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The SSPX claim the Novus Ordo is a Protestant rite. Can they be serious?

The Mass of Paul VI is unambiguously sacrificial, not simply a remembrance of ‘the Lord’s Supper’

By on Monday, 28 February 2011

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta holds a monstrance containing the Eucharist (Photo: CNS)

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta holds a monstrance containing the Eucharist (Photo: CNS)

The current Catholic Herald debate on the collapse of the doctrinal discussions between the Vatican and the SSPX is getting a substantial response, and has been noticed elsewhere in the blogosphere. The whole debate, according to one blog, The Sensible Bond, was predictable: “On the one side, high-minded papal loyalists cannot say enough about how disobedient the SSPX is, or how proud. On the other side, SSPX tub thumpers jeer about the hierarchy’s tendency to wink at all rebellions apart from the SSPX’s, and the busted flush of Benedict’s papacy which has seen him gravitate from liturgical traditionalist to Assisi tribute act in a mere four years”.

Well, I can’t say I’m neutral between the two points of view, definitely tending towards being a “papal loyalist” (despite some discomfort over Assisi, I think it’s just about defensible), though how high-minded you need to be to hold such views I’m not sure: it seems to me it’s a perfectly normal for a mainstream Catholic to be loyal to the pope.
The real question is whether there was ever any realistic prospect that there might be any kind of rapprochement. Rome’s view is that the SSPX can be as critical as it likes about the distortions of Vatican II – what Pope Benedict calls “the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” – but in the end it has to accept the essential Catholicity of the Council itself. This seems to me entirely reasonable. SSPX actually demands that Rome should repudiate the Council and accept that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid, even Protestant.
This is grotesquely unreasonable. It is inconceivable that the Vatican would simply turn against an ecumenical council of all the world’s bishops. SSPX must have known this: so it has been playing an elaborate game whose outcome was probably clearly foreseen by Bishop Fellay. The Pope, on the contrary, clearly had hopes that the schism might be overcome. Well, he has done everything he could to explore every avenue towards reconcilation. Now it is over.

The issues involved, however, will be with us for some time, and still have to be faced, since the casual acceptance of some supposedly “traditionalist” views has done considerable damage. One of these was summed up by one participant in the ongoing Herald debate: his view is essentially that the Novus Ordo is an invalid rite:

“The Novus Ordo does not signify the Catholic theology of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. It is ambiguous – deliberately so – and tends toward giving a Protestant understanding of the Lord’s Supper, which gradually will replace the Catholic Mass in the eyes and psyche of whatever remaining “Catholic” attend it. It is simple: no sacrifice = no need for a sacrificing priest = no need for an altar but merely a table for a commemorative meal over which the presbyter presides and in which the people of God exercise their universal priesthood and so they, not any priest, worship God in their way instead of in His.”

This is a grotesque distortion – no, worse, an actual direct untruth – simply asserted as though it were self-evident. The Novus Ordo is very clearly a valid Catholic liturgy, in which the doctrine of the Mass as sacrifice is both assumed and unambiguously stated. Consider the following, from the current English translation of Eucharistic prayer III:

Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, his glorious Resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet him when he comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
Look with favour on your Church’s offering, and see the victim whose death has reconciled us to yourself. Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
May he make us an everlasting gift to you and enable us to share in the inheritance of your saints, with Mary, the virgin Mother of God, with the apostles, the martyrs, and all your saints, on whose constant intercession we rely for help.
Lord, may this sacrifice, which has made our peace with you, advance the peace and salvation of all the world…

That is quite unmistakeable, and clearly, intentionally and unambiguously expressed: what is being offered is a “holy and living” sacrifice, the sacrifice of Calvary. Or consider this, from Eucharistic prayer IV:

…looking forward to his coming in glory, we offer you his body and blood, the acceptable sacrifice which brings salvation to the whole world.
Lord, look upon this sacrifice which you have given to your Church; and by your Holy Spirit, gather all who share this one bread and one cup into the one body of Christ, a living sacrifice of praise.
Lord, remember those for whom we offer this sacrifice, especially [Benedict] our Pope, [name of local bishop], our bishop, and bishops and clergy everywhere…

I find the accusation of “deliberate ambiguity” particularly interesting, since many years ago, when I was training to be an Anglican clergyman, I once had to write a long essay comparing the language and theology of the then recently authorised Anglican and Catholic rites: the Novus Ordo and what was then called the “Series III” service of Holy Communion of the Church of England. My conclusion then (it was one of the factors that led me, about a decade later, to understand that I had no alternative but to become a Catholic) was that the chief linguistic difference between the rites was that Catholic language was, precisely, deliberately unambiguous and Anglican language (because the same Eucharistic prayer had to gain acceptance from Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals alike) was inevitably ambiguous.
Take the words of the epiklesis, the invocation of the Holy Spirit, in the Roman rite: “And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist.” That’s the epiklesis of Eucharistic prayer III: but the same doctrinal point has to be made about all four prayers: the assumption here is that the Eucharistic elements undergo an actual and supernaturally effected change: there is an actual point at which they become, in very truth and not merely symbolically, the body and blood of Christ. 

