It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Thursday, October 29, 2009

OFFICIAL: U.S. Catholic Bishops Oppose Healthcare Reform Bill !!!

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: If you were waiting for a move from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - well here it is! Finally!!! The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes the current form of the 'healthcare reform bill' because it includes abortion coverage and lacks a conscience clause for medical professionals. The USCCB is now requesting the aid of local bishops to develop a parish-by-parish opposition to the bill across America...
(Catholic Key) - The USCCB has kicked into high-gear urging a nationwide effort by Catholic parishes to ensure abortion coverage is removed and conscience protection included in health care reform. The bottom line message from the bishops:
The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them.
AmericanPapist reported earlier today that an action item was sent late yesterday to all diocesan pro-life directors asking them to help disseminate bulletin inserts and pulpit announcements to every parish in their diocese.

Every bishop in the country has received the same request and also late yesterday, Helen Osman, Director of Communications for the USCCB, sent the same request to diocesan communications directors and made the inserts available as ads for diocesan papers. I have not seen this level of coordinated effort by the bishops’ conference in nearly 20 years of church work...

read full story here

BREAKING! U.S. Federal Government Declares WAR On U.S. Catholic Church !

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It's official. The United States Federal Government declared war on the U.S. Catholic Church yesterday (October 28, 2009) when U.S. President Barrack Obama signed the federal "hate-crimes" bill into law, effectively making it ILLEGAL for Catholic priests (or any Christian pastor for that matter) to publicly criticize homosexuality. The effect of this legislation on free speech is chilling, imposing a federal edict upon religious teaching. Similar legislation has been enacted in Canada and Europe. From experiences gathered there, we can ascertain that prosecution of Christian pastors will be slow and rare at first, as the federal government floats trial balloons to determine which method of prosecution will be most effective against appeals to higher courts based on first amendment violations. After the federal government has determined which method of prosecution is most effective, we can expect them to become more frequent. The U.S. Catholic Church is expected to be the most effected by this legislation, as doctrinal condemnations against homosexuality are determined in Rome (outside the United States) forcing Roman Catholic priests inside the United States to choose between loyalty to Rome or U.S. federal law. It remains to be seen how many Roman Catholic priests will remain faithful to Catholic teaching on the matter. Those choosing loyalty to Rome can expect federal prosecution at some point in the not-too-distant future...
(WND) - A "hate crimes" bill opponents claim will be used to crack down on Christian speech, even the reading of the Bible, was signed into law today by President Obama.

The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a vote of 68-29 on Oct. 22 after Democrats strategically attached it to a "must-pass" $680 billion defense appropriations plan.

Most Republicans, although normally strong supporters of the U.S. military, opposed the bill because it hands out federal money to states and local governments in pursuit of "preventing" hate crimes. The bill creates federal protections and privileges for homosexuals and other alternative lifestyles but denies those protections to other groups of citizens.

Obama signed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act at a White House ceremony today. Prior to signing the act into law, Obama spoke briefly of the hate crimes bill.

"After more than a decade, we've passed inclusive hate-crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray or who they are," he said. "I promised Judy Shepard when she saw me in the Oval Office that this day would come, and I'm glad that she and her husband, Dennis, could join us for this event. I'm also honored to have the family of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who fought so hard for this legislation. I just want you all to know how proud we are of the work that Ted did to help make this day possible."

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon warned that the new law "creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in non-normative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American."

Wildmon said the legislation creates possible situations where pastors may be arrested if their sermons on sexuality can be linked in even the remotest way to acts of violence.

"It threatens free speech and freedom of religion and is totally unacceptable," he said.

As WND reported, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted a homosexual activist who is attacked following a Christian minister's sermon about homosexuality would be protected by the proposed federal law, but a minister attacked by a homosexual wouldn't be....

read full story here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama Co-Sponsors UN Resolution Making Criticism Of Islam Illegal

(Jihad Watch) - Obama just had the U.S. at the UN consponsor with Egypt a resolution against inciting religious hatred. But apparently his Secretary of State is not on board, or not completely on board. "Clinton Denounces Proposed 'Defamation of Religions' Policies," by Michelle A. Vu for the Christian Post, October 27 (thanks to Islam In Action)...

read full story here

Monday, October 26, 2009

America Is A Masonic Nation

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I always get a chuckle when I hear Evangelicals tell me that the United States of America was founded as a "Christian nation." No, I tell them, that's what it was BEFORE the American Revolution, when the colonies were ruled by a Protestant Christian king. After the Revolution, the colonies ceased to be Christian, and became the world's first Masonic nation! Granted, America's founding fathers were cooperative with Christians, mainly because they had to be, but don't think for one second that those same founding fathers had any intention of America keeping any trace of a Christian form of government. The founding fathers agreed that the moral foundations of religion were useful in building the country, but they kept it strictly to a moral understanding of the Christian religion, as all good Masons do. The idea of American government actually recognizing the real authority of any particular Church was repugnant to them. Of course, most repugnant to them was the Catholic Church, which the founding fathers were determined to keep in it's place. Need I remind my readers that following the American Revolution, Catholics suffered some of their greatest indignities at the hands of those who claimed the highest loyalty to the U.S. Constitution and the American Revolution.

Freemasons don't rule America in the literal sense, like a king might rule his subjects, but they do rule America in principle. In fact, the United States was founded on Freemasonry, and thus it is the world's first Masonic Nation. The idea being that Freemasons rule America through it's system of government, designed and ordered through Masonic principles. The idea of democratic republicanism (popularly and incorrectly referred to simply as "democracy") is Masonic in origin, a product of the Enlightenment era, which opposes Christian monarchy, the foundation of western civilization.

I want to make this very clear. Western civilization was founded on Christian monarchy. Kings and queens were subject to the ecclesiastical authority of the Catholic Church, which had both the power to coronate them and excommunicate them. By coronating them, the Church gave them power. By excommunicating them, the Church diminished their power, and sometimes dethroned them entirely. Thus western civilization was ruled by a Christian system of government during the middle ages. It was only after the Protestant Reformation that we start to see significant problems with these monarchies, which of course gave birth to the Enlightenment era and the rise of the Freemasons. The Freemasons in turn toppled the monarchies, or at the very least diminished their authority, thus giving us democratic republicanism.

The problem with democratic republicanism, besides it being an unChristian form of government derived from ancient Pagan principles, is that it always leads to socialism. We can see this in various degrees in democracies throughout the world, and even here in the United States, which continually slides deeper into socialist rule.

