Rorate Caeli

Obedience and the Power of the Modernists: understanding the resurgence of Modernism in the past 50 years

Fr. Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P.

The return of Modernism that has characterized these 50 years since the end of the Second Vatican Council can be divided into two periods which reveal the tenacity, the strength and power of persuasion that this plot against the Church, has produced operating within Her and accomplishing the “work of auto-demolition”, that Paul VI had spoken about.

The first period is characterized by the famous chaotic and disordered contestations of 1968 and, at that same time, the wild, uncontrolled spreading of heretical doctrines in dogma and morals among seminarians, youth, priests, religious and theologians. The bishops, taken by surprise, and not wanting to be labeled “prophets of doom” or pre-conciliar conservatives, more or less allowed them free rein, at times with the formula ad experimentum (“Let’s see how it goes.”); as if the truth of a doctrine depended on the success it meets.

Since there was some ‘success’ in numerous cases, “Let’s see if it works”, which was before - was adopted, taken for granted and not to be questioned. Those who tried to question it, whatever authority they had, perhaps in the name of the precedent Magisterium or Tradition, were subjected to public derision as “anti-conciliarists.”

The disobedience to the Magisterium and to the Pope himself, either openly or covertly in the name of an unspecified “spirit of the Council” began to be a habit which spread among the faithful, intellectuals and people, the clergy, theologians and moralists. [Thus] the so-called “Catholic dissent” was born, and Paul VI spoke about “a parallel Magisterium”.

Heretical and modernist ideas, especially those along Protestant lines, started to be taught freely, tranquilly and with impunity in Catholic schools and were also found in the publications and press of many so-called “Catholic” publishers. The scandal and anxiety of the devout and orthodox among the faithful, were considered with derision and superciliousness by the modernists – those so-called “progressives” increasingly sure of themselves and convinced they were the new Church of the future and modernity: “in the heart of the world”, in “the Church of the poor” in “the Church of dialogue”, guided directly by the Spirit, truly evangelical, attentive to the “Word of God” and the “signs of the times” and so on.

Throughout this first period, the modernists had the opportunity of becoming more and more dominant in social communications, thus infiltrating into families, in culture - schools, universities, workplaces, parishes, movements, academic environments and Catholic education, seminaries and religious institutes, thus forming an entire generation of new priests, new religious, new leaders, new bishops and even new cardinals. All of this in the face of extremely weak resistance on the part of good pastors and the Holy See, itself weakened and contaminated through ultra-recommended infiltrators by ambitious prelates of dubious orthodoxy.

What was the catastrophic outcome of all this? We see it today before our eyes, growing in proportions, and it could have been but figured out - as it had indeed been figured out and foreseen by those many clear-sighted “prophets of doom”. (We should better say: the “unheeded sentinels”). Or let us say more simply, it was foreseen by those endowed with common sense: that gradually from the modernists and false teachers, free to spread their errors, there would have risen (as indeed it has) a generation or a category holding ecclesiastical power at various levels, more or less ruthless or convinced, more or less oscillating and double-crossing, imbued with their own ideas and therefore, not only able to spread modernist ideas, but order their implementation, subject to disciplinary sanctions, in the name of “obedience” or even, persecution against those that wanted to remain faithful to the Church’s Magisterium.

Even more severe penalties have been inflicted against scholars and theologians who not only remain faithful to sound doctrine, but reveal and denounce the errors and misdeeds of the modernists with names and facts, as well as proof and precise accusations. The modernists are most able at hiding under the appearance of what is true, and are irritated by those who warn the faithful of the hidden dangers and use tones of rebuke against the inventors and diffusers of error.

As far as possible, they strive to ignore these protestors, above all if they have no followers. But when they become aware that the eyes of the faithful have been opened, they resort to threats and violence. Thus, a kind of “reverse” inquisition has come about: today the heretics, are not only seen in a good light, but they even have the audacity (as happened in the 16th century in the Catholic countries overrun by Protestants) due to the nefarious power they have achieved, to obstruct or block those who defend sound doctrine and who want to shield the people of God from the epidemic of lies and falsehoods that are the origins of every kind of moral disorder. Pastors, frequently, because of insufficient theological formation, even if they are good and conscientious, limit themselves to condemning moral errors, but without realizing it, in fact, sometimes they are hostile, in good faith or in fear, towards those theologians who bring to light the theoretical roots of error.