The equivalent Anglican words at this point are “grant that by the power of your Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be to us his body and his blood”: the notion of a moment at which change is effected is deliberately avoided: an Anglo-Catholic can assume it, but an evangelical can see these words as referring simply to a mere subjective view, that the bread and wine in some way “to us” symbolise Christ’s body and blood. The idea of the Eucharist as sacrifice is deliberately excluded by the words which follow “we celebrate and proclaim his perfect sacrifice made once for all upon the cross”: in other words, the sacrifice of Calvary was in no way repeatable, and what we now do is simply a distant and subjective memory of it.

Whether you like the new prayers of the Roman Rite or not (personally, I think that Eucharistic prayers III and IV are magnificent, especially in Latin but, though more evidently in the new translation, even in the current English version) it is ludicrous, ludicrous, to claim that they tend towards Protestantism. 

The Novus Ordo is a valid Catholic Mass, written in unambiguous language. Let us all, whether or not we like the way it is sometimes celebrated, or the way it was originally translated, agree on that. If we can’t, we’re all in trouble.

  • Anonymous

    When I said I was surprised that he “appear(s)” to be unaware…” that’s a rather polite way of saying “stop lying through your teeth!” We’re ever so polite up here in Glasgow, as you may have noticed…

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Martyjo

    The apple never falls far from the tree and I believe it is a fond foolishness of ours that makes us think we can make much progress with some people. For them, there is a neo-liberal God and a neo-liberal Christ – the ultimate moment of Man rather than the Logos, Itself, that took flrsh and pitched Its tent among us.

    For them it is all relative and there is no absolute and immutable Truth. There is a liberal Heaven awaiting them but no Purgatory or Hell. Amazing Grace will gather them all together – protestant, catholic, bhuddist, animist, jew and muslim – so why split hairs, down here? Let each believe what he will – we are all ‘one in the spirit’….but whose spirit? The Spirit of Truth and Love? Well, we all have our truth, don’t we? If yours differs from mine why should we fall out over it ?- let’s love each other (good) and say we are “one”(bad, because it is not true).

    God judges the internal forum. He alone can do it. We have to follow other, sensory tules of discernment. A pretty good one is ‘agere sequitur esse’ – a being behaves according to its nature – handsome is as handsome does.

    The sadness is that so many ‘fail’ at this first hurdle. Kyrie elesion – God give us grace to persevere.


  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Again, sweetie, only YOUR OPINION but, yet again, you declaim it as though it were revealed truth. Tut tut.

  • Anonymous

    And not just W. Oddie. Kevin Flaherty published a disgraceful editorial last week (and there was an article on the subject too) where he described the SSPX as “schismatics” and “excommunicated.”

    A healthy number of letters were emailed to him correcting him. I happen to know that because, kindly, a number of writers copied their letters to moi. No point in me writing, because he hates me just as much, if not more, than he hates the SSPX. Let’s hope he is no longer in the job when Archbishop Lefebvre is canonised. Even worse when it’s my turn… Tongue in cheek? You kidding? Don’t go in for false humility, me. But, let’s hope he’s not around when we’re all gathered in Rome for that great day (Archbishop Lefebvre’s canonization) because it would be just too much for him to bear, having to write an editorial on the subject with a mouthful of humble pie stuck in his jaw.

    Anyway, I haven’t seen the Catholic Times this week and they are so far behind the times that they don’t even have a website, but I’m reliably informed that there is not one single letter on the SSPX published this week.

    Now, it may be that he plans to publish them next week, but I would not be surprised if he fails to do so. He MUST know perfectly well that the SSPX are not in schism or excommunicated, so, either he is unbelievably ignorant, or he is a liar. Whichever, he has made himself look like an idiot. He’s received terrific letters on the subject, so if he fails to publish, it will be very telling indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Kevin Flaherty is well known for his anti-traditional bias. I have sent the man countless letters and articles of a traditional nature over a long period of time without even the courtesy of a response. No one can say that this is a man who has the least notion of the charity of Our Lord, especially when he behaves this way with Catholics naturally outraged by the hippie garbage churned out in his paper by Mgr. Basil Loftus.

    I did, however, have a higher regard for Luke Coppen, even though he too has rejected every Traditional Catholic article I have submitted to him thus far. Perhaps it was because he at least acknowledged receipt of my articles that I thought he was different. I have a wholly negative view of him now, though.

    When he can permit Dr. Oddie’s false and unsubstantiated claims against his fellow Catholics to stand, rejecting a perfectly researched and authoritative response to those falsehoods, then it is obvious that truth and justice are as much out of the equation for him as they are for Kevin Flaherty. They will one day have to give an account of their editorial stewardship before Our Lord, as will Dr. Oddie in respect to his calumny column.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Dr. Berry

    I completely agree with your analysis. These people have lost the true sense of Catholic militancy. It’s all about keeping in with the in-crowd and not upsetting the apple cart by telling (or printing) the truth. They are all things to all men, except Traditional Catholics.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Martyjo,

    It is easy to understand that they have become desensitised to the sin of bearing false witness. The whole liturgical reform was based upon false witness from periti and neo-modernists who cared not a fig for a lie when compared to achieving their aims of the destrucion of the Church. Tolle Missam, tolle Ecclesiam – take away the mass and you take away the Church.

    You cannot blame people who are imbued with neo-protestantism and liberalism and anglicanism if they cant tell Stork from butter. I say it again, the apple never falls far from the tree – how far from their roots do you expect them to travel….?