Many Catholic Americans don't understand the intrinsically anti-Catholic nature of Freemasonry. You have to understand that in America, Freemasonry has already accomplished most of it's goals. The government is totally Freemason. The democratic road to socialism is well underway, and nothing less than a total collapse of Washington DC can change this. Therefore, there is no need for Freemasons to work so hard in the United States. Most of their work is already finished. The primary function of most American Freemasons is now mainly fundraising, to help spread Masonic ideas around the world. In Europe Freemasonry takes on a much more openly anti-Catholic role, as it continually tries to undermine the influence of the Catholic Church there.

Married Priests In The Catholic Church

A Married Priest With His Wife And Children

(Rorate Caeli) - Very interesting answers in this lengthy interview granted by the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Primate John Hepworth, to The Australian Inquirer...

Married Priests:
Inquirer: How do the Pope's proposals mesh the Latin celibate discipline for all clergy with Anglicanism's longstanding acceptance of married priests and bishops?

JH: Bishops in the new Anglican structure will be unmarried. This is out of respect for the tradition of Eastern and Western Christianity. But priests who come from Anglicanism will be able to serve as priests in the new structure, whether married or not, after satisfying certain requirements. The truly radical element is that married men will be able to be ordained priests in the Anglican structure indefinitely into the future...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The concept of married Catholic priests (under the Anglican Ordinariates) poses no threat to my Traditional Catholic sensibilities whatsoever, and here is the reason why. The Catholic Church has had married priests in the United States for literally DECADES! The first class come from former protestant ministers, usually Anglican, already married who seek to become Catholic priests. In most cases, the Church has granted this. The second class is this...
(PG News) - Saturday, October 02, 1999
By Ann Rodgers-Melnick, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The Vatican has cautiously opened the door to the ordination of married men as Byzantine Catholic priests in the United States.

The change comes as the Metropolitan Byzantine Archdiocese of Pittsburgh prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary tomorrow at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. But the new law is not a full return to the church's practice of 75 years ago, when Rome's permission was not needed.

A set of newly approved canon laws for the archdiocese permits bishops to submit the names of married candidates to Rome for approval on a case-by-case basis....

read full story here
Here we see that Rome has allowed married men in the United States to become Byzantine Catholic priests for exactly ten years now. All of this comes with no shock or disruption to the Catholic Church in North America. The key here is rites. By that I mean liturgical rites. In the western world we are most familiar with the Roman Rite, however the Catholic Church actually consists of many rites. There are four primary rites in the Catholic Church, all of them recognizing the Bishop of Rome as the sovereign pontiff. Each primary rite has other rites that may have sprang forth from it, but primary rites form the main groups. These four primaries are the Roman Rite, Antiochian Rite, Alexandrian Rite and Byzantine Rite. All of them are 100% Catholic. All of them are in full apostolic communion with the pope (who is head of the Roman Rite). All of them make up the Catholic Church. Yet only one of them has mandated celibacy of all it's clerics, and that is the Roman Rite.

Celibacy has always been practiced in Christianity by those who were able to practice it. Jesus Christ himself was celibate, as was the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Paul, the apostle who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament. St. Paul encouraged celibacy among all those clergy who were able to practice it. However, the first pope, St. Peter, was married, as were a number of bishops in the early Catholic Church. Christianity has always placed high value on both marriage and celibacy as two different ways of practicing chastity. Though celibacy was preferred among the clergy as a way of fostering total devotion to care of the Christian flock. As St. Paul put it, the married man strives to please God and his wife, while the celibate man strives only to please God. It wasn't until the early second millennium (1100's) that celibacy was mandated of all clerics exclusively in the Roman Rite. This mandate did not apply to other rites within the Catholic Church. Any charge that the Catholic Church banned marriage from all clergy is spurious to say the least, as married Catholic men have always been allowed to become priests in the other Catholic rites. However, it had been the custom within all rites for some time to restrict the office of bishop to celibate men alone. This is not to say that a married man couldn't be a bishop. It's just that it hasn't been the custom of any Catholic rite to allow this for some time, and that is not likely to change.

The crisis that erupted in the Protestant Anglican Communion during the late 1970s led some Anglican clergy to seek refuge in the Catholic Church, and among them were married Anglican priests. So in the early 1980s, Pope John Paul II created a "Pastoral Provision" in the Roman Rite that would allow married Anglican priests to be ordained as Roman Catholic priests and continue to practice their Anglican customs. This was essentially an experiment to see if married clergy (operating under an "Anglican Use" pastoral provision) would coexist well among a predominately celibate priesthood within the Roman Rite. The experiment proved to be a success, in that these married priests proved to be just as faithful and devoted as celibate priests within their limited capacity as married men. Ironically, they often proved to be more conservative, more orthodox, and more traditional than the average number of celibate priests throughout the United States. This is not to say that marriage makes one more conservative, orthodox or traditional, but rather demonstrates that marriage does not in any way detract from these things. In other words, married men make just as good priests as celibate men, thought admittedly, married men do not have as much time for their priestly duties. So if you're looking for quantity of ministry, celibacy is definitely the way to go, but if you're looking for quality of ministry, there really is no measurable difference between married and celibate.

As the Anglican Ordinariates are organized and grow, we can expect a larger number of married Catholic priests operating under this pastoral provision of the Roman Rite. What does that mean? Well in essence, it means the Catholic priesthood will be much more accessible to married men in the years ahead. Granted, it's always been available through the eastern rites, but this is the first time in a thousand years when it will be widely available to Catholic men in the Roman Rite (under Anglican Ordinariates). In practical application however, I wouldn't expect a flood of married men applying to the priesthood. There are still many strictures that make the priesthood difficult for married men even under an Anglican Ordinariate. For starters, probably the biggest obstacle is money. Married men tend to need a lot more of it then celebrate men, and the Church is not likely to provide a higher salary to married priests at risk of discrimination against celibate priests. So married priests will have to work on the side to bring home the bacon, now splitting his obligation three ways between ministry, family and job. Either that, or his wife is going to have to go out and work. However, a married priest would be just as obligated to obey the Church's teachings on contraception, so he is likely to have at least a few children and possibly more. That being the case, we're talking about more money and less time for ministry. All and all, the Church is getting less bang for it's buck with married priests, and I'm sure that played a role in the Church's initial decision to mandate celibacy in the Roman Rite nearly a thousand years ago.

I should point out that this is just one pastoral provision within the Roman Rite. It is not the entire Roman Rite itself. In many ways, the whole Anglophone world has just become a laboratory. It's a repeat of the experiment done with Anglican Use priests in the United States thirty years ago, but this time on a much grander scale. It doesn't apply to the Spanish-speaking world on the same level, nor the French-speaking world, etc. It mainly applies to the English-speaking (Anglophone) world and who knows where it will lead? One thing is certain. English speaking Catholics have been clamoring for married priests for decades. Now they're going to get it, though perhaps not the way they expected, and certainly with no hint of sacrificing traditional Catholic orthodoxy.  If anything, they should expect incoming married priests to be more traditional and conservative than many of their celibate counterparts.  At least that's what the trend has been so far.

