Rorate Caeli

De Mattei explains the post-Conciliar crisis

Prof. Roberto de Mattei, author of the award-winning Il Concilio Vaticano II: una storia mai scritta (The Second Vatican II: A story never written), published this stirring review of a recently published book in Il Foglio last week (we owe the translation to our contributor Francesca Romana). He reviews Alessandro Gnocchi's and Mario Palmaro's La Bella Addormentata (Sleeping Beauty), on why the Church entered a deep crisis following the Council, and why she should rise again.

We must use this opportunity to, as a matter of justice, deeply thank Edizioni Lindau s.r.l. for their extreme kindness and gentleness in authorizing our publication of short excerpts of de Mattei's masterpiece. In dealing with clerical authorities recently on a similar matter, the unbelievable ensuing aggravation made us appreciate even more Lindau's wonderfully smooth approach. We can honestly say that de Mattei's book is the ideal historical companion to the more philosophical Iota Unum (whose most recent Italian edition was, by the way, also published by Lindau). Lindau also published the most recent books by Msgr. Brunero Gherardini, including one we particularly wish to recommend, and that should indeed be translated in many languages: Quaecumque dixero vobis, a work on Sacred Tradition that is deeper and wider than its size would indicate.

A rude awakening  for  “The Sleeping Beauty” of the Church after the Council

In less than a year we will celebrate the half a century that separates us from the Second Vatican Council, but the controversies that have accompanied  the recognition of the Acqui Storia Award for my book “The Second Vatican Council: a story never written” (Lindau 2010), confirm just how much that event represents a historical node that has still to be dissolved,  above all in the Catholic world.

“Everyone affirms that there is a crisis, but no-one wants to say that it has been the Council that created it: not in a positive manner but in a negative one:  that of not continuing with doctrinal definitions”,  wrote Don Gianni Baget Bozzo, in 2001 in the opening remarks of his essay “The Anti-Christ”.  Today, however, the questions on the floor are far too numerous and pressing that we cannot continue to avoid them. And Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro do not evade these issues, on the contrary, they tackle them head on in their latest book under the highly imaginative title “The Sleeping Beauty. Why the Church entered a crisis after Vatican II. Why She will awaken.” (Vallecchi, 2011, 246 pages, € 12.50):  it is an excellent contribution in understanding  what happened in Rome between the 11th of October 1963 and the 8th of December 1965, and, above all, of what happened in the Church after that fateful three year period.
The Sleeping Beauty is the Church Herself and despite the sins of Her members, remains resplendent and immaculate, because in Herself, She is never sinful.  However, today it would seem that She is asleep, for the reason, that during the last five decades, the errors and betrayals of Her members appear to have plunged Her into a profound sleep, which resembles death.

How else can the paralysis that grips the priests and religious of today be defined if not sleep, when they are faced with the increasing attacks of those who would want to liquidate or twist the doctrines and the very foundation of the Church Herself?  Sins of silence and omission mean “ the soul is asleep”, which has its roots in the Church’s changed attitude towards the world,  proposed by Vatican II: a Council that was proposed as merely pastoral, and not dogmatic, as if all the other previous  dogmatic Councils were not also pastoral.

The fact is that the term pastoral, was nothing other than the transcription, inside the Church, of the kind defined by Gramsci*,  a praxis in vogue during the Sixties. Through the prevalence  of this praxis, it was expected that this same revolution would be brought inside the Church, [a revolution] with which the protest movement would strike Western society in 1968, just a few years later. There was a revolution, but more in the language and the mind-set, than in doctrine.  The praxis was the way in which the Church  related with the world, which, in fact, changed during those years, as Gnocchi and Palmaro note well -  in the abandoning of the Latin language, in apologetic preaching and in the defining and juridical methods of the Church.  Vatican II did not deliberate in an explicit and solemn manner the removal of all the above, nonetheless, the winds of the Council swept these three pillars away from Catholic communications, substituting them with a new way of expressing and  speaking to the faithful.  Latin was abandoned, apologetics were mocked and denigrated and the defining method substituted by new pastoral language, as vague and confusing as the previous was limpid and pure.  Once the primacy of this praxis was accepted, there followed the acceptance of the criteria of the mass-media, as real and authentic ecclesiastical categories: ratings instead of indicating the level of evangelization,  popularity instead of holiness.