But, the tragicomical thing that reveals the refined hypocrisy of these modernist Pharisees – is the “scandal” – pure pharisaical scandal – when their snow-white souls are disturbed in seeing or knowing about courageous Catholics who dare to resist or oppose prelates, teachers, educators, superiors or bishops who would like to shut them up or convince them that they are mistaken; they then give orders, or impart invalid prohibitions thus making them inapplicable, forgetting that peremptory order of Scripture: “Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out thy corn on the floor.”, similar to criminal health-care officials who would want to impede doctors in taking care of the sick.

They are the first to disobey the truth and directives of the Gospel as well as the Supreme Pontiff, and they dare to dish out orders which clash with the sound doctrine or moral and judicial principles of the Church. These are the same ones that in 1968 or in its wake, who wailed against “the barons” and “authoritarianism”; they felt authorized to contest the Pope and bishops, and to enlighten them with expressions of such dogmatic rigor as: “the Church of the rich” of despotism and medieval theocracy from the “age of Constantine”, “Baroque triumphalism “, pharisaical legalism, the Inquisition, sex phobia, and so forth. Now, instead, they ask for absolute obedience and whoever contradicts them is compared to one that disobeys a divine precept. That is, if they still believe in the true God and do not make a god of themselves, along the lines of the sublime intuition of a certain Gnostic pantheist.

So we have entered the second period, in which we witness more and more frequently, disconcerting and scandalous deeds, where bishops and superiors are especially involved: some forbid the celebration of the Tridentine Mass, others run seminaries in which St. Thomas is replaced by Rahner. Some block the entrance of well-intentioned young men into the seminary or oblige them to adapt if they want to further themselves, while they open wide the door to aspiring modernists, encouraging them in their ambitions. Some are open sustainers of heresies and promote those who agree with them while, in various ways, others persecute Catholics who want nothing other than to be Catholic. Some protect modernist teachers and repress the orthodox ones. We have arrived at the point of favouring the cause of beatification from some absolutely improbable prospects, such as Monsignor Tonino Bello, merely because he reflects a model for the modernist, but other causes are disgracefully obstructed merely because they vex the modernists.

What happens to obedience in these situations? Has not perhaps the meaning been perverted? What good is it to obey superiors who, in their turn, disobey the Church and the Pope? Is it possible that nothing ever happens to the one who disobeys the Pope, while disobeying a modernist superior is [considered] such a terrible thing? Since Modernism is so widespread and prestigious, the seminarian, the priest, the theologian who resist the abuses of the modernist superior end up looking like the disobedient ones.

The power of the modernists today is so strong and the seduction that they exercise is so insidious, that a large dose of courage is needed to resist their arrogance and [one must have] very refined discernment in order to recognize the dangers.

In any case, before deciding whether to continue or not fulfilling one’s duty in fidelity to the Church, against the will or the abuse of power by some superior, it is necessary, above all, to evaluate with prudence and certainty the entity and the quality of the said abuse, and to calculate in advance, with a margin of probability, if the resistance to the unjust measures might cause greater or lesser damage with respect to the sufferings that the faithful might experience.

Resistance to the tyrant is justified from the standpoint of protecting or safeguarding the common good even at the risk of great personal loss. St. Thomas More and St. Thomas Becket accepted death when they realized that their obedience to the king would have caused greater damage to the English Church compared to what would have happened to them in renouncing their own lives.

The salvation of souls, especially if they are many, is a greater good than one’s own personal interests, even if life itself is at risk. It is not possible, nonetheless, to establish a rule that fits every case or situation. In principle, for example, an esteemed and noted theologian, victim of the abuse of power on the part of superiors, can give a good example adapting himself, rather than refusing to submit; it all depends on the circumstances which must be evaluated well.

