Wednesday, August 28, 2013


We have refrained for the most part here at The Eye Witness from discussing the much-discussed issue of Holy Mass for the very simple reason that a dozen other sites have dealt with it frequently and with intelligence.  We didn't feel that our efforts, such as they are, could have shed any more light on the question.  But as the late Jean Madiran has been on our minds of late we have decided to reproduce this article of his which comes to us from the APROPOS site.  In it Madiran opens our minds, revealing to us the actual historical events exactly as they played out during that time at the Council when the Ancient Rite Mass was abandoned in favor of the New Ordo.

We are ever grateful for the work of Anthony Fraser.  It was the special hallmark of both his print publication Apropos and his father's, Approaches, to bring to English-speaking readers the very best of European Catholic opinion.  They were instrumental in making the work of Jean Madiran known to a much wider audience.  It is to Anthony that we express our gratitude for making this Madiran piece available to us.

You can find this article in pdf form on the APROPOS site and we would highly recommend making a printed copy for your own bookshelf.


(This is a translation of the editorial by Jean Madiran in the July-August 1976 issue of Itinéraires. It appeared in Approaches No 51-52, Nov. 1976, edited by Hamish Fraser (1913-1986). It is now posted on the Apropos website )

(1.) The Mass forbidden

This is a disastrous event, the most disastrous in the life of the Church since the promulgation of the New Mass and its Article 7 [of the Institutio Generalis]. It was not however an unforeseen eventuality. Our readers knew what we would think of it and what would be our attitude. We had declared our position in advance, as solemnly as we could, in our letter to Paul VI of October 27, 1972.

On that occasion we stated:

'Give us back the traditional, Latin and Gregorian Mass according to the Roman Missal of St. Pius V. You let it be said that you have forbidden it. But no pontiff, without an abuse of power, could prohibit the millenary rite of the Catholic Church, canonised by the Council of Trent. Obedience to God and to the Church would demand resistance to such an abuse of power, should it occur and not that it should be submitted to in silence .(1)

But here, in the Consistorial allocution of May 24, 1976 is the very abuse of power [we had spoken of]. Until then, the New Ordo promulgated in 1969 had not been reinforced by an obligation enforcing its use and excluding the Roman Missal [of St. Pius V].

This was the first of our arguments A,B,C,D on the traditional Mass(2). At Pentecost 1971, i.e. more than two years after its promulgation, Cardinal Ottaviani still maintained that 'The Traditional rite of the Mass according to the ORDO of St Pius V has not been abolished so far as I know.'

It was forbidden only in France, by an illicit prohibition, i.e. by the juridically schismatic directive of the French episcopate dated November 12, 1969. There was no difficulty in ignoring the valueless decree of an episcopate which already no longer had any moral authority. During this period, Paul VI let it be said that he had forbidden or abolished the traditional Mass, but he did not say it himself. (He also let it be said, contrariwise - and it was by Cardinal Gut, the then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, that he allowed or had it be said - that in the matter of liturgical reform 'the Holy Father has frequently given in against his own will.’

Once more, at the beginning of the year 1975, in the procedure taken against Mgr. Lefebvre, the Pope's commissars told him [Mgr. Lefebvre] explicitly, that by order of Paul VI, liturgical questions were outwith the scope of their investigation. Which confirmed that in refusing to accept the New Mass Mgr. Lefebvre was guilty of no transgression which could be held against him juridically.

In June and in September of the same year, the letters of Paul VI to Mgr. Lefebvre still did not say a single word concerning the Mass. And under such circumstances, this omission was most significant. It reinforced the conviction of those who thought that in his heart of hearts Paul VI had no intention of prohibiting the Missal of St. Pius V, or that he recognised that he did not have the power to prohibit it. This has never been our point of view. It seemed to us that with all the strength of his own will, Paul VI was striving to effect the disappearance of the traditional Mass. But we observed that there was as yet no official ACT seeking to give the FORCE OF LAW to this wish. Paul VI had not dared [to go as far as that].

The shocking new feature of the Consistorial allocution of May 24 consists in the fact that for the first time he has dared to do so. Declaring that he was speaking ‘in the name of Tradition itself, and explicitly involving 'the supreme authority that comes to us from Christ’, he demanded that in obedience the traditional Catholic Mass be no longer celebrated. And there we have the consummation of a terrible abuse of power.

(2.) The pontificate of Article 7

The New Ordo, when it was first promulgated in 1969, included an Institutio Generalis i.e. an outline of principles serving as a general introduction, which spoke of the Mass as though it were no longer a sacrifice. This heretical tendency more or less present throughout it, was expressed most clearly in Article 7, in which the Mass was defined as a prayer meeting and a memorial assembly.

An unforeseen development of such shocking gravity and on such a question, is to the best of our knowledge without precedent in the history of pontifical documents. What seemed to come nearest to it was the error of Pope Honorius I, a long time previously, in the VIIth century, who after his death was condemned as a heretic by the Third Council of Constantinople and by Popes St. Agatho and St. Leo II.(3)

But the heretical formulas signed by Honorius I concerned the question of the two wills of Christ, a question which at that time had not yet been explicitly ruled upon by the Magisterium. There is no such excuse in the 20th century concerning the question of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. That is why it seems to us that the quite extraordinary affair of Article 7 is truly without precedent.

The demands, the protests concerning it were very determined. The next year, Paul VI corrected Article 7 and also several others (Articles 48, 55, 56 and 60) in order to introduce some mention of the holy sacrifice. This correction brought some solace which led to an ignoring of the lasting effects of the quite extraordinary incident of Article 7.

It was noted, moreover, that that the new doctrine of the Institutio Generalis in 1969 was in contradiction with the other documents of Paul VI, which had been happily traditional - e.g. the encyclical Mysterium Fidei of September 3, 1965 and the Profession of Faith of June 30, 1968. This observation had a tranquillising effect on many people.

They indicted the [Vatican] bureaucrats, accusing them of having tricked and taken surprise advantage of the Pope's good faith by means of Article 7.

It is true that the various Vatican bureaux colonised in depth as they are by Modernism, Freemasonry and the Communist Party, are very active and guilty. But the supposedly pious hypothesis of surprise was scarcely reassuring. For in effect it meant supposing that Paul VI had either signed without reading, or read without understanding, the most formidable transformation of the Mass that had ever been enacted in the entire history of the Church. No matter how one looked at it, it was incredible, outrageous and most certainly disquieting. The pontificate which had promulgated Article 7 had by so doing accomplished something that all Catholics prior to 1969 considered to be absolutely impossible. The moral authority of this pontificate could not remain intact thenceforth save among those who no longer had the faith.

(3.) The insufficient correction

Since 1969 it is the doctrine of the first version of Article 7 which has been disseminated throughout the Catholic world - with the Holy See doing nothing to counter it save for this surreptitious correction of the Institutio Generalis, without any correction of the rite itself, of the new rite that was established in conformity with the doctrine of this first version [of Article 7].

It is in conformity with the first version of Article 7 that the French episcopate has taught as an alleged reminder of the Church's doctrine in the new missals that the Mass is no longer a sacrifice and that at Mass 'it is simply a question of recalling to mind [the Sacrifice of Calvary]’. Paul VI has let this be done. He did not intervene by means of a magisterial document. His two documents which have been cited concerning the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the encyclical Mysterium Fidei and his Profession of Faith are ANTERIOR to his Article 7. There is none posterior to it designed to contradict the erroneous doctrine of the first version of Article 7. And that is a second anomaly, as formidable as the first. For when so radical an error is disseminated at all levels in the Church, that is not the moment to cease encyclicals and professions of faith concerning this matter. It is the moment when it is necessary to reiterate them.

Although he was responsible for the first version of Article 7, Paul VI has done nothing apart from its surreptitious correction, to arrest the diffusion [of its errors]. He has not explained; he has not taught. The truth is that he has remained absolutely silent. Apart from the two brief allocutions of November I969, in the course of seven years he has not spoken of the Mass. Yet this was the period in which the Mass suffered the greatest upheaval ever known. This was the period during which the doctrine of the first version of Article 7 was established more and more each day within the Church, claiming for itself a legitimacy of which it has never since been deprived.

We have had these observations continually in mind. But hitherto we have given expression to them only with discretion and only in case of necessity. However, the situation now created by the Consistorial allocution of May 24, 1976 compels us to insist more than we would have wished and more than we have ever done concerning the legitimate suspicion attaching to the actual incumbents of the apostolic succession.

