The Charismatic Life

Ruminating on M+M's recent post, "Where did you get your faith from?" I contributed part of my story. You can find it in the comments of her post, but the section of relevance to my post follows (I've altered it slighly so that it makes sense reading it as a "stand alone"):

"My reengagement with my faith following my teenage years came through involvement in a charismatic non-denominational  group. I stayed involved with that group for a long period of my life and still look back on it as the time of my life where I really grew up from a boy to a man. It was in those years that I married, had children, consolidated my career pathway, and formed adult opinions and beliefs of my faith outside the family nucleus I grew up with. I regularly fellowshipped with a wide cross section of people – successful businesspeople, "strugglers", those with various ailments and others with exceptional giftings…my eyes were really opened to a wide cross section of society beyond la familia that I had grown up with. It was not perfect, and there were reasons why I eventually left it, but it did have a profound impact in shaping me as a person."

My experience of involvement in the charismatic renewal was absolutely foundational in forming my adult faith beliefs. It gave me a faith direction of my own as opposed to the cultural faith which so many of our young people inherit from their families, but then discard as adult life approaches. I found a deep intimacy in my relationship with the Lord through the charismatic renewal, and while I know some are dismissive of the hands-in-the-air stuff, I know what I experienced in terms of personal healing and spiritual growth, and would never question the authenticity of that period of my life. 

It wasn't all hands in the air, laying hands on others. Foundationally (in my experience) it was about commitment, community, relationships. Some of the guys I fellowshipped with over many years would never ever raise their hands in worship. They simply found it too uncomfortable. They were there for other reasons that met a need in their life.

I'm no longer involved; eventually I got to a point of unease that this group rather than my parish was my primary faith input. There were also the usual personality slights and tensions that you get in any group which I eventually needed space from. You get that when you commit so closely to other people. A change of towns for work meant that contact with the movement was less practical and I had to find other avenues of faith expression. 

It's interesting that within Catholic circles, the charismatic movement is seen as fringe or not authentic. It seems to be an area of church life with tacit approval, tolerated perhaps, but not part of the mainstream. I wonder why many on one hand find church "boring" yet dismiss charismatic movements as "wacky", when in my experience it is lifegiving and,well the clues in the name really, "charismatic".  

When you think of the Charismatic renewal movement, what comes to mind for you? 

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    Comments: 128

    1. John Whyte February 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm


      I think the one thing the charasmatic groups do well is that they understand it is a relationship with the person of Jesus.  The fact that they can do so much with such a reduction of the faith is amazing.  

      In my experience the word has been 'taken over' by protestant groups.  People hear charismatic they think Protestant.  Just like you mention meditation and they think buddasism.  

    2. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Boanerges, it is good that the Charismatic movement led you into the Church.  It is unfortunate that the vast majority are going the other way.  

      It is a movement that has it's origins in Protestantism and, therefore, I cannot see it being authentically Catholic.  Also, as a Catholic, the fact that we have Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament has meant to me that nothing else can measure up to that.  

      I am sure the fellowship side has helped you and others.  The worship itself appears to me to be pure emotionalism and when that dies away there is nothing.

      Also, we have to be careful as we do not know what spirit is being encountered.  The devil can work wonders as well and anticipating the response to that that good has come from it, yes, God can use things that are bad for the good.

      I have a friend who is engaged in the Charismatic movement – she was slain in the spirit in the seventies and talking in tongues, people were being healed through the laying on of hands so she said  – I thought at the time it all sounded very demonic to me – coupled with that I know she was not living a good lifestyle, so the two things didn't equate at all.  I was sent material from these groups labelling the Catholic Church as the "Whore of Babylon", belittling the Pope and calling him the Antichrist.

      How any Catholic would want to engage in a movement that is derived from that the Protestant Pentacostal movement is, to be honest, quite beyond me …

    3. MaryandMartha February 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I've had a bit of experience with the Charismatic renewal, and some of it has had a wonderful effect on my faith, but unfortunately I've had some pretty bad experiences also.

      I have a terrible childhood memory of a parishioner at my church getting up to speak about her experiences as a charismatic and telling us that when she was baptised in the Spirit, she fell to the floor and wet herself! As a 6 year-old I was horrified. She also always sat in the front row and lifted her hands heavenward at every opportunity leading everyone else in my very conservative parish to whisper about her as a "weirdo" which probably coloured by early views of what 'charismatic' meant.

      I also had a bad experience with Dove. I am very, very weary of anything Dove-related now.

      However, as John Whyte says, I really do admire the deep focus on Jesus that charismatics tend to have and also the emphasis they put on fellowship. I guess the best I've seen it done is at Hearts Aflame, where there was a praise and worship element to each day, but it was done in the hall rather than in the chapel and very much under the watch of all the clergy present.

      With a Pentecostal brother, I'm pretty accepting of the hands-raised thing and the laying-on-of-hands thing, but I'm sorry, I just can't get on board with speaking in tongues. It makes me feel really uncomfortable… and I guess I just don't really believe it.

    4. John Whyte February 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm


      I'm curious, is Dove a charasmatic thing?  (Being a guy I only see the posters).  

      With the tounges do you not like it?  Or not think its real?  Or do you think its objectively wrong?  (I'm just not sure from your phrasing which you meant)

      P.S. love your 6 year old story.  

    5. withhope February 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      I think the Charismatics have mistaken feeling high for encountering the Holy Ghost. Faith is authentic or it's wrong. Anything that replaces authentic religious encounter – Our Lord in the Enucharist – with a so called more personal encounter?! is misleading.


      these young guys (from the link below) understand this – the Catholic Faith doesn't require the tossing out of reason, history, tradition, magisterium; yet because of we live in a Catholicsm of preference now, with regards to belief, worship, pretty much everything, the Real Faith is relativised away and we are constantly allowing Truth to be put on equal footing with error:

    6. MaryandMartha February 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Hi John,

      yes, Dove is a charismatic movement. It's "Dove" as in the Holy Spirit (ie: Pentecostal led).

      I went to a Dove retreat in Auckland and at times the women's behaviour seemed to be bordering on hysteria. One particular night sticks out in my memory – we were all in the auditorium and had been singing etc and the mood was amped up and amped up and I just remember looking around at one point and there were women dancing around the room with rainbow flags, there were woman lying prostrate on the floor shaking all over as if in convulsions, there were women rocking backwards and forwards smiling and talking to themselves (in tongues?), there were women crying hysterically and screaming out and there was one lady on the microphone shouting over and over again that "the bridegroom is coming". I had attended the retreat with a group of women from my parish and we had been thinking about starting a Dove group in our area but that sealed the deal against it for us.

      With the tongues, it's both. I don't like it and I don't think it's real. For me, when I hear it, I feel totally embarressed for the person and very uncomfortable. Do I think it's objectively wrong? I don't think it's doing any harm. I don't think it's the Devil speaking through the person. I just think it's unnecessary… and if I'm completely honest, I think it's a little bit attention seeking. So not wrong, not a sin, just unnecessary.


    7. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      What also put me off was reading about two Catholic priests who went along to a Protestant Charismatic meeting, apparently they were slain in the spirit and were lying trembling and shaking on the stage – the protestant minister wrote about it and thought it was great – but I wouldn't have a bar of it because nobody truly knows if it is of the Holy Spirit or not.  It is a movement that began in Protestantism and it amazes me that Catholics would go along with this type of thing without really know what it entails and what the origins are.  

      Most of the Catholic Charismatics I am told go down to the local Assembly of God Churches which preach against Catholicism and against an ordained priesthood.  

      Not to forget that the Albigensians spoke in tongues and had baptism of the spirt and that was found to be heretical, so speaking in tongues is no guarantee of anything and has often been associated with possession.

      If it is truly a Catholic movement why are its origins in Protestantism?  It was a group of Catholics who had grown bored of the Mass who went down to the local pentecostal church and brought it back into the Church – reading that was enough for me to have nothing to do with it and it is not necessary to the life of a Catholic anyway.  it just means that in many instances people are looking for the extraordinary.

    8. withhope February 13, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      sounds like any ecststic trance rubbish. TM, Enneagram, all these things that demand we put aside reason to create a get peace or get happy space, simply creates a void where demons step in. the work of the Holy Spirit is order, Truth, Grace, making sense – there is nothing crazy in it. Authentic visionaries, the Fatima children were quiet, reserved, in full possession of their faculties. 



    9. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 10:43 am

      It seems to be a phenomenon right throughout Christian history which keeps bubbling up from time to time. Msgr Ronal Knox has a hard to read but solid book called 'Enthusiasm' which is a classic on the historical forms.

      I have time for aspects of it and it seems to be a help for a time to many people. But I don't think it can be somewhere to stay but rather to pilgrimage through. It does seem to bring about conversions to Christ. How they work out in time will no doubt be like the parable of the seed sower.

      Like any spiritual manifestation it needs solid discernment. That's it really.

      I agree with Teresina that Catholics of the charismatic kind should stay away from Pentecostal communities…for the reason that there is active anti-Catholicism and at the very least they will get hurt if they don't get converted from Rome. They will try. They seem to take a special interest in overcoming Catholicism.

      Religious fervour can produce some wacky beliefs and results. Which is why we need the Church and her teachings to keep us actually with God and not in ourselves or something worse.

      A Catholic can receive all the experientials of the spirit that God considers apt for that soul by simply coming to private prayer alongside learning the faith and going to Mass etc.

      All a soul needs to do is sincerely love God and go into his or her room and prayer to the Father in secret, as Christ told us. God doesn't leave that soul dry or alone but instead as he promised will be with that person. This is the best way….within the shape of the teachings and faith of the Catholic Church in her sacramental life.

      For those wanting to experience God….and we all sure do…simply pray and give it time. A spiritual director who is faithful can help get you started. Things will happen! God loves it when you give him time!

      Also helpful are the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius….a must for any Catholic some time in his or her life. Also Lectio Divina is fruitful to get you into contemplating the Word without sending you into empty silence (which is not the place to start). Simply love God in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in the company of the Saints in heaven for the good of souls (a great statement to start any prayer and they will ALL turn up, in faith you can simply believe it…heaven is a party!). When you experience and you will (post any necessary Confession sacramentally attained) the love of God that is actaully the love of the Father given to you through Christ….your home! The desire to pray and to stay in prayer is the Holy Spirit empowering you and Christ is the door you enter by in the company of Mary. Hold all this together and your prayer will be whole and Catholic.

      Otherwise the back of the Catechism has great guidance on prayer. Also there is a great site in the web called Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction (just google it)…which is a great help. I don't care for anything syncretic like Christian Meditation, Richard Rohr etc…because they try to make you empty of thought etc NO prayer is a loving encounter with Christ and His presence in your mind in the images of His human life here as in the Gospels as the object of prayer (think lectio divina…great for everyone) will keep you safe. If you experience anything and don't know what to do just ignore it and don't get distracted by it as an object in itself. St John of the Cross says this…the experiences of God come just ignore them….just let God do the driving…always humility and leave all else to the providence of God. If things do get active God wants you to tell someone who can help you…in which case God will provide and you should seek spiritual assistance for the purpose of discernment and you will love that to.

      There is one good name in the Church I know for Charismatic renewal who is solid…Ralph Martin (writes well on prayer).

      Perhaps the charismatic groups filled a need in the Church when things a bit slack….so says Fr Fortea excorcist…



    10. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

      I think that is well put, Benedicta, and sums up mainly how I feel.  I think there was a void after the Second Vatican Council, with the suppression of the Latin Mass and all the beauty of Gregorian Chant was no longer available.  Perhaps people got bored and turned to other religions such as the pentecostals for that reason.  Also, the pentecostals are strong on preaching moral values which the bishops have been so lax on over the past 50 years.  The problem is not with the Church's teaching but the laxity of bishops and priests.

    11. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Teresina….great, thanks.


      To be fair I think charismatics of any description would run a mile from TM and enneagram.

      M & M

      I wonder if that sort of religious display might have something to do with us simply being religious creatures. Its authentic in that the person is manifesting what is an interior desire to experience (know, see) God. I'm not saying it is merely psychological but more a manifestion of our primitive (naive and undirected) religious character. In the case of charismatics it is in direction to Christ so it can be the beginnings of a conversion and discovery of what is in fact their deepest need….to know Christ.

      But I am not sure that the manifestations are that different from other human religious manifestations but in other times and places took on more sinister acts. Just working themselves up like the pagans?

      We forget that we are spiritual persons and we come with 'stuff' for the purpose of relating to God. That 'stuff' can appear to be significant in terms of spiritual and its hard to discern the nature of the creature from the spiritual gifts received. That can also be the case in higher states of meditation and contemplation which is why St John of the Cross says to ignore it – at the same time God can give consolations but St John of the Cross says not to love these but keep loving God even in dryness and God prefers that because it shows  more devotion for God's sake and not for the consolation. Perhaps prayer is more like hard but rewarding work! 

      I think the demonic exists and does attack the soul that is near God with various temptations…and getting that soul to hang onto spiritual experiences or consolations actually holds that soul back from God. Rather like going to a party to eat the food and drink the grog and not for the sake of the company of your host. I think that is that actual trap of the charismatic thing which is why one needs to move beyond it.


    12. withhope February 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Have to disagree B. In my parish the book they use for catechism mentions TM and in the 70's ennegram was a seminary staple. Our priests probably have as pegged from one to nine and we don't even know it. There's a psychological entity called 'group mind'; it comes into play with soccer hooliganism, and in Charismatic 'rites'. At Charismatic shake and gllalalalaglglglglglglglg fall over and froth fests a 'group mind' of happy hysteria takes over. the 'healings' that take place are hysterical as well, revert and then bring a demon along with them for the trouble. To be avoided. Plus Charismatic protestants are certain that crucifixes are possessed and people wearing them are possessed – the 'holey' ghost told them so. Many moons ago at a prot chari meet, a woman was wearing a crucifix. she got singled out and before you know it the group mind was on her. It's a narrative deceit that boots out our God given reason. To be avoided – Catholic or Protestant.

    13. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm


      I'm talking about The Catechism….not some dodgy fill in thing.

      Good prayer info toward the end.

      Yes I agree there are troubling anti-Catholic things which come over…its very upsetting. For the most part many pentecostals don't think Catholics are saved (or will be saved). A pentecostalist once told me that getting 'catholicism' out of people was really hard! They try all sorts … I told her that perhaps the Holy Spirit had a mind to stay some way or another and didn't appreciate trying to be cast out by those who think them His friends. I don't think she got it. 

    14. withhope February 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Hey, Benedicta – even though Schonborn had entirely too much to do the with 'current' catechism, we have Trent; but parish by parish catechises don't for the most, use any publication even worthy of a hippy bishop's nihil obstat. this is the state of catechesis, and it isn't gonna change until we decide it's just wrooong. it seems particularly bad in NZ. I can't say why – the Church has never suffered in NZ, maybe that's why. Whereas Catholic England suffered violiently on its way to Anglican-England, and then fought long for a renewal of Catholicism when legality was gained again in the 1800s – still things are bleak. In the USofA, Catholicism has always been an unfortunate blight on the protestant landscape. In NZ…?

      Catechesis is horrendous all over, but if even Paul VI, the ruinator of a well grounded Holy Spirit woven Rite, could see the state of catechesis these days, he'd surely be on his knees begging God, and weeping for a large part of his day.


      p.s. I can recommend getting down on one's knees and begging God Almighty. He is, after all, God Almighty.

    15. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Dear Withope

      The Catechism is very very good. Some things did change at Vatican II which were restorations from Aquinas and prior….such as the bringing forward of salvation history through scripture as a whole. That comes through in the Catechism and is especially helpful.

      God is up to something (well He always is – but there's been a change). What has happened primarily through Vatican II is quite profound in that the resources of holiness, learning, scripture, contemplation and vocation in the world have all come to the fore. Yes there is trouble but what is happening is that for those laity who wish to take up the whole Tradition of the Church into their own lives are able to do so. Now that is significant. The Church is entering new waters as Christianity is becoming globally a persecuted faith. Things are changing. Also charismatic manifestations have been linked to times just before persecution…the Orthodox went through it before Communism in the East.

      Speaking of charismatics….Ralph Martin from the States….I have read some of his work and its good. (He has a great book on the spirituality of the Church called 'Fulfillment of All Desire' – excellent). Ralph says that he thinks we are in the time 'of the fulfillment of the Gentiles'. There is a verse in Mark or Matthew when Jesus is teaching about the fall of Jerusalem. The disciples ask how long will it last. He is foretelling the destruction and the exile and they say for how long. Jesus says words like, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. I think Ralph Martin is on to something. The Romans, being the worldly power of the day sent Israel into exile and captivity. They were not allowed to remain in Jerusalem. The United Nations, being the worldly power and unified voice of the day restored a Jewish nation onto the Biblical lands of Israel (or some of them including Jerusalem or part thereof). This is a complete reverse of the 1st century activity for the first time in history since then. Things are not the same as they were. Well thats the news from Ralph Martin charismatic.


    16. Rubyshine February 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      I've only had contact with the charismatic/assembly of God type churches, not through any catholic organisation.

      I agree with Boaneges that they are very good at developing the relationship with God. Although honestly this is what I found difficult about it. There is/was something terribly arrogant about the idea of having a "relationship" with God, and because I was raised with a very different attitude to God, I was always scathing about those who spoke of Jesus as a personal friend.

