Thursday, December 29, 2005

- THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MASS AND SOME HISTORICAL PARALLELS

THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MASS AND SOME HISTORICAL PARALLELS
Catholic Laymen's Association for the Tridentine Latin Mass

The following is a document first published in the early 1970's by a
group of laypeople in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as means of alerting
Roman Catholics about the serious dangers in the changes afflicting the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. You will find that the concerns raised here
are just as important today. They are precisely the reflections that
modern Catholics need to make today. --Catholic Voice


PART I

We, the members of the Catholic Laymen's Association for the
Tridentine Latin Mass, are dedicated to the unceasing battle to preserve
without compromise the doctrines and dogmas of the One, True Church.
Our first and primary concern is the preservation of the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass in its integrity and according to the Catholic Theology of
the Mass, as it was formulated at the Council of Trent.

We are addressing these words to all faithful Catholics. As we give
you this pamphlet, you are either on your way to, or on your way home
from, your parish church. You believe that you have assisted, or are
going to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as you have in years
past. But, is this true? Is this the same Mass or a diabolical
perversion of it? Horrified, you insist - it can't be a diabolical
perversion of the Mass! After all, it is being said in the same
churches we have always attended! And it is being said by priests of
the diocese who have been in our parishes for years.

Let us remind you that the Mass was perverted and eventually
destroyed in times past by members of the hierarchy and clergy who used
Catholic buildings to do so. In the beginning of the 16th century, the
European countries were Catholic. There were no other church buildings
but Catholic ones. There was no other clergy but the Catholic clergy.
And yet, before the end of the 16th century, the Sacrifice of the Mass
had been destroyed in some of the European countries, notably Germany
and England. The "Catholic" people were going to the new services in
the same church they had always attended, and the services were being
conducted by the same bishops and priests they had always known.

To show the parallel between the events of the 16th century and the
post-conciliar period in our own day, we have prepared three articles.
Part I outlines the Reformation in Germany; Part II deals with the
English Reformation; Part III recounts the renewal in our day. In this
section we will take up the account of the German Reformation. Martin
Luther, who was a Catholic priest, was the prime mover in the
destruction of the Mass in Germany. Let's take a look at some of his
thoughts as found in his writings:

"When we have overthrown the Mass, we shall have overthrown the whole
Papacy with it. For it is upon the Mass, as upon a rock, that the
Papacy rests - with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its colleges, its
altars, its ministers, and its doctrines. All these will fall when
their sacrilegious and abominable Mass has crumbled into the dust."

"Yet, in order to achieve this aim successfully and safely, it will
be necessary to preserve some of the ceremonies of the ancient mass for
the weak- minded, who might be scandalized by too sudden a change."

At the earnest pleading of his first disciples, Luther drew up his
famous Formula Missae. In connection with it he said, "We must state
in the first place that our intention has never been to abolish divine
worship, but merely to purge the form which is used of all additions
which have sullied it. I am speaking of that abominable Canon which is
a confluence of slimy lagoons; they have made of the mass a sacrifice;
they have added to it offertories. The mass is not a sacrifice, it is
not the act of a sacrificing high priest. Let us regard it as a
sacrament, or a testament. Let us call it a blessing, or eucharist, or
Lord's Table, or Lord's Supper, or the memorial of the Lord. Or give it
any title we like, provided that it is not sullied by the term
sacrifice, or re-enactment. With the Canon we discard all that implies
an Oblation, so that we are left with what is pure and Holy." (Remember
that these are words of an ordained Catholic priest.)

Keeping these words in mind, let's take a look at a statement that
appeared in L'Osservatore Romano (The Vatican newspaper) on October
13, 1967; "Liturgical reform has taken a notable step forward on the
path of ecumenism. It has come closer to the liturgical forms of the
Lutheran Church." Isn't that frightening? Luther's avowed intention
was the destruction of the Mass and we find a Vatican paper bragging
that we are coming closer to the Lutheran form of worship!

Luther did indeed destroy the Mass, and he said that the devil taught
him Reformation. But don't get the idea that he and his followers just
announced to the people that they were getting rid of the Mass. If they
had, the Catholic people would certainly have opposed them. Rather,
they slowly and gradually changed the Mass, explaining to the people
that they wanted to simplify the liturgy so they could more easily
understand it. The first step was a new translation of the Bible,
followed by the translation of the Mass from Latin into German.