In so far as innovations, especially concerning the Mass, derive from the same source as Article 7, we prefer to have nothing to do with them.

Even when they are supposedly licit or anodyne, we refuse to accept them so long as this legitimate suspicion remains. We have shown this more by our deeds than by our words, as for example in the case of the liturgical calendar which we have preserved and reproduced each year as it was in force at the death of Pius XII.

Given the great uncertainty actually prevailing concerning authority, we take note of its suspect functioning, and we confine ourselves to what the Church has always taught and has always done. If reforms are necessary, they can wait. It is a pity, but it is inevitable. They will await the guarantee of a restored authority. As for the pretence today, seven years after the event, of forbidding the celebration of the traditional Latin Gregorian Mass according to the Roman Missal, it is not acceptable. The authority responsible for this prohibition is the same as that responsible for the first version of Article 7.

(4.) Conciliar evolution

On May 24, 1976, by his supreme authority, Paul VI has taken full responsibility for conciliar evolution as a whole. Invoking his position as successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, he orders the acceptance of 'the teaching of the Council itself, its application and the reforms that stem from it, its gradual application by the Holy See and the Episcopal Conferences under our authority willed by Christ'.

'With the same, supreme authority that come from Christ Jesus, we call for the same obedience to all other liturgical disciplinary and pastoral reforms which have matured in these years in the implementation of the Council decrees.’

It is indeed all and everything [that must be accepted]. And it is that indeed which is at issue.

The Salleron-Lefebvre interview

In the course of his January 15, 1976 interview with Mgr. Lefebvre, Louis Salleron asked him the question: 'What difficulty do you find in making the public act of submission that is being asked of you: i.e. submission to the Council, to post-conciliar reforms and to the orientations to which the Pope himself is committed.

There could be no more opportune moment for once more reading Mgr. Lefebvre's reply attentively.(4)

‘I find the difficulty of equivocation bordering on falsehood’, replied Mgr. Lefebvre. 'From the "Council" one proceeds to "post-Conciliar reforms” and from there to the "orientations to which the Pope is himself committed". One no longer knows what precisely is involved. What is to be understood by the "orientations to which the Pope is himself committed"? Must we understand it to mean such of the orientations as involve the Pope personally (and what are these?), or the ACTUAL orientations of the Church, to all of which the Pope is committed?

When one sees what is happening in France - to speak only of our own country am I to think that, in its collegiality, the episcopate has submitted "to the Council, to post-Conciliar reforms, and to the orientations to which the Pope is himself committed"?

Logically, I must think so, since no public act of submission has been asked of the French Episcopate by Cardinal Villot or the Sovereign Pontiff. It is therefore to the destruction of the priesthood, to the changing or the negation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to the abandonment of moral values, to the politicization of the Gospel and to the constitution of a national Church centred on the episcopal conference and the secretariat of the episcopate that I must subscribe to bear witness to my Communion with the Catholic Church and the Vicar of Christ? It is absurd. My Catholic faith and my duty as a bishop forbid me to do so.'

Paul VI stands surety for, guarantees and in the name of obedience imposes as obligatory the entire process of Conciliar evolution that coincides with the self-destruction of the Church which he deplored on one occasion in a few words, but to which he has since made no further reference for years. He no longer speaks out as he did on one occasion against this execrable ‘post conciliar mentality’ (such were his actual words) that he found guilty of 'propagating the vain hope of giving the Christian religion a new interpretation’(5) .

Yet it is this new interpretation which dominates the Church Militant, by the words and deeds of those whom Paul VI declares to be and keeps in commission with him; but from which communion he excludes only Mgr. Lefebvre. After making this clear, he proceeds in his Consistorial allocution of May 24, 1976, to complain of the errors of those at the other [liberal] end of the spectrum. But only to point out that those who subscribe to these errors 'are not very numerous…but they make a lot of noise’.

It is not therefore the immense post-Conciliar drift of entire episcopates that he calls in question; nor does he proclaim the few responsible for so much noise to be 'outside the Church'.

All this is coherent, arranged and calculated: yes, Paul VI protects and imposes Conciliar evolution as it has been put into operation by the episcopal conferences. It is not therefore a question of examining whether or not the Council could in theory have been or should be interpreted and implemented in a manner different to the way in which it has been interpreted and implemented. The interpretation now taking effect, the implementation now under way, such as they are, fully correspond with the will of Paul VI.

It is he who has made the Council and it is he who is interpreting it: it is he who promulgated the Conciliar texts and it is his authority that guides their implementation. We were not unaware of this. But until now this factual state of affairs had not received explicit confirmation by a demand for entire submission formulated in the name of the supreme authority.

That too is an event which makes the year 1976 as black as the year 1969. [Hitherto] the
entire moderate opposition insinuated that prevaricating, falsifying, deserter-Bishops were no longer in communion with the Pope. But on May 24 Paul VI replied that he is in communion with them.

It is with Mgr. Lefebvre that he is not in communion.

Our position

We are irrevocably bound to all that Conciliar evolution disowns, despises or destroys. We are irrevocably bound to the historic entity of the Church by which divine revelation has been transmitted until our time, to this historic entity of the Church that is systematically insulted by modern impiety, by the filial impiety of Churchmen and by Conciliar impiety.

We are irrevocably bound to the universal stability of the words and sacraments of salvation which transcend time and space. We are irrevocably bound to the Roman Catechism, to the Catholic Mass, to the traditional faith: to the only guarantees, the indispensable guarantees, that our prayers and our hope are not going adrift, dreaming of a mythical Saviour, a creature of our imagination and our passions, displacing the real and living Jesus Christ Our Saviour.

Conciliar evolution is each day going further away from the word, the doctrine and the law of Jesus Christ. It is open to the world, open to Communism, open to nothingness.

We are irrevocably bound to the apostolic succession and the primacy of the Roman See: but not to the caprices and defections of its incumbents, who are not dispensed from the application of the principle that it is better to obey God than men.

Let us say, calmly, gently, without anger but not without resolution in this ghastly aftermath of consummated disaster: behind the Conciliar evolution there is the hand that guides it. We have known for a long time whose is this hand. We have always avoided striking at it. But it is indeed necessary to repel it or at least to escape from it if it now comes itself to strangle us.

Jean Madiran


The facts concerning the prohibition

Here are the terms in which Paul VI expressed himself concerning the Mass on May 24:

‘It is in the name of Tradition that we ask all our sons and daughters, all the Catholic communities, to celebrate with dignity and fervour the renewed liturgy. The adoption of the new Ordo Missae is certainly not left to the free choice of priests or faithful. The instruction of 14th June 1971(6) has provided for, with the authorization of the Ordinary, the celebration of the Mass in the old form only by aged and infirm priests, who offer the divine Sacrifice sine populo. The new Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old, after mature deliberation following upon the requests of the Second Vatican Council. In no different way(7) did our Holy Predecessor Pius V make obligatory the Missal reformed(8) under his authority, following the Council of Trent.

With the same supreme authority that comes from Jesus Christ, we call for the same obedience to all the other liturgical, disciplinary and pastoral reforms which have matured in these years in the implementation of the Council decrees.’

Paul VI thus invokes the precedent of St Pius V in his reform of the Mass, he (Paul VI) has proceeded 'in no different way' ('haud dissimili ratione') to St Pius V, he can in turn 'in no different way' make his reform obligatory.

But this is precisely the point: the manner in which he acted is not the same; nor is the obligation.

I. The manner of acting

(1.) In his revision of the Missal, St. Pius V at no time signed and promulgated so incredible an anomaly as that of the Institutio Generalis which he required to correct surreptitiously the following year. His moral authority remained intact. But not that of the Pontiff responsible for Article 7. It is the actual abuse of power by Paul VI that leads us to underline this point of such capital importance. When one has signed and promulgated a definition of the Mass that makes it a simple prayer meeting and a memorial assembly,
it does not suffice thereafter to add a further correction.

Here for example is what I read in a journal of June 6: 'Liturgical problems have given rise to strange attempts, as for example, the first version of Article 7 of the Ordo. The Pope had it corrected.'

Such a presentation of the facts does not conform to the truth. There was not a 'strange attempt', then on the other hand a saving intervention by Paul VI imposing a correction. It is Paul VI in person and in his capacity as Sovereign Pontiff, who signed and promulgated the first version of Article 7. If one wishes one can choose never to speak of this article. But if one does speak of it, it is not permissible to create the impression that Paul VI's intervention in this matter consisted only in correcting an Article 7 for which he bore no responsibility. The [person] responsible, the signatory, the promulgator of the first version of Article 7 was indeed Paul VI himself.

