26 May 2012


I. P is for Polyester and, gosh darn it, it's a fascinating substance when chemically considered. It has many forms, natural and synthetic, though the most commonly known - as in fabric for clothing - is polyethylene terephthalate, having the molecular formula C10 H8 O4, with "PET" as the slick sounding acronym. As a material, PET is durable, stiff, effectively water insoluble and, if you've had the pleasure to observe the phenomenon, highly reflective in the visible band of the electromagnetic spectrum, whether that light emanates naturally from the sun or artificially from, say, spotlights - and let me tell you, the reflectivity effect is spectacular under an Argon laser. I've got the pictures to prove it. Polyester shines, it shimmers, it even glows on rare occasions, yielding a cornucopia of colourations. But even more fascinating than the photometrics of polyester was its meteoric rise in popularity after 1965, in the semblance of fashion statements showcased by Catholic women religious. This is a worrying situation. The combination of polyester apparel, a highly flammable material, with bouffants drenched in similarly flammable hairspray, is a five-alarm fire hazard just waiting to happen... okay okay, I'll stop. Sorry, ladies, couldn't resist.

II. Yes, ever since this blog got going in early 2009 there's been fair amount of lambasting of the Polyester Menace. Let's not forget that Mr. Scampers has levelled some broadsides, too. Your host has received criticism over it, perhaps deservingly sometimes. Though I've been vindicated in a way because in the three or so years that have past, after innumerable exposés and reports in the Catholic blogosphere, the damage effectuated by the Habitless Hordes is now demonstrated to be an indisputable fact. Endorsement of Barry and his health care dictatorship, priestesses, Gaia and goddesses worship, "reproductive health" and so forth. Sure, you have the likes of Fr. James Martin at America magazine defending the LCWR nuns with his Twitter hashtag campaign. Yet methinks most Catholics on the internet - orthodox inclined, already know Martin manoeuvres like a snake in the grass. So no worries there, ephemeral and insignificant influence, excepting with the useful idiots at the Vox Nova blog. Anyhow, Rome has delivered its verdict and the gals have been found wanting.

III. The decline in the number of women religious in the West has been thoroughly documented over the last decade or so.[1] The average age of a nun these days is about 70 years and, save traditional orders with younger postulants (which are growing, thankfully), those orders advocating social/ecological justice, feminism and New Age esoterica are gaining few entrants, if any. The biological solution is doing its cold, indifferent work and even prominent polyester pantsuit nuns are acknowledging immanent extinction. It's not all bad news, however. There is no "vocation crisis" with regard to nuns if, as a prime example, we look to countries in Africa and South Asia.[2] These ladies, too, are habit-wearing orthodoxians and care not an iota about health care conferences or the welfare of polar bears wandering precariously atop a supposedly shrinking cryosphere.

IV. Given these trends, it was astonishing (well, not really) to read the following in a recent editorial at the Prairie Messenger:

Most religious communities in the west have been undergoing a drastic change. Their membership is aging and decreasing; they are not attracting young members as they once did; they are giving up ownership of institutions such as schools and hospitals; and they are shifting into more pastoral types of work. In much of this, they reflect what is happening in other groups in our church and society today. Historians of religious life point out that religious congregations go through cycles; many don’t last more than 200 years, so the decline experienced today is normal. Many of today's congregations were founded to do social work. In a historical context, this was an innovation.[3]

Three counterpoints to be made here. Firstly, in the case of women religious, decreasing membership is not so much a reflection of "our church and society" as a nearly absolute succumbing to the spirit of the world, the secular one. A qualifier should also have been made. Only membership in orders run by pantsuit fashionistas are on the decline. Traditional orders, albeit now small in comparison, are on the rise. Social stats attest. Secondly, a summoning of the cyclical fallacy. An author of a book examining the rise and fall of religious orders states: "Cyclic theorists tend to oversimplify history and to postulate the existence of regular cycles or of a mechanical relationship between movements of religious fervor and large-scale environmental forces - neither of which is empirically justified".[4] Note particularly the phrases "regular cycles... mechanical relationship" or, in Pete's case, "natural", as if inevitable, regardless of human choices involved. Decline in religious orders is "natural", like the axial precession of the equinoxes, and there's nothing human freewill can do to change the condition. Yes, the birth rate decline and cultural factors are at play. Still, this view effectively makes adherence to doctrine, to magisterial teachings, a non sequitur. Of course, this is part of the ruse - no distinction made between habit-wearing and habitless nuns. The former strive to obedience, they're growing in number, whereas as the latter are largely defiant of Church authority and oblivion now appears on their horizon. Thirdly, "social work" as an "innovation" in the Church. In the past this meant feeding the hungry, helping the poor, comforting the widows, etc. which - I'm quite sure - Christ preached 2000+ years ago. It also meant copious prayer and devotion to the holy. Call it an "innovation" if you like, though what I don't find particularly innovative is a social worker nun lounging around in her privately-own condominium suite, cracking open a few cold ones after a hard day of protesting and committee meetings. Seems not apropos.

