A. The pamphlet which you sent and concerning which you ask the questions is making the rounds like so many similar newsletters.
The first thing to observe is that they all ask for donations or have some kind of subscription rate.
This is something many Catholics have either overlooked, have forgotten, or just plainly don't care.
Personal newsletters have become popular only since the disruption of good order in the Church since Vatican II.
What is most peculiar is that of all the people who have abused the laws of the Church are those who style themselves as "traditionalists" of different degrees. Among these "traditionalists" you will even find bishops, priests and a small number of "independent" Religious.
There is more confusion in matters of doctrine among "traditionalists" than among those whom these "traditionalists" often bitterly and viciously condemn. This does not mean that the Modernists are, therefore, much better.
It should be kept in mind that error is still error, no matter in which direction it leads people astray. Left or right, both lead to destruction because the path to virtue and construction is always in the middle. This is where you will find the `straight and narrow.'
The most important point to ascertain concerning the pamphlet in question is this: Does it contain anything in it that is contrary to the teaching and discipline of the Church?
Keep in mind that every error contains an element of truth
Important consequence: DO NOT BE FOOLED OR DISTRACTED BY THE BIT OF TRUTH THAT IS USED TO CONCEAL THE ERROR.
Most people miss this all-important point. They come across something that makes sense in the light of what a Catholic is to believe, and they ignore the sometimes vague and subtle errors that are hidden beneath that which is only partially true.
The devil is a deceiver not because he tells lies, but because he mixes some truth with the lie. We are deceived because we focus on the truth, or, the appearance of truth, and miss the lie that enslaves us.
The title of the pamphlet, as you know, is NOVUS ORDO _ CONDEMNED. It styles itself as "A Theological Tract."
There is no author. Generally, when someone does not wish to sign his name to his work there is reason to suspect something.
There is certainly nothing original in the tract and one wonders just exactly what it is that is worth reserving any rights over. Nevertheless, this MAETA feels that it is some kind of great theological discovery worthy of protection. Actually, the safest place for it, from a Roman Catholic point of view, is the wastebasket.
But, this is not answering your question, even though I have given you the conclusion before leading you up to it. It could save both of us much time.
Nevertheless, because there are people who may be asking the same question as you are, your question is being answered publicly for the benefit of many others like yourself.
The pamphlet's publishers use MAETA as their logo which is an acronym, as they themselves explain on the second last page for "MArian End Times Apostolate."
They want you to send them at least $3.00. But it's not worth a dime. To send them $3.00 is to promote a non-Catholic sect. You'd be better off giving your three dollars to someone who needed dental floss.
Before even bringing up the Protestant errors contained in this pamphlet, let us begin by setting the stage _ getting things in their proper perspective _ so that we will not wander all over the place.
The Roman Catholic Church is a visible as well as invisible organism _ much like the human body. In fact, as you know, St. Paul uses the analogy of the human body to point out the unity amid diversity in the body of the Church. Also, the Church has always believed and understood that She is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Just because She did not always use this precise term does not mean She did not believe this. The roots for this belief are in Holy Scripture.
The only point I wish to make here is that the Church, being a visible body consisting of millions of individuals, must have laws for the preservation of Her doctrines and the harmonious functioning of all parts through sound discipline.
Laws are always made to eliminate an abuse. Because human weakness has led to many abuses, the Church has made various laws at various times. These laws were either more solemn and written, or they were verbally communicated and thus became `tradition.'
A law is a dictate of right reason for the common good. Laws are made by those who have authority. And, even here, no one in this world has absolute authority.
The authority to teach, sanctify and govern that body of believers dispersed throughout the world has been given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles. Note: To the Apostles. This is the plural number. This is the belief and teaching of the Church. Therefore, the first thing to understand is that a Pope is not absolute. This matter is more fully dealt with in dogmatic theology on the subject of the papacy.
The bishops are the successors of the Apostles and by the very fact of their consecration receive the fullness of the priesthood. It is, therefore, the Pope and Bishops united with him who teach, sanctify and govern the Church.
Therefore, anyone who would teach on matters of faith or morals who is not a Bishop duly consecrated and in union with the Roman Catholic Church must have the authorization of the Bishop.
