Catholic Criticism of Vatican Council II



Catholic Criticism of Vatican Council II


Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, the two Popes of Vatican Council II, 1962-1965


Very recently, this ministry has come under adverse criticism from two individuals:

1. From: arcanjo sodder
To: Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:36:02 +0530

Subject: Adrian Mascarenhas

I have a Facebook page called Association of Concerned Catholics Networking Group. Adrian has called you a self-styled theologian. I think you should defend yourself and expose him.
A. M. Sodder

On the Mumbai “Association of Concerned Catholics” Networking Group’s Facebook page, Bangalore Archdiocese priest and yoga-enthusiast Adrian Mascarenhas (he has never identified himself as a priest, except once, and in the past three months alone has posted hundreds of times on a number of blogs and Facebook pages at all times of the day and night, making one wonder if that is his main occupation) passed a comment about me which I reproduce below:

Adrian Mascarenhas Michael Prabhu is a self-styled theologian

20 August 2015 at 08:23  

(From the conversations on that page, it may be seen that, except for one individual, all others are overwhelming in favour of my ministry and strongly critical of Adrian Mascarenhas whom they may not know is a priest.)


I have never claimed, even desired, to be a “theologian”.

For a Catholic priest to make such a false statement about an individual on social media is a very serious matter (sin) falling somewhere between calumny and libel.

In case I have inadvertently called myself a “theologian” in any of my reports or emails, I am eager to withdraw/correct that statement if Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas would be so kind as to point out where it is said.

Fr. Mascarenhas has repeated verbatim the charge originally levelled at this writer a couple of dozen times during the preceding months on his blog and in his emails to the Bombay Cardinal as well as a number of other bishops and priests by a lay man named Prakash Lasrado.

Earlier this month, the two of them, Fr. Mascarenhas and Mr. Lasrado unitedly took on this ministry, the common denominators being their pro-yoga and liberal theological stance and their hatred of all that this ministry stands for. When Lasrado became an embarrassment and liability for the priest, they fell out; their union lasted less than a week as detailed by me in my report



2. From: Prakash Lasrado
Date: Tue, 4 Aug ’15 10:33 pm

To: Fr Conrad Saldanha,

Cc: Adrian Mascarenhas, Long List

Subject: Michael Prabhu is a heretic


Michael Prabhu says in his blog below

There are very learned theologians who reject all sixteen Council Documents and believe that there will one day be a Pope who will throw out Vatican II and link the Church back to its 2000-year old tradition, thus ridding Her of the heresies and liturgical aberrations that have crept in even though nowhere mandated by the Council.

My rebuttal 

Beware of Michael Prabhu, a heretic who is unhappy with Vatican II documents. 

Instead of following the Pope, he is rebelling against the Church and Vatican II. Prakash

Lasrado is referring to my report


I have repeated the exact same extract in my later report



What I mean by my remarks on the Vatican Council II Documents is that due to their non-infallibility and ambiguity, there are as many interpretations as there are liberal theologians like Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona diocese (about whom the above two reports are concerned) and liberal priests like Fr. Adrian Mascarenhas, as a result of which heretical teachings abound (on religious pluralism, “religious liberty”, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, inculturation, etc.), while in the liturgy of the Holy Mass, innovations and abuses are only limited by the ingenuity of the celebrant and like-minded ignorant faithful!


You will come across the following (and similar other) statements of priests, etc. in the present report:

It is canonically possible for a future pope to annul the outcome of the council, as it was merely a pastoral council.

The documents of Vatican II come within the category of the Church’s Ordinary Magisterium, which can contain error in the case of a novelty, which conflicts with previous Church teaching.

Vatican II texts lack dogmatic definitions and the corresponding punishment for those who do not accept the doctrine … I believe that there will come a day when Vatican II will be declared “null and void”…


There has been, from 1965, a continuing debate on the supposed “hermeneutic of rupture” or “hermeneutic of discontinuity” with the Church’s past, effected by the Council, which is what I meant by saying that there are those conservative theologians who believe that there will be a day and a Pope who will declare the demise of Vatican Council II in a major reform of the reform, returning to a “hermeneutic of continuity”.


In fact, in this present report, I am going to quote the negative and condemnatory statements of eminent Catholic sources on Vatican Council II. If I am constrained to cite a couple of Traditionalist sources, it is only because they themselves appeal to the views of Roman Catholic Cardinals, Bishops, priest-theologians and highly acclaimed lay doctors in theology on the Second Vatican Council.

Most of those cited below were participants or periti (consultants or theological advisors) at the Council.


I stand by my statements which were quoted by Prakash Lasrado.

But, I am not a heretic as alleged by him, supported by the priest Fr. Mascarenhas.

Neither am I any shade of Traditionalist (of which there are several).

I am a Roman Catholic who is loyal to the Holy Father and to the 2000-year old orthodoxy and orthopraxis of the Roman Catholic Church.

Canon Law gives me the right — and duty — to respectfully make known my informed opinion to “the rest of the Christian faithful”:

Canon law #212.3: According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they (the Christian faithful) have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.


I am not required to obey any teaching, even if coming from Rome, if it contradicts or is not in continuity with Revealed Truth and Tradition.

The power of the Pope is not unlimited: not only can he not change anything that is divinely instituted, but, being put there to build and not to destroy (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:8, he is enjoined through natural law not to sow confusion in the flock of Christ. –Catholic Dictionary of Theology (Dict. de Theol. Cath.,) II, col.2039-2040.


If my informed conscience convicts me that there is error to be found in an episcopal or collegial teaching that is not ex-cathedra, I am, under pain of sin, obliged to confront/admonish/expose such error:



Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them. –Pope St. Felix III



I will let other eminent Catholics speak for me.

One of those is an Italian priest named Fr. Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, Italy, blessed by St. Padre Pio, by his own Bishop, and by Venerable Pope Pius XII who approved the mandate given by Padre Pio to Fr. Villa to dedicate his entire life to defend the Church of Christ from the work of Freemasonry and other errors in the highest echelons of the Church. This was brought to my notice by the ephesians511 blog:

Fr. Villa and the eminent Catholics that I will cite have all critiqued Vatican II as a whole or certain aspects of it; if they are wrong, then I too must be in error. If they are heretics, well, so too am I.

But, from 1998, Fr. Villa has written several voluminous books on the errors perceived by him in some of the Documents of Vatican II and sent them to the Pope and to each and every Cardinal, Bishop and parish priest in Italy… and he has received no refutal that I know of to all of the factual and frightening information that he has disclosed. (No condemnation or criticism of Fr. Villa can be located on the Internet either.)


Vatican Council II was the twenty-first ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. The council formally convened under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII
on October 11, 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1965.

The first session was from October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1962.

Pope John XXIII died on June 3, 1963. Since an ecumenical council is automatically interrupted and suspended upon the death of the Pope who convened it until his successor orders the council to be continued or dissolved, Pope Paul VI who was elected on June 21, 1963 immediately announced that the Council would resume.

The second session was from
September 29, 1963 to December 4, 1963.

The third session was from
September 14, 1964 to November 21, 1964.

The fourth and final session was from
September 14, 1965 to December 8, 1965.

A total of sixteen Documents were released. They are:

1. Sacrosanctum concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963.  
English  Latin

2. Inter Mirifica, Decree On the Means of Social Communication, 1963.  
English  Latin
3. Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution On the Church, 1964.  
English  Latin
4. Orientalium Ecclesiarum, Decree On the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite, 1964.
English  Latin
5. Unitatis Redintegratio, Decree on Ecumenism, 1964.
English  Latin
6. Christus Dominus, Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops In the Church, 1965

English  Latin
7. Perfectae Caritatis, Decree On Renewal of Religious Life, 1965.
English  Latin
8. Optatam Totius, Decree On Priestly Training, 1965.
English  Latin
9. Gravissimum Educationis, Declaration On Christian Education, 1965.
English  Latin
10. Nostra Aetate, Declaration On the Relation Of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, 1965.  

English  Latin

11. Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation, 1965.
English  Latin 
12. Apostolicam Actuositatem, Decree On the Apostolate of the Laity, 1965.
English  Latin
13. Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration On Religious Freedom, 1965.
English  Latin
14. Ad Gentes, Decree On the Mission Activity of the Church, 1965.
English  Latin
15. Presbyterorum Ordinis, Decree On the Ministry and Life of Priests, 1965.
English  Latin
16. Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution On the Church In the Modern World, 1965.
English  Latin




Problems with Vatican II
EXTRACT (Selected responses)

By Catholic Answers, September 24, 2009

Q. I have been hearing different things about Vatican II. Please explain to me why there seems to be so much contention centered around it.

R1. There’s some good books on the subject. Try Ralph McInerny’s provocatively titled What Went Wrong with Vatican II*.

There’s a lot of misinformation going around.

There are several camps in regards to Vatican II (please note, I really don’t like using the terms below, and I also dislike making blanket generalizations, but I do both in order to give you a general idea):

•    There are some “liberals” who took advantage of the “spirit of change” that came with the Council and used it to justify all sorts of things contrary to the intention of the Council.

•    There are some “traditionalists” who used the “bad fruit” brought about by the above “liberals” as evidence that Vatican II was heretical and thus, the vast majority of Catholics today are heretics.

•    There are the confused, under-catechized lay people who have no idea what to think and hold many misconceptions (such as the misconception that Vatican II changed the Mass to the vernacular and got rid of Gregorian chant).

•    Then there are those who have actually read the documents and realize that the Council was a great blessing and its teachings are inspired by the Holy Spirit, but that many people have misinterpreted the documents of the Council to further their own agenda.


Again, this is a vast oversimplification, but I wanted to convey to you that there are more than two sides to this story.


R2. If the fruits of a Council are such as any Catholic can daily observe as being brazen defiance of Canon Law and the revision of the Faith according to the new prevailing ideology of ‘political correctness’ then how can Vatican II be seen as good? Congregations are led by priests and bishops to think that there is no need to kneel to receive the Body of Christ, that the unconsecrated, in the presence of Priests, can handle the Body of Christ and even open the tabernacle, remove the Hosts and distribute them as if they were Priests! There are many other abuses that occur daily in my country and in others that I know of. These abuses arose subsequent to V II, as I understand the only one of 21 councils convened not to address a problem but to bring the church into some sort of alignment with the modern world (!) What was wrong with the established Church and, above all, the established Latin mass? I have read V II and although the language is beautiful it also seems to express ideals of a ‘new’ freedom of how we can practice our Faith that can be readily interpreted as allowing for more human oriented directions. God does not change His mind nor should His Church! God is compassionate but is not soft, He does not respond to human weakness nor should our Church. I do not understand my Church! I do not see goodness arising from this Council but only the very effective degradation of the holiness of the mass.


R3. The most common criticism of the Second Vatican Council is that the reforms to the Mass have made it less reverent: the tone of it being a sacrifice has been mostly removed, the removal of communion rails, less traditional music, less emphasis on proper dress, etc.


R4. And that’s part of the disconnect as well. These things have certainly happened after the Council, but the documents do not call for these things.


R5. Why did the VC II invite Protestant ministers to formulate the New Mass? […]


R6. This is a myth spread mostly by sedevacantists. The Protestants that were there were observers that had no vote in the Council. The only thing they contributed was sharing an English translation for the Latin speeches with the American bishops that weren’t fluent in Latin.

The text for the Order of Mass in the 1970 Missale Romanum was composed by the Congregation for Divine Worship (then called the Holy Office), whose prefect at the time was the Italian Cardinal Antonio Samorè. No Protestants were ever a member of the Congregation.

With reference to response R1, the respondent has apparently omitted the category that I believe that I belong to: the well-catechized lay people who share the concerns of, for example,
R2, R3,
and R4.


*What Went Wrong with Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained

By Ralph M. McInerny, 1998

REVIEW: Vatican II was supposed to herald a Golden Age in the Catholic Church–yet in the thirty years since it ended, chaos & dissension have rocked the pulpits and emptied the pews. Today, theologians rise against the Pope, laymen turn away in dismay and confusion.





McInerny cuts through conventional wisdom to reveal the council’s true message–a message which, if widely known, would send shock waves through both the conservative and liberal wings on the Church…and would bring many Catholics back to the practice of the Faith.

After Vatican II, instead of enjoying the expected renaissance, the Church seemed to fall apart: priests and bishops rejected Church teachings, convents and seminaries emptied, and laypeople were thrown into confusion. I vividly remember my own dismay when I discovered that although I had entered the Catholic Church because I had come to see (with Cardinal Newman’s help) the necessity for a teaching authority, large numbers of Catholics were chafing under that authority and yearning for an illusory freedom. This strange rebellion in the post-Vatican II Church is examined and blisteringly rebuked in Ralph McInerny’s What Went Wrong with Vatican II. McInerny contends that the problem wasn’t Vatican II itself, which, as an ecumenical council, enjoyed the protection of the Holy Spirit. The problem, he argues, came afterward: with Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s restatement of the Church’s constant teaching that artificial contraception is immoral. Instead of greeting it with respect and obedience, a large group of clergy dissented publicly from Humanae Vitae and touched off a civil war in the Church as they competed with the Vatican for the obedience of the faithful.

In this crucial book, McInerny traces the problem and shows what we must do now to restore the Church.


Whichever of the five “camps” one sees oneself as being in, one cannot escape the fact that Vatican Council II changed the face of the Church as one knew it before 1965.

Here, then, are the views of eminent Catholics on this Ecumenical Council:


I. “A point in history as sad as the Death of Our Lord … one of the greatest calamities, if not the greatest, in the history of the Church.”

-Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira (December 13, 1908 – October 3, 1995) was a Brazilian intellectual, politician and Catholic activist.

Oliveira travelled to Rome for the opening session of Vatican Council II, describing it as
a point in history as sad as the Death of Our Lord
in which the Church was faced by the generalized, co-ordinated, and audacious action of its internal enemies …

In a 1976 addendum to his Revolution and Counter-Revolution, he described Vatican II as “one of the greatest calamities, if not the greatest, in the history of the Church.


II. “Pope John XXIII who convoked the Council was to change his view …
when he realized that the papacy had lost control of the process.”

-From The Desolate City (revised & expanded edited1990), Alice Muggeridge, page 72, letter from Fr. Joseph W. Oppitz, C.Ss.R. in “America” magazine of April 15, 1972.


“[D]iffering from other Councils, this one (Vatican II) was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral.”

Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience


“In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.”

-Pope Paul VI


“The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-demolition [auto-destruction]. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council.



It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions, which matured in the great sessions of the council. But … one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself…  

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation…. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties.

-Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1968, Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome;
June 29, 1972, Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul … in his response to Vatican II


The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet so many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.”

-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI)


Certainly the results of Vatican II seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI. Expected was a new Catholic unity, and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence that has developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result, therefore, seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work:  it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Church. 

-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI). Also see page 22, Regarding the Lefebvre Schism


If the Church were not divine this Council (Vatican II) would have buried it.

-Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (believed to have been elected Pope at two conclave following the death of John XXIII, 1963 and Paul VI, 1978, but was forced to decline by the Freemasons’ lobby) 


Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.

-Bishop Christopher Butler OSB


“Padre Pio counseled all the Council Fathers who came to see him, to put an end to Vatican II.”

Father Ricossa, Sacerdotium, Issue #15, page 60


What are Catholics to think of Vatican II? (Traditionalist)

Please note that I do NOT concur with certain of the writer’s personal comments/views or some of the Traditionalist sources cited by him –Michael

Underlined emphases are the author’s; bold emphases are mine –Michael

By Fr. Raymond Taouk

If the Church were not divine this Council (Vatican II) would have buried it.” –Cardinal Giuseppe Siri [1]

Many Catholics labor under the mistaken notion that the documents of Vatican II contain the highest doctrinal authority and are therefore beyond reproach. This, however, is not the case with respect to the Church’s teaching on Councils and the Magisterial authority of the Church.

Church councils are convoked for the purpose of explaining (by definitions), defending and guarding the faith (by condemnations) of the entire Church. However in contrary to this practice of the Church the Second Vatican Council refused to define or condemn but rather in a novel fashion to be a “pastoral Council” (differing from other Councils, this one (Vatican II) was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral.Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience) which would put forth novel innovations which affect the very divine constitution of the Church [2thus departing from its magisterial and infallible authority which might generally be attributed to Church Council validly convoked and approved.




Pope Paul VI made it clear in a public audience of January 12th, 1966 that the decrees of Vatican II were never stamped with the note of infallibility, as he openly declared:

There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” –Pope Paul VI General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano, 1/21/1966


Catholics are, therefore, within their rights to make reservations regarding any novelties emanating from Vatican II that are out of step with Sacred Tradition and the previous (continuous) Magisterium of the Church. Vatican II unlike previous Church Councils, did not pretend to bolster the faith of the faithful by means of clarifying those unchangeable truths of the Catholic faith, [3] but rather dealt with theological conclusions which on a number of issues were contrary to the Church teaching or at least ambiguous enough to encourage a non-Catholic interpretation. As Cardinal Suenens explains “one could make an astonishing list for propositions taught yesterday, and the day before in Rome, as the only acceptable ones, and which were eliminated by the Conciliar Fathers”[4]


Archbishop Lefebvre always made it clearly, that he never rejected Vatican II documents outright, but simply made the basic distinction that is required regarding those texts:

Michael Davies (in his work Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre): It is frequently alleged that you ‘refuse’ the council. These allegations are very vague. I presume that you accept that Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council properly convoked by the reigning Pontiff according to the accepted norms.  

Mgr. Lefebvre: That is correct.  

Michael Davies: I presume that you accept that its official documents were voted for by a majority of the council Fathers and validly promulgated by the reigning Pontiff.

Mgr. LefebvreCertainly.

Michael Davies: In a letter published in The Times on 18 August this year (1976) I stated that your position vis-à-vis the Council was as follows.

Would you please read this passage carefully and tell me whether it does state your position accurately?

The reforms claiming to implement the Council were intended to initiate an unprecedented renewal but, since the Council, the history of the Church throughout the West has been one of stagnation and decline; the seeds of this decline can be traced back to the Council itself as those holding Neo-modernists and Neo-Protestant views were able to influence the formation of some of the official documents by the inclusion of ambiguous terminology which has been used to justify the abuses which are now apparent to all. Thus, while accepting the Council documents as official statements of the Magisterium, we have the right and duty to treat them with prudence and to interpret them in the light of Tradition.

Mgr. LefebvreThat is precisely my position.  


To make this point even clearer to the Pope, Archbishop Lefebvre wrote to Pope Paul VI saying:  

‘I accept everything that, in the Council and the reforms, is in full conformity with Tradition; and the Society I have founded is ample proof of that. Our seminary is perfectly in accordance with the wishes expressed in the Council and in the Ratio fundamentalis of the Sacred Congregation for Education.’ –Marcel Lefebvre, Letter to Pope Paul VI, 3 December, 1976.

The mindset then set forth by the Archbishop is clearly consistent with the constant teaching of the Church.


What is more is that Bishop Butler of England* publicly stated that Vatican II was in no way infallible: 

Not all teachings emanating from a pope or Ecumenical Council are infallible. There is no single proposition of Vatican II – except where it is citing previous infallible definitions – which is in itself infallible.” (The Tablet 26/11/1967)

*Bishop Christopher Butler OSB, known as “England’s pre-eminent theologian of the twentieth century”. Butler had published The Theology of Vatican II (1967) and A Time to Speak (1972). As bishop, he had had the opportunity to reflect on the Council and on its aftermath. Valentine Rice who interviewed him, says: “He came to Rome as President of the English Benedictine Congregation and soon attracted attention by his contribution to debate. In many ways he resembled John Henry Cardinal Newman, though he himself would reject the comparison.” Source


The same was affirmed by Bishop Rudolf Graber who wrote in his book:

Since the Council was aiming primarily at a pastoral orientation and hence refrained from making dogmatically binding statements or disassociating itself, as previous Church assemblies have done, from errors and false doctrines by means of clear anathemas, many questions took on an opalescent ambivalence which provided a certain amount of justification for those who speak of the spirit of the Council.” (Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, 1974)


And again even Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in commenting on this point stated:



The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet so many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super-dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.* 

-El Mercurio, July 17, 1988



It must not be mistaken that since the council was attended and called by the Pope that it would automatically be led by the Holy Ghost or that it automatically is guaranteed to be infallibility of the Ordinary Universal Magisterium since only the definitions and condemnations of an ecumenical council are guaranteed by infallibility and not (necessarily) its pastoral exhortations,
the Church does not hold as infallible in a council whatever is outside the solemn teachings. [5]  

Many erroneously hold the idea that convocation of a Council is somewhat automatically a sign that it’s inspired by “the Holy Spirit” when in reality it is quite the contrary for “to call a council is a practical decision of the Pope. A person may piously believe that God inspired it. But no one can say that this is an object of faith.” [6

Catholics may rather affirm with Cardinal Manning that “to convoke a General Council, except when absolutely demanded by necessity, is to tempt God“[7]  

As to the role of the Holy Ghost, Cardinal Manning explains: “this office of the Holy Ghost consists in the following operations: first, in the original illumination and revelation…; secondly, in the preservation of that which was revealed, or, in the other words, in the prolongation of the light of truth by which the Church in the beginning was illuminated; thirdly, in assisting the Church to conceive, with greater fullness, explicitness, and clearness, the original truth in all its relations; fourthly, in defining that truth in words, and in the creation of a sacred terminology, which becomes a permanent tradition and a perpetual expression of the original revelation; and lastly, in the perpetual enunciation and proposition of the same immutable truth in every age.” [8]


In fact when dealing with the qualities of a True Council, St. Francis De Sales affirms the above in clearer terms saying “For what are the principal causes why general Councils assembled, save to put down and cast out the heretics, the Schismatics, the Scandalizer, as wolves from the sheepfold? As that first Assembly was held in Jerusalem to resist those who belong to the heresy of the Pharisees.” [9]


Vatican I (a dogmatic council, which Vatican II was not)
makes it very clear that the pope is subservient to the Deposit of Faith. Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI explicitly chose to withhold dogmatic authority from Vatican II. Therefore, whatever it did or however it is interpreted, it has none of the weight of the dogmatic Council of Trent and Vatican I.

Rather we may say that since the Second Vatican Council has failed in its role as council and is no more than “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”.

It is often stated that during the rebellious first session of the Council, Pope John XXIII who convoked the Council was to change his view in such a way that that he began to resemble those prophets of doom for which he had only contempt. Yet this began to change when he realized that the papacy had lost control of the process, he attempted, as Cardinal John Heenan of Westminster later revealed, to organize a group of bishops to try to force it to an end. Before the second session opened he had died. [10]

Padre Pio had hoped for the same thing for prophetically he could see the road down which it this Council would lead the Church and so Pellegrino (a lifelong friend of Padre Pio) testifies how Padre Pio counseled all the Council Fathers who came to see him, to put an end to Vatican II. [11]  


This Council was the first to invite non-Catholic “observers” to participate in its proceedings, who took an active part in the proceedings behind the scenes as is well pointed out by Michael Davies in his work on “Pope John’s Council”. The very presence of these non-Catholic observers must have had an inhibiting effect on the Council Fathers. It was the first Council to be declared “pastoral” rather than “dogmatic”. If other councils, did have pastoral propositions, they were nevertheless dogmatic Councils.

It was the first council that neither delimited Catholic doctrine from contemporary errors, nor issued disciplinary canons. When requested by hundreds of Council Fathers for the condemnation of Communism – certainly the principal error of the time, they were sidetracked by those in control – in clear violation of the Council’s own rules of order – as reported by Father Wiltgen (The Rhine Flows into the Tiber) and others.

It is canonically possible for a future pope to annul the outcome of the council, as it was merely a pastoral council.

Cardinal Ratzinger affirms the same saying that “Not all valid councils, after being tested by the facts of history, have shown themselves to be useful councils; in the final analysis, all that was left of some was a great nothing.” [12]


The history of the Church presents us with some parallel situations that we can bring forward to confirm the above.





The Council of Ephesus in 449, which was regularly called and attended by all the East and by legates from Pope St. Leo the Great, was annulled by that pope’s subsequent opposition to it and branded the “Robber’s Council” (Latrocinium).

A much better parallel we can say is the Second Council of Constantinople, held in 553. In 1934, historian Msgr. Philip Hughes described it as “the strangest of all the general councils”. [13] This Council had disastrous effects since rather than simply reiterate or elaborate upon the irreformable teaching of Chalcedon, it sought both to uphold Chalcedon and to call to account three long-dead theologians (whose works had somehow offended the Monophysite heretics) two of whom had been intimately associated with Chalcedon. How could such a strategy not have generated confusion among the faithful? Indeed it did as the great historian W.H.C. Frend described it, “At the council itself the bishops turned intellectual somersaults in their efforts to uphold Chalcedon yet condemn the Three Chapters” [14]. It resulted in bringing about confusion in the minds of faithful about the controversy surrounding Monophysitism.