V. It's difficult to understand why there's been such an uproar over the Visitation, as if the LCWR have been unjustly affronted. In actuality, the Church has been effectuating such investigations for centuries, overseen by Rome itself and/or bishops:

A primary purpose of... episcopal jurisdiction was to prevent the nuns and monks from falling into error and heresy. Several authors have remarked that women, especially, were attracted to various heretical movements such as the Gnostics, the Cathars, the Waldensians, and the Protestant reformers - perhaps because these groups promised, initially at least, to give their female adherents higher status and more power... the bishops were responsible for assuring the doctrinal orthodoxy of the religious communities within their jurisdiction. It was also feared that, if left unsupervised, both women and men in religious communities would degenerate into loose living.[5]

Like the Protestant and Gnostic heresies, Modernism and Feminism promises women religious "higher status and more power", a euphemism for doctrinal/magisterial rejection. And the LCWR has more or less been left "unsupervised" for five decades. From what I've read and learned from private conversations with women and men religious, the "loose living" descriptor is an understatement when it comes to liberal religious orders. But, you see, the wholesale dismissal of the pre-conciliar church by Modernist luminaries, let alone the historical revisionism, has facilitated an ignorance of two millennia past, making 1965 AD into 33 AD. This is why, for example, we already have a group of uninformed people protesting Rome's final decision on the LCWR. The news report says "nearly two dozen Catholics, and even people of other faiths, gathered here outside of St. Mary's Church in a strong showing of support" (H/T Tancred at The Eponymous Flower). Judging by screenshots from the newsreel, not sure if "strong support" is an apt phrase to characterize this...
...or this...
...oh my, it is true: old is gold.

VI. The previous post addressed some reactions to the Apostolic Visitation of the LCWR - American nuns, that is. What about Canada? Currently, there are approximately 50 orders/institutes of women religious in Canada. As this blogger lamented in a post last year, it wouldn't have been that much of a hassle for Rome to check up on things north of the 49th Parallel. Alas, not much done and it's not as if the Canadian bishops are performing corrective measures. So, as a public service to any respectable Catholic ladies considering the religious life, TH2 conducted his own Virtual Visitation - assessing, screening, scrutinizing orders/institutes across Canada. For traditional orders, the following would be worthy of consideration: Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate (Cambridge, ON), Sisters of the Sacred Heart (Welland, ON), Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (Toronto, ON), Carmel of St. Joseph (St. Agatha, ON), Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus (Toronto, Mississauga, St. Catharines, ON; Medicine Hat, AB). Not many, mainly in Ontario, although I'm sure there are a few more.

VII. Sure, do you own investigations, though it is highly advisable you stay away from the following places: Ursulines of Jesus (Prince George, BC; Edmonton, AB), Ursulines of the Chatham Union (Chatham, ON), School Sisters of Notre Dame (Waterdown, ON), Sisters of Sion (Toronto, ON), Sisters of St. Martha (Antigonish, NS), Sisters of Charity (Halifax, NS), Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul (Kingston, ON), Sisters of Mercy (St. John's, NL), Our Lady's Missionaries (Toronto, ON), Les Filles de la Sagesse (Ottawa, ON), Congrégation de Notre-Dame (Montreal, QC), Benedictine Sisters at the House of Bread Monastery (Nanaimo, BC), Benedictine Sisters at St. Benedict's Monastery (Winnipeg, MB), Sisters of Social Service (Toronto/Hamilton, ON; Regina, SK), Adrian Dominican Sisters (based out of Adrian, MI), Sisters of St. Joseph (at various Ontario locations: London, Hamilton, Toronto, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie), and the notorious Loretto Sisters, Canadian Province of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM).

The aforelisted are dead end LCWR analogues. Diminution and disappearance loom. Accordingly, we conclude by saying...


1. Cf. P. Wittberg, The Rise and Fall of Catholic Religious Orders, A Social Movement Perspective (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994), pp. 1-3.

2. A good summary of the present situation can be found at J. Ziegler, "Nuns Worldwide", Catholic World Report, May 12, 2011.

3. P. Novecosky, "Vocation Sunday", Prairie Messenger, April 18, 2012.

4. Wittberg, op. cit., p. 6.

5. Ibid., pp. 79-80.


13 May 2012


I. One of the most enjoyable facets of Benedict XVI's pontificate - for me, at least - has been to watch the reactions of Nu-Church hipsters to events signalling an evident return back to traditional Catholicism. Whenever the blog of the Vatican Information Service (which I diligently monitor) posts on such events, it has been a kind of tradition of mine to immediately rush to my fridge and grab an ice cold Corona, then fire up some popcorn in the microwave. The anticipation, the excitement! No, not with the VIS blog as such. In actuality, the posts over there are unspectacular, matter-of-fact, humdrum reading - and that's the way it should be. Say what you will about Fr. Lombardi, Director at the Press Office of the Holy See - regardless of the antiquated telecommunication technologies currently utilized in the Vatican bureaucracy, he should be praised because whomever he's delegated to write/compile those VIS blog posts is doing a smashing job. Who cares if they're typed on a Commodore 64? You have to read these posts closely, be attentive to what is communicated between the lines, because there's a lot of crucial stuff brewing down there in the subsurface not discernible with a quick first glance. Anyway, my anticipation and excitement relate, rather, to inevitable rejoinders coming soonafter from heretical Catholic press agencies and their allies, not just on the Left, but also from the Neocons. True, there are occasions when your blood boils upon reading these screeds, especially if a neophyte or if you're not exactly in the best of moods. Although after a while, once you start to understand patterns and the players involved, it becomes quite entertaining, indeed exhilarating.