We have examples in the saints of both these cases. Some suffer patiently, accepting all of the humiliations and even arrive at martyrdom; others availing themselves of their rights, conscious of their innocence and proud in their service to the Church, repulse the unjust treatment with firmness. We have in this regard the example of St. John of the Cross, who escaped from the prison of his superiors, rebels against the Pope.

If on the other hand we are talking about minor penalties, such as exile or defamation or the loss of one’s personal goods, isolation or prison and things of that sort, it might be convenient to accept them, in the hope, that in time, one might be rehabilitated and take up one’s mission once again in freedom. We have many examples of this in the lives of the saints, heroic pastors and other witnesses for Christ.

There could be, in fact, situations that are not so dramatic or because obeying would not cause great harm to the faithful or to the one who is a witness to the faith. In certain cases it is prudent and not cowardly to resign oneself to violence, if this would not cause too much scandal to good people and not too much prejudice to the one persecuted.

Indeed, it might happen, in the case of resistance regarding a successful exercise of his apostolate, that the persecuted may find himself in worse conditions compared to that which he might have conserved by obeying his superior. For this, as we see from history, saintly theologians, bishops and preachers adapted themselves without rebelling against unjust measures, not for the sake of obedience, but for reasons of convenience and in the end to avoid greater vexations.

So, it happens that the truly obedient, i.e. the one who first obeys God and the Church ends up looking like the disobedient one in this climate of such confusion, where it is difficult to distinguish who belongs and does not belong to the Church, since the modernists have diffused such a false concept of Church on account of what they have been able to do by deceit and cunning in imposing their power, giving the impression that they themselves are the renovators of Christianity and the avant-garde in the Church.

Their present arrogance and the impious audacity which guides them in their contempt for true obedience to the Church, under the illusion that they are the winners, will be instead, the weakening factors of their power, because Divine Providence, yes tolerates the wicked, but not beyond a certain limit. God tolerates them because they generate saints: “If there were no persecutors, says St. Thomas, there would be no martyrs.”

But, since God wants to save everyone, while the modernists seriously risk damning themselves, God will certainly not permit this state of affairs to continue much longer and His mighty power of justice and mercy will act in a way that the future of the Church will be brighter, so that She, without being exempt from the cross, may nonetheless walk less afflicted along the path of history.

[Father Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P., Th. D., is an Italian theologian currently residing in the Convent of Saint Dominic, in Bologna, where the holy relics of the Founder of the Friars Preachers are held and venerated. Source: Riscossa Cristiana, January 21, 2013. Text and translation: Contributor Francesca Romana.]


  1. I have always loved that graphic--has anyone ever identified who the first guy is a caricature of?

  2. I will not be moved. I will not be moved. I have recently seen the Tradition as a Catholic who grew up with all which the modernists could throw around.
    God forgive me my sins, God forgive those heretics in His Church, God protect us from the devil.
    I must pray without ceasing, I must pray what is ancient, what is 2,000 years old. Not what was decided by misguided men in 1962. Our Lord help us, Our Lady intercede for us, St Joseph protect us. We must pray for a Pope with the heart of a lion.

  3. This posting comforts my soul. Thank you.

  4. These are the same ones that in 1968 or in its wake, who wailed against “the barons” and “authoritarianism”; they felt authorized to contest the Pope and bishops, and to enlighten them with expressions of such dogmatic rigor as: “the Church of the rich” of despotism and medieval theocracy from the “age of Constantine”, “Baroque triumphalism “, pharisaical legalism, the inquisition, sex phobia, and so forth. Now, instead, they ask for absolute obedience and whoever contradicts them is compared to one that disobeys a divine precept.

    In their political praxis, modernists are the Ecclesiastical equivalence of the 1960s cultural revolutionaries (Think Maoists, Stalinists, and Red Diaper Baby Boys like Mario Salvo, Tom Hayden, William Ayers, Peter Collier, David Horowitz, etc) who endlessly spoke about free speech but, once they acquired power, began instituting the cultural marxism of speech codes in defense of their revolution.