  • Anonymous

    You know, I have only recently discovered that a good many of the periti who were most influencial at Vatican II were previously registered at the Holy Office as “suspected of heresy,” and that the Church forbid such theologians to be admitted to the deliberations of ecumenical Councils. No wonder they got rid of the Holy Office as soon as they seized power!

    It’s a case, I’m afraid, of the Modernist loonies having taken control of the asylum, figuratively speaking of course.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    ‘Good Pope’ John XXIII unwittingly gave the waiting crypto-Modernists, who had been skulking away out of sight, their ‘safe passage’ from the shadows to their most desired positions as ‘periti’ to various council fathers. As we know and as the formal record attests, Pope John specifically denied any charism to Vatican II other than that of a pastoral council. Anything more than that which is claimed for it is spurious and wilfully mendacious – but that does not stop the modernists demanding obedience to “the spirit of the council”.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you entirely. Pope John made healthy changes to the Mass, such as inserting the name of St. Joseph into the Canon, which Archbishop Lefebvre had no trouble in accepting as organic development. This pope never intended a new liturgy. Indeed, he insisted that Latin must remain the language of the Church and the liturgy. His Council was hijacked by liberal Fifth Columnists.

  • Charles Martel

    Dear AgingPapist,
    Please name one thing on which the SSPX is heretical. Just one will do….

  • Charles Martel

    No one who says “the TLM Offertory is, on its face value, a striking example of superstitious bread worship.” can seriously call himself a Catholic.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Half a moment, please…. do you seriously believe that these people can seriously believe themselves even remotely ‘Catholic’? They would do better to declare themselves Jeddi for it would be more credible….

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    Inter-religious dialogue doesn’t deny the manifest truth, and is an affront to nothing and nobody.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Invictus_88

    He did not write as you wish to suggest, I believe.

    In fact, he asked a vital question for all the tree-huggers viz.: ‘Is Christ God or not?’

    Then he wrote: ‘If so (Christ is God), then the documents on ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue are an affront – to Christ.’ You may not like to read that but he is right. Too many papers and documents are simply false and wilfully misleading in that they wrongly suggest that parity of any type may be given to falsehood, that truth is on a par with error. It is not.

    ‘Being nice’ is not the same as saying that your error is as good as the Church’s Truth. That is false ecumenism, plain and simple. That is heresy, as bad as you can get.

    He wrote: ‘The Church is essentially missionary – seeking converts, as Christ’s last words on this earth instructed’. He is indisputably right again and to suggest otherwise is simply a lie. It may be a lie uttered ‘to be nice’ or ‘ecumenical’ but it is, in reality, spitting in the face of the Truth.

    What is God? God is Truth and Love. No Truth = false ‘love, and thus no love at all.

    Pax et bonum


  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    Er, yes. We agree, I think.

    What bothered me was the apparent but incorrect association of inter-religious dialogue with heretical relativism, rather than a distinguishing between theologically legitimate dialogue which serves the Church and the more airy fairy universalist unitarian type stuff which is more obviously not legitimate.

  • Anonymous


    There can be no “theologically legitimate dialogue” that does not seek converts to the one true Faith. I think if you check around, you’ll find that the Pope himself has ruled out conversion of the Jews for starters, and there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of talk of converting Muslims, so, whether or not you misunderstood my original post, let’s hope you understand this.

    Oh, and Dear Dr Russell J Berry, I’m not a “he” (more’s the pity, I’d have made a great guy) I’m a “she” – Patricia, Editor of Catholic Truth – EditorCT for short…

  • Anonymous

    I re-post this response to Dr. Oddie’s article because the original posting just suddenly disappeared from the blog. I fear it may have been the work of some unscrupulous liberal hacker. The truth cannot be silenced that easily, though. Here it is again:

    In the interests of objectivity, I present here an alternative view of the position of the SSPX to that presented by Dr. William Oddie in his article of February 28th.

    I begin with some corrections to Dr. Oddie’s article. First, it is untrue to state, as he did, that the SSPX is in “schism.” There is not a single official statement of the Church to support such a claim. There are, however, no less than five public announcements by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, in his capacity as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, stating the contrary.

    Easily researchable on the Internet, these announcements of Cardinal Hoyos unambiguously declare that the SSPX situation “is not a formal schism,” and that “they” (SSPX bishops, priests and faithful) “are in the Church.”

    This being the mind of Rome, for the Holy See has neither silenced nor opposed the PCED in the matter, it seems fair to expect someone of Dr. Oddie’s standing to stick to the facts and resist the temptation to employ emotive falsehoods to strengthen his argument. Such falsehoods only succeed in raising tempers and hardening positions. And, as we know from St. James, “The anger of man worketh not the justice of God.”

    This brings me to the second correction, or rather double correction. It is erroneous to assert, as Dr. Oddie did, that the SSPX demands of Rome a repudiation of the Council and an acceptance that the Mass of Paul VI is invalid.

    The SSPX has never demanded that Vatican II be repudiated. It has agreed with the Pope that the Council must be interpreted in the light of tradition, adding that such an interpretation would necessarily involve a re-evaluation of particular conciliar documents with a view to repudiating certain ideas and expressions that are incompatible with the Catholic religion, but it has never demanded a repudiation of the Council per se.