      I suppose I think of joyful praise when i think of charismatic churches. It's not that I think catholics aren't joyful or full of praise, but the first descriptors that come to mind when I think of a catholic mass are solemn gratitude.

      I don't think either form of worship is bad. I think we should be joyful and grateful, and solemn in the face of God. I'm just not sure the two can or should be combined. I think everything has its place and its value.

      Part of me feels like the songs at mass are some sort of attempt to compete with the charismatc churches which they never can, and never should attempt to do. It's just not the same thing.

      However, I don't see why there couldn't be say "Friday night" fellowship, with a very different form of worship to what we have in the mass. Perhaps if people felt their need for fellowship, joy, sharing, energy and whatever else is fulfilled in the charismatic context then they could really enjoy the mass for all that it offers.

      I say all of this as someone who loves the energy at pentecostal churches, but also loves the solemnity of the catholic mass, and who finds the singing/songs at my parish woeful.

    17. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Benedicta said, "A pentecostalist once told me that getting 'catholicism' out of people was really hard! They try all sorts".  I was told that a Catholic went along to a Pentecostal session and was prayed over with the words "Depart demon of Catholicism".  So why on earth do Catholics embrace a movement that developed from Protestant pentecostalism which is so anti-Catholic and has the idea of getting rid of the demon of Catholicism?  

      If the Charismatic movement had had its origins in the Catholic Church then that would be different, but it didn't and therein lies the danger of it.   

    18. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Rubyshine, I think you have struck the right note: the Mass and praise and worship music are two different things but there are those who do indeed try to mix them both and the songs are woeful and express in the main Protestant teaching rather than Catholic and as has already been pointed out by others these types of "hymns" are usually person centred rather than God centred.  At one Mass I attended on occasions there was a band where they belted out "raise your voices, sing His glory" and it always used to sound like "raise your glasses, sing His glory" and the way the band used to sing and play, swinging their hips etc in jeans, it came across like a German beer hall sign, and I am afraid I think that is denigrating the Mass.

      Also when I am in dioceses other than Hamilton it seems that the bands of the seventies are long gone in most parishes whereas it is the opposite in Hamilton which has a band at nearly every Mass.  Can anyone from other diocese comment on whether that is the case at all? 

    19. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Actually, the SSPX has quite a discussion about the Charismatic movement on their website.  I would confur with that the state here:


      In 1967, during the early post-Vatican II turmoil of ecumenical frenzy and widespread apostasy, students at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University began exposing themselves to Pentecostal influences because of spiritual aridity; they were envious of the "changed lives" among many Protestant friends and decided to pray for similar "graces." A weekend "retreat" —of sorts —proved to be the key to their answer. Various people approached various Protestant ministers, laity, and prayer groups; all received "Baptism in the Spirit" after having heretical hands laid on them in prayer.


      The importance of this action cannot be overestimated. These Catholics submitted themselves to a non-Catholic quasi-sacramental rite —obviously a mockery of the sacrament of Confirmation —and the emotional thrill brought about by this sin (objectively speaking, of course) convinced them of the holiness of the entire experience. They came away as "Catholic" Charismatics, and their influence spread like wildfire all over the country —first on college campuses and then to the world at large.


      If ever there were an argument for listening to the Church, this is it. The Church has warned her children to stay away from heretical "worship" for almost 2000 years because she knows what the consequences will be, both for the individuals involved and for the Mystical Body at large. Yet the CCR unabashedly admits —even praises —its ecumenical, PROTESTANT roots!


      The tacit assumption is that the Church —the Body of Christ —had lost a major part (Charismatics would say the major part) of the Faith while the Holy Ghost maintained that aspect in Protestantism. Protestants, hence, were restoring to the Church her lost patrimony. This is an audacious and clearly false position which flatly contradicts two dogmas of the Faith: extra ecclesiam nulla salus outside the Church, no salvation, and the indefectibility of the Church. Both will be addressed below."

    20. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:53 pm

      Another quote from the SSPX, which I think everyone who is involved with the Charismatic movement would do well to take note of:


      The following typical quotation from the charismatic literature concerns one of the lynch-pins of the CCR, "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," a "faith experience" in which one feels the release of the graces already received in Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist and experiences God’s presence in a deeply personal way. It offers a taste of the startlingly unorthodox view of the sacraments held in common by most of the movement’s adherents:


      Every Parish has a number of groups with their own vision, purpose, and area of service [sic]. No one is uncomfortable with the Rosary Circle, the Legion of Mary, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, or with many other parish organizations —the list could be much longer. So why all the fuss about Charismatic Renewal? Surely a prayer group is a desirable thing for every parish? But the truth is that the CCR is not just a matter of a weekly prayer meeting. At its heart lies the Baptism of the Holy Spirit —a grace of God which I believe should be a part of the normal experience of every Christian [emphasis added]. Through it, everyone —clergy and laity, men and women, young and old, black and white, rich and poor —everyone has the opportunity to say a clear and definitive "yes" to God. But there’s more to it than that. As well as making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, we’re saying "yes" to the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit and to his gifts —the charisms. Many of us failed to do this when we went through the process of Christian initiation. We can do it now by allowing the Holy Spirit to change us at the very heart of our being and to equip us for service in the Church and in the world.2 


      Doctrinal Irregularities


      The implications of this statement should be lost on no one with even a cursory knowledge of his catechism. From an orthodox standpoint and to give the author the benefit of the doubt, one could see this statement as a reference to the sacrament of Confirmation, the sacrament in which the Holy Ghost comes to us in a special way to make us true Christians and perfect soldiers of Christ.


      Were their thinking more sacramental, one might suspect that they posit an "eighth sacrament" needed to complete the other seven. On the contrary, charismatics deny any clear connection between "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" and the Catholic sacraments since "sacramental rite and religious experience are complementary parts of the basic Christian initiation." 3  Since these features of "Christian initiation" are complementary, Charismatics see no reason to exclude non-Catholics or even non-Christians from the chance to experience the "charisms," as they usually refer to the charismata, the extraordinary manifestations of the Holy Ghost which so aided the expansion of the early Church and dwindled soon after the Apostolic Age.


      Indeed, they hold that the complementary nature of the two parts of "Christian initiation" makes them easily reversible, i.e., that the unbaptized may even experience this "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and become, ipso facto, Christians, merely needing the "sacramental rites" to "complete" their "Christian initiation." 4  The status of these people theoretically would be the same as that of a Catholic who, having received the sacraments, still awaits a conscious manifestation of invisible graces.

    21. withhope February 15, 2014 at 3:57 am

      when it comes to adults going 'blahballlsdlalalslbla' in baby tongue i go God never intended devolution.  What's with post vii Catholics? if ya wanna be a karaxmadik -who's stoppin ya? if ya wanna stick with the stable lie and big fat group mind of freemasonry, who's stoppin ya? if ya wanna dare the reat of the Holy Roman Catholic Church….well, yeah satan's allwys going to try to stop you…that creature has history's biggest ego…think about thst. 


    22. withhope February 15, 2014 at 4:09 am

      p.s. whoever re-jigged this site, have mercy – gone the cut n paste unless from an old pc; gone the edit, at any stage. gone the mea culpa minutes post post. it's now a site that is first draft only…forge on Nietzsche-ites – is it just me or does niicheeee have  one of the most yawnsome spellings in egomaniacle history.

    23. Benedicta February 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

      The manifestation of charismatic expression is a fact of human religiosity since the Church has been in existence. (Msgr Ronald Knox thesis in 'Enthusiasm'). I don't think its evil; exorcists have praised Catholic Charismatic groups (in Italy) for their work in spiritual warfare…which was helpful at a time when the Church was abandoning the need for exorcists. It turns out that they are being reinstated vigourously. We miss a lot of the Catholic world because we speak only English…but the Spanish are right up with this and there are great things going on in the Spanish Church – smaller but exceedingly faithful. 

      Some conversions to Christ may occur and begin in the charismatic way though in an imperfect way. God uses all sorts of people in all sorts of places to effect conversion toward Christ. The conversion may be secure if the fundamentals are valid and true but the path to holiness sacramentally will be obscured. The contradictions will be immense…at the same time of loving certains actual truths about God and the Church they will (as non-Catholic charismatics) also literally hate and despise actual truths about God and the Church. 

      Thats the weakness….it can stunt conversion and leave it in a sort of experiential vacuum. What then?



    24. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

      I don't know whether this will post okay, but this is the type of religious fervour I enjoy seeing!


    25. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:55 am

      This may be better – showing the type of religious fervour I enjoy!


    26. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      By the way the pic was from Juventutum Boston.  Juventutum is a world-wide group for youth to age 35 and provides an alternative for youth  I believe there is a group in Christchurch but it would be great to get a group established in the North Island.  For an idea of what they do see the following links:


      Our Mission


      Juventutem is an international youth group founded in 2004 in fidelity to the Holy Father. It seeks to bring together young adult Catholics who are attached to the traditional forms of the Catholic worship.

      In 2012, wishing to promote the sanctification of youth by means of the Roman traditions of the Catholic Church, faithful to the Church’s teaching and her authorities, and in spiritual union with those young people throughout the world who share our aspirations, the founding members of Juventutem Boston came together to incorporate themselves under the International Federation Juventutem.

      The name “Juventutem” (the accusative of the Latin word for “youth”) is a reference to the prayers at the foot of the altar in the Roman Missal revised by the Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. “Youth” as intended by Juventutem is not in essence a matter of age, but rather of familiarity with the grace of God.

      Telling of a dream which has become famous, the patron saint of Catholic youth, St John Bosco, described as “three whitenesses” the three fundamental elements of help to Christians: the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin, and the Holy Father. The young members of Juventutem profess a great love for these “three whitenesses.”

      Juventutem Boston also dedicates itself to an intercessory apostolate, praying with and for our Bishops and Priests in union with His Holiness Pope Francis. We encourage you to get involved.

    27. Brendan Malone February 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

      "I am convinced that this movement [the charismatic renewal] is a very important component of the entire renewal of the Church… This was my own spiritual initiation, so I can understand all these charisms. They are all part of the richness of the Lord. I am convinced that this movement is a sign of his action."

      -Pope John Paul II-

      "What is the relation between personal experience and the common faith of the Church? Both factors are important: a dogmatic faith unsupported by personal experience remains empty; mere personal experience unrelated to the faith of the Church remains blind… [I encourage those] those responsible for the ecclesiastical ministry – from parish priests to bishops – not to let the [Charismatic] Renewal pass them by but to welcome it fully; and on the other (hand) … to the members of the Renewal to cherish and maintain their link with the whole Church and with the charisms of their pastors."

      -Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in his forward to the book Renewal and the Powers of Darkness, by Cardinal Leo Suenens-

    28. Teresina February 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      The quotes from Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict were to groups of Charismatics that were meeting with them – have you ever heard a Pope disagree with any group that came before him?  

      Also the quote you mention from Pope John Paul has a line missing.  Pope John Paul wasn't formed in the Charismatic renewal as the quote would suggest what he said was that since age 11 he had said a daily prayer to the Holy Spirit.  I can concur with that myself.  Prayer to the Holy Spirit has always found in the Church and is not something "discovered" by the Charismatic renewal which derives from Protestantism. There have been a number of prophecies given at Catholic pentecostal gatherings that have been incorrect such as one where a pregnant woman was told she would give birth to a boy when in fact it was a girl – that is just one simple example of things that I have heard.

      There are also warnings about this movement.

      "All such authentic charisms, therefore, are at the service of the Body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor 12, 14). As gifts of the Holy Spirit, they are supernatural graces beyond the power of human striving and human nature (e.g. miracle working), though some may build upon the natural talents of the recipient (e.g. teaching). St. Paul contrasts these charismata with "the greater gifts" of Faith, Hope and Charity (1 Cor. 13), which he says have lasting value. These "theological virtues" unite the person's mind and will to God. As a consequence, the Church teaches that Faith, Hope and Charity are necessary for salvation but the charismata are not. St. Paul's experience at Corinth demonstrated rather early in the Church how susceptible these charisms are to exaggeration. In another context, he would even warn the Corinthians that the devil can appear as an angel of light (1 Cor 11:14). Similarly, both St. Peter and St. John (1 Pet 5:8-9; 1 John 4:1) warn us of this danger.

      St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae [ST II-II q172 a2] tells us that unless a charism requires the exercise of divine power the Holy Spirit accomplishes it through the mediation of the holy angels. When they are within the power of the angelic nature, they are also capable of demonic imitation. It is difficult to explain the "charismatic power of speech" of a Hitler, for instance, on purely natural grounds. It is for these reasons that most spiritual writers, especially the mystical doctor St. John of the Cross, warn us not toseek such extraordinary phenomenon. As noted earlier, Vatican II made this warning part of its teaching on the charismatic gifts.

      Thus the Church on the one hand recognizes that the Holy Spirit moves where He will, and so she does not want to oppose His working, and on the other, that the Church must discern the authenticity of each charism, lest it be a deception of the evil one. For this reason to say that the Charismatic Renewal is approved by the Church is not a blanket approval of every alleged charismatic gift or every charismatic group or individual within the Church. The discernment of the Holy Spirit's action is an ongoing necessity within the Church and within the Charismatic Renewal.

    29. withhope February 17, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Ask the exorcist:

      "I speak with the devil every day," says Father Gabriele Amorth, Rome's official exorcist. "I talk to him in Latin. He answers in Italian. I have been wrestling with him, day in day out, for 14 years."

      The combination of ‘laying on of hands’ and ‘praying in tongues’ is risky business at any time, but when used for deliverance it is nothing short of irresponsible. There can be demonic transference when touching a demonized person. The Official Rite of Exorcism lists speaking in tongues as a symptom of demonization. The tongues people claim to have today are not from God. Tongues are dicey, because they are easily aped by Satan. Furthermore there is no valid reason for using tongues for deliverance. The practice is unbiblical and flies in the face of Catholic Tradition.

      Besides lay people have no authority to involve themselves in deliverance work. “The law of the Church (CIC 1172) is written in a manner which is "invalidating" and "incapacitating." Restrictions are to be interpreted strictly, which in this case means that imprecation is left to authorized priests. See the Church's own official interpretation in Inde ab aliquot annis (Die 29 m. Septembris a. 1985).

      This is the present law of the Church and the present official interpretation. The mind of the legislator is clear according to legislated norms of interpretation. Some feel the prudential judgment of the Church to be inadaquate, both those who are more traditional and those who are more charismatic. The present law is indeed extremely restrictive. So was Jesus in this matter. There are reasons for this. Anyone performing any imprecatory exorcism without authorization is in extreme danger. I can’t emphasize this more. If one plays with fire, one WILL GET BURNT!”

      #1172. No one may lawfully exorcise the possessed without the special and express permission of the local Ordinary. This permission is to be granted by the local Ordinary only to a priest who is endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

      “In September of 1985 (AAS) Cardinal Ratzinger rescinded (to rescind = to withdraw, annul, cancel, repeal — added) the permission for both laity and non-exorcist priests to proceed with any kind of exorcism, something which also applies to the recitation of the exorcism of Leo XIII.

      As it is, no one but an exorcist may give a direct command to the devil, for such a direct command, given in the name of Jesus, is by definition an exorcism. The most one can do is make prayers of intercession for the deliverance of the besieged person or thing in conjunction with other sacramentals of the Church such as holy water. Note that this has a place in the prayer of intercession, the Lord's Prayer, at the end of which we pray, "deliver us from evil." "Evil", in this case, is to be understood as the Evil One.”



      Another thing I don't understand is this bizzare belief that the Church is constantly needing 'renewal', and that apeing protestants is how to do it?! The Church has the Real Presence, and the Holy Ghost. How much fresher could it get?

    30. withhope February 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm


      Close-ups on the Charismatic Movement:


      "Vatican II ecumenism is a head-on collision with Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It blasphemously implies that it is kinder than Christ. It quarrels with Divine Revelation while claiming fidelity to it. No wonder the Council’s ecumenism has spawned the dazed mutant ‘Catholic Pentecostalism’” (pp. 90-1).


    31. withhope February 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      check out the 'charisms' going on. possessed much?


    32. Teresina February 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Actually, Withhope, the very first I heard of a renew programme 80s.  Many Catholics went along not realising that it was written by dissidents such as Monica Helwig and many others.  When this was found out and drawn to attention the names were taken off the materials supplied by renew.  I was the beginning of real change in the Church.  I remember reading a pamphlet that stated what the parish in the future would look like and I thought it was quite absurd.  I thought it was a load of rubbish and would never happen.  What it said was that the priest (called a presider) would turn up to the parish on a Sunday and read the newsletter to find out what was happening in the parish that day.  In other words, power was being shifted from the priesthood to the laity.  That has happened to a degree here where I have heard parishioners telling the new priest, "Don't you go changing anything because we'll be here long after you're gone".  "Where is the respect for the priesthood?" I thought when I heard that.