But Luther did not believe the Mass was a sacrifice and he did not
believe in Transubstantiation, that is, that the bread and wine became
the Body and Blood of Christ, so he wrote his Formula Missae. In this
new vernacular Mass, many parts of the ancient Mass were retained, but
he eliminated the Offertory and the Consecration. He inserted more
readings from the Bible. Next, the altars were removed because they
represented the sacrificial quality of the Mass, and communion tables
were moved into the sanctuaries so the priest could face the people.
Crucifixes were taken out too because they were reminders of the
Sacrifice of Calvary.

Once Luther had opened the doors and instituted change, other priests
appeared on the scene with even more drastic changes. They discarded
their clerical robes; they allowed the people to receive holy Communion
under both forms; they permitted the laity to take the Communion into
their own hands and eat; they discarded Gregorian chant and the use of
the organ. Instead, they promoted folk music with the use of cymbals,
trumpets, and stringed instruments. These Catholic priests and monks,
infected with such fierce enthusiasm for change, tore down altars;
burned pictures; smashed statues and discarded their habits.

With every year that passed, the Mass was gradually changed from the
re-enactment of the Sacrifice of Calvary to a communal gathering of the
people of God. This desecration was brought about by priests using
Catholic churches, monasteries and convents. Most of the people were
Catholic in their tradition and ideas, but as they continued to attend
the perverted services in their Catholic churches, they were led out of
the Catholic Faith and into Apostasy. Of course, their children,
exposed to the new perverted services from an early age, grew up without
any real knowledge of the One, True Church founded by Christ. This
takes on frightening implications when we recall that the Church has
always taught: "Outside the Church there is no salvation."

In closing this section, we would like to point out that the
Protestant religions that we see today all grew out of a Catholic
priest's attempt to "reform" the Church. These churches offer no
Sacrifice to the Infinitely Holy God; they do not know Mary, the Mother
of God; they have no devotion to the Angels or Saints; they do not pray
for the souls of their deceased relatives and friends. And all of this
came about through the destruction of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by
priests using Catholic churches to do so.

Luther said it was necessary to preserve some of the ceremonies of
the ancient Mass for the weak-minded. Are you one of those weak-minded
people who are being led blindly into apostasy? Or will you join the
small group of Catholics who want to remain faithful to Christ, His
Cross and His teachings? If you desire to remain faithful, you will
have to suffer along with Christ on Calvary in loneliness and ridicule
and misunderstandings. But, let us assure you that there are others who
share these sufferings with you.


PART II

In this part, we will take up the account of the English
Reformation. At the beginning of the 16th century, England was a
completely Catholic country. The Faith was rooted in centuries of
Catholicity. All the churches were Catholic ones. (Westminster Abbey,
Winchester, Coventry, Canterbury were some of the principal churches of
that day. Oxford and Cambridge were centers of Catholic education.)
And yet, before the end of the 16th century, England was a Protestant
country, and the hierarchy and clergy were holding Protestant services
in what were once Catholic churches.

In our day England is still Protestant, and the famous cathedrals,
such as Westminster, are seats of Protestantism. How did it happen?
Did it come about overnight? Did those in power and the Church and the
Government proclaim to the people that they were going to abolish the
Mass? Of course not! Any sudden action of that kind would have roused
such popular resistance that it would have put them in peril. But,
nevertheless, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was essentially destroyed
within a few years and the Catholic people, for the most part, were not
even aware of it.

The man chiefly responsible for the destruction of the Mass was
Thomas Cranmer, Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury. He had a passionate
hatred for the Catholic theology of the Mass with its idea of a
sacrificing priesthood and a sacrificial victim. He denied the doctrine
of Transubstantiation, that is, that the bread and wine become the Body
and Blood of Christ at the Consecration. However, as long as Henry VIII
was alive, he hypocritically continued to offer Holy Mass and he even
celebrated Mass at the coronation of Edward VI, the successor of Henry,
in 1547.