The same author in dealing with the Council of Constance illustrates that “this council which men at Constance (November, 1414) is the strangest in all Church history from its composition, its procedure, and the nature of what was effected through it. The full effect of the chaos of forty years was now seen. All the wildest theories about the source of ecclesiastical authority seemed likely to be realized when there descended on the town (in addition to 185 bishops) 300 doctors in theology and law, 18,000 other ecclesiastics, and a vast multitude of lay potentates, of princes, and of representatives of towns and corporations, to the number of more than a hundred thousand . . . This same council that had brought the (western) schism to an end had sown the seeds of much future dissention. Whatever the niceties of canon law that had safeguarded the legitimacy of its liquidation of a complex problem, the fact remained that the Council of Constance had judged two claimants to the papacy and condemned them, and that it had also elected a new Pope. And it had also declared, in explicit terms, that General Councils were superior to Popes and it had provided that every five years this General Council should resemble and the Pope, in some measure, give to it, an account of his stewardship. As far as the wishes of the Council of Constance went, a revolution had been achieved, and the Church in the future was to be governed in a parliamentary way, and not by the absolute, divinely given authority of its head, the Vicar of Christ. The forty years that followed the Council were to see the successive Popes – Martin V, Eugene IV, and Nicholas V, wholly taken up with the effort to destroy this new theory and to control the councils which it bred and inspired. The full fruits of the mischief were only reaped in the long drawn out dissensions of the Council of Basle (1431 – 1449).” -Hughes, Popular History of the Church, Pg. 141-3

Fr. Bernard Otten, S.J. commenting on the above Council states that “(Pope) Martin V, at the close of the Council, approved only in a general way what had been enacted by conciliar procedure in matters of faith – in materia fidei conciliariter statuta” –A Manual of History of Dogmas, Volume II, 1918, Pg. 456


As another example we may mention is how the teaching of the Council of Florence on the matter and form for the Sacrament of Holy Orders [15] was set aside by Pope Pius XII in his Apostolic Constitution “Sacramentum Ordinis” (1947). Pope Pius XII, in defining the matter and the form declared that the Council of Florence did not mean to teach that the action of touching the chalice and paten presented to the ordained was necessary by virtue of the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ, without setting the question as to whether this action could become part of the matter of the Sacrament by virtue of the power of the Church, Some theologians [16] deny it, which amounts to saying that the Council of Florence was mistaken on this point.

There is also the example of the illegal Council of Pistoia, which was held in September of 1786 by the Bishop of Pistoia and Prato, in a daring effort to secure the errors of Jansenism. The Council attempted to spread errors by emphasising the notion of “Community”, by giving bishops more authority much like Vatican II did by the proclamation of collegiality of bishops, and many other errors of the illegal Council of Pistoia. This council was condemned and eighty-five of its propositions were stigmatized as erroneous and dangerous.

Pius VI on 28 August, 1794, dealt the death-blow to the influence of the council in his Bull “Auctorem Fidei”, which condemned the propositions of this illegal council:

“[To contend that] ways must be prepared for people to unite their voices with that of the whole Church — if this be understood to signify the introduction of the use of the vernacular language into the liturgical prayers — is condemned as false, rash, disturbing to the order prescribed for the celebration of the sacred mysteries, easily productive of many evils.” (Auctorem Fidei)

The ever-prevalent contention that the above facts seek only to undermine the authority of the Church’s Magisterium is brought forward as an opponent that needs clarification.


The difference between doctrinal and pastoral teachings has great implications at Ecumenical Councils. This is because the Church has never taught that all Church Councils are in and of themselves infallible.
St. Robert Bellarmine points out that, “
Only by the words of the general Council do we know whether the fathers of that council intended to engage their prerogative infallibility” [17]

What is more, is that Fr. Vincent McNabb O.P, rightly pointy out that “If there have been antipopes still more have there been anti-councils. If papal actions must be distinguished into official, semi-official, and personal, equally so must the acts of councils” –Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, page 78.

Again, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori affirms that:






What is found to have its origin in the opinion of some Holy Father or particular Council is not a Divine Tradition, even though it should be celebrated throughout the entire Church. For if we did not attend to this rule, we should have to admit without certain foundation, new revelations regarding faith or morals, which has been always abhorred and impugned in the Church by men the most attached to religion. Hence, the sovereign pontiffs, the Councils, and the Fathers, have been most careful to reject all novelties or new doctrines on matters of faith, which differed from those that had been already received.“[18]

This no doubt is because as Fr. Vincent McNabb noted, namely that “Neither the Pope nor General Councils are ends in themselves; they are relative entities. They look towards the Church” –Infallibility (London, 1927), Sheed and Ward, p. 53.

These words are simply a reiteration on the words of first Vatican Council:

For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.“[19]


For a document of the Magisterium to be considered infallible there are very precise elements, which are necessary. These elements are a continuity with Tradition (2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 11:23, Galatians1: 8), universality in time and place [20] and the clear will of the Pope to engage his authority for the ordinary pontifical Magisterium. If either of these elements is not present the acts are not in any way guaranteed with infallibility. In other words if the Ordinary Magisterium is to be infallible, it must be traditional (Sacrae Theologiae Summa, Salaverri, Vol. 1 5th edition). If it breaks with Tradition, the Ordinary Magisterium cannot claim any infallibility.

Some Catholics erroneously think that Magisterium is equivalent to Pope. It is not. In Latin, Magisterium is neuter. It is a thing, not a person. It is the teaching authority of the Church. That teaching authority, however, must be derived from Our Lord and His Apostles. It must be based on the Catholic and Apostolic Deposit of Faith. Vatican I made it clear, dogmatically, that the teaching of any pope (or, a fortiori, bishop) who teaches outside the Apostolic Deposit of Faith is null and void.

This Magisterium or “teaching authority of the Church”, exists in a few different modes. It is termed “Solemn” or “Extraordinary” when it derives from the formal and authentic definitions of a General council. It is termed “Ordinary and Universal” when it manifests those truths which are expressed through the daily continuous preaching of the Church and refers to the universal practices of the Church connected with faith and morals as manifested in the decisions of the Roman Congregations concerning faith and morals. It also termed “Ordinary and Non-Infallible” when it regards the non-infallible doctrinal decisions given by the pope or by the Roman congregations.

The Magisterium is termed “living” because, being true, it exists and exerts its influence, not only in the past, but in the present and future. It is termed “authentic” or “authorized” only as regards the person himself, not as regards his infallibility. [21]

Hence we can clearly comprehend why “these doctrines (of the Second Vatican Council) are not even part of the Church’s authentic (i.e., ordinary, non-universal) teaching, because the bishops expressed no intention to hand down the Deposit of the Faith; on the contrary, their spokesmen (e.g., Paul VI) expressed their intention to come to terms with the modern world and its values, long condemned by true Catholic churchmen as being intrinsically un-Catholic. Therefore, the documents of Vatican II have only a Conciliar authority, the authority of that Council, but no Catholic authority at all, and no Catholic need take seriously anything Vatican II said, unless it was already Church doctrine beforehand.” [22]

Ultimately, the Magisterium is not any particular pope, but simply the authority of the Church, by divine appointment, to teach the truths of religious belief; the commissions of the Church to teach; the teaching office of the Church; the teaching and interpreting of the doctrines of the faith carried on by the Church through the Pope and bishops and those commissioned by them. It may be ordinary when a doctrine is proclaimed throughout the Church as part of divine revelation; or extraordinary when a general council defines a doctrine ratified by the Pope or when the Pope speaks as the official teacher of the Church (ex Cathedra) proclaiming or defining a matter of faith or morals. The Catholic Church is not a congregation of people agreeing together, it is not a School of Philosophy or a Mutual Improvement Society. It is rather the Living Voice of God and Christ’s revelation to all people, through all time. It teaches only what its divine Master taught. [23]


Vatican II would at most come under the Ordinary non Infallible Magisterium, to which one owes assent only according to a prudential judgment:

Since not everything taught by the Ordinary Magisterium is infallible, we must ask what kind of assent we should give to its various decisions. The Christian is required to give the assent of faith to all the doctrinal and moral truths defined by the Church’s Magisterium. He is not required to give the same assent to teaching imparted by the sovereign pontiff that is not imposed on the whole Christian body as a dogma of faith. In this case it suffices to give that inner and religious assent which we give to legitimate ecclesiastical authority. This is not an absolute assent, because such decrees are not infallible, but only a prudential and conditional assent, since in questions of faith and morals there is a presumption in favor of one’s superior… Such prudential assent does not eliminate the possibility of submitting the doctrine to a further examination, if that seems required by the gravity of the question” [24]


Again we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia:




But before being bound to give such an assent, the believer has a right to be certain that the teaching in question is definitive (since only definitive teaching is infallible)…” [25]  

In the case of Vatican II it would be highly imprudent to give our assent without departing from the faith to a great number of its works. Archbishop Felici, the General Secretary of Vatican II did not hesitate to state that Catholics must “make reservations” on those declarations from the Council “which have a novel character” [26]

Fr. Gregory Hesse states well that we ought to reject Vatican II as whole but not in everything (“in toto sed non in omnibus”). As a whole since undeniably this council (and the “Spirit of the Council”) has worked only for the destruction of the faith. However it would be rash to reject everything in the sense that at times it does refer us to sound Catholic teachings, yet while accepting those things which pertain to the deposit of the faith we can only affirm that the Council as a whole was a disaster for the whole of Christendom.


Pope Pius II already condemned Vatican II some 500 years before hand in his decree Exerabilis [27] which condemned anyone who would presume to call a council to alter any Catholic dogmatic teaching.

Ambiguity may be said to be one of the great hallmarks of the Second Vatican Council as by means of it a great number of erroneous notions have been introduced and whole heartedly embraced by a greater number of the Post Conciliar Hierarchy.
It doesn’t take a theology degree to recognize that the language of documents since Vatican II is decidedly different than those of previous years. What once was clear and precise, giving little room for alternative interpretations is now vague and questionable. The impact of the ambiguity can never be overstressed since it was by this means that the modernists (long ago condemned by Pope Pius X) succeeded in taking victory at the Council.


Pope Clement XIII stipulated in his decree, Dominico Agro, of two centuries ago that none of the faithful should have “extraordinary opinions proposed to them, not even from Catholic doctors; instead, they should listen to those opinions which have the most certain criteria of Catholic truth: universality, antiquity, and unanimity.”

We have only the contrary coming forth from the Councils documents. This method (of ambiguity) alone would have been enough to wreak disaster in Church. This important issue can never be over emphasized.


To instill in our minds the great destruction that has resulted by the ambiguous terminology used by the Modernists since Second Vatican Council we simply need parallel it will a great event in History, namely the Arian crisis of the fourth Century where the Council of Nicea (325) defined that the Son is consubstantial (homoousion) with the Father. This meant that, while distinct as a person, the Son shared the same divine and eternal nature with the Father. The term homoousion thus became the touchstone of orthodoxy. No other word could be found to express the essential union between the Father and the Son, for every other word the Arians accepted, but in an equivocal sense. They would deny that the Son was a creature as other creatures – or in the number of creatures – or made in time, for they considered him a special creation made before time. They would call Him “Only-begotten,” meaning “Only directly created” Son of God etc., however this word (homoousion) alone they could not say without renouncing their heresy. [28]

Many bishops and the faithful complained that too much fuss was being made about the distinction between homoousion and homoiousion. They considered that more harm than good was done by tearing apart the unity of the Church over a single letter, over an iota (the Greek letter “i”). They condemned those who did this. Yet St. Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria refused to modify in any way his attitude and remained steadfast in refusing to accept any statement not containing the homoousion or to communicate with those who rejected it. The fact is (as history has confirmed) that St. Athanasius and his supporters were right. That one letter, that iota, spelled the difference between Christianity as the faith founded and guided by God incarnate, and a faith founded by just another creature. Indeed, if Christ is not God, it would be blasphemous to call ourselves Christians.

If a great number of Catholics died at the hands of the blood thirsty Arians simply because they refused to accept one iota of change in the same word, what might we say of the volumes of ambiguity which were approved in the name of the Second Vatican Council? Is it not evident that Vatican II has failed in its duty towards the faithful who look to the Church for guidance?


In fact, Paul VI, who promulgated the documents of the Council in 1965, like his predecessor (Pope John XXIII) began to reject the fruits of that Council. He issued two startling statements to that effect:

The Church finds herself in an hour of anxiety, a disturbed period of self-criticism, or what would even better be called self-demolition [auto-destruction]. It is an interior upheaval, acute and complicated, which nobody expected after the Council. It is almost as if the Church were attacking itself. We looked forward to a flowering, a serene expansion of conceptions, which matured in the great sessions of the council. But … one must notice above all the sorrowful aspect. It is as if the Church were destroying herself.

We have the impression that through some cracks in the wall the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God: it is doubt, uncertainty, questioning, dissatisfaction, confrontation…. We thought that after the Council a day of sunshine would have dawned for the history of the Church. What dawned, instead, was a day of clouds and storms, of darkness, of searching and uncertainties.” [30]  




Let’s take a quick look at what has happened to the Catholic Church since the 2nd Vatican Council.

By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

Infant Baptisms dropped by over 360,000 in the US from 1960 to 1985.

The National Catholic Education Association said that from 1965 to 1978 Catholic schools lost more than 2 million students and closed over 3,600 schools.

The Catholic abortion rate now runs 30% higher than it does for Protestant women. The number of nuns in the US from 1964 to 1992 declined by 82,000.

The number of seminarians in the US has dropped from 48,000 in 1965 to 1,300 in 1988.

The number of converts from 1960 to 1985 declined by almost 64,000.

There were 338 annulments granted in 1968 and 59,030 in 1992. From 1952 to 1956 there were 39 annulments worldwide. In 1990 alone, there were 62,824 annulments. In the USA, nearly all (98%) who apply for a judicial ecclesiastical decree of annulment and finish the procedure, are awarded an annulment. An annulment is a declaration by Church authority which states that a marriage was never valid by reason of a known or hidden impediment.

From 1965 to 1973, between 22,000 and 25,000 priests left the priesthood to get married. By 1994, this figure had reached almost 100,000.

In 1970 there were 1,003,670 women religious with perpetual or provisional vows; in 1992 that number was down to 655,031.

In 1962, there were 46,189 seminarians in the U.S. By early 1992, this number had plummeted to 6,247. [31].

In countries such as France and Holland the percentage of Catholics at Mass each Sunday has declined to a single digit. In the U.S., attendance has declined from 71 percent in 1963 to 25 percent in 1993, a decrease of 65 percent.

Newsweek polls and surveys show that only 15% of Catholics believe they should always obey Church teaching, nearly as many Catholics think abortion is permissible as non-Catholics, and 75% of Catholics disagree with Church teaching forbidding divorce and contraception.

Another study revealed that only 25% of Catholics now believe in the Real Presence and only 50% of the priests.

Given the foregoing, it would be plain blindness to deny the disastrous effects Vatican II has had on the Church. Nevertheless with the continued denial of this fact on part of the greater number of the Catholic hierarchy we shall only continue to witness destruction of the faith on a global scale.

Certainly the results of Vatican II seem cruelly opposed to the expectations of everyone, beginning with those of Pope John XXIII and then of Pope Paul VI. Expected was a new Catholic unity, and instead we have been exposed to dissension which, to use the words of Pope Paul VI, seems to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction. Expected was a new enthusiasm, and many wound up discouraged and bored. Expected was a great step forward, and instead we find ourselves faced with a progressive process of decadence that has developed for the most part precisely under the sign of a calling back to the Council, and has therefore contributed to discrediting it for many. The net result, therefore, seems negative. I am repeating here what I said ten years after the conclusion of the work:  it is incontrovertible that this period has definitely been unfavorable for the Church.”  -Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 24, 1984, L’Osservatore Romano


It might be said without temerity that “Man” inspired the Second Vatican Council for the glorification of “Man” an exaltation that has ultimately worked only to the detriment of the faith.

This Council, which “in many respects can be described as a revolution,” [32] has no dogmatic force and can be held to be imprudent or even in error, with no compromise to one’s Catholic faith as many of the false innovations that were introduced or brought about as a result of this council have already been clearly condemned by the Church.

Without such sound principles and clear Catholic reasoning it isn’t soon before one forgets one’s Catholic Faith and replaces it with the very set of Modernistic heresies condemned by Pope St. Pius X as we have seen happen all too often to a great number of men who supposedly go by the name of “Catholic”.

Ultimate we can do no better than assume to ourselves the sound advice of St. Paul “Scrutinize everything carefully, retaining only that which is good”… “hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good”. [33]



1. Statement, apud Lucio Brunelli, 30 days, September 1993, P. 50.

2. See our article on Religious Liberty**The 25 errors of Vatican II*** -See also Religious Liberty and the Second Vatican Council by Michael Davies

3. Cardinal Ratzinger, El Mercurio, July 17, 1988

4. Interview I.C.I 15/5/69

5. Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, “Infallibility” 1910

6. Fr. Gregory Hesse, “Outside the Church there is No Salvation”, Catholic Family News, February 1997 [IV: 2], pp. 13 et seqq).




7. Petri Privilegium, III, p.24

8. Cardinal Henry Manning, The Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, Burns, Oates: London, 1909.

9. The Catholic Controversy, Burns & Oats, London, 1886, pg. 218.

10. Alice Muggeridge, The Desolate City (revised & expanded ed./1990), p. 72; letter from Fr. Joseph W. Oppitz, C.Ss.R. in “America” magazine of April 15, 1972

11. Father Ricossa, Sacerdotium, Issue #15 (2899 East Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI) p. 60.

12. In the Murky waters of Vatican II, by Atila Sinke Guimaraes, pg. 237

13. Philip Hughes, A History of the Church, vol. 1: The Church and the World in Which the Church Was Founded, 1934; London: Sheed and Ward, 1979, p. 282.

14. W.H.C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), p. 853

15. Sessio VIII, November 22, 1439

16. Cf. Sacrae Theologiae Summa, BAC, Madrid, IV, p. 639

17. De Conciliis, I, 17.

18. St. Alphonsus Liguori, Exposition and defense of all the points of Faith discussed and defined by the Sacred Council of Trent, Dublin 1846, Pg. 51

19. Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4, “De Romani Pontificis Infallibili Magisterio”

20. St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium.

21. Salaverri, Sacrae Theologiae Summa vol. I, 5th ed., Madrid,

22. Fr. Pierre Marie, editor of the French Traditional Dominicans’ quarterly, Le Sel de la Terre

23. Matt 28:18; I Tim 6:20; II Tim 1:14; Tit 1:9; Gal 1:8; I John 2:20; II John 2:20, I John 9:12).

24. Nicolas Jung, Le Magistère de l’Èglise, 1935, pp.153 -154, Cf. DTC “Église” in, vol. IV, col.2209.

25. Catholic Encyclopedia, “Infallibility” (1910)

26. An Open Letter to Confused Catholic, Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, pg. 107.

27. Dz 717

28. M. L. Cozens, A Handbook of Heresies (London, 1960) p. 34

29. Pope Paul VI, December 7, 1968, Address to the Lombard Seminary at Rome

30. Pope Paul VI, June 29, 1972, Homily during the Mass for Sts. Peter & Paul, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of his coronation in his response to Vatican II

31. In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, Statistics need not be taken since these facts are more than evident!

32. His Eminence Christopher Cardinal Schönborn, Die Tagespost, March 10, 2001

33. I Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 12:9


**Religious Liberty and the Second Vatican Council

By Fr. Raymond Taouk

The documents of Vatican II come within the category of the Church’s Ordinary Magisterium, which can contain error in the case of a novelty, which conflicts with previous Church teaching.

The Second Vatican Council in contrast to the Churches constant teaching declared that “the human person has a right to religious freedom” in order that “all men should be immune from coercion on part of individuals, social groups and every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions in religious matters in private or public” (General Principles of Religious Freedom). However Pope Leo XIII condemned such an idea as being “the great error of our age”. Nor was Pope Pius IX tolerant of these ideas as he openly spoke against such innovations saying that “contrary to the Teachings of the Holy Scriptures, of the Church and of the Holy Fathers, these persons assert, that the best condition of human society is that wherein no duty is recognized by the violators of the Catholic religion except when the maintenance of public peace requires it” (Quanta Cura). Thus not only is it contrary to the pronouncements of the previous popes but also to that of the Churches constant teaching.

The fact that Vatican II declaration was contrary to Church’s constant teaching was openly admitted by Fr. Yves Congar who himself helped draft the text of the Declaration itself. Fr. Congar affirms that “it cannot be denied that a text like this does materially say something different from the syllabus of 1864, and even almost the opposite of propositions 15 and 77-9 of the document” (Challenge to the Church, London, 1977, page 44).

Since true liberty is often regarded as being without constraint, this only serves to confirm that true liberty Is not understood by so many as they have “an absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot rightly be regarded as free” (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum). The Church has always been the guardian of true liberty. Man being a rational creature endowed by God with an intellect and will is prone to evil due to original sin and so he requires direction from without in order to perfect his liberty. Natural Liberty to do what one can comes from within, but the right to do what one may comes from without. Thus an ability to do something does not constitute a right to do it (i.e. Murder). With these basic truths we may affirm that true liberty to commit evil is not liberty but rather license, as man’s reason prescribes to the will what it should seek after or shun in order to aid him to his final end.




Yet “some have tried to argue that while error has no rights, persons inculpably holding erroneous doctrines have the right to hold them. But it must be borne in mind that error can be believed, spread, and activated only by persons and so it is difficult to see what it would mean to say “error has no right to be spread” if one held at the same time “persons can have a right to spread error” that is if “right” be taken in the same sense in both statements . . . . How can one have a genuine right to believe, spread, or practice what is objectively false or morally wrong? For a genuine right is based on what is objectively true and good” (Fr. Connell, American Ecclesiastical Review, No. 151, February 1964, page 128).

In conscience faithful Catholics cannot accept the ideas of Vatican II on Religious liberty, because the only religion that has a right to exist is the one God has revealed (the Catholic Religion). Nor can governments accept these ideas without failing gravely in their duty as they “must acknowledge God and obey and reverence His Power and authority” (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum).

Vatican II further declares that “religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right” (General Principles of Religious Freedom). Yet civil law is to be prescribed in order that people live according to the eternal Law. For this reason we can grasp why such a proposition was long ago condemned by Pope Pius XI in Quanta Cura when he spoke against those who “uphold that erroneous opinion most pernicious to the Catholic Church and to the salvation of souls . . . namely that liberty to conscience and worship is the peculiar right of every man and should be proclaimed by law“. If a choice must be made it is evident that it is not possible to agree with both Vatican II and the mentioned Popes statements, as a Catholic cannot accept these declarations of religious liberty without betraying the mission of the Church. For with this firm conviction of bringing men to the truth and saving souls from eternal damnation (1tim 2:4) did the apostles and Catholic missionaries go forth at the risk of their lives in order to teach all nations what Christ had commanded (Matthew 28:19).

The bitter fruits of this “Liberty of Perdition” (St. Augustine) are the ruin of moral law and truth. Society shall only continue to demoralize as a result of Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty which has been most prominent in bringing about the auto-destruction of the Church as man is now only subject to the requirements of civil law, which themselves are in conformity (in most countries) with Vatican II’s notion of religious Liberty.

Pope Pius XII taught in his discourse Ecco che gia un anno, of 6th of October 1946 that “The Catholic Church, as we have already said, is a perfect society and has as its foundation the truth of Faith infallibly revealed by God. For this reason, that which is opposed to the truth is, necessarily, an error, and the same rights, which are objectively recognized for truth, cannot be afforded to error. In this manner, liberty of thought and liberty of conscience have their essential limits in the truthfulness of God in revelation“.

Error is now given a “right” to exist alongside with truth, which amounts to religious indifference as condemned by Pope Gregory XVI because “from this poisoned source of indifferentism flows that false and absurd, or rather extravagant maxim that livery of consciences should be established and guaranteed to each man, a most contagious error, to which leads that absolute and unbridled liberty of opinion which for the ruin of the Church and state spreads over the world” (Mirari Vos).

This plague of indifference was also feared by Pope Pius IX who warned against those who say that society should “be constituted and governed without regard whatsoever to religion . . . or at least without making any distinction between true and false religions (Quanta Cura). The same Pope continues to exhort all “Sons of the Catholic Church” to reject these condemned notions of liberty and the errors that come with it.

In openly defending the wisdom of the Church in proclaiming her syllabus in the person of Pius IX, the great Catholic Statesman, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, the present of Ecuador during the mid-19th Century, exclaimed that contrary to what is claimed “they (liberal Catholics) do not understate that if the Syllabus remains a dead letter, society is at an end! If the Pope has put true social principles before us, it is because the world needs them if it is not to perish.” –Garcia Moreno, by Fr. Augustine Berthe, page 245


***Twenty-five explicit errors of Vatican II (and the corrections immediately following) (according to some Traditionalists; included here for academic use –Michael)

By Michael Malone

Number One

“This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, continues to exist (subsists) in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him. Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines.” Lumen Gentium.

A) “We must mention another fruitful cause of evil by which the Church is afflicted at present [I like that: “the present world,” and “at present”], namely: Indifferentism, that vicious [“vice-filled”] manner of thinking which holds that eternal salvation can be obtained by the profession of any faith, provided that a man’s morals are good and decent. Seriously consider the testimony of the Savior that some are against Christ because they are not with Christ, that they scatter who do not gather with Him, and therefore without doubt they will perish in eternity unless they hold to the Catholic faith and observe it WHOLE and INVIOLATE.” Pope Gregory XVI

B) “If anyone says that the condition of the faithful and that of those who have not yet come to the true faith is equal: let him be anathema.” I Vatican Council

C) “Neither the true faith nor eternal salvation is to be found outside the Holy Catholic Church. Neither salvation nor salvation can be found outside the Catholic Church. It is a SIN to believe that there is salvation outside the Catholic Church.” Ven. Pope Pius IX





D) “All graces given to those outside the Church are given them for the purpose of bringing them inside the Church.” St. Augustine

E) Right Reason: Can “elements” of salvation save anyone, or don’t you have to meet the full requirements as commanded by the Voice of God, the Catholic Church? Can “parts” of truth suffice for the fullness of the Catholic Faith, or is all of it demanded of us, as the Church infallibly teaches? Moreover, did Jesus “constitute and organize” His Church on earth as a “society” or not, rather, as a Body — His own continuing (subsisting) Body on earth? The latter has been defined; Vatican Council II contradicts this

Number Two

“All men are called to this Catholic unity which prefigures and promotes universal peace, and in different ways belong to it, or are related to it: The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation. Lumen Gentium

A) “It is an error in a matter of divine truth to imagine the Church as invisible, by which many Christian communities, although they differ from each other in their faith, are united by a bond that is invisible to the senses. Pope Pius XII

B) “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all can be saved.” Lateran Council IV, Pope Innocent III

C) “Faith in Christ cannot be maintained pure and unalloyed when it is not protected and supported by faith in the Church. Faith in Christ and faith in the Church stand together. If any man does not enter the Church, or if any man departs from her, he is far from the hope of life and salvation.” Pope Pius XI

D) “Heretics and schismatics are excluded from the Church because they have separated from her and belong to her only as deserters belong to the army from which they have deserted.” Catechism of Trent

E) Right Reason: To say that the Catholic Church only “promotes” a universal peace which She merely “prefigures” is to declare that such peace was not established in her from the beginning, and indeed that she has not found it herself. This contradicts the Mark of the Church which recognizes her as “Catholic,” namely Universal. To argue that there is more than one way to belong to the true Church is to destroy another Mark called “One,” that is: her unicity.