By accepting the world’s mass-media language, the Church was compelled to submit to its rules.  The aim of the Church is the proclamation of the Truth, whatever it costs, while in the universe of the mass-media, the aim of the message is not the transmission of the truth, but only the diffusion of the message itself. But the message, at times, is spread more widely when it hides or deforms a truth,  and the success of the communication prevails over the truth of the message communicated.  Since the means is the message, in the final analysis, the scene is dominated by the means of communication, which communicate only themselves. In philosophical terms, they are not interested in what Kant would have called the thing in itself, the “noumenon”, but the phenomenon.   What is “true” is only that which is communicated and to what extent the message is diffused.

What are the fruits of this pastoral change? The most evident and sensational is in the crisis of the priesthood.  To give an example, in France on the eve of the Council, almost a thousand priests were ordained each year. In 2010 there were 88 priests ordained, less than 10 percent of what took place way back then. But going beyond the numbers, what is evident and palpable is the crisis in spirituality, which is expressed in the substitution of contemplation with that of the primacy of action. The majority of priests today are affected by the disease of “doing” , in other words, of a frenetic activism which makes them forget prayer and adoration.

The little abbot with the  red convertible sports car who presents himself to Guareschi’s Don Camillo, or Verdone’s** Don Alfio in “Io, loro e Lara”***, but also the parish priest that each one of us (may) encounter in the nearby church, incarnate a human form, a son – legitimate or illegitimate – that is another question – of  the Second Vatican Council.  They show the full tragedy of a Catholicism, which, Gnocchi and Palmaro explain well, “has changed centuries of metaphysics into pitiable  anthropology.”  The volume closes on a note of supernatural optimism which must characterize the thought and actions of every Catholic.  Who will be the Prince Charming that awakens the Sleeping Beauty?

Perhaps it will be the faithful themselves, the flock that has been abandoned,  “who will be obliged to request that Tradition, the Doctrine of the Church as well as the Mass and Sacraments are respected and restored to the people as God so desires.”  That this is the right road to take is confirmed by Giovanni Franzoni during a recent speech at a theological conference held in Madrid on the 18th of September this year.  Franzoni, born in 1928, ex-priest and ex-abbot of the Benedictine Monastery , San Paolo fuori le Mura, is one of the few surviving conciliar Fathers (together with his friend, Mons. Luigi Betazzi, emeritus Bishop of Ivrea).

In that speech, after having reconstructed the spirit, the expectations and the  disillusionment of the progressives, during and after the conciliar assizes, he comes to this conclusion: “To sum up, I would like to show the heart of the contrasts that have weighed on the Catholic Church for decades in this way: for Wojtyla and Ratzinger, Vatican II has to be seen in the light of the Council of Trent and Vatican I; for us, instead, those two Councils have to be read, and seen with a sense of proportion, in the light of Vatican II. Therefore, given these opposing angles, the differences are irremovable.”

For Franzoni, in short, as it is for the School of Bologna and even for some members of the “ecclesial white whale”****, the rule of faith is the Second Vatican Council.  The way suggested by John Paul II and Benedict XVI and followed by Gnocchi and Palmaro in their fine book, is the one opposite, of the  re-reading and when necessary, critical, of  the Second Vatican Council in the light of Tradition.

                                                                               Roberto De Mattei, “Il Foglio”, October 13, 2011
* Antonio Gramsci – one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party and the major Communist thinker in Western Europe in the 20th century.
** Verdone - an Italian comic actor and film director
*** “Io, loro e Lara” – Italian film directed by Verdone.
**** “Ecclesial white whale” in Italian “balena bianca ecclesiale” originally referred to the former Christian Democratic Party, the DC.


  1. Gratias4:54 AM

    These Catholic writers, editors and our Rorate Caeli are the leading edge of the restoration of Catholicism. I started to attend the TLM after reading the Latin Mass magazine. The written word is very powerful. That is also the reason why Benedict XVI will have a lasting beneficial effect on our Church.

  2. "...for Wojtyla and Ratzinger, Vatican II has to be seen in the light of the Council of Trent and Vatican I; for us, instead, those two Councils have to be read, and seen with a sense of proportion, in the light of Vatican II."

    That's exactly it! - though I think he gives a bit more credit to Pope Wojtyla's Traditionalist credentials than is due.

    That is exactly what I thought when I first came into the Church and was confronted with older documents such as Quanta cura. It was only later that I figured this was an untenable approach as it involved the presumption that the Church was on the wrong track for centuries.