But before the year was out, Cranmer had prepared a book of
homilies, which he ordered the priests to read to the people at Mass,
Sunday by Sunday. These were intended to prepare the people for more
drastic changes which were to come later by presenting them with the
idea that the Bible had been suppressed too long by the Church and that
it was the only source of true knowledge of God. In the churches, the
priests had to read from the new translation of the Bible.

The next cautious step was taken in 1548. In this change, the
Communion was prefaced by English exhortations in which reference to the
Real and Corporal Presence were carefully omitted. The following year
they issued a new prayer book: The First Prayer Book of Edward VI. The
title page read: The Supper of the Lord and Holy Communion, commonly
called the Mass. The order of the service was the same as that of the
Mass.

But there were some things in which innovation was manifest; the
first was the change in the language; the other was the change - by
implication - in the doctrine. The change in language was the obvious
challenge thrown down to the ordinary Catholics, but the appeal was made
to them: "Surely, worship should be in a language which all men
understand." And the people accepted this. In the meantime, however,
the doctrinal changes were of more direct and spiritual importance,
though to the average man they meant nothing and could hardly be
noticed. But, in this new vernacular service, they omitted not only
whatever would emphasize the Real Presence, but also the Sacrificial
quality of the Mass. The first introduction of the new rite took place
on the Feast of Pentecost, 1549. In the meantime, Parliament enacted a
statute providing that Holy Communion should be administered under both
forms.

In the following year, Parliament abolished the old ritual for the
ordination of priests and the consecration of bishops. The new rite,
composed largely by Archbishop Cranmer, eliminated every phrase or
ceremony which indicated that the purpose of the rite was to confer a
power of offering sacrifice. The whole purpose was to dedicate the
recipient as one authorized by the Church to preside over the assembly
of God by preaching the Gospel and administering the sacraments. And
the people were not even aware of this change.

The Communion service and the ordination rite had now been
dissociated from the idea of a sacrificing priesthood. There still
remained in every church, however, the silent reminder: the consecrated
stone called the altar. Therefore, the bishops ordered these to be
taken down and all altars destroyed. Every parish was now to provide a
table of wood. The official explanation for these changes was: "The
form of a table shall move the simple (minded) from the superstitious
opinion of the Papist Mass into the right use of the Lord's Supper. For
the use of an altar is to make sacrifice upon it; the use of a table is
to serve for men to eat upon."

Bishops who resisted these changes were deprived of their sees. So,
of the 23 bishops in the country, no more than four could be counted on
to champion the sacramental theology of the Church, and these four were
imprisoned.

In 1552 the King, as the head of the Church, imposed the Act for the
Uniformity of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments. This
act prescribed heavy penalties, not only for those who publicly
criticized the new services, but for the clergy who used any other
services.

In the meantime, Cranmer and his associates ordered all statues to be
taken out of the churches, the stained-glass windows were broken; they
removed all the sacred vessels made of precious metals; they preached
against the idea of Lent, the long penitential preparation for the feast
of Easter; they ridiculed the Catholic belief that the souls of deceased
Christians can be aided through the Sacrifice of the Mass.

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Matt. 11:15) The above
account of how a once completely Catholic country became Protestant in
the matter of a few years should be a warning to all of us. It can
happen here and now. In fact, it has already happened. The last phase
is ALREADY upon us, since the New Order of the Mass BEGAN here on
PENTECOST SUNDAY 1970. What should you do? Definitely, you should stay
away from these perverted services and quit contributing to the parishes
that hold them because you are helping to betray Christ by supporting
them in their apostasy.


PART III

In the first two parts of this series, we recounted briefly how the
Faith was undermined and destroyed in Germany and England through the
gradual desecration and destruction of the Mass. In order to examine
and condemn the errors of Luther and the other Reformers, Pope Paul III
convoked the Council of Trent in that same century. This Council
decreed that the papacy should produce and publish a Missal so that
priests would know what prayers to use, what ritual, and what ceremonies
they were to retain in the celebration of the Mass for all time to
come.

This was done to safeguard all future generations of Catholics
from the tragedy that befell the Catholics in Germany and England. This
work was completed in the reign of Pope St. Pius V and the Roman Missal
was made the official missal of the Church. The Pope issued his Quo
Primum decree on the Roman Missal and this decree appeared in Latin in
the front of every altar missal from that time up until changes by the
Liturgy Commission in 1967. We would like to quote a few sections from
Quo Primum:

"We decree under penalty of our indignation that never at any time is
anything to be added, subtracted, or changed (in the Roman Missal);
this we determine and ordain to hold in perpetuity by virtue of this
constitution.