    Nor has the SSPX ever declared the Mass of Paul VI to be, per se, invalid. On the contrary, the SSPX has stated that the Novus Ordo Mass is valid where the priest uses the correct matter and form, and has the intention to do what the Church does.

    It qualifies this statement, however, by adding that the Mass of Paul VI is so theologically unsound that it diminishes the Catholic faith of both priests and laity over time, resulting in the probability of many more invalid than valid celebrations.

    Or, as Archbishop Lefebvre put it: “The Novus Ordo Missae, even when said with piety and respect for the liturgical rules, is impregnated with the spirit of Protestantism. It bears within it a poison harmful to the faith. (An Open Letter to Confused Catholics, p. 29).

    Now, it would appear that Dr. Oddie disagrees with this assessment, contending instead that the New Mass is perfectly Catholic and expressly sacrificial.

    How he comes to such a conclusion in light of a decimated priesthood, vanishing vocations, shrinking congregations and unprecedented seminary and church closures is anyone’s guess. Still, let us examine Dr. Oddie’s assertion.

    In a 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of the New Mass, made his intentions quite clear from the outset: “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren; that is for the Protestants.”

    To help him in this work, Fr. Bugnini drafted in six Protestant ministers. It was claimed that these were only observers who would play no active role in the creation of the new liturgy. However, in a June, 1967 issue of The Detroit News, Cardinal W. W. Baum, then executive director of the American Catholic Bishop’s Commission on Ecumenical Affairs, revealed the truth of the matter.

    His Eminence declared: “They (the six Protestant ministers) are not simply there as observers, but as consultants as well, and they participate fully in the discussions on Catholic liturgical renewal. It wouldn’t mean much if they just listened, but they contribute.”

    What finally emerged from this Catholic/Protestant collaboration was a rite of Mass that the Synod of Bishops in Rome rejected, but which was nevertheless endorsed by Pope Paul VI with the following definition: “The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.” (Pope Paul VI. Institutio Generalis, §7, 1969 version).

    If this sounds more Protestant than Catholic, it is because, as Jean Guitton, an intimate friend of Pope Paul VI, explained in 1993: “…the intention of Pope Paul VI with regard to what is commonly called the Mass, was to reform the Catholic liturgy in such a way that it should almost coincide with the Protestant liturgy… there was with Pope Paul VI an ecumenical intention to remove, or at least to correct, or at least to relax, what was too Catholic, in the traditional sense, in the Mass and, I repeat, to get the Catholic Mass closer to the Calvinist mass…” (Apropos (17), p.8ff).

    The following examples of Catholic/Protestant response to this extraordinary occurrence should suffice to show which side has been appalled by it and which side appeased.

    “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).

    “It represents both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.” (The Ottaviani Intervention, a short critical study of the New Mass. Sent to Pope Paul VI by Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci in September, 1969).

    “… nothing in the renewed Catholic Mass need really trouble the Evangelical Protestant” (M. G. Siegvalt, Protestant professor of dogmatic theology in Strasbourg, quoted in Le Monde, 22 November, 1969).

    “If one takes account of the decisive evolution of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church, of the option of substituting other Eucharistic prayers for the Canon of the Mass, of expunging of the idea that the Mass is a sacrifice, and of the possibility of receiving communion under both kinds, then there is no further justification for the Reformed Churches forbidding their members to assist at the Eucharist in a Catholic Church” (A French Protestant theologian. Le Monde, 10 September, 1970).

    “In the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries and replaced it — as in a manufacturing process — with a fabrication, a banal on-the-spot product.” (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Preface to La Reforme liturgique en question, by Klaus Gamber).

    These are but a handful of numerous authoritative declarations that show the New Mass of Pope Paul VI to be seriously flawed.

    Suffice it to say in conclusion to this question that at no time in the history of the true worship of God, either in the Old Covenant of the Jews, up to their rejection of Christ Our Lord, through the New Covenant of Catholicism up to 1969, is it recorded that the priest offered the sacrifice to God facing the people.

    This was entirely an invention of the Protestant Reformers of the XVI century to emphasise their rejection of both the Catholic priesthood and the sacrificial Mass.

    Concerning this Protestant deviation, St. Robert Bellarmine observed: “…when we enter the temples of the heretics, where there is nothing but a chair for preaching and a table for making a meal, we feel ourselves to be entering a profane hall and not the house of God.” (Octava Controversia Generalis. Controversia Quinta. Caput XXXI).

    It was precisely this feeling that many Catholics had, and continue to have, in their parish churches with the 1969 Mass, the imposition of which Fr. (later Archbishop) Bugnini referred to in 1974 as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church.”

    Witnessing the indifference and irreverence it has engendered in both priests and laity these past forty years should be sufficient response in itself to Dr. Oddie’s claim that the retention of a few references to sacrifice in a couple of Eucharistic prayers makes the rite explicitly Catholic and expressly sacrificial to the ever-decreasing numbers who regularly participate in it.

    If doubt remains, however, then I urge a perusal of the following linked article by award-winning American author, Dan Graham: http://www.catholictruthscotland.com/DanGrahamMassdifferences.pdf

    What this outstanding Catholic writer clearly demonstrates with his word comparison between what are today termed the ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Extraordinary’ forms of Mass is how effective UNDERSTATEMENT can be in the obscuring of divine truth.