I am speaking here of a true Roman Catholic Bishop who is validly consecrated and licitly represents the Roman Catholic Church. Heretics and schismatics are, naturally, excluded.
The pamphlet in question deals with theological matters touching the faith and morals. It, therefore, needs the approval of a Bishop before it may be printed and presented to others as reflective of Catholic faith and morals.
The Code of Canon Law _ the law that governs and guides the Church in practical matters contains numerous articles concerning the teaching authority.
Canon 1385 - ¶ 2 states that:
Books which treat of Holy Scripture, theology, church history, canon law, natural theology, ethics or other such religious and moral branches; also all books and booklets or prayers and devotions, or of instruction and training in religion, morals, asceticism, mysticism, and the like, even though they seem to favor piety; and in general all writings which contain anything of special importance to religion and good morals, require previous approval, even if published by laymen.
The pamphlet has no ecclesiastical approval. Consequently, it may not be published and pretend to teach in matters of faith or morals.
This is the first and practical consideration to be made: This pamphlet, despite its pious veneer, is an act of disobedience to the teaching authority in the Church. Thus, its author and publishers are, strictly speaking, promoting schism in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.
Being a violation of the law of the Church and an arrogation of the teaching authority of the Church, such a work cannot be in any way deemed to be inspired by the Holy Ghost nor by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The fact that some heretical books have carried the Imprimatur _ the approval of a Bishop _ only indicates either carelessness or oversight or an abuse of authority. In the latter case, whenever there is an `abuse' of authority, such a person is already acting ultra vires _ beyond his authority. And, of course, this means he has no authority to do what he is doing.
What is wrong with the pamphlet's content.
Starting with page 3:
"The Mass liturgies (for East and West) were finalized by Christ during the forty days between the Resurrection and Ascension. Our Latin Mass (or our Canonical Mass) is part of the forever closed and unchangeable Deposit of Faith, which comes from the Apostles (not from bishops). This Mass Ritual was preserved and continues to be preserved within the sensus et praxis fidelium _ the agreement and practice of all faithful priests (and laymen) of all times and places."
Observation: The Church does not teach that Jesus Christ finalized the Mass Liturgies for East and West during the forty days between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
Our `Canonical Mass' did not come down to us from the Apostles because the saints listed in the Canon of the Mass were not yet born, for one thing.
Secondly, if the Latin Mass "is part of the forever closed and unchangeable Deposit of Faith which comes from the Apostles (not from bishops)" _ how is it, then, that it was the bishops gathered in various Ecumenical Councils (and especially the Council of Trent) who in union with the reigning Pope solemnly decreed certain things concerning the Mass?
It is strange that only "faithful priests (and laymen) of all times and places" preserved the Mass Ritual. Yet, it was the bishops who insisted that the clergy and faithful under their jurisdiction must conform to the decrees of the Council of Trent concerning the ritual and rubrics of the Mass. Furthermore, the Church clearly stated that where the manner of offering Mass had been the custom for over two hundred years and did not in any way conflict with the teachings of the Church these rites could be maintained. Even the great reformer Bishop, St. Charles Borromeo, did not use the Mass known today as the "Tridentine Mass" but continued to use the Ambrosian Mass in his diocese of Milan.
It was the bishops and Superiors of Religious Orders, Congregations and Societies who saw to it that the decrees of the Council of Trent were observed. For the most part, any opposition came from the sector of the laity and lower clergy (priests).
Observe the contradiction:
"The Mass Liturgies (for East and West) were finalized by Christ during the forty days between the Resurrection and Ascension." (page3). Compare this statement with that which follows: "The Dogmatic Council of Trent specifically fixed forever the words of the Mass liturgy _ words coming to us from oral Apostolic Tradition."
"Trent forever fixed (defined) the liturgical morals _ the Mass liturgies, both Eastern and Roman (or Latin)."(page 5).
First of all, the author seems unable to decide just who did all the `fixing' and `declaring.' Was it Christ or the Council of Trent?
The peculiar `dogmatism' of the author is again expressed on this same page 5:
"The dogmatic Canon 13 of De Sacramentis (Council of Trent) stated:
If anyone shall say that the received [from Christ] and approved rites [approved by the sensus et praxis fidelium as well as specifically approved and spelled out by this Council] of the Catholic Church may be changed by any pastor [including future popes] of the churches[Eastern or Roman Rite churches of the present or of the future] to other new ones: let him be anathema."