    Both sets of bastids will have their day standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ; in the meantime, try to identify the closest Cave of Covadonga (Traditional Chapel/Church) in which to shelter your own selves from their perfidy and laugh at them every single chance you get.

    To a Modernist, ridicule, laughter, and mockery is like a Crucifix to Satan; they hate it.

    They think themselves theological sophisticates who must be taken seriously but they are not ever to be taken seriously by any layman; just look at, say, Father Richard McBrien - he is the Pauly Shore of American Theologians - and because we Laymen have no authority to excommunicate clerical clowns like him, our most effective weapon is ridicule and laughter.

    Writing letters to this, that, or the other head of some Roman Dicastery in expectation that some good will eventuate may be a justifiable penitential act one could engage in during Lent but the idea such letters are effective is silly; don't be fooled into thinking those in the Magisterium are ignorant of what is going on.

  5. "So, it happens that the truly obedient, i.e. the one who first obeys God and the Church ends up looking like the disobedient one..."

    Every schismatic and heretic in the history of the Church has posited(privately judged) that they were "truly obedient".

  6. I always have to laugh (sort of) when I read about the crocodile tears Pope Paul Vl shed about the state of the Church. It was he, in his exalted position, who excalted and championed humanism. It was he, a firm and convinced Modernist,who guided and supported the destruction Modernist clerics unleashed onto the Church. It was he, as Vicar of Christ no less, who rammed the Modernist mass down the Church's throat and falsely suppressed the True Catholic Mass.

    Modernism had been around for a long time and was denounced by several of our pre-Vatican ll popes. They reared their ugly heads during the greatest and most fantastic Council ever seen. Then they took charge and the rest is sad history.

    By their fruits ye shall know them and we surely do. At least some of us see evil when it stares us in the face.

    I like, and agree with, the last paragraph of this article. God will not be mocked forever. At some point He will clean out the smelly stables and His glory and kingship will be shown once again for all the world to see. Please God, may this be soon.

  7. Pope St Pius X and Pope Pius IX have told us everything we need to know about modern errors, particularly the liberal modernists. The Saintly Pope Pius X gave to us "Pascendi D G....." by which we understand that the enemies of The Church are within the sheepfold and are wolves. he describes them to us very accurately. In fact, it is they who have hijacked The faith since the Councils and they are running the post-conciliar establishment. About this there can be no doubt at all.
    We can see the liberal modernists for who they are: new liturgical praxis; new pastoral paradigm and the new ecumenism. Indeed, this is the enemy within.

  8. The new paradigm of obedience to the pope is a chameleon behind which there is systemic disobedience to the mageterial teachings of the church. It is called collegiality and the "royal priesthood" of the laity. from these we witness a papolatry that raises the supreme pontiff as a mediatised star but which in reality treats him as a primus inter pares whose authority has been methodically diluted by the so-called reform of The Holy See in the 1960s and in the removal of the symbols of his status.

    This is why the current pope has claimed he has no power beyond the threshold of his front door. He is absolutely right because this is what the liberals wanted and this is what they now have.

    The post-conciliar church is effectively leaderless according to flat-line managerial principles. Symbolically, the liberals dethroned Our Blessed Lord as King; the ecclesiastical parallel of which is the dethronemnet of the papal office.

  9. It's as i've believed for years: any authentic catholic restoration will have to start with the mass sackings of all Cardinals and then current Bishops: this can only be done when the Traditionalist side has enough clerics on its side (several thousand at the least) to replace them.

    And we need a Pope of course who is a traditionalist, determined on the restoration and unafraid of the Modernist Mafia.

    I would put myself forward, but I'm married. Sigh.

    Another twenty-five or thirty years should do it. By then even a Papal candidate won't be able to ignore the "signs of the times".

    Assuming of course that Our Lord doesn't step in first with a great cleansing of the entire world.

    Personally, I await the announcement from the Garabandal seers of the "Warning" which will be announced eight days in advance and which, if true, must happen within my expected lifetime.