Why did he do it?

The first hypothesis, the most obvious one, is that he did so because this Article 7 either expressed his own thought or at least did not offend it.

People may dismiss this hypothesis as unworthy of examination, they may do so wrongly: but, if they do dismiss it, it is then necessary to admit that Paul VI had signed it without reading it, or read it without understanding it. Which is scarcely better.

We point this out in order to establish the fact, made clear by the phenomenally extraordinary business of Article 7, that Paul VI in no way acted in the same manner as St. Pius V.

After Article 7, prudent virtue would not be so presumptious as to impose on the celebra-tion of the Mass the greatest upheaval in the course of its history.

(2.) The revision of [the Mass by] St Pius V, in conformity with the requests of the Council of Trent, did not have the objective of confecting a new Mass, but simply the unification and regulation of the traditional Mass. The difference is abysmal.

(3.) St. Pius V did not have the Missal revised with the help of heretical experts, called together in their capacity as heretics rather than as experts, with the intention of arriving, as in the case of Paul VI, at a reform which they [the heretics] could accept.

II. A parenthesis: the word ‘canonised’

In passing, let us define a term. In our letter of October 27, 1972 to Paul VI, we spoke of the millenary rite of the Catholic Church canonised by the Council of Trent. It seems that there could be misunderstanding concerning the word 'canonised'.

'Canonised'! Yes, but not in the sense in which a Pope canonises one who is Blessed and inscribes him in the catalogue of the saints.

No more than it means canonised in the manner of one of the books of Scripture: i.e. included among the books said to be canonical.

But canonised in the sense of established by legal title. I said canonised simply canonised (and not invented) in order to recall that the requests of the Council of Trent, put into operation by St Pius V, called for a regulation of the existing Mass and in no sense for the fabrication of a new Mass.

There is yet another difference, it is indeed the essential difference, concerning both manner and method, between the Missal of St Pius V and that of Paul VI.

The Council of Trent had as its intention that of 'arresting the process of Protestant disintegration of the rites of the Mass', a disintegration that was 'encouraged by the innumerable varieties in Catholic missals and by abuses which the (Conciliar) fathers called by name under these headings: superstition, irreverence and avarice'.(9)  It particularly sought to avoid 'that the people should be offended or scandalised by new rites'.

It specified that ‘legitimate customs' would remain secure.

As for the traditional Mass, abandoned and 'de-canonised’ as it has been by the hierarchs of self-destruction, even if it were left no more than the right of immemorial custom, that at least could not be taken from it. It could be done only by a judgment declaring this custom to be abusive and evil: which is moreover the implicit if perhaps unconscious but inevitable implication of the actual prohibition.

III. The obligation

St Pius V did not abolish, on the contrary, in matters appertaining to rite, he confirmed legitimate customs having more than two centuries of existence.

In particular, he confirmed the right of Churches or communities having a Missal of their own, approved from the time of its institution. It is thus that the promulgation of the Roman Missal of St Pius V allowed the Dominican rite, the Lyonnais rite, the Ambrosian rite (at Milan) to subsist.

These rites have been preserved until today: but they too have just been suppressed, or, more precisely, forbidden, by the Consistorial allocution of May 24. I do not know what is and what will be the situation at Milan. But the Dominican rite and above all the Lyonnais rite have been used up to this year at the Lausanne Congress of the International Office of Associations for Civic formation.

Paul VI does not except them. He imposes his Missal as an obligation which does not tolerate the legitimate derogations stipulated by St Pius V.

Moreover, the obligation imposed by St Pius V was clearly and normally enunciated in the Bull quo primum tempore of July 19, 1570, which promulgated the Missale recognitum. On the contrary, the acts of Paul VI in 1969 are characterised by extreme confusion and uncertainty concerning the obligations which they indicate or do not indicate. Nowhere does there appear the explicit will of conferring on the new Missal an obligation excluding use of the previous Missal. Juridically, by the constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969, Paul VI merely authorised and established a new Mass (without suppressing the old), by virtue of a title of particular derogation concerning the non-abrogated prescriptions of the Bull Quo Primum. Hence the circulars applying it stipulating under what conditions or on which dates the cele-bration of the New Mass would be permitted. (In France obligation derived only from the episcopal directive of November 12, I969.) Seven years after the event, in the Consistorial allocution of May 24, 1976, Paul VI invokes his 'supreme authority that comes from Christ’ to declare that the celebration of the traditional Mass is forbidden. Such a prohibition had already been enunciated but only either as an opinion (that of Solesmes) or as an administrative instruction. The FIRST ACT of Paul VI himself in this sense is that of the Consistorial allocution.

Two additional observations

To this it is necessary to add two observations both of which are conclusive:

1. No ACT of Paul VI ABOLISHED the Bull Quo Primum of St Pius V. It is not by way of abolition, but by way of replacement, that the Missal of Paul VI seeks to take the place of the Missal of St Pius V in an obligatory manner. ‘Novus Ordo promulgatus est, ut in locum veteris substitueretur’. (The new Ordo was promulgated to take the place of the old.’ ' Paul VI in his Consistorial allocution.)

There is therefore no reason for asking to what extent Paul VI WOULD HAVE a right to abolish the Bull Quo Primum: the fact is that he HAS NOT abolished it. He has therefore not abolished the indult granted in perpetuity to all priests, regular and secular, without exception for both sung and low Masses.

In the words of the Bull Quo Primum tempore:

'Furthermore, by these presents and by virtue of Our Apostolic authority We give and grant in perpetuity that for the singing or reading of Mass in any church whatsoever this Missal may be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment or censure, and may be freely and lawfully used. Nor shall bishops, administrators, canons, chaplains and other secular priests, or religious of whatsoever Order on by whatsoever title designated, be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than enjoined by Us. We likewise order and declare that no one whosoever shall be forced or coerced into altering this Missal.

No ecclesiastical superior can interfere with this privilege by any kind of prohibition, by neither internal nor external jurisdiction. This indult has no need of any subsequent approval, permission or consent. No regular or secular priest (says Quo Primum) can be validly 'obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than enjoined by us'.

2. A custom, and above all an immemorial custom is abolished by the Church only if it is not a legitimate custom. Even if it did not benefit from the indult granted in perpetuity by St Pius V, the traditional Catholic Mass would at least benefit from the right of immemorial custom. To suppose that it could be forbidden it would be necessary to suppose it to be evil. But if the traditional Mass is supposed to be evil to the point of requiring to be forbidden, the new Mass put in its place would necessarily be another Mass; not the same [Mass] preserved in substance and improved in manner of presentation, but a Mass substantially different.

Let us suppose (by hypothesis, or for the sake of argument) that the new Mass of Paul VI were excellent in all respects and that it corresponded happily to all the legitimate pastoral requirements of our time. In this case, one could at the most reproach the Old Mass for its archaic language, its old-fashioned vestments and other similar features. This was precisely the reproach made concerning it by Paul VI in his allocution of November 26, 1969 when he spoke of rejecting, by his reform of the Mass, 'the antiquated silk vestments in which it was regally adorned’.

Yet the accepted French translation somewhat softens the bitter irony of the original Italian text of this declaration. But even in its attenuated form, it is painful enough to have to reproduce it, insulting, peculiar and shallow as it is. But to continue, let us suppose, as we have said (by hypothesis or for the sake of argument), that in the Old Mass there were obsolete trappings and that the reform of the Mass was limited to the bringing of these features up to date. Well then, even if this could justify the creation of a new Mass, it could not in any case justify the prohibition of the Old.

If [the Old Mass] were supposedly incapable of pleasing other than old folk, it would be necessary to leave it for people supposedly old: such is the Catholic way concerning all reforms designed not to correct an evil but to get rid of something out of date.

Consider this most carefully: if the Old Mass and the New were substantially the same Mass, if it were merely a question of bringing language and appearances up to date, there would be no reason for its prohibition.

Conversely, if the New Mass makes inevitable the prohibition of the Old, it is implicitly
but necessarily because it is deemed foreign to it, incompatible with it, and is seen as the expression of another religion.

The only reason there can ever be why one Mass should require the prohibition of another, is a reason in terms of religion, of faith.