Number Three

“Catechumens who, moved by the Holy Spirit, desire with an explicit intention to be incorporated into the Church, are by that very intention joined to her. With love and solicitude Mother Church already embraces them as her own.” Lumen Gentium

A) “It does not suffice to believe. He who believes and is not yet baptized, but is only a Catechumen, has not yet fully acquired salvation.” St. Thomas Aquinas

B) “Now, even the Catechumen believes in the Cross of the Lord Jesus, but unless he be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot receive remission of his sins nor the gift of spiritual grace.” St. Ambrose

C) “Without the Sacrament of Baptism, no one is ever justified. If anyone says that Baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation: let him be anathema.” Council of Trent

D) “Neither commemoration nor chanting is to be employed for catechumens who have died without Baptism.” Council of Braga (Regional)

E) Right Reason: It is as impossible to be “joined” by our “intention” to the Church as it is impossible to have Electricity By Desire without actually plugging the cord into the socket. And no Catechumen can be “embraced as her own” by a Church which ushers them out of Mass before the Offertory, as is now done in the Novus Ordo around the world (I witnessed this at Sunday Mass in the Fort Worth cathedral). Point: if they were “joined” “already” and “embraced” as our “own,” why were they not allowed to stay? The Movers and Shakers of Vatican Council II have self-destructed here.

Number Four

“These Christians are indeed in some real way joined to us in the Holy Spirit for, by His gifts and graces, His sanctifying power is also active in them, and He has strengthened some of them even to the shedding of their blood.” Lumen Gentium

A) “The Catholic Church alone is the Body of Christ, of which He is Head and Savior. We must always remember the unity of the Mystical Body outside which there is no salvation; for there is no entering into salvation outside the Church. Truth, grace, the Sacraments: all the certain norms for our journey to God come from the Church. The Catholic Church is the extension of Jesus Christ in time and space. Outside this Body the Holy Spirit does not give life to anyone. Those who are enemies of unity do not participate in the charity of divine life; those outside the Church do not possess the Holy Spirit. A Christian must fear nothing so much as to be separated from the Body of Christ. If he is separated from Christ’s Body, he is not one of His members; he is not fed by His Spirit.” Pope Paul VI

B) “If those unwilling to be at agreement in the Church be slain outside the Church, they cannot attain to the rewards of the Church.” Pope Pelagius II

C) “No one, even if he pour out his blood for the name of Christ, can be saved unless he remain within the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.” Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV

D) Right Reason. The Holy Spirit cannot recognize members of the Body He gives life to who differ in faith, sacraments, or submission to spiritual authority for “He cannot deny Himself” (II Tim.2:13). The Holy Spirit cannot sanctify with the same Grace souls both inside and outside the Body of Jesus. Some are claimed to have shed their blood for Jesus, but this cannot be said to have come from the strength of the Holy Spirit of Truth, since it is the “right” to promote error they are defending. If they truly loved Jesus enough to die for Him, they would have been keeping His commandments (John 14:23), one of which is to be a member of His Church and receive Him in Holy Communion.




Number Five

“The Moslems together with us adore the one merciful God.” Lumen Gentium

A) “The Holy Catholic Church teaches that God cannot truly be adored except within its fold.” Pope St. Gregory the Great

B) “The Catholic Church alone preserves true worship.” Pope Pius XI

C) “A true worshipper is one whose mind has not been defiled with any false belief.” Pope St. Leo the Great

D) Right Reason. No man can worship the one true God “together with us” if they do not share our one true faith. Islam teaches that Jesus is not God and that there is only one person in God; hence, they do not believe in the God we worship. Thus, they can in no way worship “with us” our God. A man cannot worship in any way that which he does not believe in, for the Law of Praying is the Law of Believing, and vice-versa. If they believe in a one-person deity, THAT is what they worship, and in no way “with us” can they worship the Holy Trinity, the Second Person of Which is a human being like us in all things but sin.

Number Six

“The Moslems together with us adore the one merciful God.” Lumen Gentium

A) The Holy Catholic Church teaches that God cannot truly be adored except within its fold.” Pope St. Gregory the Great

B) “The Catholic Church alone preserves true worship.” Pope Pius XI

C) “A true worshipper is one whose mind has not been defiled with any false belief.” Pope St. Leo the Great

D) Right Reason: No one can adore “together with us” a God they do not believe in (the Trinity). We cannot adore “together with” them a deity we do not believe in (one who permits four wives, as does the Koran).

Number Seven

“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or of His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience, those too may achieve eternal salvation.” Lumen Gentium

A) “I confess that the Lord will give over by a very just judgment to the punishment of eternal and inextinguishable fire the wicked who either did not know by way of the Lord or, knowing it, left it when seized by various transgressions, in order that they may burn without end.” Pope Pelagius I

B) “The saving grace of this religion, the only true religion, through which alone true salvation is truly promised, has never been refused to anyone who was worthy of it; and whoever did lack it was unworthy of it. Consequently, those who have not heard the Gospel, and those who, having heard it have not persevered; and those who, having heard it, have refused to come to Christ; that is, to believe in Him; ALL these have perished in death: the all go in a single lump to condemnation.” St. Augustine

C) “It is error to believe that there is a natural justice whereby eternal life is promised for good works without any further qualification.” Pope St. Pius V

D) “Acts which spring from natural goodness have only the appearance of virtue; they cannot last of themselves nor can they merit salvation.” Pope St. Pius X

E) “He who is separated from the Body of the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his conduct may seem otherwise, will never enjoy eternal life.” Council of Cirta (Regional)

F) “For this is eternal life: that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou has sent” (John 17:3).

G) Right Reason: This error presupposes that a man of good will can go clear to death without finding the truth. This is contradicted by so many Councils and Popes and Scriptures they cannot here be catalogued, and fly in the face of God’s mercy and justice (I Timothy 2:4). This error places man’s conscience over God’s will, and makes God Himself unknowable. This error asserts that God will give His grace to help a man lead a good life, but will not give it to help such a man find Him in His one true Church.

Number Eight

Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who, without any fault of theirs, have not yet arrived at any explicit knowledge of God and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life. Lumen Gentium

A) Belief in God alone seems necessary by a necessity of means, not, however, explicit faith in a Rewarder. ERROR CONDEMNED. Pope St. Innocent XI

B) It would seem that man is not bound to believe anything explicitly, for no man is bound to do what is not in his power. On the contrary, it is written “He who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that he is a Rewarder to those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, as regards the primary points or articles of faith, man is bound to believe them just as he is bound to have the Faith. Both learned men and simple men are bound to EXPLICIT Faith in the mysteries of Christ, chiefly those publicly proclaimed and observed throughout the whole Church. St. Thomas Aquinas

C) The ruin of souls is wrought by this single cause: Ignorance of those most sublime truths, so far beyond the natural understanding of the multitude, which nonetheless must be known by all men in order that they may attain eternal salvation. We positively maintain that the will of man cannot be upright, nor his conduct good, while his intellect is the slave of crass ignorance. This We solemnly affirm: the majority of those who are condemned to eternal punishment fall into this everlasting misfortune through ignorance of the mysteries of the Faith which must necessarily be known and believed by all who belong to the Elect. Pope St. Pius X

D) Whoever is separated from the Catholic Church, however praiseworthy his life may be in his own opinion, he shall for this very reason — that he is at the same time separated from the unity of Christ — NOT see life; rather the wrath of God abideth on him. In the Catholic Church there are both good and bad, but those who are separated from her cannot be good.





For, though the speech of some of them appears commendable, nevertheless their very separation from the Church makes them bad according to Our Savior: “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). St. Augustine

E) Right Reason: It is illogical to suggest that God in His Divine Providence will not deny the assistance necessary to be saved to those who lack the explicit knowledge of the one, true Faith while simultaneously denying them the assistance of this very knowledge. That Vatican Council II here explicitly do so suggest is irrefutable. BUT: the fact is, if this (and No.7) were accurately translated from the Latin (and I for one have never seen this done by any editor or translator), it might actually be acceptable: Here it is: “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or of His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — they, too MAY achieve eternal salvation. Nor SHALL divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who, without fault of their own, have NOT YET arrived at an explicit knowledge of god and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life. Whatever of good or truth is found among them is considered by the Church to be a PREPARATION for the Gospel, given by Him Who enlightens all men so that they may AT LENGTH have life.”

The Latin Subjunctive Mood is explicit here, denoting uncertainty, doubt, future condition, potentiality, and questionably doubtful. The words that God “shall” not deny such men grace (to those “not yet” in the Church) as a “preparation” for the Faith, so that, finally “at length” they MAY have life, etc., indicates clearly future potentiality. If then the phrase “they MAY obtain salvation (“they CAN obtain salvation” in Pope Paul VI’s “Credo” wherein he is citing Vatican Council II here) is taken in its obvious future sense, no Catholic would question it at all. Interestingly, Lumen Gentium #16 ends with the infallible stipulation: “As many as believe and are baptized shall be saved; and as many as believe not will be condemned (Abbot, p.35; Flannery p.368).

Number Nine

Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ, neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during His passion. Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate

A) You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Ghost. As your fathers behaved, so do you also. Which of the prophets have your fathers not persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold the coming of the Just One, of Whom you have now been the betrayers and murderers. Acts 7:51-52

B) The Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and have persecuted us, do not please God, and are enemies to all men; prohibiting us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they might be saved; to fill up their sin always: for the wrath of God has come upon them to the end. I Thessalonians 2:14-16

C) Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying: “His blood be on us AND ON OUR CHILDREN!” (Matthew 27:25); and that curse you carry upon your till this day, you miserable race, and to the end of time shall you endure the chastisement of that innocent Blood. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

D) The Lord made Cain a wanderer and fugitive over the earth, but set a mark upon him, lest anyone finding him might slay him. Thus the Jews, against whom the blood of Christ calls out, although they ought not be killed, nevertheless as wanderers they must remain upon the earth until their faces be filled with shame and they seek the name of Jesus Christ the Lord. Pope Innocent III

E) The Jews wander over the entire earth, their backs bent and their eyes cast downward, forever calling to our minds the curse they carry with them. St. Augustine

F) Right Reason: The Council’s statement is an illogical construction of what is called in logic “A Straw Man” (or “Dodging the Issue”) in that no one would ever consider all Jews “indiscriminately” guilty of the death of Jesus. His Mother was a Jew, as were all His first Apostles and disciples. There are also many Jews alive today who are devout Catholics, and there always have been since the Passion. Thus, the statement is erroneous.

Number Ten

Indeed, the Church deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of anti-semitism levelled at any time or from any source against the Jews. Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate

A) Ungrateful for favors and forgetful of benefits, the Jews return insult for kindness and impious contempt for goodness granted. They ought to know the yoke of perpetual enslavement because of their guilt. See to it that the perfidious Jews never in the future grow insolent, but that in servile fear they always suffer publicly the shame of their sin. Pope Gregory IX

B) The crucifiers of Christ ought to be held in continual subjection. Pope Innocent III

C) It would be licit, according to custom, to hold the Jews in perpetual servitude because of their crime. St. Thomas Aquinas

D) Right Reason: The Church is the “pillar and ground of truth” according to Scripture; hence her official “display of anti-semitism” is not only worthwhile, good, and truthful, but necessary for a wholesome society. Meanwhile, one can logically hate the errors of the diabolical Jewish religion without necessarily hating (wishing Hellfire) for all Jews. My mother is a Jew named Mary, and my dearest friend is a Jew named Jesus.

Number Eleven

Therefore, the Church reproves as foreign to the mind of Christ any discrimination against people or any harassment on the basis of race, color, condition in life, or religion Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate





A) Let the Gospel be preached to the Jews, and if they remain obstinate, let them be expelled. Pope Leo VII

B) If anyone does NOT condemn those who hold opinions similar to heretics and who have remained in their godlessness up till death: Let such a one be anathema. II Council of Constantinople (Ecumenical)

C) Those who have been detected, even by slight proof, to have deviated from the doctrine of the Catholic religion ought to fall under the classification of “heretic” and under the sentences operating against heretics. Pope Innocent IV

D) We decree that those who give credence to the teaching of heretics, as well as those who defend or patronize them, are excommunicated. If anyone refuses to avoid such accomplices after THEY have been ostracized by the Church, let them ALSO be excommunicated [let me interject here that this decree would reduce the Church back to that “little flock” Jesus speaks of]. For the defense of the Faith, secular authorities, whatever office they hold, ought to exterminate all heretics to the best of their ability. Whenever anyone assumes authority, whether spiritual or temporal, let him be bound to confirm this decree by oath. IV Lateran Council (Ecumenical)

E) Right Reason: Not to “discriminate” against false religions is the height of the heresy called Indifferentism (or “Americanism” in the USA). These heresies have been condemned. Therefore, so is Vatican Council II in this truly illogical statement.

Number Twelve

One cannot charge with the sin of separation those at present born into communities separated from full communion with the Catholic Church and, in them, brought up in the faith of Christ; and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers. For, men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) Since it is recognized that it is extremely rare to find men entirely devoid of religious sense, some people entertain the hope that nations, in spite of their differing religious viewpoints, may be brought to unite as brothers in the profession of certain doctrines as a common foundation of the spiritual life. Certainly, such efforts as these cannot receive the approval of Catholics, for they rest on the false opinion which regards any religion whatsoever to be more-or-less praiseworthy and good. Those who hold this opinion are in grave error; they even debase the concept of the true religion and lapse, little by little, into naturalism and atheism. Pope Pius XI

B) It is error to believe that Protestantism is nothing other than a different form of the same true Christian religion, in which it is permitted to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. There is no equality between the condition of those who have adhered to Catholic truth by the gift of Faith and of those who follow a false religion. Venerable Pope Pius IX

C) Christ is one and His Church is one; one is the Faith, and one the people cemented together into the strong unity of a Body. That unity cannot be split nor cut up into fragments. Nothing that is separated from the parent stock can ever live or breathe apart – ALL hope of its salvation is lost. If a person calls himself a “Christian,” the Devil too often calls himself “Christ” — and is a liar! Just as the Devil is not Christ, so likewise a man cannot be taken as a Christian if he does not abide in Christ’s Gospel and in the true Faith. St. Cyprian, Doctor of the Church

D) Children baptized in other communions cease to be members of the Church when, after reaching the age of reason, they make formal profession of heresy; as, for example, by receiving communion in a non-Catholic church. St. Augustine

E) Right Reason: Not being able to “charge with the sin of separation those at present born” into non-Catholic communities is once again the Illogic of A Straw Man, a Dodge. It is synechdotal irrationality, trying to force a judgment of adult heretics into that of innocent newborns. As St. Augustine points out, such newly-born souls are guilty of no sin at all, except the Original (and then only if unbaptized) until such time as they reach the use of reason and commit their first sin. Saint Cyprian sufficiently and rationally destroys the Vatican Council II error about “full” communion in the Church of heretics, their possibility of “imperfect” communion and possession of the Faith.

Number Thirteen

All who have been justified by Faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ: they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) Who is to be called a Christian? He who confesses the doctrine of Jesus Christ IN HIS CHURCH. Hence, he who is truly a Christian thoroughly detests all cults and sects found OUTSIDE the doctrine and OUTSIDE the Church of Christ, everywhere and among all peoples, as for example the Jewish, the Mohammedan, and the heretical cults and sects [of Protestants]. St. Peter Canisius, SJ, Doctor of the Church

B) Christianity is incarnate in the Catholic Church; it is IDENTIFIED with that perfect and spiritual society which has the Roman Pontiff for its visible head. Pope Leo XIII

C) We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. Pope Boniface VIII

D) No one is our brother unless he has the same Father we do [see no. C]. St. Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church

E) In NO way can men be counted among the children of God unless they take the Church for their Mother. Pope Leo XIII

F) No one can have God for his Father if he does not have the Church for his Mother. One cannot love Christ without loving the Church which Christ loves. The spirit of the Church is the spirit of Christ, and to the extent to which one loves the Church of Christ does he possess the Holy Spirit. Pope John Paul II

G) Right Reason: To declare “All who have been justified by Faith in Baptism” is seriously to beg the question, an error in logic. For as St. Thomas and theologians in general (and Trent specifically and infallibly) state: no one who rejects an iota of the Faith can be justified (in the State of Grace).




And no one can be in the Mystical Body of Christ without actual reception of the Sacrament of (Water) Baptism, as Pius XII points out in his Encyclical of the same name. Hence, only those who have not yet reached the use of reason, and who are validly baptized, “are incorporated into Christ” and “therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church” — for the simple reason that they are fully Catholic. An infant cannot be validly baptized a Protestant, for he protests nothing yet. All infants validly baptized outside the Church are genuinely Catholics.

Number Fourteen

The life of grace, faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) As Christ is the head of the Church, so is the Holy Ghost her soul. ONLY those are really to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and who profess the true Faith and who have not unhappily withdrawn from the Body or, for grave reasons, been excluded by legitimate authority. It follows that those who are divided in faith or in government cannot be living in one Body such as this, and cannot be living the life of its one Divine Spirit. Pius XII

B) Outside this Body, the Holy Spirit gives life to NO ONE; those outside the Church do not possess the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church alone is the Body of Christ, and if a man be separated from the Body of Christ he is not one of His members nor is he fed by His Spirit. Pope Paul VI

C) If a member be cut off … his life is lost. The Spirit does not follow the amputated member … Outside the Church you can find everything except salvation: you can have dignities, Sacraments, the Gospels, the faith – and preach it, too! – but never can you find salvation except in the Catholic Church. St. Augustine

D) Right Reason: Pope Pius XII’s rebuttal above suffices. It is said today that Protestants have degenerated into more than 20,000 differing sects. The solitary thing they do not differ on is their mutual rejection of the Roman Catholic Church.

Number Fifteen

The brethren divided from us also carry out many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These actions most certainly can truly engender a life of grace and, one must say, can aptly give access to the communion of salvation. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) By means of religious Indifferentism, crafty men deceitfully pretend that people can attain eternal salvation in the practice of any religion, as though there could be any fellowship of light with darkness. These men conclude that not only sons of the Church but also others, however estranged they may remain from Catholic unity, are equally on the road to salvation and are able to achieve everlasting life. Words fail Us from utter HORROR in detesting and abhorring this new and terrible insult! Ven. Pope Pius IX

B) The Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice and the salutary use of the Sacraments. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to her and embrace her, like those who entered the Ark to escape perishing in the Flood. Catechism of Trent

C) The Holy Catholic Church teaches that God cannot be adored except within her fold; she affirms that all those who are separated from her will not be saved. Pope St. Gregory the Great

D) No one is as far from the Pasch of the Lord as heretics. They can have no part with Him who are enemies of this saving Mystery. For they deny the Gospel and contradict the Creed, and they cannot celebrate the Paschal Feast with us. And though they dare to claim the name of “Christian,” nevertheless every creature whose Head is Christ scorns them. Pope St. Leo the Great

E) Right Reason: Scripture assures us that “The Devil appears as a minister of light,” but neither he nor his Protestant clergymen are true Christians just because they “also carry out many liturgical actions of the Christian religion.” To argue this way is to Beg The Question.

Number Sixteen

In certain circumstances, it is allowable, indeed desirable, that Catholics join in prayer with their separated brethren. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) No one must either pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whosoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: Let him be excommunicated. Council of Carthage (Regional)

B) If any clergyman or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meetings of heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of Communion. III Council of Constantinople (Ecumenical)

C) That the faithful and clergy should pray for Christian unity under the leadership of heretics can in no way be tolerated. Ven. Pope Pius IX

D) Is it permitted for Catholics to be present at, or take part in, conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement all who in any way lay claim to the name of Christian? In the negative! It is clear, therefore, why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics. There is only one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from her. Pope Pius XI

E) Right Reason: This error of the Council is an immediate derivation from their error that non-Catholics such as Mohammedans and Protestants worship the same God we do. That prayer with them is forbidden proves that we do not, for one cannot worship by prayer that which he does not truly believe in. The God of Protestants, for example, permits birth control and abortion; for us to pray along with them to this god is blasphemy logically. Of course, for Catholics pastors to join “Ministerial Unions” of Protestant ministers; for military or hospital chaplains to join in prayer with non-Catholics; for Catholic Charismatics to join in prayer with non-Catholic Charismatics; for … you get the idea — these are all grievous offenses against the One True God and against the Mark of Unicity of His One True Church.


Number Seventeen

The special position of the Eastern churches: These churches though separated from us nevertheless possess true Sacraments, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy. Therefore, some worship in common is not merely possible, but is encouraged. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) No one shall pray in common with heretics or schismatics. Council of Laodicea (Regional)

B) God will have the Paraclete [Holy Spirit] only in those who worship Him in perfect Faith. St. Cyril of Alexandria

C) Outside the unity of Faith and Love which makes us sons and members of the Church, no one can be saved; hence, if the Sacraments are received outside the Church, they are NOT effective for salvation even though they are true Sacraments. However, they can become useful if one returns to Holy Mother the Church, whose sons ALONE Christ considers worthy of eternal inheritance. St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church

D) Right Reason: Again, we would be worshipping by prayer a god who allows rejection of the Pope. This is blasphemy.

Number Eighteen

The separated churches and ecclesiastical communities in the West: A love and reverence of Holy Scripture leads our brethren to a constant and diligent study of the Sacred Text. For the Gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith” (Romans 1:16). Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) If anyone says that a man who is justified and however perfect is not bound to observe the Commandments of God AND OF HIS CHURCH, but only to believe, as though the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life without the condition of observing the Commandments: let him be anathema. Council of Trent

B) Bear well in mind that, as the Fathers of the Church teach in numerous passages, the sense of Holy Scripture can be found nowhere incorrupt outside the Catholic Church. Pope Leo XIII

C) Take away the authority of the Church and neither Divine Revelation nor natural reason itself is of any use, for each of them may be interpreted by every individual according to his own caprice. From this accursed liberty of conscience has arisen the immense variety of heretical and atheistic sects. If you take away obedience to the Church, there is NO error which will not be embraced. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, Doctor of the Church (the last to die).

D) There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the entire cycle of Catholic doctrine and yet, BY A SINGLE WORD, as with a DROP of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by Our Lord and handed down by Apostolic Tradition. For such is the nature of the Faith that nothing can be more absurd than to accept SOME things and to reject OTHERS. If, then, it be certain that ANY thing is revealed by God, and this is not believed, then NO thing whatever is believed by Divine Faith. But he who dissents even in ONE POINT from divinely-revealed Truth ABSOLUTELY rejects ALL faith. You, who believe what you like of the Gospels, believe yourselves rather than the Gospels. Pope Leo XIII

D) Right Reason: Since no non-Catholic “has the faith” (Ro.1:16), then the Gospel is not “the power of God for their salvation.” If they truly were “diligent in its study,” they would see the necessity of membership in the Catholic Church (Acts 2:47, etc.); then, if they genuinely had “a love and reverence” for the Author of the Gospels, you would yield to His grace and come into that Church to save their souls. The Council here Begs The Question of their faith and love, thus erring against Logic.

Number Nineteen

By the Sacrament of Baptism, whenever it is properly conferred in the way the Lord determined [what! No Baptism of Desire?], and received with the proper disposition of soul, man becomes truly incorporated into Christ and is born to a sharing of the divine life. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) If anyone says that baptized persons are freed from all the Precepts of Holy Church, either those contained in Scripture or handed down by Tradition, so that they are not bound to observe them unless of their own accord they wish to submit themselves to these Precepts: Let him be anathema. Council of Trent (Ecumenical)

B) Do not all those who are baptized belong to the Church? Yes, but membership in the Church requires conditions OTHER than Baptism alone: it requires IDENTICAL Faith and UNITY of communion. Pope Paul VI

C) Besides a desire to be baptized, Faith is also necessary to obtain the grace of the Sacrament [of Baptism]. Our Lord said: “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Catechism of Trent

D) The Church is one, unified, and articulated after the manner of a physical body. Therefore, whosoever is not joined to the Body is NOT a member of it and is NOT in union with Christ its Head. Pope Pius XI

E) The Church gives us to understand that some people can receive Baptism outside her, but that NO one can either receive or possess salvation outside her; for, outside the Church there is no remission of sins. St. Augustine

F) A person would be deceiving himself by the fact that he had been re-born of water. The branch that has been cut from the vine resembles any other branch, but what does it [outward] form avail if it does not live off the root? Pope Gregory XVI

G) Whether in the Catholic Church or in any heretical or schismatical church, if anyone receives the Sacrament of Baptism, he receives it intact; but he will not have salvation if he received that Sacrament outside the Catholic Church. Eternal life can never in any way be obtained by one who, with the Sacrament of Baptism, remains a stranger to the Catholic Church. Hold most firmly, and do not doubt at all, that the Sacrament of Baptism can exist among heretics, but that outside the Catholic Church it cannot be of profit. For the unity of this ecclesiastical society is of such value for salvation that he is not saved by Baptism to whom it has not been administered where it ought to have been. Hold most firmly, and do not doubt at all, that everyone baptized outside the Catholic Church cannot be made a partaker of eternal life is before the end of this earthly life he does not return to the Catholic Church and become incorporated with it. St. Fulgentius

H) Right Reason: No one can possess “the proper disposition soul” while in the act of being baptized into a non-Catholic religion, unless that person is without the use of reason at the time. My grandmother was baptized a Methodist and, thirty minutes later, dropped dead. I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel for her chances of having escaped an eternity in Hell-fire. Voltaire, on the other hand, died screaming for a priest (for hours and hours), which his Masonic companions adamantly refused him. Like St. John Bosco, I agree that Voltaire might have saved his soul.


