the church after their devotions.

Ironically, as elsewhere in anti-clerical France, it took civil authorities, in this case the mayor of the arrondissement who did not want this brutal police intervention, to act as peacemaker and seek (in vain) to bring the ecclesiastics to their senses; to end the liturgical apartheid afflicting the Immaculate Conception parishioners and fully a third of practising Catholics in France who share their view. (Since the Motu Proprio, more than 350 groups of families have formally requested the Old Mass from their dioceses all over the country and more than 600 groups have formed to promote the older form and have asked for it informally, making direct requests to parish priests.)

It is hard to parody such a cruel reaction, never mind comprehend the hypocrisy of clerics who never cease to chant their postconciliar mantra of lay "collaboration" and "dialogue."

"In any case," comments Pax Liturgique, "for Cardinal Vingt Trois, the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy of the Church are neither 34% [as revealed in the PL poll of September 2008] nor 20 % nor 10 % … not even 1 %". For the Cardinal, as for hirelings everywhere, they simply do not exist and there is, ideologically and a priori, no demand for the application of the Motu Proprio, just as there is no liturgical problem in France.(11)

How to explain such blind fury apart from the subversive spirit that informed and built the Novus Ordo; which fabrication now, in turn, shapes the alien spirituality and outlook of the Dutch and Belgian hierarchy and prelates like Cardinal Vingt Trois and Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

The latter flagged his secular priorities disdainfully from the outset, while addressing priests at a 2007 Clergy Formation Day in Birmingham shortly after the enactment of Summorum. Dismissing this momentous papal document - a new "Constitution" of the Roman Rite! - in precisely 751 words (a good number of which were spent on the New Rite while putting down the Old), His Grace ended abruptly: "Now, can I move to the important matter of the Report ‘Safeguarding with Confidence’," proceeding to spend 1362 words on child protection, followed by another 753 on sundry items.

In other words, even though Bugnini's freewheeling liturgy fed the Liberalism that gifted the Church homosexual clergy and an avalanche of child abuse, safeguarding his flock from the spiritual and doctrinal harm of DIY worship is not an important issue for the Archbishop. Worse, it is a non-issue. Like Vingt Trois, for Nichols there is no demand for the ancient form of the Mass because there is no liturgical problem in England. Full stop. Indeed the laundry list of liturgical abuses fiercely condemned in the Vatican's 1997 'Lay Collaboration' document and perpetrated on a daily basis up and down the land, were said by then-Bishop Nichols not to exist here. Denial on steroids!

The de-sacralised, de-Catholicised mind behind this denial was made manifest in the glossary of liturgical terms Nichols approved to assist non-Catholics during the papal visit. Under "Helpful Terms," an official booklet referred to "Liturgy, Mass, Benediction" as "Event/Show/Gig"; "Congregation" as "Audience/Crowd"; "Sanctuary" as "Stage"; "Sacristy" as "Backstage"; "Liturgists" as "Performers/Artists." The Mail on Sunday was aghast that "The most solemn events of the historic tripare referred to in terms normally associated with rock concerts." As government officials rolled their eyes and Catholics cringed, somewhere in eternity Bugnini sniggered.

In that excruciating light, the relentless opposition to the Traditional Mass makes complete sense. Even among those at the forefront of the (latest) "reform of the reform," like Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds who has helped lead the new English translation of the Missal. His hostility and disinterest in true and lasting reform was immediately revealed in his appalling 2007 ad clerum. Not only riddled with deliberately misleading interpretations of Summorum, it was so carelessly compiled that it referred to a non-existent 1973 Missal of Pope Paul VI, and misspelled the Motu Proprio throughout as Pontificium instead of Pontificum.

"I am at a loss as to why someone in Bishop Roche’s position seemingly cannot properly contextualize the Motu Proprio within the pope’s broader program for a reform of the reform," queried one prominent cleric. The fact that he was, after all, a priest of the Leeds diocese under his predecessor Bishop Konstant, a Bugnini-style schemer and wrecker par excellence, explains a lot about Roche. But the deeper truth and explanation is simpler still. "The answer lies in the content and style of the liturgy being celebrated," the Telegraph's Damian Thompson noted in relation to the snubbing of Cardinal Hoyos by Cardinal Murphy O'Connor and his four auxillaries, who scandalously absented themselves from the traditional Pontifical High Mass he offered at Westminster Cathedral on 14 June 2008.