On the one hand, Paul VI gives an assurance that Conciliar reform preserves intact the substance of the faith, of the Mass, of the Sacraments; and that it changes only the presentation, formulation and trappings. But on the other hand he condemns as placing themselves outside the Church those who cling to the old trappings, formulation and presentation. But if it were a question of no more than external appearances good in themselves, there would be no matter or motive for condemnation.

That Paul VI condemns and prohibits the traditional Mass while he does not condemn the French Mass at which, in conformity with the first version of Article 7 [ we are assured] ‘it is simply a question of recalling to mind the unique sacrifice already consummated, the perfect sacrifice in which Christ offered Himself’’(10): this poses a question not of pastoral tactics or aggiornamento but of religion.

That Paul VI considers the French and Dutch episcopates to be in communion with him, and Mgr Lefebvre not to be in communion with him: that poses a question not of discipline but of faith.

Jean Madiran


1 'Letter to Paul VI' in our book 'Réclamation au Saint-Père, the second volume of l’Hérésie du XX0 siecle' (Nouvelles Editions Latines).

2 On this point and on those which follow see the special Itinéraires supplement, ‘La messe, état de la question’.

3 Concerning the details of these events cf. Itinéraires No. 177 of November 1973, pp. 300-305 (and also the article in Approaches No. 14, Infallibility, Old and New, by G.A. Lawman.)

4 [This interview was reported in full in the June 1976 issue of Approaches, 49-50, pp.49-56.]

5 In his exhortation 'Petrum et Paulum' of February 22, 1967.

 6 This instruction …was in reality a Notificatio which was published in a suspect and lamentable manner, without either date or the author’s name. We examined the unhappy circumstances attending its publication and the unhappy elements of its contents in Itinéraires No. 159 of January 1972 (p.136 ff.). The only Roman document to which the Consistorial allocution makes reference is therefore the latter, which is so outstandingly defective. On the other hand, it is to be noted that Paul VI makes no reference to his apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969, which promulgated the new Missal. This Apostolic Constitution in fact decreed no obligation, no prohibition.

7 Haud dissimili ratione

8 ‘Recognitum’ says the Latin text, as it has always been said of the Missal of St Pius V. But it is important to note that the Italian text, which is from Paul VI's own pen, says ‘riformato'. Hence the French translation of La Croix ‘ de la même façon que la réforme de Saint Pie V avait été rendue obligatoire.’ [which is substantially the same as the above English translation cited from L’Osservatore Romano of June 3, 1976].

 9 Abbé Raymond Dulac, Itinéraires, No. 162, April 1972

 10 [This statement which appears in the New Missal for Sundays issued by the French Hierarchy is manifestly heretical. For canon 3 of The Council of Trent’s statement concerning the Mass states: ‘ If anyone says that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a …simple memorial of the sacrifice offered on the cross and not propitiatory… let him be anathema.’ Yet while Mgr. Lefebvre is suspended a divinis because of his fidelity to the Catholic theology of the Mass, this scandalous and unashamed heresy on the part of the most influential episcopal conference in the Universal Church has not even caused the mildest of ripples on the complacent waters of the Rhine-polluted Tiber. Note by Editor, Approaches.]


As the United States prepares to go on another unprovoked murder rampage, which will cost the lives of untold thousands of innocent Christians and Muslims in Syria, we ask our readers to pray to
Saints Sergius and Bacchus, that they may intervene with Our Father in Heaven to put a stop to this screaming injustice, this madness.

These great Saints are highly venerated in the East and it seems fitting that we should invoke their aid at this terrible moment in history.

The USA and its allies are set to once again commit war crimes.  Please pray to Sergius and Bacchus that they may facilitate a Divine Intervention to stop this evil.

[NOTE: It is with disgust that I must mention that these two great Saints, thanks to the droolings of a self-styled "historian", are being blasphemously invoked as the patron saints of sodomy.  I know...just when you thought that depravity could not go much lower this comes along.  Christians (and non-Christians) with half a brain have already rejected such diseased reasoning.  But we thought we'd better forewarn you in case some monumental idiot tries to push this nonsense on you.]

Monday, August 26, 2013


Who will stop this?  I do not know.

Will it be Russia?

Will it be the Pope?

Neither of them seem willing to take on the US/Israel hegemon and its British, French and German stooges.  They could, if only they would.  But it doesn't seem like they will.  Another unjust war of aggression will unleash the extremists who will burn more ancient Churches, ancient manuscripts, works of art, and will scatter, kill and decimate the few remaining Christians in Syria.

But, you see, no one cares.  Not even some of our good, fellow Catholic bloggers.  This saddens me to no end.  Many blogs will rightly condemn the murder of Christians by Muslim madmen but will stop short of naming the causes, of exposing the behind-the-scenes puppeteers who are merely using the Muslim extremists as pawns in a much larger game and to shift blame away from themselves.

But what I find even more astounding is that, given the fact that some bloggers may not have taken the trouble to acquaint themselves with the other side of the story they are more than willing to accept at face value the outright lies emerging from the Obama administration (as they were accepting of the lies of the Bush people) regarding a so-called "chemical attack" which is clearly a trumped up, staged event designed to lead the American populace into cheering on their next war.  We are not saying there was no chemical attack.  What we are saying is that if there was one it was not committed by the Assad regime.  Assad is not suicidal after all.  For months the propaganda machine was spewing out the line that if there was ever a chemical attack incident in Syria that would be the "red line" that would be crossed.  And, what do you know?  As if on cue, the so-called "red line" was crossed!  But wait.  The Assad people said, bring in the UN inspectors to look into this chemical attack story.  America says, "sorry...too late".  The world's bully wants another war so no investigation is required.  But wait...the UN inspectors come anyway - but are now being, as we speak, shot at by mysterious "snipers" hampering them from their work.  Does this sound like a typical Grade Z Hollywood fantasy?  It should, because it is.

Let us think about that.  The Obama people are spying on everyone, listening to your calls, reading your mail, shoving the crimes of sodomy and abortion down our throats, persecuting the Catholic Church rather openly with their "mandates", are creating every kind of strife and discord imaginable and are constructing a totalitarian despotism every bit as cruel as those of recent history...and despite all of that Catholic bloggers are still willing to support them when it comes to these terrible wars of aggression.  Mind-boggling is too mild a phrase to use to describe this.  Do our fellow Catholic writers have to see Obama burning Cardinal Burke at the stake before they will awaken to the fact that every action that comes from this regime is anti-human?

The Catholic Knight Blog is not one of those blogs:  here they fearlessly tell us what is going on.

Vox Cantoris is another blog that understands what is really at stake.

My dear fellow Catholics, we all know well that we cannot agree on every little thing.  But we must be united when it comes to big issues, issues of the Faith and of those who hate the Faith.  The war mongers hate Catholicism with a hatred so Satanic that it is startling to watch them in action.

But we will watch them:,-the-sequel,-in-syria.aspx

If the above articles are unable to convince my fellow bloggers that the "bad guy" in this fight is not Syria then I will have to give up trying.  Perhaps some readers here wish I would change the subject.  It is hard to do so.  The screaming injustice of US/Israel actions enrages the world, this writer included.  Soon the drones, the hellfire missiles, the bombs and the ground troups will descend upon poor Syria and innocent men, women and children will be blown to bits.

Why doesn't anyone care?

Cardinal Rai has written to the Pope twice on the matter of the destruction of Christian civilization in the Middle East.  I do not know if he received any reply.

[UPDATE: Said an Anonymous commenter on the Chiesa site:

 "The West, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozine, moves in the Islamic world "like a monkey with a grenade" ...

Perfectly stated.]

[UPDATE:  From the AntiWar website: "Eliot Cohen, argued in a Washington Post op-ed Monday that “a bout of therapeutic bombing is an even more feckless course of action than a principled refusal to act altogether..."

A "therapeutic bombing".  Incredible.  And Mr Cohen objects to that; he wants more devastation.  These people are monsters.

One can only hope that one day Mr Cohen and those who think like him might experience such therapy for themselves.]


Mr Putin looking understandably bored.
He does not have to degrade himself by meeting with this hypocrite:

If I were Mr Putin I would breathe a sigh of relief.  Who would want to shake the hand of such a cretin?

Friday, August 23, 2013


Here is some more news that most likely you won't be hearing about any time soon.  The reason?  It doesn't seem to fit the approved propaganda line.

