Rorate Caeli

"Got a revolution, got to revolution!"
40 years of Missale Romanum and the new Roman Rite - I

The Church in 1969 was in the middle of the most serious crisis in its modern history, as the debacle following the Council and, particularly, the publication of Humanae Vitae, unfolded. Time reported on the grave situation in the Church:

For Pope Paul VI, the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week were more sorrowful than usual. On two successive days, in his most anguished public statements to date on the crisis in the Roman Catholic world, the Pope issued extraordinarily direct attacks on defecting clergy and dissent within the church.

Speaking to pilgrims in St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday of Holy Week, the Pope identified the present-day sufferings of the church with the agony of Christ. "The Lord tests us," he declared. "The church suffers from the abandonment by so many Catholics of the fidelity that centuries-old tradition merits." Even "favored sons" engage in destructive criticism, and by their defections, "certain ecclesiastics and religious crucify the church." At Holy Thursday services next day, he spoke of the "practically schismatic ferment that divides and subdivides the church. How can the living and true church be authentic," he asked, "if the company that forms it is so often and gravely corroded by contestation or forgetfulness of its hierarchical structure?"

From his point of view, the Pope had good reason for the outbursts. Although the Vatican has by now be come accustomed to the public defection of priests, it was shocked by the recent resignations of two young, promising bishops. In Chile, the Most Rev. Gabriel Larrain Valdivieso, 44, auxiliary to the Cardinal-Archbishop of Santiago, left the priesthood for secular humanitarian work. In Peru, Bishop Mario Cornejo Radavero, 41, auxiliary to the Cardinal-Archbishop of Lima, reportedly brought his cardinal to tears by resigning to marry. Priestly defections have even touched the Vatican itself, where an honored member of the papal house hold, Monsignor Giovanni Musante (TIME, Mar. 21), had also left to marry.

Paul has frequently denounced excesses of reform within the church, but last week marked the first time that he has publicly referred to schism—a word that has almost never been mentioned by pontiffs since Clement VII hurled the accusation at Henry VIII more than four centuries ago. To many Vatican observers, the Holy Week statements suggest that the Pope has taken as much as he can from the dissenters and is ready to deliver an ultimatum to those who persist in ecclesiastical rebellion.
Hilarious! Actually, Pope Montini gave a great gift to the rebellious wing of the Church: on Holy Thursday, 40 years ago, he imposed (or at least attempted to impose) upon the whole Latin Church a completely New Mass, a liturgy much to the liking of the rebels. His own Roman Mass, promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution "Missale Romanum" - the second major step, after Pontificalis Romani,  in the fabrication of a new Roman Rite.

49 comments:

Paul said...

Fr. Arnaud Rostand, US District Superior provided a beautiful sermon on Passion Sunday regarding the "Passion of the Church"

http://voiceofcatholicradio.com/catholicradiowebpage.htm

standup4vatican2 said...

Many people fail to appreciate how precariously close to schism the Church verged during that era. I often get angry when I contemplate at how temperate and clement a tone was (and still is) taken with the dissenters, but a certain amount of that can rationalized by the great possibility that many western bishops would rather have commited schism than submit their 'local church' to a perceived 'autocratic' papacy. To quote Msgr. George A. Kelly:

"It is clear that John Paul II intends to do more than state principles. Dissidents have also made it clear (long before the present pope) that they will fight any law enforcement measures taken to impede their deviance or to break their hold on Catholic institutions. 'Betrayal of Vatican II', 'un-ecumenical', 'purge', 'repression' are among the milder descriptions of disciplinary measures. They are correct, however, in judging the difficulties faced by John Paul, even if he enjoyed reinforcement of his policies by bishops. A massive effort to enforce Catholic law at this time and at all points would mean repressions -- or schism, with civil courts asked to adjudicate important aspects of this religious conflict. What then can be done? How should the bishops of the United States support the obvious policies of the Pope? How must they deal with Rome's concern of several years standing that an emerging American Church is in the offing -- one likely to create as much trouble for Catholicism as French Gallicanism did for several centuries prior to Vatican I."
The Crisis of Authority, Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1982, 93-94

Nevertheless these modernists are now dying out in their thousands and demographics is having a far greater purifying effect than an Inquisition ever conceivably could. There are now whole DIOCESES that have no seminarians. One particular diocese here in Ireland has never had a vocation in 15 years! In a way, this is welcome news for it is better for to have a scarce number of good priests than an abundant number of bad priests.