Number Twenty

The Christian way of life of these [Protestant] brethren is nourished by Faith in Christ. It is strengthened by the grace of Baptism and by hearing the Word of God. Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio

A) It is impossible to understand the Divine Word outside the Church. St. Hilary of Poitiers, Father and Doctor of the Church.

B) Neither the true Faith nor eternal salvation is to be found outside the Holy Catholic Church. Ven. Pope Pius IX

C) He who does not embrace the teaching of the Church does not have the Habit of Faith. Neither formed nor formless faith remains in a heretic who disbelieves ONE SINGLE article of Faith. All who deny one article of Faith, regardless of their reason, are by that very fact excommunicated. St. Thomas Aquinas

D) He who does not believe according to the Tradition of the Catholic Church is an unbeliever. St. John Damascene, Father and Doctor of the Church

E) A man cannot be taken for a Christian who does not abide in Christ’s Gospel and in the true Faith. St. Cyprian

F) Right Reason: Jesus said: “I am THE way,” therefore there cannot be “a Christian way of life” nourished by heresy or by the denial of a single article of Faith. There can be no “grace of Baptism” for any soul who receives Baptism while concomitantly denying an article of Faith.

Number Twenty-One

It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the Divine Law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God. Therefore, he must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience, nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience. Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae

A) That it is right for each individual to follow with tranquil soul what is acceptable to his own religious creed makes the divine establishment of the Church of no consequence. The true Church of Jesus Christ was established by divine authority and is known by a four-fold Mark which must be believed. No other Church is Catholic except the one founded on Peter and on his successors in the Chair of Rome. Especially fatal to the salvation of souls is that erroneous opinion of Liberty of Conscience and Liberty of Worship is the proper right of every man. By Our Apostolic authority, we reject, proscribe, and condemn this evil opinion. Ven. Pope Pius IX

B) Right Reason: If my conscience and my religion teach me that it is all right to commit murder (as various pagan religions do, teaching their adherents cannibalism, etc.), does that make help me “come to God” or should I “be prevented from acting” according to this conscience and this perverse religion by the local police department?

Number Twenty-Two

Religious communities have the right not to be prevented from publicly teaching and bearing witness to their beliefs by the spoken or written word. Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae

A) The accursed perversity of heretics has so increased that now they exercise their wickedness not in secret but manifest their error publicly, and win over the simple and weak to their opinion. For this reason, We resolve to cast them, their defenders, and their receivers under anathema, and We forbid under anathema that anyone presume to help heretics or to do business with them. III Lateran Council (Ecumenical)

B) It is insanity to believe that Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Worship are the inalienable rights of every citizen. From this foul-smelling fountain of Indifferentism flows the erroneous and absurd opinion — or, rather, MADNESS — that freedom of conscience must be asserted and vindicated for everyone. This most pestilential error opens the door to the complete and immoderate liberty of opinions which works such widespread harm both in Church and State. Pope Gregory XVI

C) Right Reason: Cannibals should not be allowed on street corners. Ask yourself this: If it is OK to permit a man to murder his mother, what do I do if that man is my brother? Honor his “right” to kill Mom, or defend to the death my Mom?

Number Twenty-Three

If special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional organization of the State, the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom must be recognized and respected. Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae

A) In this age of ours, it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion be the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other cults whatsoever. ERROR CONDEMNED by Ven. Pope Pius IX

B) In certain regions of Catholic name, it has been praiseworthily sanctioned by law that men immigrating there be allowed to have public exercises of any form of worship of their own. ERROR CONDEMNED by Ven. Pope Pius IX

C) For it is false that the civil liberty of every cult, and likewise the full power granted to all men of manifestly openly and publicly any kind of opinions and ideas, more easily leads to the corruption of morals and minds of men, and to the spread of the evil of Indifferentism. ERROR CONDEMNED by Ven. Pope Pius IX

D) The power of Christ over all nations has begun to be denied; hence, the right of the Church to teach the human race, to pass laws, and to rule for the purpose of leading people especially to eternal salvation, which exists from the very right of Christ, has been denied. Then, indeed, little by little, religion of Christ was placed on the same level with false religions, and put in the same class most shamefully; it was then subjected to the civil power and almost given over to the authority of rulers and magistrates. We call this plague of our age Laicism, with its errors and nefarious effects. Pope Pius XI

E) Right Reason: First, note that the State is granted leave to possess a “constitutional organization” rather than the traditional monarchical organization. This is an insidious example of Begging The Question. The most serious error is to put the true Faith and Worship on the same level with cannibals and (worse) Protestants.




Number Twenty-Four

It is fully in accordance with the nature of faith that in religious matters every form of coercion by men should be excluded. Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae

A) I pray to God that some of us, as high as we seem to sit, treading heretics under our feet like ants, live not to see the day that we would gladly wish to be at league and composed with them; to let them have their churches quietly to themselves so that they would be content to let us have ours quietly to ourselves. I entirely detest heretics and, as Magistrate, do promise assiduously to perform my duty in investigating them. Heresy is a kind of treason, and if a heretic persisteth in his false belief, he may be handed over to be burned. [This is the essence of Liberalism, a condemned heresy] St. Thomas More.

B) That it is against the will of the Spirit to burn heretics [at the stake] is condemned as false. Pope Leo X

C) Even if my own father were a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him at the stake. Pope Paul IV

D) The only way to argue with a blasphemer is by running your sword through his bowels, as far as it will go. St. Louis, King of France

E) Right Reason: No man should be forced to become Catholic, but all men should be forcibly restrained from attacking the Faith in any fashion. Otherwise, it logically follows that either the Faith is not true or that Truth is not worth fighting for. That greatest of prophets of the Old Law, St. Elias, gave us perhaps the greatest object lesson when he did not hesitate to order the killing of 450 ministers of false religions (III Kings 18:40).

Number Twenty-Five

The human person is to be guided by his own judgment and to enjoy freedom. Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae

A) By the fact that freedom of all forms of worship is proclaimed, truth is confused with error, and the Holy and Immaculate Spouse of Christ, outside which there is no salvation, is placed on the same level with heretical sects and even with Jewish perfidy. Pope Pius VII

B) That every man is free to embrace and to profess whatever religion his reason approves of is hereby condemned as ERROR. Ven. Pope Pius IX

C) What more deadly evil could there be for a soul than freedom to be in error? Pope Leo XIII

D) If a person wants to save his soul, all he has to do is examine his conscience against the everlasting teachings of the Church. Outside this true Catholic Faith, no one can be saved, SO HELP ME GOD! Pope John XXIII

E) Right Reason: Anyone who cannot see that this error of Vatican Council II is DIAMETRICALLY opposed to (B), the error formally and officially condemned as such by Venerable Pope Pius IX is simply of bad will. You can lead a mule to water, but you cannot make him drink. Saint Paul wrote Timothy: “God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth” — and the ONLY thing in human creation which can frustrate God’s will of bringing a man to the truth is that man’s own bad will.


III. “In the spiritual movements of the postconciliar era, there is not the slightest doubt that frequently there has been an obliviousness, or even a suppression, of the issue of truth … The idea that all religions are … only symbols of what ultimately is incomprehensible is rapidly gaining ground in theology, and has already penetrated into liturgical practice.”

-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger


Cardinal Ratzinger’s Remarks Regarding the Lefebvre Schism

By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger

All emphases mine -Michael

It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church. Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy — the form in which the liturgy was handed down — suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the faith — for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. — nobody complains or only does so with the greatest moderation. I myself, when I was a professor, have seen how the very same bishop who, before the council, had fired a teacher who was really irreproachable, for a certain crudeness of speech, was not prepared, after the council, to dismiss a professor who openly denied certain fundamental truths of the faith.






All this leads a great number of people to ask themselves if the Church of today is really the same as that of yesterday, or if they have changed it for something else without telling people. The one way in which Vatican II can be made plausible is to present it as it is; one part of the unbroken, the unique Tradition of the Church and of her faith.

In the spiritual movements of the postconciliar era, there is not the slightest doubt that frequently there has been an obliviousness, or even a suppression, of the issue of truth: Here perhaps we confront the crucial problem for theology and for pastoral work today.

The “truth” is thought to be a claim that is too exalted, a “triumphalism” that cannot be permitted any longer. You see this attitude plainly in the crisis that troubles the missionary ideal and missionary practice. If we do not point to the truth in announcing our faith, and if this truth is no longer essential for the salvation of Man, then the missions lose their meaning. In effect the conclusion has been drawn, and it has been drawn today, that in the future we need only seek that Christians should be good Christians, Muslims good Muslims, Hindus good Hindus, and so forth. If it comes to that, how are we to know when one is a “good” Christian, or a “good” Muslim?

The idea that all religions are — if you talk seriously — only symbols of what ultimately is incomprehensible is rapidly gaining ground in theology, and has already penetrated into liturgical practice. When things get to this point, faith is left behind, because faith really consists in the fact that I am committing myself to the truth so far as it is known. So in this matter also there is every motive to return to the right path.

If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration. 


IV. 1 “Truly, if one of the devils in C. S. Lewis‍‍ ’​‍s The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy, he could not have done it better.”

All emphases mine -Michael

Dietrich von Hildebrand, Der verwüstete Weinberg, 1973 

Dietrich von Hildebrand (October 12, 1889 – January 26, 1977) was a German Roman Catholic philosopher and theologian. Hildebrand was called “the 20th Century Doctor of the Church” by Pope Pius XII. Pope John Paul II also greatly admired the work of Hildebrand, remarking once to his widow Alice von Hildebrand “Your husband is one of the great ethicists of the twentieth century.” Benedict XVI also has a particular admiration and regard for Hildebrand, whom he knew as a young priest in Munich. The degree of Pope Benedict’s esteem is expressed in one of his statements about Hildebrand: “When the intellectual history of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century is written, the name of Dietrich von Hildebrand will be most prominent among the figures of our time.”

A vocal critic of the changes in the church brought by the Second Vatican Council, Hildebrand especially resented the new liturgy, saying, Truly, if one of the devils in C. S. Lewis‍‍ ​‍The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy, he could not have done it better.


Dietrich von Hildebrand converted from Judaism to Catholicism in 1914. He authored over two dozen books on issues pertaining to the Catholic Faith. His wife
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, interviewed below, is also a Catholic philosopher and theologian.


IV. 2 “…my position toward the documents of Vatican Council II.
I consider the Council—notwithstanding the fact that it brought some ameliorations—as a great misfortune. And I stress time and again in lectures and articles that fortunately no word of the Council—unless it is a repetition of former definitions de fide—is binding de fide. We need not approve; on the contrary we should disapprove.”

Dietrich von Hildebrand, Letter to Michael Davies, April 22, 1976


Dietrich Von Hildebrand on Vatican II: a ‘Great Misfortune’

By Michael Davies, June 23, 2014

All emphases mine -Michael

The following letter from Dietrich Von Hildebrand, who was described by Pope Pius XII as the 20th century Doctor of the Church, is not without interest in view of the recent critiques appearing in The Remnant of the article “Why Vatican II was Necessary”, which appeared in the March 2004 issue of Crisis magazine.

In view of my almost totally negative attitude to the Council set out in my book Pope John’s Council, I felt very uneasy some years ago when reading certain enthusiastic remarks concerning Vatican II in Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s Trojan Horse in the City of God. Compared with Dr. Von Hildebrand I am an intellectual pygmy, and I wrote to him explaining the fact that I was very unhappy about our disagreement, particularly with regard to such instances as his praise for the official documents and “the greatness of the Second Vatican Council” found on page 1 of his book. He replied as follows in a letter, dated 22 April 1976:





Dear Friend in Christ:

I was delighted in reading your letter to Bishop Donohue of Fresno in “The Remnant.” This letter is a masterpiece. The repetition of “My Lord” is delightful. Thank you for writing it.

I was very pleased about your words concerning my position toward the documents of Vatican Council II.
I consider the Council—notwithstanding the fact that it brought some ameliorations—as a great misfortune. And I stress time and again in lectures and articles that fortunately no word of the Council—unless it is a repetition of former definitions de fide—is binding de fide. We need not approve; on the contrary we should disapprove.
Unfortunately Maritain said in his last book: the two great manifestations of the Holy Spirit in our times are Vatican Council II and the foundation of the state of Israel.

I read the chapter of your book and I am completely satisfied. Hoping to meet you some day, I am united with you in caritate Christi and in the fight against Modernism.

Yours affectionately,

Dietrich von Hildebrand


So that readers may have the benefit of placing all this in context, I’m including the original letter from Bishop Donohue and my response to him, which was published in the 1976 issues of The Remnant. Perhaps the exchange will serve to illustrate anew that the more things change the more they stay the same.


Diocese of Fresno

Chancery Office

1550 North Fresno St.

Fresno, CA

Dear Monsignor/Father:

It has come to my attention that the Tridentine Mass has been more common in the Diocese of Fresno than I had reason to suspect.

I wish you to make it a matter of conscience to discover if such a Mass is being celebrated in any hall, house or wherever within the confines of your parish.

If so, I wish you to definitely confront the priest if possible and tell him he has no faculties of permission in this Diocese to offer any Mass. If any of his followers are present tell them that the Mass is gravely illicit and that they are gravely sinning through destroying the unity of Faith by their disobedience.

If such a practice continues I will be forced to use the ultimate decision of declaring them contumacious and excommunicated.

Sincerely in Christ,

Hugh A. Donohoe, Bishop of Fresno


Open Letter to Bishop Donohoe

Most Rev. Hugh A. Donohoe, Bishop of Fresno, California

February 23, 1976

My Lord Bishop:

A friend who lives in your diocese has sent me a copy of your letter (see Remnant, March 6th, for full text) stating that you are prepared to declare that priests who celebrate, and the faithful who attend, the Tridentine Mass are ‘contumacious’ and will be ‘excommunicated’. We had begun to believe that, in the era of the “spirit of Vatican II,” no one could be excommunicated; but now we know: there is one crime in the “open Church” that will not be tolerated, at least in the Diocese of Fresno, the crime of worshipping as our forebears worshipped; the crime of using that form of Mass which Fr. Fortescue, the greatest liturgist historian of my own country, tells us ‘goes back without essential change to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ as God”.

Clearly, my Lord, you think that you can succeed where Caesar could not.

(Thomas) Cranmer too thought he could stamp out the traditional Mass. When he replaced it with a new English Communion Service in 1549, the peasants of the west rose up against him and demanded the right to worship once more with the same Latin Mass that their fathers had used. I would suggest, my Lord, that if you study Crammer’s methods you could improve upon excommunication. Priests were hung from the church towers in their Mass vestments for the very act for which you now threaten to excommunicate them; humble peasants were hung in the hundreds because they assisted at the Mass which you, like Cranmer, condemn as “gravely illicit”. But Cranmer could not stamp out the traditional Mass – and you think that you can succeed where he failed.

With the reign of Elizabeth came the rack, the hanging, the drawing and quartering – but the reply of the faithful was always the same: “We will have the Mass.” And the Mass they would have was the one codified by Pope Pius V in 1570, but not a new form of Mass like that promulgated in 1969, but the Mass of the ages codified, as Pope St. Pius V intended, for all eternity. No priest could ever be made to say any other form of Mass, he insisted. But now if a priest uses that Mass in the diocese of Fresno, he will be “excommunicated”.




My Lord, forgive me if I seem impertinent, but in my country we have a great devotion to our martyrs; we also know our history. When I read your letter, I could not believe that it was not written by an English bishop of the sixteenth century. “I wish you to make it a matter of conscience to discover if such a Mass if being celebrated in any hall, house, or wherever within the confines of your parish”. Those are your exact words.

My Lord, have you no more urgent business to employ your priests upon? Have you, for example, ordered them, as a matter of conscience, to go into their parish schools to discover whether the faith of the children, for whom you are responsible before God, is being corrupted by inadequate or even heretical textbooks? Have you ordered your priests to discover, as a matter of conscience, whether secularist-humanist sex-education programmes are being used to corrupt the morals of the children in any of your parochial schools? Have you, my Lord, as a matter of conscience, ever attempted to discover whether what few liturgical laws remain are being flouted in your diocese – is Communion being given in the hand? Are unauthorized Eucharistic prayers being used? If you discovered such abuses, would you excommunicate those involved? I wonder…

I am quite certain, my Lord, that in a spirit of ecumenism, you would not only NOT excommunicate members of your diocese who take part in Protestant services, but probably encourage them to do so. Can you see no incongruity? You must surely be aware that the Secretariat of Christian Unity issued an Ecumenical Directory in 1967. This Directory not only authorized Catholics to take part in the liturgy of the Orthodox Church on Sundays, but said that this satisfies their Sunday Mass obligation. Yes, my Lord, to take part in the worship of schismatics fulfills our Sunday obligation, but to worship in the manner which has inspired so many saints and has been sanctified by the blood of martyrs – this must be punished by excommunication.

My Lord, unless your diocese is unique in the western world, the introduction of the new Mass for pastoral reasons will have been followed by a serious decline in Mass attendance. Thousands of your flock, who assisted at Mass each Sunday before, no longer do so – but they will not be excommunicated. Oh no, my Lord. Better no Mass at all than the Mass of our fathers.

And please, my Lord, do not say that you have no alternative. Do not say that you are only obeying orders. One thing which has become clear since Vatican II is that the clergy in general and the Bishops in particular take the laity for fools. Not all the clergy, of course. There are some who are determined to remain true to the Faith into which they were baptized and to the Mass which they were ordained to offer. Fr. Henri Bruckberger to mention but one, has written: “Do our Bishops take us for idiots? We are as familiar with the relevant documents as they are. We know that the new Mass has simply been authorized and has not been made mandatory”. Fr. Bruckburger was Chaplain General to the French Resistance, my Lord. He has had ample experience with men who were only obeying orders. I would also remind you, my Lord, that here in England the Tridentine Mass is not absolutely prohibited. It is, of course, celebrated all over the country, in houses and halls, whether the bishops like it or not – but it is also celebrated on occasions in churches and in Cathedrals, with their blessing, and, I might add, with the full knowledge and consent of Pope Paul VI. What is permitted in Britain could certainly be permitted in the United States.

My Lord, once more without wishing to be impertinent, I would ask you whether you are really clear as to what the word “pastor” means. If you have not forgotten the Parable of the Good Shepherd, you will remember that in the east a shepherd leads his sheep; he not only leads them, but he loves them; and because he loves them he leads them to green pastures. My Lord, because some of your flock wish to take their spiritual refreshment from the pastures they have always known and loved, you threaten to cast them out from the sheepfold. My Lord, this is not the action of a good shepherd but a bad bureaucrat, a man who believes that the reason for our existence is to be made to obey regulations and that his vocation is to use any means to ensure that this is done.

My Lord, do the basic principles of moral theology no longer apply in the renewed Church? You will certainly have been taught as a seminary student that a legislator should not simply refrain from demanding something his subjects will find impossible to carry out, but that his laws should not be too difficult, too distressing or too disagreeable, and should take account of human frailty. A law can cease to bind without revocation on the part of the legislator when it is clearly harmful, impossible, or irrational. If forbidding faithful Catholics to honour God by worshipping Him in the most venerable and hallowed rite in Christendom does not meet these conditions, it would be hard to imagine anything that did. For a Catholic to contemplate disobedience to his bishop is a terrible thing, but Fr. Bruckberger has reminded us of Montesquiew’s dictum: “When one wants only good slaves one ends up with only bad subjects.”

My Lord, as a postscript to your letter, you add a suggested petition on behalf of the Jews in Syria, a petition to be used on March 14 in the parishes of your diocese. Might I suggest a similar petition which Catholics elsewhere could use – for, after all, charity begins at home. “That there be an alleviation of the suffering experienced by the Catholics living in the Diocese of Fresno and that they may be free to worship God according to the traditions of their fathers as they desire, let us pray to the Lord.”

I remain, my Lord Bishop, Yours in Domino,

Michael Davies

London, England


IV. 3 “After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church”.

-Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

Present at the Demolition – An interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand



The Latin Mass magazine, Summer 2001

All bold emphases mine -Michael

The following conversation with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand opens our discussion of this issue’s focus: The Crisis in the Church: Scenarios for a Solution.

Dr. von Hildebrand, professor of philosophy emeritus of Hunter College (City University of New York), has just completed The Soul of a Lion, a biography of her husband, Dietrich.

TLM: Dr. von Hildebrand, at the time that Pope John XXIII summoned the Second Vatican Council, did you perceive a need for a reform within the Church?

AVH: Most of the insights about this come from my husband. He always said that the members of the Church, due to the effects of original sin and actual sin, are always in need of reform. The Church’s teaching, however, is from God. Not one iota is to be changed or considered in need of reform.

TLM: In terms of the present crisis, when did you first perceive something was terribly wrong?

AVH: It was in February 1965. I was taking a sabbatical year in Florence. My husband was reading a theological journal, and suddenly I heard him burst into tears. I ran to him, fearful that his heart condition had suddenly caused him pain. I asked him if he was all right. He told me that the article that he had been reading had provided him with the certain insight that the devil had entered the Church. Remember, my husband was the first prominent German to speak out publicly against Hitler and the Nazis. His insights were always prescient.

TLM: Had your husband ever talked about his fear for the Church before this incident?

AVH: I relate in my biography of my husband, The Soul of a Lion, that a few years after his conversion to Catholicism in the 1920s, he began teaching at the University of Munich. Munich was a Catholic city. Most Catholics at the time went to Mass, but he always said that it was there that he became aware of the loss of a sense of the supernatural among Catholics. One incident especially offered him sufficient proof, and it greatly saddened him.

When passing through a door, my husband would always give precedence to those of his students who were priests. One day, one of his colleagues (a Catholic) expressed his astonishment and disapproval: “Why do you let your students step ahead of you?” “Because they are priests,” replied my husband. “But they do not have a Ph.D.” My husband was grieved. To value a Ph.D. is a natural response; to feel awe for the sublimity of the priesthood is a supernatural response. The professor’s attitude proved that his sense for the supernatural had been eroded. That was long before Vatican II. But until the Council, the beauty and the sacredness of the Tridentine liturgy masked this phenomenon.

TLM: Did your husband think that the decline in a sense of the supernatural began around that time, and if so, how did he explain it?

AVH: No, he believed that after Pius X’s condemnation of the heresy of Modernism, its proponents merely went underground. He would say that they then took a much more subtle and practical approach. They spread doubt simply by raising questions about the great supernatural interventions throughout salvation history, such as the Virgin Birth and Our Lady’s perpetual virginity, as well as the Resurrection, and the Holy Eucharist. They knew that once faith – the foundation – totters, the liturgy and the moral teachings of the Church would follow suit. My husband entitled one of his books The Devastated Vineyard. After Vatican II, a tornado seemed to have hit the Church.

Modernism itself was the fruit of the calamity of the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, and it took a long historical process to unfold. If you were to ask a typical Catholic in the Middle Ages to name a hero or heroine, he would answer with the name of a saint. The Renaissance began to change that. Instead of a saint, people would think of geniuses as persons to emulate, and with the oncoming of the industrial age, they would answer with the name of a great scientist. Today, they would answer with a sports figure or cinema personality. In other words, the loss of the sense of the supernatural has brought an inversion of the hierarchy of values.

Even the pagan Plato was open to a sense of the supernatural. He spoke of the weakness, frailty and cowardice often evidenced in human nature. He was asked by a critic to explain why he had such a low opinion of humanity. He replied that he was not denigrating man, only comparing him to God.

With the loss of a sense of the supernatural, there is a loss of the sense of a need for sacrifice today. The closer one comes to God, the greater should be one’s sense of sinfulness. The further one gets from God, as today, the more we hear the philosophy of the new age: “I’m OK, You’re OK.” This loss of the inclination to sacrifice has led to the obscuring of the Church’s redemptive mission. Where the Cross is downplayed, our need for redemption is given hardly a thought.

The aversion to sacrifice and redemption has assisted the secularization of the Church from within. We have been hearing for many years from priests and bishops about the need for the Church to adapt herself to the world. Great popes like St. Pius X said just the opposite: the world must adapt itself to the Church.

TLM: From our conversation throughout this afternoon, I must conclude that you don’t believe that the accelerating loss of the sense of the supernatural is an accident of history.

AVH: No, I do not. There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, that there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century*. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, “They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ.” He was referring to the “abomination of desolation” of which the prophet Daniel speaks.

TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband had been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn’t he have access to the Vatican to tell Pope Paul VI of his fears?