"No one may be required to offer Holy Mass in another way than has
been determined by Us;...and We likewise determine and declare that no
one be compelled or pressured by anyone to change this Missal, or that
this letter should ever be recalled or its effectiveness be restrained,
but that it may always stand firm and strong in all its vigor."

As you can see, the Pope, by virtue of His Apostolic Authority,
decreed that this Roman Missal should be used forever in the Church
without any change or alteration, and that no priest should ever be
required to offer Holy Mass in any other way. As we said above, this
was done in order to prevent the Holy Mass from ever again being
destroyed as it was in Germany and England.

Let no one tell you that the pope and the Council of Trent did not
have the authority to set down rules and decrees that were to last until
the end of time. Likewise, don't be misled by those who will tell you
that another pope or council can set aside the solemn decrees of a
former pope or council. If this were true, there would be no authority
in the Church and we could not believe Christ's promise to be with the
Church "all days" until the end of time. Any pope or council that
attempts to set aside the authoritative teachings of a previous pope or
council is acting in deliberate defiance and disobedience to the
authority of the Church.

Let's take a quick look at what has happened in the Church since 1963
when the changes in the liturgy began: The Mass is said in the
vernacular only. Wooden communion tables have replaced the Altar of
Sacrifice. Altar rails have been taken out. In some dioceses, the
Stations of the Cross, the statues, holy water fonts, kneelers and
crucifixes have already been taken out of all the churches. They will
probably soon be gone in all of them, or at least replaced with
something that doesn't even resemble this holy devotion. Gregorian
chant and the use of the organ have disappeared. Instead, we have folk
and rock "masses."

Of far greater significance is the change in the prayers of the
Canon. In the new Canons (more than one now), most of the doctrines and
dogmas which were contained in the Roman Missal have been totally
suppressed or eliminated. The words of the Consecration (the form of
the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist) have been changed in such a way
that the bread and wine no longer become the Body and Blood of Our Lord
Jesus Christ. So, you see, the Mass has already been destroyed in our
day just as it was in Germany and England 400 years ago, and it was done
without the Catholic people even realizing it. It was done by the
hierarchy and clergy using Catholic churches, monasteries and convents.
This is exactly as it was done during the Reformation.

The worst is yet to come. Just as the Catholics in Germany were given
the Formula Missae of Luther, and the Catholics in England were
introduced to the First Prayer Book of Edward VI (both changes resulted
in the complete elimination of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass), we have
been introduced to the Novus Ordo Missae. This new form of the mass was
to become effective in every Catholic church in the world on November
30, 1969. However, two cardinals found the courage to oppose this
destruction of the Mass by voicing an open refusal to accept it. Then,
from some parts of Europe, came the voices of courageous individuals and
groups refusing to compromise with the present perversion of our Holy
Faith.

Catholic Traditionalists in Germany: "This Ordo Missae annihilates
the Offertory. (Remember the words of Luther.) These are the Pagan
rites of Ceres and Bacchus. This cannot be a true Catholic Mass."
Msgr. Dominic Celada in Italy: "The New Missal contains several
manifest errors explicitly condemned by previous popes. Therefore, any
one who uses this mass automatically excommunicates himself."

In England: Msgr. Bryan Houghton of Suffolk publicly resigned rather
than use the new liturgy saying that, were he to comply with the
official directives of the bishops and Rome, he could no longer say Mass
in the rite in which he was ordained.

This Novus Ordo Missae began in American dioceses on Pentecost
Sunday, 1970. In the official Prayer Book issued in Rome, this service
is referred to as the Lord's Supper and the Memorial of the Lord. It is
no longer necessary for the priest to use an altar stone! The priest is
called the "president of the assembly of the people of God", and, worst
of all, no priest was officially permitted to offer the Latin Mass of
St. Pius V publicly. It was outlawed.