Paul Haley said...

It is a wonder to me how these popes from Paul VI on down to our current Holy Father can fail to realize what is at the root of the problems in the Church. Here we have a Society of Priests and four bishops who have always held to what the church has taught always and everywhere, along with many independents professing loyalty to the Holy See who are placed under restrictions of one form or another. It simply boggles the mind that Rome cannot see the forest for the trees. On top of that we have the abuses that continue with every passing day, the latest being the invite to President Obama to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and give the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame. And, the president of the University, Fr. Jenklins, a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, has the audacity to defend such an action with about a dozen US bishops and one Cardinal publicly criticizing his action.

Now, I have been trying hard to defend the papacy and stay calm amidst this horrendous calamity the has reduced the Catholic Church to only one voice among many but it is getting increasingly hard to do so. Many of us have urged the Holy Father to grant immediate faculties to the SSPX as well as the many independent traditional priests professing fealty to him. So far, he has resisted our pleas while the battle for the Church rages on. Again, I call on him to act and do the right thing before it is too late.

Melchior Cano said...

"Many of us have urged the Holy Father to grant immediate faculties to the SSPX as well as the many independent traditional priests professing fealty to him. So far, he has resisted our pleas while the battle for the Church rages on. Again, I call on him to act and do the right thing before it is too late."

Come on. This is silly. "Many of us have urged..." And you are??? I agree that the Holy Father should grant faculties to the Society immediately, but your argument sounds more like a manager who feels snubbed because the boss didn't take his suggestion. So, unless you happen to be a bishop or a cardinal or even an influential priest who actually has the Holy Father's ear, your argument has a bit too much an air of self importance about it.

Thomas A. said...

"I'm worried about the swelling tide of revolution in the Church. Here, have a new Missal."

Translation. "I'm worried about this fire burning in my house. I'd better douse it with some gasoline."

Anonymous said...

The situation in the Church today is likened to a family where some of the children are misbehaving.
They are being willfully disobedient and throwing temper tantrums and all the father is doing is gently telling the children not to be naughty.

When I was a bratty disobedient 10 year old, if all my dad did was tell me, nicely, to behave, I would laugh in his face and punch a hole in the wall.
But when he whooped me, I shut my piehole and toed the line.

No offense to His Holiness, but this seems to be the situation.

Am I wrong?

Gideon Ertner said...

I feel sorry for Paul VI. He saw where it was all heading, but he could simply not see his own role in it - could not see that when the Church suddenly changes how she expresses its faith, and how she approaches it, it inevitably sends the signal that the faith is itself negotiable.

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that he acted in good conscience and sincerely believed that his reforms would reinvigorate the Church and render her able to be understood better by the outside world. At another time that might even have been so. At a time when the the Church was already bursting at the seams with heretical tendencies, it might be said to be supremely imprudent. But that's hindsight for you.

Anonymous said...

Father Zuhlsdorf is announcing on WDTPRS THAT BISHOP FELLAY HAS BEEN APPOINTED THE NEW ARCHBISHOP OF ST LOUIN MISSOURI.

ALL SSPX PRIESTS HAVE BEEN REGULARISED.

I AM NOT JOKING!

NCTradCatholic said...

Um, need I say it???

APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!

Anonymous said...

NC TRAD CATHOLIC,

Its not a joke!

This is for real!

NCTradCatholic said...

Dan, read the comments at the bottom of the St. Louis Catholic article, and on the left side of the Fr. Z article.

Bishop Fellay would never accept an American Novus Ordo see.

Paul Haley said...

Yes, it is April Fools Day but the hidden fact regarding the WPTPRS post is that the Holy father has the power to do such a thing and it would be a bold and dramatic move for sure. But it would leave aside the status of the other 3 Society bishops and the nearly 500 priests without incardination in their geographical diocese.