Now, please take notice that the above are supposed to be the words taken from the document on the Sacraments from the Council of Trent.
However, all that has been placed in brackets is the author's own interpretation of the document.
The Council of Trent did not say that those things which pastors cannot change are from Christ. The document is speaking in general of the rituals for all the Sacraments, not just for the Mass.
Apart from the terrible translation which selectively leaves out parts of the text which do not serve the author's purpose (a common Protestant approach), the author then has to force a new meaning to the words by inserting his own words lest the reader fail to accept his predetermined meaning. In other words, the reader is not even permitted to think for himself, lest perhaps the author's opinion be rejected.
The actual text from the documents of the Council of Trent referred to by the author is as follows:
If anyone saith that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed by every pastor of the churches into other new ones; let him be anathema.
There is nothing dogmatic about this text, other than that which is essential to the various sacraments. The text refers not to Eastern and Roman churches. It refers to the common abuse already existing for clergymen to become slovenly in the offering of the Mass and administration of the Sacraments. The document is directed to those clergy, whoever they may be, who look upon the ceremonies of the ritual as unimportant and changeable at their whim or negligence.
This canon 13 does not define a dogma. The canon directs itself to a matter of discipline, not dogma. That there are elements of doctrine involved in the administration of the Sacraments and the offering of the Mass is, of course, self-evident. But, the canon does not address any dogma in particular.
Again, we encounter `Novus Ordo' thinking _ and acting: The author addresses the Roman Missal as being "ex decreto sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini _ The Roman Missal according to the Dogmatic Decree of the Council of Trent."
The correct translation of the Latin is this: "from the decree of the holy (sacred) Council of Trent." What this means is that the Missal is approved by order of the Council of Trent. The adjective `dogmatic' appears nowhere in the official text. That is an addition put there by the author of the pamphlet.
It's the same tactic as used by the Modernists when they wanted to elevate their new concept of the Church to the status of a dogma. The Second Vatican Council was touted as a `pastoral council' as opposed to a `doctrinal council.' Then, when most people were disarmed by this and let down their guard, the declaration on the Church was publicized as the "Dogmatic decree on the Church." Dogmatic? What was defined and how was it defined? Pope Pius XII had already taught the dogmatic definition of the Roman Catholic Church in his Encyclical Letter "Mystici Corporis." The new concept (Modernist) of the Church was designed to turn the Church into that which the Modernists had already stated back in 1907. Then, Pope Pius X issued a decree, Lamentabili Sane (July 3, 1907) condemning among other errors, the following: "Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism."
Pope Pius IX had already condemned the idea that "The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization." This is what John XXIII embraced; this is what Paul VI embraced and this is the same Modernist error which John Paul II has been preaching and encouraging since he left the Lodge and entered the Vatican.
For the first time, there comes into existence not heretics perceived as legitimate popes, but simply _ and conveniently _ "dysfunctional papacies." What in the world is a "dysfunctional papacy"?
Observe the author's shifting from one position to another: It's not the "popes' that are at fault. It is the `dysfunctional papacies.' According to Webster's dictionary, the word `dysfunctional' pertains to the body: Dysfunction: Med.Impaired functioning, as of an organ of the body.
The `papacy' is an abstract term referring to an office. `Papacy' has neither brain nor brawn. There is nothing in the `papacy' that can be impaired because the papacy is an office confided to the valid and legitimate successor of St. Peter. It is an office instituted by Jesus Christ, and cannot, therefore, have anything of imperfect in it.
Therefore, to speak of `dysfunctional papacies' is to deny the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, the Soul of the Church.
The office of pope cannot "reduce" any true popes to "merely operating as head bishops. So, too, the Pope is the `Bishop of Rome.'
There is no need to comment on the next sentence: "Of course, Pope John Paul II also claimed to be `the servant of humanity' _ the 'head' of the New Age." What does this mean and what does it have to do with the Mass? Karl Wojtyla mocked the seriousness of Cardinal Wyszinski when he told him that he (Wojtyla) was a skiing prelate even though Poland has never had one before. But, that's another story.
The author writes: "Keep in mind that papal infallibility is not involved in the pope's scandalous allowance of new man-made liturgies."