AVH: But he did! I shall never forget the private audience we had with Paul VI just before the end of the Council. It was on June 21, 1965. As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant, the Pope interrupted him with the words, “Lo scriva, lo scriva.” (“Write it down.”) A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope’s attention. Same answer. His Holiness received us standing. It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes. Paul VI immediately gave a sign to his secretary, Fr. Capovilla, to bring us rosaries and medals. We then went back to Florence where my husband wrote a long document (unpublished today) that was delivered to Paul VI just the day before the last session of the Council. It was September of 1965. After reading my husband’s document, he said to my husband’s nephew, Dieter Sattler, who had become the German ambassador to the Holy See, that he had read the document carefully, but that “it was a bit harsh.” The reason was obvious: my husband had humbly requested a clear condemnation of heretical statements.

TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, “Not another conspiracy theory!”

AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She 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.”

Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions. Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy.

TLM: Do the two books by the Italian priest you mentioned before the interview contain documentation that would provide evidence of this infiltration?

*The two books I mentioned were published in 1998* and 2000** by an Italian priest, Don Luigi Villa of the diocese of Brescia, who at the request of Padre Pio has devoted many years of his life to the investigation of the possible infiltration of both Freemasons and Communists into the Church.

My husband and I met Don Villa in the sixties. He claims that he does not make any statement that he cannot substantiate. When *Paulo Sesto Beato?
Paul VI … beatified? (1998) was published the book was sent to every single Italian bishop. None of them acknowledged receipt; none challenged any of Don Villa’s claims.

not opening) “The Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and thousands of Italian Priests were given a copy of this book simultaneously. The diocese of Brescia was in turmoil. The Bishop, Msgr. Bruno Foresti, promised the diocesan clergy that a book to refute that of Father Villa would be written. After more than twelve years, those promises and commitments haven’t even appeared on the horizon! The result of the book was clear to everyone: it had blocked the ‘beatification cause’ of Paul VI. No one was able to refute the volume…”



In this book, he relates something that no ecclesiastical authority has refuted or asked to be retracted – even though he names particular personalities in regard to the incident. It pertains to the rift between Pope Pius XII and the then Bishop Montini (the future Paul VI) who was his Undersecretary of State. Pius XII, conscious of the threat of Communism, which in the aftermath of World War II was dominating nearly half of Europe, had prohibited the Vatican staff from dealing with Moscow. To his dismay, he was informed one day through the Bishop of Uppsala (Sweden) that his strict order had been contravened. The Pope resisted giving credence to this rumor until he was given incontrovertible evidence that Montini had been corresponding with various Soviet agencies. Meanwhile, Pope Pius XII (as had Pius XI) had been sending priests clandestinely into Russia to give comfort to Catholics behind the Iron Curtain. Every one of them had been systematically arrested, tortured, and either executed or sent to the gulag. Eventually a Vatican mole was discovered: Alighiero Tondi, S.J., who was a close advisor to Montini. Tondi was an agent working for Stalin whose mission was to keep Moscow informed about initiatives such as the sending of priests into the Soviet Union.

Add to this Pope Paul’s treatment of Cardinal Mindszenty. Against his will, Mindszenty was ordered by the Vatican to leave Budapest. As most everyone knows, he had escaped the Communists and sought refuge in the American embassy compound. The Pope had given him his solemn promise that he would remain primate of Hungary as long as he lived. When the Cardinal (who had been tortured by the Communists) arrived in Rome, Paul VI embraced him warmly, but then sent him into exile in Vienna. Shortly afterwards, this holy prelate was informed that he had been demoted, and had been replaced by someone more acceptable to the Hungarian Communist government. More puzzling, and tragically sad, is the fact that when Mindszenty died, no Church representative was present at his burial.





Another of Don Villa’s illustrations of infiltration is one related to him by Cardinal Gagnon. Paul VI had asked Gagnon to head an investigation concerning the infiltration of the Church by powerful enemies. Cardinal Gagnon (at that time an Archbishop) accepted this unpleasant task, and compiled a long dossier, rich in worrisome facts. When the work was completed, he requested an audience with Pope Paul in order to deliver personally the manuscript to the Pontiff. This request for a meeting was denied. The Pope sent word that the document should be placed in the offices of the Congregation for the Clergy, specifically in a safe with a double lock. This was done, but the very next day the safe deposit box was broken and the manuscript mysteriously disappeared. The usual policy of the Vatican is to make sure that news of such incidents never sees the light of day. Nevertheless, this theft was reported even in L’Osservatore Romano (perhaps under pressure because it had been reported in the secular press). Cardinal Gagnon, of course, had a copy, and once again asked the Pope for a private audience. Once again his request was denied. He then decided to leave Rome and return to his homeland in Canada. Later, he was called back to Rome by Pope John Paul II and made a cardinal.

**Fr. Luigi Villa’s December 1999 book (which Dr. Alice von Hildebrand refers to as published in the year 2000) “Pope Paul VI, a Pope on Trial?” (Paolo VI: process a un Papa?), a continuation of the previous book, “Paul VI beatified?” was the answer to the attempt by the Vatican to continue the “cause of beatification” of Paul VI with the visit of Pope John Paul II in Brescia, in 1998.

On January 31, 2003, the 380-page third book of Father Villa: “The ‘New Church’ of Paul VI” was published, and as always sent to the top of the Church and to part of the Italian clergy. The book was devastating and the reaction was … a deadly silence!

In December, 2008, Father Villa received his first award which was the “International Inars Ciociaria Journalist Award,” «… for his very extensive work as a journalist, author of books and pamphlets on theology, asceticism, non-fiction … and for his commitment to defend the Christian roots of Europe and for his protection of truth against forces alien to our civilization.»

In October, 2009, he was awarded the “Cultural Prize of Val Vibrata di Teramo” for being «a journalist, an outstanding writer, an incorruptible editor, Head Publisher and Editor of “Chiesa viva”,» but also «for being an eminent theologian devoting his ‘entire life to defend the Catholic religion and disseminating the historical truth and living according to the Gospel!»

It all began when Fr. Luigi Villa was asked by St. Padre Pio to dedicate his entire life to defend the Church of Christ from the work of Freemasonry, especially the ecclesiastical [Freemasonry].

The Bishop of Chieti, the then superior of Fr. Luigi Villa, Msgr. Giambattista Bosio, was told by the Papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Domenico Tardini that Pope Pius XII had approved the mandate given by Padre Pio to Fr. Villa, but with two conditions: Father Luigi had to have a degree in dogmatic theology, and that he had to be placed under the direction of Card. Alfredo Ottaviani, Prefect of the Holy Office, Card. Pietro Parente, and Card. Pietro Palazzini.

“In the second half of 1963, Father Villa had his second meeting with Padre Pio. As soon as he saw him, Padre Pio said: «I have been waiting for you for a long time!» …Padre Pio embraced Father Villa and said: «Courage, courage, courage! for the Church is already invaded by Freemasonry,» adding: «Freemasonry has already reached the Pope’s slippers.» (Paul VI!)”

In his three books, Fr. Luigi Villa revealed the list of high-ranking Freemasons in the Church and at the Vatican – including the Second Vatican Council — the list including Pope Paul VI, that Pope Paul VI was a homosexual, and the fact that Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was chosen by the conclave following the death of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI in 1963 and 1978 respectively but was forced to withdraw because of threats from the Freemasons, and that Cardinal Luciani who was finally elected and became Pope John Paul I was murdered 33 days later.

“The ’cause of beatification’ continued to proceed until the year 1997. Father Villa was aware of the fact that Cardinal Pietro Palazzini had sent a letter to the Postulator for the ’cause of beatification’ of Paul VI that contained three names of the last homosexual lovers of Paul VI.

Cardinal Pietro Palazzini was an authority in this field, because the Cardinal held two binders of documents that demonstrated, unequivocally, the impure and unnatural vice of Paul VI.”

“The voice of Father Villa was his magazine ‘Chiesa viva’ and this ‘voice’ had to be silenced. If the magazine was not immediately frontally attacked, it had to do with the fact that the Deputy Director of “Chiesa viva” was the famous German philosopher and converted Jew, Prof. Dietrich von Hildebrand, whom Paul VI knew, but also feared.”

Source (partly paraphrased):






Mumbai’s Association of Concerned Catholics’ MumbaiLaity blog, on November 21, 2012
published Fr. Luigi Villa’s open — and very detailed and documented — 13-page letter sac. Luigi Villa PAUL VI beatified? – Chiesa viva, ( to the Cardinals of the Catholic Church questioning the Beatification of Pope Paul VI on a number of serious charges, as well as the link to Fr. Villa’s 327-page 1998 book “that stopped the beatification process of Paul VI”. MumbaiLaity also provided a supplementary link
to the issue.


TLM: Why did Don Villa write these works singling out Paul VI for criticism?

AVH: Don Villa reluctantly decided to publish the books to which I have alluded. But when several bishops pushed for the beatification of Paul VI, this priest perceived it as a clarion call to print the information he had gathered through the years. In so doing, he was following the guidelines of a Roman Congregation, informing the faithful that it was their duty as members of the Church to relay to the Congregation any information that might militate against the candidate’s qualifications for beatification.

Considering the tumultuous pontificate of Paul VI, and the confusing signals he was giving, e.g.: speaking about the “smoke of Satan that had entered the Church,” yet refusing to condemn heresies officially; his promulgation of Humanae Vitae (the glory of his pontificate), yet his careful avoidance of proclaiming it ex cathedra; delivering his Credo of the People of God in Piazza San Pietro in 1968, and once again failing to declare it binding on all Catholics; disobeying the strict orders of Pius XII to have no contact with Moscow, and appeasing the Hungarian Communist government by reneging on the solemn promise he had made to Cardinal Mindszenty; his treatment of holy Cardinal Slipyj, who had spent seventeen years in a Gulag, only to be made a virtual prisoner in the Vatican by Paul VI; and finally asking Archbishop Gagnon to investigate possible infiltration in the Vatican, only to refuse him an audience when his work was completed – all these speak strongly against the beatification of Paolo VI, dubbed in Rome, “Paolo Sesto, Mesto” (Paul VI, the sad one).

That the duty to publish this depressing information was onerous and cost Don Villa great sorrow cannot be doubted. Any Catholic rejoices when he can look up to a Pope with boundless veneration. But Catholics also know that even though Christ never promised He would give us perfect leaders, He did promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail. Let us not forget that even though the Church has had some very bad popes, and some mediocre ones, she has been blessed with many great popes. Eighty of them have been canonized and several have been beatified. This is a success story that does not bear parallel in the secular world.

God alone is the judge of Paul VI. But it cannot be denied that his pontificate was a very complex and tragic one. It was under him that, in the course of fifteen years, more changes were introduced in the Church than in all preceding centuries combined. What is worrisome is that when we read the testimony of ex-Communists like Bella Dodd, and study Freemasonic documents (dating from the nineteenth century, and usually penned by fallen-away priests like Paul Roca), we can see that, to a large extent, their agenda has been carried out: the exodus of priests and nuns after Vatican II, dissenting theologians not censured, feminism, the pressure put on Rome to abolish priestly celibacy, immorality in the clergy, blasphemous liturgies (see the article by David Hart in First Things, April 2001, “The Future of the Papacy”), the radical changes that have been introduced into the sacred liturgy (see Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Milestones, pp. 126 and 148, Ignatius Press), and a misleading ecumenism. Only a blind person could deny that many of the Enemy’s plans have been perfectly carried out.

One should not forget that the world was shocked at what Hitler did. People like my husband, however, actually read what he had said in Mein Kampf. The plan was there. The world simply chose not to believe it.

But grave as the situation is, no committed Catholic can forget that Christ has promised that He will remain with His Church to the very end of the world. We should meditate on the scene related in the Gospel when the apostles’ boat was battered by a fierce storm. Christ was sleeping! His terrified followers woke Him up: He said one word, and there was a great calm. “O ye of little faith!”

I take it by your remarks about ecumenism that you don’t agree with the current policy of “convergence” rather than “conversion”?

AVH: Let me relate an incident that caused my husband grief. It was 1946, just after the war. My husband was teaching at Fordham, and there appeared in one of his classes a Jewish student who had been a naval officer during the war. He would eventually tell my husband about a particularly stunning sunset in the Pacific and how it had led him to the quest for the truth about God. He first went to Columbia to study philosophy, and he knew that this was not what he was looking for. A friend suggested he try philosophy at Fordham and mentioned the name Dietrich von Hildebrand. After just one class with my husband, he knew he had found what he was looking for. One day after class my husband and this student went for a walk. He told my husband during this time that he was surprised at the fact that several professors, after discovering he was Jewish, assured him that they would not try to convert him to Catholicism. My husband, stunned, stopped, turned to him and said, “They said what?!” He repeated the story and my husband told him, “I would walk to the ends of the earth to make you a Catholic.” To make a long story short, the young man became a Catholic, was ordained a Carthusian priest, and went on to enter the only Charter House in the United States (in Vermont)!




TLM: You spent many years teaching at Hunter College.

AVH: Yes, and several of my students became Catholics. Oh, the beautiful conversion stories I could relate if I had time – young people who were swept up by truth!

I want to make one point very clear, however. I did not convert my students. The most we can do is to pray to be God’s instruments. To be an instrument we must strive to live the Gospel every day and in every circumstance. Only God’s grace can give us the desire and ability to do that.

It is one of the fears I have about traditional Catholics. Some flirt with fanaticism. A fanatic is one who considers truth to be his personal possession instead of God’s gift. We are servants of the truth, and it is as servants that we seek to share it. I am very concerned that there are “fanatical” Catholics who use the Faith and the truth it proclaims as an intellectual toy. An authentic appropriation of the truth always leads to a striving for holiness. The Faith, in this present crisis, is not an intellectual chess game. For anyone not striving for holiness, that’s all it will ever be. Such people do more harm to the Faith, particularly if they are proponents of the traditional Mass.

TLM: So you see the only scenario for a solution to the present crisis as the renewal of a striving for sanctity?

AVH: We should not forget that we are fighting not only against flesh and blood, but against “powers and principalities.” This should elicit sufficient dread in us to make us strive more than ever for holiness, and to pray fervently that the Holy Bride of Christ, who is right now at Calvary, comes out of this fearful crisis more radiant than ever.

The Catholic answer is always the same: absolute fidelity to the holy teaching of the Church, faithfulness to the Holy See, frequent reception of the sacraments, the Rosary, daily spiritual reading, and gratitude that we have been given the fullness of God’s revelation: “Gaudete, iterum dico vobis, Gaudete.”

TLM: I cannot end the interview without asking your reaction to a well-worn canard. There are those critics of the ancient Latin Mass who point out that the crisis in the Church developed at a time when the Mass was offered throughout the world. Why should we then think its revival is intrinsic to the solution?

AVH: The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go.


V. Vatican II About Face [EXTRACTS]

By Fr. Luigi Villa, Th. D., 208 pages, 2011


Despite all the post-Conciliar authoritarian voices’ attempts to silence any criticism, my articles portraying a critical analysis of the Second Vatican Council have created a certain amount of interest for they have discovered and pointed out multiple “errors” in the Council’s texts (Constitutions, Decrees and Declarations).

Up until now, only a certain number of Catholic critics had been outspoken about the fallacious arguments, contradictions, unforeseen resolutions and mysterious decisions of the post-Conciliar documents. However, no one had pointed fingers against the Council itself through a systematic study, setting up a direct comparison of their texts with the texts of the dogmatic teaching of Tradition (the Magisterium) throughout the twenty centuries of infallible ecumenical councils and teachings of all previous Popes.

It is clear that this study involves the question of the “theological status” to be attributed to Vatican II, that is, whether or not is covered by the charism of infallibility.

The best theologians have excluded [this charism] because it [the Council’s texts] contained so many grave “errors” already condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.

Vatican II texts lack dogmatic definitions and the corresponding punishment for those who do not accept the doctrine.

But then Vatican II had defined nothing; therefore no one can appeal to them for several reasons.

For example: the “Constitution on the Liturgy” deliberately ignored Pius XII’s doctrine of “Mediator Dei”, as well as St. Pius X’s Encyclical which condemned Modernism; in addition, the statement on “religious freedom” in Pius IX’s “Syllabus” was ignored, in which he condemned, in No. 15, the argument of those who say that every man is free to embrace that religion which, in conscience, seems real, which excludes the rights of the revealing God, of which no man has a right to choose, but only to obey. No. 14 also condemns those who assert that the Church has no right to exercise judicial and coercive power.

These are just a few examples, like those found throughout our work, to prove that Vatican II was held on the verge of ruin.

I believe that there will come a day when Vatican II will be declared “null and void” in a solemn judgement of the Supreme Pontiff. It will then appear as an anomalous stone, abandoned at the back of a cemetery. (Pages 9 and 10 of 208)



The Second Vatican Council was one of the longest in history, from beginning to end.

It lasted five years, ten months and twenty-four days. It was one of the most difficult Councils: 168 General Congregations, over 60o0 written and oral statements, 10 public sessions, 11 Commissions and Secretaries, and hundreds of experts.

The results of it were four Constitutions, nine Decrees, and three Declarations.




For this reason, it has been compared to plowing a field. At the end of Vatican II, the Church opened to a trend f giving in to worldliness, the results of which were the desacralization, democratization, socialization and banalization of the Church, described by Cardinal Ottaviani as “an enormous deviation from the Catholic doctrine”.

How was it possible that three Popes had accepted a doctrine in clear contradiction with what 260 Pontiffs had supported? Monsignor Spadafora, the brilliant professor from the Lateran University and an “expert” in the Sacred Scriptures, has stated that, “The Second Vatican Council is an abnormal Council.”

The unexpected reversal of the Catholic doctrinal guidelines, brought about by an Alliance of French and Belgian Cardinals and bishops, encouraged by experts like Rahner, Küng, De Lubac, Chenu, Congàr, and by Jesuits from the Pontifical Bible Institute, has converted Vatican II into an ominous “consultation” of Councils of Neo-Modernist “experts” who have duped the oblivious multitudes of Council Fathers. However, how did they manage to impact the Church’s doctrine? There has been no revealed truth left intact. From the beginning of the two Constitutions presented as the fundamental expression of the Council, “Lumen Gentium” and “Gaudium et Spes” contained errors, such as the expression by which the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ “subsists” in the Catholic Church, which contradicts the identity expressed by Saint Paul, that is, on the Body of Christ, and the perennial and infallible Magisterium of the Church, and also contradicts the dogma “there is no salvation out of the Church.” Not to mention clearly erroneous Documents such as “Nostra Aetate” (about non-Christian religions) and “Dignitatis Humanae” (about religious freedom); these errors are the origin of heretical and syncretistic manifestations such as the ecumenical day of Assisi… (Pages 13 and 14 of 208)


Theological qualification of the Second Vatican Council

We have already said that the Second Vatican Council, in its “Decrees”, did not have the charism of infallibility because it did not want to effectively use dogmatic definitions, that is, use the definition and reinforce them with the sanctions of anathemas against those who were contrary to the defined doctrines.

Therefore, none of the doctrines or Decrees from Vatican II have the charism of infallibility because the Council was limited to expressing Catholic doctrine in “pastoral form”. We know this from the words of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the two opening speeches of Vatican II (October 11, 1962 and September 29, 1963)…

Vatican II was not a dogmatic Council and because of that it is inexplicable how it can be possible that the four Constitutions were named “Dogmatic”, for neither these nor other documents from the Council were defined by new dogmas, just like errors were not condemned. (Pages 35 and 36 of 208)


Chapter VI

At this time, fifty years have passed since the closing of Vatican II, and we can see its “fruits.” The Council, which wanted a “Reform” for the betterment of the Church, instead, opened the doors to all the “errors” of modern society, that had already been denounced by the centuries-old Magisterium of the Popes, thereby undermining the doctrine and the structure of the Church itself. Vatican II, in fact, promoted doctrines in open contradiction with the Catholic faith. These doctrinal deviations are contained in Constitutions, Decrees, Declarations. Vatican II, therefore, taught and applied the “errors” and “heresies” that the Church had previously banned. (Page 152 of 208)


VI. Once again, the testimony of three Popes:

1. Pope Paul VI
attests that
it would not, therefore, be accurate to think that Vatican Council II represents a breach, a rupture, or a liberation from Church teaching, or that it authorizes or promotes adherence to the mentality of our age, in what is ephemeral or negative about it (Insegnamenti di Paolo VI [Teachings of Paul VI], vol. IV, 1966, page 699).


Paul VI himself admitted, in his July 15, 1970 speech in front of a general audience, the Church’s disastrous situation: «This time… is a stormy time! The Council has not given us, in many ways, the desired serenity, but rather caused turbulence…»

Paul VI said in his speech dated December 7, 1968 to the Lombard Seminary: «The Church is undergoing a time of unrest and self-criticism (…) we could even call it self-destruction!»

(, 2011, pages 17, 19)


2. Pope John Paul II
admitted that Vatican II was pastoral, not doctrinal:

Pope John conceived the Council as an eminently pastoral
. (Angelus, October 27, 1985)


3. Cardinal Ratzinger
stated that Vatican II was not infallible:

Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolates Vatican II and which provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it, which give the impression that from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II. […] The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council. (Address to the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Il Sabato, 1988)


Cardinal Ratzinger
on the reform of the liturgy post-Vatican II:

The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy.




They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication. They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment.

( August 12,


Pope Benedict XVI repeated to the participants of the Clerical Congregation of March 16, 2009, the need to return to the uninterrupted church tradition, and to “promote among the priests and in particular in younger generations an appropriate acceptance of the texts from the Second Vatican Council, interpreted in light of all the doctrinal baggage of the Church.” In his “Letter” dated March 10, 2009, he said: «… we must remember that the Second Vatican Council contains the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Whoever wants to obey the Council, must also accept the faith professed throughout the centuries and cannot cut off the roots of this living tree.» Thus, according to Benedict XVI, Vatican II is only credible if it can be seen as a part of the whole and unique tradition of the Church and Her Faith…

The specific results of the post-conciliar analysis were identified by Benedict XVI in his “Rapporto sulla Fede” [“The Ratzinger Report“], where he wrote: «It is undisputable that the last twenty years have certainly been unfavorable for the Catholic Church. The results of the Council seem cruelly contrary to everyone’s expectations, beginning with John XXIII and Paul VI (…). We expected a leap forward, and instead we were faced with a gradual decadence that had been developed mostly in the name of a supposed “Council spirit” that has actually discredited it (…). The post-conciliar Church is a large building site, but a building site where the project has been lost and everyone continues to build as he pleases.» (, 2011, pages 15, 17)


The Testimony of other Council fathers:

1. Bishop Christopher Butler OSB of England publicly said:

Vatican II gave us no new dogmatic definitions. (The Tablet February 3, 1968)


2. Bishop Thomas Morris of Ireland expressed his relief on the matter:

I was relieved when we were told that this Council was not aiming at defining or giving final statements on doctrine, because a statement of doctrine has to be very carefully formulated and I would have regarded the Council documents as tentative and likely to be reformed. (Catholic World News, January 22, 1997)


3. John Cardinal Heenan of England stated as follows.

It deliberately limited its own objectives. There were to be no specific definitions.
Its purpose from the first was pastoral renewal within the Church and a fresh approach to the outside.” (Council and Clergy, 1966)


4. Cardinal
James Francis Aloysius McIntyre
, Archbishop of Los Angeles:

Archbishop McIntyre
was one of the few American bishops to oppose the 
liturgical revision of the Second Vatican Council, which he attended from 1962 to 1965. On October 23, 1962, McIntyre addressed the Council fathers:

The schema on the Liturgy proposes confusion and complication. If it is adopted, it would be an immediate scandal for our people. The continuity of the Mass must be kept. The tradition of the sacred ceremonies must be preserved… Changes are not needed.
(; Reasons for Resistance: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Speaks on the Post-Vatican II Crisis, by Jason A. Roberts OSSM, page 35)


5. Cardinal Leon Joseph Suenens of Belgium:

Vatican II is the French Revolution in the Church … One cannot understand the French or the Russian revolutions unless one knows something of the old regimes which they brought to an end. … It is the same in Church affairs: a reaction can only be judged in relation to the state of things that preceded it…

(Traditional Catholics, Catholic Family News, April 2014 page 14; Reasons for Resistance: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Speaks on the Post-Vatican II Crisis, by Jason A. Roberts, OSSM page 49.


6. Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler SDB of Austria:

We can say the theological correctness of the Tridentine Mass corresponds with the theological incorrectness of the Vatican II Mass.(Reasons for Resistance: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Speaks on the Post-Vatican II Crisis, by Jason A. Roberts OSSM, page 29)

Stickler participated as a peritus, or expert, at the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), working as a member on the Commission for the Clergy, the Commission for the Liturgy, and (in his capacity as rector of the Salesian University) the commission directed by the Congregation for Seminaries and Universities.

Stickler consistently defended the position that the Tridentine Mass was never forbidden or suppressed. He believed that the Mass of Paul VI contradicted the true wishes of the Second Vatican Council, and told the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales that its movement “has full legitimacy in the Church”.





On 20 May 1995, Stickler stated that in 1986 a commission of nine cardinals (Stickler, Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI), Mayer, Oddi, Casaroli, Gantin, Innocenti, Palazzini, and Tomko) appointed by Pope John Paul II unanimously gave a negative answer to the question “Did Pope Paul VI or any other competent authority legally forbid the widespread celebration of the Tridentine Mass in the present day?” and to the question “Can any bishop forbid any priest in good standing from celebrating the Tridentine Mass?” He said that eight of the nine were in favour of drawing up a general permission declaring that everyone could choose the old form of the Mass as well as the new. (


7. Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani of Italy, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Letter to Pope Paul VI on the Novus Ordo Missae dated September 25, 1969 EXTRACT

To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries was both the sign and the pledge of unity of worship (and to replace it with another which cannot but be a sign of division by virtue of the countless liberties implicitly authorized, and which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic religion) is, we feel in conscience bound to proclaim, an incalculable error. (


Don’t let anyone tell you the Council didn’t change much

By Robert Blair Kaiser, TIME magazine’s man at the Council, October 11, 2012 EXTRACT

The top cardinal in Rome, Alfredo Ottaviani, the pro-prefect of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, could not conceive of any of the changes that the word aggiornamento implied, and I soon found out from theologians like Yves Congar, Jean Daniélou, Karl Rahner, and Edward Schillebeeckx (all of whom had been silenced before Vatican II for their ‘radical thinking’) that Ottaviani was doing almost everything he could to put roadblocks in the way of Council’s major change-projects. And why wouldn’t he? His coat of arms said it all: Semper Idem. Always the same. (


Alfredo Ottaviani

Ottaviani was the leading conservative voice at the Second Vatican Council.