So, it would not be something that Bishop Fellay would be lured into but it's interesting to know he has the qualities that Father Z. would presumably like to see in the future Archbishop of St. Louis. But, I must admit it did receive immediate and widespread attention.

As for Melchior Cano's post, all I want to say is that am nothing but a voice crying in the desert of modernism and one who respects the Holy Father to the limits of my ability.

standup4vatican2 said...

No no, it's really true. I'm just after meeting up with Fr Richard Williamson at a rock concert and he specifically confirmed this.

N. Trandem said...

I think the most charitable assumption one can make about Paul VI is that he was seriously, clinically, mentally ill. Schizophrenic and/or bipolar are probably the best bets. To promulgate something and then weep over it, to say one thing and then allow the opposite (e.g.: his document on Communion in the hand) - these are not the actions of a rational man in full command of his faculties.

Anonymous said...

Worst pope in history.

Anonymous said...

Yves Congar said that "he spoke for the right and acted for the left, and actions are what count."

Anonymous said...

5 down 3 to go.

Has anyone heard if I can validly recieve absolution from an FSSPX priest yeeeeeeet.

sacerdos in germania said...

I agree with N. Tandem...Paul VI was a very tragic figure and imo possibly one of the worst popes in the history of the Church. I don't have first hand evidence but it is generally conceded that Paul VI suffered several nervous breakdowns in the years leading up to his death in 1978. This would explain much...

Paul Haley said...

The joke would be on them, the perpetrators of this hoax, if His Holiness were to announce that the SSPX is now heading up a worldwide apostolic administration with all four Society bishops at the helm and independent of all diocesan jurisdiction reporting directly to the Holy See with aid and administrative support provided by the Ecclesia Dei Commission for the exclusive purpose of further the goals and objectives of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, and consolidating under one jurisdiction all currently independent groups professing loyalty to the Holy See.

Yah, I know, it's not goin to happin but it sure would upset the 'ol applecart. Can you imagine the reaction of the modernist bishops? It would make the latest reaction to the excommunications mild by comparison. Cardinal Mahony would have a hissy-fit the likes of which the world has never before seen. Egads, my imagination is into overdrive.

alban said...

The arrogance of some who post here is unbelievable.

Paul Haley: Your comments are anything but humble, so stop the pretence. You state: "It is a wonder to me how these popes from Paul VI on down to our current Holy Father can fail to realise what is at the root of the problems in the church". So, you know better than Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI? Isn't it amazing that the Holy Spirit chose them to be popes and not you? I guess the Spirit is also confused. Be loyal to the Holy Father and accept that he has far greater wisdom than you - or leave and join some sect.

As Melchior states, your arguments are full of self-importance.

N Trandem: How on earth are you qualified to label Paul VI as being "seriously, clinically, mentally ill". More arrogance and presumptiousness. More "I know better than the pope what is best for the Church".

Anonymous (20:19): you say Paul VI was the "worst pope in history". It is clear you know nothing of Church history if you brand Paul VI as being worse than those who fathered several illegitimate children and made them cardinals.

Sacerdos: Name reliable sources for statement that it is "generally conceded" that Paul VI suffered several nervous breakdowns"?

Dan Hunter: the Holy Father is a gentle parent and not the 'German rotweiller' some used to claim (and perhaps some want). He could have acted sternly with the SSPX for their disobedience and grevious harm caused to the Body of Christ, but he has chosen not to do so; we must trust his decision.

People, if you believe - as Catholics are bound to believe - that ecumenical councils may be called by a pope but are actually the work of the Holy Spirit, then Vatican II was the work of that same Holy Spirit. To say anything different is to disagree with a fundamental teaching of the Church, and is HERESY. (This is not to deny that some excesses took place afterwards).

If you believe - as Catholics are bound to believe - that popes are actually chosen by the Holy Spirit, then you do not critcise the Holy Father when it comes to matters of what is best for the Church. This is not to deny that popes make mistakes, but in their role are shepherds of the Church, popes cannot make major mistakes as some are alleging was done by Paul VI (and even John Paul II).