According to the author, the imposition of "new man-made liturgies" is not heretical , only scandalous. Having quoted (better yet, misquoted) from the Council of Trent, the author does not seem to comprehend the meaning of the expression "anathema."
"Anathema" is a solemn ban or curse pronounced by an ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. You can't really incur much more wrath and indignation from the highest ecclesiastical authority this side of death than to be anathematized.
After misquoting from the documents of the Council of Trent, the author fails to perceive his own contradiction. He has the Church anathematize any pastor _ the author makes certain we understand his position by placing in brackets the phrase "including future popes". Clearly, then, at one time he admits that "popes" like John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II can be excommunicated and that they actually are excommunicated because they incur the anathema for changing the liturgy.
Then, we read further on, as on page 9 already quoted, that neither Paul VI nor John Paul II are anathematized for their `scandalous allowance of new man-made liturgies.' But, this poor fellow must be living in a dungeon somewhere because he obviously has not seen, nor heard, nor read about the terrible mockeries perpetrated by Paul VI in the liturgy which he most certainly imposed upon the universal Church. The speech and actions of Karl Wojtyla would be enough to open the eyes of a blind man with faith to see that this man, too, has not only tolerated the heretical Novus Ordo, but performs this Protestant service himself.
Of course, it is only a `dysfunctional papacy' that has perpetrated a deception. A deception that would have us all believe that the New Order Mass was not really promulgated by order of the antipopes, but through the malicious conspiracy of terrible bishops.
It is a matter of experience that the will is capable of forcing the intellect to accept nonsense for truth just so that it can follow its own dictates. Here is a typical example: "No pope, acting as pope, has officially decreed the Novus Ordo."
Interesting! Then the Novus Ordo was `unofficially' promulgated? All the liturgical books promoting a new sacramental theology are nothing more than a `rebellion' against good and holy Popes? If this be so, then these `good and holy' Popes have joined the rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church. Not `officially,' of course, but perhaps only `unofficially.'
It reminds me of the time when Archbishop Ngo had been kidnapped from the Franciscan Friary in Rochester, NY, and taken virtually by force to Masonic Brother Pio Laghi (Now `cardinal' Laghi) in Washington, D.C. with the hope that the Archbishop might offer apologies for having consecrated a few bishops. When Laghi's secretary asked a Friar why we cannot accept Karl Wojtyla as a legitimate Pope, the secretary was told: "Because, among other things, "John Paul II" went to England, embraced a heretic parading as an Archbishop and said to him: `We are sister churches.' Then "John Paul II" processed down the aisle amid throngs of Anglican heretics, blessing them."
This obvious break with the Roman Catholic Church was not proof enough. The secretary answered: "Oh, he did not go as the Pope; he went as a private individual."
While the rest of the entire world saw Karl Wojtyla dressed as a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church participating in prayer services with heretics, anyone asking `How come?" receives the answer: He was really only doing this as a "private individual". Whatever these heresiarchs do, you may be certain that there will be a sufficient number of ignorant people to excuse their blatant heresies; their mockeries of all that is sacred.
As a final note to this article, consider the following:
"Popes have failed to plenarily (or bindingly) pope as they should." I would almost prefer the pathetically pietistic prattle of `Malachi Martinisms' to such nonsense. Here is a case of a layman teaching the priest how to say the Pater Noster.
This type of individual is so wrapped up in superficial pietism that he cannot perceive the absurdities and inconsistencies of what he thinks is Catholic doctrine. It is Catholic doctrine that condemns the author of that pamphlet and it is Catholic doctrine that condemns not only the Novus Ordo, but the initiators of the Great Apostasy: John XXII, Paul VI and John Paul II _ each one a false pope and servant of their true Master: LUCIFER.
This is the reason why a genuine Roman Catholic is forced into the agonizing position of accepting all the legitimate Popes from St. Peter up to Pius XII and rejecting the antipopes: John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.
There is no alternative. One cannot blame the bishops without blaming and condemning the one above them. Bishops work in union with the successor of Peter. It cannot be otherwise. If the man presented to the world as the successor of Peter is a fraud, then all those associated with him are equally fakes and frauds. No one can serve two masters. But, it seems like the author of the pamphlet under consideration pretends that he can.
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