  • Anonymous

    I would be totally appalled if this crystal clear article of yours has been deliberately suppressed by anyone at the Catholic Herald. And I can think of more than one diocesan priest who would be equally appalled, since they try to convince me that the Herald is the best of the bunch (of Catholic newspapers, so called.)

    Please announce if your post above is removed (once can be put down to the vagaries of Disquis, but not twice) and I’ll make a point of passing on the bad news to these well-meaning (if rather naive, at times) priests.

    I’ve just copied it to send to them (and to others who try to convince me of the orthodox leaning of the Catholic Herald) in the event that it is removed.

    No truly Catholic soul would suppress the truth – censoring factual information by removing blog comments, but then no truly Catholic soul would harbour the hatred for the SSPX that is evident in this blog article. End of.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, EditorCT, I have to admit to being somewhat bemused by the sudden disappearance of an article which is, after all, well sourced and documented. I truly hope it was just a Disqus blip and not an attempt to suppress my right to honest debate. Nothing surprises me now, though.

    We read how the Traditional Fathers at Vatican II had their 480-signature petition for a formal condemnation of Communism suppressed by the liberals who had already done a deal with the Kremlin for Orthodox observers at the Council. So I suppose it is only natural to expect liberal editors to resort to Communist-style censoring practices. The devil is always busier during Lent!

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    I think you’re taking too hard a line (or I’m fudging it, and which is which is almost certainly dependent on one’s perspective) on the precise nature of inter-religious dialogue. The stated aim of inter-religious dialogue being to increase knowledge and understanding, and the Catholic Church being the One Truth, open and frank engagement successfully undertaken with other religious groups can – by its inherent nature – only lead to the conversion of people to Catholicism from whatever their previous belief-set was.

    That such dialogue is pursued without the inclusion of such brazen attitudes as “Come to this conference. We wish to convert you, heathen” but is instead done in terms of “Let us all seek the Truth (subtext: of the Catholic Church)” is not a difference of principle, but just a warmer welcome into engagement with the Catholic Church than has been always accorded in past centuries. If the important thing in this world is the saving of immortal souls, then so long as one doesn’t become a unitarian universalist type fuzzy relativist (and a Catholic cannot), it must surely be more sensible to introduce people to the Truth by open dialogue than by the more cynical and doubtless less successful attitude of “You will be assimilated!”.

    I may be missing some Papal statement where relativism was approved as part of the commitment of the Church to inter-religious dialogue, but I was always taught that the commitment to inter-religious dialogue was to give those of other faiths the opportunity to see and understand, and then see the truth in, and then hopefully to love and breathe in the Church as a part of its body.

  • Anonymous

    You’re certainly missing something along the lines that we’re suffering a diabolical disorientation in the Church these days with popes and cardinals telling the world that we’re not quite “into” conversions any more. Check out these links. Crystal clear.

    Appointed by the Pope to take charge of ecumenism – Cardinal Kasper: “Today we no longer understand ecumenism in the sense of a return, by which the others would ‘be converted’ and return to being ‘Catholics.’ This was expressly abandoned by Vatican II. The Catholic commitment to ecumenism is not based on wanting to draw all Christians into the Catholic fold, nor does it seek to create a new church, drawing on the best of each of the ecumenical partners.”




  • Anonymous

    How odd! 2 Hours ago my article had completely vanished from this blog, I scrolled up and down very, very slowly numerous times looking for it and it definitely wasn’t there. Now it has just suddenly re-appeared. These kinds of occurrences are not good for one’s mental health!! Oh well, two postings are better than one, I suppose.

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    Eish! So many sheep without, so many wolves within! Bad bishops are bad bishops, and harder lines ought to be taken, but most of that isn’t relevant here, and the parts that are – notably the allegedly Jewish heretical ‘sacrament’ of the NeoCatechumenical Way – without foundation outside of a limited part of the blogosphere.
    The third link is very damning, and makes me glad that the worst excesses of liturgically and ecclesiastically illiterate 1960-1980s styles have one foot in the grave. I’d never heard of the “Spirit of Assisi” or the risible corruptions it seems to be associated with, but – nonetheless – although they are associated with inter-religious dialogue, they do not seem in any way to inhere in it. My understanding of it as expressed in my post above seems a much more natural understanding than the ones you hyperlink me to.
    In looking up this “Spirit of Assisi” I found something you might like;

    (Your second link I’ll overlook. You seem to have inadvertently linked to something which refers to the “cult of Mary” and tries to place its beginning in the Middle Ages.)

  • Anonymous


    Of COURSE “so many wolves within” is relevant. For heavens sake, that’s why we are here in the first place, battling out the truth about the Faith because these “irrelevant wolves” have poisoned no many souls by permitting error and falsehood to permeate the Church.

    The second link is merely an article reporting the Pope’s theory that we do not need to convert the Jews. Doesn’t matter what they say about “the cult of Mary” as an aside – you appeared not to know that the Pope has taken it upon himself (no, not quite accurate, his predecessor said the same thing) to dispense the Jews from conversion to Christ. I was providing you with one of the scores of reports available online. If you don’t like that one, Google for another. Just acquaint yourself with the facts.