First Anglican Bishop Converts - Paves Way For Others

(Telegraph) - Bishop Hind said he would be "happy" to be reordained as a Catholic priest and said that divisions in Anglicanism could make it impossible to stay in the church.

He is the most senior Anglican to admit that he is prepared to accept the offer from the Pope, who shocked the Church of England last week when he paved the way for clergy to convert to Catholicism in large numbers.

In a further blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury's hopes of preventing the Anglican Communion from disintegrating, other bishops have cast doubt over its survival.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that "the Anglican experiment is over". He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops.

In one of the most significant developments since the Reformation, the Pope last week announced that a new structure would be set up to allow disaffected Anglicans to enter full communion with Rome, while maintaining parts of their Protestant heritage.
The move comes after secret talks between the Vatican and a group of senior Anglican bishops. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was not informed of the meetings and his advisers even denied that they had taken place when the Sunday Telegraph broke the story last year....

read full story here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Wake Of Anglican-Catholic Developments, Now Bulgarian Orthodox Prelate Wants Speedy Reunion With Rome

(Catholic.Net) - A Bulgarian Orthodox prelate told Benedict XVI of his desire for unity, and his commitment to accelerate communion with the Catholic Church.

At the end of Wednesday's general audience, Bishop Tichon, head of the diocese for Central and Western Europe of the Patriarchate of Bulgaria, stated to the Pope, "We must find unity as soon as possible and finally celebrate together," L'Osservatore Romano reported.

"People don't understand our divisions and our discussions," the bishop stated. He affirmed that he will "not spare any efforts" to work for the quick restoration of "communion between Catholics and Orthodox....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: So my question is this. Which of the Orthodox churches is more ecumenical? Who will beat whom to restore full communion with Rome? Are the Bulgarians about to outdo the Russians or the Greeks? Will the Russians and Greeks stand for this? Are they really going to be upstaged by the Bulgarians?

Thousands of Anglican Priests Ready To Join Catholic Church

(Times Online) - As many as 1,000 priests could quit the Church of England and thousands more may leave churches in America and Australia under bold proposals to welcome Anglicans to Rome.

Entire parishes and even dioceses could be tempted to defect after Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to offer a legal structure to Anglicans joining the Roman Catholic Church.

His decree, issued yesterday, is a serious blow to attempts by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, to save the Anglican Communion from further fragmentation and threatens to wreck decades of ecumenical dialogue...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Ecumenical dialog has been stalled for years. There is nothing to wreck. So long as the Anglican Communion continues to ordain women and homosexuals to the priesthood, there can be no meaningful ecumenical dialog with Rome.

Now let's get the chronology of events straight. Every honest Anglican will admit that the entire English Church was stolen from Rome immorally and illicitly by King Henry VIII. No Anglo-Catholic wanted that. They were taken against their will, and made due with the hand they were dealt. In the 1800s Anglicans began moving back to their Catholic roots via the Oxford Movement. Then about thirty to forty years ago, events transpired in the Anglican Communion which effectively alienated those most traditional Anglo-Catholics, causing many to break with Canterbury, forming their own "Continuum," and many more to demand exceptions (such as flying bishops) to the liberal trends unfolding in exchange for staying within the Communion. Around the turn of the millennium these trends became so profound as to cause great disturbance among even the moderates in the Communion, to the point where many national provinces expressed their disunity with Canterbury and the North American Anglican provinces. Finally, when events in North America reached such a breaking point as to consecrate an openly homosexual bishop, who left his wife and children to marry another man, all with the blessing of the Episcopal Church USA (or "The Episcopal Church"), it led those in the Continuum to pound on the gates of St. Peters, begging to be admitted into the Catholic Church, and clandestine meetings were initiated by unnamed Anglican bishops still within the Communion, meeting with Vatican officials, seeking a way to be let in as well; it became apparent to Rome that Christian charity demanded an accommodation for these spiritual refugees. So on October 20, 2009 such provision was finally made after much patience and anticipation.

Rome made every effort imaginable to work this out with Canterbury, waiting for decades in the hope the Anglican Communion would come to it's senses. All to no avail. The liberals within the Communion were hell bent on having their agenda fulfilled. They still are. Is it any wonder then why so many Anglican priests are now ready to swim the Tiber?

BREAKING! 400,000 Anglicans To Join Catholic Church Immediately!

(Times Online) - Leaders of more than 400,000 Anglicans who quit over women priests are to seek immediate unity with Rome under the apostolic constitution announced by Pope Benedict XVI. They will be among the first to take up an option allowing Anglicans to join an “ordinariate” that brings them into full communion with Roman Catholics while retaining elements of their Anglican identity.

The Pope’s move is regarded by some Anglicans as one of the most dramatic developments in Protestant christendom since the Reformation gave birth to the Church of England 400 years ago...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This was the group that started it all. They petitioned Rome for this a couple years ago, and have already signed a document supporting the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Their website is HERE.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Anglican Use Liturgy Should Become The Standard English Mass

Anglican Use Mass
(Catholic Online) - For non-Episcopalians, he said, the Anglican Use provides the worship-enabling beauty of Anglican liturgical action, music, architecture and art. It has even helped Catholics whose practice of the faith lapsed because of liturgical abuses in the implementation of the Novus Ordo reform of the Mass after the Second Vatican Council.

Describing his own experience of the Anglican Use, Archbishop Myers said:

“I was awestruck when I first experienced the Anglican Use liturgy at the English College in Rome during a pilgrimage last September. Its beauty was incarnated in the devotion manifested in the exquisite celebration of the Eucharist. I was humbled by the devotion of the faithful and I am encouraged by the fervor of the chapel and parishes that employ the Anglican Use liturgy here in the United States...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Imagine a Catholic mass very similar to the full Roman Rite (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form), but celebrated entirely in English, incorporating all the customs and forms of old-school English Catholicism. Ah, but you don't have to imagine it. It's real, and it's celebrated every day in limited locations. Now that's all about to change, and the Anglican Use mass is about to go mainstream! Archbishop Myers hit the nail on the head. The reason why the Anglican Use Liturgy is so healing for many Roman Catholics is because the Anglican Use Liturgy effectively IS the vernacular mass for all English speaking people. It is the organic heritage of English Catholicism having evolved in both language and custom long before the schism of the Church of England in 1534. During the 1800s Oxford Movement, the Anglicans sought to return to their Catholic roots by reconstituting the Catholic customs originally found in the English Church and this served as a liturgical treasure for Anglicans for over a century, eventually leading many of them back into full apostolic communion with Rome.