Warning off the critics
Liturgically, of course, style and content are inextricably linked. And even the most stylish Novus Ordo on offer, like the recent papal Mass at Westminster, is riven with Offertory processions, girl altar-boys, Signs of Peace, and assorted mixed signals and ecumenical add-ons that constantly distract, disrupt and confuse. Such liturgical dissonance, so harmful to the doctrinal orthodoxy essential to Catholic peace and concord, is foreign to the bulletproof Mass of Ages. Accordingly, Vincent, Arthur, Cormac and their brothers cannot allow Summorum Pontificum to prevail. It is the liturgical death warrant they must spurn if they are to preserve the elastic faith sustained by the subversive style and content of the New Mass.

Thus, to protect their Counterfeit Church, as Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich termed it, those critical of the Novus Ordo must be demonised. "The view that the ordinary Form of the Mass, in itself, is in some way deficient finds no place here," warned Archbishop Nichols, opening the August 2009 LMS Westminster Training Conference. "Indeed anyone who holds such a view does not come under the generous provision of Summorum Pontificum. Such a person is inexorably distancing themselves from the Church."

Really? More like distancing themselves from Vincent Nichols! Certainly not from the sacred office he sullies. A blogger commented:

His Excellency’s conclusion that the Ordinary Form is not deficient, in itself, is questionable at best. Is it deficient in regards to validity or licity? No. But that’s only a very small, and in the bigger picture, a very insignificant part of the traditional Catholic critique. We can’t put liturgy in a neat little box. Just because all the bare necessities are present, just because the recipe was followed by the cooks, just because all the working parts are present, doesn’t mean that it's just as good or even better. Is it deficient in comparison to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom? Yes, it is. Is it deficient in comparison to the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite? Yes, it is, and for the same reason. They were not produced by committee, but reflect the highest expressions of both human civilization and culture, and the timelessness of the sensible bond between earthly life and the eternal, in other words, sacrament. The debate simply can not be reduced to forcing us to swallow whole the line, “it’s valid, so you had better like it!”

Furthermore, from the Archbishop's perspective, even the Pope has 'distanced' himself from the Church, since he believes the Novus Ordo is so deficient as to be suicidal! "I could not foresee that the negative aspects of the liturgical movement would reappear more vigorous than ever," wrote Cardinal Ratzinger, "leading straight to the self-destruction of the liturgy" [Milestones,1997].

Upping the ante
Resolute in his never-ending "journey" of endless pseudo-"renewal" and worldly convergence (for "pastoral reasons") Archbishop Nichols trudges on. Head down, mind, eyes and ears firmly closed, he shuts out the obvious. "It should have given the unbiased observer pause for thought," says Martin Mösebach, "that the Church had adhered to the Traditional faith of the liturgy for nearly two thousand years until the intervention of Paul VI. The profound, often catastrophic, historic upheavals since late antiquity had been insufficient reason to change the liturgy."

In other words, it took far more than a cultural revolution (requiring "pastoral solutions") to effect the liturgical revolution. It required a determined long-term strategy pursued by the same ideological agents of influence who guided Ostpolitik, the peace movement, false ecumenism and other corrosive Masonic-Soviet specialities within and without the Church.

No one at the top is prepared to go this far, of course: to pull up the New Mass by its alien roots. Even the plain-speakers, like the robust Cardinal Hoyos, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, guard their unexpurgated views. It was only in private dinner conversation during his June 2008 visit to London that the Cardinal felt free to describe the Novus Ordo liturgical scene in no uncertain terms as chaotic.

Yes. It was designed to be chaotic. But by whom, how and why?

In November 2007 another straight-shooter, the former Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, vigorously condemned "the Eucharistic celebrations transformed into shows with dances, songs, and applause, as it frequently happens with the Novus Ordo." Alas, playing into the hands of Nichols & Co., he prefaced this with the wary qualification: "I do not wish to criticize the 'Novus Ordo'."

Why not?! We need frank and fundamental criticism of the New Mass per se, not merely its manic symptoms. Blunt and powerful critiques of the calibre of the Ottaviani intervention; made by high ranking prelates of real stature who take no prisoners. Yes, pigs might fly. Yes, we are now in the post-Summorum era of coexistence and liturgical detente. But as we have seen, there is in fact no detente. And after three years, precious little coexistence. It would do no harm at all, therefore, if prestigious ecclesiastical figures were to up the ante: to break ranks and ditch the habit of public remarks tempered to hide the awful truth.

At this advanced stage of secularised dissolution and decay, softening the blow is utterly pointless, serving only to further the convergence of Church and State facilitated by Bugnini's legacy. It does nothing to stem the Eucharistic "outrages, sacrileges and indifferences" decried by the Angel of Fatima on behalf of our "offended" Lord. Nor does it rein in the ongoing construction of ghastly monuments to Protestant congregationalism (like the recently reordered St Mary's cathedral in Perth, Western Australia) which foster those crimes in a cycle of liturgically-led corrosion of Catholic faith: a circular downward spiral with far-reaching consequences. Commenting on the Third Secret in 1984, Bishop Amaral of Fatima truly said: "The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the [nuclear] annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe."