  3. Anonymous9:23 AM

    The author of this magnificent book (which has recieved much criticism for his outstanding presentation of the truth about Vatican II) speaks of a "Prince Charming" who will awaken the Church from it's almost terminal sleep as the "deforms" of Vatican II have nearly wrecked Her.
    I believe that the :Prince Charming" will be a Pope in the not to distant future (10 years or so), a youthful Pope like Pope John Paul II...but not with his progressive mindset. This Pope will be one ordained in 1980's who never lived thru the ancient Catholic traditions...but only the great spiritual desert of Vatican II. Rather than being a loyal son of those times and that Council, he will, seeing the wreckage, have the strength over a long pontificate to have the courage to completely restore the Catholic Church according to our ancient traditions and beliefs. There will be little or no opposition, because those very aged souls who would be still loyal to Vatican II would be so old and so few that their feeble protests would mean nothing against a tidal wave of support among the faithful for a restoration of Catholic tradition.

    Just as a few men in the Roman Curia already admit in private, the Novus Ordo will be gone-replaced once again by the Tridentine Latin Mass after a few years of preparation and adequate catechesis among the faithful, priests, and seminarians. The old disiplines in religious life will be restored, and this Pope will mandate a return to the old traditional religious habits for nuns, and a return to traditional apostolates. This will be the salvation for the remaining Orders--so many others will have already gone extinct due to the 50+ years of radical liberal agenda. But for tiny remnants of once great Orders, it will be a tremendous opportunity.
    From the beginning of his reign until it's end -almost the same span of years that John Paul II had- the Catholic Church will be restored. The Latin Mass and Catholic traditions will be back in place and unlike John Paul II who despite his good reputation left the Catholic Church a wreck, this Pope, like the great Pius XII will leave the Catholic Church a flourishing institution nearly totally recovered and restored from the disaster of Vatican II.
    And his successor will carry on this great work.

    As the late, great Cardinal Giuseppe Siri predicted in 1967, "it will take the Church 100 years to recover from this Council"-from Vatican II.

  4. However, I would submit that the more correct approach - and the one I think is actually followed by Ratzinger - is to view Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II (and all the other councils, and Papal encyclicals for that matter) as seperate entities, set in unique historical contexts.

    I am not saying, as do the Modernists, that the teachings of various ages are fragmentary and unconnected. But what each of them is saying on a particular subject, e.g. the Sacraments, is not motivated by the same circumstances as the others and it is important to keep this in mind when analyzing the texts. Thus, Trent's teaching on the Sacraments is intended to distinguish Catholic teaching from the Protestant heresies. Whereas V2 talked about them in a completely different context: it wanted to explain the Sacraments in the light of the prevailing philosophical, sociological and anthropological currents of thought of the 1950's - essentially reconciling these currents with Catholic teaching, "speaking in the language of modern man". This was the stated purpose of John XXIII as well as the drafters of the documents.

    These are two completely and fundamentally different approaches to teaching, but the two of them are not necessarily mutually exclusive, nor need they be contradictory. I submit that they both have their place, though naturally dogmatic definitions are the basis of the Church's belief, 'pastoral' explanations only being methods of communicating the beliefs, which must be faithful to the beliefs themselves.

    The tragedy of V2 was that its explanations were not always entirely faithful to the previous teaching, or at least failed to mention important aspects of it. Furthermore, everyone - from the drafters to the hyperbolizers to the detractors - was so used to Ecumenical Councils defining dogmas precisely that they thought that the texts of V2 should and did have the same aim in mind. They didn't. The statements of John XXIII, as well as of Paul VI at the close of the council, prove otherwise. But the event took on a life of its own as a sure and inspired measure of Catholic dogma and the future of the Church, even for the Popes.

    This is the trend that must be corrected, by treating V2 for what John XXIII intended it to be and which it was: an attempt to communicate the Faith in a palatable way to the Moderns, which failed miserably precisely because it was too vague a project and because Catholics subsequently were the only one to listen to it and believe in it, and that in an extremely excessive and distorted manner.