So what is the common English mass we all currently celebrate in Roman Catholic parishes today? It's called the Novus Ordo (or "New Order") and in essence it is a low vernacular translation of an abbreviated form of the Roman Rite. It's not even the full Roman Rite! It's an abbreviated form of the Roman Rite, and it translates into low common English. Up until the new translation (set to be promulgated between 2010 to 2012) it wasn't even translated correctly! Yes, that's right, the English Novus Ordo mass we've all been attending for the last 40 years is not even translated correctly! In addition to that, the Novus Ordo mass has been an "experiment" of sorts, a type of "rupture" from the organic liturgical development of the Latin Church. Most traditional Catholics agree it ought to be abandoned. However, in the face of having no approved vernacular translations of the full Roman Rite Liturgy (commonly called Tridentine or Extraordinary Form), most contemporary Catholics have been reluctant to give it up. The prospect of regularly attending an entire mass in Latin is an intimidating one to most Catholics today. (Personally speaking, it's not so big a deal, but that's another topic.)

Another problem facing English speaking Catholics is the excessive amount of liturgical abuse that goes on in English speaking parishes. The reasons behind this are perplexing, but nevertheless seem to be an undeniable fact. For decades, liturgically sensible Catholics have been abused and traumatized by this.

Finally we can look at the origin of the post conciliar liturgical reform that brought us the Novus Ordo mass, and what we discover is a history that is rife with scandal (read more here). Whatever the origin of the Novus Ordo, it looks like it's here to stay. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has long term plans for the Novus Ordo Liturgy, which his people are working on behind closed doors. In time this liturgy will change dramatically, once again, but this time to more closely reflect the Roman Rite - or so we can only hope.

The Novus Ordo will continue to serve a function where the celebration of the mass is in a language more closely related to the original Latin, such as Spanish, Italian, French, etc. Likewise, it will also serve a function in languages where no native rites have had time to develop, such as Vietnamese, German, Swedish, Korean, Japanese, etc. However, in languages like English, where an ancient history had once provided for the development of a rite, and current developments in modern history are leading toward the re-emergence of that rite after a long schism, it would appear that the use of a widespread English Novus Ordo Liturgy is no longer necessary. Indeed, since Anglophone (English speaking) culture seems to be imploding for lack of a religious cultural foundation, the re-emergence of the Anglican Use Liturgy is timely. It is possible a future re-emergence of a full Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church will help to effect the very cultural renewal so needed in Anglophone culture today.

So the question is how do we get there? Answer; it all begins with your average English speaking Catholic. If you're reading this - that means YOU. The Anglican Use Liturgy is easily accessible to both the clergy and the laity. No special training is needed to celebrate the Anglican Use Liturgy, though some might be beneficial. Any Catholic priest can use the 'Book of Divine Worship' as it has been canonically approved by Rome for the celebration of the Anglican Use Liturgy. All that needs to happen is laypeople just need to start requesting it. A high demand will eventually produce a high supply, and in time there will be no need for widespread use of the Novus Ordo liturgy in the English speaking world. The Anglophone people will once again have their own rite, in full apostolic communion with Rome, and our culture will benefit because of it.


THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Very BIG news is coming out of Rome and London. It's one of the greatest events in the last 500 years, since the Protestant schism of the 16th century. The largest, and most significant, migration of Anglicans back into the Catholic Church has begun. As of today some half a million traditional Anglicans have just been readmitted back into the Catholic Church. It will surly be accompanied by millions more in the years ahead. Furthermore, the development of the Anglican Use liturgy (or better yet, a full fledged Anglican Rite!) would serve to revive Traditional Catholicism in the English-speaking world in ways not previously imagined. What we're looking at here is the possibility of a HOLY REVOLUTION among English-Speaking Catholics around the world...
(Telegraph) - This is astonishing news. Pope Benedict XVI has created an entirely new Church structure for disaffected Anglicans that will allow them to worship together – using elements of Anglican liturgy – under the pastoral supervision of their own specially appointed bishop or senior priest.

The Pope is now offering Anglicans worldwide “corporate reunion” on terms that will delight Anglo-Catholics. In theory, they can have their own married priests, parishes and bishops – and they will be free of liturgical interference by liberal Catholic bishops who are unsympathetic to their conservative stance.

There is even the possibility that married Anglican laymen could be accepted for ordination on a case-by-case basis – a remarkable concession....

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I have received a few emails from Catholics who are confused by all this. They cannot understand why the pope is allowing people "who do not believe in Catholic teachings" into the Church. Obviously there is some confusion here. I had the opportunity to respond to one of these emails, and I am providing the text below...
Yes I can see how all of this would look confusing on the surface. In answer to your question the pope is not letting anybody into the Church who doesn't already fully believe the Catholic faith, most especially the Church's teachings on the Eucharist.

Over the last 100 years the Anglicans/Episcopalians have been influenced by two movements. The first was the Oxford Movement which encouraged a return to Catholicism in practice and belief. The second was the Modernist movement which encouraged liberalism. Both movements had their influence over the Anglican Communion. However, over the last 30 to 35 years, the Modernist movement practically took over the Anglican churches in England, North America and Australia - i.e. most of the Anglican Communion. Once that happened the conservatives in the Communion retreated back into their Anglo-Catholic shell, drawing closer to Rome in belief and practice. Some of them split away from the Communion forming what they call the "Anglican Continuum" which is a network of conservative Anglican churches that are essentially Catholic in every way minus the pope. They've been petitioning Rome for entry into the Catholic Church as a group for the last few years now. Their bishops have all signed an endorsement of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Several other conservative groups exist as well, and each one is catholic to different degrees.

Rome's biggest problem with Anglicanism in general has always been a lack of validity to their Holy Orders. The line of apostolic secession was completely broken by the early 1600s. Furthermore, new problems recently developed in the general Anglican Communion due to the influence of Modernism that has created the ordination of women priests and bishops, along with openly homosexual priests and bishops. This has hindered ecumenical talks between Rome and the Communion. Rome threw down the glove last spring, saying if the Anglican Communion, during their summer Lambeth conference, didn't take a stand against female bishops and homosexual bishops, at least protecting those in the Communion who conscientiously object, ecumenical relations would be changed forever. Not only did the Lambeth conference fail to do this, but the Church of England responded by permitting the ordination of female bishops in their own Church, and refused to offer protective measures for those Anglo-Catholics who objected. It was a disaster but totally expected.