Several of the people who post here think they are more Catholic than the pope, but their arrogance betrays that they think more like Protestants who believe that the laity and clergy are all the same.

penicuik said...

Ouch!!!! Alban, your words are strong but they are also very true. I particularly like the parting shot about some of the pseudo-Catholics here being very Protestant in they way they think. I was getting more and more annoyed at reading some of these comments especially the know it all Mr Haley.

Then I came to your comment Alban. I couldn't have said things better myself. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Alban - Thank God I am not like the rest of men, right?

Thomas A. said...

Alban,

The Pope who fathered several illegitimate children and made ONE of them a cardinal did less damage to the church in his 11 years than Paul VI did in the single act of promulgating the New Mass, which was only one of the innumerable and unmitigated disasters of his pontificate. As to the rest of the comments, those who made them have eyes to see and ears to hear - being Pope does not mean that ignoring basic common sense is a good idea. If you decry a practice in paragraph 10 of your document, do not sanction it in paragraph 12. Not difficult to figure out. Or perhaps we should say "You mean to say that YOU know better than Alexander VI who should or should not be made a cardinal?" Guess what - you do.

Son of Trypho said...

CatholicObserver

There is one major problem though with your comment about dioceses with no priests - the bishops are often selling off all of the assets of the diocese which is, in the long term, going to be ruinous to the Church in those areas.

If a diocese is effectively wiped out and there are few faithful and no church buildings/infrastructure or money, how are the priests/religious going to be able to afford new property?

The Church is divesting prime property all over the place and it seems shortsighted to me at least because it will not be able to afford this prime property again in the future.

As to your comment about schism, I'm not suprised that the Church is treading carefully around a general confrontation with the dissenters, then and now. Just look at what is going on in Austria and see what could happen if Benedict XVI cracked down - most likely completely open rejection of their authority.

I also think the Church is terrified of having to potentially fight in the civil courts of the EU/US over Church property/rights.

The Church will need to balance its own interests against its decline in the next 20 years and manage its way through its virtual collapse in the west. The consideration of failure is particularly unpleasant especially considering the steady growth of Islam in the world today.

Joe B said...

As we trads know, give us a good priest and we'll take care of him and find a place to hold Mass. Jesus didn't need no stinking jewelry and we don't need no stinking Cathedrals.

(Just making a point, mind you. Nothing against jewelry or Cathedrals.)

alban said...

Anonymous: your comment does not even try answer any of my observations. Using your premise, no one (including popes) can ever point out faults. What you advocate is pure relativism.

Thomas A: Come on, please read my complete commment rather than focus on one historical point. I clearly wrote " This is not to deny that popes can make mistakes, but in their role as shepherds of the Church, popes cannot make major mistakes as some are alleging..." Surely you are not placing the appointment of a cardinal on the same level as the promulgation of a missal.

Your opinion regarding the missal of Paul VI is one which you are entitled to hold, though it is not one with which I agree. In his letter concerning the EF, His Holiness refers to the EF + the OF as two valid expressions of the same Roman Rite; I hope that you concur with him.

Penicuik: Thanks.

Son of Trypho said...

Joe B
I would suggest that if you are thinking about running house-churches this is ok, and/or the community is so tiny and ghettoised that it can do it in this way then that is ok too. But significant numbers require significant space.

As to cathedrals/jewellery, I don't recall anything about the Lord rejecting the Temple and/or the High Priests vestments.

alban said...

Joe B: Whew. I'm glad you've nothing against cathedrals, though I am not sure about the jewellery. Being a lover of Norman, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, I'm not too keen on the pink-bumbed cherubs of the Baroque era, but each to their own.

You're dead right though about those of us who are "trads"; we do take care of our priests.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Alban.

Much of what I've been reading here (including the comments to other posts) is baffling and saddening. Am I to be ashamed that I was born after Vatican II and that the Novus Ordo mass is the only one that I know? Does it make me less Catholic than those who attend TLM? What is so bad in the fact that this reform has allowed me to participate in a mass in my native tongue, to see the homily as an essential part of the mass and to see the priest speaking to the people? As far as I know, the Novus Ordo mass is the one that is officially accepted, it's not considered an heresy or something to be rejected by Rome. Then why this bashing?