What should you do? If you desire to remain a true Catholic, you
must not attend any of these services. Stop contributing to your
conciliar parish churches. If you don't, you are helping to maintain a
church that has apostatized from the True Church. We realize the
terrible sacrifice this will entail. But, we assure you that there are
others suffering with you. Pray along with us to the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary to whom God has given the power to crush all heresies, and
one day the True Church will again emerge from the catacombs.


PART IV

Above we outlined how the Mass was destroyed in Germany and England
in the sixteenth century and we compared that period with the
post-conciliar period in our own day. Concerned Catholics have expressed
their fears about what has happened to the Mass. But, many of these
Catholics and thousands of others continue to attend the perverted
services in their parish churches, and so, we address still another
appeal to them.

Do you remember the questions and answers about the Mass in the
Baltimore Catechism?
Q . What is the Mass?
A. The Mass is the unbloody Sacrifice of Calvary.
Q. Is the Mass the same Sacrifice as that of the Cross?
A. Yes, the Mass is the same Sacrifice as that of the Cross.

Do you believe that the service you are now attending in your church
is the awesome Sacrifice of Calvary? Suppose we take a few minutes to
meditate on one aspect of the Passion and Death of Our Lord, as we read
about it in the Bible.

On Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, there were three groups of
people, reacting in different ways to the holy Sacrifice of Our Lord.
First, there were the Pharisees and the chief priests of the Jewish
people. They stood at the foot of the Cross and mocked Our Lord.
Remember, these men were the religious leaders of the Jews - men who
spent their lives studying the Sacred writings; they were in charge of
interpreting and explaining them to the people. These men were also
responsible for the worship and service of God. In other words, they
were the hierarchy and clergy of the Chosen People. As anointed ones,
as well as experts on the Sacred Scriptures and the prophecies, they
should have been the first to recognize and acknowledge Christ as the
Promised Messias and to lead their people to Him. Yet they were the
ones who hated Christ and plotted against Him.

On Palm Sunday, the Jewish people who loved Jesus and had followed
Him and listened to Him and witnessed His miracles for three years,
hailed Him as their King, shouting: "Hosanna to the Son of David." But,
before the week was out, these same people stood in the courtyard of
Pilate where they joined the cry: "Crucify Him." The simple, common
people had loved Jesus. They didn't plot against Him. They never
desired His death. But, they let themselves be blindly led into
demanding His Crucifixion. And, by whom? By their religious leaders.

Many of these same people lined the road to Calvary and watched
Christ carry His heavy Cross and never offered to help. At the summit
of Calvary, when Christ had been nailed to the Cross, their religious
leaders stood there mocking Him. These same common people went back to
their homes not knowing that they had witnessed the death of the
Promised One for whom they had been waiting. Of all the religious
leaders, only one believed in Jesus. His name was Nicodemus. He was so
afraid to acknowledge Jesus openly, that he went to speak to Christ in
the dark of night. The Gospel does not mention that he was present on
Calvary as a friend of Christ.

Today, among God's Chosen People (Catholics), the situation is much
the same. The common, simple laymen love the Church, its Sacraments,
its teachings, always believing that Christ still lives among them in
the Holy Sacrament of the Altar whom they could visit in the
Tabernacle. We never plotted against the Church. We never desired the
death of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We did not clamor for change.
But we have blindly followed our religious leaders into the courtyard of
the modern day Pilates and helped destroy the Mass.

We have stood on the road to Calvary and watched the Mass being
destroyed and have done nothing about it. Our religious leaders have
stood on the summit of Calvary mocking Our Lord by changing the Mass,
and we have gone back to our homes, uncaring and indifferent. Just as
at the time of Christ, there was a Nicodemus, we too may have a
Nicodemus somewhere, but he doesn't have the courage to openly
acknowledge the True and Holy Sacrifice.

The second group on Calvary were the Roman soldiers who didn't really
know Christ or the Promise of God to send a Redeemer. They were pagan
people who believed in many false gods. They were assigned, as part of
their duties, to crucify Christ. They drove the nails into the sacred
Hands and Feet of Jesus and raised the Cross on high. Then they
congratulated themselves on a job well done and sat down to tell jokes
and laugh and gamble. They had a good time there because they didn't
know what was going on.