  10. Brethren,

    As always, misery seeks company. Is there anything the Babylonian harlot wouldn't attempt to throw at us?

    "Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:8-10

    So let's heed the counsel of the Divine Master, where service of His Divine Majesty is our priority first and foremost. My former Communist boss couldn't bear the thought that I was the only young person who refused to subscribe to his ideas, yet he respected me for my tenacity. The impudence of the apparatchiks of the order of "obedience" always resounds in the same manner: it doesn't matter if you lose your soul, as long as you obey. We have plenty of work ahead of us. In order to earn respect and recognition, we must demonstrate to our ideological opponents our way is not only better but also the ultimate way. I always pay respect to some of our opponents' rhetorical excellence, the lucidity of their arguments and their excellent knowledge of the subject. Most of them are outside of this forum.

    Well, Trads, if we want to secure our future, then our youth must be trained along those lines, attention must be paid to the formation of self-discipline, prompt obedience, solid working habits and everything which is useful and profitable. Also, it is important to develop a deep sense of mutual charity and solidarity. If we practise this, it would be the best argument against the objections of our opponents. As the saying goes, "Words encourage, but actions captivate." Our battled hardened SSPX priests long time ago identified and repudiated those modernist arguments as baseless sophistry. The syllabus of all those errors which modernists attempted to progogate serves as a timeless and rigid template for squaring up our Catholic identity. What a price and savouring the sense of victory would it be for the modernists if the SSPX capitulated! Dear Apparatchics what a frustration it must be for you that your wish is not going to be granted!

  11. Beautiful graphic -- but the article is wrong.

    The origin of Modernism is to be found in 15th century (pre-Lutheran) philosophy.

  12. "Beautiful graphic -- but the article is wrong.

    Oh help Jabbapappa! Where is the article wrong?

    The origin of Modernism is to be found in 15th century (pre-Lutheran) philosophy."

    If you read the article you will see perfectly well it is not about the orgins of modernism - its simply about its explosion in the Church over the past 50 years.

    Pedantry is a bore and is often found in people who do not read the context of articles properly - but they just have to shoot off at the mouth anyway. Beats me why.

    This is a good and helpful article - written by a priest,(Wonderful!) exposing the truths of the 50 year old deformations in the Church - and I praise him!

    May God give us many priests like Father Cavalcoli!


  13. Actually Jabba,

    That's wrong. The origins of modernism are to be found - as are so many of the church's problems - in the philosophy of neo-platonism, rather than nominalism.

    Gabriel von Eyb

  14. It is interesting that some people are experts to solve others' problems but don't lift a finger to solve their own. Like the Pharisees of old, imposing burdens on others but not carrying thier own and that predates Luther and other heretics.

  15. Gabriel von Eyb, could you elaborate on why you think neo-platonism is behind modernism?

  16. Christendom College's Dr. William Marshner gave a good talk about the "Recrudescence of Modernism", as he called it, at the college a few years ago. It should be available still on iTunes U.

  17. Father Cavalcoli is very brave, for the Order of Preachers very liberal, at least here in the Western Provice of North America. They have only a few priests that offer the Dominican Latin Mass. One of these Holy men used to offer Latin mass here in California. He was transferred to Anchorage, Alaska. I am told from a good source that the parish in Anchorage has a total of three priests that say the Dominican Rite Mass. By concentating ostracism of traditional priests in one single parish modernist Dominicans promote the Spirit of Vatican II in our Province. If I am wrong in my information please correct me, if not please reassign these Dominican priests to where they can do most good by offering the Traditional Dominican Rite.

  18. Thank you for publishing this. This is one of the most honest and hard-hitting articles I have read on modernism. The only thing that Pope Paul VI did that was right was to admit that "the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary." But then the question arises, what did he do about it?

  19. "Our battled hardened SSPX priests"

    Get this message to every foxhole, in order to abslove sins in the confessional, an SSPX priest needs faculties from the Bishop of his diocese!!!