Rome kept it's promise. Ecumenical relations have forever been changed as of today (10/20/2009). Rome has effectively slapped Canterbury, by saying "if you won't shelter these Anglo-Catholics from your Modernist nonsense, then we will." Now Liberals all over the world are pissed off. They know what the pope has done has just nailed the coffin shut on their Modernist designs for the Anglican Communion. The conservative Anglo-Catholics will leave right away, and many others will follow. In time most Anglicans will agree that Rome does a far better job protecting English Catholicism than Canterbury does, and so they too will convert. Like everyone else however, they must accept all the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Was The Novus Ordo Mass Built On Deception?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It is alleged that Monsignor Annibale Bugnini was either a Freemason, or else a cooperative with European Freemasonry. The following is the conversation that took place between Pope Paul VI and Fr. Bouyer in 1974...
Father Louis Bouyer: I wrote to the Holy Father, Pope Paul VI, to tender my resignation as member of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform. The Holy Father sent for me at once and the following conversation ensued:
Paul VI: Father, you are an unquestionable and unquestioned authority by your deep knowledge of the Church’s liturgy and Tradition, and a specialist in this field. I do not understand why you have sent me your resignation, whilst your presence, is more than precious, it is indispensable!

Father Bouyer: Most Holy Father, if I am a specialist in this field, I tell you very simply that I resign because I do not agree with the reforms you are imposing! Why do you take no notice of the remarks we send you, and why do you do the opposite?

Paul VI: But I don’t understand: I’m not imposing anything. I have never imposed anything in this field. I have complete trust in your competence and your propositions. It is you who are sending me proposals. When Fr. Bugnini comes to see me, he says: “Here is what the experts are asking for.” And as you are an expert in this matter, I accept your judgement.

Father Bouyer: And meanwhile, when we have studied a question, and have chosen what we can propose to you, in conscience, Father Bugnini took our text, and, then said to us that, having consulted you: “The Holy Father wants you to introduce these changes into the liturgy.” And since I don’t agree with your propositions, because they break with the Tradition of the Church, then I tender my resignation.

Paul VI: But not at all, Father, believe me, Father Bugnini tells me exactly the contrary: I have never refused a single one of your proposals. Father Bugnini came to find me and said: “The experts of the Commission charged with the Liturgical Reform asked for this and that”. And since I am not a liturgical specialist, I tell you again, I have always accepted your judgement. I never said that to Monsignor Bugnini. I was deceived. Father Bugnini deceived me and deceived you.
Father Bouyer: That is, my dear friends, how the liturgical reform was done!


Pope Gives More Vatican Control To Archbishop Burke

Archbishop Burke Celebrates
The Traditional Latin Mass
At Saint Peter's In Rome
(NC Register) - Pope Benedict XVI Oct. 17 appointed Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, and Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, members of the Congregation for Bishops.

The appointments are significant: Both will now be able to share their views and, to some extent, exert their influence on future appointments of bishops...

read full story here
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Archbishop Burke is well known in the United States as the former Archbishop of Saint Louis where he demonstrated himself to be solidly orthodox and very friendly to traditionalism. He has personally celebrated the Traditional Latin Mass (Full Roman Rite) many times, most recently at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Weakness of Democracy

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: "It is the natural progression of all representative government to inch toward socialism and tyranny." Yes, you can quote me on that. Indeed there are short periods of time when things move too fast, and the people temporarily return to their traditional sensibilities, but this is only a setback. It doesn't last. In time the steady march toward socialism and tyranny will continue. This is the lesson of the last 100 years.
(Screwtape Proposes a Toast, 1959) - Hidden in the heart of this striving for Liberty there was also a deep hatred of personal freedom. That invaluable man Rousseau first revealed it. In his perfect democracy, you remember, only the state religion is permitted, slavery is restored, and the individual is told that he has really willed (though he didn’t know it) whatever the Government tells him to do. From that starting point, via Hegel (another indispensable propagandist on our side) we easily contrived both the Nazi and the Communist state….

Democracy is the word with which you must lead them by the nose…. [T]hey should never be allowed to give this word a clear and definable meaning. They won’t. It will never occur to them that democracy is properly the name of a political system, even a system of voting, and that this has only the most remote and tenuous connection with what you are trying to sell them. Nor of course must they ever be allowed to raise Aristotle’s question: whether “democratic behaviour” means the behaviour that democracies like or the behaviour that will preserve a democracy. For if they did, it could hardly fail to occur to them that these need not be the same.

You are to use the word purely as an incantation; if you like, purely for its selling power. It is a name they venerate. And of course it is connected with the political ideal that men should be equally treated. You then make a stealthy transition in their minds from this political ideal to a factual belief that all men are equal…. As a result you can use the word democracy to sanction in his thought the most degrading (and also the least enjoyable) of human feelings. You can get him to practise, not only without shame but with a positive glow of self-approval, conduct which, if undefended by the magic word, would be universally derided.

The feeling I mean is of course that which prompts a man to say I’m as good as you….

No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He would not say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plain. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

And therefore resents. Yes, and therefore resents every kind of superiority in others; denigrates it; wishes its annihilation. Presently he suspects every mere difference of being a claim to superiority…. “They’ve no business to be different. It’s undemocratic.”

Now, this useful phenomenon is in itself by no means new. Under the name of Envy it has been known to humans for thousands of years. But hitherto they always regarded it as the most odious, and also the most comical, of vices. Those who were aware of feeling it felt it with shame; those who were not gave it no quarter in others. The delightful novelty of the present situation is that you can sanction it — make it respectable and even laudable — by the incantatory use of the word democratic.

Under the influence of this incantation those who are in any or every way inferior can labour more wholeheartedly and successfully than ever before to pull down everyone else to their own level. But that is not all. Under the same influence, those who come, or could come, nearer to a full humanity, actually draw back from fear of being undemocratic…. They might (horror of horrors!) become individuals….

Meanwhile, as a delightful by-product, the few (fewer every day) who will not be made Normal or Regular and Like Folks and Integrated increasingly become in reality the prigs and cranks which the rabble would in any case have believed them to be. For suspicion often creates what it expects…. As a result we now have an intelligentsia which, though very small, is very useful to the cause of Hell.

But that is a mere by-product. What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual. And is it not pretty to notice how “democracy” (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods?…

Once you have grasped the tendency, you can easily predict its future developments; especially as we ourselves will play our part in the developing. The basic principle of the new education is to be that dunces and idlers must not be made to feel inferior to intelligent and industrious pupils. That would be “undemocratic.” These differences between pupils – for they are obviously and nakedly individual differences – must be disguised. This can be done at various levels. At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power (or wish) to profit by higher education or not. At schools, the children who are too stupid or lazy to learn languages and mathematics and elementary science can be set to doing things that children used to do in their spare time…. Whatever nonsense they are engaged in must have – I believe the English already use the phrase – “parity of esteem”…. Children who are fit to proceed to a higher class may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma…by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career….