During the last of the Council’s preparatory sessions, Cardinal Ottaviani engaged in a heated debate with Cardinal Augustin Bea
over the subject of religious liberty.

Ottaviani also argued during the debates on the liturgy and on the sources of Divine Revelation, which are understood as Scripture and Tradition in Catholic theology.

In one speech at the Council, reacting to repeated mentions of “collegiality” of bishops, Ottaviani pointed out that the Bible only records one example of the apostles acting collegially – at the Garden of Gethsemane when “They all fled.”

The acrimony felt by such liberal members of the Council against Ottaviani spilled out into international news in an dramatic incident on November 8, 1963, which Protestant observer Robert MacAfee Brown described as having “blown the dome off St. Peter’s”: in a working session of the Council, Frings declared Ottaviani’s dicastery a “source of scandal” to the whole world.

During the October 30, 1962 session concerning changes to the Mass, he went beyond the 10-minute limit imposed on all speakers. Upon Ottaviani passing this mark Cardinal Tisserant, Dean of the Council Presidents showed his watch to the council president for the day Cardinal Bernard Alfrink of Utrecht (whom the Associated Press described as “one of the most outspoken members…who want to see far-reaching changes inside the church.”). Ottaviani engrossed in his topic went on condemning the proposed changes, saying “Are we seeking to stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal, among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite, that has been approved for so many centuries and is now so familiar? The rite of Holy Mass should not be treated as if it were a piece of cloth to be refashioned according to the whim of each generation.” When he had reached fifteen minutes Alfrink rang a warning bell. When Ottaviani kept speaking, Alfrink signalled to a technician who switched off the microphone. 

On 25 September 1969, Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci wrote a letter to Paul VI in support of a study by a group of theologians who under the direction of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre criticized the new Order of Mass (in LatinNovus Ordo Missae), and the new General Instruction (in Latin, Institutio Generalis), two sections (in not quite definitive form) of the revision of the Roman Missal that was promulgated on 3 April of that year but that actually appeared in full only in 1970. This letter became widely known as the “Ottaviani Intervention” and is often appealed to by Traditionalist Catholics as support for their opposition to the revision of the Roman Rite Mass.


Cardinal Ottaviani made the Council officials note that the Church had always admitted that no one could be forced to profess a certain faith; but that no true right could be claimed by whomever is at odds with the rights of God; that a real and authentic right to religious freedom objectively belongs to only those belonging to the true faith showing that it is extremely dangerous to allow the right of promoting any religion one wishes. (, page 154)



8. Cardinal Yves Marie-Joseph Congar O.P. and several others

Fr. Congar (who was later named a Cardinal!) had to confess that “on the Pope’s request, I participated in the last paragraphs of the Declaration on ‘Religious Freedom’; which involved demonstrating that the theme of ‘religious freedom’ appeared in the Holy Scriptures, even though it does not.” (
page 132)


The Lord is not for religious pluralism, but demands the serious obligation, at the price of martyrdom, to “proselytize” and destroy other religions. It is so much empty rhetoric, therefore, by Msgr. Pietro Pavan {later made a Cardinal} when he affirms that this civil right, even by mistake, had been oppressed for centuries even by the Church, even though it was due to the lack of the conditions to prevent this deplorable misfortune. (Concilio Vivo, ed. Ancora, Milano, 1967, pp. 295-296)

Some of the most intelligent and well-advised Fathers had already warned about this stupidity, even during Vatican II. Cardinal Ottaviani, in fact, reminded that no one could be forced to profess the true religion, but that no man could have a right to religious freedom that was in conflict with the rights of God, and that it was dangerous, then, to affirm the legitimacy of the right of evangelization of other religions.

Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini {of Italy} pointed out that the Council’s Declaration “Dignitatis Humanae” would need to be corrected, since, as it was written, it favored religious indifference and prohibited the State from favoring the true religion.

Cardinal Quiroga y Palacios {of Spain} noted that the declaration, in order to favor other religions, damaged the faith of Catholics, who would be put in great dangers of faith, because the text was in contradiction with the traditional doctrine, so that the Council, by approving “Dignitatis Humanae,” would have formally sanctioned the same religious liberalism that had always been condemned!

Cardinal Buenos y Monreal {of Spain}, as well, declared that the text of the declaration was “ambiguous”; that only the Catholic Church had received the command from God to preach the Gospel to the world, and that no one could obligate Catholics to be subjugated to a mistaken propaganda and that they had the right to demand that the law forbids the propagation of other religions.

The same was said by Cardinal Michael Browne {of Ireland}, supported by Cardinal Pietro Parente (both of the Roman Curia). Both of them rejected the “declaration,” because the rights of God became subordinate to those of man.

The Superior General of the Dominicans, Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, also rejected this “declaration” because it was affected by “naturalism.”

Unfortunately, the “Fathers” of the two Americas were favorable to this religious freedom, maybe out of a false ecumenical “charity” toward schismatics and heretics.

Even Paul VI’s theologian, Italian Cardinal Carlo Colombo, saw in that “religious freedom” a type of new application to unchangeable principles. But no one ever knew what those “unchangeable principles” were!

pages 145, 146)


9. Cardinal Ernesto Ruffini

A stern opponent of reform, he attended the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), and sat on its Board of Presidency. Ruffini was also part of the conservative-minded study group Coetus Internationalis Patrum at the Council. During the discussion on the Council’s proposed declaration against anti-Semitism, Cardinal Ruffini accused the document of being overly kind to the Jews, whom he saw as hostile to ChristianityHe also disapproved of Gaudium et SpesSacrosanctum Concilium, and Dignitatis Humanae.


Cardinal Ruffini of Palermo pointed out that, although there was only one true religion, the world was in darkness and error, and consequently tolerance and patience must be practiced. Distinctions must be made in the text {on the declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae}, lest the Council should appear to endorse religious indifferentism and to say no more than had the United Nations in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. From certain statements in the text, he said further, it would seem that a state was not entitled to grant special favors to any one religion. If that were the case, then the papal agreements with Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Dominican Republic would require revision.

(The Inside Story of Vatican II: A Firsthand Account of the Council’s Inner Workings* By Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, 1991)

*Originally titled “The Rhine Flows into the Tiber”


Cardinal Ruffini, Archbishop of Palermo, noted that the Council’s declaration under debate would need to be corrected; since as it was written, it forbid the State to favor the true religion, and expressed the same indifference to religion that was sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, promulgated by the United Nations in 1948. (, page 154)


10. Cardinal Quiroga y Palacios of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, called for the complete revision of the text {on the declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae}. From its style and language, its predominant preoccupation appeared to be to favor union with the separated brethren, without sufficient consideration of the very serious dangers to which it thereby exposed the Catholic faithful.

(The Inside Story of Vatican II: A Firsthand Account of the Council’s Inner Workings By Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, 1991)



Cardinal Quiroga y Palacios, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, noted that the declaration, in order to favor other religions, exposed the faith of Catholics to great danger; that the text, an entire series of ambiguities, presented a doctrine at odds with the traditional and true; and that the Council, by approving it, would have formally sanctioned religious liberalism that which the Church had so often equally condemned.

(, page 155)


11. Cardinal Michael Browne

A stern conservative, he was opposed to the reforms of the Council (including religious liberty).



Cardinal Browne, of the Roman Curia, supported by Monsignor Parente, also of the Curia, rejected the declaration; since it made the rights of God subordinate to the presumed rights of man and his freedom.

(, page 155)


12. Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston said that the text {on the declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae} was guilty of exaggeration in stating that “he is worthy of honor” who obeys his own conscience. It would be better to say that such a person was deserving of tolerance or of respect and charity. “The principle that each individual has the right to follow his own conscience must suppose that conscience is not contrary to the divine law,” he asserted.

There was missing in the text “an explicit and solemn affirmation of the first and genuine right to religious freedom which objectively belongs to those who are members of the true revealed religion.” Their right was at once an objective and a subjective right, he said, while for those in error, there was only a subjective right.

The Cardinal said that it was “a very serious matter” to assert that every kind of religion had the freedom to propagate itself. That would “clearly result in harm for those nations where the Catholic religion is the one generally adhered to by the people.” He also said that an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church could not ignore the fact “that the rights of the true religion are based, not only on merely natural rights, but also, and to a much greater degree, on the rights which flow from revelation.”

(The Inside Story of Vatican II: A Firsthand Account of the Council’s Inner Workings By Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, 1991)


13. Cardinal Bueno y Monreal, Archbishop of Seville, declared that the entire text of the declaration was ambiguous; he affirmed that only the Catholic Church had received the command from God to evangelize to the world; that no one could obligate Catholics to be subjugated to a mistaken propaganda and that they had the right to demand that the law forbids the propagation of other religions.

(, page 155)


14. Bishop (later Cardinal) Carlo Colombo, said that the text {on the declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae} was making “a new application of unchangeable principles“.

(The Inside Story of Vatican II: A Firsthand Account of the Council’s Inner Workings By Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, 1991)


15. The Superior General of the Dominicans, Fr. Aniceto Fernandez
maintained that the text {on the declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae}
required revision because it was too “naturalistic”.

(The Inside Story of Vatican II: A Firsthand Account of the Council’s Inner Workings By Fr. Ralph Wiltgen, 1991)


Fr. Fernandez, Superior General of the Dominican order, rejected it on the grounds that it was corrupted with naturalist thought.

(, page 155)


16. Jean Guitton

It was reported by Michael Davies in his Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre that Pope John XXIII attempted to stop the Second Vatican Council at the end of the first session. Mr. Davies further stated that this same pope, in the final days and hours of his life, repeatedly urged: “Stop the council; stop the council.” (Pope John XXIII, On his Deathbed; quoted in Kevin Haney, “The Stormy History of General Councils,” Latin Mass Magazine, Spring 1995, attributed to Jean Guitton, the only Catholic layman to serve as a peritus (expert) at Vatican II.


VIII. The Testimony of others

1. When, during the rebellious first session of the Council, he [Pope John XXIII] realized that the papacy had lost control of the process, he attempted, as Cardinal John Heenan of Westminster later revealed, to organize a group of bishops to try to force it to an end. Before the second session opened he had died.

(From The Desolate City (revised & expanded edited1990), Alice Muggeridge, page 72, letter from Fr. Joseph W. Oppitz, C.Ss.R. in “America” magazine of April 15, 1972.)


2. Monsignor Francesco Spadafora, an expert in the Sacred Scriptures, has stated that, “The Second Vatican Council is an abnormal Council.” (
page 13)



Let us again listen to Dr. Fr. Luigi Villa:

After the Council, the faith of the faithful was so shaken that Cardinal Ottaviani asked all the Bishops of the world and the Superior Generals of the Orders and the Congregations, to respond to the inquiry on the danger for the “fundamental truths” of our Faith.

The Popes, before Vatican II, had always called to order and even made condemnations. Catholic liberalism was condemned by Pius IX; Modernism by Leo XIII; Syllogism by St. Pius X; Communism by Pius XI; Neo-Modernism by Pius XII. Thanks to this episcopal vigilance, the Church became strengthened and developed. There were numerous conversions by pagans and Protestants; heresy was in retreat and countries had sanctioned a more Catholic legislation.

Following Vatican II this position taken by the Church was rejected which became a tragedy never before experienced by the Church. The Council permitted people to doubt the truth. The consequences, therefore, were ever more serious. The doubts on the necessity of the Church and the Sacraments caused priestly vocations to disappear. The doubts on the necessity and nature of “conversion” were the ruin of the traditional spirituality in the Novitiates with the disappearance of religious vocations. It injected futility into the missions. The doubts on the legitimacy of authority and obedience, on the reasons for autonomy of conscience, of freedom, shook up all the social factions: the Church, religious societies, dioceses and civil societies, and especially the family. The doubts on the necessity of Grace in order to be saved led to the lack of respect for Baptism, and the abandonment of the sacrament of Penance. The doubts on the necessity of the Church as the only source of salvation destroyed the authority of the Magisterium of the Church, as no longer “Magistra Veritatis”! [“The Teacher of Truth”!]

(Excerpt from Vatican II About Face, 2011, page 194)


Who can challenge the veracity of the observations and conclusions of Fr. Luigi Villa?


We have seen dissent as well as the criticism and even condemnation of some of the texts of the Council documents at every level among the eminent prelates of the Church who were present at all the four sessions of Vatican Council II. (I can present a whole lot more of this.)

It may be observed that the statements of the Cardinals endorse the criticisms of the Council documents by Fr. Luigi Villa, especially on the Conciliar document Dignitatis Humanae.

Would one label any or all of them heretics for their criticisms of the Second Vatican Council?


IX. An index of Catholicism’s decline

A Review by Pat Buchanan, December 11, 2002

As the Watergate scandal of 1973-1974 diverted attention from the far greater tragedy unfolding in Southeast Asia, so, too, the scandal of predator-priests now afflicting the Catholic Church may be covering up a far greater calamity.

Thirty-seven years after the end of the only church council of the 20th century, the jury has come in with its verdict: Vatican II appears to have been an unrelieved disaster for Roman Catholicism.

Liars may figure, but figures do not lie.

Kenneth C. Jones of St. Louis has pulled together a slim volume of statistics he has titled Index of Leading Catholic Indicators: The Church since Vatican II.

His findings make prophets of Catholic traditionalists who warned that Vatican II would prove a blunder of historic dimensions, and those same findings expose as foolish and naive those who believed a council could reconcile Catholicism and modernity. When Pope John XXIII threw open the windows of the church, all the poisonous vapors of modernity entered, along with the Devil himself.

Here are Jones’s grim statistics of Catholicism’s decline:

— Priests. While the number of priests in the United States more than doubled to 58,000, between 1930 and 1965, since then that number has fallen to 45,000. By 2020, there will be only 31,000 priests left, and more than half of these priests will be over 70.

— Ordinations. In 1965, 1,575 new priests were ordained in the United States. In 2002, the number was 450. In 1965, only 1 percent of U.S. parishes were without a priest. Today, there are 3,000 priest-less parishes, 15 percent of all U.S. parishes.

— Seminarians. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed.

— Sisters. In 1965, there were 180,000 Catholic nuns. By 2002, that had fallen to 75,000 and the average age of a Catholic nun is today 68. In 1965, there were 104,000 teaching nuns. Today, there are 8,200, a decline of 94 percent since the end of Vatican II.

— Religious Orders. For religious orders in America, the end is in sight. In 1965, 3,559 young men were studying to become Jesuit priests. In 2000, the figure was 389. With the Christian Brothers, the situation is even more dire. Their number has shrunk by two-thirds, with the number of seminarians falling 99 percent. In 1965, there were 912 seminarians in the Christian Brothers. In 2000, there were only seven.

The number of young men studying to become Franciscan and Redemptorist priests fell from 3,379 in 1965 to 84 in 2000.




— Catholic schools. Almost half of all Catholic high schools in the United States have closed since 1965. The student population has fallen from 700,000 to 386,000. Parochial schools suffered an even greater decline. Some 4,000 have disappeared, and the number of pupils attending has fallen below 2 million — from 4.5 million.

Though the number of U.S. Catholics has risen by 20 million since 1965, Jones’ statistics show that the power of Catholic belief and devotion to the Faith are not nearly what they were.

— Catholic Marriage. Catholic marriages have fallen in number by one-third since 1965, while the annual number of annulments has soared from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 in 2002.

— Attendance at Mass. A 1958 Gallup Poll reported that three in four Catholics attended church on Sundays. A recent study by the University of Notre Dame found that only one in four now attend.

Only 10 percent of lay religious teachers now accept church teaching on contraception. Fifty-three percent believe a Catholic can have an abortion and remain a good Catholic. Sixty-five percent believe that Catholics may divorce and remarry. Seventy-seven percent believe one can be a good Catholic without going to mass on Sundays. By one New York Times poll, 70 percent of all Catholics in the age group 18 to 44 believe the Eucharist is merely a “symbolic reminder” of Jesus.

At the opening of Vatican II, reformers were all the rage. They were going to lead us out of our Catholic ghettos by altering the liturgy, rewriting the Bible and missals, abandoning the old traditions, making us more ecumenical, and engaging the world. And their legacy?

Four decades of devastation wrought upon the church, and the final disgrace of a hierarchy that lacked the moral courage of the Boy Scouts to keep the perverts out of the seminaries, and throw them out of the rectories and schools of Holy Mother Church.

Through the papacy of Pius XII, the church resisted the clamor to accommodate itself to the world and remained a moral beacon to mankind. Since Vatican II, the church has sought to meet the world halfway.

Jones’ statistics tell us the price of appeasement.


I agree.
There has been a great decline in the Church. But there are signs of a comeback among the young.

-Dr. Richard Geraghty, EWTN’s Catholic Expert


X. Fiddling While Rome Burns: Vatican II in Retrospect

By Martin Blackshaw, The Angelus, March/April 2014

Please note that I may NOT necessarily concur with some of the writer’s personal views or Traditionalist sources cited by him –Michael

All bold and colour emphases are mine –Michael

By way of introduction, I wish to declare with all faithful Catholics who value their eternal salvation my absolute fidelity to the Holy See of Rome and my unceasing prayers for our Holy Father, Francis. I make this declaration so that no one may misconstrue or misrepresent what my duty as a Catholic now obliges me to write in charity and with the greatest respect concerning the reigning Pontiff and his immediate conciliar predecessors.

St. Pius X said at the
beginning of the twentieth century that the main cause of the loss of souls was religious ignorance, ignorance of the truths of the faith. Sadly, this ignorance is everywhere in the Church today and it is getting worse as the decline in priests and sound Catechetics continues apace. One of the principal errors to have arisen from this ignorance in our times is the belief, in thought if not by open declaration, that the pope is not just sometimes infallible but rather at all times impeccable. Therefore, no matter what the pope says or does in the exercise of his ordinary magisterium it is incumbent upon all to blindly obey him. A similarly erroneous thought is held with regard to the bishops. How far this mistaken belief is from the teaching of the Church, however, is exemplified by St. Paul in Galatians 2: 11-13, who recounts how he “withstood Peter to his face because he was to be blamed.”


A Right to Resist

Commenting on this Scripture passage, St. Thomas Aquinas writes: “There being an imminent danger to the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith…” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q. 33, a. 4).

St. Robert Bellarmine concurs with St. Thomas in this matter and distinguishes for us between legitimate resistance and forbidden judgment. He writes: “Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff who aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses the soul or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed; it is not licit, however, to judge, punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior” (De Romano Pontifice, lib. 2, chap. 29, in Opera Omnia [Paris: Pedone Lauriel, 1871], vol. I, p. 418).

In his Encyclical Letter Pastor Aeternus, Pope Pius IX gives a certain rule by which the faithful may gauge the fidelity of popes to the primary duty of their sacred office. He writes: “The Holy Spirit has not been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”





I now propose by this rule to present a painful insight into the crisis of faith in the Church today, a crisis which is the result of fifty years of radical conciliar alteration of our Catholic religion. On the election of John XXIII to the papacy in 1958 the Church was in a very healthy state. Her seminaries and religious houses were full, vocations were booming, city parishes each had at least three priests and three Sunday Masses to meet high attendance numbers, the foreign missions were converting millions to the true religion and Anglican intellectuals were leading an exodus of Church of England affiliates back to Rome. In addition to this, when the Holy Father spoke the world listened. Such was the respect commanded by the Holy See globally that only a very few non-Catholic men of influence dared to put themselves in public opposition to the Church’s moral teaching. Inside the Church it was unheard of that any Catholic, clerical or lay, questioned the infallible teaching of the Magisterium, much less dissent from it as is so widespread at present, and sound Catechetics were everywhere forming the souls of our Catholic children in faith and virtue. In every part of the world there was unity among Catholics. They were unified in faith, in doctrine, in morals, in the sacraments and by the same ancient universal liturgy and liturgical language that could be traced in its essentials all the way back to St. Peter himself.

As in other ages of Church history, however, all was not perfect; there were certainly issues within and without the walls of the Church that afflicted her to some degree or another. But the popes were strong in teaching authority, condemning and proscribing by various authoritative Encyclicals and Syllabi the grave errors of the times while re-affirming the divine truths of the Catholic religion and the indispensability of membership of the Church for salvation. Such was the confidence of the faithful in the reigning popes and bishops to uphold the Deposit of Faith, personally as well as in their official capacities, that very few clergy or laity felt it necessary to acquaint themselves with past magisterial teaching, much less with the wisdom of the great saintly theologians and Doctors of the Church.



Hence it was that when the Second Vatican Council, the first Pastoral Council in the Church’s history, commenced, it was pretty much expected that matters would be settled quickly without serious alteration to the everyday life of Catholics. How wrong this assumption was! At the very first session of the Council, on October 11, 1962, all the documents prepared by the Preparatory Commissions over a three-year period for consideration by the Fathers were rejected at the behest of a liberal faction of theologians, a faction that was much larger and more organized than anyone had expected. Although Pope John had made it clear that the Council was intended to be purely pastoral in nature, remaining on a “modest level, not treating of doctrine,” it soon became evident that others had an altogether different agenda, a program to open the Church entirely to the spirit of a modern world then on the brink of cultural revolution and rebellion against God. What resulted from this “Renewal” experiment was later described by Cardinal Suenens as “The French Revolution in the Church.”

It is a great tragedy that so many Catholics were ill-prepared for the onslaught that was to follow in the wake of Vatican II. If only more had been familiar, for example, with the prophetic wisdom expressed by Pope Gregory XVI in his 1832 Encyclical Mirari Vos, who wrote: “To use the words of the Fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church ‘was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain ‘restoration and regeneration’ for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a ‘foundation may be laid of a new human institution,’ and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing ‘may become a human Church’…” Contrast these words of Gregory XVI with this astonishing declaration of Pope Paul VI in his closing speech to the Council: “Profane and secular humanism has shown itself in its own terrible stature and has in a sense defied the Council. The religion of God made Man has come up against the religion of man who makes himself God….You can be grateful to it [the Council] for this merit at least, you modern humanists who deny the transcendence of supreme things, and learn to recognise our new humanism: we too, we more than anyone else, subscribe to the cult of man.” This statement of Paul VI is all the more worrying when considered together with an earlier action of the Pontiff, as I shall now relate.

For more than a thousand years up to Vatican II, newly elected popes underwent a coronation ceremony in which a triple crown was placed upon their heads with the words: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art father of princes and kings, ruler of the world, vicar on earth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom is honour and glory for ever and ever.” The ceremony was of course primarily supernatural—the crown and the words of coronation symbolizing the reality of the universal Kingship of Christ and of the spiritual primacy and authority of the Petrine See instituted by Him. Imagine the dismay, then, when, at the end of the second session of the Council in 1963, Pope Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St. Peter’s Basilica and ascended to the altar, on which he placed and renounced the pontifical tiara as a gesture of papal rejection of worldly power and honour.

It was a significant act of misplaced humility which His Holiness would soon equal in respect to charity when, in 1969, he supplanted the Church’s ancient Latin Liturgy with a new Protestant-friendly vernacular Mass to complement conciliar ecumenism. Suddenly, the pre-Council fear expressed by Pope Pius XII took on prophetic significance: “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.




A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God” (Msgr. Roche, Pie XII devant l’histoire, pp. 52-53).

Discounting bad will on the part of Paul VI, the inference from this Pontiff’s ill-judged acts was that his predecessors throughout the ages had indeed been, as the Church’s hereditary enemies always claimed, corrupt men attached to earthly power and wealth which expressed itself in the pomp and splendor of meaningless ceremony. Pope Francis, by similar poor judgment today, speaks of it as a Church “closed within herself,” populated with “narcissists,” “Neo-Pelagians” and men of “spiritual worldliness.”

It’s almost as if the Holy Spirit is considered to have been absent from the Church until Vatican II.

In this respect, it is noteworthy that while the present Holy Father makes numerous references to Vatican II and its popes in his lengthy Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he omits altogether any reference to pre-Council magisterial teaching. Also worthy of note is that each of the conciliar popes from John XXIII to John Paul II has had his process of beatification and/or canonization accelerated beyond that of the last of the pre-Council popes, Pius XII, whose cause, the late Bishop Canisius van Lierde assured me during a meeting in the Vatican in 1992, is long proven and ready. The most questionable of these hurried causes is that of John Paul II which has proceeded from zero to imminent canonization in just nine years; and on the basis of a significantly weakened post Vatican II process stripped of Devil’s Advocate and including only a single controversial miracle that has hardly stood the test of time. Likewise in the case of John XXIII, Pope Francis has dispensed altogether with the required canonization miracle on the grounds that his predecessor’s initiation of the Council is proof enough of his great sanctity. Worryingly, the Anglican Communion agrees and has already instituted a feast day for Pope John. Taken together, these various signs are of great concern to many of the Catholic faithful who look beyond human emotion to a candidate’s practice of heroic virtue, particularly his fidelity to the integrity of the faith. For these troubled faithful such hasty proceedings give the impression that the Church’s traditionally cautious and solemn processes have been replaced with something akin to a religious Academy Awards system that scores candidates more on their human popularity than their supernatural qualities. I emphasise here that I am neither insinuating nor asserting deliberate bad will on the part of the conciliar popes. Rather, I am attempting to demonstrate that there exists a significant rift in mindset between the pre-Council Pontiffs and their post-conciliar successors, the latter representing that Modernist school of thought so ably dissected and refuted by St. Pius X in his Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis. Sorrowful as it is to admit, Cardinal Suenens was correct when he stated that Vatican II renewal was the French Revolution in the Church. Pope Paul VI had already inferred as much in his closing speech to the Council when he spoke of “the cult of man.” Tragically, His Holiness later failed to make the connection when, in 1975, he lamented: “Through some fissure in the walls, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and set her on a path of auto-destruction.”