Anonymous said...

Keeping up with the rumor on another blog: Why not beatify Paul VI too! After all the contributions he made to the post Vatican II Church.

Anonymous said...

The most charitable way I can describe Paul VI is as a mediocre Pope in a situation that called for a great Pope. He seems to have very much wanted to coninue in the footsteps of "Good Pope John", but everything was going crazy around him, and he seemed to be at a loss as to what to do.

Paleothomist

Anonymous said...

Are we to be ashamed for remembering a saner Church? Are we less Catholic for being traditional?

Paul Haley said...

Dear Alban et al,

I will be happy to take my lumps for my mistakes and I have made my share but I do not presume to tell the pope what to do - only to plead with him to give Tradition its due. That you consider me arrogant for doing so is something I have no control over. I know my posts upset some but I also know that many like what I have to say. This is a forum for expressing one's opinion and not for attacking each other. I have tried to keep my remarks thoughtful and consistent with the Holy Tradition that was instilled in me long before Vatican II. I'll leave it up to the host and the moderators to determine if I have crossed the line.

Now I know that bringing up the issue of faculties for the SSPX priests and other independents and the lack of any action on that front is an incendiary issue but that is the state of the church today. I did not make it so and I would like to see it resolved. It has been thirty three years since suspensions were levied against he SSPX and the time has come in my opinion and in the opinion of many others to see Justice served.

And, please, your intimation that I do not share the view that the Holy Spirit guards the papacy has no basis in fact. If I hadn't believed that the popes in question were validly elected successors to St. Peter, I would have left the church long ago. That I did not do so is not any great accomplishment on my part but simply due to the Good Lord keeping me in His Care.

So, think of me what you will but don't think for a minute that I will stop asking for Justice towards those who have for so long fought the battle to retain Tradition in liturgy, practice and belief. Until that glorious day happens, God-willing, I will speak my piece and let the chips fall where they may.

Adeodatus said...

Anonymous 22:47: Don't let these Latinolaters get you down. God is actually powerful enough that He can transubstantiate the Eucharist even when the Mass isn't said in Latin.

One can only hope that these neo-Protestant agitators have the same zeal for Jesus Christ that they have for that man-made language. Sadly it sometimes looks as if they are not so much Christians as Ciceronians.

Catholic Observer dixit:
"Nevertheless these modernists are now dying out in their thousands and demographics is having a far greater purifying effect than an Inquisition ever conceivably could."

Ha! I dunno, tovarisch... I can conceive of quite bit. ;)

All I can say is... let the faithful obey God, the Church and the Pope, and have lots of babies.

Anonymous said...

"Are we to be ashamed for remembering a saner Church? Are we less Catholic for being traditional?"

I didn't say and I don't believe that you are less Catholic, but I don't want either to be considered as less Catholic. And I don't remember hearing or reading such diatribes from the part of the Novus Ordo people directed towards TLM people. I remember only my grandmother, a very faitful and traditional Catholic, who initially was very upset when the new rite was introduced, but then got used to it and said the Pope knews what it's best for the people. She never saw the previous rite as a sign of "a saner Church".
And I may not like, for example, that at my local church there are boys and girls with guitars and new songs instead of the organ chants that I know from my childhood, but this doesn't make me yearn for the past or label the whole thing as heretic. A particular element of the rite may change, but the teachings and the faith are the same.

Can any of you honestly agree with such things?
http://www.novusordowatch.org/faq.htm

Anonymous-who-thanked-Alban

Anonymous said...

To Alban and others:
I am skeptical of the argument about the Holy Spirit being responsible for VII. It seems to me expeditious to blame the Holy Ghost of everything good or bad that happened at that Council. The fact is there was a conspiracy to destroy the Catholic Church from within and render her a Reformed Church in the image of Protestantism. There was too much controversy in the Council and many bishops signed the documents after the assurance that the accords were merely pastoral and not binding doctrine, in spite of the Dogmatic Constitutions defined as such, which contain no new dogma.
Charles Dupuy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-Who-Thanked-Alban: Where were you in 1965? 1970? You have no idea of what we went through, do you?