    And if you’re still not convinced, check out this video of the first Assisi gathering, with commentary from a Greek Orthodox – he’s certainly not impressed.

  • Anonymous

    Then it must have been due to a malfunction of Disquis – happened to me, once, when I couldn’t find a comment for love nor money, and then it suddenly reappeared. The comment was not particularly controversial, so it was a puzzle. Disquis can be disquieting!

    I have to say that, in fact, I’ve had a high regard for the Catholic Herald “blog master” because he doesn’t censor comments. Indeed, I had to email once to have a blasphemous comment removed, so I think, to be fair, that they do allow free speech. The newspaper itself, of course, is a different thing. As someone pointed out to me when Luke Coppen failed to publish a letter from me not very long ago, they will publish certain “safe” names, people who are mildly but terribly respectfully critical of the hierarchy but the straight talking approach of Catholic Truth is another matter. “Let’s no go there” seems to be the policy, with an occasional exception to keep up the appearance of “balance” Gimme strength!

    Anyway, glad your post was not censored – that would have been a crime and it IS a crime that it is not being given a wider readership in the paper. Future generations (if there are any) will see that the Catholic press did not take a lead in restoring the Faith during this crisis but, instead, were part of the problem, to a greater or lesser degree. Sad.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Martyjo

    Do you truly believe that these people really care whether what they say is ‘true’ or not? I think their devotion to the truth is most variable, depending always in which direction the argument is going. These people are not the stuff of which Messrs. Latimer and Ridley were made. These are far less principled and infintely more opportunistic. They give not a fig for Cardinal Hoyos or whatever he says. If the Archangel Gabriel descended and told them what Hoyos does they would continue to say as they do. Why, you may well ask? The answer is because it suits their purpose.They are opportunists. The Church of Christ has deleiberately been infected with the Modernism virus. This sets up an auto-immune response as a result of which the visible Body of Christ becomes ever more exposed to opportunistic attacks from those who have no interest in the Church being healed.

    You are right when you say that the SSPX has never demanded that Vatican II be repudiated. It must always be interpreted in the light of tradition. It is true that some documents need significant ammendment to enable them to be seen easily to conform with proper doctrine.

    The so-called ‘mass’ of Paul VI is fundamentally flawed and it so far undermines the Catholic Teaching on the Sacrifice of the Mass that already ‘presbyters’ and the laity have had their faith corrupted and bastardised. It can only be thought of with horror and shame but it seems undoubtedly true that over time the quantity of invalid performances of this neo-protestant rite will be null and void – invalid. The souls they are defrauding……

    Dr. Oddie absolutely disagrees with this and says the nedo-protestant rite perfectly Catholic and expressly sacrificial. I find that his assessment beggars belief. “You cannot be serious”, is my response. Thank you Mr MacEnroe.

    As you say, he comes to such a conclusion in spite of a dwindled and ever diminishing priesthood, vanishing vocations, shrinking congregations and so on – the fruits of the work and insight of such people as dr Oddie would hasten to support and to sustain.

    All these people are in reality delighted by the results of their efforts. They have each in his and her way (lest we forget some of our now-lapsed or departed female religious) contributed enthusiastically to the destruction of the Mass and, thus, to the destruction and demolition of the institutional One True Church.

    Give me honest protestants and outright heretics to deal with – these pseudo ‘catholics’ are our wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Pax et Bonum


  • Anonymous

    I agree that it is refreshing to debate with someone who is openly hostile to the Faith than with the cowardly liberal who wants nothing more than to be friends with the world, a bit like the unjust steward in the Gosples.

  • Anonymous

    I think it must have been a malfunction so we’ll put that one down to experience. As you say, though, it still doesn’t excuse the editor of the Catholic Herald from failing in his duty to publish the article for its corrective and balancing content. I know that some editors are just malicious liberals when it comes to anything traditional, but this one, and a couple of others, seems to be more afraid of the earthly consequences of publishing a rebuttal of untruths than of the eternal consequences of publishing the untruths in the first place. It’s a tragic time we live in.

  • ProVobis

    The English language (along with other Germanic languages) is/are Protestant. The revised Mass of 1970 has nothing to do with it. Many of the SSPX people don’t have a problem with the vernacular, which is baffling in itself.

  • Anonymous

    Who are the “SSPX people” to whom you refer? I find your post “baffling”…

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Why does that baffle you? Please tell us.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Forgive me, but to say that the English and German languages are protestant is akin to saying that Latin and Greek are polytheistic, which would clearly be nonsensical, would it not?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    ‘unjust steward’ means ‘dishonest custodian’, doesn’t it?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Sorry for having a third bite at the cherry but there is no ‘revised mass’ of 1970. Abp Bugnini called it “an entirely new creation” and that is what it is, nothing less, in truth

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Anon

    ProVobis, it certainly seems Protestant the way you write it! Catholicism is characterised by clarity and precision of thought and expression…

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    But, again the sources provided only come from sources which are disreputable, paranoid, or protestant. I agree that the Assisi affair looks bad, but you still don’t seem able to support your view of inter-religious dialogue as relativistic Unitarianism against my defence of inter-religious dialogue as intelligently informed ecumenism.
    Note, even in this ostensibly damning youtube video, the Pope is the centre, the focus, and the one to whom the others incline.