      The concept of small cell groups was established, something that we had never ever had in the Church before and these little groups were to be led by laity where formerly it had always been the parish priest.  In some of the Renew groups in Wellington people were given alchol at these group sessions and encouraged to share personal stories.  From what I understand, because of the alcohol, people disclosed personal information that they would not normally disclose, so some people were upset by that.  Also, some people would get very emotional in these groups, the facilitator, not being a trained counsellor was left in the position of trying to handle a distraut person and in some instances said, "Well, thank you for sharing that with us, Sue" and the person was left in an emotional state.  Unbelieveable that so many Catholics went along to these group sessions; then there was the Myers Briggs personality sessions that a lot of Catholics went to and many priests and religious were sent along to these sessions as well.  It was also happening in the business community as well.  A lawyer I know told me that he refused to lie on the floor and get in touch with himself while his fellow partners did as they were told.  He couldn't get over how lawyers could be mamipulated in such a manner.  So if that could happen to hardened legal men, what about the poor innocent Catholic in the pew?

      I and others would not go on to these courses but here is an idea of what happened in Scotland which ran a similar programme:

      "I have a little experience of the damage wreaked by RENEW. In the 1980s most dioceses in Scotland, where I lived, were subjected to ‘being renewed’ by RENEW. "We are a pilgrim people heading up a mountain. To get from here to there we can only do it all together. Our progress, therefore, can only be at the speed of the slowest member."…

      Deception: Thus, promoters of RENEW canvassing support for the scheme outside our church after Sunday Masses proclaimed "this comes from the Vatican" …

       WHAT IS RENEW 2000? 

      RENEW 2000 is a program established by Pope John Paul II as a process of spiritual growth and development to help each of us prepare for the New Millennium. RENEW 2000 is encouraged by the Archdiocese of San Francisco and embraced with enthusiasm by St Rita’s parish…. What promoters of the scheme at St Rita’s did not point out was that as far back as December 1986 the United States bishops’ Committee on Doctrine (yes, that bastion of orthodoxy!!) issued a report on ‘The Renew Process’ in which they outlined four major areas of concern.

      "The tendency towards a generic Christianity"

      "The need for greater balance and completeness"

      "The cognitive dimensions of faith need more emphasis"

      "The Eucharist needs a broader definition and an emphasis on sacrifice and worship"

      In a nearby parish where enthusiasm for the scheme was even less than elsewhere, the parish priest was forcibly ‘retired’, never to be replaced. The parish was put under the care of the ‘pastoral team’ of a nearby bigger parish. What happened next was like a re-run (or a forerunner) of that described by Michael McGrade in Death of a Catholic Parish. The disposal of the incumbent, quasi-conservative parish priest gave the wreckers a chance to wreak their havoc. Altar rails were ripped out in the middle of the night. The Baptistry chapel was turned into a Sunday-morning coffee area and a meeting place for the Justice and Peace group. No matter that previous generations in the parish had managed to hold meetings in a room next to the sacristy or even in the presbytery. I believed that if the Baptistry were to be ‘decommissioned’, it should have been de-consecrated at least.

      When I enquired where the baptismal font had been put, I was told, "On the rubbish dump". By now, the PP refused to speak to me and would literally take to his heels and run in the opposite direction if I approached him.

      He mentioned to another parishioner that he thought the high altar should go next. A moveable wooden table placed down at the entrance of what had been the sanctuary, or even on the floor on the aisle of the church, would be more "appropriate". (Considering that one of his curates announced at one Mass that he was "the new Martin Luther", perhaps "appropriate" was the right word, for one had to wonder if they believed at all in the concept of altar, or the sacrifice of the Mass.) I should point out that the church in question was a modern 1960s-style church and the altar had been deliberately built so that the moment ‘the changes’ were authorised after Vatican II, the priest could quite easily slip in behind the altar to say Mass facing the people. The altar itself was simple but dignified; a large slab of marble supported on two solid marble ‘legs’.  

      Thus while the 1970 General Instruction on the Roman Missal stated, "Normally the main altar should be both fixed and consecrated. The table of a fixed altar should be made of natural stone; this accords with age-long practice of the Church and its own symbolic meaning", the PP was proposing to tear up this altar (no doubt to join the baptismal font on the town rubbish dump) and replace it with a moveable wooden table.

      After the episodes of the disappearing altar rails, baptismal font, the church organ (again spirited away during the night to be replaced by a tinny-sounding electric organ situated no longer at the back of the church but at the front) and the complete carpeting of the church so that it resembled if not a night-club then at least a community meeting hall, some of us decided ‘enough is enough’.  We let it be known to Father that from now on we would be more vigilant. If he wanted to rip up the high altar on which had been offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from the first day that church was blessed, he would have to get past us first.  If he came with his wreckers, day or night, to do that, he would have to get past us first. We would quite simply lay down in front of the altar and they would have to remove us first. What’s more we would alert the press and photographers would be present. (We set up a system of regular patrols past the church so that if lights were seen on during the night we could quickly alert one another and get ourselves down there pronto.)  

      No more was heard about ripping out the high altar.

      The RENEW process is implemented on a whole-parish level particularly during the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent, each season and week within the season having a particular theme to be got across. Thus at these times the vestibule and even the church itself would be covered in posters and drawings and messages getting across whatever was the current ‘theme’.

      Along with this, and a seemingly important part of the propaganda and inculturation of RENEW-style Catholicism, a giant predominating banner of the old tree which needed renewing was to dominate the sanctuary. Thus, instead of lifting their eyes to the tabernacle or the crucifix directly above and in front of them, parishioners would be confronted with the image and symbol of RENEW. The subliminal, or perhaps not so subtle message being communicated was that Christ on the Cross was no longer the focus of our attention, but this rotten old tree, which sermons and small-group meetings reinforced was the Church, ‘our community’ which ‘we’ would ‘renew’. Not for the Renewers the simple focus of Saint Paul: "I preach only Christ crucified."

      From this we entered into the realms of something which, if it had not been so tragic, would have made a hilarious television sit-com.

      Our very spirits were assaulted on a Sunday morning by the sight of this thing dominating the sanctuary. Our very spirits revolted against this mockery of Christ crucified and the Church which He founded, His very own Mystical Body. Thus one elderly lady simply went to the church-cleaners’ cupboard, took out a broom and with the handle managed to reach up and detach the giant banner of the gnarled and knobbly old tree.

      Of course, being good Catholic sheep, the majority of parishioners simply sat or knelt there and pretended never to see a thing (though quite a few did whisper their congratulations to her after Mass!).

      The priest, I believe, was simply so shocked at her audacity that he said nothing.  However, the next week the giant banner was placed even higher up on the sanctuary wall, with the result that it completely obliterated the crucifix. (But then that was OK with them for, as we shall see, the "new Martin Luther" couldn’t stand all this "Catholic paraphernalia" and wanted rid of it anyway.)  Undaunted, the elderly church cleaner this time before Mass brought out not only the broom but a set of steps!  On another occasion parishioners arrived for Mass to find that the statue of the Sacred Heart had disappeared from the church. The same doughty lady went to investigate, found that it was still in the sacristy and proceeded to carry it back into the church, no mean feat for an elderly lady struggling with a life-size plaster statue!

      While she was making her way across the sanctuary under the weight of the statue to return it to its little shrine at one side of the church, ‘Father Luther’ arrived. This continued ‘disobedience’ and defiance from parishioners to the wisdom of the Renewers must have been too much for the poor bloke. He started screaming and shouting and grappling with the elderly lady, trying to prise her from the statue of her beloved Lord right there in the middle of the sanctuary!

      Stunned parishioners looked on in silence, no doubt scarcely able to believe their eyes. When ‘Father’ began to push the lady in an attempt to get her and the Sacred Heart off the sanctuary she very audibly warned him to take his hands off her or she would call the police to complain of assault. ‘Father’ had met his match. Shouting and ranting, he stormed off, out through the sacristy and banged the door hard. No Mass was celebrated that morning. (So much for the pastoral care and concern of the ‘pastoral team’.)"


      The above story is very similar to what happened in parts of New Zealand.  It was planned to pullIt is amazing that such a programme.  But for a trusty band of faithful parishioners St Mary of the Angels woud have met the same fate.  There was a similar funny story when the overhead projector was first introduced and one horrified parishioner cut the cord so it couldn't be used during Mass – thankfully he survived to tell the tale and went down as a quasi-hero like the old lady mentioned above.  

      So the John Whytes of this world are just lucky that they have a recognisable Catholic church to walk into – that is probably only thanks to some hardy grey haired souls who took on the oh so very modern priests of the 70s and 80s … and in some (but very few) cases won the day.

    33. withhope February 17, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Hey, T.   that old lady will have her crown in heaven if she has passed on. we have church now with two kinds of 'faithful' -soldiers for Christ, or pasificst for satan. the latter make up the majority.  Vii bishops, priests and religious did to Authentic Catholicism what Cromwell did to the Irish Catholics. 


      interesting wee audio:


    34. Teresina February 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Withhope, unfortunately, that link leads to a number of Youtube clips and I wasn't sure which one you are referring to.

      On the point of scripture made by Werahiko, no doubt he has got these ideas from attending a renew programme or one of the many dioceasan programmes where, for example, "RENEW 2000 materials also echo the CTA mission to undercut the authority and reliability of Scripture, guarding against "too narrow" an approach to Scripture (Called to Lead, book 1)."

      Many faithful Catholics have been formed by these programmes which have replaced catechisis by the priests.  Catholics innocently believed these programmes were Catholic because they are endorsed by the parish and by some bishops.  They contain a mere Catholic gloss but in reality are based on the dissident "Call to Action" group and that is why we have so many liberal views pervading the Church :

    35. Benedicta February 18, 2014 at 10:23 am


      That was really interesting….it connects a lot of dots.

      I can't imagine what it must have been like to go through this. I believe a feisty lady kept the Basilica in Timaru in original shape. When my husband and I walked into it for the first time we stopped in shock and wondered if we were even in New Zealand…then another visitor told us the story.

      Interesting about Renew…

      For what its worth I think what got the ball rolling was essentially Liberation Theology. (For some that should be Thealogy). In the heady 60s and 70s so much was going on in South America. Liberation Theology was rolled out and the critiques came later. No doubt frustrated by the great marxist 'saint' making machine in full swing poorer climes the locals were not to be left behind. Looking for 'unjust structures' to change and disassemble their eyes were caste onto the 'institutional Church'. No doubt the keenest then poised themselves in opposition to Rome as a way to find their authentic Gospel position and then swung at the Catholic paraphenalia and 'selfish' Catholics only concerned about their own salvation. The Church was they way they exercised their own brand of Liberation Theology.

      What your story above well illustrates is one (it has many fundamental faults) glaring hypocrisy of the whole approach. Pope Benedict sometime when in the CDF said that Liberation Theology was NOT a 'grass roots' movement as Liberation Theology proposed itself; but rather something borne from the minds of theological and academic intellectuals who brought it about as a marxist exercise in a sort of denial of the failures of marxism in the East.

      The stories you tell show clearly the bullying and top down pressure for those in the pews to comply and conform.

      And they wonder why their Churches are closing…? But the way it is sold to us you would think that it was the work of the Holy Spirit…..don't think so! Its the result of their own catholic programmes.



    36. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Yes, Benedicta, I think you're right that it was liberation theology that first started the ball rolling.  And the problem is that these programmes were "sold" to Catholics as coming from Rome.  It was good priests at the time who had looked into the programme and warned some of us at St Mary's (and I imagine elsewhere) not to take part in Renew.  Interestingly in the story of the doughty old lady above there is mention of a book "Death of a Parish" and there are highlights here of how the parish of St Joseph's in Melbourne was destroyed:

      It really belongs to a post by Marty some weeks ago – but it shows exactly the same pattern of bulldozers and things "removed in the night".  Here is an excerpt – I don't know when it was written, so hopefully things have improved since then.  The sad thing is that all this was done in a sledgehammer manner and effectively the Church has been split in two since that time: those who accepted docily and went along and those who would not.  I found the sermon of Cardinal Newman very suggestive of what happened – can we hope that the worst is behind us and a rebuild is afoot as happened in Protestant England?


      "This brief assessment points to the lengthening newchurch shadow being cast across every diocese in Australia as the sun finally sets on the united Catholic enterprise of yesteryear and the men who oversaw it. With clerical options rapidly dwindling and reports of Benalla-like take-overs commonplace, the only relevant questions left for orthodox hold-outs are whether what is left of the Church will collapse quite quickly, whether it will settle down instead to a long dismal dilapidation, or whether, at best, there will be a counter-revolution resulting in a much shrunken Catholic Church.”

      This predicament represents the logical end-point of the newchurch revolution that so closely mimicks Reformation I. If, as Cardinal Newman wrote, it was “the high decree of heaven, that the majesty of Catholicism should be blotted out” in Britain, who would dare argue that Reformation II may not produce a similar “decree” in respect of our own tiny back-water of the universal Church?

      In effect, a “much shrunken Catholic Church” already exists in a disjointed way — populated by counter-revolutionaries scattered around Australia. As we have seen, they closely resemble their Catholic ancestors who refused to compromise their faith during the Protestant Reformation, that “small number [who] were not reconciled to change [and] not attracted by the white­wash and the destruction or by seeing vestments, pyxes, images, copes, altars and censers being sold on the open market.”"

      In his sermon The Second Spring, Cardinal Newman described the pitiful state of Catholicism and these remnant Catholics in post-Reformation penal times in England:

      The presence of Catholicism was at length removed,— its grace disowned,— its power despised,— its name, except as a matter of history, at length almost unknown… No longer the Catholic Church in the country; nay, no longer, I may say, a Catholic community,— but a few adherents of the Old Religion, moving silently and sorrowfully about, as memorials of what had been. ‘The Roman Catholics’;— not a sect, not even an interest as men conceived it … but merely a handful of individuals, who might be counted, like the pebbles and the detritus of the great deluge … found in corners, and alleys, and cellars, and the housetops, or in the recesses of the country; cut off from the populous world around them, and dimly seen as if through a mist or in twilight, as ghosts flitting to and fro, by the high Protestants, the lords of the earth.

      Our present day version of this pathetic scene is rapidly taking shape. To halt its progress, the bishops must disenfranchise their newchurch revolutionaries who have a vested interest in believing that the ruins mean the rebirth of a better Catholicism. If any bishops believed that to be true, or even half-true, I trust that this account of the Benalla experiment has convinced them otherwise. Team Ministry was not a ‘spit and polish’ job; a rejuvenation of the orthodox faith previously guarded by Monsignor O’Reilly. It represented, as one of the team ministers explained – a “new church” — a regressive experiment always doomed to fail because only authentic things work:

      The magnificence of the divine plan shines through authentic theology. There is in it a unity, a cohesion … It’s radiance is best seen and heard in the lives of the saints, for they are the ones best attuned to the Holy Spirit who inspires both Scripture and their lives … No wonder that not a single saint in 2000 years has held what contemporary dissenters hold. No wonder that most people who accept what the dissenters teach simply stop being Catholics, or believing in God altogether. Meanwhile, people are walking out of the arid dissenting churches and looking for truth, unity, and authentic spirituality in their lives. This they can only find in the Church. 14

      Like the Church, Catholics cannot choose the times in which they live. Temporarily, the parishioners of St. Joseph’s, Benalla, have had to relinquish things that hitherto spelled security for them. and, in retrospect, that they may have taken for granted. Shepherdless and priestless, they must now trust coldly to the shield of faith.

      But the demolition of their bastions — the parish church and the sacraments — does not mean that they no longer have anything to defend. Catholics cannot live by forces other than those that brought forth the Church — the blood and water from the pierced side of the crucified Lord. And in this lies our hope:

      “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.”


    37. Benedicta February 18, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      To halt its progress, the bishops must disenfranchise their newchurch revolutionaries who have a vested interest in believing that the ruins mean the rebirth of a better Catholicism.

      That's an interesting statement. I agree with it in two ways; firstly it is clearly obvious that the Church is not increasing in many parts of New Zealand. The age of parishioners means that unless something dramatic happens in the extraordinary from heaven even the reduced number of Churches will not even be half full. I think it was Aidan Nichols who drew the comparison that the sign of the Holy Spirit was an increase of the Kingdom and when Islam took great swaths of former Christian areas he said that the demolition of Christianity in those areas was the success of the anti-Kingdom. I don't see why the success of secularism in overcoming the Christian presence in New Zealand or anywhere else can be considered anything but 'anti-kingdom'; its not God's work. Peter Kreeft calls this talking it all up when the Church is failing is simply 'happy talk'. It makes me wonder if they think we are simple. The other day we were reminded in Mass (yes its all our fault) that we were 'Salt' and that meant something (in other words we weren't very 'Salty'!). Salt in the scriptures alludes to Covenant and not simply being 'well seasoned and tasty'!. In other words if you don't keep the Covenant you are no good as Salt. So I think that message should go back to the 'Presiders' after all we keep turning up and they keep dodging around with the Liturgy, the Sacraments (what are they?), and the teaching. Not very covenantal so no wonder the Church is not very Salty. But really how wonderfully refreshing and insightful it would be if they told it like it was….not just 'sorry about the numbers…priests and future…we have to make plans…here have a happy message about the new plans' (Blah)….But Mea Culpa we have sinned and need to change….who wouldn't rally around a Bishop with THIS level of insight and humility.

      Which is the second thing I agree with….you can't make new wine with old wineskins. You simply can refresh the Church working through and with the ones who oversaw its demolition. You simply have to go around them and get new ones….especially less in number (no hangers on) and formidably committed to fidelity. If they all run out the door screaming and half the priests foam at the mouth and want to retire….let them. No one can rebuild with those who are no longer committed to Christ and His Church…the whole of it…the whole 2000 years of it.