In a word, we may reasonably hope for the virtual abolition of education when I’m as good as you has fully had its way. All incentives to learn and all penalties for not learning will be prevented; who are they to overtop their fellows? And anyway the teachers – or should I say, nurses? – will be far too busy reassuring the dunces and patting them on the back to waste any time on real teaching. We shall no longer have to plan and toil to spread imperturbable conceit and incurable ignorance among men. The little vermin themselves will do it for us.

Of course, this would not follow unless all education became state education. But it will. That is part of the same movement. Penal taxes, designed for that purpose, are liquidating the Middle Class, the class who were prepared to save and spend and make sacrifices in order to have their children privately educated. The removal of this class, besides linking up with the abolition of education, is, fortunately, an inevitable effect of the spirit that says I’m as good as you. This was, after all, the social group which gave to the humans the overwhelming majority of their scientists, physicians, philosophers, theologians, poets, artists, composers, architects, jurists, and administrators. If ever there were a bunch of stalks that needed their tops knocked off, it was surely they. As an English politician remarked not long ago, “A democracy does not want great men.”

We, in Hell, would welcome the disappearance of democracy in the strict sense of that word, the political arrangement so called. Like all forms of government, it often works to our advantage, but on the whole less often than other forms. And what we must realize is that “democracy” in the diabolical sense (I’m as good as you, Being Like Folks, Togetherness) is the fittest instrument we could possibly have for extirpating political democracies from the face of the earth.

For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first sign of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be. For when such a nation meets in conflict a nation where children have been made to work at school, where talent is placed in high posts, and where the ignorant mass are allowed no say at all in public affairs, only one result is possible….

It is our function to encourage the behaviour, the manners, the whole attitude of mind, which democracies naturally like and enjoy, because these are the very things which, if unchecked, will destroy democracy. You would almost wonder that even humans don’t see it themselves. Even if they don’t read Aristotle (that would be undemocratic) you would have thought the French Revolution would have taught them that the behaviour aristocrats naturally like is not the behaviour that preserves aristocracy. They might then have applied the same principle to all forms of government….

The overthrow of free peoples and the multiplication of slave states are for us a means (besides, of course, being fun); but the real end is the destruction of individuals. For only individuals can be saved or damned, can become sons of the Enemy or food for us. The ultimate value, for us, of any revolution, war, or famine lies in the individual anguish, treachery, hatred, rage, and despair which it may produce. I’m as good as you is a useful means for the destruction of democratic societies. But it has a far deeper value as an end in itself, as a state of mind which, necessarily excluding humility, charity, contentment, and all the pleasures of gratitude or admiration, turns a human being away from almost every road which might finally lead him to Heaven.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stop The North American Union - Rejoin The Commonwealth

Areas shaded blue are Commonwealth Nations

IT IS TIME FOR THE UNITED STATES to join the Commonwealth. Membership in the Commonwealth would facilitate the kind of globalization that is in the American national interest, and it would serve as a hedge against the emergence of a less benign international order based on civilizational power politics. In return, United States membership would offer the Commonwealth a much-needed shot in the arm in terms of resources and ideas that could transform it from a persistent underachiever into a leading model of transcivilizational co-operation.

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: This is the one and only alternative to the creation of the North American Union, or at the very least, it would serve as a backup method of globalization using natural organic bonds once the Masonic trading blocks of the NAU and EU fail. They will most certainly fail you see, in the most violent ways, once Islam is firmly rooted in Europe and American nationalism becomes mainstream. To learn more about the English Commonwealth click here.

Real Crusades Still Happen

Remembering the Spanish Crusade 1936-1939...

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: When the infidels (Communists, Islamists, etc.) resort to violence to attack and destroy the Church, there is no immorality in resorting to lawful violence to defend her.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church...
2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

- there must be serious prospects of success;

- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine.

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

Catholic Social Justice Verses Socialism

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Fast forward the above YouTube clip to 2:30 minutes and watch it until you get to about 3:50 minutes. There is a section in here that's of particular interest to us. Here Michael Moore trounces Sean Hannity on the issue of socialism v. capitalism. To set the stage, both men are "Roman Catholics" - believe it or not. They both attend mass regularly, and they both claim to subscribe to the teachings of the Church. Now we could debate their fidelity to Church teaching from now until kingdom come, but that doesn't serve our purpose here. What does serve our purpose is the observation that neither men have any clue what the Scriptures teach about economics and property rights. Both men appear to possess a small piece of the picture, and admittedly, Michael Moore is far more skilled at defending his. Now I've watched, and listen to, both men for a while. I'm not too particularly impressed with either one. Hannity, though having gone through divinity school, has always been a huge disappointment. I think he lost a lot of credibility in my book a few years back when the 'Passion of the Christ' movie came out, and the man could not adequately explain on air the reason and message behind the atoning suffering and death of Jesus Christ, and this from a man who attended divinity school! So I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that he was completely unable to defend a simple Church teaching about economics and property rights. Michael Moore has been at least as disappointing as Sean Hannity, if not more so. Like many who subscribe to the heretical view of "Liberation Theology" (Christian Socialism), Moore is adept at pointing out sections of Scriptures that exhort compassion toward the poor. However, he conveniently leaves out some very important details.

Now 'The Catholic Knight' is not a theology major. I never went to divinity school or seminary. That however, does not make me incompetent as a Christian. I can make some simple observations of Scripture and Church teaching, as can anyone with at least half a brain, and point them out in a public setting like this blog.

Michael Moore, like many "Christian" socialists, is very adept at pointing out passages of Scripture that exhort compassion for the poor, and judgement for the rich who fail to help them. This is all well and good. What he fails to point out is context. For the sake of brevity I will not bother to indulge in these multiple passages, since I'm sure our Christian socialist friends can point them out ad nauseum. Instead I'll focus on two passages which give us a universal context in which to place all Scripture references on the subject. They both come from the Book of Acts...
Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. - Acts 2:43-45 NIV
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. - Acts 5:1-6 NIV
They slaying of Ananias and Sapphira is a miracle of terror which should strike fear and trembling into the heart of every Christian believer. The point of the story has more to do with authority than anything else. You see Ananias and Sapphira were lying to the apostles, and in doing so they were lying to the Church, and ultimately to God. The point of the story is the Church occupies God's position of authority on earth. Lying to the Church is no different than lying to God himself. Ananias and Sapphira have been enshrined in Scripture as perpetual examples of what not to do. Don't lie to the Church!