And if you haven't heard or read such "diatribes" from novus ordo people directed toward TLM people, you haven't been around much. May I direct you to the traditional archives over at Catholic Answers forum.

Young lady, you have a lot to learn.

Adulio said...

The quote from Yves Congar about Paul VI is the best sum-up of his pontificate - especially as it comes from someone who lived through it.

The fact of the matter is this: we may never personally judge a Pope but we can comment on his actions, which affect the church and affect us as members of the mystical body of Christ. The promulgation of the 1970 missal has been nothing short of a failure - whether or not it is a form of the same Roman rite. I believe Fr. Z explained why the Pope used the assertion of "two forms of the Roman rite" once, which boiled down to helping priests to bypass unsympathetic bishops who would stipulate the need for a separate celebret if the traditional rite was declared a separate rite on its own.

After 45 years the new missal has been overshadowed by the re-emergence of it's predecessor. That is surely a sign that it will not out-live the Missal of St. Pius V.

NCTradCatholic said...

Alban, please tell us which solemn definition, dogma, or encylical tells us that "Catholics are bound to believe - that popes are actually chosen by the Holy Spirit"?? Somehow I missed that one.

Thomas A. said...

Alban,
The statemant that the EF and OF are two valid expressions of the Roman Rite is a legal fiction, and in that sense I agree with it. The OF validly confects the Holy Sacrment and validly offers the Sacrifice of Calvary. Beyond that, it a completely different rite, and one that does it's best to hide the fact that it confects the Holy Sacrment and validly offers the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Your understanding of the Holy Spirit's working in the Church through both Pope and ecumenical council is grotesquely deficient. Pope and Councils are perfectly capable of making serious mistakes in governing the Church.

Nicholas said...

Dear Alban,

I believe your view of VCII is incorrect. You say:

"People, if you believe - as Catholics are bound to believe - that ecumenical councils may be called by a pope but are actually the work of the Holy Spirit, then Vatican II was the work of that same Holy Spirit. To say anything different is to disagree with a fundamental teaching of the Church, and is HERESY. (This is not to deny that some excesses took place afterwards)."

Have you read Michael Davies's "Pope John's Council"? Have you read Ralph Witgen's "The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber"? Did you know that at one point Paul VI actually had to intervene personally in order to prevent the Council from promulgating heresy? I'm referring to the "Nota Praevia" which the Holy Father had to have attached to Lumen Gentium. The matter is covered, more or less well it appears, here:

http://www.fisheaters.com/notapraevia.html

The guidance of the Holy Spirit in ecumenical councils is not actually a positive guarantee that every jot and tittle of the council's documents is directly divinely inspired. It is a _negative_ guarantee, a guarantee that protects a council from teaching heresy. It is no mark of crypto-Protestantism to view VCII with reserve or mixed feelings. Let there be no doubt that it was directly and indirectly responsible for the whirlwind of sadness that followed it. History already bears this out, and impartial historians will always regard it so.

Jeff said...

Ah, poor fellow. A great Pope in an almost impossible situation.

The reason why JPII and Benedict have followed his tolerant path toward transforming the maelstrom was that there was no alternative but to allow much of the Church to break off.

Venerable Paul VI, pray for us.

John L said...

Is there a source for the Congar quote?

St. Rafael said...

Alban,

Not a single sentence from Vatican II was protected by the Holy Spirit. None of the documents were protected by the Holy Spirit.

Throughout the history of the Councils, it was the infallible dogmatic decrees and statements of those Councils that were protected by the Holy Spirit, but Vatican II was not a dogmatic Council. Vatican II was the first of its kind in history, a purely pastoral Council.

What infallible decrees did Vatican II put out? Where are the infallible dogmatic definitions? Where are the infallible anathemas?

Alexander said...

Adeodatus said...
“Anonymous 22:47: Don't let these Latinolaters get you down. God is actually powerful enough that He can transubstantiate the Eucharist even when the Mass isn't said in Latin.

One can only hope that these neo-Protestant agitators have the same zeal for Jesus Christ that they have for that man-made language. Sadly it sometimes looks as if they are not so much Christians as Ciceronians.”