      I think its that way or the highway basically. You can't build truth on error.

      Teresina….I don't think it coincidental that in the 60s came the demolition of social structures, the attack on marriage, abortion as the basic sign of a woman having absolute rights over her own body and men generally put down as 'patriarchal' (sick to death of that word…men are great most of the time). It was a disguised attack on woman and at the same time the same spirit attacked the Church….the body of the Church. It was a repeat of the first Reformation with slightly different interests. But at this time there was no schism declared….we just survive amongst it all.



    38. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Yes, I agree, Benedicta.  There has been a lot of talking up going on over recent years.  One of the very enthusiastic lay people, a "we are church" type when I mentioned to her about the numbers falling the reply was, "Oh but we've got the cream now!"  And it's interesting to see how they go for all this drapery-type of stuff.  You'll often find satin draped over a stand with a boulder or something sitting atop it symbolising what I'm not sure – and I sympathesise with the Scottish people who so disliked the banner with the knotty tree covering up the tabernacle and crucifix.  Thankfully in the parishes I attended RENEW was never as in your face as that but there was always the banner off to the side so that you could never forget it was around.   

      But that site deals with other issues which are relatively current and relate to some of M&M's posts – hopefully our Catholic schools haven't gone so far down the path described in Melbourne  (Although I have heard that there are some very bad sex ed programmes that could be headed our way):


      Yet despite this spiritual holocaust, some Catholic parents, in their naivety, still think that the Catholic classroom is where official truth is dispensed; where the Church distills whatever it considers important and puts it on display. In Benalla however many parents were beginning to make the connection between Fathers anti-intellectual religion of “life- experience” and the arrival of anti-Catholic ma­terial in our schools. This occurrence is a natural extension of the non-judgemental philosophy underpinning experiential cat­echesis. Even teachers who would neither condone nor promote such ideas find themselves surrounded by secular humanist pro­paganda, often indistinguishable from the ubiquitous jargon of today’s, pseudo-Catholic school. The insanity and irrationality knows no bounds. A parishioner related one case in point:

      There are some great teachers at the local Catholic schools but some of the things that are tolerated are unbelievable. The last straw was the Year 9 physical education text-book which carried a detailed description of every type of contra­ception and belittled Natural Family Planning!

      Were they overreacting?

      The text referred to, Australian Physical Education: Book 2,4 is used at F.C.J. college which is under the chaplaincy of Father. It is described as “a motivational text designed to improve the quality of life.” Part A contains eight chapters of “Health Education”. Part B contains a further 26 chapters which describe various sports.

      The section referred to by the parishioner is chapter 7, “Sex­uality and You” (pp. 120-139). The inclusion of this segment in a book dealing essentially with sports and nutrition represents social engineering at its most vile. The chapter is saturated with the philosophy of agnostic/ atheistic secular humanism, including all the worst excesses of Lawrence Kohlberg’s values clarification `morality’.

      While the text does not quite reach the pornographic level of Dr. Llewellyn-,Tones’ Everywoman which is used as a text in some Catholic secondary schools,-’ it comes close. In one foul swoop, the erroneous statements and graphic illustrations that fill chapter 7 would devastate the spiritual life of any young Catholic unfortunate enough to read it and adversely affect the psychological or emotional health of others.

      It is difficult to imagine anything in the life span of a child in school that would be more intrusive, or memorable, than ‘Figure 7.7′ which displays the fitting of a condom to an erect penis. Or pages 130-131, filled with ‘cutesy’ cartoon depictions of the full range of contraceptive devices and operations from diaphragms through tubal ligations to vasectomy. At the bottom of page 131 is a lone cartoon figure labelled ‘Natural family planning’ which is holding a balloon containing the word “NO!”

      The total amorality of chapter 7 is confirmed by outra­geously simplistic and false assertions. Consider the treatment of abortion:

      An abortion is a relatively simple medical procedure per­formed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The tiny foetus is scraped or suctioned out of the uterus because the pregnancy is unwanted or there has been a fatal defect detected. Abortions are legal in most states and are purely a matter of choice (p. 134)

      It is hard to imagine a less Catholic or more inaccurate and cruel depiction of baby-killing."

    39. withhope February 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Teresina: that's wierd, the link I intended isn't even there. oh well.


      Anyway, to make up for it, here's just an interesting site by a journalist who grew up in Cuba and has a lot of interesting articles:



      God bless and keep us in His mercy.


      Since prayer is vitrually never mentioned on this site here's an important practice:

      Kneel down and say three Hail Mary's upon rising or before going to bed, then say:

      By the Immaculate Conception, O Holy Mary,

      Make by body pure and my soul holy,

      O Mother, free me this day/night from mortal sin.



    40. Benedicta February 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Teresina and Withhope

      I spend quite a bit of time in Melbourne. What I have seen is vastly different to my experience here. I attended the Mulgrave parish one Sunday morning, just an average sort of suburban parish. It was very reverent, faithful and well attended – simple modern music but understated and the priest was wonderful. St Patrick's Cathedral is brilliant and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the centre of town is always full to overflowing. Other Churches we have visited are definitely Catholic in appearance. I also know that Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which is a superb programme for young children is well attended for school teachers to take up and great work is done in helping Catholic teachers by Dr Gerald O'Shea.

      I have also heard that the seminaries are mostly full in Australia.

      I think overall Melbourne is more Catholic and in better shape than many parts of NZ.

      There are religious orders there, and you see them about town. (Yes, what a treat SEE them).

      Sydney is fortunate to have Campion College which is a bit different in the education it offers. There are a number of faithful women in good places doing a great job.

    41. withhope February 18, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      That's heartening – the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is always full. Has anyone ever been to a Church in NZ that has a monstrance and Adoration? 


      Off topic but this brilliant response to Bishop Bergoglio's latest double-speak:


    42. Werahiko February 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      And while we are trading off-topic links, here's a sermon by an SSPXer in Whanganui calling the Mass (well the one almost everyone attends) "evil" and something we should "hate". Its 10 minutes in:


    43. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Yes, that is heartening because what some of the parish at St Joseph's are calling for is:

      "The Parish needs to have a Priest appointed who is totally faithful to the teachings of the church and the Pope – all of them. It must be someone who dresses like a priest so that they make a visible impact on the faithful and general public."

      What they are complaining about the interior of the church can be found here:

      "Here you can clearly see how the beautiful marble altar was removed completely from the sanctuary and a replacement one installed IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHURCH. The seats have been ridiculously re-arranged around it making the middle of the church the focus, while our Blessed Lord is out of sight out of mind".


      Note the round altar

      Plus they complain that the book: Australian Physical Education: Book 2 which contains details of every contraceptive method and states about abortion: 

      "An abortion is a relatively simple medical procedure per­formed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The tiny foetus is scraped or suctioned out of the uterus because the pregnancy is unwanted or there has been a fatal defect detected. Abortions are legal in most states and are purely a matter of choice (p. 134)"

      This is apparently a text at the FCJ College in that parish – that is very serious indeed to my mind and I wonder why the Bishop allows it to remain.

      They also state that it is NOT ABOUT THE BUILDING: 

      "As we have said many times before, this site, book and story is not all about just about what happened at Benalla. This story about St Anne’s proves this point. This book and story is all about spreading an awareness of what could happen anywhere, anytime.

      It gives a before and after analysis that clearly shows what damage is done when our churches and forms of worship are reduced to just ordinary community gatherings.

      Take a look around your own parish. What is the average age of your parishioners? We can guess that they are mainly all retirees, 60 – 80 year olds which make up about 80% of the typical parish. Give it 20 years and they will not be there.

      We all need to understand and accept the crisis that the church is in and pull out all stops to do something about it. WE ALL NEED TO GET INVOLVED. It is not just up to the Pope to fix it, or even your Bishop or Parish priest. We need to start with ourselves and spread out to others that these things do matter. Altar rails do matter. Beautiful churches do matter. The way we worship does matter."

      A Sydney parish went through the same thing:

      Parishioners of St Anne’s Bondi Beach in Sydney who were inspired by reading Death of a Catholic Parish at a time when they were going through a very similar situation as described in the book. I hope it’s not too long but the battle for the Faith went on for 10 years 

    44. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Here is the last link which didn't insert properly, referring to the battle that they have had at St Anne's Bondi Beach for over 10 years:

    45. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Withhope – I think that is a great response by Fr Ray Blake, and worth posting here for everyone to read:

      "In his 'sound bite' style the Pope recently described young followers of the Traditional Mass as followers of fashion. I was amused by Ches's take on this, I am not quite sure that you can describe something which has been in existence since at lest the time of Gregory the Great until it seemed to be swept away in1968 as a 'fashion'. I am tempted to think what we have at the moment is the 'fashion', and even that is changing rapidly. I remember young Jesuits of Pope Francis' vintage celebrating Mass on coffee tables with pottery chalices, they left the 'Js' and the priesthood,  most of them are now unhappily married and if they remained in contact with the Church are scheming away to overturn the teaching of the Church, that was fashion! They came out of time when the 'fashion' was to denigrate anything smacked of either tradition (or Tradition); it was the time when destruction was fashionable, everything from town centres to the family was up for grabs.

      The Pope seems to surround himself not just with endless consultative companies,Ernst Young et al but also people like Cardinals Maradiaga and Hummes who one really expects to appear wearing flared trousers and paisley shirts.
      The real question  is: who is a follower of fashion, the Pope or young people?
      Already we have witnessed the persecution of the highly unfashionable and successful Franciscans of the Immaculate."


    46. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Werahiko, we have to pray for the SSPX and that is not to say that is the general view.  Archbishop Lefebvre said.  

      " He considered that the New Mass was not heretical, but as Cardinal Ottaviani had said, it represents serious dangers; thus in the course of time, “Protestant ideas concerning the Supper would be unconsciously accepted by the Catholics.” This was why children had to be taught the fundamental notions about the Mass. However, “it is an exaggeration to say that most of these Masses are invalid.” One should not hesitate to go a little further to have Mass according to the Roman Ordo; but “if one does not have the choice and if the priest celebrating Mass according to the Novus Ordo is faithful and worthy, one should not abstain from going to Mass.”[44]"

      But when you see some of the Novus Ordo Masses, how they are celebrated then, yes, you can say that to attend some of those Masses could be injurious to the soul.

      It's getting hard to deny that the SSPX don't have a point when you see this sort of thing – in many instances what we see appears to be pagan, which is evil:


      I could go on … but you get the message!


    47. Rubyshine February 18, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Withhope – the parish I attend has weekly adoration with a monstrance, and once a month adoration lasts all day into the evening.

      Benedicta – it is a treat to SEE religious people. I don't want to be offensive, but what do Nuns do in NZ? I simply haven't seen any around in years. Are they still involved in schools, hospitals and that kind of thing?

    48. withhope February 18, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      wel worth posting Fr Ray's full comment, T – he's been around those blocks and knows exactly  what's up.

      Wer' , it was only with the new translation that NO in the vernacular had even the possibility of validity. Multis, not omnes – the priest must indent to act and speak in perfect unity with Christ – to say 'for all', as the English Mass did for decades rather than for 'many' contradicted Christ and therefore the Mass was invalid. when Bishop Fellay says the NO is evil, he is looking head on it's rotten fruits:

    49. withhope February 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks for the reply Rudy. i've yet to see any adoration in NZ -i think my parish might have sold off the monstrances long ago. i know what you mean about nuns – SSPX nuns have the full habit and yes, they run schools – giving kids an education even the rich could only dream of in this day and age. However, NOrmal nuns as one lady put, like to go around in disguise. So do most priests and bishops these days – mustn't remind the world of Christ and His Church.

      Christ said, if you confess(acknowledge) Me before men, I will confess you before My Father in Heaven. we must not be catholics in disguise.

      God bless.

    50. Werahiko February 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Teresina, the view you hope is not general, that is: that the Mass is evil, and to be hated, is expressed on an official New Zealand sitesite by a priest promoted by the SSPX to run 'Marian Missions'. It is clearlyan official view, but one that rrely makes it beyond the doors of their Mass centres. The actions of others does not alter this in the least.

    51. bamac February 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm


      Every first Friday we have all night Adoration complete with a large  monstrance, candles , flowers … in the morning we have Benediction with one ,or sometimes two, Latin hymns.

      Every Wednesdaw we have exposition after morning Holy Mass until mid-day ….  only with a small monstrace and just the candles from mass on the altar …. we have this same small monstrance on Saturday mornings when we have Holy Hour before Holy Mass.

      Mrs Mac

    52. withhope February 18, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Thanks Mrs Mac. It is encpiraging to know there are NZ parishes who still have devotion and supernatural Faith.

      Werahiko, Pope Benedict said as much himself about the new Mass. he has been a scathingncritic of it's man-centred God-forsaken banality. it's sad that some Catholics have no idea of the treasures they've been robbed of. as one person put it the Christian pilgrim should be spiritually poor, but to force spiritual poverty upon the Bride of Christ is evil. 



      Reas, Spirit of the Litury,


      or, the Heresy of Formlessness.



      God bless




    53. Werahiko February 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Withhope he said no such thing. He did not say the Mass was evil. He did not say we should hate it. You are at the least mistaken. Do you have any basis at all for your statement?

    54. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Werahiko, what do you think of the various novus ordo Masses I linked – the clown Mass, the Halloween Mass, the vestal virgins, etc, are they acceptable to you?

    55. Werahiko February 18, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      I do not say they are evil, and I do not hate them. I do not know of any diocese where they are acceptable, and I imagine that where they did take place they were not repeated. Any chance you will respond to my question, or withdraw your claim about Pope Benedict?

    56. withhope February 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm


      read spirit of tje litugy – can only paste links on this non user friendly site

      – this blog cannot be a onestop shop for everything a catholic had never known about his faith. bugnini, the creator of the new mass when he first presented it to Paul VI it was basically a garbled  half jewish seder half protestant supper, so Paul vi had to rejig it so thete was some priestly element.'the mass protected by Paul V afterbTrent was all but obliterated the Paul vi




      wish half protestat seder/supper – Paul vi rigged it so there had to be a priestly role and it is this invention which has supplanted the treasure of the Mass vouchsafed at Trent by Paul V.


    57. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      Rubyshine, we have a number of orders of nuns who wear the habit in NZ

      The Missionary Sisters of St Peter Claver are in Island Bay in Wellington and they do work for the missions:

      The Carmelites in Christchurch and Auckland who are contemplative and pray for the Church:

      The Tyburn nuns – contemplative sisters, Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who spend part of their day in adoration of the  Blessed Sacrament.  They are  of the Order of St Benedict who have retreat facilities where you can join the sisters for Mass and the Divine Office:

      The Little Sisters of the Poor, Auckland, who care for the elderly most in need:

      There may be other orders of which I am not aware where some of the sisters are still habited.

    58. withhope February 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      p.s. benedict labeled the new mass 'banal, a banality, a man'centre show. read michael davies



    59. Teresina February 18, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Werahiko, those Masses depicted are at the very least a sacrilege and the Mass with unleavened bread is no doubt invalid.   These Masses have been said more than once as you can see on the internet.  One priest dressing as Superman and coming into Mass on a jeep one year, the next dressed as Barney the Bear and also a Haloween Mass.

      This is pure evil and you cannot blame the SSPX for seeing this type of thing and calling a space a space!


      "What if other ingredients are used? Or if only a small amount are included, so that the material would still be considered bread in the opinion of most people?

      Bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the sacrifice and the eucharistic sacrament (48).

      What about seasonings in small quantities, like honey? I’ve seen newsletters thanking people for donating “honey for the hosts.” Also, can anybody make hosts for their parish?

      It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools (48)."


      "Real sacrilege is the irreverent treatment of sacred things as distinguished from places and persons. This can happen first of all by the administration or reception of the sacraments (or in the case of the Holy Eucharist by celebration) in the state of mortal sin, as also by advertently doing any of those things invalidly. Indeed deliberate and notable irreverence towards the Holy Eucharist is reputed the worst of all sacrileges. Likewise conscious maltreatment ofsacred pictures or relics or perversion of Holy Scripture or sacred vessels to unhallowed uses, and finally, the usurpation or diverting of property (whether movable or immovable) intended for the maintenance of the clergy or serving for the ornamentation of the church to other uses, constitute real sacrileges. Sometimes the guilt of sacrilege may be incurred by omitting what is required for the proper administration of the sacraments or celebration of the sacrifice, as for example, if one were to say Mass without the sacred vestments."

    60. withhope February 18, 2014 at 11:51 pm

      p.s. T

      there are some Tyburn Sisters near auckland



      and some dominicans




    61. withhope February 18, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      God bless and keep sll in His mercy.


      remember, kneel, three Ave's

      Holy Mary, Conceived without sin,

      keep my body pure and my soul holy this night.


    62. Werahiko February 19, 2014 at 12:14 am

      The description of the Mass as evil was not of Masses which feature liturgical abuse. It was a description of the ordinary rite itself. It was this Mass which the SSPX urges us to hate. I have seen nothing to suggest pope benedict said this. this false allegation should be withdrawn. I have also seen nothing to suggest that he called the Mass itself "banal, a banality" etc No evidence for this claim either, I suppose.

