Monthly Archives: Rujan 2020

Collaboration of Stephen Heiner and Fr. Anthony Cekada

By Stephen Heiner

When I first called St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church in 2006, I could not possibly have imagined the beginning of a relationship that would not only deeply impact my life, but the lives of many others.  I had just interviewed Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, an SSPX bishop; in this interview the bishop had referred to Benedict XVI as a heretic multiple times and in fact had taken control of the interview even as I had tried to end it by giving numerous references to the “heresies” of Benedict XVI.  I called a close friend that same day, expressing my shock, and went on to call Fr. Anthony Cekada.  While I had been attending the Masses of the Society of St Pius X for nearly a decade at that point, everyone knew Fr. Cekada to be an authority on sedevacantism.  I wanted to hear how sedevacantists would treat the question of papal heresy, as no one in the SSPX in the modern era had ever publicly referred to the man they call the Pope as a heretic.  Fr. Cekada was friendly from our very first conversation.  I told him that I wasn’t a sedevacantist, but in the interests of understanding the Bishop’s comments, I wanted his take and was willing to publish it on what at that point was simply the fairly new True Restoration blog.  Father obliged by producing a short piece calling attention to some problems in Bp. Tissier’s position.  That would be the first of many times that Father would say “yes” when I asked for his help.

Interviewing Bishop Tissier intellectually opened the door to sedevacantism for me.  If an SSPX bishop told me to my face over and over that Benedict XVI was a heretic, what did that mean?  Fr. Cekada was there for me by email and telephone for about a year and a half as I puzzled through it.  I perhaps knew the truth of things instinctively when I first heard Bp. Tissier’s accusations, but sedevacantism in the SSPX is painted as “extreme” and when you’re in that environment you’re often less interested in understanding an extreme position than in keeping the status quo.  But Fr. Cekada wasn’t extreme.  That summer I made sure to visit him in person and see St. Gertrude’s.  I met Bishop Dolan.  I met parishioners.  They were regular Catholics, but far more up to speed on the matters of Vatican II and the question of the pope than I was.  A group of us who had recently started Catholic blogs were in contact and we started taking a look at the Vatican II documents, trying to reconcile them with Catholicism.  None of them were particularly enthusiastic about my new interest in the articles at TraditionalMass.org.  But I didn’t care.  I was “catching up” on years of information, as quickly as I could get through the articles.  Some key milestones included:

  • The Letter of the Nine (to this day I consider this the document that exposes the inherent flaws in the SSPX position: it has never been answered). I was four years old when this document was authored by the then-Fr. Clarence Kelly.
  • Father’s “Frankenchurch” articles.  Part of why the anything-but-sedevacantism folks at the Remnant were willing to work with Fr. Cekada were the same reasons I felt comfortable with him the very first time I spoke with him: he was genial and funny and genuinely interested in intellectual debate.
  • The Letter of Fr. Robert Neville to Bishop Fellay.  This letter, mostly authored by Bishop Donald Sanborn, was an updated take on the Letter of the Nine, after almost 15 years had passed.

Father also mailed me free copies of Traditionalists, Infallibility, and the Pope, as well as Welcome to the Traditional Latin Mass, informative little pamphlets that were perfect for those who, like me, didn’t really have a clue about the sedevacantist position (You can still request these by writing to St. Gertrude’s).

By early 2008, if not sooner, I was morally certain that sedevacantism was the only coherent way a Catholic could understand the catastrophe that was Vatican II and all the disasters that followed: the New Mass, the New Code, and the New Sacraments.

But there was still more to learn.  I continued to attend SSPX Masses and started to become “disruptive” at coffee and donuts with my questions about Vatican II.  I didn’t want to blow a trumpet that I was a sedevacantist, in part because that would make me persona non grata with the Recognize-and-Resist crowd and I still very much believed in trying to take them on this journey with me.  I then started to look at the Una Cum question.