Doesn't this remind you of what is going on in the churches today?
Immodest women stand in the very sanctuary of the Most High God
strumming their guitars, or reading "the Word", or (and what is worse)
handling the Holy Eucharist as a "minister". The sacrilege continues as
people crowd around the table to gawk at the actions of the priest,
being told that this will increase their "participation" and "closeness"
with the liturgy. In the body of the church people can be found shaking
hands or kissing or visiting with their neighbors (sometimes at the
encouragement of the priests). One wonders how many of these people are
thinking of the Cross and Calvary and Sacrifice. Is it their fault? They
have been told that they are only present at a meal, not the unbloody
renewal of Calvary.

The third group on Calvary was very small and very silent. It was
composed of Mary, the Mother of God; St. John, the only Apostle who had
the courage to follow Christ all the way; St. Mary Magdalen, a repentant
sinner who knelt in sorrow at the foot of the Cross; and a few holy
women who had followed Jesus and believed in Him to the very end.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that these people talked or laughed or
had a good time on Calvary. They remained in sorrowful silence before
the infinitely Holy Mystery which they were privileged to witness.

Where are their counterparts today? You will not find them in your
parish churches. There is no room for silence there. There is only a
happy gathering of the people of the community who have come together to
sing and shake hands and eat together. Modern Catholics are doing today
just what the Jewish people of old did: they go back to their homes not
realizing at Whose death they were supposed to bear witness. They have
become unknowing and uncaring, and whose fault is that?

Is that what you want? Do you really believe that this happy
community gathering at the Novus Ordo is the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary?
When you enter your parish churches, do you still feel the presence of
God? Do you still feel the quiet joy and holiness you felt before? Or,
are you too busy singing and greeting your neighbor to even think about
Calvary and the Sacrifice of Christ and the Sorrowful Mother? Yet, you
continue to go to those churches week after week. Why?

For some of you, it's because you're worried what your family or your
friends will say if you don't. They might think that you're a fanatic,
or your nerves are bad, or you're old- fashioned and not up with
things. Isn't Christ more important than what people think? Isn't it
more important to save your souls than to please people?

For some it's the fear that you won't be able to get married, or
buried, or have your children baptized in one of these churches.
However, if there is no real Mass, then Christ is not there at all. If
Christ is not present, then why do you want to get married, or buried,
or have your children baptized there?

Another group say that they are unhappy about going to these
churches, but they don't know what else to do. "After all, Catholics
must go to Mass on Sunday", they say, "or else a mortal sin is
committed." But, that only applies if there is a Mass to attend and
assist at, not just "go to". The Novus Ordo is not a valid Mass, it is
not the unbloody renewal of Calvary, and no good Catholic would be
committing a sin by not going to it. It would be an act of virtue to
stay away.

"OK," you say. "I know it's not right, but what else can I do?" You
can do the same thing that the faithful Catholics in England and Germany
did at the time of the Reformation. They stayed at home and said their
prayers there. You keep the Commandment of keeping holy the Lord's Day.
You can do the same thing that the Catholics in Ireland did during
centuries of persecution. They gathered their families together every
evening and prayed the Rosary.

You can do the same thing that faithful Catholics in Poland and
Hungary and other Iron Curtain countries did while under Communist
suppression. They stayed away from the churches where the priests who
compromised with the Communists were saying "mass" and they prayed the
Rosary in their homes. All of these people remained true Catholics by
staying away from perverted masses and turning in prayer to the
Sorrowful Mother who alone understood the real mystery of Calvary.
Those who continued to go to the churches where Christ was being mocked
eventually lost their Faith.

Christ said we cannot serve two masters. "He who is not with Me, is
against Me." (Matt. 12:30) You must make the choice. On that choice
hangs your eternal salvation or damnation. Which will it be for you?


PART V

After reading all that we have reviewed up to this point, many still
ask: "If you are right, then tell me -- How could such a thing happen?
Do you think God would permit the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be
destroyed? Didn't Christ promise to remain with the Church all days
even till the end of time?"

To understand how and why such a terrible thing has happened, we must
go back to the beginning - to the Creation of the Angels. The Church
taught us that God created the Angels before He created men. They were
spirits of far greater intellect and perfection than man, but
nevertheless, they were beings who owed their existence to God.
Therefore, they owed God adoration and love, obedience, loyalty and
gratitude. To prove their love and gratitude, God permitted them to be
tested in some way.