    63. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Werahiko, you asked for the quote from Pope Benedict, and here it is – actually worse than Withhope put it:

      "In his preface to the French edition of Msgr. Klaus Gamber's book, The Modern Rite (St Michael's Abbey Press, 2002), Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has this to say on the subject of post-conciliar renewal:

      "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy". What, then, does this true prophet have to say about a reform which is, in reality, a continued revolution? "The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continued to fall away from the Church in droves." And again: "In the end, we will all have to recognize that the new liturgical forms, well intentioned as they may have been at the beginning, did not provide the people with bread, but with stones."


    64. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Werahiko, if the Pope Benedict considered that the people were given "stones rather than bread" then I think that vindicates much of the SSPX position – and also as Withhope pointed out there were many theologians (in good standing with the Church) who were concerned that the change of the words of consecration from "for many" to "for all" invalidated the Mass.

      Also, the SSPX no doubt also rely on the Ottavani intervention, which said:


      "The Ottaviani Intervention"

      Letter from Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci to His Holiness Pope Paul VI
      September 25th, 1969

      Most Holy Father, Having carefully examined, and presented for the scrutiny of others, the Novus Ordo Missae prepared by the experts of the Consilium ad exequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, and after lengthy prayer and reflection, we feel it to be our bounden duty in the sight of God and towards Your Holiness, to put before you the following considerations:

      1. The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The "canons" of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.

      2. The pastoral reasons adduced to support such a grave break with tradition, even if such reasons could be regarded as holding good in the face of doctrinal considerations, do not seem to us sufficient. The innovations in the Novus Ordo and the fact that all that is of perennial value finds only a minor place, if it subsists at all, could well turn into a certainty the suspicions already prevalent, alas, in many circles, that truths which have always been believed by the Christian people, can be changed or ignored without infidelity to that sacred deposit of doctrine to which the Catholic faith is bound for ever. Recent reforms have amply demonstrated that fresh changes in the liturgy could lead to nothing but complete bewilderment on the part of the faithful who are already showing signs of restiveness and of an indubitable lessening of faith.

      Amongst the best of the clergy the practical result is an agonising crisis of conscience of which innumerable instances come tour notice daily.

      3. We are certain that these considerations, which can only reach Your Holiness by the living voice of both shepherds and flock, cannot but find an echo in Your paternal heart, always so profoundly solicitous for the spiritual needs of the children of the Church. It has always been the case that when a law meant for the good of subjects proves to be on the contrary harmful, those subjects have the right, nay the duty of asking with filial trust for the abrogation of that law.

      Therefore we most earnestly beseech Your Holiness, at a time of such painful divisions and ever-increasing perils for the purity of the Faith and the unity of the church, lamented by You our common Father, not to deprive us of the possibility of continuing to have recourse to the fruitful integrity of that Missale Romanum of St. Pius V, so highly praised by Your Holiness and so deeply loved and venerated by the whole Catholic world.

      A. Card. Ottaviani
      A. Card. Bacc"


    65. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:41 am

      One of the chief concerns raised as regards the validity of the Mass:

      "29. As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words themselves (ex vi verborum)–or more precisely, from the meaning (modus significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula–the words of Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does," validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it."

    66. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

      Werahiko, I have to point out that none of this, as far as I'm aware, was ever drawn to the attention of the laity at the time the changes were mooted and brought in – in fact I can say this is the first time I have read this and I doubt that my family would have accepted the new Mass on those terms described above, and this is the very reason for the existence of the SSPX – really I think this entirely vindicates their position although I don't think they went about it in the right way.

    67. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:46 am

      We were told that there would be no change to the Mass that it would be the same but in the vernacular – we were lied to.

    68. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:58 am

      Here is the whole of the study on the Novus Ordo Mass, and reading this one can well understand why, in conscience, some have rejected it.

    69. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:03 am

      Here is the summary of what the Catholic theologians at the time found.  They said, "It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants" – it is no wonder we have had so many problems:

      Brief Summary

      I: History of the Change.

      The new form of Mass was substantially rejected by the Episcopal Synod, was never submitted to the collegial judgment of the Episcopal Conferences and was never asked for by the people. It has every possibility of satisfying the most modernist of Protestants.

      II: Definition of the Mass.

      By a series of equivocations the emphasis is obsessively placed upon the 'supper' and the 'memorial' instead of on the unbloody renewal of the Sacrifice of Calvary.

      III: Presentation of the Ends.

      The three ends of the Mass are altered-: no distinction is allowed to remain between Divine and human sacrifice; bread and wine are only "spiritually" (not substantially) changed.

      IV:—and of the essence.

      The Real Presence of Christ is never alluded to and belief in it is implicitly repudiated.

      V:—and of the four elements of the sacrifice

      The position of both priest and people is falsified and the Celebrant appears as nothing more than a Protestant minister, while the true nature of the Church is intolerably misrepresented.

      VI: The destruction of unity.

      The abandonment of Latin sweeps away for good and all unity of worship. This may have its effect on unity of belief and the New Order has no intention of standing for the Faith as taught by the Council of Trent to which the Catholic conscience is bound.

      VII: The alienation of the Orthodox.

      While pleasing various dissenting groups, the New Order will alienate the East.

      VIII: The abandonment of defenses.

      The New Order teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the purity of the Catholic religion and dismantles all defenses of the deposit of Faith.

    70. Werahiko February 19, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Teresina, that is not a comment on the Mass itself. No one seems willing to condemn the statement tha the Mass is evil, and we should hate it. Possibly time for me to go. 

    71. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Werahiko, I have already said "Werahiko, we have to pray for the SSPX and that is not to say that is the general view" so that is condemning the statement, otherwise I wouldn't be saying we need to pray for the SSPX BUT I qualified that by saying that doesn't mean that is the general view.  In other words, just because one SSPX priest says that doesn't mean to say the whole of the SSPX do.  Just as because a number of priests say sacriligeous Masses doesn't mean all priests do.  Do you understand that?

      Also, after requesting a comment from Pope Benedict when you get it you make no comment.  Ha!

      Also, you make no comment what was said in the Ottavani Intervention – serious concerns voiced by Catholic theologians at the time which makes the SSPX's position at least understandable.

      I can say that I have lived in a time since the Second Vatican Council where the laity was lied to about the changes in the Mass – that leaves me with a very sour taste in the mouth.  I am sure Mrs Mac can confirm the same that we were more or less told there would not be such drastic changes in the Mass.  The fact that Pope Paul was warned that the Novus Ordo Mass would  be satisfying to the most modern of Protestants leaves me more disillusioned.   The fact that we have had more or less a wholesale walk out of Catholics since Vatican II shows that the Novus Ordo was in the words of Pope Benedict "did not provide the people with bread, but with stones".

      Therefore, you can see the reason for Pope Benedict's moto proprio in respect of the Latin Mass and the reason that young and old are going back to that Mass because it is providing us something that the Novus Ordo Mass (while valid) is not providing.  There is something about the Latin Mass, simple, devoid even of Gregorian Chant is beautiful and when following along in the missal it raises the mind and heart to God in a way that the Novus Ordo does not do.

    72. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 10:20 am


      Teresina has answered for me. There are other orders which don't wear the habit; they used to be involved in teaching at primary and secondary and nursing. Also the Society of Mary; priests and brothers – mostly parish work and some involved in teaching.



    73. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

      It is not the fact that the Mass is in Latin, it is that the very prayers are different and the only way the Novus Ordo can come close is if the First Eucharistic prayer is said and it very rarely is … that is why I am seeking out a Latin Mass whenever I can …

    74. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Withhope, thank you for those prayers and I add to that: Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us we have recourse to thee.

      And a prayer for protection of the home:

      Precious Blood of Jesus, shed on the cross for me, bless this house, take it under Thy protection, for the sake of Thy Most Precious Wounds and for the sake of Thy Most Precious Blood, amen.

    75. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 10:36 am


      Following Werahiko's concern that somewhere it was suggested (can't find the exact posting but defended in a repeated actual statement of Pope Benedict…described as 'actually worse'….than I presume thinking the new mass evil? Correct anything there I have drawn wrongly)…..

      ….that the ordinary Rite of Mass was considered evil rather than those which feature liturgical abuse. That Pope Benedict sits in agreement with the SSPX on the ordinary Rite of the Mass….as one to be rejected?

      Is this a correct summary of where the argument got to?

      If so then your conclusion that 'Pope Benedict considered that the people were given 'stones rather than bread' in his own statement shows this? NO it doesn't. What Pope Benedict is referring to as 'stone rather than bread' is the 'fabricated liturgy' – that is that which wasn't intended by the Council 'but what happened after the Council was something else entirely". What should have emanated was 'liturgy as the fruit of development' and what we got was 'fabricated liturgy'.

      It isn't clear in your quote where Ratzinger is quoted and when another writer (praising Gamber) is writing. Which rather blurs things such as the bracketed words '(or because of it?)'.

      It can't be shown to vindicate the SSPX position.

      The words 'for all' and 'for many' in the Greek mean the same thing….in the case of the liturgy both meanings are held together…(english makes a meal of it).'For all' is indeed true as Christ's Redeeming work was sufficiently salvific 'for all' – so 'for all' in completion and intention….unless you want to say that Christ's work was lacking somehow? "For many' preserves in its meaning the offer of salvation as received by us….in that NOT ALL take it up. This is necessary to hold in place human free will to accept or reject Christ….but His work is sufficient for the worst of men should they turn to Christ and ask for His mercy and access to His work of salvation.

    76. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 10:55 am

      I think that Liturgy is the heart of the Church's worship and extremely important.

      But we need to look at the bigger picture as well. Not everything was right in the Church pre Vatican II and certainly everything is not right in the Church post Vatican II….

      While its important to spot the difference, Teresina, your 'summary of what Catholic theologians at the time found' is a point of view which can be challenged by the Vatican II documents themselves. The documents carry forward into them all defined and held doctrines and truths substantiated in the past Councils and don't necessarily need to be extrapolated in fine detail…they are given in the authenticity of the document itself. Your commentators are using 'Hegelian creep' as I call it to separate out the Council in its own slice of time without giving it its full historical and dynamic reach through all Church teaching.

      While you propose a battle to reinstate the integrity of the Mass which is correct and laudable it seems you go a little to far. There are serious issues which underpin the whole scenario which can't simply be reduced to 'Latin this' and 'not enough mention of sacrifice' that sort of thing. This focus is an interesting skirmish but those problems are simply the fallout of the war raging at deeper climes.



    77. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

      This easy to read observation on Belgium from Tracey Rowland alludes to some of what has happened, the 'fabricated liturgy' being exactly a demonstration of deeper problems.

      I hope the Charismatic movement made it to Belgium as the main Church certainly seems to have suffered a cataclysmic transformation….so has mine.

    78. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Benedicta, Werahiko linked a sermon of an SSPX priest where he says he does not accept the Novus Ordo Mass.  Withhope responded with comments from Pope Benedict which Werahiko did not appear to believe were said by Pope Benedict.  But he did in fact say that.  He is referring to the Novus Ordo Mass when he says the [Traditional Latin] Mass was "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product" and Pope Benedict is right because the Novus Ordo Mass did not evolve over centuries but was a "banal on-the-spot product" made up by Bugnini and others and warned about by Catholic theologians at the time.  Therefore, one can see the concerns of the SSPX.  

      The use of the words "For all" instead of "For many" which is "pro multis" in the TLM – Pro multis is a Latin phrase that means "for many" or "for the many".   That was a bone of contention that it invalidated the Mass, hence it was changed in the recent new translation.

      Fr Mueli, a Canon lawyer, stopped saying the Novus Ordo Mass because he considered it was invalid because of the change in the words of consecration and he has never belonged to the SSPX.

      Fr Malachi Martin commented on the Novus Ordo Mass and said it was valid "but only just valid".

      Here is the argument:

      We learn from Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dictionary that:

      'The Council of Trent defines that though the Church may change rites and ceremonies, it cannot alter the "substance" of the sacraments. This follows from the very nature of a sacrament. The matter and form have no power in themselves to give grace. This power depends solely on the will of God, who has made the grace promised depend on the use of certain things and words, so that if these are altered in their essence the sacrament is altogether absent.'

      Now if for all and for many mean the same thing, as ICEL equivalently affirms when it avers that for all and for many correctly translate pro multis, then the introduction of for all in place of for many will not cause the words of the form to be 'altered in their essence.'

      On the other hand if for all and for many do not mean the same thing (which is a proposition likely to meet with the approval and assent of not a few people) then we are met with a change in the substance of the sacrament. That is so since these two phrases, expressing different significations, are universally acknowledged to be part of the substance. The substituting of one phrase for the other is to cause the words of the form to be 'altered in their essence'. He who alters the form in its essence does not confect the sacrament.

      The contradiction resides in this that the 'short formers' hold that the words 'this is my blood' suffice for validity so that so far as validity is concerned it matters not at all whether the words for many or the words for all follow the core words 'this is my blood.' In either case transubstantiation, they say, is effected. But the 'short formers' like 'long formers,' admit that the words for many, or the words for all, as the case may be – you can take your pick – belong to the substance of the sacrament.

      If the words for many are allowed to remain, nothing untoward occurs. Other things being equal the sacrament proceeds. But if the words for all are employed, then, on the premise that for many andfor all do not mean the same thing we are confronted with an assault on the substance of the sacrament.

      The change has produced words which do not mean the same thing as is meant by the words changed. The result of that is, according to the mind of the Church, expressed in De Defectibus, that the celebrant does not confect the sacrament.

      'If anyone omits or changes anything in the form of the consecration of the Body and Blood, and in this change of words the words do not mean the same thing, then he does not confect the Sacrament.'

       That is why the words were changed back to avoid the doubt that the Novus Ordo Mass was invalid.  

      Therefore, I think the SSPX have had reason to say the Novus Ordo Mass was in error.

    79. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      And Benedicta, if you read 29 in the list of objections raised at the time against the Novus Ordo Mass you will see there that Catholic theologians at the time were saying that because of the change of wording that only the priest's intention could in fact make the consecration valid – that essentially because of the change the words of consecration DID NOT confect the sacrament but ONLY THE PRIEST'S INTENTION.  Therefore if that is the case how many Masses have we been to where the priest's intention was not to confect the sacrament because he did not believe in the Real Presence?

      For example, a young priest at St Mary of the Angels gave a sermon on the Real Presence which in a nutshell seemed to me he did not believe.  So I asked him after Mass, "Father do you believe in transubstantiation?"  His answer was, "You can call it what you like".  A good Werahiko response, if I can put it that way.  It was obvious to me that he didn't.  He has since died at a relatively young age, so I hope that he changed his view over the years.  I have every reason to believe he did.

      But what I find incredible is that none of these objections to the Mass was pointed out to Catholics at the time.  There would have been many more raised voices if there had been.  One can quite see the objections of St Jose Maria Escriva to the Novus Ordo Mass, even to the point of using expletives – and he was not alone in that!  Many intellectual Catholics in Britain, who knew the score – understood the ramifications, did raise their voices and we eventually got the indult Latin Mass.

      But we ordinary Catholics didn't have the internet at the time to see what Cardinal Ottaviani's intervention was and what Theologians disputed about the Novus Ordo Mass.  Through the years we heard rumours that the Novus Ordo Mass may not be valid but nothing concrete or perhaps within our understanding.  Now I know, and thankfully we have had the change in the wording – Blessed Pope John Paul II saw to that.

      Benedicta, if the change in these words were unimportant why have we had the liberals arguing for the retention of "for all"?

      As a child I was taught that the priest's belief in the real presence was not required to confect the sacrament and so I always believed that.  However, what I didn't realise was that that applied to the Traditional Latin Mass because that was the Mass at the time – the confection of the sacrament took place through the words of consecration.  But  because of the change in the words of consecration in the Novus Ordo Mass the priest's intention then became a necessity.

      I think that the SSPX are indeed vindicated on their stand against aspects of the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Mass.  Where I think they went wrong was ordaining bishops without the authority of the Pope and they need to restore the unity that they once had.  

    80. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Benedicta, I think what needs to be understood is that there is a strong body of Catholics, in good standing in the Church, both bishops, theologians, priests, religious and laity, who don't go along with the changes that have come in since Vatican II and the changes to the Mass.

      The concerns raised at the time by theologians, and continually raised over the years by this body of people, have in fact been borne out by the wholesale decline in Mass attendance.

      There is another good body of people in the Church who seem to want to close their eyes to the problem and paint a rosy picture that does not exist.  If they keep on in that manner, insist on not changing the Council documents and correcting error, then good luck to them – they will be a small, ever diminishing group who attend the Novus Ordo Mass and gather to celebrate the fruits of the Second Vatican Council every year.

    81. John Whyte February 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm


      Would you then think that the rise in the Charasmatic movement is an attempt to engage in a personal relationship with God?  

      Its and idea that has been kicking around in my head so with your last couple of points I'm interested in what you have to say/think.

    82. John Whyte February 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm


      Seeing as you are looking for an answer, the clip you posted, the priest is being nuts.  

      However I suspect I know persons who are members of his flock and they definately share his view, which is also nuts.  

      One can pick points one likes from various rites (and there are many different rites within the catholic church).  The tridantine rite lasted a mere 700 years (but I'm sure you knew that).  And to call a rite evil, is just nuts.  

    83. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm


      I don't think you understood me in my reading of your quoted material (the substance of which accorded to Ratzinger is without sufficient quotemarks).