  5. John L10:07 AM

    Without intending to criticise de Mattei for his sterling work, it is really rather shocking that this should come as a new revelation. The information about Vatican II has been available since the 1970s. This information has two components: 1) the identity of the people who dominated the Council - Rahner, Lercaro, Dopfner, Suenens, Bea, Schillebeeckx, Congar; and 2) the fact that these dominant figures all denied the teachings of the Catholic faith during or shortly after the Council. Henri de Lubac, scarcely a wild reactionary, criticised Schillebeeckx for substituting the Marxist utopia for the Christian hope in a book published in 1980 ("Petite catechese sur nature et grace"). The fact that the Council was dominated by men who had rejected the Catholic faith was thus documented beyond a doubt thirty years ago. I suppose the fact that theology was an entirely clerical preserve kept some of these facts from becoming known to the wider Catholic world, but still the ignorance is astonishing.

  6. Who will be the Prince Charming that awakens the Sleeping Beauty?

    We do not know his name but he is already alive on Earth.

    Even now, inside of a Chapel where The Immemorial Mass is being offered; inside of a Chapel where the Traditional Sacraments are being dispensed; inside of a Chapel where Traditional Sermons are being heard, some as yet unknown young man ( a Pelayo-Prelate for our times ) is praying in silence, Rosary in hand, out of sight of the entire world and inside of that Traditional Chapel - that serves as today's Cave of Covadonga - The Holy Ghost is raising-up another man even greater than Pope Saint Pius X and Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val and breathes there a man alive today who does not sense that there is some momentous event about to occur or that there will soon arise a man (whose time is mystically proximate) whose time has come and which appearance of event or man, or both, can no longer be forestalled.

    Dear NC and entire Rorate Caeli Team. Thanks be to God for your existence. This is my favorite Catholic Site (as I, repeatedly tell you) and your work here will be rewarded when y'all reach Heaven

    Outside of the FSSP Christ the King Chapel in Sarasota, yours is the place on this Earth in which I experience such comfort and joy and Catholic confidence.

    I know that what you are doing is difficult and demanding and I know that you must be sorely tempted to just ditch the effort but, please, do not ever stop.

    I read you writing in reference to such a disaster the other day. Were you to take-down this site, I would weep and mourn.

    You have no idea of the impact you are having in the world.

    May God Bless, strengthen, and keep you.

  7. You are too kind, I am not Spartacus. But, always remember, "Bonum est confidere in Domino, quam confidere in homine." Please, pray for us.


  8. Anonymous1:28 PM

    "The aim of the Church is the proclamation of the Truth, whatever it costs.”

    The truth about Judaism has been lost, perhaps for as long into the future as we can envision.

    Also: any notion that Vatican Council II will be overthrown or abrogated and the New Mass retired, is delusional. The Right wing in the Church has never possessed the militant abilities of the Left: Pope Benedict XVI continues to appoint liberal bishops, or move them into positions of power (in the US examine Bishop Blase Cupich's attitude toward the Tridentine Mass and priests who are enthusiastic celebrating it).

    Until the Church drops the secrecy that helped cover up the ongoing plague of child molestations, and the excessive cult of obedience toward the pope that led to acceptance of Pope Paul VI’s suppression of the Tridentine Mass, the Church will continue to sink.

    Where I live, a mildly conservative Novus Ordo culture is doing well, with thriving parochial schools and crowded Sunday masses. There is a small Tridentine Mass community existing in its midst. It is a marginal phenomenon.

    For one thing, the traditionalists are torn by suspicion, divisions, spin-offs, splits, self-righteousness and a general lack of charity. Their poor spiritual state does not qualify them as rivals to the New Mass people or recommend them as models of piety or Catholicism.

  9. Jack Orlando1:31 PM

    GE at 09:38, 19 Oct, I thank for his wisdom. His comment is one for the files.

  10. "hat's exactly it! - though I think he gives a bit more credit to Pope Wojtyla's Traditionalist credentials than is due."

    This claim is not substantiated by the facts. JP II (RIP) was a liberal modernist in almost every aspect but an all-male priesthood & respect for life. Otherwise his promotion of liturgical inculturation has led to total chaos where liturgical praxis is concerned.
    Moreover, he retreated on his initial intentions to make concessions to the traditionalist movement when he realised many Western European bishops were ready to go into open schism against him if he did so. The Indult Mass was his attempt to satisfy what he considered were "sentimentalist" feelings for the Old Mass and also to undermine the SSPX. How can anyone suggest he laid the foundations for liturgical renewal or for the traditionalist revival. This is as absurd as it is untrue.