II. Let's review some classic reactions: When Anglicanorum coetibus was announced in late 2009, so thrilled was I that a "hurrah!" bellowed forth and, instead of popcorn to celebrate, I had a cucumber sandwich. Culinary reunification, too, you know. However, the response to the Anglican Ordinariate at The Tablet was, shall we say, somewhat downcast: it will introduce "confusion among Catholics who have long been committed to the work of ecumenism".[1] Translation: decades of "dialogue" with tea and crumpets in luxuriant boardrooms at chic hotels has been exposed for what it is: inutile, non-committal, lovey dovey backslapping. Party's over, fellas. Everyone knows you never had the real intention of netting the Anglicans and tossing them over the Tiber. This is why the HF performed a by-pass manoeuvre. Tallyho, as the Brits say.

III. Another, very recent, reaction came after the CICLSAL's findings from the Apostolic Visitation of the LCWR in the good ole US of A. When the investigation first commenced (in 2009) Heresiarchess of the Habitless Hussies, namely Sr. Sandra M. Schneiders, gave out a rebel yell. Her defiance was palpable:

...uninvited guests who should be received in the parlor, not given the run of the house... hostile move... disturbed by the Apostolic Visitation... It is the ecclesiastical analogue of a grand jury indictment... A number of features... are problematic or repugnant to intelligent, educated, adult women in western society... an unwarranted surprise attack... not only does the fact of the investigation feel threatening if not sinister but its mode is upsetting to adult professional women religious... a return to pre-conciliar lifestyles akin to those in his [Cardinal Franc Rodé's] eastern European homeland under Communism.[2]

Don't ya just love it? How can you not? Still, pray for this poor creature as her time is running out. And only a couple of weeks ago the CDF delivered the final assessment: "scant regard for the role of the Magisterium... a rejection of faith... serious source of scandal... certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith... serious doctrinal problems".[3] Robert McClory at the National Catholic Reporter showed us his feminine side by siding with the sistas, dubbing the assessment as a "stubborn persistence of the old misogyny and sexism".[4] That's so sweet. Perhaps Robbie might consider purchasing a soothing pair of mantyhose to alleviate his feminist frustration.

IV. But McClory's reaction to the Apostolic Inquisition (TH2 exposes clenched teeth while rubbing hands together, much better than "Visitation") was butch in comparison to what was editorialized out west in Edmonton at the Western Catholic Reporter. Maybe as my fellow Canucks know, WCR's editor has got the hots for heretical babes. When last year vampire authoress Ann Rice publicly announced she was leaving the Catholic Church (after a brief stay-over, until reality kicked in), editor Glen Argan did a Perry Mason. Apparently, the Church's teaching on homosexuality is unacceptable to Ms. Rice (reportedly, her son is a sodomite) and, any Catholics who straightforwardly affirmed the Church's position on this issue in the public square were uncompassionate Neanderthals. Here's the hissy fit with a dab of condescension: "for some who have a genuine allegiance to the Christian faith [that would be Glen] this public image of intolerance and ignorance has become increasingly hard to bear".[5] Did somebody say "mantyhose"? Then there is his endorsement of Sr. Elizabeth Johnson. In an article entitled "A feminist perception of the Spirit", you can almost hear Glen giggling with glee as he effervescently writes about Johnson's "1992 feminist treatise on the nature of God, She Who Is... The Protestant tradition has tended to privatize the Holy Spirit, the Catholic tradition to institutionalize her". [6] Hee hee hee. What he doesn't say is that Lizzie has a pro-woman ordination stance, let alone all her goddess worship goofiness. Another "treatise" (sounds important) by Johnson, Quest for the Living God, was censured last year by the USCCB, of all places. So given Glen's always-superabundant-benefit-out-the-doubt-disregard-the-facts defences of the heretical cupcakes, it was no surprise that he came to LCWR's defence. As per usual, his tactic is divert attention away from the party under scrutiny and redirect it to an underlying, hidden grievance against the Church. He sets the stage with an old Nu-Church stand-by, "the ossified Catholicism of the pre-conciliar Church had been rejected", and then the pillow fight begins:

One may well ask why the CDF decided to investigate the LCWR at all. Was it a case of frightened men determined to oppress Spirit-inspired women who prophetically challenge male power? If that is the case, the Catholic Church is in dire trouble and those who want to follow Jesus might well consider going elsewhere.[7]

Have to confess, after first reading that, the following image immediately popped up in my head...

...and then I wondered if Glen was gonna make it after all. To be fair, he did counterpoint that howler by stating "available evidence points clearly" to "an organization that was going astray". Nonetheless, that "frightened men" was even mentioned (a case of self-projection?), unnecessarily, as if warranted, as if it's a viable matter to be given serious consideration, disqualifies the editorial as a reasoned opinion rooted in traditional Catholicism... sorry, "ossified Catholicism". Remember: the Catholic Church started during the period circa 1962 to 1965. Then Argan starts talking about "the post-Vatican II renewal", it "will likely take at least 100 years", "a difficult process". What he fails to understand, or admit, is that the LCWR went coo coo for Cocoa Puffs after V2, using the council as a justification for rebellion, not (ahem) "renewal". Finally, the editorial sundae is topped off with a Maraschino cherry: "The CDF does not provide much of the evidence that led it to blow its trumpet of alarm in regards to the LCWR". Well, raw data garnered from Visitations are not placed into the public domain (it's called discretion, Glen). Regardless, all one has to do is to visit websites of LCWR orders or surf the Catholic blogosphere. It's all there to see in technicolor: feminism, pantheism, nature worship disguised as "ecological justice", Liberation Theology disguised as "social justice", labyrinths and other New Age hocus pocus, women priests, pro-contraception, pro-homosexuality, support for Obummer's Health Care bill, "clinic escorts" at abortion mills, and so on. If the aforementioned don't meet some evidential criterion to warrant an investigation, what does? What would be Modernist Glen's likely response to this question? - "Oh, Mr. Graaaannnt..."