It is here, as ever, that we find the supernatural source of the episcopal blindness obstructing the Pope's traditional blueprint for liturgical reform. "[The Third Secret] has nothing to do with Gorbachev," said Cardinal Oddi, "The Blessed Virgin was alerting us against apostasy in the Church" [Il Sabato, 17/3/90]. In a private note to a Professor in Salzburg, Cardinal Ciappi, John Paul II's personal theologian, added: "In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top." Sister Lucy herself spoke to reliable witnesses about a “diabolical disorientation” afflicting “so many persons who occupy places of responsibility” in the Church; about priests and consecrated souls” who “are so deceived and misled” because “the devil has succeeded in infiltrating evil under cover of good … leading into error and deceiving souls having a heavy responsibility through the place which they occupy … They are blind men guiding other blind men.”

And so the bishops close ranks, blissfully blind to the ever more tragic liturgical front. Unlike Castro they concede nothing. But just like Castro they cling to a fantasy upon which they have staked their careers, compromising worldviews and comfortable lives. For like Communism itself, the New Mass was just another power grab: an abstraction dreamed up by a manipulated coterie in committee, then put into revolutionary practice and enforced with Stalinesque cruelty and zeal, even to calling the cops to arrest Parisian 'dissidents' at prayer in their own church. God help us all.

Missa bugniniensis delenda est!
As the anchor and inspiration of civilization and culture, Catholic liturgy decomposes at great universal cost. "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world... ." Yet still the episcopal impasse hardens. We, at least, must hold firm, and persevere with the tenacity of Cato the Elder. Carthago delenda est - "Carthage must be destroyed" - he repeated ad nauseam during the Punic Wars, until that city was finally razed to the ground. Contrariwise, our equally insistent mantra - Missa bugniniensis delenda est - "Buginini’s Mass must be destroyed" - is constructive: aimed at rebuilding the liturgical city decimated by his weapon of Mass destruction.

At the same time, we also know that Buginini’s Mass must inevitably destroy itself - Missa bugniniensis sibi delenda est. So until that final day of "creative" implosion, when the last gimmick of the last Liberal cleric peters out on the last gutted sanctuary, and the sole remaining "serviette" turns out the light as the last Extraordinary Monster leaves the building, let us zealously guard the Mass of the saints and martyrs. For as Antonio Socci predicts in The Fourth Secret of Fatima [2006], it will come again. When the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is finally done, he writes, there will be “a return to the Eucharist, an anchorage that signifies also a clear ‘conversion’ to doctrinal orthodoxy after the frightening deviations following the Council and, I hold, a return as well to adoration, therefore to the bi-millennial liturgy of the Church that was liquidated in a post-conciliar coup.” Amen.

 

FOOTNOTES:

(1)The subversive network was finally made public in 1995 with the declassification of the top-secret Venona Project, kept under wraps since 1943. Its decrypted Soviet cables to hundreds of influential American agents confirmed what the American Left had hitherto denied and ridiculed as 'reds under the bed' hysteria.

(2)John XXIII surely understood the nefarious source of such liturgical innovations because he knew of the existence of conspirators within the Church. The late René Malliavin, a French writer who had befriended Cardinal Roncalli during the latter's sojourn in Paris, went to Rome on 28 April 1959 to visit Roncalli who had since become John XXIII. He brought with him a dossier on the penetration of the Church by Communists. Pope John immediately granted him an unscheduled private audience, to the dismay of the Monsignori who were responsible for the Pope's strict time-table. Malliavin gave Pope John evidence of the Communist infiltration, and the Holy Father asked him to continue his investigations on his return to Paris, and to keep him informed. (Cf. René Malliavin, in “Ecrits de Paris," May 1969, cited in Pensée Catholique, May-June 1972.)