Father’s article, Grain of Incense, laid out a convincing case.  But my emotions stayed my hand.  Surely, I wasn’t going to go without Mass every Sunday?  The closest regular sedevacantist Mass was a three-hour one-way drive away.  I told Father Cekada I was struggling with this issue.  He told me to keep researching and praying about it, and that he would keep me in his prayers.  I remember telling him years later that I marveled at his patience with what must have seemed like great obtuseness on my part.  He would respond at that time, “These things take time.”

Part of me was saying, “Well, Father can’t be right, because that means I can’t go to Mass conveniently anymore.”  Father framed this as “geography determining theology.”  He was right.  As I called sedevacantist laymen around the world to get their takes, they could only offer me a rather relaxed view on attending una cum Masses; none could offer backing for their positions from Church teaching and precedent.  Even a sedevacantist bishop told me it was “understandable” that I was attending an SSPX Mass.  In the end, after a year of wrestling with the topic, I stopped attending SSPX Masses, much to the chagrin and disgust of my family, who I had led to the SSPX when I was 17.

While I was coming to the sedevacantist position and the non-una cum position, I had also been publishing the books of Bishop Richard Williamson, who had been a great influence on me because of his takes on cultural issues.  He attacked the money men, modern clothing, and the modern way of life.  At the time I really had no idea about all the ways that he and Fr. Cekada had interacted over the years, and Fr. Cekada would clue me in on some of those interactions when I called to let him know about some of the things that the Bishop had shared on a recent interview that surprised me.

Bishop Williamson knew that I was a sedevacantist almost as soon as I did, but he didn’t see that as an obstacle to working together.  But I was puzzled by his “Ratzinger doesn’t know what he’s doing” defense which he tried to use on me whenever we would (rarely) discuss the Pope issue.  I relayed his objections to Fr. Cekada who told me that this was not a new position of the Bishop and that Fr. Cekada had coined it “mentevacantism” years ago.  I asked Father if he might not write a piece refuting the Bishop’s position to help other young men like myself who admired Bishop Williamson and were wondering about these ideas.

A few weeks later, Father obliged by producing Bishop Williamson’s Mentevacantist Error.  I remember explicitly telling the Bishop that if he could refute Father’s piece, I’d give it a fair read.  Some months later, Bishop Williamson told me, “I’ve tried several times to answer it, but I’ve simply given up.”  When I shared this with Fr. Cekada he didn’t use this as an opportunity to tell me to stop working with Bishop Williamson (I later would, for other reasons), but only to draw the line that on these theological issues, he wasn’t just a little wrong, but grossly off the mark.

I also asked Father to address the “theft” question that was constantly circulated in SSPX circles.  It started to be repeated to me constantly once it was clear that True Restoration had “gone sedevacantist” that I was working with priests who had “stolen” chapels.  I asked Father about it and he told me this was an old accusation and that he had all the legal paperwork in a box somewhere and he meant to do a write-up about it sometime in the future.  “Could you do one now?” I gently asked.  In what had already started to become routine in our working relationship, within weeks Father produced the goods.  This time it was We Resist You to Your Face, which was an answer to the spurious allegations of “theft” leveled by the SSPX for years.  Once again Father produced a piece that was never answered, and one more brick in our coherent intellectual superstructure was added.

I didn’t fully realize it in those early days as I understand now what great working partners Father and I were.  We shared a choleric temperament and were good at setting deadlines and accomplishing tasks together.  He found in me a willing promoter of his positions (because I found them convincing) and I found in him someone who constantly taught me to “look it up” instead of just taking his word for it.

But after I had come to a correct understanding regarding the una cum question, and I had started to document my curiosity by articles and interviews with clergy, Fr. Cekada suggested that I meet Bishop Donald Sanborn in Florida.  Fr. Cekada would go once a month to teach classes and I arranged to be at the seminary during a week he was there as well.  I met Bishop Sanborn and did my first interview with him.  As with Fr. Cekada, I had no idea of the collaborations that lay ahead.  I had come to know Bishop Sanborn through some of his articles from years ago.  Key reads included:

During this same period, Fr. Cekada penned the Motu Mass Trap.  Father was always on the cutting edge of developments from the Vatican II sect and this time was no different.  As an interesting aside, one takes for granted all the terms that Fr. Cekada invented.  Apart from coining the “Motu Mass” he also gave a name to the strange pharisees known as “Home Aloners” and stuck “Recognize and Resist” so firmly as a label to its adherents that they wear it as a badge of honor, not realizing what an ecclesiological contradiction such a position is.