V. McClory, Argan and their girly ilk make it as if the LCWR suffered a broadside from the CDF, though that was hardly the case. An en masse excommunication decree would have been a great joy, but I'm a dreamer. Rome's treatment of the LCWR hasn't been harsh enough in my opinion, sort of... I've been mulling over this matter for months and suspect that there may be something else operating behind the scenes. It could be that, when the Visitation was decreed in 2009, Cardinal Franc Rodé, then Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, had a card up his sleeve (incidentally, +Rodé has experience in negotiations with Marxists, so he knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em). Regarding this apparent leniency, including the recent appointment of an Archbishop Delegate to oversee the LCWR, what I speculate is happening here is that, after slashing off the heads of the hydra, the boys are trying to figure out if they can salvage any remaining life from its now flailing body. Recall: the L in LCWR stands for "Leadership", meaning the leading rebels, those "few" manipulators, comparatively speaking. Note that LCWR congregations represent 57,000 nuns, mostly elderly, most of them off the rails. That's a huge number. An ample proportion of that 57,000 were consecrated prior to Vatican II, wore habits, wholly devoted to Our Lord at the time, had the vocational intention of being obedient to the Church, with no desire or expectation of jumping onto the feminist bandwagon with Gloria and Barbarella...

It would not be unreasonable to posit that some nuns - absent from the limelight, uninvolved and uninterested in protest marches, pamphleteering, transcendental meditation, big time lesbian action, etc. - were overwhelmed by the post-V2 blitzkrieg, distraught and disheartened at the heresy adopted by their orders. They suffered silently for decades, not speaking out to their superiors, perhaps because of the obedience vow, or personality and psychological factors were involved. Today, the V2-Revolution is just a meaningless, fading memory for a vestige of these nuns. If you check the photo galleries at websites of heretical orders you will occasionally see a nun, off to the side, wearing some remnant of a habit, sometimes with a slightly vacant look in her eyes - and that makes me wonder. So there's got to be a small, but sizeable number of nuns under the LCWR umbrella who feel lost, helpless. And I'll even bet my bippy that, for one or maybe two who willingly succumbed, a quiet one-on-one conversation, a little nudging of the conscious, a smile, a picture of the Blessed Mother, would turn them into Prodigal Daughters in a flash. But you would need a special person to oversee such an undertaking. Enter Mother Mary Clare Millea. Recall again: Rome dispatched her to lead the Visitation. She is the American superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Mother is a double-degreed Psychologist with heaps of experience (very important), has a Doctorate in Canon Law, and she's a polyglot. That's one heavy hitter. About a year ago there was a video at the AV site with Mother discussing the Visitation's progress, but it has since disappeared. If watched, you would have discerned a calm, inward knowingness about her, even a twinkle in her eye... Basically, what I am suggesting is that, even if numbers are marginal, the Vatican wants to haul any survivors back onto the boat before the severed, still gasping hydra heads latch onto and drag them into the abyss. That would be a good thing. But, again, speculation on my part.

VI. What isn't speculation has been the (expected) dismissive, periodically belligerent reaction to the Catholic blogosphere by the hippie establishment. That's because it is assiduously monitored by bloggers and often has been caught with its proverbial hand in the Arian cookie jar. Neocat profe$$ionals, salesmen apologists, institutionalists, celeb converts, a male diva and "nice" bloggers predominate - the club, you know. Though the Trads (thankfully, at last) have been pushing forward in the last few years, they're making a move, and this is evidential of a trending back to traditional Catholicism (albeit at a localized, smaller-scale) that commenced when B16 took the helm.[8] There are also a select number of nasty, deplorable Catholic blogs out there too (TH2 stares at shoes). Anyway, the Catholic blogosphere is rambunctious by its very nature and appropriately ferocious when necessitated so as to keep checks and balances on apostatic bishops, chancery office quacks, episcopal conference shenanigans, CNS disinformation and so forth. It was only last month, April 2012, when the USCCB said bloggers play a "critical role" in the "defense of our first freedom".[9] Highly doubtful that most American bishops concur with that, but it's a start. Excepting the Vatican blognic last year, the same sign of an apparent openness, unfortunately, has yet to occur anywhere else, including Canada. There is a certain CEO of a Toronto-based Catholic multimedia outlet whose reaction to the blogosphere has been rather (cough) undiplomatic.[10] And, of course, there was that classic reaction by Winnipeg's Abp. James Weisgerber when CCCB president: "These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone... they're not part of the church".[11] That Sparkles, what a guy.

VII. The principal fear Modernists have with, say, the incoming orthodox-imbued Anglicans, is the reverent liturgy to which they will suffuse into an atmosphere already overlorded by the ever-malleable, self-revolving, Protestantized liturgy of the Novus Ordo and its irreverent "spirit of" V2-attendants: blurring of the priest/layman distinction, priest as entertainer, parishioner expectation to be entertained, incessant chatter, clapping, high-five extravaganzas during the "sign of peace", super-high heeled chick parishioners in mini-skirts and tube tops, "lay ministers", "greeters" and other forms of "hospitality" awkwardness, Communion in the hand, altar girls, felt banners, busybody laity having the run of the parish, minimalist/sterile if not altogether vulgar iconography, New Age-Masonic church architecture, Haugen-Hass ditties, acoustic guitars, bongos, liturgical dance, clowns, puppets - all these dollar store novelties are so dear to Nu-Church comptrollers that any skewing of the currently immanentized, horizontalist liturgy to a more transcendent, vertically-inclined plane to is to them a threat to their beloved aggironamento. The GIRM changes last year, minor really, were baby steps in this process toward a more reverent liturgy (the NO must be phased out, but that's another post). One commentator called the new GIRM "one more assault on the council".[12]