  • Carlismo

    “the SSPX people don’t have a problem with the vernacular”, Oh please, do me a favour? Lefebvrists have a problem with everyone and everything with the exception of heretical man made perversions of Catholicism like Falangists, Rexists, Vichyites and Ustasha.

    Let us put these Sedevcants to bed once and for all and throw our support behind the FSSP. The Holy Father and Mother Church have offered these schismatics the hand of reconciliation and friendship but it has been thrown back in our faces. Let the SSPX join with Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association since they too are poisoned by the same heretical state sponsored nationalism.

  • Anonymous


    You are one very mixed up guy (with respect, of course…)

    You’ve cooked up the following gobbledygook, which, since I’ve only got a couple of academic degrees, (with a few other certificates thrown in for good measure because the examiners were struck by my good looks), is way above my lowly intelligence: you say to me: “you still don’t seem able to support your view of inter-religious dialogue as relativistic Unitarianism against my defence of inter-religious dialogue as intelligently informed ecumenism” What the blankety blank does this mean? Is there a cure for swallowing a dictionary?

    Listen, Sugar Plum, listen closely: there is absolutely NOTHING “intelligent” about a Pope who purports to believe in One, True God and who subscribes to the First Commandment, inviting a bunch of pagans to Assisi to “affirm” them in their false religions. Call it “relativistic Unitarianism” (???) or call it “intelligently informed ecumenism” (???) – it remains a grave offence against the First Commandment. THAT is the key point that you are apparently unable to grasp. You are the latest in the long line of “Catholics” I’ve had dealings with this past two weeks, who are about as “Catholic” as the nearest humanist.

    Your gobbledygook combines with patent nonsense in your concluding remark that the Pope is at the centre of these pagan gatherings, so this “affair” which you admit “looks bad” is really a good thing, for no other reason than the fact that everyone “inclines” towards the Pope, who is at the centre of the whole fiasco. It hasn’t occurred to you that the very fact that the Pope IS at the centre of these pagan events, IS the scandal. And it is precisely because he is at the centre, that he initiated this scandalous prayer gathering, that he will be taken severely to task at his judgment.

  • Anonymous

    You are either, Carlismo, a person of poor intelligence or a person of ill will. To continue to call the SSPX “schismatic” when you have had the facts of the matter pointed out to you many times, suggests that you are either thick (with all due respect of course) or full of ill will stemming from hatred of Catholic Tradition.

    Which is it?

  • http://fora.tv/myfora/9668/Invictus_88 Invictus_88

    Calm down and look at the reality, won’t you? If you’ve come down to citing your academic credentials, calling me “”Catholic”” and even calling me “Sugar Plum”, I think your heart is running ahead of your mind in this matter.

    Since you want to boil it down the the First Commandment now, rather than the more nuanced (and relevant) matter of distinguishing between dialogue as heresy and dialogue as dialogue, the disagreement is much simpler.

    For the Pope to have been guilty in Assisi, he would have to have worshipped one of those gods. For the Pope to have been guilty in Assisi, he would have had to have encouraged Catholics to worship one of those gods. What happened in Assisi? Schismatics, heretics, and pagans gathered round the True Church, approached the throne, and gained first-hand insight into it and its billion-strong faithful.

    Hopefully, one day, your faith will have the confidence to look others in the eye with compassion rather than hostility. Until then, I’ve no doubt that you’ll sit as you do now and make idle pronouncements on the guilt of Popes as you heap your pride up into an effigy of yourself, a congealed statue of the “Last True Catholic”.

  • Carlismo

    How long are you people planning to hang around a month old post slinging mud. Also funny how nobody has actually been able to answer any of my other points?

    Your sect is full of crypto-sedevacants and everyone knows it. You also have the not so secretive sedevacant lefebvrists who publicly deny the validity of the Holy Father. Such as the various comments made by Williamson. They are therefore openly schismatic, you condemn yourselves (using the same logic you people use to condemn everyone else) And if that is not enough this absurd insult about NO being protestant is also an act of open schism.

    And if you my dear are the same embittered ex-school teacher who runs the nasty, gossiping, spiteful and scandalizing “hate-site” called Catholic Truth Scotland then I pray for your soul. God knows your going to need those prayers for Purgatory.

  • Anonymous

    In case you haven’t noticed, YOU were the one to post a comment a month on, not moi. Disquis sends alerts when someone posts a comment so – gobsmacked at your continuing claim that the SSPX is in “schism” when they are manifestly NOT (according to the Vatican) – I thought I would try a bit of shock treatment. You keep saying nobody is answering your “points” – but, Carlismo, you are not making any “points” just continually throwing mud hoping that it will stick. But informed Catholics who keep abreast of the news and who know that the (unjust) excommunications were lifted by the Pope quite some time ago and who know that the Pope’s representative with the SSPX (among others, including notable Canon Lawyers) has said that the SSPX are not and never were in “schism”, clearly have given up trying to educate you on the subject. Take the hint.

    Your penchant for throwing mud is evident also in your final paragraph. Please provide evidence that I am “embittered” (about what? And, I am, to be precise, an early retired Head of Religious Education but let that pass) and cite anything from the Catholic Truth website that is “nasty, gossiping, spiteful and scandalizing.”