      The 'fabricated liturgy' means the banal interpretations which were rendered from the opportunity afforded by Vatican II but can't be justified by Sancrosanctum Concilium itself.  Ratzinger is not dismissing the new Rite properly exercised.

      There are aspects, such as the direction of the Priest to the people which were liberties not mentioned by the documents.

      Why do we have to keep going over all this?

      The ordinary Rite has not been discontinued by the Church but rather more authentic renderings of it have continually been called for which is what Pope Benedict asked for. Why does he have to become a witness against his own position as Pope? Was he a mere prisoner in the Vatican and not able to bring about what he truly thought authentic in the Church?

      To keep questioning the validity of the Rite itself is not a helpful act. Catholics are required to assent to it. If Catholics wish to attend a Latin Mass, the extraordinary form, then Rome has told Bishops to make it available. If they don't….it's another issue.

      I disagree that the words, in particular, 'for all' or 'for many', decide of themselves the validity of the Mass. That is a Western Church approach for this or that particular word. The Orthodox, who have a valid Eucharist, consider the whole of the Rite ordered toward the Eucharist and would negate that one word like 'all' or 'many' would mean Jesus would refuse to come. They do not of themselves insubstantiate the Eucharist. The way it has been presented in your posting seems more like superstition that God is held to ransom and prevented from fulfilling what He has promised to do by the power of the priest in one word. No priest saying the words provided by the Church and acting in accord with the Church has the power to negate the sacrament.

      It is a very difficult situation to find oneself in, if being in the Church in unity in body but actually agreeing in heart that the SSPX hold the right interpretation that the Novus Ordo Mass is in error.


    84. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm


      Rather than we two dodging our way dueling as usual….

      here is a letter from Pope Benedict which explains…in full…the difference and how they came about 'for all' 'for many'….its a matter of interpretation over the literal with references for both but priority in the final instance to 'for many'….and I do myself prefer those words as in all the word changes in the new translation. But I don't think these two words which both hold truths can in 'for all' render the Mass invalid….



    85. John Whyte February 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm


      You say that with the change of wording the priest's intention is now needed to effect the sacrement.  That comment about intention is just wrong.  Inention has always been a necessary part of all the sacraments.  St Thomas Aquinas in his Summa addresses that exact question (Part III 64 8 a) which is nicely avaliable, at

      Whereupon he argues that intention is absolutely needed to administer the sacraments and is a vital part.

      In article 10 he askes if a good intention is required and then states "a priest may intend … to consecrate the Body of Christ, so as to use it for sorcery. And because that which comes first does not depend on that which follows, consequently such a perverse intention does not annul the sacrament; but the minister himself sins grievously in having such an intention."

      Intention is always a part of the administering of any sacrament.  Before the Tridentine rite, during, and after.  

    86. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Benedicta, the words I quoted are a forward written by Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger).  He said in that forward (and I set the entire quote down again so you are clear all the words belong to him.  "The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continued to fall away from the Church in droves."  Although he is referring to it as liturgy what else can he be referring to but the Mass?  What other liturgy is there.  He is not referring to errors in the liturgy but to the Mass itself which has given "stones" he said rather than "bread".

      "Our churches emptied, in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it)".  That is plain wording and he is plainly correct.  The churches have emptied inspite of the Novus Ordo Mass.

      The Novus Ordo Mass is a new Mass as it says.  It has not developed over centuries.  For example, there are a number of Eucharistic Prayers that were not in existence prior to the Novus Ordo Mass.

      Why do we have to keep going over this?  Because some people do not understand what the objections raised to the Novus Ordo Mass are.

      I am not questioning the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass, merely pointing out what the objections to it were and objecting to the fact that just as churches were wrecked, altar rails and altars disposed of in the dark of the night and thrown on rubbish dumps, so were Catholic beliefs changed and tampered with, without any explanation to the faithful – and lies told so that people would accept the Novus Ordo Mass and not object to it.

       As I say, if my family and many others had known what was in the Ottaviani Intervention – the true objections raised to the consecration – we would have protested.  As it is it took over 40 years for a correction to take place.  And we have no date as to when the SSPX priest's sermond was.  If it was before the recent changes to the Mass then it can be understood why he would not accept the Novus Ordo Mass.

      I also understand St Jose Maria Escriva, at least in private, would not say the Novus Ordo Mass – and he is a saint.

      To quote Pope Benedict again – entirely his words:

       "What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy". What, then, does this true prophet have to say about a reform which is, in reality, a continued revolution? "The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or because of it?), and the faithful continued to fall away from the Church in droves." And again: "In the end, we will all have to recognize that the new liturgical forms, well intentioned as they may have been at the beginning, did not provide the people with bread, but with stones."

      To me those who are burying their heads in the sand and not addressing the root cause of the problems in the Church are not helping the Church in any way, shape or form.

      And, Benedicta, the SSPX as a whole accept the validity of the Novus Ordo Mass.  That does not mean that every individual priest does, just as we have many problem priests ourselves who do not accept transubstantiation at all.  And there are many examples of that to be found.

      "It is a very difficult situation to find oneself in, if being in the Church in unity in body but actually agreeing in heart that the SSPX hold the right interpretation that the Novus Ordo Mass is in error."  And I have not said that at all.  I have said one can understand, in light of Catholc theologians concerns about the Novus Ordo Mass, where their views have come from.  They haven't come out of thin air and been of their own making.

    87. withhope February 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      The New Rite is deficient. Therefore who could blame someone who never took on this deficiency for calling this deliberate deficiency 'evil'. The New Rite has been responsible for a near total apostasy from the Faith. Catholic neither have supernatural faith, nor care about the Dogma's and Doctrines of the faith. Priest change the liturgy to suit their own personalities at will. With the Old Mass, changing the Rubrics one iota was a sin for the priest. The point being is God has given us the Mass, the Sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody manner from the rising of the sun to its setting to the close of the age. Then some folks in the 60s decided it wasn't sin to not only change the rubrics but change the whole mass, indeed the church into this 'new rite' Church. This is why the history of the Church, the Old Mass etc have been demonised by this new institution, all revolutions need to wipe out the memory of the former so that there can be no 'legitimate' resistance. The new mass has destroyed Catholic unity, I would say that is an evil in itself.

    88. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Actually, John Whyte, my apologies, you are correct about the intention of the priest being required.  I think I have confused that with even if a priest does not believe in transubstantiation, but says the words with the intention to do so, then the sacrament is in deed confected.  As we indeed see with the Miracle of Lanciano where the priest did not believe during the consecration but found the host bled after he had said the words of consecration.

      So to go back to 29 – the objections raised by the theologians at the time:  "As they appear in the context of the Novus Ordo, the words of Consecration could be valid in virtue of the priest's intention. But since their validity no longer comes from the force of the sacramental words themselves (ex vi verborum)–or more precisely, from the meaning (modus significandi) the old rite of the Mass gave to the formula–the words of Consecration in the New Order of Mass could also not be valid. Will priests in the near future, who receive no traditional formation and who rely on the Novus Ordo for the intention of "doing what the Church does," validly consecrate at Mass? One may be allowed to doubt it."

      The need for the priest to have the intention to confect the sacrament lends more support to the SSPX's contentions about the Novus Ordo Mass, where the words of consecration were changed (prior to the recent changes in the wording of the consecration).  

    89. withhope February 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      p.s. Jwhyte, if a priest intends to be an instrument for transubstantiation, then his intention is in line with the Church. What he intends to do beyond that…how many priests intend to transubstantiate the species? And the way they treat the species after consecration is all so telling of what their initial intention was.

      P.s.s if the Bishop of Rome decided to abrograte the New Rite tomorrow and insist that the Mass protected by Paul V is the only legitimate rite, how many people would discover that they are committed to a new fashion that was forced upon the church fifty years ago? The Old Rite was never abrogated, could never be abrogated without abrogating Catholicsm since Christ until the 60s. Catholic Unity is what Christ prayed for, what the Apostles demanded. Latin in the Mass kept this unity. For instance, in the papua new guinea there is no sufficient translation for Holy Spirit, so a priest should only perform a baptism using the Latin. These sorts of issues never used to exist. That they now do exist is an evil.

    90. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm


      Why do the liberals want to retain 'for all'…..answer – they reject as an imposition being told what to do by Rome. They are trying to get all that 'patriarchal power' off their backs.

      Transubstantiation is not a Dogma in itself….that the Eucharist becomes sacramentally  the Real Body and Blood of Jesus in his humanity, divinity, body and soul is; that is the Doctrine. The process by which the Bread and Wine become this Real Presence is open still. Transubtantiation is accepted by the Church as being the best way by which to explain such a Mystery. St Thomas would agree that it is best and rejected attempts by many to authoritively define in language in order to contain what essentially is a mystery. At the same time something like Transignification is not sufficient to explain the mystery and would be the Eucharist viewed from an anthropocentric view which is erroneous.

    91. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Benedicta, I read the letter from Pope Benedict to the German bishops and his explanation.  The problem is that objection to the words "for all" which were substituted for the words "for many" were raised by theologians at the time the Novus Ordo Mass was promulgated.  Catholic theologians said those words were likely to invalidate the Mass.  No Pope is ever likely to admit that those changes to the Mass may have invalidated the Mass, but at least changing the words takes away any doubt that may have existed in the minds of some.   

    92. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm


      I still read Benedict's words (Ratzinger) as pertaining to the fabrications and erroneous renderings of the liturgy not the Novus Ordo itself.

      Its a little personal you see….I was converted to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as a non Catholic at my first Mass. It was a Novus Ordo said by Msgr Fletcher. By Teresa of Avila's renderings a corporeal vision is a low form of extraordinary experience but real still in that it converted me on the spot with a short explanation from the girl next to me and I saw it with my own eyes… I can't find anything lacking in Jesus presence at a Novus Ordo. In fact it is quite spectacular. Alleluia…Jesus always comes in fidelity to the Church. He is not conjured up by the workings of man. The new Rite made me Catholic. So Withhope with the deepest of respect I can't be persuaded of its deficiencies. I might add I love the Latin Mass too. I'm just a Catholic.

    93. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      Benedicta, I am merely using the word "transubstantiation" to cover what takes place at Mass. That is just a term. When I asked the priest if he believed in transubstantiation, he knew what I meant.  He knew I was asking him whether he believed that bread became the body and blood of Christ.  When he responded to me, with a smile, "You can call it what you like" I knew what he meant.  The sermon he had earlier given implied Christ had instituted nothing more than a memorial but of course he was not going to admit that in so many words, was he?

    94. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Benedicta, I can't read your interpretation at all because Benedict says " in the place of liturgy as  the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy.  We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it".  The meaning of those words are clear because the Novus Ordo Mass was entirely new: previously there was only one canon of the Mass – now there are at least four; eucharistic procession; sign of peace; secret prayers removed; prayers at the foot of the altar removed; wording of consecration changed.  In short a new Mass not something that had been a living process of growth and development over centuries as Pope Benedict said.

      You are lucky that you were converted through the Mass – so many more have left – millions you could say.

    95. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Benedicta, I used to think like you.  To me a Novus Ordo Mass well said was sufficient for me.  I couldn't understand why others didn't feel the same way.  I go to both Masses but I have to say that following the prayers of a simple Latin Mass strikes something in my heart that I can't find at a Novus Ordo Mass any longer.  I don't know why.  I think it is simply that the words of the old Mass are so beautiful.  As I said if the Eucharistic Prayer 1 had been said I might feel differently but it isn't and now it's too late anyway, my heart is in the Latin Mass.   If I had my choice I would only go to the Latin Mass.  I wouldn't mind if the Mass was entirely in English as long as it followed the form and wording of the Traditional Latin Mass.  

    96. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      An example of the beautiful wording:


      udge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.
      R. For Thou, O God, art my strength: why hast Thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflictech me?

      V. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have led me and brought me unto Thy holy hill, and into Thy tabernacles.

      R. And I will go in unto the Altar of God: unto God, Who giveth joy to my youth.
      V. I will praise Thee upon the harp, O God, my God: why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?
      R. Hope thou in God, for I will yet praise Him: Who is the salvation of my countenance, and my God.
      V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
      R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

    97. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      John Whyte

      Yes, I think the Charismatic movement is an attempt to engage in a personal relationship with God. Brendan Malone quoted further back two comments on the Charismatic movement from PJII and Pope Benedict. I agree totally with Pope Benedict (PJII was more general). In a nutshell it can convert one to Christ in a personal way (it can effect the Redemptive turn in someone – which then begins a new journey incomplete until Heaven) which resonates with our personal desire to experience and know Our Lord. It can open you up to Christ's personal action in your life. That is  important in the beginning of the personal conversion; to hear the call and to personally respond to the depths of your being. It seems to connect heart, body and mind together toward the Lord….it overcomes our self consciousness. That is a good thing. It falls down on helping that Redemptive turn progress in holiness toward heaven….its efficient but not proficient.

      Therefore I don't think one can stay in that mode. As Benedict says it can blind you. Your experience can start to take on authoritive tones in many undesirable ways. It doesn't manifest a clear connection to the mysteries of the Sacraments which are pre-eminent. By contrast the Sacraments are silent, orderly with almost no discernible charismatic type change in the recipient. But this is also characteristic of God. But for the charismatic experiencer they can begin to appear as something less than one's personal experience.

      There are many in history (Ronald Knox – 'Enthusiasm') who have followed their personal insights and experience and gone away from the Church. This is not good.  (I think the parable of the sower is insightful here). On the other hand, reading the lives of many Saints there are also Charismatic signs in their lives all the time to the highest degree but they remain well ordered by the sacramental, teaching and life of the Church. St Teresa says if God chooses to lead a soul this way then its good…I think the thing is within the Church to simply give God time…he can't lead the bust and distracted ones.

      It seems there is a correlation between charismatic renewal as such and two things – impending persecution (well that has become evident hasn't it?) and the inability of the Church to provide at the concrete (in the pew) level an experience of Transcendence. This is valid in South America where social and political theologies proposed to serve the poor truncated the actual Transcendent and primary meaning of the sacramental life in preference to action….therefore the hungry souls were attracted and still are to the Pentecostal. The Church didn't feed them her true food and so they found similar elsewhere. When the Church chases the world those hungry for God will not find him in its dodgy liturgy and social programmes. Such a Church only complements the world and the rich….all it says is you only need what the rich have taken from you – power and stuff. What the poor need is the Face of God not Che Guevara.

      Butif I have the worst priest in the world, with the dullest of parishes and only a few to keep me company – if that Church is in union with Rome and says a Mass promulgated by Rome I hope I will never leave because despite all appearances….it is the only place (the Mass) where Jesus is truly Present; He is in the Eucharist the only absolute transcendent reality of presence within this immanent created realm. There is no other moment, no other fount of Grace, no other Presence like it …beyond all human experience. He just is and in faith, hope and charity to God we can't abandon that which cost Christ so much to give us

    98. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Dear Teresina

      I hear what you are saying but we have to stay in step with the Church and trust that unity brings everything through…the details frustrate, yes. Let us agree that Benedict's statement was ambiguous…it depends where you draw the line – you strike the divide of 'fabricated liturgy' at the Novus Ordo which began with Vatican II. I strike the divide of 'fabricated liturgy' in that which emananted unfaithfully after Vatican II and read the Sancrosanctum Concilium as being in line with 'the fruit of development'…so we won't resolve it successfully.


    99. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Withhope, I do agree that the changes wrought through and after the Second Vatican Council have led to a lack of unity in the Church – you can see it on this blog with all the different views we all now have, while we all profess to being Catholic.  


    100. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks, Benedicta, I agree that with the dullest priest in the world, and with the banalest of liturgy, I will never leave because the Church is the only hope for my salvation, warts and all and I appreciate that you understand my interpretation and I understand yours, God bless you for your faithfulness!

    101. bamac February 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm


       You say that things were wrong in the church pre Vat 11 … What things ?  You , if my memory is right ( no guaranttee about that always)   you came into the church post Vat 11 so are  your ideas on what was wrong earlier  all from what you have read? My own 30 year experience of livig my Faith pre Vat 11 felt nothing like that .  At one stage we were not permitted to attend weddings or funerals in Protstant churches but that had been relaxed before the Council with permission.


      Yes , we were told that there would only be language change in holy Mass and , for a time it was much the same but gradually changes came in  until it became what we have today . … in came the changes and out went the altar rails and any feeling of of the sanctity of the Sanctuary inside those much missed Altar rails. . 

      Mrs Mac

    102. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Dear Mrs Mac

      That was a general statement as the Church has never been nor will be a utopia. I agree there was much more attendence etc. Theology in the Church has not always been equal to the mission required of it throughout time. There are criticisms of theological approaches in the centuries leading up to Vatican II which did not prepare the Church to encounter the cultural pervasion of the 60s.

    103. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      Thanks, Mrs Mac, that is how I understood it that it was only the language that was changing.  The constant changes are mentioned in a letter from St Jose Maria to his priests and some what he called unnecessary changes.  I think unfortunately alll recent converts to the faith do not understand what the Church was like prior to Vatican II and naturally have had their views coloured by some modernist views promoted since Vatican II, by writers and others.  To reallly understand the arguments they need to read the documentation; the arguments against what happened.  It was no doubt the protestantising of the Church and as some refer to it "Reformation II" what wasn't allowed to occur at the Reformation came in through the back door by liiberals using Vatican II as their doorway.