We await a reaction from the Vatican....without, of course, holding our breath.  Because ever since the Rome/Tel Aviv Agreement of 1994 the Catholic Church has been effectively silenced from criticizing the depredations committed by the occupiers of the Holy Land.

However, one does begin to wonder what it will take for Rome to wake up and realize it has been properly had.

Perhaps the words "Death to Gentiles" written on ancient monastery walls? 

Or possibly the fire bomb that was thrown into the entrance hall? 


...he'd look like the kids that murdered Chris Lane."

We will await those words from our glorious Emperor.  Actually, we wont.

And since the US media is uninterested (mostly) in this case we thought you might be interested:

We here at The Eye Witness are not emulating some of the more rancid of our nation's scandal rags but the situation of fatherless young Negro males committing these terrible crimes with more and more frequency and more and more ferocity needs to be better known, if for no other reason than one's personal safety.  To write about such things is unpleasant and sick-making but silence about these events is not an option we can afford.

It would take a direct miracle from God to turn this negro crime problem around (yes, it is a negro crime problem, if we are to accept FBI statistics) and since that is probably unlikely we, as mere Christians, can do two things: be aware of the danger presented by these people and, two, try somehow if an opportunity arises to try to get through to them.

Other than that I am at a loss.

A disgusted Pat Buchanan has just written about this as well.  He lays out the problem well: fatherless, family-less, young black males with no compassion, no self-control, no ability to reason.

In the diseased society we now live in we Americans will concentrate on a self-defense killing of a Florida teenaged thug, as if he were some sort of martyr, while being unaware of things like this:

"A boy approached me and told me he wanted my money, and I told him I didn't have any money. And he said, 'Give me your money or I'm going to kill you and I'm going to shoot your baby and kill your baby,' and I said, 'I don't have any money,' and 'Don't kill my baby.'

The boy tried to grab her purse and opened fire when she said tried to tell him she had no money, West said, with the shot grazing her head. She said the boy then shot her in the leg.
West continued, 'And then, all of a sudden, he walked over and he shot my baby in the face.'
West said she tried to perform CPR on her son and that the police took over when they arrived, but to no avail. 'We lost him,' she said."

Keeping the proper perspective is always important, especially these days.  The incident described above happened this past March, in Georgia.

More perspective: 

And still more:

And this:

We take no joy in bringing this to your attention.  But realism demands that somebody say something about it.

[UPDATE: Worth reading for its sensible look at realities: ]

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This journalist, Louis Verrecchio, believes that Benedict's Summorum is in some kind of danger.

Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't.  If it is in danger it would not surprise us for a moment.  The gnomes of Rome are all too committed to ransacking what is left of Christendom so in their mind the Ancient Rite must go by the wayside.  According to the CNA news story it would seem the antagonists of the Motu Proprio are going to try to get back into the "asking permission" mode, whereby the permission of the local Ordinary will be required which, of course, would go against the clear intent of Benedict's act.

In addition to the Usual Suspects the Poof Mafia is also bent on destroying the last vestiges of any links left to the age old Faith.  Well, of course they are.

I would agree with those who are saying that for Rome to try to back-pedal on SP would be an incredibly stupid move.  But I also believe that they are most likely going to go back into containment mode with regard to this beautiful Liturgy.  They may have a bit of a fight on their hands if they try that tactic.

Scottish writer Gerald Warner, a few days ago, had these acid comments to make.


Fellow US citizens: are you enjoying living in a police state?  We sincerely hope not but there are an awful lot of Americans who have to wake up and face the facts, putting aside at least for a few moments their faux patriotism.

Paul Craig Roberts, always an interesting person to read, has made some fascinating comments in a new article, among them these:

"It is fashionable in the US and UK governments and among their sycophants to speak of “gangster state Russia.” But we all know who the gangsters are. The worst criminals of our time are the US and UK governments. Both are devoid of all integrity, all honor, all mercy, all humanity. Many members of both governments would have made perfect functionaries in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany."

Read the rest of the article here.

Mr Roberts gets his English and American history wrong in this article, utilizing the same Protestant/Whig interpretation of history that has done so much to keep people in ignorance for 400 years.  But please overlook that and read the article because what Mr Roberts has to say is important.

It is a wakeup call.  I hope.

Monday, August 19, 2013


From the St Andrew Daily Missal (1940 edition), the commentary on the Mass for the Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost:

"Vanity of vanities," says the sacred author, "and all is vanity.  There is no remembrance of former things: nor indeed of those things which hereafter are to come, shall there be any remembrance within them that be in the latter end.  I have seen all things that are done under the sun: and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite." (1st Nocturn)

"As soon," says St John Chrysostum, "as Solomon was able to perceive the divine Wisdom, he uttered this sublime exclamation, worthy of heaven itself: 'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.'  You, in your ages was not bound to seek wisdom so diligently as we, since the Old Law did not regard the enjoyment of superfluities as vanity, though none the less, men could see that they were worthless and deserving of contempt.  But we are called to more perfect virtues...."


H/T: Mad Magazine


Here's a charming story:
Do we still wish to ignore these things?

Sunday, August 18, 2013


It was fitting that Robert de Mattei should author an appreciation of the great Jean Madiran.  They are two minds that are thoroughly imbued with the Faith.

While the Google translation is execrable, we can get the gist of de Mattei's thoughts in the link provided.  Just hit the "translate" button if it comes up in Italian.

We have lost with Madiran's recent death an ardent defender of the Faith, a loss we can ill afford.  But as long as we can keep reading him, especially in translations by Anthony Fraser and his late father, Hamish, we can arm and nourish ourselves with the clarity of his thought and the fearlessness of his fighting spirit.

Rest in peace, Jean Madiran.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The "New Evangelisation" is in full swing.  Or so they tell us.  Converts are flocking to the Church; the lines of men, women and children waiting to be baptized are stretched out for miles.  Priests cannot keep up with the demand.  The Confessionals are packed.  That is the rosy picture being presented to us in many a church bulletin.

But the reality is somewhat different: the New Evangelisation is not happening.

More so, it is doubtful whether or not it was ever intended to be a success, what with Cardinals like Dolan telling good and decent Muslims to stay firmly in their religion and with an unenthusiastic response from many parish priests to do some evangelising   A moribund state has fogged over not only too many priests but many of those who might at one time been interested in investigating the claims made by Christ's Church. Then again what average person would want to enter a Church of balloons, tambourines, dreadful music, altar girls, stupid homilies, repellent architecture, offensive Liturgy, effeminate priests,  chaos at the top, etc., ad nauseam?  Seriously, who would want to enter the Catholic Church which has been a disfigured wreck of Herself for well nigh on fifty years?

I wouldn't if I were not already a Catholic.

Are there converts?  A trickle.  A few here and there.  I pity and hope for them especially if their only acquaintance with the Church is the godawful mess they see before them now.  The more sincere converts will have to peel away layer after layer of decay to find the exquisite pearl underneath, the pearl which the Modernists have been brilliantly successful at hiding for decades.  Some do peel away the rotted leaves and they do see underneath.  These good people soldier on in the Faith even in the face of such prelates as Donald Wuerl, a man who orders Holy Communion for public, unrepentant sex deviates and persecutors of Holy Church.  For them to remain in a Church plagued with cowardice and treachery like that says much about their fortitude and their faith.  These converts are like precious jewels.

There are, alas, not enough of these kinds of stalwart converts and it is unlikely that we will see such men in large numbers until the Church comes back to Her senses.  Father Ray Blake on his blog discusses the sinister overtones that mark the Ricca Affair, a situation guaranteed to keep good people out of the Church. There will be no evangelisation new or old with this type of thing going on at the very top of the Church.

Putting the hoopla and the Madison Avenue PR which marks the much-vaunted "New Evangelisation" aside let us face the simple fact that there will be little to no effort on the part of the Institutional Church to even properly teach the Faith let alone welcome converts into it.  As one writer said to Hamish Fraser thirty years ago, if they had used whips and chains they could not be doing a better job of driving people out of the Church...or keeping them from entering in.  Let us ignore the glad-handing of certain jolly Cardinals and look into the matter soberly.  If we do that we will find a better option to their posturing.

That option is simple:  we might need to embark on the "old" evangelisation.  And we have a job of work to do here if we should embark upon that path.