Father also laid out the reasons why many sedevacantists do not observe the Pius XII liturgical changes.  Father’s case, as always, was a coherent part of a larger understanding of what had been happening to the liturgy even before Vatican II, something that was collecting as material for his biggest project yet.  Key reads include:

I’m reminded of a comment Bishop Sanborn once made when I was asking about who would work on different projects with me and he said, “Think of us like a department store.  Father Cekada is in the canon law and liturgy department, Bishop Dolan handles pastoral issues, devotions, and saints, and I’m in charge of condemnations.”  A secret weapon of Father’s was his jovial nature.  That made him easy to work with and was why he collaborated so long and so fruitfully with these clergy.  Those clerical relationships are the main reason that we have a healthy and functioning seminary at Most Holy Trinity (a seminary which Fr. Cekada encouraged Bp. Sanborn to found).

You might laugh to hear me say yet again, “while this was going on,” but it was true.  While these articles were being published Father continued to work on a project I and a few others were privy to: a book on the New Mass.  He called it “Work of Human Hands” but told me to keep the title under wraps for the moment.  Father had been gathering information about the changes in the liturgy since the 1970s, and some of that had been compiled into a jewel of a booklet, Problems With the Prayers of the Modern Mass.  Our small team edited and proofread the manuscript over and over and over. True Restoration bought the (surprisingly expensive given how ugly the vestments are) stock photo that adorns the cover of the book as a contribution to Father’s efforts.  When the book was finally published the four dozen autographed copies we bought for the TR bookstore sold out thirty minutes after they were put on sale!

In Bishop Dolan’s moving eulogy of Fr. Cekada, he referred to Work of Human Hands as Father’s greatest legacy, and I agree (for more context, read just a few of the reviews of the book on Amazon).  Yet, knowing how much work it had taken Father to put together that book, within months of its publication I asked him to consider a four-volume work I was proposing, which was the compiling of all the articles on TraditionalMass.org into a topically arranged series of books.  He agreed and we spent some time together dividing the texts and before too long we shot a video to promote the book via crowdfunding.  This was something else that I really appreciated about Father.  He was always willing to try new technology and this paid off handsomely, as the Anti-Modernist Reader Volume I appeared in 2014.  When I visited Father in Summer 2019 we made some final additions to what will be the forthcoming Volume II.

Yet, Father still continued to work.  For those unfamiliar with St. Gertrude’s, it has so many moving parts.  I’ve spent more than two months there in all the years I’ve worked with Father and Bishop Dolan and Father continued to play the organ (you can watch him observing/assisting one of his young charges with a fugue after Mass), compose music, keep the accounting, handle maintenance issues, encourage and foster the YAG, create TradCircle, and oh, yes, still attend to all the duties of priesthood: saying Mass, hearing confessions, and making sick calls.  While other clergy occasionally turned me down when I asked for help with a project, Fr. Cekada never said no to me.  We just kept working on project after project together.

One of those projects included HD videos of Father answering some of the classic objections to our positions.  One of these first videos was inspired by an article Father wrote in the 1990s, entitled: Sedevacantism: How To Tell Aunt Helen.  It’s a classic Fr. Cekada title with an intriguing introduction:

Early in 1995 I carried on a cordial correspondence over the issue of sedevacantism with a Catholic priest who operates an independent traditional chapel. In one letter he allowed that while many of the sedevacantist arguments seemed reasonable, the “pastoral” side of the issue bothered him. He worried that such a position would shock parishioners, both current and potential, and possibly drive them into the arms of compromise groups such as the Fraternity of St. Peter. How would simpler people react, he wondered. And what would my Aunt Helen think? Herewith my reply.