VIII. Yet that retort and a few others were mere grumblings compared to the cartwheels performed after another by-passing (Ordinariate-like) move made by His Holiness in 2007. We are speaking, obviously, of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The Tridentine Mass was never abrogated and priests don't need permission from their bishops to celebrate it. SP was a major blow to those who, through whatever machination or politicking, were suppressing the TLM for 40+ years. The Nu-Church hipster reaction to SP can be summarily heard by clicking the blue button at this link. Noteworthy squirmfests came from the Manhattan luvvies at America magazine, with gems like "an obsession with the language of the liturgy", "A step backward?".[13] A laugh-riot, I say. Sounds gleeful, okay. But how can you not at least smile? Though instead of smiling, enemies of the Church are belting out a cacophony of screeches - and they can do so to whatever decibel desired. Doesn't matter. Error has no rights. And golly gee willikers, while we're at it let's put that Oath Against Modernism back online. Think of its economic benefits too - share prices for Depends underwear would skyrocket.

IX. Now let's be clear here: various episcopal conferences and allied parties from within chancery offices to university departments far and wide are doing their darnedest to thwart this ongoing return to what might be called the authentically Catholic. Look, for example, to the Magic Circle in the U.K. and see how some bishops are putting up roadblocks to the incoming Anglicans.[14] The Ordinands have already suffered enough, they've left everything behind, and now they have to deal with secret grudges and petty fiefdoms of a vanishing episcopal breed. Give them a break. Open up your arms and your hearts and say "Welcome home, my long awaited friend". Or just consider the retaliations against Summorum Pontificum in not a few dioceses. Unfortunately, an antagonistic Modernist attitude governs most Catholic institutions throughout the Western world and will be a robust force working to impede the traditionalist restoration. Time - the greatest of heresy hunters - however, will do the winnowing out, the running down, ultimately being victorious. Just wish that time would move faster.

X. Admittedly, the speed of this restoration as prompted by the good guys in Rome is happening too sluggishly for my taste. The 50-year experiment of leniency has demonstrated itself to be a fiasco and the moribund condition of post-conciliar Catholicism is an unassailable fact. Anyone who claims the post-V2 Church to be "vibrant" or that we're still in the process of "renewal" has to stop eating their Lucky Charms for breakfast. I'm more of a bring-the-hammer-down kind of guy, preferring the shock and awe approach. First dazzle and mesmerize, so as to disarm the enemy, then go in with the upper cut to finish the job and say "Sayanora, baby". Unexpected and unpleasant, yet quick and efficient. Diplomacy is an approach to which I'm not predisposed. Direct dialectical engagement, not dialogical pussyfooting. As one of my blogging buds said to me in a heated combox debate: "I don't think we'll be seeing you in First Things magazine any time soon". Indeed, dear lady, you are correct... you arrrrrrrrrreeeee correct :)

XI. Just one more reaction to Summorum Pontificum, from a person we'll momentarily call Mr. X. A society he leads "rejoices to see the Church... regain her liturgical Tradition, and give the possibility of a free access to the treasure of the Traditional Mass for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, to the priests and faithful who had so far been deprived of it". Wait a second - that was an affirming reaction to the SP issuance. Does not compute. Modernists loathe the TLM and Neocats are overly protectionist when it comes to the Novus Ordo. So who, pray tell, is this Mr. X? Well, ladies and gents, those words were written by none other than Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, the SSPX - the acronym that evokes unmitigated contempt in the collective mind of the ruling Nu-Church Commissariat. Publicly issued letters, posts, rumors are currently flooding the Catholic blogosphere, hinting at an imminent settlement between Rome and the SSPX. The wolves are at work too, Modernists and Sedevacantists. Reportedly, Pope Benedict is to decide on the SSPX's response to the "doctrinal preamble" by the end of this month.

XII. Now suppose... just suppose there emerges a "canonical agreement". Imagine the reaction, the clamour. As one commentator correctly remarked, "enemies will make themselves known with unbridled ferocity".[15] No doubt the Modernists will shriek like a bunch of drunken baboons and I'm guessing the Neocat reaction will be guarded, i.e. plenty of tongue biting. Even before B16's expected pronouncement - and the HF really does want a resolution (he's been dealing with this hot potato for over 30 years), we are already getting signals of the maelstrom to manifest should Rome and the SSPX come to a formal accord. That is, desperation in mounting. For one example of this desperation, we return to our pal at the Western Catholic Reporter. Someone on Twitter was kind enough to advise me of Mr. Argan's SSPX editorial published in late March[16]. It is reproduced below in full with my lettered-paragraph identifiers for subsequent analysis:

Lefebvrists remain unbending in rejection of Church teaching

[A] Schism in the Church is a most serious matter. It ruptures the Body of Christ and defies Christ's stated desire that all be one in him.

[B] In its relations with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, the Vatican has bent over backwards to prevent a schism. The Vatican has been willing to do that because it knows how serious a schism is and how difficult it would be to heal a breach.

[C] Nevertheless, it is clear that the society, followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, will never accept many central tenets of the Second Vatican Council... For the Lefebvrists, Vatican II was a rupture with the Church's long tradition. From their perspective, it is the Catholic Church that has broken with apostolic teaching.