We begin by recognizing that Christ founded but One Church, not 235.  If we're not straight on that fundamental point very little will come from our efforts at bringing people to the knowledge of the Truth.  If we ignore this we disarm ourselves right from the start ensuring very little will come of our efforts.  We must recall that martyrs and numerous missionaries did not give their lives because they thought that "maybe" the Catholic Church is the true one.  So we must recognize this.  Some Catholics find this foundational teaching difficult.  Yet we must not flee from the hard sayings, from the truth.

If we know someone who is genuinely interested in the Faith we must expend effort to get them to read materials that were written by great and holy men: Archbishop Goodier, Dom Geuranger, Pohle-Preuss, Abbot Marmion, Father Faber, etc.  Notice I did not say Augustine or Aquinas...yet.  Let those gentle, erudite souls I have just listed lead your friend into Aquinas and Augustine and Jerome and Chrysostum and the rest naturally and in due time.  Given them philosophy, but start them gently with Chesterton.  Give them history with, of course, Belloc, then Wyndham-Lewis, then Hollis, etc.  Give them meat.  To poison their minds with the likes of de Lubac or Urs von Baltasar would be deadly to their enthusiasm while leaving them in a state of constant confusion, ambiguity and restlessness.

[A gentle warning:  Oddly enough we are plagued with a number of sound, clear-thinking level-headed Catholic writers today who cannot write.  These are people who have important things to say and have original thoughts but are incapable of putting them down on paper in a manner in which they will be understood.  They have not grasped the art of simplicity in their writing, and please know that I am hardly exempting myself from any criticism on these points.  Far too many exemplary Catholics either have adopted the literary modernisms like ambiguity, for example.  What could be said in simple verbiage to average Catholics like this writer are loaded down with what used to be termed "ten dollar words" the only result of which is to leave one mystified.  I am not sure what is to be gained by it.  Then there are those who, on the other hand, write "down" to their readers fussily explaining every word or phrase that they imagine might not be understood by the Great Unwashed.  Simplicity and directness of approach are the most effective.  You will find that in Faber, Goodier, Belloc and others I have mentioned.  Potential converts will appreciate directness and certainties.]

And more than anything else, introduce them to the Ancient Rite of Mass, that Mass that came to us over the centuries from the time Jesus Christ walked upon earth to the present day.  As far as humanly possible keep them away from the unedifying and often idiotic New Mass and all its pomps and works.  I have enormous admiration for Catholics who can remain Catholic even after attending this charade of a Mass every Sunday.  They are made of sterner stuff than I.  I hope that one day they will be able to enjoy the sweet taste of the quiet beauties and solace of the ancient.  Needless to say if such a Rite is unavailable try to help them find the most dignified, least offensive New Mass available.  (If neither of those two options are available then I am not sure how to advise.  It may take some sacrifice to locate and attend a decent Liturgy).

It will shore up their strength if you discuss honestly the problems in the Church today always reminding them of the hope that God's promise will see us through this current catastrophe (perhaps the worst one in the entire history of the Church, if not the worst then certainly in the Top Three).  To ignore the sordid realities in certain sectors of the Church today will not help potential converts nor help them prepare for the battles they will be engaging in at some point in time.  Do this by making sure they visit sound, intelligent blogs and websites.  Do not parochialize their thinking; show them the whole Catholic world in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, America, England, everywhere.  It will edify and encourage them to know that there are concerned souls everywhere on the planet worrying and praying for a Church coming unglued, but certain in the belief that the Gates of Hell will never prevail.

That is our small contribution to the Old Evangelisation.  Since the New one is a clear box-office flop we have to return to what has been effective for centuries.  I am not certain what kind of Catholics will come from this New Evangelisation but I know that if we evangelise the way Christ asked us to we will produce good Catholics even, please God, a Saint or two.

Out with the New; in with the Old.

Monday, August 12, 2013


In this long but compelling article by Alex Newman we once again address the fact that the United States of America is directly responsible for the wholesale slaughter and displacement of Christians in the Middle East.  Patriotic (and Christian) taxpayers are financing this every pay day and most of these coerced financiers don't seem to care very much about it...which fact continues to astound us.

This unspeakable evil, carried out by America and its "loyal ally" in the Middle East is, by far, the most shameful episode in the entire sorry history of this country, a country awash in shameful episodes (do we need to name them?).  Far, far worse than the relatively benign institution of slavery in the 19th century, the US-backed murder of Christians is an affront to Heaven that, we know, will not last forever.  God has only so much patience.

A nation that will not read great books, or sit in quiet contemplation and reflect upon serious matters, is a nation that is nearing its exhaustion point.  The bread and circuses provided by the entertainment industry keeps Americans forever in thrall of trivialities, stupidities and concupiscence.  It keeps us numb from the dreadful realities that are facing us.  The Snowden Affair has awakened a few people but there are still millions in this country who are oblivious to the spectre that is fast approaching.  It has often been said that just prior to falling into a police state most citizens are completely unaware of the signs that were there for everyone to see.  This perfectly describes the USA of 2013.  So as their brothers are being killed on a daily basis in places like Syria we look the other way or, worse, we let our minds absorb propaganda fed to us from all directions.

Atrocity after atrocity is committed, but we still keep silent.  We must ask our little band of readers why this is so.

But as the United States policy does indeed entail the annihilation of Christians in its own country (with ever more anti Christian laws) and the rest of the world there is another power on earth that seems to be going in the opposite direction.  This is also astonishing.

Let us do what we can to inform our neighbors of what mayhem is being committed in their names and at the same time let us do what we can to help these pitiful people facing the blood lust of Washington and its loyal ally. 

In any case, doing God's work whenever and however we can is better than the alternative which our tax dollars are contributing to.

[Yes, we do write often about this subject often.  But our hatred of injustice and hypocrisy compels us.]

Thursday, August 8, 2013


[Editor's Note: There follows below a sad and heartfelt lamentation about our young, the future of the Church, who are filled with good intentions.  But there is one particular road that is paved with these good intentions.  Please God our young will take a detour.]

By Timothy J Cullen

          “Look, I have everything: the lavaliere, the medal, the rosary… everything!”
 Recently returned from walking the Camino de Santiago with my son, his fiancée had even more recently returned from World Youth Day in Río de Janeiro. She is young—24—and filled with energy and enthusiasm. She and her likely-to-be-numerous progeny (she is the fifth of six children) will fill a pew at the parish church, just as her family did in the little rural Argentine village from which she comes. She is in many ways, curiously and delightfully old fashioned for a young woman of her age: doesn’t smoke; doesn’t drink; drug use unimaginable; doesn’t cuss; says grace; no tattoos: no piercings; has homemaker skills as well as a profession; has a house full of religious images and objects; teaches the local toddlers catechism… and she just knows that Pope Francis is the greatest thing since sliced bread: “just look at all the people who showed up, everybody loves him, he’s the way the pope should be AND HE’S OURS!!”
          The young woman’s “ours” is a mélange of the young, those of mixed race or black, those from humble working-class homes… in short, the Catholic majority in Latin America and a growing presence elsewhere. The Latin Mass is not something of importance to them when indeed they know anything about it at all other than it’s “once upon a time” quality affectionately associated with doting elders who insist on playing recordings of Gregorian chant and the songs of Hildegarde von Bingen, those nice old people you don’t want to offend, because they mean well, the poor dears, they really do, but, well, just pretend Granolian chant and the von Bingo lady are just as easy to listen to as the songs sung at DMJ (that’s “World Youth Day” in Spanish initials). Even the old bishops in those funny outfits did a little dance, and it was waaaay cool when the pope put on the hat the indigenous people gave him and showed he was just a regular guy.
          A “regular guy.”
          I’m translating from Spanish, but that’s what I was hearing. My smile felt as brittle as the deeply-freezing ice on a pond lost in a dark wood. But how could I say or do anything to diminish such innocent and heartfelt enthusiasm? I was tongue-tied and simply nodded my head to signal comprehension. In any case, I have begun to feel that I am running out of things to say because I have had my say and now must give way on the podium to the young who clamor to make themselves heard.
          I sat and gazed with awe upon the giant television screen my son has installed as hundreds and hundreds of professional-quality photos pass before me, the young photographer captioning every one aloud. By the end of the show, I feel as if I had been in vicarious attendance at World Youth Day, a good feeling, because it appeared they were all having a good time, just as I was by being far, far away from them, listening to my Googoolian chant recordings in a language no one understands anyway.
          I wonder if I and others like me are understood by good and sincere young Catholics like the tender-hearted young woman who simply cannot understand why an illegitimate child cannot be baptized, why a suicide couldn’t be buried in consecrated ground, why everyone can’t be like Jesus who went around forgiving everyone all sorts of things, I mean, even killing Him, for God’s sake! I wonder if I and others like me understand what these people are saying to us. I believe it might be wise to make sure we do.
          There were about four million of them there in Rio. Four million! Probably more at one World Youth Day Mass than have ever attended the Latin Mass in all of the churches and chapels in all of the world since the implementation of the Novus Ordo nearly forty five years ago. They are marching to the beat of a different drummer than those of us who cherish tradition; to them “tradition” is history, not a part of their lives. Our voices are growing fainter as time passes; perhaps our hearing will become more acute.
          If there is a voice crying out in the desert...but there’s no one around to hear it… 

Monday, August 5, 2013

JEAN MADIRAN 1920-2013

It is with an immense sense of grief that we announce the death of the very great French Catholic gentleman and intellectual, Jean Madiran.  Anthony Fraser pointed out his passing on his APROPOS blog page.