We know that Lucifer, the Angel of Light, refused to obey, and many
of the other angels followed him in his disobedience and pride.
Therefore, God banished them from His Holy Presence and cast them into
the eternal fires of hell. If we may speak in so human a fashion, God
had every right to do this, because without Him, they would never have
existed at all. When they refused to acknowledge their dependence on
God, they lost all right to the enjoyment of God's wondrous gifts.

God then created the earth and our first parents. He gave them a
perfect world in which they had everything they needed for happiness and
peace. But like the Angels, they had to pass through a time of trial in
order to prove their love. They failed and thereby lost their right to
the perfect Paradise in which God had placed them. They were banished
from the Garden of Eden and forced to toil, labor, suffer and die, and
this punishment has been handed down to all their descendants, that is,
all men who have ever lived or ever will live on this earth.

But God did not abandon the world He made. He continued to create
other men and He gave them all they needed to sustain their lives. He
sent them holy leaders to guide and direct them in His ways and He
promised to send them a Redeemer to open the Gates of Heaven once more.
If men had obeyed God and rendered praise and thanksgiving to Him, they
would have lived out their lives in peace and serenity.

But men forgot God and disobeyed His Laws. Each time they did, God
sent some form of punishment to chastise them and remind them again of
their duty toward Him. Men became so bad that God destroyed the whole
world with a flood, with the exception of only one family who had
remained faithful to Him. He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
because of the sinfulness of the people. He spared Lot and his wife and
two daughters, but Lot's wife disobeyed the command not to look back and
she was turned into a pillar of salt.

God selected a people as His chosen ones and He made a covenant with
them. He promised them His special protection and guidance and a land
flowing with milk and honey. But they had to fulfill certain
conditions, They had to obey the Commandments that He gave to Moses and
they had to worship him in the way He prescribed. He gave detailed
instructions about the Altar of Sacrifice and the Ritual for Sacrifice.
Their happiness and good fortune depended on their obedience or
disobedience of God's Laws. When they rebelled against Him, He punished
them.

They were exiled from the Promised Land; they were forced to wander
homeless in the desert for years; they were taken into slavery; their
temple was destroyed. When they repented, God delivered them from
slavery; He led them safely through the Red Sea; He sent them manna in
the desert; and He promised to send the Redeemer through their race.
The Promised Messias did come and the New Testament began. But man's
ingratitude and forgetfulness of God did not end.

In Part IV we talked of men's ingratitude toward Our Lord. We
recalled how the people hailed Him as their King on Palm Sunday, but a
few days later, incited and deceived by their leaders, they demanded His
Crucifixion. However, our Heavenly Father was appeased by His Son's
Sacrifice, and He continued to shower His graces on men through the
Mystical Body of Christ - the Church. But men soon became careless and
indifferent about the great gift that God had given them - the true
Faith - and then heresies and schisms began to afflict the Church.

In almost every age, heresies sprang up to try men's faith. But God,
in His Infinite Goodness, raised up great saints in every age to combat
the heresies with lives of heroic prayer and penance and to lead men
back to Himself and the true Church. But, again, men kept forgetting
God and they grew careless about the things of God. The Protestant
reformation erupted. This was one of the greatest works of Lucifer, and
it was permitted by God as a punishment for the sins of men. This
heresy went much further than any previous one. It attacked the
greatest Treasure of all - the Holy Mass - and it succeeded in
destroying it in England and parts of Germany, and then it spread to
other parts of Europe.

God did not abandon men, however. He provided a remedy for the evils
of the Reformation. Just as He gave to the Chosen People in the Old
Testament fixed rules and regulations for offering Sacrifice to Him, so
that they would worship Him in a worthy manner, so too He provided us
with specific rules to ensure that never again could the True Sacrifice
be destroyed. He inspired the Church leaders to convoke the Council of
Trent.

It was the greatest of all Councils in the history of the Church, and
it dealt with more doctrinal matters than any other council. From it
came the decree to set down the order and prayers of the Mass. During
this time, God raised up a saint to the Chair of Peter - St. Pius V -
and it was he who gave us the Tridentine Mass, saying in Quo Primum that
it could never be changed by anyone for all time to come.