[D] Contrary to the Lefebvrists' view, Vatican II did not create a new Church. Catholic teaching on several matters, including liturgy, religious freedom, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and the Church itself, surely did evolve at the council. Moreover, the fulfillment of one of Pope John XXIII's goals for Vatican II - that it present Catholic teaching in ways more suited to modern times - is still not obviously bearing fruit in terms of more people in the Western world being drawn to the Church.

[E] But the Catholic Church has been faithful to the long tradition, creatively faithful. It has overcome the suffocation which held that Catholicism was a static entity, never changing, not only in doctrine, but even in practices.

[F] The sad irony is that those who claim literally to be more Catholic than the pope have failed to be faithful precisely due to their refusal to accept the development of doctrine. Development of doctrine, it must be emphasized, is quite different than refusing to change with the times. The Church's teaching is not determined by accommodation to changing societal trends.

[G] Doctrine, however, does develop as the Church faces new issues. Pope John's insistence, for example, on a pastoral priority for ecumenism and improved relations with Judaism led the council to a deeper examination of the nature of the Church, religious freedom and the nature of salvation.

[H] The religious freedom issue was also pushed forward by the rise of totalitarian communism which granted a limited freedom of worship, but no room for Church institutions or public witness. Sadly, the Lefebvrists, who were strongly anti-communist, opposed the emergence of a doctrine of religious freedom.

[I] Relations with the Lefebvrists now appear to be moving to a culmination. Unless the Lefebvrists backtrack on their rejection of Vatican II, talks with Rome may end and the schism be firmly established. It would be an unfortunate way to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of Vatican II, a council which has contributed much to the quest for Church unity.

That the editorial's banner headline contains the generalized phrase "rejection of Church teaching", instead of a more specific pastoral teachings of Vatican II, shows right away the slant and skullduggery involved.

Para. A: Schism is more than serious, it is catastrophic. The Code of Canon Law gives its definition: "the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (c. 751). Super duper, civilization-altering schisms have eventuated (apparently) in 500-year cycles: Eastern Orthodox Schism of 1054, Protestantism in 1517 prompted by Marty's 95 Theses. TH2 doesn't subscribe to Spengler's cyclical historical determinism, though given that it's 2012, seems were due for another visit from a certain Mr. G. Reaper. If the G-Man is to use his scythe to slice and separate, who most deserves to be chucked off the barque of Peter? You'd have to be a couple of French fries short of a Happy Meal not to realize that the Modernist Left are the principal instigators of confusion, rebellion, division, heresy, openly since 1965, covertly for the 50+ years previous - and that's the point. Aforesaid editor and his type are zooming in solely on the schismatic potential of the traditionalist SSPX (a small society) but are quiet like mice on tranquilizers when it comes to Modernist schismatic potentialities (a pervasive, global phenomenon). No condemnatory words for the "Call to Disobedience" priest group in Austria. No finger wagging at the LCWR. Why not? Just the other day former LCWR prez Sr. Joan Chittister called on the sisters to "disband canonically and regroup as an unofficial interest group".[17] A blatant declaration of schism, however don't think we'll be seeing an WCR editorial on that anytime soon, or ever.

Para. B: This paragraph is misleading. When aforesaid editor writes "Vatican has bent over backwards to prevent a schism" this disregards the latae sententiae excommunication decreed in 1988, which meant the SSPX was already in de facto schism. Canon 1364: "a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication". That is, until 2009 when B16 lifted the excommunications of four bishops ordained by Marcel Lefebvre.[18] Argan is overemphasizing a kind of tension whereby forces of the two parties are moving away from each other. Yet all available information show two parties attempting to move toward one another, therefore meaning lesser strain, so to speak. Just the fact that Pope Benedict lifted the excoms evidences the latter.

Para. C: The key sentence here is: "followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, will never accept many central tenets of the Second Vatican Council". Firstly, SSPX is a society, a "priestly fraternity" officially. The "followers" ascription is derogatory, devaluing them to mindless, cultish automatons, when presently the SSPX just lacks canonical status/regularization. Secondly, it is presumed that every aspect, all "the documents" (as is often said), and all the theological-liturgical-sociological "fruits" of Vatican II are just hunky dory, no problemo. Contrastingly, consider what CDF Consultor Msgr. Nicola Bux recently wrote in an open letter to Bishop Fellay: "It is undeniable that numerous facts of Vatican II and of the period that followed it, related to the human dimension of this event, have represented true calamities and have caused intense pain to many great Churchmen. But God does not allow His Holy Church to reach self-destruction". The reader will further note that V2 superstars rarely highlight the council as pastoral, not dogmatic. Moreover, there are many Catholics without the SSPX, the Trads and the trad-inclined, who reject "many central tenets" of V2, or whatever aforesaid editor means by that unstipulated phrase (and that's the trick, keep it all non-specific and ambiguous).

Paras. D & E: Ah, yes, calling the SSPX "Lefebvrists'" - another cheapening label, the secular media like that term too. We'll let that one go. But what is specifically meant by "Catholic teaching... did evolve at the council"? When aforesaid editor speaks of the "liturgy", is this a reference to commonplace liturgical abuses and irreverence witnessed at OF Masses? When he speaks of "religious freedom", is there an awareness of the confusion caused by Dignitatis humanae, a document with unclear phraseology contradicting Pius IX's 1864 encyclical Quanta cura?[19] When he speaks of "ecumenism, interfaith dialogue", does this mean the religious relativism endorsed by the CCCB's Canadian Centre for Ecumenism? Then he states the council is "still not obviously bearing fruit". But isn't 50 years enough time for fruit to be borne? As previously quoted, "the post-Vatican II renewal... will likely take at least 100 years". Well, 50 years have passed. Logically, shouldn't we be half-way through the "renewal" process? Undoubtedly, something's amiss. Where, then, does blame go? Modernist Glen knows: "we must overcome the suffocation which held that Catholicism was a static entity, never changing, not only in doctrine, but even in practices". Of course, those villainous orthodox Catholics are preventing the Church from being "creatively faithful". Fabulous and fabulist.