    I await the evidence, Carlismo – quite a challenge since, to date, nobody has been able to do so who made similar criticism of our newsletter and website.

    I’m off to Mass now but will check for your reply later.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Carlismo

    Well, did you feel any better after that little rant? I do hope so.

    You do seem so terribly angry and I wonder why you rant and rave like a demented protestant reformer. Your anger is not righteous, Carlismo. It is the anger that folk like us should at all costs avoid. It is the anger of the Pharisee.

    Sometimes you give every impression of being so far removed from the Grace of Charity that one asks if you are a Christian, for you so often appear to have no love in your language, at all. I know you do not want to appear that way. You could not, could you? One could almost on occasion conclude that Carlismo has a problem with everyone and everything that does not toe the line of his individual view of what is Catholic.

    Join me, dear Carlismo, in praying a little more, and ranting a little less. Together we may find Christ. God bless us all, Carlismo

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Carlismo,

    Now, we cannot have all this anger, can we? It is not dignified and it certainly is not at all charitable.

    Are you feeling ignored? That is not good and I am sure it is only right that you should have answers to your ‘other points’. I do not know what nthose points are but if you will enumerate them in a clear and, I hope, pleasant manner I will attempt replies for you, if none other are bothered. Is that a satisfactory proposal?

    Now, Carlismo, to revert to this particular posting of yours, you wrote: ‘Your sect is full of crypto-sedevacants and everyone knows it.’ What sect, please? . Then you wrote: ‘You also have the not so secretive sedevacant lefebvrists who publicly deny the validity of the Holy Father.’ Carlismo, The Pope is not an 8th neo-sacrament, is he? He is a man as any other, save his havin g the grace of the Sacrament we call ‘Orders’ and tha is the beginning and the end of it unless he speaks infallibly. You then wrote’ Such as the various comments made by Williamson.’ Surely you meant to write Bishop Williamson, did you not?

    In writing ‘They are therefore openly schismatic, you condemn yourselves (using the same logic you people use to condemn everyone else) And if that is not enough this absurd insult about NO being protestant is also an act of open schism.’ you are writing theological and canonical nonsense, really. I am sure you mean to be sincere but these matters are always best approached intellectually and not emotively.

    When you wrote ‘And if you my dear are the same embittered ex-school teacher who runs the nasty, gossiping, spiteful and scandalizing “hate-site” called Catholic Truth Scotland then I pray for your soul. God knows your going to need those prayers for Purgatory.’ I am sure you know you went far too far.

    I am sure you, yourself, do not really wish to be or be seen as ‘ nasty, gossiping, spiteful and scandalizing’ and you will want sincerely to withdraw your intemperate language and show an example of humility and charity.

    God bless us, now, Carlismo

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear jflare29,

    You wrote: ‘The excommunications have been lifted, but their leaders don’t appear interested in acknowledging Rome’s authority any more now than before.’ Well, now, ‘the excommunications’ were always of very doubtful, canonical validity but, hey, they have indeed been withdrawn.

    You mention ‘Rome’s authority’..whose authority in particular? ‘Rome’ – modernist crypto-protestant ‘Rome’ or Rome, Mater et Magistra Omniarum Ecclesiarum? If the former, we are not only free to ignore it when it does not act in conformity with Doctrine and Tradition but we are under an obligation to rebuke it and NOT to acknowldge its pretended ‘authority’.

    That, jflare29, is official Catholic teaching, as well as the command of the apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Paul.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Having read this, I am saddened to say that either you understand the square root of no sacramental theology and canon law or you are simply vexatious.

  • Carlismo

    Save your prayers for Editor CT, and if you want to preach about “humility and charity” then preach to Editor CT, her blog is lacking in both. Do you think that maliciously hurting people in the name of a righteous cause does not endanger our Souls? Do you think the Catholic Faith permits us to commit an evil for a good outcome? No!

  • Anonymous


    Since you have flouted the convention of addressing bloggers by their user names, divulging my own Christian and surname, I wonder if you would do me the courtesy of revealing your own true identity?

    I don’t have a problem with people using pseudonyms, but I think it is a lack of integrity, big time, to break that convention without seeking permission.

    You could have emailed me to ask if I minded you publishing my name, but you chose not to do so. Yet, you elect to remain anonymous yourself.

    This is both unjust and dishonest. “EditorCT” is my chosen username. You have unearthed my baptismal and surname and, without my permission, you have published it in a public forum.

    I will wait until tomorrow to see if you publish your own name, Christian and surname, before reporting your post as abusive.

  • Carlismo

    My advice for you to is to come up with a more secretive pseudonym. CT Editor is not exactly a good cover name is it? The identity of the CT Editor is common knowledge, it’s all over the public domain, it’s even featured in national newspapers.

    And I don’t recall you extending the same right to privacy to the people your group has targeted, contacted and named. Do you honestly think your campaigns have not brought any trauma, stress, misery or despair into peoples lives…Even when the cause is a righteous one, which it is!!!

    It’s the way you conduct yourselves and the langauge you use which shocks normal Catholics. In your heart, can you honestly say that there are any traces of mercy, pity, kindness, love, compassion or forgiveness on your blog? Really?

    And as for the suffering in Japan being God’s collective vengance, well what can you say?