The lame papal acquiescence continued under Paul VI despite his bemoaning that "A superficial and considerably impudent phraseology has penetrated into the common language of the Church" (29/10/69). He, too, knew of the systematic Masonic-Communist infiltration and subversion of the Church during the course of the twentieth century which had fuelled this "superficial and impudent" terminology and other corruptions, all aimed at specific objectives (like horizontal worship and false ecumenism) required to fabricate a pseudo-Catholicism. Among many other sources, ex-Communist Bella Dodd exposed the Communist Party’s massive infiltration of agents into the seminaries. Alice von Hildebrand also recalled that "She [Dodd] told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican 'who were working for us'.” And yet Pope Paul dismissed those who brought the clear and deadly fruits of this infiltration to his attention. When Dietrich von Hildebrand did so in a private papal audience on 21 June 1965, just before the end of the Council, Paul cut the audience short. "As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant," said Alice, "the Pope interrupted him... A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope’s attention. Same answer. ... It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes." Presumably this testiness reflected Paul's shady past: his treacherous post-war dealings (as Bishop Montini) with Soviet agencies behind Pius XII's back; the fact that one of his close advisors at that time, Alighiero Tondi, S.J., was exposed as a Soviet agent; and his betrayal of anti-Communist heroes like Cardinal Mindszenty (see Alice von Hildebrand's testimony CO, March 2007, pp. 36-40).

(3)Doubtless, Pius XII was also aware of the subversion of the Church by its enemies. He was certainly alert to the fact that new ideas (essentially Masonic and Communistic and fomented by the infiltrators) were being put forward in theological reviews. He condemned them in Humani Generis, on modern errors in general, and Mediator Dei on the liturgy in particular.

(4)An Austrian-American 'sexologist'/psychoanalyst and one-time Communist, Reich (1897-1957) was the degenerate father of "sexual liberation." In his 1936 opus Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf: Zur sozialistischen Umstrukturierung des Menschen ["Sexuality in the Culture Struggle: for the socialist restructuring of humans"] he sought the "rejection of the family institution as such." Published in English as The Sexual Revolution, it was popularised by cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School: like Herbert Marcuse, who coined the fatuous '60s slogan "Make love, not war." Father Crane never failed to recognise the hidden hand of Communist influence and manipulation of Church affairs at work in all of this, noting in his February 1969 editorial: "What they are doing in fact and probably without knowing it is to transfer the tactics of Che Guevara to the Church. Marcuse, not the Holy Ghost, appears to be their main inspiration."

(5)In the lead-up to the papal visit (of which more next month), Westminster hireling Vincent Nichols embodied the episcopal end-product of this corrupting process: a thoroughly secularised postconciliar 'pilgrim' with a head full of pseudo-religious babble. "The whole point of the Catholic journey is that it is a journey," he blathered at one point. While his non-response to a suggestion that the Church must ultimately sanction "gay unions" oozed Marcusian intent: "Who knows what's down the road?" he mused.

(6) It was Bishop Boniface Luykx, O. Praem., his friendly colleague on the Consilium which developed the New Mass, who attested to this perverse fact: that Bugnini viewed the secularisation of the Church as the only way forward! A quintessentially Masonic mentality. A Council Father, Bishop Boniface observed the revolt of the postconciliar commissions against Rome's leadership first-hand, describing its rapid escalation to "a strong, clerical aggression against the whole of Christianity's transcendent revelation." [Inside the Vatican, April & May 1996]

(7) e.g. http://en.gloria.tv/?video=pwxa9jff7gs5kldzpiu7

(8)"Pray Tell - Worship, Wit and Wisdom," blog comment of 4/3/10.

(9))e.g. Pax Liturgique polls in Versailles [JLM Institute, 2009], Paris [Harris Institute, 2010] and France [CSA Institute, 2006]; an American survey conducted by Georgetown University [2008]; a SOFRES poll commissioned by Le Pèlerin [2006]; a national French survey commissioned by OREMUS [IPSOS, 2001].

(10)"It is particularly sad where priests are prohibited from celebrating the extraordinary form of the Mass because of restrictive legislative measures which have been taken and which run counter to the Holy Father’s intentions and thus to the universal law of the Church. Let me say this plainly: the Holy Father wants the ancient use of the Mass to become a normal occurrence in the liturgical life of the Church so that all of Christ’s faithful - young and old - can become familiar with the older rites and draw from their tangible beauty and transcendence." - Cardinal Hoyos, address to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, London, 14 June 2008.

(11)Thus, as if speaking for all Western hierarchies wedded to liturgical dissolution, the Cardinal declared with perverse satisfaction thatafter the liberalisation of the Old Mass, contrary to what some had feared, "there was not a 'tsunami' of religious practise in France: here and there, some agreement has been reached, but overall the practise of French Catholics has not profoundly modified" [La Croix, 17/9/09]. A month later, speaking before the French epsicopate in Lourdes, he openly rebuked (though not by name) his colleague, Bishop Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, who has generously applied Summorum Pontificum, welcoming those priests who celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form or according to both forms. As a result, Bishop Rey has far more seminarians (80) than any of his brother bishops.

 

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