No words from me can convey the importance of this man to the entire Catholic world.  His loss is a very serious one for Church and State.

May God have mercy on his noble soul.

(Anthony Fraser has put several of Madiran's articles on his site, all of which are worth reading.  We are including one here as an example of the man's beautiful Catholicism and fighting spirit.  It follows below.)

The Jewish Question in the Church
Jean Madiran

[This article which first appeared in English in Approaches Nos. 93-94, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1986 was translated by G. Lawman from the March 1986 issue of Itinéraires. It has been reproduced on the Apropos website Our thanks are extended to A de M who scanned the text from the original.]

‘A Jewish question certainly exists but Catholics are totally incapable of understanding it.’ I found this view expressed in the TRIBUNE JUIVE of February 4th 1983, and it has been at the back of my mind ever since. It is very possible, and indeed highly likely that the Jewish problem as it is perceived and experienced by the Jewish community should be difficult for a Catholic to understand. Our incomplete appreciation of it, our reaction to it and the way we discuss it, all these are likely to be seen by Jews as inadequate and in any case alien, since we are seeing the problem from outside the Jewish community.

But there is another Jewish problem, the Jewish problem within the Church, and the same objections may well apply here. I doubt whether Jews can have any idea of its nature or what it means to us. In any case, it is we Catholics who have to live with it and who are best placed to assess it, and thus have the best right to speak about it.

1965: A Council Declaration

There would be no Jewish question within the Church had it not been for the recent modification of Catholic doctrine by which several traditionally Christian points of view have been quietly dropped and their place more or less taken by traditionally Jewish ones.

It all began with the Second Vatican Council — at least officially (for in this as in other matters the ferment was already at work behind the scenes; the Council invented nothing, but merely gave official recognition to such new ‘insights’ and vigorously helped to accelerate their spread in the Church.) In this connection we need to re-read the Council Declaration Nostra aetate ‘On the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions’, and in particular its fourth chapter: ‘The Jewish Religion’:

‘Given this great spiritual heritage common to Christians and Jews, it is the wish of this sacred Council to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and esteem (. . .)’. The ‘Jews should not be presented as rejected by God or accursed, as though this followed from Scripture (. . .).’ ‘The Church . . . deplores all hatred, persecutions and other manifestations of anti-semitism, whatever the period, and whoever was responsible.’

Many voices were raised at the time expressing regret, that this ‘Declaration on the Jewish Religion’ — (they generally called it the ‘Declaration on the Jews’, however) — should form part of the Council document on ‘Non-Christian Religions’ rather than being included in the Decree on Oecumenism, i.e. on relations with other Christians. They even, according to René Laurentin (1), recommended its inclusion as an appendix to the Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium. They did not get their way here, but achieved their main aim nevertheless, thanks to an administrative arrangement fraught with consequences for the future, as early as 1965 in a paragraph whose implications were not fully clear at the time:

‘The essential point has been gained: relations with the Jews will not be handled by the Secretariat for non-Christian religions but by the Secretariat for Unity, and thus the full scope of the oecumenical problem will not be lost sight of .’ (2)

And the position in fact is that we have a ‘Pontifical Commission for religious relations with Judaism’ functioning as a dependent organ of the ‘Secretariat for Christian Unity’ and not of that concerned with ‘Non-Christians’ On the surface, this appears to be an illogical absurdity. In reality, it is evidence of an intention to move in a certain direction.

1982: A Papal Speech

To study ‘relations with Judaism’, the Secretariat for Christian Unity convened a meeting in Rome in 1982, bringing together delegates from the bishops’ conferences of the whole world as well as representatives of the Orthodox churches, the Anglican communion, the World Lutheran Federation and the World Council of Churches.

This meeting provided John Paul II with an audience for his speech of March 6th 1982 (repeating what he had already said on March 12th 1979 to a gathering of representatives of Jewish organisations and communities): ‘Our two religious communities (i.e. Christianity, and Judaism) are linked at the level of their very identity itself’; Christianity is ‘a new branch on the common trunk’ a traditional expression, but one which it is important not, to use one-sidedly - it needs to be properly explained if it is not to be wrongly understood. The Pope did not explain the expression in any way, but went on to invite Christians to ‘gather with their Semitic brothers around the common heritage’, for ‘we have a considerable spiritual legacy in common’.

Is there not a danger of confusion here? John Paul II makes it clear ‘especially to those who are still sceptical and even hostile, that this closer contact (with Jews) should not be confused with a certain religious, relativism’ and that it is necessary for us to safeguard ‘the clarity and distinctness of our Christian identity’. But we find it astounding that the Pope should address this warning, as he himself says, above all to those who remain sceptical or hostile to a Christian-Jewish rapprochement; it is precisely these who run the least risk of allowing their Christian identity to be relativised or submerged. Such a warning should be addressed to those who do run that risk, and it should be made all the more explicitly and effectively in that what John Paul II is committing Christians to undertaking with the Jews is ‘a close collaboration to which we are called by our common heritage, namely the service of man’. This CLOSE COLLABORATION did not figure in the Council document, any more than did the statement that we worship THE SAME GOD AS THE JEWS:

‘Our common spiritual inheritance’ (John Paul II declared in his speech of March 6th 1982) ‘is particularly significant at the level of our faith in a single God, one, good and merciful, who loves men and leads them to love Him, the master of history and of the destiny of mankind, who is our Father and who chose Israel, the cultivated olive-tree onto which has been grafted the wild-olive branches which are the Gentiles.’

We have two new ideas, then: those of THE SAME GOD and of CLOSE COLLABORATION, two ideas which seem to derive consistently from the logic of the Council (at least, I suspect they do), though the Council text did not go as far as spelling them out clearly, and they, have had to wait for John Paul II to incorporate them into the Church’s new, official attitude, and this at the price of a terrible ambiguity. In fact, the intellectual process making it possible to assert that Christians and Jews believe in the same God has led the Pope to the further step of claiming that Christians and Muslims, too, believe in the same God. The rationale here seems to be that (unlike the pagans of antiquity who had numerous gods, and modern atheists who have none at all), Christians Jews and Muslims share a common view of the Deity since they are all monotheists. This raises Interesting points of nomenclature and semantics for the lexicographers, and seems to lead to the view that any sincere and humble prayer that does not contradict this idea of one common God, or which does not contradict it too crassly, even if not always directed to the right heavenly addressee, will be graciously accepted by the same One and Merciful Godhead. But this is not the sum of our faith; it is barely even its beginning. For us, Jesus Christ is God, and has revealed to us that God is a Trinity; this is the God of Christians, who is not the same as that worshipped either by Muslims or Jews.

1985: Working with the Jews to Prepare the World for the Coming of the Messiah

These two innovations of John Paul II, ‘the same God’ and ‘close collaboration’ are startling enough in themselves, but in 1985 the Holy See managed to give them an extension so wide as to be practically limitless.

I refer to a document dated May 1985 but published on June 24th of that year by the ‘Pontifical Commission for religious relations with Judaism’ arid signed by its chairman of sad celebrity, Cardinal Willebrands. This document has been presented as being the fruit of three years’ work; The Commission must thus have set to work just after the innovative speech of March 6th 1982. In fact its principal preoccupation has been to draw out the implications of John Paul II’s two new insights.

The document consists of ‘preliminary considerations’ followed by six chapters and a conclusion.(3) This last reproaches Catholics for their ‘distressing ignorance of the history and traditions of Judaism’. It seems to me that the Holy See would be better employed deploring a distressing ignorance of the history and traditions . . . of Catholicism, but this it has not done; it is more concerned with ‘ridding ourselves of the traditional conception’, as it makes clear in its chapter VI.