    Further, the current pope has done little to enforce the SP. In fact, the very document itslef undermines the autonomy of The latin Mass by linking our right implicit in The Holy Mass to the Novus Ordo. This is an attempt to propagate the continuity hermeneutic which is to all intents and purposes, cannot be substantiated.

  11. Anonymous2:54 PM

    There is an old story, atill repeated in Rome and elswhere among traditional Catholics that dates to 1938 and the reign of the great Pope Pius XI.

    By 1938, Pius XI was dying. He knew it even though others tried to pretend otherwise. He was a rugged, athletic man who had done mountain climbing and hiking just like John Paul II in his younger days. But by 1938, Pius XI was failing rapidly, and he depended on one man the most in the Vatican...Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who of course in 1939 became the great Venerable Pope Pius XII!

    But the story goes that a great friend of Pius XI, a priest friend, said to the Holy Father " you will be well and live for many more years, Holiness!"
    Pius XI looked at him and said, " No, No, I won't. But don't be sad. Popes come and go. They die. For the Pope to die would be no tragedy for the Church. For there will always be another. But it would be a tragedy for the Church if Cardinal Pacelli were to die. I pray every day that the Lord will send a young man just like him into our seminaries....but as of now,there are none. It would be a great tragedy if Cardinal Pacelli were to die, for there is only one in the whole world."

    A Pope like the great Pope St. Pius X, or like Ven. Pope Pius XII will be coming to save the Church in a very few years.
    We might have to endure, after Pope Benedict XVI, a "quickie" pontificate of some 2 1/2-3 years of a moderate/liberal Italian Pope, but then will come a man from another "far country", a man presently serving as a bishop in a backwater non-Catholic country, a man who is a member of a religious Order which is among the most ancient in the Church, a man very highly esteemed in traditional/traditionalist Catholic circles. He will rise rapidly in the next 2-3 years, and will emerge as Pope to the surprise of the world, and to the cheers of traditional Catholics who have waited for a man like him. One who even looks somewhat like the great Pope Pius XII himself.
    And his long pontificate will bring about a tremendous restoration of the Catholic Faith so that when he passes, the crowds in St. Peter's at his funeral will likewise call out..
    "Santo Subito, Santo subito".
    Can anyone guess who I think it may very well be?

  12. I am in total agreement with Non-Spartacus, as always, and along the lines indicated in his post, I notice, among other things the following:

    (a) Fr. Sean Finnigan at his Valle Adurni site (which one would perhaps characterize as conservative leaning traditional), notes that (the unfortunate) Robert Mickens of the (also unfortunate) Tablet has out a piece now that up front calls the Council a revolution (just one that did not go far enough);

    (b) Robert Moynihan, of "Inside the Vatican", in one of his recent eletters to his subscribers, comments on the recent meeting of the P.C. for the New Evangelisation, and asks probing and pointed questions, to the effect of saying that the Roman authorities must actually study (and then respond to) the deep causes of the falling away from the Faith of so many, rather than merely propose new programs and the like;

    (c) the recent petition to the Holy Father for a deeper study of the Council, as publicized at this invaluable site, which I think most notably, and indeed one might even say "revolutionarily" presents the view of noted Traditionalist writers, including not just the usual suspects, but also Msgr Antonio Livi, a priest of Opus Dei,asking not just that the continuity of the Council with Traditon be asserted, but that this be demonstrated, marking a real break in the sense that one will no longer accept these things just because a hierarch in authoritative position says so;

    (d) the ongoing debates on the Council at Chiesa and Settimo Cielo, which present, among other things the spectacle of the defenders of "contintuity" seemingly having no way of demonstrating this, but relying merely on assertions, or secondary arguments such as that of Massimo Introvigne, that the Council Fathers were assured by their doctrinal commission that all was in line with traditon;

    (e) perhaps a little bit more obscure, and more in the line of "conservative" than "traditional" discussions, two pieces from the Argentine Martha Arrechea Harriet de Olivero, on the Spanish language version of the service (in "educadores catolicos--cursos--54 virtudes atacadas"), and a paper from Fr. Luis Garza, LC, on the Regnum Christi site (entitled "The Battle for the World's Soul"), point out the deleterious effects of Gramsci's program (of the "march through the institutions") on today's culture,including the Church, with its far-reaching effects; Sra de Olivero has some particularly pointed things to say here.