Brilliant! Because the arguments against the inferiority of the Novus Ordo only rest in using Latin! You have won the day!

Londiniensis said...

It is very easy - and may be apt - to mercilessly criticize the anguished Pope Paul VI. But with all Hell breaking loose round him he gave us Humanae Vitae. As the late Abp Fulton Sheen said:

"The press and sometimes theologians said that the Holy Father should never have issued the letter because it divided the Church. Of course it divided the Church as Elijah divided those who had to choose either Baal or God; it divided the Church as the Lord divided it: 'He that gathers not with Me, scatters.' Certainly, it thinned the ranks of the Church just as God's order to Gideon, trimmed his army from 30,000 to 10,000 and from 10,000 to 300 to do battle with an army of about fifty thousand. Humanae Vitae, quite apart from its teaching, is perhaps the most important Church document in modern times. It enabled the Church to know how many would follow the flesh instead of the spirit."

It is difficult to know how any other Pope would or could have handled the aftermath of the Council and specifically Bugnini et consortes. He needs our prayers.

Martin said...

Londoniesis - the very job of the Pope is to preach the truth of the gospels and guide the visible church on earth. There are no special prizes for doing this. Paul VI was doing his job when he issued Humanae Vitae - are you saying that he should have a Catholic version of the Nobel Peace Prize for just doing his job?! It's what is required of him, no matter what the cost is! Even with respect to the encyclical, it is rather vague in only condemning artificial contraception, leave the confines of natural family planning unexplained and managing to reverse the traditional definition of marriage.

Paul VI ushered in those changes that he would live to regret (privately) but he continued with the auto-demolition of the church in order to appease the enemies of the church. This is not a pope that history can look back on as a valiant one with a prosperous pontificate. Now because of the mistakes of Paul VI, the present papacy is living with an internal haemorrhage in the church.

Born in '87 TLM Attendee said...

Dear Anonymous 22:47: (quote)
Thank you, Alban.

Much of what I've been reading here (including the comments to other posts) is baffling and saddening. Am I to be ashamed that I was born after Vatican II and that the Novus Ordo mass is the only one that I know? Does it make me less Catholic than those who attend TLM?


I, too, was born after Vatican II. Until I was nineteen, the Novus Ordo mass was the only one I knew. But this state of affairs was one that could be changed and did change, by the grace of God, leading me to both appreciate the Church much more and to feel, yes, not shame but some sadness to have been born in such a trying era. Think of those who were born during the Hundred Years' War. There had been a war going on since as long as anyone could remember. Now, we don't have this situation, but we are almost at the second generation of those who do not know the Tridentine Mass. It is sad, but like the Hundred Years' War, God willing, it will come to an end and we will know a better time. You have been deprived of something. If you have the opportunity to attend the Tridentine Mass a few times, I recommend going, with a Missal or someone to help you follow, if possible. Then come back and read these posts and you will understand a little more. It won't happen immediately, but that's to be expected.
--Born in 1987, Attends the TLM

Nicholas said...

"Nothing in the quoted material would lead one to the sneering and demeaning remarks with which your commentary opened."

I dont' get it. What's sneering or demeaning about the following?

"The Church in 1969 was in the middle of the most serious crisis in its modern history, as the debacle following the Council and, particularly, the publication of Humanae Vitae, unfolded. Time reported on the grave situation in the Church[.]"

And while I can certainly sympathize with the attitude that produces comments such as, "To set up a straw man, who happened to be the sovereign pontiff, in order to deride him?," I believe that we must be serious and lay much of the blame for what happened at Paul's feet. The pope is simply not above critique in his prudential decisions. Paul VI was one of the (thankfully) relatively few pontiffs who by their personal weaknesses and the decisions that flowed from them wreaked great havoc in the Church. Some say the man was a saint, and perhaps he was. But so was Celestine V, about whom the old Catholic Encyclopedia remarks: "It is wonderful how many serious mistakes the simple old man crowded into five short months."

The Sovereign Pontiff surely deserves our filial loyalty and submission, but slavish subservience to his every policy decision would violate the mandate of 1 Thessalonians 5:21: "Test everything. Keep what is good."