But, as usual, men kept forgetting God. So, As is His usual way, God
sent punishments to call men back to Him. There were plagues and
famines and wars and revolutions. In more recent times, we have
witnessed terrible and unexpected earthquakes, tornadoes, typhoons, and
hurricanes. At the same time that God was sending these disturbances of
nature, He was also sending His Divine Son and His Holy Mother to tell
us what we must do if we want to please Him and save our souls. PRAYER
AND PENANCE! Have we listened ? NO! Pope Pius XII said, many years ago,
that the world was in worse condition in his time than at the time of
the deluge. What would he say now?

In the meantime, through all these centuries God had entrusted to us
the greatest treasure of all - the Holy Mass. He had safeguarded this
treasure for us through the Council of Trent and St. Pius V. In every
Holy Mass that was offered according to their directions, the Son of God
came down on the altar of every Catholic Church and offered Himself anew
to His heavenly Father for our sins and to ask His pardon and blessings
for us.

But, where were all the Catholic people? Only a handful cared enough
to come for daily Mass. Just imagine - the Second Person of the Blessed
Trinity comes down on the altar every morning in our parish churches and
offers His Body and Blood as food for our souls, and we don't care
enough to be present. What is more, after Mass is finished, Jesus
remains in the Tabernacle every moment of every day. How many Catholics
stop in to visit with Him? Most of the time He is completely alone.
Everyone is too busy about the things of the world to spend a few
minutes with their God.

This is why we have lost the greatest of God's gifts - the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Christ on the Altar. God
gave us His only Son, and we, the believers, have treated Him with
indifference and neglect. Just as the fallen angels and our first
parents, in failing to appreciate and render proper thanks to God for
His infinite Goodness, were deprived of the perfect gifts that God had
given them, so we too, in failing to appreciate and give thanks to God
for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, have been deprived of this perfect
gift.

So now we come to the third question. Didn't Christ promise to
remain with the Church all days even to the end of time? Yes, He did,
and we believe in that promise. But, let's look at the whole quotation
in which the promise is contained. In Matthew, chapter 28, verses 19 &
20[C] we read "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and
behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the
world."

Remember in the Old Testament God made a covenant with the Chosen
People. He promised them His continual guidance and protection, but
they also had to fulfill certain conditions. They had to obey all His
laws and worship Him the way He had commanded. This is true of the
promise made by Christ. If we observe all that He commands, He will be
with us. We believe that Christ does remain with all those who continue
to believe all the truths He taught us. But we cannot believe that Our
Lord remains in the midst of those who are denying some or all of those
Truths.

In every church where the new ordo is used, doctrines and dogmas that
have been defined by the Church are being denied or misinterpreted. In
almost every "Catholic" school, the new catechisms are being used. If
you examine them, you will find they are filled with errors and heresies
that have been condemned by the Church. Can you really believe that
Christ Who said "I am the Truth" can possibly remain in these places
where lies and errors are the order of the day, even though they call
themselves Catholic? This would be an insult to the Infinite Holiness
of God. Our Lord has not recalled His Promise, but the Church leaders
and the lay people who have taught or accepted the new teachings have
failed to keep their part of the covenant and have cut themselves off
from the true Church. Therefore, Christ no longer dwells with them.

In the early days of the Church, the true followers of Christ were
forced into the catacombs by their religious leaders and civil
authorities. Today, the true followers of Christ are also being forced
into the catacombs by religious leaders who want us to deny the
teachings of the Church. But, just as Christ remained with these early
Christians and brought them out of the catacombs eventually, so He will
remain with His faithful followers now to guide and direct us in our
lonely exile. One day, the Church will emerge from the catacombs
glorious and triumphant once more. It is up to us to maintain hope as we await the restoration of the Mass and our Holy Faith.

TRADITIO Traditional Roman Catholic Internet Site

E-mail List: traditio@traditio.com, Web Page: http://www.traditio.com

Copyright 1998 CV. Reproduction prohibited without authorization.


[Made available on the TRADITIO Internet Site with permission of The
Catholic Voice, a publication of The Society of Traditional Roman
Catholics.]

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