  20. May God bless Fr. Cavalcoli!

    His article is one of the finest and bravest I have read on the topic.

    It would be a good thing to make a special effort at preserving it as part of the history of this era.

    Thanks to Francesca Romana, N.C. and Rorate for bringing it to us!

  21. Hello New Catholic,

    It's opportune to hear Fr. Calvacoli speak of the "prophets of doom" who saw so much of this crisis coming down the tracks.

    As fate would have it, Sandro Magister has a new piece up today at Chiesa, noting some devastating observations excerpted from the personal diary of one such prophet of doom, the late Fr. Divo Barsatti (1914-2006), now made public for the first time in a new book (in Italian, alas) by Romano Amerio disciple Professor Enrico Maria Radaell:

    "Nothing seems to me more grave, contrary to the holiness of God, than the presumption of clerics who believe, with a pride that is purely diabolical, that they can manipulate the truth, who presume to renew the Church and to save the world without renewing themselves. In all the history of the Church nothing is comparable to the latest Council, at which the Catholic episcopate believed that it could renew all things by obeying nothing other than its own pride, without the effort of holiness, in such open opposition to the law of the gospel that it requires us to believe how the humanity of Christ was the instrument of the omnipotence of the love that saves, in His death.”


    It's noteworthy enough to justify its own post, I think, for Rorate readers who may not regularly access Sandro Magister's website.

  22. Hello Gratias,

    Father Cavalcoli is very brave, for the Order of Preachers very liberal, at least here in the Western Provice of North America. They have only a few priests that offer the Dominican Latin Mass.

    That's not quite fair - the Western Province is, increasingly, one of the most tradition-friendly provinces in the world, with the Eastern Province not far behind. (The Central and Southern provinces, on the other hand, are in dire shape). Certainly they are now more open to the traditional liturgy than almost anywhere else in the Dominican world.

    That is not to make light of the distance they still have to travel, or overlook the old liberal warhorses that remain. But distinctions must be drawn, and there are more signs of hope there than in most other places. We should encourage that growth at every turn.

  23. Fr. Calvacoli speaks the truth and Almighty God could miraculoualy see him elevated to bishop, cardinal and, eventually, to the papacy although these steps are not absolutely necessary. There are many priests like him and anyone of them could serve the Church masterfully in these critical times.

    May it happen soon before many more souls are lost. How could this happen, you ask? Benedict XVI simply resigns due to age and ill health. And, Our Good Lord and Savior takes it from there.

  24. Dear Athelsane,
    Thank you for your information on the Dominican Western Province. We did get four years of the Latin Mass from a O. P. priest so am grateful for that.

  25. Fr. Cavalcoli's piece begins as follows:

    "The return of Modernism that has characterized these 50 years since the end of the Second Vatican Council..."

    Note that for Fr. Cavalcoli, the "return" occurs after V2.

    This is at radical variance with the facts.

    After Pascendi, modernism simply went underground (Blondel, e.g.)and raised up a new generation of disciples: Bea, Rahner, de Lubac, Congar, etc.

    The Council was called by its sympathizer John XXIII. Under Paul VI it was definitively turned over to the modernists, and they enjoyed papal patronage throughout the Council, subject to political considerations (particularly dealing with the Cetus patrum internationalis, and perhaps in some cases sincere pangs of conscience.

    I have a pamphlet dating from 1961 containing an offprint of an interview in America, the Jesuit magazine, of Fr. Yves Congar. One can see from his remarks that in his view, the fix was already in.

    It is true that many of the progressivist lights of the Council turned against their patron after the Council, and the younger generation more so. But for Paul VI, there were really no enemies to the "left," and the same has held true until the present day. Remember that say in November 2005 when Bp. Fellay got 45 minutes, and Fr. Hans Kueng and his Masonic hallucinations got two hours or so.

    Fr. Cavalcoli is a relatively conservative Dominican, propounding the same relatively conservative Dominican line as Abp. DeNoia regarding the dogmatic status of Vatican II. They are defenders of a relatively conservative spin on the hermeneutic of reform and continuity.