      "From Andres Vazquez de Prada's "The Founder of Opus Dei: The Life of Josemaria Escriva Vol.III" [Scepter. Hardcover edition. page 354-355].

      He was sensitive to any alteration, no matter how small, in the rubrics of the Mass. On October 24, 1964, he wrote to his sons in Spain:

      "They have changed the liturgy of the Holy Mass again. At my almost sixty-three years of age, I am striving with the help of Javi [Javier Echeverria, now Prelate of Opus Dei] to obey Holy Mother Church even in the smallest details, although I cannot deny that I am pained by certain unnecessary changes. But I will always obey joyfully." 126

      Footnote 126: Bishop Jose Maria Garcia Lahiguera recalls how much it cost the founder to celebrate the Mass in accord with the new dispositions: "He had always put such intensity into the celebration of the holy Mass that even the seemingly most insignificant rubric had for him an enormous value…The fervor that he put into celebration was so extraordinary that it gave the effect of his being transfigured at the altar. The slightest change, therefore, could distract him, and this caused him great suffering."

      St Jose Maria is also reported to have been upset with Pope Paul VI and to say that Satan had entered the Vatican.

    104. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm


      I'm going to give you something which in fairness underpins your concerns and might be what Pope Benedict (being the most brilliant of theologians) is aware of. Its inconclusive (much in the Church is and that is a good thing).

      The question was asked by Alasdair MacIntyre the philosopher (one who wants Aristotle and the virtuous life to help the secular world not lose sight of all reality). One the question of meaning and reality in regards to the Eucharist and all its realities. The question posed is this…if something which traditionally has been held in a certain context in which it held its meaning (hope I'm getting this right!!) if it is transposed into another context does its meaning change?

      This is not a defence for the Latin Mass but a warning that there has to be enough consistency of context in order to maintain the meaning. So it doesn't have to be static. But legitimately one can ask if the meaning has been changed for us because the context changed? I think Spirit of the Liturgy might have had this in mind?

      Note I put changed for us. This is not the same as saying the Mass is invalid in that God has changed somehow in relation to the Mass…no. Rather it is saying that our ability to receive the truth that lies within the realities of the Mass are harder for us to continue to see in the same way. Does it matter? Yes, because we are no longer able (in the image Benedict points to) to have our eyes opened in the breaking of bread as on the Road to Emmaus.

      God is faithful to the Church…at the Mass Jesus still comes to us in the same way, for the same end. It is our ability to receive it that is compromised.



    105. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Yes, Benedicta, I think what you say is correct that "God is faithful to the Church…at the Mass Jesus still comes to us in the same way, for the same end. It is our ability to receive it that is compromised".  Yes, it is our ability to receive it that is compromised.  God of course doesn't need all the trappings,  it is the human soul that needs that to lift himself out of the ordinariness of life and to receive a foretaste of heaven.  I think that is why many have embraced the Charismatic movement because the Mass was stripped of a lot of its beauty and mystery.  Some of course don't need that – they are holy souls within themselves who don't seem to need the extra but most of us do.

    106. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm


      That's good. Its a far better place from which to start questioning….our ability to receive the truth which is before us. God is always faithful to His covenants when we aren't so I validity isn't an issue. That Alasdair MacIntyre has tabled it means that it will have a strong wind blowing it about….it might be worth trying to find out what he says about it and perhaps who is discussing it. He is not an easy read but his speaking your concern.

    107. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Just a thought on charismatic gifts.

      Tears is one such gift.

      I think many people have this gift. There is a great Saint and writer who has a lot to say about this if anyone's interested…St Catherine of Siena.


    108. bamac February 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm


      Who are the theologans who say that there were problems in Pre Vat 11 theology?   There were problems in some quarters with teologians with a modernistic bent who were in favour of change before the council came about. 

      I have heard that we were said to hav a " fortress mentality",  that we looked down on oter faiths …. if any did then it certainly wasn't the majority for I never came across it …. as school kids we used to tease the public school kids and they in turn , those from the Catholic schools.

      Hope that life is going peacefully for Robert .. he is still in my prayers


      Mrs Mac

    109. bamac February 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Holy tears have been shed by many saints ,  I agree that they are a gift from God but not part of the Charismatic movement surely ?

      Mrs Mac

    110. Abenader February 19, 2014 at 7:13 pm


      What is your understanding of modernism and how is it manifested (on the assumption that it is still around) especially when applied to Holy Mass?

    111. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Dear Mrs Mac

      Thank for enquiring about Robert….he is very happy and coming to stay in March with us. He has truly blossomed in his beautiful apartment at the Retirement Village. Keep him in your prayers, I am convinced we will get there….but hey at almost 91 there is no need to 'write him off' just yet….he could be around quite a while. He has a new wind in his sails which is refreshing at his age. He appreciated the Catholic priest who is someone he is coming to see as a comfort to himself…this priest friend took my mothers funeral. Also my I found my next sister up crossing herself at the graveside and is indeed another one to keep in your prayers. She will become Catholic at some time, I'm sure of it. I'm sure God never misses an opportunity for a soul to come home.

    112. withhope February 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      I think that's called appropriation, Mrs Mac. Apparently Catholics never cried (or at least in an outdated 'fashion)', never heard the voice of God, never performed miracles (the Eucharist?!), never had intimacy with the Holy Ghost (the Eucharist!?), never prophesied, had no charity?! no Truth?! before the schisms came along. Even to the extent of appropriating the word charism – grace or gift of God, as if the Church has no gift without a new Charismatic movement – surely the movement itself is an affront to God and His Church – it effectively says, Your Church, isn't enough for us.



      St Robert Bellarmine

      'It is granted to few to recognise the true Church amid the darkness of so many schisms and heresies, and to fewer still so to love the truth which they have seen as to fly to its embrace.'

    113. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Mrs Mac

       I think 'fortress mentality' sounds like a soundbite with a propaganda overtone. Don't you? I don't think I would believe that at all.

      No the problems are deep….back to the 13th Century. So they aren't new. I hold to the import of nominalism…that caused the basis of the Reformation….then the Church turned around focused on apologetics against the Reformation……which was Trent. Most theologians since then have made use of St Thomas, not in his own mode, but as a witness to support their apologetics after the shock of the Reformation…that is the weakness of scholasticism that it was essentially apologetic against Protestantism…..but they have fallen now. They were ill equipped in thought for the new atheism and secularism emerging. But at the same time scholasticism served the Church very well – its method and rigorism is being restudied and in a word 'redimensioned' by the best. More to come.

       Simply if you look at St Thomas and see within his work a synthesis of the early Church Fathers, spirituality, scripture, moral ethics, philosophy and theology….they are all together. Now think of the universities or the seminary faculties of later years and even now and all these things are divided up and separated from each other. So the accusation is of too much fragmentation. If you want to read something on this which is wholesome, Servais Pinckaers has a nice readable book on Catholic morality which goes into the effects of this fragmentation. Moral teaching show the effects most clearly.

      Essentially this back to the early sources in their integrity of approach….is what many 20th century theologians were wanting. Just stay with Pope Benedict on this as he is one of them and you will feel secure with him…read his biographies.

      None of this needs modernism. Modernism has nothing to offer it is just what we have to confront and deal with…now called post-modernism. However, some methods of modern theology or philosophy have been found useful when stripped of their enlightenment basis.….example is Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II. But it isn't 'modernist'.

      I think where the Church was found wanting in a concrete way in this Vatican II expose was that she didn't have a developed Theology of Culture. This found her exposed and undefended against the speed and depth of change that began in the 60s. Many of her own just ran with it. That is the crux I think of the problem. The Church people were easily seduced by the culture.

      St Thomas is enormously important. What the Church has always taught is enormously important. There is much that has been lost from the early Church Fathers that needs to be recovered. No one is changing the Faith but they have sure botched up the standard of theology, the whole synthesis of the Faith as one thing, and the Liturgy was its punchbag.

      But we don't despair….remember when it came to the Real Presence in the Body and Blood of Christ the Church didn't have the arguments we have today….when Berengarius said he didn't believe it. (A good story). Nor did the Church have adequate answers to the Reformation…they came later. So it seems to be a pattern that we get beaten down and rise again…and it will.

      GK Chesterton said this…that the Church seems to gasp her last and then she manifests again.

    114. Benedicta February 19, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Dear Abenader

      I have a husband to dine with….but I'll come back on your question. A great question.

    115. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Benedicta, in blithley rejecting scholasticism as you do, in fact you are rejecting two of the great saints of the Church: St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure, in favour of a group of men who have done what the reformation failed to do – wreck the Church – you can guarantee that none of those men will ever be saints of the Church.  By contrast, the teachings of St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure will last, while the errors of those modernists behind Vatican II will in the end be rejected by the Church.

    116. bamac February 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm



      Thank you for the family update  … am sure that God will finally trip him up even if it is at the last minute as it were … your sister too….. it worked that way with my father … he had always teased my mother for being " an Irish Mick"   have prayed so hard for him over th years after he died and as I grew up, for there is no such thing as time in eternity so I pray that, in that last severe short duration illness before he died that he turned to God big time …. we found out after he died that he had been baptised Lutheran.

      Abenader ,

      Am afraid that I am not as adept as either Benedicta or Teresina and others in debating or expressing myself .My ideas of Modernists in the church , be they theologians or clergy or laity , were those who did not agree with all that is in the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church and wanted to make changes acording to their own ideas and interpretations . When I first heard the term I looked it up in an effort to understand what they were on about … I found this link and found it very enlightening ( at least it was to me ) … longish but worth the read I feel…… for some reason my computer insists on putting links on the top of my comments … sorry!

      Mrs Mac



    117. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you for that link, Mrs Mac, like you I haven't had any experience of philosophy, but I agree with the link you quote above that a vast swathe of the Church has adopted modernistic thought, and many deny heaven, hell and purgatory and miracles etc. For example, one priest in Hamilton gave a sermon saying that St Peter didn't walk on water, that he was walking on a submerged reef, another said that Christ wasn't fully aware of His mission until he was baptised in the Jordan; another named the greatest theologian as a Protestant; von Balthasar, de Lubac and others are dealt with here:

      Here is an excerpt:

      "The year 1952 saw the publication of a very small book by Hans Urs von Balthasar entitled Razing the Bastions (English edition: Communio Books, Ignatius Press, 1992)Von Balthasar himself called it a "programmatic little book." The Ignatius Press edition contains an introduction by Father (now Cardinal) Christopher Schönborn, which contains the following passage:

      Von Balthasar himself pointed out, in a conversation with Angelo Scola [also now a Cardinal] in 1985, that the Second Vatican Council ("naturally without regard to me") "adopted" much of this program and "deepened it and taught it." In this same conversation, von Balthasar also said, with unmistakable clarity, that he still stands fully by the contents of Razing the Bastions.  …


      It is this core group of people who have determined the primary philosophical and theological orientation of the latter half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century. And, it is incontestably Henri de Lubac and Hans Urs von Balthasar who are the central influences in this matrix. De Lubac is often referred to as the "Father of Modern Theology," while von Balthasar is considered the greatest spiritual writer in this movement. …

      If the little book Razing the Bastions is therefore declared by von Balthasar to contain the program not only of his own personal philosophy, but also that "program" which was largely adopted by Vatican Council II, we should be giving it very careful attention. …


      Much of the justifiable objection to von Balthasar and his writings has focused on his alleged Origenism, and also his aberrant theories concerning the Passion, and especially Christ’s "descent into Hell" on Holy Saturday (much of this also being related to his close "association" with Adrienne Von Speyr1).

      It is a central contention of this article, however, that these subjects are only peripheral to the real problems with von Balthasar’s writings, and that his (and also de Lubac’s) deeper distortions of Catholic philosophy and theology are the primary factors in Modernist domination of post-Vatican II Catholic life and thought.  …


      I will only mention here that de Lubac’s root distortion of Catholic doctrine (despite the fact that both he and his supporters would vehemently deny such a charge) involves the denial of the total discontinuity which exists between God’s supernatural life and human nature, and thus a denial of the absolute gratuity of any gift which in any way entails a sharing in God’s divine life.

      Such a confusion of nature and grace inevitably denies, either directly or indirectly, the absolute ontological distinction between the Being of God and the being of man. This is "the beginning of all heresies." It is not however the end of all heresies; nor does it place any limitations on the ability of fallen human nature to conjure new variations for such old lies …

      What von Balthasar’s philosophy has come down to in the final analysis is Averroism – the belief that there are two truths: the truth of faith, on the one hand, and the truth of reason (or the "truths" of the world) on the other. Further, these "two truths" cannot be reconciled with one another except in some possible future Omega point of synthesis (and evolution) which is beyond our present grasp of revealed truth. It is therefore absolutely essential for us, in the estimation of von Balthasar, that we descend into this mass of contradiction, confusion, and double-truths if we are to walk the path of Christ.

      We are, in other words, to walk the path of unity, without it being a unity established in the One Truth which is Christ. This is the path, I am convinced, that the Antichrist will demand that we walk.

      The descent into the world which is demanded of us by the philosophy of Hans Urs von Balthasar has been largely accomplished in the post-Vatican II Church. We have razed the bastions, opened the windows, thrown open the doors, torn down the walls, eliminated the "systematics" (think of the Baltimore catechism for children), prostituted ourselves to secular knowledge, and created the almost universal impression that the Catholic Church is "coming around" to the principles of the French Revolution.

      If we consider the effect of this philosophy in just one area, the area of "systematics," we might well attribute the loss of millions of souls of little children to this philosophy. They were simply never taught that the possession of the fullness of absolute truth is necessary for Christian survival.

      It is for this reason that I must emphasize that we are not here involved in a gentlemanly debate about legitimate philosophical and theological differences. We are at war with evil. …

      What has attracted so many to von Balthasar is that he appears to be promoting a new incarnation of Christ’s love in this world, in juxtaposition to a supposed rigid traditionalism which stifles love with rigid truth.

      What he pathetically fails to see is that love is not opposed to absolute truth, but is its most intimate companion and fruit, and that the heart of Christ’s love for man is to be found in His descent into union with our nature in order to bring us the liberating surety of this truth.

      Christ would have us put on the whole armour of God in order that we might love and convert our estranged brethren.

      Hans Urs von Balthasar would have us stripped naked in order to commune with a world which, according to the Gospel, is the domain of the Prince of this world.

      No more perfect description could be given of the present state of the Church in the modern world.

      No more perfect venue could be laid out to welcome the Son of Perdition."

      And de Lubac:

      Some excerpts:


      We must realize, however, that de Lubac’s first distortion is of the word "paradox" itself.

      The commonly accepted definition of paradox is that it is the holding of two truths which appear to be contradictory. The contradiction, we must emphasize strongly, is in appearance only.

      The Bible contains many paradoxes. The proper use of paradox can be a very effective tool for imparting truth. Our Lord, for instance, teaches, "For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it." [Luke 9:24] A small child reading this passage might indeed be very confused by the apparent contradiction; but the mature Christian, understanding the concepts and realities involved, sees no contradiction at all in this statement.

      Virtually wherever one goes in the works of de Lubac one encounters his use of paradox. Ignatius Press offers two books (Paradoxes of Faith and More Paradoxes) particularly dedicated by de Lubac to this subject. Often, of course, his use of paradox is acceptable. But this is why the extensive use of paradox becomes such a dangerous tool in the hands of an unorthodox writer. A plethora of apparent contradiction becomes the camouflage for real contradiction, and a very powerful literary technique becomes an effective means of assimilating error into the minds and hearts of even the most sophisticated reader.

      In the case of de Lubac these errors penetrate to the very heart of our faith. In essence they represent "arts entirely new" which have enabled Modernism to penetrate into the life of the Church with an effectiveness and an all-pervasiveness which was not possible under the earlier and more blatant forms of this heresy.

      We must first understand that in the system of de Lubac, paradox is not just a literary technique, but the very "stuff" of reality:

      For paradox exists everywhere in reality, before existing in thought. It is everywhere in permanence….Parodoxes: the word specifies, above all, then, things themselves, not the way of saying them….Oppositions in thought express the contradiction which is the very stuff of creation. [Parodoxes of Faith. pp.10-11]

      All this, of course, makes the real "stuff" of reality exist outside the laws of logic, and outside of what St. Thomas and the Church have always taught are the absolutely "first principles of being": the Principle of Contradiction, the Principle of Identity and Difference, and the Principle of the Excluded Middle:

      Paradoxes are paradoxical: they make sport of the usual and reasonable rule of not being allowed to be against as well as for. Yet, unlike dialectics, they do not involve the clever turning offor into against. Neither are they only a conditioning of the one by the other. They are the simultaneity of the one and the other. They are even something more – lacking which, moreover, they would only be vulgar contradiction [which is exactly, as we shall see, what they often are in the hands of de Lubac]. They do not sin against logic, whose laws remain inviolable: but they escape its domain. They are the for fed by the against, the against going so far as to identify itself with the for. [Ibid. pp. 11-12]

      Lubacian "Paradox", in other words, is simple Orwellian "Newspeak" grafted onto the disciplines of Philosophy and Theology. In de Lubac’s theology it is all-pervasive:

      And it is a question, at least, whether all substantial spiritual doctrine must not of necessity take a paradoxical form. [Ibid. p.13] …


      It is de Lubac who introduced the principle of self-contradiction into the very heart of truth. For him, paradox is the very "stuff" of creation, and "the Incarnation is the supreme Paradox." It is von Balthasar, however, who is the great popularizer of this method of thinking which has become the primary source of confusion in Catholic philosophy and theology.