The French Revolution in the Church

This “smoke of Satan,” predicted by Our Lady of Fatima as “a diabolical disorientation,” consists in the principal liberal tenets of the anti-Catholic French Revolution—Liberty, Equality and Fraternity—being adapted to our holy religion post-Council and promoted as Religious Liberty, Collegial Equality and Ecumenical Fraternity. Concerning the most damaging of these principles, religious liberty, it is asserted that “the dignity of the human person” is the basis upon which each man is free to hold inwardly and outwardly to whatever religion he chooses. This is in contrast to the Church’s perennial teaching on “Religious Tolerance,” which states that the “dignity” of man depends on his fidelity to truth—as Our Lord said “the truth will make you free.” There can be no dignity, then, where truth is compromised or absent, particularly in religion, for this would be to accord dignity to error, nullifying both the First Commandment and the infallible dogma “outside the Church no salvation.” The dignity of man was lost with the Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve. It can only be restored by the grace of the Redemption wrought by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. As St. Paul reminds us in Acts 4:12: “…there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Consequently, to reject Our Lord and the Church founded by Him is to reject the only source of man’s true dignity, the dignity of the redeemed “sons of God.” Only those in “invincible ignorance,” says the Church, those who through no fault on their part are prevented from explicitly entering the true Church but who nevertheless belong to her implicitly by reason of their seeking to do God’s will and keeping the Commandments written in the hearts of all men, will have the great mercy of Our Lord extended to them. Concerning these souls, the Church allows that they can be saved in their false religions but not by their false religions. What conciliar religious liberty does is turn this teaching on its head so that the exception becomes the general rule. Hence the seriousness of Pope Paul’s renunciation of the papal tiara representing the universal Kingship of Christ in favor of a “new humanism” that recognizes the right of all to hold to their false religions on the basis of the “dignity of the human person.”


Truth Sacrificed

We see the consequences of this grave error today in those many statements of senior prelates distancing themselves and the Church from any intention to convert non-Catholics and non-Christians. It was also most notably evident in the unprecedented actions of Pope John Paul II who kissed the Koran, received on his forehead the mark of a Hindu deity, participated in Animist rites in Togo and finally orchestrated those Assisi gatherings of the world’s religions, during which the Buddhists worshipped an image of their false god atop a tabernacle while other pagans ritually slaughtered chickens on a Catholic altar. In light of these very grave actions one wonders why the Christian martyrs chose death rather than burn a grain of incense before the false “gods of the Gentiles,” which St. Paul called “demons.” To quote one senior Church prelate in relation to this incredible development: “The martyrs sacrificed their lives for the truth. Now they sacrifice the truth.”



Modernist Confusion and Contradiction Today

And on the subject of truth, here is a comparison of pre- and post-Vatican II papal quotes demonstrating that the same Modernist confusion and contradiction continues under the present Pontiff. In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis, in keeping with conciliar teaching on Religious Liberty, writes: “The Synod Fathers spoke of the importance of respect for religious freedom, viewed as a fundamental human right. This includes ‘the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public.'”

However, in his Encyclical Quanta Cura of 1864, Pope Pius IX writes: “They do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, viz., that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed in every rightly constituted society’…But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching liberty of perdition…” The same contradiction is found in respect to Ecumenical Fraternity.

In Evangelii Gaudium,
Pope Francis writes: “Commitment to ecumenism responds to the prayer of the Lord Jesus that ‘they may all be one’ (John 17:21).” Yet, in his 1928 Encyclical Mortalium Animos, Pope Pius XI declares: “When there is question of fostering unity among Christians, it is easy for many to be misled by the apparent excellence of the object to be achieved. Is it not right, they ask, is it not the obvious duty of all who invoke the name of Christ to refrain from mutual reproaches and at last to be united in charity? Dare anyone say that he loves Christ and yet not strive with all his might to accomplish the desire of Him who asked His Father that His disciples might be ‘one’? (John 17:21)… If only all Christians were ‘one,’ it is contended, then they might do so much more to drive out the plague of irreligion which, with its insidious and far-reaching advance, is threatening to sap the strength of the Gospel. In reality, however, these fair and alluring words cloak a most grave error, subversive of the foundations of the Catholic religion…” We have seen this error with our own eyes these past fifty years since Vatican II in a series of compromises on the part of Catholic ecumenists that have not been reciprocated by their Protestant interlocutors.


From Ecumenism to Silent Apostasy

Hence, we now have a liturgy and liturgical practices that mirror very strongly the Protestant meal service, “subversive of the foundations of the Catholic religion” to the extent that seminaries and religious houses everywhere are closing for want of vocations, millions have abandoned the practice of the faith, reverence for the Blessed Sacrament is greatly diminished, the Sacrament of Confession is largely ignored, as is the Church’s moral teaching, and children no longer receive even basic catechetical formation. Further, in the name of “dialogue” we have seen actual interfaith worship with Protestants take root at every level in the Church, including, sadly, such unprecedented spectacles as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio a few years ago kneeling before 7,000 witnesses in Argentina to receive the blessing of Protestant pastors, and the recent scandal of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston “re-affirming” his baptism at the hands of a female Pentecostal minister.

How opposed these actions are to the teaching of Gregory XVI, who wrote in Mirari Vos: “With the admonition of the Apostle that there is ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5), may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself who said ‘He that is not with me, is against me’ (Luke 11:23), and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and entire…'”

To use the measure of orthodoxy given us by Pope Benedict XVI, there is, in fact, no “Hermeneutic of Continuity” between pre- and post-conciliar teaching on Religious Liberty and Ecumenism. That’s why no pope or council prior to Vatican II is ever quoted in a post-conciliar document or speech in reference to these innovative doctrines.


From Autocracy to Democracy

Nor is there continuity with the past in respect to Collegiality. In his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre explains that Our Lord instructed individuals, not a collectivity, to tend His sheep. The Apostles obeyed Our Lord’s orders, and until the twentieth century it remained thus. The pope alone enjoyed supreme power and jurisdiction over the universal Church, and each bishop, subject to this Petrine authority, enjoyed full power within his diocese. Then the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium appeared hinting at a new democratic structure of government, according to which the College of Bishops together with the pope exercises supreme power over the Church in habitual and continual manner. It was a novel idea of double supremacy that ran contrary to the definitions of Vatican Council I and to Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Satis Cognitum. Notwithstanding this contradiction, however, and largely dismissive of the footnote of correction attached at the end of the conciliar document in question, the post-conciliar Church has since witnessed a universal transformation of National Bishops’ Conferences from those purely consultative bodies approved by St. Pius X to decision-making entities operating on the principle of the democratic vote and ‘majority rule’; whereby the government of the pope and that of each bishop in his diocese has frequently been trumped in practice by pressure from the presbyterial college. Hence the universal imposition and extension against the expressed wishes of the popes of such abuses as Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the scandal of U.S. marriage annulments that rose from 700 in 1969 to more than 50,000 by 1995, the introduction of doctrinally unsound Catechisms into Holland, Canada and France without corrections ordered by the Holy See having been made, etc. I could quote many such examples, but perhaps the most revealing proof is the letter of explanation Pope Benedict XVI felt obliged to issue to the various Episcopal Conferences in an attempt to soothe a less than favorable reception of his 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.





What this letter highlighted was the pressure the popes have experienced since the advent of Collegiality; reducing them to issuing reassurances, suggestions and advice instead of issuing the orders needed to get the Church back on the right track, condemning when necessary, as the popes have hitherto done as primary guardians of the deposit of faith. Well did Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani once observe that the only recording in history of Collegiality at work among the Apostles was when they collectively abandoned Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane!

Adding further to the confusion is the teaching of the new Code of Canon Law (1983) that power resides in the “people of God.” This tendency towards what they call bringing the base into sharing the exercise of power can be found all through present structures—synod, episcopal conferences, priests’ councils, pastoral councils, Roman commissions, national commissions, etc.; and there are equivalents in religious orders. So now pastoral councils instruct the priests; the priests’ councils instruct the bishops; the bishops’ vote in the conferences and the conferences dictate to the pope. In effect, it is authority turned on its head so that what was once a top-down structure of Church government has become a bottom-up structure of so many contradictory opinions and methods that it can truly be stated that collegiality of the magisterium has resulted in paralysis of the magisterium.

This great tragedy was further compounded when Pope Benedict XVI “resigned” his papal office in 2013. Never in the sacred history of the Church has a pope “resigned.” Two have abdicated for very serious reasons, but none has ever resigned. Resignation is proper to the CEO of a corporate company, not to the one who sits on the divinely instituted Chair of Peter. And so now we have the unprecedented and demeaning spectacle of two living Popes in the Vatican at the same time, one reigning and one emeritus, both “inaugurated,” not crowned, according to the new ceremony introduced by Pope John Paul II to better reflect the Socialist norms of the modern world. For his part, Pope Francis has taken the innovations even further by recently appointing a Council of eight Cardinals to assist him with the running of the Church. His Holiness makes no secret of his intention to continue down the road of Collegiality even though it ultimately undermines the supreme and unique authority of the Vicar of Christ, as we already see by the Pontiff’s preference to refer to himself constantly by his lesser title of “Bishop of Rome.” So we may say that in just four steps since Vatican II—i.e., renunciation of the papal tiara, introduction of Collegial Equality, more power to the people and the first ever “resignation” of a pope— the autocratic structure of Petrine authority instituted by Our Lord for His Church has been transformed into a Socialist democracy by which papal teaching accrues in practice to little more than just one amongst many varied opinions. And why not, since the popes themselves no longer preach or write in the clear, concise and authoritative Petrine tone of their pre-conciliar predecessors.


“Turned unto Fables”

On the contrary, Pope Francis‘s recent “Who am I to judge?” statement to the press in relation to homosexuals did more to promote the gay lobby than that aggressive lobby could have hoped to achieve itself by decades of campaigning. Perhaps the faithful will now understand why there was barely a whimper of protest recently from the Church’s hierarchy when secular governments unilaterally moved to impose gay marriage on society. Wherever we look in the Church today all we see is this invasion of the secular, rebellious spirit of the world constantly in search of novelty, constantly “renewing,” constantly chipping away at the last remnants of the Traditions handed down unaltered through the generations until Vatican II. Quite how this “pastoral” Council, declared to be non-doctrinal and non-infallible, came to impose a new ecclesiology, a new liturgy, a new Code of Canon Law, a new Catechism and a new orientation centered on the “dignity of the human person” rather than on baptism in Christ through His Church, is a mystery known only to the Almighty. God knows, it has been a whirlwind of evolution which for forty years has sown confusion in the true Church of Our Lord. It has eroded authority, suppressed dogmatic teaching, disrupted unity, left many Catholics bewildered, broken many hearts and resulted in mass apostasy from the faith. There simply is no more diplomatic a way to put it. And now Pope Francis seems to be focusing on even more radical changes that will see greater deterioration take place. All the talk is about the poor, the hungry and the marginalized, and about pursuing social justice and global peace through greater “dialogue” with other “faith traditions.” At no time in Evangelii Gaudium does the Pontiff make reference to the great Social Encyclicals of his pre-Vatican II predecessors, such as Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, or of the fact that the Church has championed the cause of the poor and marginalized for two thousand years through the missions. It is almost as if His Holiness considers that legacy to be tainted on account of the traditional theology underlying it, a theology which identified the worst poverty of all to be that of the absence of Christ and His grace from souls, and which condemned and proscribed interaction with false religions under the pretext of improving man’s condition on earth.

To be fair to Pope Francis, he does say some very good things in Evangelii Gaudium that are perfectly in line with Catholic teaching. But it is this apparent disdain for the old Church Militant in favor of a kind of United Nations of inter-religious social work which is of particular concern. The Church does not exist on this earth primarily to feed the poor, clothe the hungry and win justice for the downtrodden, noble as these corporal works of mercy are. Rather, the Church exists principally for the true worship of God and to convert souls to the Catholic religion that they may be saved for all eternity. Hence, this novel idea of a “poorer Church for the poor,” a Church which follows the Puritan model of cutting down the great tree of authoritative Catholic teaching and liturgical majesty for a return to the simplicity of the mustard seed is an illusion that does injustice to Christ the King and great harm to souls. The examples of Sts. Francis of Assisi and Jean Marie Vianney (the Curé of Ars) should help to demonstrate what I mean by this.




Both of these saints were renowned for their personal lives of holy poverty and penitential austerity in imitation of Our Lord, the poor carpenter of Nazareth. Yet, both insisted on the most expensive and exquisite adornments that could be afforded to beautify their respective parish churches, wherein Christ the King resided in the Blessed Sacrament. What these examples of the saints highlight is that our Catholic religion is first a supernatural religion instituted for the true worship of God and the preaching of divine truth both “in season and out of season,” as St. Paul said, for the salvation of souls. Any social program for the betterment of humanity on earth is by far subordinate to this principal mission. Consequently, this post-Vatican II reorientation of the Church is, with the very greatest respect to those responsible, a madness exceeding that of Nero who fiddled while Rome burned. Surely forty years of devastation of the Catholic religion together with an exponential increase in global violence, poverty and immorality is evidence enough of the futility of trying to adapt the divine Catholic Faith to the spirit of the world and the “cult of man.” There can be no spiritual renewal, no lasting world peace and no global social justice attained by such a union; much less by a continued promotion of false Religious Liberty and Ecumenism, which doctrines equate to mere human respect denying to our non-Catholic and non-Christian neighbor the greatest act of charity, namely, the truth that they must embrace Christ and His Catholic Church for salvation. In his Encyclical Quas Primas, Pope Pius XI puts it this way: “As long as individuals and States refuse to submit to the rule of Our Saviour, there can be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ…His Church, the one source of salvation.” How different this fearless teaching is to post-Vatican II Religious Liberty, which has seen our popes address Jewish and Islamic congresses as fellow “children of Abraham,” believing in the same one true God as Catholics. But how can such statements find justification in Our Lord’s own testimony, who said: “Abraham saw my day and was glad…” (John 8:56); and: “He who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me” (Luke 10:16)? Equally at odds with Our Lord’s testimony is this new conciliar process of sending Vatican greetings to the representatives of other non-Catholic religions, those of pagan origin such as Buddhism, Shintoism and Hinduism, on their various religious feast days as though they were somehow pleasing to the Holy Spirit and conducive to holiness and salvation. I have already highlighted this syncretist mentality as it manifested itself in the Assisi gatherings organized by Pope John Paul II. Again, I ask how any of this is justifiable in light of the First Commandment and the infallible dogma “outside the Church no salvation”? Where are these dangerous novelties condoned anywhere in the bi-millennial teaching of the Popes and Councils, or by the teaching of the saints? Did not our Saviour Himself admonish that “Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5)? The faithful have the right and a duty to ask these questions of the shepherds entrusted by Our Lord with the care of their souls. Many indeed have asked but, alas, the response is usually silence or an unjust command of obedience to the Council. Since Vatican II was not a Council bearing the hallmark of the extraordinary magisterium, however, and since none of these modern novelties have been imposed formally by the extraordinary magisterium on the faithful, which would be impossible in light of two thousand years of contrary infallible teaching, then troubled and discerning Catholics, myself included, have chosen to side with Tradition and reject these destructive innovations.


The Rule of Resistance

Yes, for the love of Our Lord, His Holy Church, our holy Catholic religion and the Petrine See, we follow St. Paul’s respectful example and “resist Peter to his face” in these matters of very grave scandal threatening the faith, following as our method of resistance the recommendation of St. Vincent of Lerins. Having fresh in his memory the devastation wrought in the Church in the fourth century by the Arian heresy, a devastation so great that St. Jerome felt constrained to declare “the whole world awoke and groaned to find itself Arian,” this fifth-century saint proposed the following question and answer for future generations who might be faced with similar tragedy: “But what if some novel contagions try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he [the Catholic] will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty” (The Vincentian Canon, in Commonitorium, ed. Moxon, Cambridge Patristic Texts, chap. IV, 434). Since divine faith is a higher virtue than obedience, if follows that no man, however exalted, may legitimately command obedience of Catholics in matters that endanger their faith. Hence, there can be no such thing as schism on the part of subordinates who respectfully refuse the dangerous religious innovations of their superiors in favor of the security of antiquity, regardless of hysterical assertions to the contrary. Sadly, the same cannot be stated with any confidence in respect to those who choose obedience to men above obedience to God. In this regard, Archbishop Lefebvre lamented after Vatican II that “Satan’s masterstroke has been to sow disobedience through obedience.” I think it fitting to leave the final word to St. Paul as food for thought: “…Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables…” (2 Timothy 4:2)


Fr. Regis Scanlon’s response to ultra-conservatives – the Traditionalists:

XI A. Fifty Years Later—Vatican II’s Unfinished Business

By Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap., May 10, 2013

Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the Church in the United States is in the throes of a struggle. Loyal Catholics are showing renewed vigor and vitality, and are helping the Church to move forward in unity. At the same time, the Church is also being exhausted and drained from within by a vocal movement of other Catholics who continue to dissent from Church teachings, particularly the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.



Dissent is entrenched in the Church in the U.S.
For most American Catholics over 50, it is an accepted fact that dissent from the magisterium of the Church is widespread, tolerated, and, in some quarters, even welcomed. The breaking point, of course, was Paul VI’s 1968 prophetic encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which condemned contraception as “intrinsically disordered.” The encyclical became one of the most controversial documents of the century, if not many centuries. The widespread dissent by Catholics was led with enthusiasm by huge numbers of Catholic theologians, professors and intellectuals. The onslaught of bright, articulate academics turning on the Pope encouraged many Catholics in the pews to do the same.

Why would so many educated Catholics—who should have been ready and able to defend the teaching authority of the Church—turn against the Pope with such force? How could they justify it?

The most popular argument was that permission to dissent had been given by none other than the Second Vatican Council. The dissenters claimed that “the spirit of Vatican II,” along with theological perspectives of the Council, supported their argument that individual Catholics have a right to dissent from “non-infallible” Church teachings—even authoritative encyclicals like Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae—if they felt they had a good enough reason.

Unfortunately, this false notion was unwittingly given a boost by none other than the bishops of the United States. On November 15, 1968, a few months after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, the bishops issued their pastoral letter, “Human Life in Our Day,” to help Catholics interpret the Pope’s encyclical. The bishops said in no. 51 of that document that in some cases, a Catholic could dissent from “non-infallible authentic doctrine” of the magisterium. They explained: “The expression of theological dissent from the magisterium is in order only if the reasons are serious and well-founded, if the manner of the dissent does not question or impugn the teaching authority of the Church, and is such as not to give scandal.”

So, the bishops did approve of limited dissent from papal teaching in faith and morals.

This position was given even more credence later by the powerful and widely quoted Cardinal Bernardin when he was Archbishop of Chicago. Shortly before his death in 1996, Cardinal Bernardin initiated his Catholic Common Ground Project, to bring factions of the church together in “dialogue.” According to a November 14, 1996, article in Origins (pp. 353-356), the axis of Cardinal Bernardin’s legacy was the belief that “limited and occasional dissent” from the magisterium of the Church was “legitimate.”


But what did Vatican II really teach?
So, the intellectual community and even the high-ranking Church leaders were reinforcing the idea that dissent from Church teachings was to be expected, even welcomed—and that permission to do so came straight from Vatican II.

However, had they really read the documents of Vatican II?

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), no. 25, presents a far different answer from the dissenters. This carefully reasoned Vatican II document states that, even though the bishops of the Catholic Church are not individually infallible, they do teach infallibly the Church’s doctrines of faith and morals “when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.”

What could be clearer? Lumen Gentium, no. 25, explicitly states that one such case of the bishops teaching infallibly is when they teach a matter of faith and morals in “an ecumenical council.”  Vatican II was “an ecumenical council.”

The Council also taught in no. 25 of Lumen Gentium that these definitions of the bishops on matters of faith and morals must be held with a “religious assent.” Furthermore: “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra …”

The Council goes on to explain this required assent to the Pope’s non-ex cathedra teaching: “…that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.” But how does one know the Pope’s “manifest mind and will?”

Again, the Council clarifies it by saying that: “… His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”

Clearly according to the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council there is no room for dissent from even the non-ex-cathedra or “non-infallible” decisions of the Pope on matters of faith and morals—not even “limited and occasional” dissent. This means that there is no room for dissent from the Pope’s teaching on contraception in Humanae Vitae. A Catholic, therefore, who would maintain that one could dissent from a non-ex cathedra or non-infallible decision of a pope, would be implicitly dissenting from Lumen Gentium no. 25 and the Second Vatican Council itself.


The occasion for the misunderstanding
Although Lumen Gentium, no. 25, speaks clearly, it should not come as a surprise that it was misinterpreted. Part of the confusion arose from an interpretation of Paul VI’s statement about the authority of the decisions of the Council.  As found in vol. 11 of The Pope Speaks, Paul VI stated in “After the Council: New Tasks,”

In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statement of dogmas that would be endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary magisterium. This ordinary magisterium, which is so obviously official, has to be accepted with docility and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents.




For the dissenters, the Pope’s careful parsing of the Council’s mission—to avoid “any extraordinary statement of dogmas that would be endowed with the note of infallibility”—was apparently just enough of a loophole to keep the fires of their argument alive.

However, note that the Council titled Lumen Gentium, as the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.  That indicates that the “nature” of Lumen Gentium is “dogmatic” per se, and its “aim” is to point out to Catholics those dogmas of divine faith which have always been part of the belief of the Church!

So, while there are no “extraordinary” dogmas in Vatican II, there are ordinary dogmas which are drawn from Scripture, Tradition, or previous teachings of the magisterium. Thus, even though the Pope and the Council did not exercise their infallible authority to teach Lumen Gentium, the contents (teachings) in Lumen Gentium are, by their very sources, clearly dogmatic. Thus, each Catholic must accept no. 25 of Lumen Gentium as a matter of faith, even though the form of the document itself is not infallible.

Of course, the fact remains that none of the documents of Vatican II are taught ex cathedra. Therefore, none of the teachings of Vatican II are formally pronounced as dogmas by the Second Vatican Council itself. So, very strictly speaking, a person can dissent from Vatican II itself without being a formal heretic.

However, to dissent from an ecumenical council is no small matter. To put it informally, one may avoid being a heretic, but still may be a “bad” Catholic.


Ordinary conciliar self-verification is not enough
How did this confusion take root? It can best be explained as rising from the concept of conciliar self-verification. In other words, the Second Vatican Council teaches that the fathers at an “ecumenical council” are teachers of faith and morals, and their “definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith.”

The problem is, the ecumenical council making this statement is itself an ecumenical council—and, therefore, is making statements about itself and not making it with the highest authority, i.e., ex cathedra.

In other words, one might say this is the conciliar version of chasing one’s own theological tail. The fallout has been that, for several generations of Catholics, from academics and Church leaders to the laity in the pews, the lasting impression is, “Vatican II said it was okay to disagree with the Pope.”

Thus began the era of “taking sides.” It was as if the Catholic faith became no more than a grand game—Pope and established Church teachings versus the dissenters—and individual Catholics could simply pick which team to root for. Some called themselves liberals (the “left”) while others called themselves conservatives (the “right”). Each group dissented from Vatican II, but for different reasons.

Many liberal nuns in the U.S., for example, continue to sympathize with anti-life groups that claim they are helping the poor by promoting the poor’s right to funds for abortion and contraception. They claim to be supporting social justice by defending, or, at least, sympathizing with, the gay agenda. They are especially vocal in demanding that the Church ordain women to the priesthood—even after John Paul II informed them that the Church teaching on an all-male priesthood is infallible and, therefore, cannot be changed.

On the other hand, the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, continues to err on the side of utter conservative rigidity. They reject the Second Vatican Council as a movement of the Holy Spirit, and cling to the minutiae of 500-year-old rituals as necessary, for their own sake.  The change of the liturgy from Latin to English, or the vernacular of each particular country, is their most well-known objection.

Therefore, today, 50 years after the opening of Vatican II, the misinterpretation of one of its most salient documents, Lumen Gentium, continues to drive a number of Catholics in the United States into one of two camps, the “right” or the “left.”

However, the age of confusion may be coming to an end. According to a July, 2012, article in Catholic World Report, the widespread errors that had grown up about papal authority was addressed head-on by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the newly-appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“We also have the problem of groups—of the right and the left, as is usually said—which take up much of our time and our attention,” Archbishop Müller was quoted as saying. “Here, the danger easily arises of losing sight of our main task, which is to proclaim the Gospel and to explain concretely the doctrine of the Church.”

The archbishop was clear: dissenters do not belong solely to one camp or the other, despite the fact that each one would claim it to be so. Rather, dissenting Catholics on both the “right” and on the “left” are soaking up the energy of the Church by demanding attention to grievances and stifling the apostolate.


A clear path ahead
One way out of this dilemma is clear and simple. Obviously, the Second Vatican Council’s self-verification of Lumen Gentium, no. 25, was not sufficient to bring about the hoped for unity in faith and morals in the Church.