    All of which is to say that there is a great ferment afoot, the genie is out of the bottle, the natives are restless (to harken back to a less politically correct day). Let us indeed pray for the coming of the Great Pope.

  13. But, always remember, "Bonum est confidere in Domino, quam confidere in homine."

    Dear NC. Amen.

    However, Saint Robert Bellarmine in his "A Commentary on the Psalms" (p.300) exegetes David's wise verse; "It is not, however, sinful to put our trust, to a certain extent, in the help of Angels, or of pious people, because such hope has reference to God, who helps those trust in him, not only directly through himself; but also indirectly through others.

    God knew it was not good for me to be alone and disconnected from Tradition and so he gave me -
    The FSSP;
    and Rorate Caeli;
    and pious men like thee;
    Lifelines to those tossed by the modernist sea.

    I will pray for Thee and Rorate Caeli knowing that y'all will pray for me.

  14. @ Anonymous 14:54

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider (if the fact he's German doesn't rule him out).

  15. Anonymous6:31 PM


    @Not Spartacus & John Nolan:

    Here's hoping your both right, if Bishop Schneider is indeed the one you are hinting at.

    Cardinal Llovera would be another who comes to mind. And, of course, Cardinal Ranjith.

  16. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Why do certain folks assume that a future Pope will be raised to return the Church to, if you will, Her pre-Vatican II likeness?

    Perhaps, beginning with Blessed Pope John XXIII, our recent Popes and bishops are correct in that the Holy Ghost has led the Church to "open Her windows" to let in "new ways."

    Why is the Novus Ordo destined to die? Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that the Novus Ordo will remain the primary Mass that the majority of Latin Catholics will know and encounter.

    Pope Benedict XVI (note that he used the word "concrete"):

    "The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often.

    "Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful."

    The TLM will be limited to one or two, although two would be unlikely, parishes TLM-only parishes.

    At best, a few additional parishes within a diocese may offer TLMs.

    The Dallas Diocese is typical as to the manner in which the situation with the TLM has (and will be) handled by our bishops.

    The Dallas Diocese is determined to prevent the TLM from being offered outside the diocese's FSSP TLM-only parish.

    At best, the diocese will permit a Novus Ordo Latin Mass to be offered here and there.

    The TLM is, so to speak, a sideline Mass.

    Pope Benedict XVI, on his way to France, described Summorum Pontificum as a mere act of tolerance to the relatively few Catholics who are attached to the Traditional Roman Mass.

    Pope Benedict XVI said that "...this Motu Proprio is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy, who love it, are familiar with it and want to live with this liturgy."

  17. Anonymous7:00 PM

    John Nolan wins!

    Yes, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C.

    I think he is only 51. He is presently serving in Kazakhstan (which is mostly a Muslim country with small Russian Orthodox, Catholic, and even Buddhist minorities).

    Bishop Schneider was recently promoted (of sorts), to be an auxiliary bishop in Kazakhstan's largest Catholic diocese. But I don't think that Pope Benedict XVI will for long waste his skills and holiness there. He is destined for much better better things.

    Cardinal Lloverda would not make a good Pope because he is anti-Tridentine Latin Mass. He is in favor of the proper celebration of the Novus Ordo, (similar to Cardinal Arinze), but has no real liking for Catholic tradition.

    Cardinal Ranjith would be better than Lloverda, but he too,is a Novus Ordo man.

    Bishop Schneider on the other hand, while being an obedient Bishop to the present liturgical laws, has a deep love for the ancient traditions of the Church and our ancient theology, liturgy, and Catholic culture. He is also a brilliant scholar and writer.

    Look for him to be picked for a musch greater position within the next 6 months, either in an Archdiocese (which at first will not welcome him very much), or a position in the Vatican.

    Let us pray for him.

    Perhaps, in 10 years or less, he will be elected to a position neither he, nor most people, would have ever anticipated!

  18. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Anonymous 18:36

    While it is true that the Holy Spirt inspires new pathways for the Church and "opening windows" or opportunities...the result is always positive....not a disaster.
    And the good fruit is almost immediatly seen...or very shortly after the initiative. Not a total collapse with worse things happening year after year..for 50+ years!!

    Those who think Vatican II was the working of the Holy Spirit in total are at best simply naive, or at worst, delusional considering the outcome for the past 50 years.