Paras. F & G: These two paragraphs deal with doctrinal development. Now according to aforesaid editor it is a "sad irony" that people "more Catholic than the pope" (how quaint) refuse to "accept" doctrinal development. A distinction is then made between doctrinal development as such and "accommodation to changing societal trends". Doctrine develops "as the Church faces new issues". Thusly, the question arises as to whether certain Vatican II developments are "genuine" or "corruptions". Accordingly, let's make reference to the authority that is Bl. John Henry Newman and his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Newman enumerated seven factors aiding in the differentiation of true developments from corruptions: (1) Preservation of its Type, (2) Continuity of its Principles, (3) Power of Assimilation, (4) Logical Sequence, (5) Anticipation of its Future, (6) Conservative Action upon its Past, (7) Chronic Vigor. Have all these prerequisites been satisfied? Or does the SSPX have a valid concern? Has the "original" Novus Ordo as it was celebrated, say, in the early 1970s, been preserved in the virtual circuses we observe today at St. Happy Clappy Parish? Why is there today so much talk about the "Hermeneutic of Continuity" and a need to abolish the "Hermeneutic of Rupture"? Have decades of ecumenical shindigs assimilated non-Catholics into the Church or have ecumaniacs been sucked into that swirling, non-judgemental, multi-denominational whirlpool of relativist-universalist syncretism? Ripping out communion rails, then decentralization of the tabernacle, then Communion in the hand, then an army of "eucharistic ministers" lining up to the sanitary gel dispenser, thereafter distributing the Body of Christ like party crackers - is this a logical sequence? Is the colossal decline in Sunday Mass attendance over the last 50 years an anticipation of the future? Has the subterfuging, conniving, attempted abrogation of the Latin Mass by liberal bishops been an indication of a conservative action upon the Church's past? Of "chronic vigor", Newman wrote: "the course of heresies is always short... the abounding of iniquity is the token of the end approaching; the faithful in consequence cry out, How long? as if delay opposed reason as well as patience".[20] Anyone read the Catholic blogosphere lately? What we see in Paras. F and G is another attempt by liberals to hijack Newman's "liberalism" and claim his Essay for themselves.

Para. H: Why is aforesaid editor frowning upon a priestly fraternity that is "strongly anti-communist"? As if an atheistic-materialist-totalitarian ideology responsible for the murder of countless millions isn't justification enough, or at least a valid counterargument warranting consideration. I have always found it interesting that persons who downplay the consummate evil of Communism invariably promulgate this from the safety and comfort of free societies in the West (not so much free at present, but that, too, is another post), far away from whatever Communist country. Such armchair ruminators never have spoken privately with a person who escaped from whatever Communist country, never attended a lecture where an escapee recounts his horrendous experiences. Let alone the fact that these armchair ruminators never have visited or lived in, say, Romania under Ceausescu. Instead, they guzzle down gallons of Kool-Aid, seemingly mesmerized by counterfeit benevolence like this...

...without realizing the ridiculousness involved. But, then, in response, the whole notion of religious freedom as interpreted at Vatican II is introduced into the argument, along with the Ostpolitik of ++Casaroli and company. Depending on who you read, Agostino the legendary Vatican diplomat was either a hero or a rogue. Ostpolitik was a policy wielded by the Vatican/Cardinal Casaroli in the 1960s and 1970s in an endeavour to ensure some level of betterment for Catholics living in Eastern Communist bloc countries. Dialogue and the "human face" of Communism supposedly supplanted the modes of denunciation and resistance of the past. Modernists went gaga for Ostpolitik, not only because of their love affair with sub-Marxist variants (e.g. liberation theology), not only because of Dignitatis humanae. They also saw it as an improvement in Vatican diplomacy with anti-Christian political regimes, superior than, for example, the so-called "silence" and inaction of Pope Pius XII in his dealing with the Nazis, another contrived postwar anti-Catholic myth that refuses to die. As it turned out, Casaroli's posthumously published memoirs showed a man who castigated Communism as an "abominatio desolationis",[21] surely evoking consternation in the Modernists, like aforesaid editor who "sadly" looks down upon the SSPX for its "strongly anti-communist" stance. It also turned out that Ostpolitik failed in Russia, harkening back to what Our Lady forewarned at Fatima in 1917: "Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church".[22] Marxist-Communist expansion in Asia, throughout Africa and Europe, across the Atlantic to Cuba and Central/South America, to inside the North American academe, via the combinatorial assistance of Antonio Gramsci's method of quiet interpenetration, Saul Alinsky and theories of cultural subversion formulated by the Frankfurt School.

Para. I: Desperatio in Occidentum.