Now having dealt with the reason why these two were slain, let's deal with the context. The first passage from Acts 2 deals with the habits of the very first Christians. They were very communal, in the sense that they shared everything. It was the love of Christ that compelled them to do this, and it was their right to do so if they so desired. However, by the time we get to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, we discover something else about the early Church. After having lied about donating all of their possessions, St. Peter confronts Ananias about this, pointing out to him that it was certainly within his right as a Christian to retain his property and give only as he saw fit. Regarding Ananias' property, Peter asked: "Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?" In other words, you had the right to do with it as you pleased. Nobody was forcing you to give it all to the Church. So why didn't you just give what you saw fit? Why did you LIE and tell us you are giving the full amount? In this Peter is pointing out a fundamental human right that is acknowledged by the Church. It is the right to own property, buy and sell it, make a reasonable profit, and do with it as you please. The context of Christian communal living is the right to not participate, which is what makes the communal living of the first Christians so remarkable. They didn't have to do it. There was no sin in retaining their property and just giving a small donation to the Church. In spite of this however, the first Christians chose to give up everything! And that is what makes them so remarkable. If we fail to acknowledge their Christian right to keep their property for themselves, we diminish their sacrifice, and we damage their testimony.

From this early communal living arose the Christian concept of monasticism. Throughout the ages, Christians have voluntarily engaged in this lifestyle. It was (and still is) their choice, and if we say it was (or is) anything other than a choice, a Christian "duty" for example, we lessen their sacrifice. Herein we have the quintessential difference between Social Justice and Socialism.

In contrast, Socialism is a form of Marxism, and it arises from the misguided utopian notion that if everybody were forced by the government to sacrifice most of what they have, or all of what they have, society would be more "fair" and "just." Typically the needs of the poor are promoted as the reason for socialism. In other words, instead of voluntarily sacrificing your own property for the sake of the poor out of a sense of compassion and selfless charity, you should be FORCED by the government to surrender it against your will.

Marxism, in all it's forms (including communism, socialism, fascism and liberalism) has been condemned by the Catholic Church. This is especially true for so-called "Liberation Theology" or Christian Socialism. The problem with these ideologies is their reliance on government force to accomplish a job that is reserved for the Holy Spirit alone. Christians are supposed to be convicted by the Holy Spirit of God to feel compassion for their fellow man, and thus be compelled to sacrifice their own property (as they see fit) to assist those in need. There is absolutely nothing in Biblical Scripture, nor in the teachings of the Catholic Church (thus nothing in the teachings of Jesus Christ), which suggests that people (Christian or otherwise) should be FORCED by the government, against their will, to give part (or all) of their property to assist their fellow man. To force this action is to deprive the Holy Spirit of his job, and effectively put government in the place of God.  It also deprives Christians of their role in the world, effectively minimizing the ministry of the Church to a mere academic role.

Now having said all that, the Church does not subscribe to a laissez-faire approach to capitalism either. The problem with this again goes back to property rights. Pure and unregulated capitalism can become just as oppressive as socialism because once again, through unbridled market forces, it can deny people of basic property rights. A perfect example of this is the minimum wage. When employers refuse to pay their employees at least a basic standard, they can effectively conspire together to keep wages low, as they have in the past, resulting in a lower social-economic class of citizens who are economically enslaved by their employers. Another example is free-market trading practices, which effectively allow the rich and powerful to trade property (flash trading) at speeds beyond the reach of middle class citizens. Monopolies are another example, wherein competent middle class citizens are denied the right to commercial property due to market practices that unfairly undercut their competition for the purpose of driving all competitors out of business and maintaining the monopoly. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. The Church would not even bother to address such things, if it didn't believe that free-enterprise property rights are the basis of economic social justice.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church...
2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.
So the moral of the story is that Michael Moore and Sean Hannity are both wrong. Each of these so-called "Catholics" subscribes to an ideology the Catholic Church opposes. Moore is a socialist, and the Church has condemned this philosophy by name, and historically has even gone so far as to excommunicate those who espouse this ideology as "Christian." (Better be careful Michael!) On the other hand Sean Hannity also subscribes to an ideology of "libertarian capitalism," a type of laissez-faire that goes far beyond what the Church approves. Both ideologies oppress the poor when taken to their logical conclusion, and both ideologies have historical examples where this is exactly the case. Both men are ideologues, and neither one of them makes a case for authentic Catholic Social Justice. Moore abuses Church teaching, and Hannity has no idea how to defend it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Roman Rite and It's Abbreviation


"I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy."
- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
now Pope Benedict XVI
(Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977)

"I am of the opinon ... that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It's impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent."
- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
now Pope Benedict XVI
(Salt of the Earth, 1997)

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The time has come for traditional Catholics to take control of the conversation. We do this by the words we use. We traditional Catholics (myself included) have for years boxed ourselves in with a vocabulary that in effect labels us, and the mass we so dearly love. The particular words I'm talking about are "Tridentine" and "Novus Ordo." Now don't get me wrong. The word "Tridentine" is a very descriptive word and very accurate. It alludes to the mass that emerged from the Council of Trent and was promulgated by Saint Pius V in 1570. The Latin phrase "Novus Ordo" is also very descriptive, in the sense that it describes the "New Order" we typically see used in the Church after the promulgation of the Missal of Pope Paul VI in 1969. However, when we use these words, in some ways we decrease perception of what this mass really is. We lessen it, in a way. We also label ourselves, as "Tridentine Catholics," as if that somehow makes us some kind of "ethnic minority" - an obscure group which the Catholic Church is merely trying to accommodate.

Now with all due respect to the Holy Father, the terms he used in Summorum Pontificum to describe the difference between the two forms of the mass ("ordinary" and "extraordinary") also have their problems. The term "ordinary," in reference to the Missal of Pope Paul VI, gives one the impression that this is the original everyday version of the mass. Though that certainly was not the Holy Father's intention, it is the common perception, and it's a perception that is entirely inaccurate. I happen to attend a cathedral parish where the Missal of Saint Pius V is used almost as often as the Missal of Pope Paul VI. So in my parish anyway, the so-called "extraordinary" mass is almost as ordinary as the so-called "ordinary" mass.