    Fr. Cavalcoli's piece is just a relatively conservative version of any element of the Benedictine hermeneutic, the hijacked council thesis.

    So if you believe that this is in any sense a defense of tradition in the traditional sense of that term, you are wrong.

  26. Dear Mr. Mc Farland,
    I can’t tell you how much I have benefitted from your insights since I’ve been participating on this blog. This is not flattery but simply the truth. Here I must take issue with what you write , not for its content , but for the tone of arrogance that seeps through.

    First of all I am quite sure that Father Cavacoli is well acquainted with the history of modernism and probably most of what you mentioned here. The fact that he is not “traditional” in the sense of the SSPX and the Ecclesia Dei communities does not alter the fact that he is a priest after the heart of Our Lord, which is so clear from this piece, unlike the recent open letter by Archbishop to the SSPX which was full of tender words and religious manipulation (In my opinion) and nothing else.

    Here Fr. Cavalocli does not mince his words. I do not recall reading such a scathing attack on the modernists by Archbishop di Noia anywhere. Do you? How can you not see the difference? In fact to hear any priest speaking like this is a real rarity. I wish we had a hundred father Cavalcoli types where I live!

    You picked on the use of his words “the return of modernism” and try to discredit and dismiss him for this - this is not right.

    The attitude that we traditionalists (SSPX or others) have no friend outside of “tradition in the traditional sense of that term,” will simply not get us anywhere. And that, Mr. McFarland – is wrong.

  27. I completely agree with you, Barbara, and share your disagreement with Mr. McFarland's words, and especially his tone.


  28. To Father Giovanni Cavalcoli, O.P., Th. D. and ALL who are privileged to read his words which are clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit, let us echo the absolute truth of his words then prostrate ourselves before Omnipotent Wisdom imploring Mercy:

    "God will certainly not permit this state of affairs to continue much longer and His mighty power of justice and mercy will act in a way that the future of the Church will be brighter, so that She, without being exempt from the cross, may nonetheless walk less afflicted along the path of history."

    With St. Therese of the Child Jesus we echo: "Let us not stop praying; Confidence produces miracles!" But, woe to those accountable before the Divine Judge if they abused/squandered their gift of a share in His Authority and do not now seek in reparation to help RIGHT all the wrongs.

  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  30. Mr McFarland's words made me wonder what it is about Fr Cavalcoli's words which differentiate them from familiar ConservaCatholic screeds on the Spirit of Vatican II. There are three elements not usually present in such screeds. First, the Spirit of Vatican II is explicitly identified as Modernism. More typically, ConservaCatholics assert that Modernism is long dead. Second, it is explicitly acknowledged that many bishops and even cardinals are Modernists. Third, people who resist these bishops and cardinals "to the face," as it were, are compared to saints.

    It is also worth recalling DiNoia's unkind words for Rahner's theology back in that first interview after his appointment to PCED.

  31. Excellent, and I have had that cartoon on my blog twice in the past year.

    Modernism is not an obsolete phrase.

    There is still no Tridentine Mass allowed in Malta, at all.

    And, the number of priests who no longer believe that Christ is truly God and Man is more and more common among a certain age group--Modernism is alive and well among the priests in Ireland. Sad, sad days

  32. Dear Fr. Cavalocli, and others,

    I read through the above article, and found myself thinking that, as it appeared to me, the article would have admitted of two refinements:

    1) A clear and concise definitions of the terms "Modernist" and "Modernism" respectively.

    2) Concrete examples of all the evils you (rightly, I believe) decry. Otherwise, it seems to me, we open the door to the criticism leveled at observers of these things by Rahner-Vorgrimler in their theological dictionary.

    If these two additions are made, then I think we have ourselves a very fine article.

    In pace Amoris Divini,

    Matthew G.

  33. Matthew G., regarding definitions, I would direct you to this page:

    As for obedience, I would direct those interested in further exploring this to search for this:

    "Can Obedience Oblige Us to Disobey?"


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(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!