XIII. The above critique was not a call for anyone to join the SSPX, neither was it an exercise in setting up a strawman. Its purpose was to expose the lies regularly thrown at the SSPX, and that grievances the society has with the post-conciliar era are justified. A decision on the SSPX is anticipated to come by the end of this month of May. If a formal agreement comes, it still could be that an obstinate faction will hit the road, inevitably leading to the City of Sedevacantism - and good riddance to them. If things don't work out, so be it... the Gates of Hell and all that cosmos shattering stuff the Lord of History decreed to St. Peter at Pan's Sanctuary in Caesarea Philippi. It is well to remember that May is the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Exterminatrix of Heresy. So I'm optimistic and praying for the good news of a SSPX homecoming. Yes, Exterminatrix - specifically referring to heretics already existent within because, indeed, an injection of a healthy dose of SSPX into the system, along with Summorum Pontificum and Anglicanorum coetibus, will help to exterminate the Modernist virus, albeit slowly, very slowly, as in decades, but surely nonetheless.

XIV. Forget that demographic "Future Church" crap disseminated by the weaseling John Allen, Jr., a shuffler par excellence. It's an Arian wasteland out there, Catholic peoples, and persecution is coming. Like the notorious heresy of old, Modernism will persist for some decades until, at last, the Lord of History wills its termination. In future years the Church will become smaller, but still with staying power. As B16 famously remarked: "normally it is the creative minorities that determine the future, and in this sense the Catholic Church must understand itself as a creative minority".[23]. So the current trend of a reclamation of authentic Catholicism is not a manifestation of the schismatic potential of orthodox groups. Rather, it signals a fading away of Modernism and a repair to the damage it has wrought. The aging neo-Modernists are well cognizant of the circumstance, hence the desperation. They secretly want the SSPX negotiations to tank, they want Anglicanorum coetibus to fail, they will fight, unto the death, to emplace structures within Catholic institutions that work to impede the spread of the Latin Mass. Why? Because the trend back to tradition places all their assumptions and unswerving views of Vatican II into question. Alas, time's running out. Tick tock tick tock tick tock...


1. R. Mickens and E. Curti, "New path to Rome", The Tablet, October 24, 2009.

2. See H. White, "U.S. Feminist Nun Urges Liberal Religious Orders to Resist 'Hostile' Vatican Visitation", LifeSite News, March 6, 2009; S.M. Schneiders, "Why they stay(ed)", National Catholic Reporter, August 17, 2009.

3. Quoted in M. Bauman, "Vatican announces reform of US women's religious conference", Catholic News Agency, April 18, 2012. See also A. Carey, "How Is It Going? An update on challenges to the apostolic visitation of sisters", Catholic World Report, January 16, 2011.

4. R. McClory, "LCWR: Why are we not surprised?", National Catholic Reporter, April 24, 2012.

5. G. Argan, "Author's opting out from Church gives a heads up", Western Catholic Reporter, September 6, 2010.

6. G. Argan, "A feminist perception of the Spirit", Western Catholic Reporter, July 26, 2010. For more on Johnson see T.M. Baklinkski, "Catholic University to Give Award to Goddess-Worshipping Theologian", LifeSite News, November 13, 2007.

7. G. Argan, "Scrutiny of U.S. nuns opens door to future renewal", Western Catholic Reporter, May 7, 2012.

8. Cf. C. Orlet, "Give Us That Old Time Religion", American Spectator, April 26, 2012.

9. P.B. Craine, "US Bishops: Bloggers play 'critical role' in defending the Church", LifeSite News, April 12, 2012.

10. B. Mattson, "Knocking the kinks out of the Internet", BC Catholic, April 5, 2011.

11. J.H. Westen, "CCCB President on Websites Confronting D&P: 'they're not part of the church, they're not Catholic'", LifeSite News, June 25, 2009.

12. M. Ryan, "What if we said 'wait'? The case for a grass-roots review of the new Roman Missal", America, December 14, 2009.

13. A.J. Cernera and E. Korn, "The Latin Liturgy and the Jews: What the pope's letter means for the church's 'elders in the faith'", America, October 8, 2007; J.M. Kubicki, "More Than Words: The many symbols of the liturgy", America, May 26, 2008.

14. See, for example, D. Thompson, "The English bishops are trying to smother the Ordinariate. How long will Rome tolerate this situation?", The Telegraph, December 15, 2011.

15. L. Verrecchio, "Is SSPX homecoming imminent?", Renew America, April 11, 2012.

16. G. Argan, "Lefebvrists remain unbending in rejection of Church teaching", Western Catholic Reporter, March 26, 2012.

17. Quoted in J.J. McElwee, "Vatican orders LCWR to revise, appoints archbishop to oversee group", National Catholic Reporter, April 18, 2012.

18. "Pope Benedict lifts excommunication of bishops ordained by Lefebvre", Catholic News Agency, January 24, 2009.

19. "Declaration on Religious Liberty", In: (gen. ed. A. Flannery) Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents (Boston: St. Paul & Books Media, 1992 revised edition), pp. 799-812. Originally promulgated on December 7, 1965. Cf. also P. Kokoski, "On Religious Liberty, A Critique of Dignitatis humanae", Catholic Insight, May 2012, vol. XX, no. 5, pp. 11-14.

20. J.H. Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (Notre Dame, IA: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), p. 204. First published in 1845.

21. See S. Magister, "Beyond the Myth of Ostpolitik: A Lesson for the Challenge of Islamism", Chiesa, September 16, 2004.

22. Quoted in A.M. Martins, ed., Documents on Fatima and the Memoirs of Sister Lucia (Alexandria, SD: Fatima Family Apostolate, 1992), p. vii.

23. See S. Magister, "Interview with Pope Benedict: De-Christianized Europe. Church as a 'Creative Minority'", Chiesa, February 10, 2009.