a question you answered titled Papal error, I was
wondering if you could provide some guidance on Vatican II, and what it meant for
the Catholic Church? Many “traditional Catholics” (often identifying as “Sedevacantist”)
seem to believe that the council was entirely invalid. However, as you know, there
are very many Catholics that attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and maintain
communion with Rome. It seems that even amongst those that attend the Extraordinary
Form of the Mass, AND are in good standing with the Church, the Novus Ordo is still
not considered preferable.
came into the Church because of Vatican II, largely because the authorites wanted to keep
the people—and their money—in the Church by “liberating” the liturgy
to accommodate it to a “liberated” secular world. Nevertheless, there has been evil in the
Vatican right from its beginning. Hence the problem of evil in the Church does not relate
to Vatican II itself; it derives from an age-old problem of “faith” lived not from the heart
but only intellectually as a duty or, even worse, as a pernicious hypocrisy motivated by a
grasping for social identity, status, power, or wealth. When faith doesn’t fill our hearts,
demons have a gaping permission to make our minds their playground.
A traditional Catholic, in the most
general sense, is simply someone who cherishes the tradition
of the Catholic Church—and part of that tradition is the beautiful and reverent liturgy
of the Latin Mass. Some traditional Catholics, however, believe that the traditional Latin Mass
is the only valid liturgy of the Catholic Church, and so they reject the validity of
the Novus Ordo Mass. It would be far better to say, “I prefer the Latin Mass and I don’t want to
offer the Novus Ordo Mass, but if you want to offer the Novus Ordo Mass, then do what
Sadly, it would have been
far better for the Church if Vatican II had said, “We prefer that the Novus Ordo Mass be
the Mass of choice, but if you prefer the Latin Mass, then do what you want.” But that
wasn’t done, and much evil has come into the Church because of it—and it’s time now for
reconsideration. How can a pope who kissed the
Koran (Qur’an), who
failed to quell the insidious spread of homosexuality in the priesthood, and who, at least
passively, invited the smoke of Satan into the Vatican, “excommunicate” anyone other than
himself? In essence, how could the deep Church “excommunicate” anyone, such as the Society
of Saint Pius X (SSPX), who have tried to protect Catholic tradition,
especially that of the Latin Mass?
A sedevacantist is someone who believes
that the sede (Latin for seat) of the pope is now vacant. That is, sedevacantists
claim that because of Church errors in the past there is now no legitimate pope in the
Church. Consequently, you cannot reason with Sedevacantists because their “faith” is based on
what they believe to be wrong with the Church, and so, ironically, they are stuck helplessly
in their minds with the same false reasoning that they seemingly oppose. That is, in being so
obsessed with the idea that others are wrong they cannot see how wrong their own ideas
are. For the sake of sanity, we just need to say that the Pope is the pope and that if he
falls into heresy we don’t have to follow him there.
It would be ludicrous to believe that Christ
would deny His graces to anyone who chooses not to succumb to the false belief that our
salvation depends on our correctly deciphering a puzzle about which
Mass is the correct Mass. Such a false belief would send a person right into
the murky depths of Gnosticism.
Thus the choice between the Novus Ordo Mass and the
traditional Latin Mass is merely a matter of preference. Still, because of its structure, the
Novus Ordo Mass has a vulnerability to abuse, and anyone heartbroken
by the abuses afflicting the Novus Ordo Mass would do well to attend the traditional Latin Mass
(or an Eastern Catholic Rite liturgy). To be spiritually pure, however, this choice should be
made simply because of a desire for reverence, not because of disputes about the legitimacy of
one Mass or the other.
Notice that I prefer to
speak of the “traditional Latin Mass” rather than “Mass in the Extraordinary Form.” Why?
Well consider what “extraordinary” has come to mean because of modern abuses. Vatican II
permitted Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to be used in extraordinary
circumstances, but today, rather than be used only rarely (as their name implies),
such persons are used on such a regular basis as to be normal, not extraordinary. Hence,
in the Church today something “extraordinary” now means something “normal.” Accordingly,
it is fitting that the Novus Ordo Mass, which is today the normal way of celebrating Mass, be
called the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and that the Latin Mass, which has been
traditional for centuries, be called what it is: the traditional Latin
A Real Traditional Catholic
Still, keep in mind that even though the
traditional Latin Mass has its foundation in elegant reverence, you will find that many
of the persons at a Latin Mass are there only as intellectual, and even arrogant, Catholics.
This extreme is just as spiritually disordered as the lukewarm liberals on the other extreme
of the spectrum.
A true Christian life, therefore, is a life
not focused on what others do wrong; a true Christian life is a life focused on what is
right; that is, despite the heresy, hypocrisy,
and spiritual blindness surrounding us, true Catholics are humble
souls seeking chastity, modesty,
humility, constant prayer and
gratitude, freedom from lust and
hate, freedom from competition, and freedom from
the world and its enticements and
Sadly it’s a
life that few Christians today have any interest in seeking.
from the depth of your heart, you do seek humility, chastity, modesty, constant prayer and
gratitude, freedom from lust and hate, freedom from competition, and freedom from the world
and its enticements and sins, then, regardless of what others around you do, you will be a
REAL Traditional Catholic.
1. See for yourself.
And why is it such an egregious sin to kiss the Qur’an? Well, in the Qur’an Muhammad
commanded his followers to “kill infidels” (Surah 9:5), and, in the opinion of Muhammad,
Christians are infidels.