Therefore, Lumen Gentium, no. 25, should be verified outside of the Second Vatican Council. This could come either by the Pope, using his infallible authority to define Lumen Gentium, no. 25, as ex cathedra, or by another ecumenical council doing so. Given the deep, lasting errors which inadvertently took root after Vatican II—clearly, a great Council which has been unfairly besmirched by controversy—is it too much to think that the solution may be another, clarifying Council, perhaps Vatican III?





Some may argue that requiring all Catholics, even theologians, to make an absolute assent to Lumen Gentium, no.25, to remain in the Church would be severe. It would be a retreat from the spirit of John XXIII’s promise, which he made when he opened Vatican II in 1962, that the worldwide Council would use “the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”  In other words, the Church would guide her flock without condemnations”—known in earlier centuries as the much dreaded “anathema sit” (“let him be excommunicated”).

However, if this confusion is faced, either through a ringing papal document, or the dramatic convening of a new Council, the outcome will absolutely follow Pope John XXIII’s call for “mercy rather than severity.”

Consider that it is Mercy itself for the Church to clearly proclaim her true nature and teaching authority. If she puts an end to the confusion of several generations, she can turn her entire strength and authority to attract people to the Catholic faith. And by doing so, how can we not say that she will be extending the Mercy of Christ himself?

As Christ said, “The Truth will set you free”—and what greater act of mercy is there, than to free those enslaved by error? Finally, dissenters on both the “right” and the “left” will have the Truth clearly presented to them, so that they can freely decide whether or not they are going to join the Church’s mission into the future.

The beauty of this approach is that no one needs to be explicitly condemned. The proclamation would be equivalent to the definition of “papal infallibility” or the “Immaculate Conception” or the “Assumption.” It would be a dogma defining the Church.  A person who could not assent to Lumen Gentium, no. 25, would finally know—clearly and without equivocation—that they are no longer Catholic. The decision would be theirs.

Will this happen? We have reason to hope. Perhaps, the first inklings of a definitive move by the Church came in the words of Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Asked by an interviewer, “What do you think of the discussions with the Lefebvrists, and with the religious sisters of the United States?” The archbishop replied: “There are no negotiations on the Word of God, and one cannot “believe and not believe” at the same time. One cannot pronounce the three religious vows, and then not take them seriously. I cannot make reference to the tradition of the Church, and then accept it only in some of its parts.”

The Archbishop went on to say: “The path of the Church leads ahead, and all are invited not to enclose themselves in a self-referential way of thinking, but rather to accept the full life and the full faith of the Church.”

In the archbishop’s words are the seeds of rebirth, a rooting out of error, and the beginning of a new era of faith.

Editor’s note: This essay first appeared April 22, 2013 in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.


XI B. Assessing Vatican II: A Response to My Critics

By Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap., May 22, 2013

It’s ironic to me that my recent article, Fifty Years Later—Vatican II’s Unfinished Business, has provoked anger among many traditionalists, because for most of my priesthood I have angered liberals who consider me an arch traditionalist. Nevertheless I want to respond to those traditionalists who include both the SSPX and my fellow Catholics still fully united to the Church. I assure you of my prayers and support for your passionate defense of Church practices through the ages.

Nevertheless, I stand fully by my article and support the Second Vatican Council, called by one pope, John XXIII, and brought to a close by his successor, Paul VI. The grave errors and outrages that blighted the Church in the following years—and which traditionalists rightly deplore—cannot be blamed on the council, but on the frailties and sometimes the hidden agendas of those who implemented it. But should we really be shocked that the Church is home to human imperfections? Of the first 12 disciples, one-twelfth went over to the enemy, a future pope loudly denied Him, and all but one deserted Him, just when He needed them most.

The point is, Christ did not shrink from leaving His Church in the hands of imperfect people. We must separate our anger over the damages of many unwise decisions throughout the years from the ongoing mission of the Church. And let’s not forget that the 20th century was hardly the only century of missteps. Yet in every age, the Church regains Her footing.

That firm footing (which of course never completely deserts the Church) continues to be restored into the 21st century in exciting ways. The Year of Faith and the powerful evangelization of our new Pope Francis show the Holy Spirit continuing to heal His Church. I rejoice with my traditionalist friends on the ongoing restoration and if I had unlimited space, I would cite many examples of this.

But here are just a few of the timeless notes of the Church, which I would continue to defend right along with my critics:

Reverence at receiving Communion—kneeling preferably—and maintaining the rules that protect the sacred.

Modesty in women’s dress

Solemn, majestic liturgy, including music

A disciplined, catechetical approach to teaching the faith.

I agree with traditionalists that there are many more (to name them all would take a catechism), and yes, sadly, some parishes and pastors are less than vigilant about them. The answer is to keep teaching and instructing. Like a battleground after a war—and yes, the decades following Vatican II were like a desolate, postwar battlefield—new ground must be tilled, new seeds planted, and destructive weeds pulled. That takes patience and time, but we trust that God has both to give.


Reforms Allow Greater Access to Sacraments
Where I part company with my critics is when “rules” trump the love of Christ and His access to human beings. In this regard, Vatican II rightly freed the Church’s hands.





I became acutely aware of this while serving for 11 years as director of prison ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver. The old “rules” which required specific Mass linens, receptacles and rubrics, for example, would have seriously limited my ability to offer Mass for prisoners who deeply needed the Real Presence of Christ.

The old rules didn’t allow for lay extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, either. As one priest, I could not possibly distribute Holy Communion to every prisoner in my care and still complete the rest of my priestly duties. To eliminate the ability of Church approved and instructed laity to take the Blessed Sacrament to literally thousands of Catholic prisoners every month when these prisoners desperately need the Lord—that seems a terrible lapse of charity.

And speaking of tradition—can the traditionalists forget the holy young layman Tarcissus, who took Holy Communion to prisoners in the early Church? It was necessary then and is necessary now.

Traditionalists who oppose these changes seem to say, “No, the important thing is that a priest and no one else distributes Communion! If that means these prisoners only receive once a year instead of once a month, so be it!”

These critics of the council should remember what Jesus said about the Pharisees. “They bind up heavy loads, hard to carry, to lay on other men’s shoulders, while they themselves will not lift a finger to budge them….   Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, you frauds!” (Matthew. 23:4 & 13.)


The Pharisee Mindset meets Modernism
The Pharisees whom Christ rebuked don’t just exist in Bible history. There is a Pharisee mindset, which exists through time and is part of our broken humanity. In other words, Christ wasn’t just chiding the Pharisees who stood before him. He was emphasizing to the people of His times that He was praying for all those who would believe in him through the word of the apostles (John 17:20). In other words, he was speaking to us! We must guard against becoming Pharisees as well.

And what is this Pharisee mindset? Well, first of all, it is the error at the opposite end of the moral spectrum from the radical modernists who say that, when it comes to interpreting Scripture and Church dogmas, “Anything goes!” That free-for-all code, the modernist heresy, was called by Pope Pius X “the synthesis of all heresies,” because it encompasses them all. In recent centuries the Church’s greatest battle has been against that many-headed monster, modernism, which Pope Pius X masterfully outlined in his prophetic 1907 encyclical, Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

We all know—too well—the outrages and disruptions caused by modernist inroads in the Church. But in reaction to that heresy, the Church has been, in effect, abandoned by many people at the other end of the spectrum as well. These well-meaning people have retreated to the mindset of the Pharisees, who hold up rigid rulemaking as the greatest good. I am convinced that many ultra traditionalists (including many of my critics) believe they are doing the right thing. After all, every war brings confusion and deceit, and in this ongoing war against modernism, Satan has set a reactionary trap for many who don’t fall for the obvious allurements of modernism, which is to run after anything that is new, innovative, and culturally acceptable. The rest of us may recognize these evils of modernism. But that doesn’t mean Satan gives up on us! For many of us, unless we remain vigilant, he offers the temptation of the Pharisee mindset, which relies on rules rather than the power and authority of God’s love. This trap is far more subtle, but it is equally designed to enslave people and separate them from the Church.


Examine Closely Council Documents
And so we come to the crux of our disagreement—Vatican II. The Council that Pope John said would “throw open the windows of the Church” also swept in these two great temptations—modernist thinking and, in reaction, the Pharisee mindset. But this is not the fault of the Council, but part of the mysterious battle between good and evil. If anything, the forces of evil which Satan hurled against the Church after the Council prove that the Council was good, because Satan had to stop its fruits from growing, at all costs.

I urge traditionalists to say a prayer to the Holy Spirit and then crack open the Vatican II documents, and really read them with an open heart. You will see that no essential doctrine of the Church has been discarded—only enhanced. The documents only reveal the open arms and the mercy of Christ.

Critics of the Council who reject these documents out of hand deprive themselves of an opportunity to find Jesus Christ.

For example, ultra traditionalists take great offense at this Vatican II statement:

Those who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ and His Church, but who nonetheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by divine grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those, who through no fault of their own, have not yet arrived at the explicit knowledge of God, and who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life (Lumen Gentium, no. 16).

Traditionalists counter with Boniface VII’s statement in his bull, Unam Sanctam, that “outside the Church there is no salvation” (November 18, 1302, Denzinger No. 468, 30th edition).

Of course what Boniface said is true. But how God introduces His Church to each individual cannot be fully gleaned by any human being. Vatican II merely acknowledged that God is free to distribute his grace where He wills—and that He has access to each human heart in ways that we are not privy to.

The traditionalist error is to believe that human beings are allowed to be, in effect, the mystical gatekeepers of God’s mercy—that they can somehow penetrate every aspect of God’s providence and speak with the authority of God. This is pride. No individual can rightfully block God from gaining access to the soul of any human being.





Our proper role on this earth is far more humble, even as we must remain vigilant. We are to abide by Church discipline, doctrine and the Magisterium. These laws stand immutable and firm as ever. In other words, we all agree, with ringing truth, that certain sins are mortal, that hell is real, and that our free-will choices determine our eternal destiny. We all believe Christ gave the Church the power to loose and to bind sin.

We are also called by the Church to believe in the divine purpose and role of Vatican II while preventing the Church from becoming a watering hole for modern Pharisees.


The Damaging Effects of Rigidity
If this had ever happened—of course the Holy Spirit would not allow it—rigidity would end up governing everything. For example, I ask the traditionalists: If every person has to have an express knowledge of Jesus Christ to be saved, what would they say is the fate of adults in far flung countries, bereft of missionaries? And what of infants, including the pre-born? What about the dying Hindu beggars whom Mother Teresa lovingly rescued from the gutters of Calcutta? Are they all categorically damned?

Instead, the Church rightly interprets Boniface’s statement to mean that the only door to salvation is the Church—in other words, Christ’s authentic call to faith does not come through Buddhism, or Islam, or any other religious tradition. But this does not mean that God, through the power of Christ and in His own mysterious ways, cannot save Buddhists and Muslims. Such enlightenment can come in mysterious ways known only to God, including in the womb. This is possible, as we know from the account of John the Baptist leaping in the womb of Elizabeth upon recognizing Jesus in the womb of Mary. So Vatican II teaches that “those too may achieve eternal salvation.” “May” means that, of course, they too will have to make a decision based on their own free will, like each one of us.

Likewise, extreme traditionalists need to be very careful when they start pinning people with narrow and exacting literal interpretations of the Scriptures and Church teaching. That’s because Pope Boniface, in the same document as above, also notes that all humanity, “by necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff” (Denz. no. 469, 30th ed.)

On one hand, Traditionalists cite Boniface as correct, yet on the other hand, they deny Boniface when they reject the authority of the six Roman pontiffs who, since 1963, have, in their writings and pronouncements, both explicitly and implicitly, declared the authenticity of Vatican II.


Why Religious Coercion was abandoned
There is another objection. Some traditionalists claim that the Church reversed Her teaching in no. 4 of the Document on Religious Liberty by calling for “freedom or immunity from coercion in religious matters.” Instead of making the state subject to the Church, they say she now makes the Church subject to the state. But they have misunderstood the meaning of this document. In brief, the document has to do with “freedom from coercion in civil society” in relation to the state and “it leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duties of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.” This is pointed out in the very first paragraph. So the Document on Religious Liberty has nothing to do with people’s relation to the authority of the Church which is aptly set forth in Lumen Gentium, no. 14.

Nevertheless, these modern traditionalists condemn the document because it makes the point that the state should not force anyone to accept a set of beliefs. Do traditionalists really want a society where they could coerce Muslims, atheists, or even their Lutheran neighbors to be Catholic?

In fact, the spirit of the Church, as well as Her teaching, is the very opposite, and best proven by the fact that the sacraments are never valid when a person resists, or is forced to receive them. This holds true for every sacrament, including marriage, baptism, and confession.


Let me conclude this way.

God asks for our love and our hearts, but He also put us on earth to use our brains. It should not make us angry to periodically re-evaluate the man-made “rules” we developed over time, and ask whether they continue to serve the Church and Her mission to win souls.

Yes, some rules are immutable and should continue. Others are more a product of one’s culture and the times we live in. God gave us the intelligence, judgment and prudence to periodically examine and re-evaluate all the holy trappings—trappings, not doctrines—which we have put in place to support Christ’s Church on earth.

Vatican II was such a time of re-evaluation. Did some people misuse it? Yes. But the world that once looked in awe at a pope carried aloft on a fancy throne has vanished. We may lament the passing of a more dignified age, but that doesn’t mean we should bring back papal thrones! Remember that Jesus walked in sandals and let a woman wash his feet. He was not afraid to “re-evaluate” traditions when needed. Praise be to God that, through the Holy Spirit, the Church which Christ founded is not afraid to, either.


XII. OBITUARY: Spirit of Vatican II – RIP – 52 years of age

Posted on 3 September 2014 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

The often amusing Eye of the Tiber* had this:






Cincinnati, Ohio- A Solemn High Requiem Mass was held Thursday at St. Martura Church in downtown Cincinnati for the Spirit of Vatican II, aged 52. After suffering a progressively debilitating illness for the last ten years of its life as a new generation of priests re-examined the Council in light of Sacred Tradition, the Spirit of Vatican II passed away quietly in its sleep last Tuesday.

“The Requiem Mass really brought closure to the community,” said 26-year old Father David Flannigan, FSSP, who celebrated the Mass with Deacon Brady Schwartz, 32, and Subdeacon Anthony LaViera, 23. “While the death of the Spirit of Vatican II was certainly expected, we were glad to offer Mass for its repose.”  [I would like to have been the celebrant for that one.  Perhaps I’ll schedule my own. –Fr. Z]

“What a beautiful Mass!” commented long-time parishioner Gladys O’Neal. “I hadn’t seen black vestments since I was a little girl. And as much as I love the song On Eagle’s Wings, the Dies Irae sequence really got me thinking about the Four Last Things.”

The Spirit of Vatican II is survived by a dwindling number of aging hippies who dropped out of seminary in the ’70’s, some faded felt banners, and tambourines presently gathering dust in storage.

Do I hear an “Amen!”?


7 selected out of 43 responses

1. I am joining the Latin Mass Society, and also attending mass at the nearest SSPX chapel in my area. God bless you father and may the spirit of Vatican II be put to history alongside the praise and blather of the aged hippies who have done their best to destroy the church for the last fifty years.!!


2. Hopefully I’ll live to see the conversion of all Catholic Churches from the “spirit of Vatican II” back to the Extraordinary Form. Right now I have to drive an hour and a half to Mass from Asheville, NC to Greenville, SC on Sunday because the five Churches in metro Asheville are pretty much all “spirit” and “social justice.” It’s worth it though to be in a sanctuary where the Mass is focused on Our Lord and not us or the priest; where the music isn’t distractful, protestant-style and where the people show reverence and socialize OUTSIDE the Church, AFTER Mass.


3. I would like to think the Spirit of VII has died, but I think new life has been breathed into it.


4. The Death of the “Spirit of Vatican II” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Catholics that fall into this category are not those who sustain the church. They are often well-meaning. They are often friendly. They are often nice and pleasant, but they have no moral foundation. When I “woke up” from the Spirit of Vatican II delusion and left the Matrix, I lost many friends who could not understand why I would want to “go back to the old ways”. Well, the answer is obvious from the outside. How well has the Spirit of Vatican II worked out? How many souls have been lost to Cafeteria Catholicism?


5. I pray that this Requiem mass is, at some point in my life time, offered up in every Catholic Church on the planet. St. Patrick’s in NYC is in great need of this Requiem mass for the “Spirit of Vatican II”, the false spirit is alive and well there.


6. Our parish is trying to survive a pastor who does most if not all of the items in Father Joseph’s post above. He is also a HUGE follower of Karl Rahner, someone I had never heard of before the pastor’s arrival two years ago. Almost every sermon includes some reference to the “spirit of Vatican II.” All catechized parishioners have left. It is so sad! Pray for our priests!


7. Perhaps an Exorcism (that is the proper rite from the Rituale) of the Smoke of Satan before the Requiem Mass, just to be safe, dear reverend Father?


*Eye of the Tiber

Selected readers’ comments

1. It’s not the men who dropped out of seminary in the 70s we should worry about- but rather those who graduated!


2. Funny, but here’s the rub. The reality is that all the crazy things that happened in the 1970s became institutionalized by the 1980s. They introduced more innovations in the 80s that became the norm by the 90s. The Spirit of Vatican II is not dead. It has successfully disguised itself as conservatism by people with short memories.


3. It’s a shame there are no comments decrying this post as too close to home to be funny.


4. Actually, the author is careful to say “The Spirit of Vatican II” which Pope Benedict called a “virtual council.” It’s a faulty set of interpretations of the council. Hence, the criticism is not of Vatican II the texts (which are inspired) but of the false interpretations of Vatican II made by ideologues in the clergy in the mid-70s & 80s. The Church is infallible, but the clergy are all kinds of fallible. –Fr. Ryan



5. Many innovations and changes that have occurred cannot actually be found in the Documents of Vatican II. Some changes actually go against what is said in the documents. Most people, including many clergy, did not read the documents for themselves. We just trusted those who were supposed to know. Many errors were passed on this way and have grown way beyond their beginnings. For example, did you know that Latin was never supposed to be taken completely out of the Mass?!? 99% of Catholics do NOT know this about the Mass. When I actually read the documents for myself. I was rather shocked. When it is pointed out that these changes are not in the documents, the response was/is often along the lines that it is in keeping with the “Spirit of Vatican II”. This is what is meant by the phrase, the “Spirit of Vatican II”. For those who interpret the documents in a hermeneutic of continuity, the phrase is a bit sarcastic. For those who interpret the documents in a hermeneutic of rupture (from what has gone before in Church Teaching), it is their favorite phrase in all the world and they fully believe in it and fully believe they have got it right. St John Paul II and Benedict (and John XXIII’s opening speech for the Council) says the documents are to be seen in a hermeneutic of continuity (whether this phrase is used or not.) In other words, we are not changing the message that has gone before. We are changing how the message is presented to the world….


36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.


6. Fr. Ryan, you seem to claim that texts from Church Councils are inspired. Is that so? More inspired than scriptural texts? Less? The same?

I’m not crazy about the possible answers to any of those questions, so I don’t like posing them in any manner except rhetorically. That may sound silly, but I want you to realize I’m not being a smart-ass.

A handful of councils have been overturned by later councils. Therefore, if there can be repudiation there must be apparent room for correction, as well. I certainly hope so. There is need for both in the Vatican II documents.

Still, I bow to your expertise as a priest but then must ask you for a reference or citation which not only supports but provides greater clarity and depth to your claim.


7. I’ve honestly never been asked to defend this point. CCC 891 says “The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,” and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.” Two of the quotations are from Vatican II itself, the other is from Denziger-Schoenmetzer 3074. While I don’t have any of the references from Trent on hand, the teaching was expressed there as well.

As for “overturning” teachings, we have to be careful of homogenizing councils. A lot of people do this and my previous comments lack the nuance that’s apropos for a real theological discussion. Within conciliar texts, you have “Canons”, “Constitutions”, “Decrees” and various names for “commentaries.” Each of those categories of teaching can address either matters “de fide” or matters of practice. When a Canon or Constitution addresses a matter “de fide” – that is of Faith or Morals – it is infallible. Decrees and commentaries are basically always matters of practice. It is true that matters of practice may be changed or even “overturned” through the course of history (c.f. property ownership by the clergy or the holding of political office), matters de fide are not and have not been…

Vatican II is its own can of worms in that it never issued any Canons and that the four Constitutions, Dei Verbum excepted, are more about practice than matters de fide. So it can be argued that while the texts are “inspired” they are not necessarily infallible because the Church only ever speaks infallibly on matters of faith and morals… But that’s a rather heady discussion and one that is likely to raise hackles. –Fr. Ryan


8. If the work of the Holy Spirit at Vatican 2 bothers you, just remember that the Holy Spirit can work negatively as well as positively, in others words at Vatican 2 the Holy Spirit prevented the modernists from spewing outright heresy, and instead merely confounded their words into the ambiguous, amorphous mess that we were left with.


9. To say that a Council has prudential errors is not to question the Holy Spirit–who does not overcome free will to stop prudential errors from happening in council or out–but to question the humility of many of those who attended. We did NOT see a council of deep prayer, in which every word was prayed over…but rather a rush and a gushing of words. Prudential errors at Councils have been quite common in history.


10. Some of the survivors currently run the Vatican.




XIII. Michael Voris was right!

By Steve Skojec, August 25, 2015

In 2010, Michael Voris gave a presentation to a live audience on the Church Militant program, Catholic Investigative Agency. It was about the inception of the Novus Ordo Missae, the characters behind its creation, the ideological underpinnings of the new liturgy, and the potentially damaging effects it might have on the Catholic Faith of those who attend it.

It was excellent work. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best analyses I’ve seen on the topic. Voris ties together many of the disparate threads that paint a larger picture of liturgical revolt, from the masonic accusations against the architect of the new Mass, Annibale Bugnini, to the observations of contemporaries, theologians, and insiders about the intentional protestantization of the new liturgy, to the incisive theological analysis and objections on the new liturgy offered by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani.

It is calm, measured, and filled with historical facts, quotes, and references. Chris Jackson at The Remnant provides an edited/condensed version of the episode. I encourage you to watch it:

YouTube video 14:46

There’s just one problem. Voris, in citing the theological deformations of the Novus Ordo and the quite possibly faith-damaging effects it has on those who frequent it, makes essentially the same argument he recently condemned from the SSPX. While Voris doesn’t come right out and say that Catholics should avoid the Novus Ordo (or not go to Mass if they have no choice but to attend it), the only logical conclusion one could reach if they believe it is actually damaging to the Catholic Faith is to avoid it whenever possible. […]

And while there are certainly questions there worth asking, I’d like to focus on the more positive point:

Michael Voris was right.

The analysis he provided in that episode was exactly the sort of thing we need more of. It was balanced, well-researched, and persuasive. It’s a reminder that Voris is more than just a bad bishop (or SSPX) bashing demagogue, which is the image that, for better or worse, he has fostered. Frankly, there’s a place for that kind of thing in an ecclesial climate like ours.

But this video represents something better than the torrent of episcopal outrage porn that’s so easy to fall into.

All of us who have been forced to live in these confusing times, in the post-conciliar crisis, under the specter of a liturgy that has coincided with (and quite likely caused) a decimation of our faith, are trying, if we love God and His Church, to find our way back to the eternal Catholic truths that lie buried beneath the rubble of the ecclesiastical revolution. We are like archeologists and anthropologists, trying to piece together a puzzle about the life of a great civilization before some cataclysmic event brought it abruptly to an end. The clues lie scattered throughout history, obscured from sight but not lost. Bit by bit, we’re uncovering orthodoxy, re-discovering the traditions and beliefs that made Catholicism the driving force of Western Civilization for so many centuries. […]

I have been a devotee of the TLM for the past 11 years, and I take my family every Sunday. It is a central consideration of every move we’ve made to a new home or area. That said, if we are unable to attend, we always go to a Novus Ordo or a Byzantine liturgy.

What is being lost in this discussion is the larger point: the analysis provided by Voris in his video about the Novus Ordo is rooted in the same logic as that of the SSPX: if the normative liturgy of the Church is damaging to the faith, that means we must determine how to act accordingly.

If a Mass is somehow damaging, should we go? Shouldn’t we avoid it whenever possible? Shouldn’t we take our family to a TLM, an Eastern rite liturgy, an Anglican Use parish, etc.?

One needn’t reach the same conclusion as the SSPX: that we should *never* go to a Novus Ordo. But if the assertions made by Voris are true, and the theology of worship has been so distorted as to diminish significantly the Catholic ethos of the new liturgy, it does mean we should limit our exposure to it. It does mean, in fact, that it is most likely “an offense against God”.

How can a liturgy that is bad for the faithful be pleasing to God? There is a difference between the Sacrifice of the Cross, made present on the altar at any valid Mass, which is always pleasing to God, and the liturgy which surrounds it, which can either affirm or deny that sacrifice in its gestures, rituals, prayers, and semiotics. If the consecration is valid in both forms, then it is the common thread; we must then separate the consecration and the structure of the Mass in any such evaluation.

One may certainly, therefore, find a liturgy deficient and yes, even offensive in the sight of Heaven without ever denying its validity.

Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. Steve has been writing on Catholic topics for over a decade. His work has appeared in Crisis Magazine, Catholic Vote, Catholicity, Catholic Exchange, and The Washington Times. Steve lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jamie and their six children.

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I’m listening to the innovators who want to dismantle the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her finery, make Her remorseful for Her historical past! Well, my dear friend, I am convinced that the Church of Peter must take ownership of Her past, or else She will dig Her own tomb (…) A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. Will be tempted to believe that man has become God, that His Son is merely a symbol, a philosophy like many others, and in churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them, as the sinner who cried in front of the empty tomb: where hast thou put Him?.

Source: Pius XII Before History,

Categories: Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, Liturgical Abuses, new age

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