‘The permanent survival of Israel, when, so many other ancient peoples have disappeared without trace, is a historic fact and a sign that must be interpreted in God’s plan. We must in any case rid ourselves of the traditional conception of the punished people as a living argument for Christian apologetics.’

Such a claim not to be a punished people is one that is quite foreign to Christianity. The whole of humankind, every people without exception is now experiencing the consequences - in other words the punishment - of original sin. Is the Jewish people the only one not . . . to be punished? We are certainly breaking here with ‘the traditional conception’, and the rupture is a more fundamental one than appears on the surface.

We must of course make allowances for the empty verbiage that results from the intellectual decadence characteristic of our time of generalised obscurantism. But all the same, there is a meaning, a will, an intention in that abrupt imperative: ‘We must in any case rid ourselves of the traditional conception’. This is how the Church loses all its moral authority, for if it asks us to reject its traditional conception, this can only mean, that; it has been mistaken on this point for two thousand years; and if this is so, there is no longer any guarantee that it is not mistaken on the same point today.

Once the traditional conception has been rejected, the two new ideas of the same God and close collaboration are free to join forces to give birth to, a new messianic belief, Jewish messianism, which is now to take the place of Christian hope. The eleventh paragraph of the second chapter of the Commission’s document (which I quote in its entirety below) at last brings this out into the open:

‘Attentive to the same God who has spoken, hanging on the same word, we have to witness to one same memory and one common hope in Him who is the master of history. We must also accept our, responsibility to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah by working together for social justice respect for the rights of persons and nations and for social and international reconciliation. To this we are driven, Jews and Christians, by the command to love our neighbour, by a common hope for the Kingdom of God and. by the great heritage of the Prophets, Transmitted soon enough by catechesis, such a conception would teach young, Christians in a practical way to cooperate with Jews, going beyond simple dialogue.’

Thus in 1985 Rome is officially inviting Catholics to cooperate with the Jews to prepare for the coming of the Messiah (4) As for the conversion of the Jews, you may think about it if you really insist, but you must never mention it aloud, but follow Rome’s lead and bury it under the profoundest silence.

This development in the official attitude, starting with the Council Declaration of 1965, continuing with the pontifical allocution of 1982 and culminating in the Roman directives of 1985, has been slow, sure and coherent, and above all it has been carried out in silence. By this I mean that for the first time in history the Church is just not making any response when objections are raised to its policies.

This has been true, moreover, of the implementation of all the conciliar innovations. On all the other questions, any attempt to adduce reasons in support of the ‘traditional conception’ is likewise ignored. Debate never takes place. There was no debate on the Mass or on the Catechism. No Catholic argument was ever brought forward officially to justify the forbidding of the Roman Catechism, nor for the outlawing of the Traditional Mass. After twenty years of questions that were met only by silence, one is tempted to wonder whether the real reason was one that Rome did not dare to admit, and whether the real answer to all the questions that had been asked in vain did not in fact lie precisely in the Jewish question in the Church. In 1972 we had written publicly to Paul VI, stating our view that ‘At present it is as though the Church Militant was a country occupied by a foreign power,’ Since that time the Church has not ceased to give the impression that it is an occupied Church. But occupied by whom? We are driven, today, to suspect that it is by Judaism, and that what is now coming but into the open is the goal which has been the objective of all the manoeuvres and persecutions of the last 20 years: namely, to obliterate or play down any conflict between the Christian and Jewish religions, and to establish a close religious collaboration with the Jews in order to
‘prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah’ by ‘working together for social justice, respect for the rights of persons, and nations and for social and international reconciliation’. What a secular programme! If that is what we must preach, what need do we have-of a pope? The Grand Orient Lodge and the United Nations are enough.

It is true that the term and notion of social justice are specifically Catholic ones, essentially derived from the Church’s teachings, but Catholics, and above all our bishops, have forgotten the origin of the term and the content of the notion. They are under the impression (to use Joseph Folliet’s famous phrase) that they must try to ‘outdo the Communists and travel faster than them along the road of justice and peace’. Along that road, the social justice pursued by Catholics has become one strongly impregnated with Marxism. Social justice as purveyed by the media and preached in our pulpits is a heavily slanted concept; to invoke it without correcting this imbalance is merely to lead the peoples astray.

Likewise, it is no doubt true that the human person has inalienable rights. But human rights too are only understood in one sense nowadays by the media and in the pulpit: any appeal to such rights which does not firmly rectify this bias is bound to be seen as a reference to the masonic declarations of the rights of man.

The same God . . . Close cooperation with the Jews to prepare for the coming of the Messiah, and this, through the fight for social justice. So this is what ‘renewal’ was leading to! We are dimly beginning to see what all the fuss was about.

Jean Madiran

[The following addendum has been added by AdeM to the Approaches text]


A Warning from Scripture
We are reminded of Our Lord’s admonition to His disciples to, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Saduccees.” (Mt. 16:6) At first the disciples, who had no bread with them at that moment, did not understand. What did this talk of leaven in bread have to do with the Pharisees? Soon however, they grasped Our Lord’s meaning: “Then they understood that He had not said that they should beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Saduccees.” (Mt. 16:12)

As Archbishop Alban Goodier S.J. explained in his classic commentary on this passage in Scripture, Our Lord was teaching the disciples to be on their guard against the subtleties of the Pharisees, which were far more dangerous than any opposition to Christ:

It was not so much their opposition that He feared for His own, it was their [the Pharisees] subtlety. Before the Pharisees had blamed Him for His miracles and other good deeds; He knew that this would not take His friends away from Him. Now this morning they [the Pharisees] had come, with an affected simplicity, a show of desire to know the truth, an appeal to the prophets, a zeal for tradition, a respect for law and obedience to the powers that be; and all this, He knew, would be likely to affect His own, more than any open enmity. Like leaven unless they were careful, it would spread unconsciously among them.

Like the disciples in their encounter with the Pharisees, we must be on guard against Pharisaical subtleties which have spread like poisonous leaven through the Church over the past fifty years. The Pharisees of old were dangerous precisely because they seemed to have a genuine respect for the truth.
(Excerpt from The Devil’s Final Battle by Fr. Paul Kramer – p. 166)


1 In his ‘Bilan de la 30 session’ (Balance Sheet of the 3rd session) Seuil 1965, p. 86.
2 Idem p. 87. — The activities of the Secretariat for Christian unity (sic) resulted in December 1970 in the setting up of an ‘International liaison committee: between the Catholic Church and Judaism’, the Catholic members of which were nominated by the Pope and the Jewish members by the International Jewish Committee for Inter-religious Consultations. This liaison committee led in l974 to a further development: ‘It was primarily from this committee’ (declared an official note in Osservatore Romano on October 23rd, 1,974), ‘that came the proposal for the setting up at the Vatican, of a Commission for relations with Judaism.’ The same official note announced the Pope’s decision, setting up this ‘Pontifical Commission for religious relations with Judaism’ instituted ‘as a distinct organism, but attached to the Secretariat for Christian Unity’, and having as its chairman and vice-chairman the cardinal-president and secretary of the Secretariat for Christian Unity (sic). The creation of the new pontifical commission has not put an end to the existence of the Judeo-Christian ‘International Liaison Committee’, which continues to operate; but as from 1974 it has been the pontifical commission that has represented the Catholic side within that Committee.
 3 Its official title is ‘Notes for a correct presentation of Jews and Judaism in the preaching and catechesis of the Catholic Church’. This document was read and approved by John Paul II, who ratified it as being in line with his own thinking in his speech of 28th October 1985. (Published In the UK as ‘The Common Bond: Christians and Jews’. cf. Supplement to Approaches No. 90: ‘IS Catholic-Jewish Dialogue possible?’ Note added by Ed. Approaches.)
 4 This idea, totally alien to Catholicism, is a traditional concept of Jewish theology in its view of the role of ‘the religions derived from Judaism’. One official indication of this is the declaration made by the Grand Rabbinate of France on April 16th 1973, in which it recalled ‘the teaching of the greatest Jewish theologians, for whom the mission of the religions derived from Judaism is to prepare humanity for the advent of the messianic era announced by the Bible’. In its directives of May/June 1985 Rome has thus allotted to Catholicism the place and the role assigned to it by Jewish theology.
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