Another problem arises with the term "extraordinary" in reference to the Missal of Saint Pius V. In the mind of the average Catholic, something that is "extraordinary" ought to be reserved for extraordinary times and circumstances. For example; a fellow traditional parishioner was telling me about an experience he recently had with another parishioner who occasionally attended the Pius V mass, but more frequently attended the Paul VI mass. When asked why, she responded that she thought the "extraordinary" mass was great, but it ought to be reserved for extraordinary occasions, such as first communions, confirmations, etc. and we really had no need to celebrate it on an "ordinary" everyday basis. Sadly, I think her mistaken point of view is widely held by many within the Church.

So if the terms "Tridentine" and "Novus Ordo" somehow mislabel the mass, and us, in a negative way and the terms "ordinary" and "extraordinary" somehow lead many people to the wrong conclusion about the nature of the two forms, then we've got to use terms that are more descriptive, accurate and avoid complications.

Recently I had a conversation with a priest who was considering the possibility of learning the Missal of Saint Pius V. He had been celebrating the Missal of Pope Paul VI all of his career, but felt as if he was missing out on something. I explained to him my perception of the post-conciliar situation. I told him that the Missal of Saint Pius V is essentially the "Roman Rite." That IS the mass - period. What they did with the Missal of Pope Paul VI is strip down the Roman Rite, abbreviate it, and then redress it in a way that included more Scripture readings, some alternative prayers, a couple extra responses, with the intent of using SOME vernacular. In other words, the Missal of Pius V (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form) is the Roman Rite. That's it. There is no other Roman Rite other than the Missal of Saint Pius V. Now as for the Missal of Pope Paul VI, that was in effect intended to be an additional revised liturgy, something used on the side, drawing from the depth of Catholic tradition anchored in the Roman Rite (Tridentine, or Missal of Saint Pius V), but free to move on it's own as needed to accommodate the general population and their needs. So the "ordinary form" of the mass (Novus Ordo or Missal of Pope Paul VI) is essentially an abbreviation of the Roman Rite. (see comparison of the two liturgies here)

In my conversation with him, I likened the whole thing to the way the moon orbits around the earth. We know that both the moon and the earth are made of the same elementary stuff. Scientists also tell us the earth was made first, but primordial meteor impacts caused the earth to eject large quantities of matter into space, creating another celestial body that would forever remain in orbit around it. That other celestial object is the moon. So long as the moon remains anchored to the earth's gravitational well, it will always orbit the planet in harmony. The earth benefits from this harmony by the moon's influence on tides, and it's reflection of solar light in the night sky. However, without the earth, the moon is a derelict celestial body, having no direction or purpose, falling through space and tossed about by the gravitational pull of anything it comes in near proximity to.

With this analogy I gave a space-age observation to the liturgical situation in the Catholic Church today. The earth represents the Missal of Saint Pius V, while the moon represents the Missal of Pope Paul VI. I made the case that in order for a priest to truly say the Novus Ordo "ordinary" form of the mass correctly, the way Vatican II and Pope Paul VI intended, he must be rooted in the Tridentine "extraordinary" form of the mass. He must not only be familiar with it, but celebrate it, at least privately, and on a regular basis. Only by doing this will he get a true sense of instinct for the rubrics of the mass, and how they ought to be applied to the Missal of Pope Paul VI. Why? Because the Missal of Saint Pius V (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form) effectively IS the Roman Rite of the Church, anything else is just an abbreviation of that rite.

So this is the new paradigm we must create and enforce among our own ranks. The Missal of Saint Pius V, effectively IS the "Roman Rite," and so that is exactly what it should be called. We shouldn't call it the "Tridentine Mass" because that labels it and us. We shouldn't call it the "Extraordinary Form of the Mass" because that has unfortunately caused some unintended confusion. We should call it exactly what it is - The Roman Rite. Meanwhile the Missal of Pope Paul VI, which is what we typically see used in most Catholic Churches today, is effectively an "Abbreviated Form" of the mass. This "Abbreviation of the Roman Rite" MUST be well grounded in the Roman Rite (Tridentine or Extraordinary Form) itself. So from now on 'The Catholic Knight' will attempt to refer to the Missal of Saint Pius V simply as "The Roman Rite" because that is exactly what it is. The Missal of Pope Paul VI is like the moon, orbiting the earth. It is an "Abbreviated Form of the Roman Rite" essentially made from the exact same stuff, but fully anchored by the gravitational well of the Roman Rite. The Roman Rite itself can benefit from this, much in the same way the earth benefits from the influence of the moon, but only when this Abbreviation Mass remains in it's proper orbit.

The reason why so many liturgical innovations and abuses occur these days is simply because the overwhelming vast majority of the clergy don't even know the Roman Rite. They've never been schooled in it! How is it that a Catholic priest cannot even know his own Rite? Yet nevertheless, that is the situation that currently exists in the Latin Church today. Most priests are well schooled in the Abbreviation of the Roman Rite, but they know very little (to nothing) of the Roman Rite itself. It's like the moon having broke free from the Earth's gravitational pull and falling through space aimlessly, occasionally being pulled (influenced) by whatever foreign celestial body it gets in close proximity to. Essentially, the chaos we currently experience in the Abbreviated Mass is the result of the priest, and liturgy coordinators, not being anchored in the gravitational pull of the Roman Rite.

The solution to this problem is simple. Every single priest must be schooled in the Roman Rite Mass - period. They must not only be familiar with it, but they must regularly celebrate it, at least privately, even if it's in solitude. Then, and only then, will they understand the nature of the Abbreviated Mass, and how to celebrate it properly, avoiding all the innovations and abuses that are typically associated with it in this day and age.

Now I understand there will be some priests, particularly some of those ordained in the 1960s through 1970s, who won't care. Even if they did learn the Roman Rite, their inclination is to abuse the liturgy no matter what. There really is nothing that can be done with priests like that, other than disciplinary measures, and that is something that must be worked out with the local bishop. However, I am certain that for a growing number of younger priests, under age 50, learning the actual Roman Rite, will solve the problem. It's a solution that doesn't involve having to make any liturgical changes, either by Rome or the diocesan bishop. All it takes is encouragement of your local priest to learn the full Roman Rite (Missal of Saint Pius V).

So 'The Catholic Knight' would like to encourage all my readers to start referring to the Missal of Saint Pius V as the "Roman Rite" and the Missal of Pope Paul VI as the "Abbreviated Form of the Roman Rite" or just "Abbreviated Liturgy" or "Abbreviated Mass." Then encourage our priests to learn the full Roman Rite, even if it is just to help gain a better understanding of the Abbreviated Liturgy. Many of our priests may have to be reminded of their clerical rights under Summorum Pontificum. All priests everywhere, are entitled to learn the full Roman Rite (Missal of Saint Pius V) on their own with instructional videos, or through workshops, and they may celebrate it at any time privately, even in solitude, without permission of the bishop or their superiors.