    That the Tridentine Latin Mass is restricted in Dallas is not a sign that there is no demand, but rather a sign that those in authority want to cover up the truth that there is a large demand for Catholic tradition. Having created the Vatican II Church, these leaders want to present the picture that everyone loves it and desires nothing else. There is nothing further from the truth.

    In the Catholic Church today, there are basically three groups...and they are present in every diocese and every parish.
    1) Traditional/Traditionalist Catholics who would want the Tridentine Latin Mass (people of all ages, but with a growing number of young people under 40 and with children).
    2) Radical Liberal/dissident Catholics who wish to push for more changes and progressive liturgical expression than even Vatican II allowed for (women priests, gay unions, women deacons, married priests, Creation spirituality, etc.- They are people of all ages, but with a heavy representation of people 50 and older and very few under 40).
    3) The average, complacent Catholics who go to Mass on Sundays because they have to and don't care about anything regarding the Mass etc. and are happy with the status quo. They are people of all ages, and have good representation within all age groups with no one particular group predominant.(THIS IS THE BIGGEST GROUP IN PARISHES).

    Unfortunatly, it is group #2 that runs most dioceses and parishes. That is why the Tridentine Latin Mass is blocked, disallowed, or the lie perpetuated that " there is no demand".

    As an aside note, the qoute you referenced by the Pope and "Summorum Pontificum" is easy to explain.
    The Pope was on his way to France. The bishops of France (mostly all radical liberals), had already given the united front that there was no demand for the Tridentine Latin Mass to the press, and the Motu Priorio was only a pastoral concession for a tiny minority.
    Flying to France to meet with these radicals, the Pope was hardly going to contradict them. Otherwise he would have had a rebellion on his hands the minute he stepped from the plane. Rather, (unfortunatly gentleman and diplomat that he is), Benedict XVI just echoed the Bishops of France for peace in the Church.
    A weak response, but an expected one. And totally in character.

  19. Why do certain folks assume that a future Pope will be raised to return the Church to, if you will, Her pre-Vatican II likeness?

    Because the Catholic Church repeatedly recapitulates in her life the Passion of Her Creator and, at some time in the future, it will even appear as though it is dead, before it becomes resurrected in all of its Traditional and Triumphant Glory as proof to a dis-believing world that it is indeed Jesus who is Head of His Church but I think several Passions and Resurrections will happen prior to the election of Peter Romanus - and even after he and that Restoration, it will appear to die...

    These past fifty years have been a test and I feel it in my bones that he who will lead the Restoration is already alive on Earth. (But, I specialise in false feelings, so..)

    Dear Woody: Thanks for the kind comment

  20. Anonymous3:04 AM

    "While it is true that the Holy Spirt inspires new pathways for the Church and "opening windows" or opportunities...the result is always positive....not a disaster.
    And the good fruit is almost immediatly seen...or very shortly after the initiative. Not a total collapse with worse things happening year after year..for 50+ years!!"

    Yes, pretty close to a total collapse has hit the Church.

    But Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that the collapse cannot be linked to Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass that followed.

    "That the Tridentine Latin Mass is restricted in Dallas is not a sign that there is no demand, but rather a sign that those in authority want to cover up the truth that there is a large demand for Catholic tradition."

    I disagree that "there is a large demand for Catholic tradition" (in Dallas and throughout the world).

    As an aside note, the qoute you referenced by the Pope and "Summorum Pontificum" is easy to explain.
    The Pope was on his way to France. The bishops of France (mostly all radical liberals), had already given the united front that there was no demand for the Tridentine Latin Mass to the press, and the Motu Priorio was only a pastoral concession for a tiny minority.
    Flying to France to meet with these radicals, the Pope was hardly going to contradict them. Otherwise he would have had a rebellion on his hands the minute he stepped from the plane. Rather, (unfortunatly gentleman and diplomat that he is), Benedict XVI just echoed the Bishops of France for peace in the Church.

    A weak response, but an expected one. And totally in character."

    I believe that your interpretation is flawed.

    You said that the Pope's "weak response" (weak response?) was "totally in character."

    Was His Holiness "weak" and "totally in character" when he defied what was almost certainly the majority of bishops' feelings toward the TLM to issue Summorum Pontificum?

    Was the Pope "weak" and "totally in character" when he, if you will, defied the bishops and, for that matter, world, in having lifted the SSPX excommunications?