      In a section titled "The Heightened Paradox", in his book Truth is Symphonic: Aspects of Christian Pluralism (pp.38-40)von Balthasar writes:

      Now the final word [concerning the meaning and effectiveness of the Incarnation] is not revelation and precept but participation, communio.

      And that in turn, beyond word and deed, implies suffering. It means occupying the place of total and universal closedness, that is, God-forsakenness. God’s Word in Jesus Christ wishes to die with us in this God-forsakenness and descend with us into eternal banishment from God.

      Luther’s dictum, that at this point revelation "latet sub contrario" (lies hidden in its opposite) is not too strong, provided it means no more than it formally says. Jesus is in fact the Lord who empties himself, taking the form of a slave. He is the Son, defined by his ultimate intimacy with the Father, but he dies in complete estrangement.

      We must note, however, that in the formula latet sub contrario both aspects (the attribute and its opposite, the proposition and what contradicts it) have the same subject.

      …on the Cross itself, he [Christ] experiences this forsakenness so deeply, for the sake of sinners, that he no longer feels or knows anything of the Father’s presence. His relationship with the Father is indestructible, he says, ‘My God’ – but this God is hidden sub contrario. Indeed, the very profundity of his forsakenness is the sign of him who so profoundly conceals himself. Since the subject, God’s Son – in this case identical with his abiding connaturality with the Father-God – holds on so tenaciously through the contrary modes of experience, it is superfluous to go against all the evidence of the text and ascribe particular attributes of his first state (that is, the beatific vision of the Father) to him in his second state. His forsakenness affects his entire relationship with the Father.

      All this is a denial of the very essence of Christianity – a denial of the hypostatic union, and the absolutely central Christian dogma that the human soul of Jesus is united with the Nature of God in the One Divine Person Jesus Christ. The human soul of Jesus uninterruptedly possessed the beatific vision throughout His conception, birth, life, and death. St. Thomas writes:

      On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orthod. iii): Christ’s Godhead permitted His flesh to do and to suffer what was proper to it. In like fashion, since it belonged to Christ’s soul, inasmuch as it was blessed, to enjoy fruition [the beatific vision], His Passion did not impede fruition." [ST, III, Q.46, A.8]

      Uninterrupted possession of the beatific vision is, in other words, absolutely integral to the doctrine of the hypostatic union. To say that Christ died in "God-forsakenness", "eternal banishment from God", "complete estrangement", and "universal closedness" does not express "paradox", but rather total self-contradiction and heresy.  …


      De Lubac, and proponents of the "New Theology" in general, simply do not understand "the God of scholastic theology."

      To them, the God of St. Thomas and the traditional Church is not sufficiently "vitally immanent." The God Who created us in His own Image, and sustains us every second of our lives with this same creative action; the God Who died for our sins and for our eternal salvation, and draws us into His very own life through baptism and the other sacraments; the God Who gives His Own Son in Holy Communion, Who insures that we are in possession of infallible truth through His Church, and promises His faithful the Gift of the Beatific Vision – this God, and this faith, are too sterile, absolute, and pharisaical for them.

      The problem for these people seems to be that all that constitutes the traditional Catholic concept of grace and supernatural life is considered as Gift, and not something that is their own by right, or by nature.

      They choose to barter the Infinite Gift of God for the paltry personal possession of an ounce of supernatural life which is somehow independent of this Gift. It is almost unbelievable foolishness; but even more, it amounts to infinite ingratitude.

      What we may be sure of is the enormously destructive consequences of their effort. Again, we have the wisdom of Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi [#34]:

      The domineering overbearance of those who teach these errors, and the thoughtless compliance of the more shallow minds who assent to them, create a corrupted atmosphere which penetrates everywhere, and carries infection with it."



    118. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Benedicta, even a dullard can see that de Lubac from what he has written "he no longer feels or knows anything of the Father’s presence" is a denial of the hypostatic union – that is why we have priests saying that Christ did not realise the fullness of His mission until he was baprised in the Jordan.  Complete heresy …

    119. Teresina February 19, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      I think this bears repeating: Uninterrupted possession of the beatific vision is, in other words, absolutely integral to the doctrine of the hypostatic union. To say that Christ died in "God-forsakenness", "eternal banishment from God", "complete estrangement", and "universal closedness" does not express "paradox", but rather total self-contradiction and heresy. 

    120. Benedicta February 20, 2014 at 6:42 am


      I open up the computer and my mouth shot open!

      I'm not going over all that again. I don't agree with your thoughts…so we agree to disagree.

      I don't reject St Thomas and St Bonaventure….

      St Thomas is the best we have….

    121. Benedicta February 20, 2014 at 7:56 am


      What is modernism?

      Its roots go deeper but it begins historically with Descartes. So the beginnings are 16th-18th century. JPII said in 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope' that within 150 years of Descartes 'all that was fundamentally Christian in European thought had been pushed aside'.

      Modernism is an expansion on Descartes essential premise which is 'I think therefore I am'. This marks a new beginning (one that does not critique previous thought, like St Thomas, but just ignores it).

      'I think therefore I am' tells us a few things. 1) That Descartes defines existence by the mind – the intellectual processes. 2) It has discounted the body. 3) That the subject is the source of reality.

      So compared to that great symphonic work of St Thomas, which admits the necessity of supernatural Revelation as the source of Truth for man, and man's reason being capable of uncovering the reality of existing things in the world as they are in themselves….because of God's creation being in harmony with man's ability to understand it on the natural level. So St Thomas holds together Faith and Reason as essential to man understanding of himself, God and the world. God is at the centre for St Thomas. He received the Tradition, accepted it, made no sweeping moves or changes only incremental moves, and took the best of realist philosophy as a help to aid understanding of what was already received. St Thomas placed God at the centre….and we are made in His Image and likeness. His work is Christocentric.

      With Descartes we have a reduction in approach. Reality is what can be known in the human mind itself; the human subject is the source of definitive knowledge. The relationship to man and truth has been invertedman has taken an Anthropocentric turn. Truth becomes a subjective reality.

      This emanates eventually into rationalism. Using scientific reasoning for facts helps subjective minds agree on things. Truth is factual. Science overreach (Dawkins?). Faith has no place here.

      What transpires across the centuries is numerous philosophers intent on the same trajectory begun with Descartes who critique each other (never referring to the pre-modern era of St Thomas or earlier). Each produces a closed system of thought which is proposed as the definitive solution to the problem of the human mind and what it can know and experience. Its a journey into us! (Yeah).

      We have for the most part become very familiar with their modes of thought and have made them very much our own – it is just how we think culturally. Its toxic to the Christian faith in that it makes reality subjective and experiential.  If I can allude to a few ideas here…

      We (the Western culture) tend to think in terms of progress. I'm not thinking evolution here though that would impact it on one level. Also we do progress in technological ability. But I mean a sort of sense that there is a progress of man through history where it seems to us we are going some place better than where we are now.  This follows from the thought of Hegel and  inspired Marx. Marx of course was 'salvation by economics…method – class warfare'. Rather utopian, achieved by us in time. We think of ourselves being able to make improvements on what went before by changing things around. Things become in the moral sense and in many ways outmoded and outdated. The sense of things needing to be relevant now in order for them to have meaning comes with this… The thought of something never changing is not conceivable. (You can sense this in the Church, a panic to be relevant or be left behind – particularly liberal protestantism).

      Kant was another contributor…he was into moral theory – how can we know what's a moral duty? A good?   I am only good when I am doing the good I don't want to do! Moral good is reduced to a burden and a duty. 

      We lost the sense of God and ourselves and the idea of life doesn't fit into subjective theories of the mind…so they ignore it. Descartes was good at ignoring the realities of life. Having decided cognition was the basis of existence vivisection became a pastime…he got to exercise his cognitive powers by experimenting on live animals who were alive to him because they had no cognitive powers. On that basis he stripped them of their existence, their aliveness and what came with that….pain. He didn't think they felt anything because their minds capable of processing it.  

      Now we are apparently post-modern…which rejects the theories of modernism. This presents threats and opportunities. So modernism is a failed project borne from enlightenment theories concerning the mind and what it can know.  




    122. Benedicta February 20, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Should have been 'on live animals who weren't alive to him….'

    123. Teresina February 20, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Benedicta, no, I wasn't wishing to go over all that again, just that when you again downgraded scholasticism, I think you should delver a bit deeper and realise that your views are based on theologians who's views have been condemned as modernistic prior to the Second Vatican Council and I think the above shows irrefutably (as I said, even to a dullard) that what is being denied in effect is the divinity of Christ, and it is this flawed theology that has infected the Church that is leading to priests giving sermons such as the ones I have heard.

    124. Teresina February 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

      I'll try that again because of the bad spelling:

      Benedicta, no, I wasn't wishing to go over all that again, just that when you again downgraded scholasticism, I think you should delve a bit deeper and realise that your views are based on theologians whose views have been condemned as modernism prior to the Second Vatican Council – who found favour when the liberals took control of the Council.  The above shows irrefutably (as I said, even to a dullard) that what is being denied, in effect, is the divinity of Christ, the hypostatic union, and it is this flawed theology that has infected the Church that is leading to priests giving sermons such as the ones I have heard – and unfortunately it is widespread and among the laity as well..

    125. Teresina February 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Abernader, I think this is a pretty clear description of what modernism is that continues to afflict the Church today:


      With the advent of the “Enlightenment” the world began to turn a blind eye to objective truth. Instead of embracing objective truth, the false subjective philosophies of Hume, Hegel, Descartes ,Kant, and many others began to be embraced by the world and later by many in the Church. 

      The movement of the “New Theologians” who embraced these deficient philosophies towards the end of the 19th century, but only really started to take up residency en masse in the 1950s and 60s. Theologians like Maurice Blondel planted the seeds in the late 19th century, followed soon after by theologians like Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, Edward Schillebeeckx, Yves Congar, Joseph Bernardin and the like, and with them the liturgical deconstructionists like Annibale Bugnini, Josef A. Jungmann, and Louis Bouyer. They were all part of the quickly sprouting crop of weeds that were planted and watered earlier on by the modernist movement. Soon the great garden giving life to the fruits of Thomism were quickly overgrown by the rotten weeds of modernism. Their errors spread like wildfire throughout the Church and most of the bishops were more than willing to go along with the whole corrupt mindset. The consequences have been disastrous and they can be seen in many arenas throughout the Church today. The degradation of the celebration of the Mass and the destruction or degradation of Church architecture are a couple of highly visible examples, but the corruption goes much deeper to such areas as the destruction of sacramental theology, which we see in most parishes of the Church today, to the subversion of moral teaching. The entire theological foundation of Catholicism, although objectively still intact, as it will be until the end of time, has been hidden under this heretical cloak. As important as it is to recognize these problems in the Church today, I want to focus on another area that has been assaulted by this “new” theological/philosophical movement. A popular platform that many bishops today use to further this destructive mentality is that of a corrupted view of social justice. The best way to get someone to swallow poison is not to put the bottle of poison on the table and tell them to ingest it, but to cleverly mix it in with something that appears to be perfectly edible. It is the vehicle of social justice poisoned by the concept of what is largely known as the “Seamless Garment” that I want to address in this short essay. 


      The vehicle of corrupt social justice has been a clever Trojan horse used to spread falsehood in the Church. This corruption, or poison pill is known as the “Seamless Garment.” This idea is one that proposes that there is some “seamless garment” that unites and makes all moral issues and acts regarding human life somehow equal in nature. This is one of the more clever Trojan horses that the modernists have used to spread their errors, since it feeds on emotion and not the intellect. The “Seamless Garment” idea is a flawed moral theological position that claims that all life between conception and the grave are all to be treated equal in regards to social justice issues. It is often based on a misrepresentation of human dignity. The term is thrown around with little or no precision in definition. The distinctions of innocence and guilt however are completely done away with in relation to moral life issues, as well as the morality of the acts in and of themselves. The promoters of this nefarious idea falsely promote that the saving of a convicted mass murderer is as important as saving an innocent child in a mother’s womb, although their actions often make it seem as if the lives of the guilty are somehow worth more than the innocent. "


      Read on about the seamless garment here:


    126. Benedicta February 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Abenader…I forgot to answer the last part of your question. How does modernism manifest in the Mass (as you say if it is still around?).

      I think it has shaped much of our way of thinking (perhaps not  the younger ones) about how we understand what is real for us and how to respond to authority.

      The Mass becomes our subject…something we shape in order to give it meaning. This can be in many ways…from the priest abandoning vestments, to the rejection and acceptance of types of music. Many things could be tampered with for the sake of relevance. The fear being that the young won't relate to what are thought to be older ways.

      The style of preaching may incorporate modernist language and ideas. One I hear frequently is that mature Christians don't need…..(rules! Rome! Doctrines etc). Straight out of Kant that doctrines are for children and the immature…the mature come to their own conception about things. This isn't a correlation to the child/adult comparison that St Paul took…

      The Real Presence…modernism makes us blind to sacramental realities beyond our own subjectivity. The Transcendent isn't easily disclosed to them sacramentally but rather they would find it more real for them in personal experience.

      Just some ideas.

      It still shapes patterns of thinking but it seems post-modernism has rejected all ideas of systems of thought. Truth itself appears a dominating and threatening idea. We can see this with (following still in the wake of Descartes – 'my body is not the real me') – the gender issues, that even my body designated gender identity can be at will deconstructed and made fluid…subject to the will of autonomous individual to claim whatever they will.

      Try explaining Nuptial Mysticism and why only men can be priests, celibacy….none of it makes sense when even gender has no meaning.


    127. Teresina February 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      How modernism affects the Mass – through the words of consecration in particular.  Even with the new English translation we still have the words of consecration rendered incorrectly.  In the English translation, for example, the word "shed" is substituted by "poured".  There is a big difference between those words because "shed" implies sacrifice but "poured" can imply meal.  I think the safest would be to have the consecration in Latin (as envisaged by Pope Benedict).  Most of the Masses said in Rome are in Latin, so they have not been troubled with the questionable translation as much as the English speaking world.  As the priest notes here: why were these changes made?

      Latin Mass and Novus Ordo Mass Consecration Formula

      Posted on January 28, 2014

      Just to be scientific, I simply want to put the two formulas of the Consecration at the Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass side by side.   In this way all Catholics and christians can just see for themselves that there has been a change in the Consecration Formula in Pope Paul VI new mass.

      Latin Mass Consecration of the Host:

      Hoc est enim Corpus meum.                     English translation:      For this is My Body.

      Pope Paul’s New Mass:

      Take this all of you, and eat of it, for this is My Body, which will be given up for you.

      Latin Mass Consecration of the Precious Blood:

      Hic set enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni Testamenti: Mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionen peccatorum.

      English translation: For this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal (Testament), the Mystery of Faith; which shall be (shed) for you and for many (unto the remission of sins).   In parenthesis are the words of the formula that have been changed in the English translation from the New Mass in Latin.

      Pope Paul’s New Mass:

      Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the Chalice of My Blood of the new and eternal (covenant), which will be (poured out for you and for many (for the forgiveness of sins).  Do this in memory of me.  I put the new changes in bold.  The parts in the parenthesis are changes to what corresponds to the English Translation that is different from the New Mass Latin formula.

      Here is the Novus Ordo (New Mass) Latin Formula:

      Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: Hic est Enim Calix Sanguines meiNovi et aeterni TestamentiQui pro vobis et pro multis Effundtur in remissionem peccatorum, (Hoc facite In meam commemorationem). This part in parenthesis was added on to the consecration formula and changed from the Latin Mass (Heac quotiescumque faceritis, in mei memoriam facie tis).

      Hoc facite in meam commemorationen means do this in memory of me.   Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis means As often as you do these things, ye shall do them in remembrance of Me.

      Mysterium fidei has been removed from the formula and put after the formula.

      I simply place the differences to let bishops, priests, religious and laity to see that there are some changes that were made to the actual Consecration Formula in the Novus Ordo Mass. Most bishops, priests, religious and laity have never studied the actual texts word for word.  So here it is, simply, to be compared.

      So the next step is to ask why Pope Paul VI needed to change the most important part of the Holy Mass.

    128. Teresina February 20, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I looked into this further.  Google translate is a great source.  The word in the Traditional Latin Mass "effundetur" has been substituted in the Novus Ordo Mass with the "Effundtur".  The first translates as "shed" the second translates as "poured".


      Shed:  to cause (blood) to flow by cutting or wounding

      Pour:  to cause (something) to flow in a steady stream from or into a container or place

      Here you have the subtle difference that changes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into the Protestant meal.  I am not saying that that invalidates the Mass but that, coupled with the removal of the word "sacrifice" and the use of the word "Eucharist": the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.

      Therefore, when one goes to the Traditional Latin Mass one can be assured they are attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but with the Novus Ordo one can't be sure.  And this is what I think is the continued attempt at suppressing the Traditional Latin Mass because its sacrificial nature is not acceptable to protestants – but I am a Catholic not a Protestand so I prefer the Traditional Latin Mass.