  21. Anonymous4:03 AM

    Regarding Dallas, I attended the FSSP Mater Dei parish (actually in Irving) from 2009-2011 while a grad student at the University of Dallas. I was there when they were first officially recognized as a parish and got their own church. The growth there has been exponential.

    This is largely, I believe, because they have two of the best priests of the FSSP: Fr. Wolfe and Fr. Longua (they also happen to be two of the most heavily featured priests on, especially Fr. Wolfe). Phenomenal in the pulpit and in the confessional. Word is getting around in the Dallas area, even to the committed Novus Ordo "conservatives" on the UD campus, which is about 4 miles away. And many SSPX families abandoned the SSPX for this parish, much to the chagrin of other SSPXers (though I suspect that this had as much to do with Fr. Novak's heavy-handedness as with anything else).

    At any rate, it won't surprise me if Bishop Farrell receives increasing pressure to expand the availability of the traditional Mass in the Dallas diocese.

  22. Anonymous4:09 AM

    I second the compliments and sentiments of I am not Sparticus. This blog feels like "home," and I am increasingly thankful for it and its authors. It is a source of consolation in the midst of chaos and insanity. May Our Lord and His Blessed Mother guide your work and bless you all.


  23. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Anonymous 03:04

    Yes, Pope Benedict XVI says that the collapse of the Church can't be blamed on Vatican II or the Novus Ordo. Most thinking, traditional/traditionalist Catholics however know the truth and refute this totally biased answer from the Pope.

    With all respect to the Pope, he participated in Vatican II. He's not going to turn around and blame it for anything. He's said it has been misinterpreted etc....and that's close to saying that it was a mistake....but he's not going t condemn the Council he played such a big part in. That would be admitting that he was wrong, and 2,000+ other bishops there were wrong. He's not going to do that.

    He won;t blame the Novus Ordo either, although there's some evidence that he does not particularly like it. He won't blame or condemn a worship service that his "venerable predecessor" Paul VI created. Ratzinger worked under Paul VI for many years. He was promoted to Archbishop of Munich and Cardinal in 1977 by Paul VI. So he won't condemn the man he considers almost like a matter how wrong he was.

    That's why Benedict XVI will never blame either Vatican II, or the Novus Ordo from the crisis in the Church. Even though a growing number of young scholar priests, theologians, and authors agree that both are to blame for the crisis in the Church.

    The next papacy will be a very short one, but he won't blame Vatican II either because he will have been ordained during it.

    But the Pope after him will, almost from the beginning of his long reign, signal very politely but firmly that Vatican II in and of itself was badly handled, mismanaged and misapplied. Much will be repudiated that came from in. But the Council will not be condemned as error. But most of it will be gone.

    The Novus Ordo on the other hand, will be swept away rather quickly by this youngish Pope, and replaced with the Tridentine Latin Mass again...after a 1-2 year period of proper catechesis around the world.
    The recovery in the Church will be almost immediate.

  24. Ralph Roister-Doister6:43 PM

    Excuse me, but why do so many of you seem to be convinced that the next papacy will be so "short-lived"? This does not make much sense to me. After all, many were saying that Ratzinger's election would prove to be a short papacy, and that may still turn out to be true. I would think that, when the time comes, there would be a push for a younger "conservative" -- someone like Angelo Scola perhaps? This would be yet another case of confusing conservatism with traditionalism, of course, for Scola has been enthralled by Balthazar and De Lubac, and has produced theological epic poems like "The Nuptial Mystery," the insights of which, whatever else one might say about them, are in no sense "traditional"

  25. The Holy Father says in SP that the NO will remain the Ordinary Form because of a)total ignorance of Latin and b)lack of liturgical formation. This is hardly a ringing endorsement of the Pauline missal, and also suggests that seminaries are not doing their job properly.

    Benedict knows that some Italian bishops are almost pathologically anti-TLM and does not want a revolt on his own doorstep. This is one reason why he has not celebrated the EF publicly since his election. The French bishops are probably right in saying that there is no demand for the EF among the tiny rump who still attend what passes for liturgy in their parishes. However, traditional monasteries attract young families from far and wide, not to mention the chapels of the SSPX.

    Regarding the Dallas situation, the bishop may be as obstructive as he likes but he cannot prevent a priest from celebrating the TLM nor prevent the faithful from attending such a celebration; he can, of course, make life difficult for such a priest, in which case he should be publicly excoriated for his spitefulness and lack of obedience to Rome.


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