I couldn’t resist a video revisiting these issues, and at the time of this article, more than 44,000 people have viewed Fr. Cekada’s How to Tell Aunt Helen video on YouTube.  Father and I shot a number of videos over a few days each time I visited. Many of those videos are available on YouTube, including:

I also convinced Father that there were some who might be persuaded to read some of his more serious articles by way of a video introduction, which we did for these articles:

We also shot a video on the Legal Status of the Traditional Latin Mass (refuting the thesis that Paul VI had not promulgated the New Mass correctly so it “didn’t count”) as well as an HD video of Father celebrating Low Mass.

Father, ever the autodidact, decided to create “Cekadawood Studios” to create his own video work.  He made, among other videos:

  • A beautiful chapter-by-chapter overview of Work of Human Hands
  • Hilarious takedowns of the incompetent True or False Pope book, by self-appointed lay theologians with zero theological training, which he recorded while undergoing chemotherapy!  If you appreciate music Father has quite a few inside jokes in these videos.

As if all this wasn’t enough, Father also found time to create a website, Quidlibet, for dealing with shorter topics.

In 2012, together with a few others, I founded Restoration Radio as a complement to the work True Restoration was doing in video and publishing.  Once again, Father said, “Yes” when I asked him to work with me.  Some of the radio work he did included:

When asked over the years why I was so keen to do all this work, I often replied that Fr. Cekada, and the other clergy who, like him, lived in a fully functional Catholic Church, were our last link to that time.  One day these clergy will pass on and we will have no one who had ever lived during a “normal” period of the Church and so I said we were running a high speed “mining” operation to take out every useful and helpful bit of information to guide us when they were no longer with us.

As I look at just some of the work Father and I did over the last 14 years, I’m so grateful that Our Lord gave us this time together to collaborate.  It was such a pleasure to work with Father and it’s a great blessing that what could have been simply private conversations, of which Father had dozens of every week all these years, have gone on to become publicly accessible testaments.  Have a question?  “Fr. C” (as he often referred to himself) has probably answered it.  All you have to do is “look it up.”  Each time you view any of these works, be they in print, audio, or video form, I ask you to say a prayer for the repose of his soul.  He deserves nothing less from us, who are so indebted to his faithful service as a priest of Jesus Christ.

Rest In Peace, Fr. Cekada: auf Wiedersehen.

Father Anthony Cekada, R.I.P.

Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly, S.J.: On the Idea of a Long-Term Vacancy of the Holy See

Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly, S.J.: On the Idea of a Long-Term Vacancy of the Holy See

By John Daly

Revised and edited by John Lane, October 1999

In 1882 a book was published in England called The Relations of the Church to Society — Theological Essays, comprising 29 essays by Fr. Edmund James O’Reilly S.J., one of the leading theologians of his time. The book expresses with wonderful clarity and succinctness many important theological truths and insights on subjects indirectly as well as directly related to its main theme. For our purposes the book has in one respect an even greater relevance than it did at the time of publication, for in it Fr. O’Reilly asserts with the full weight of such authority as he possesses, the following opinions:

  1. that a vacancy of the Holy See lasting for an extended period of time cannot be pronounced to be incompatible with the promises of Christ as to the indefectibility of the Church; and
  2. that it would be exceedingly rash to set any prejudged limits as to what God will be prepared to allow to happen to the Holy See (other, of course, than that a true pope will never fall into heresy, nor in any way err).

Of course Fr. O’Reilly does not have the status of pope or Doctor of the Church; but, that said, he was certainly no negligible authority. Some idea of the esteem in which he was held can be obtained from the following facts:

  • Cardinal Cullen, then Bishop of Armagh, chose him as his theologian at the Synod of Thurles in 1850. Dr. Brown, bishop of Shrewsbury, chose him as his theologian at the Synod of Shrewsbury.
  • Dr. Furlong, bishop of Ferns and his former colleague as professor of theology at Maynooth, chose him as his theologian at the Synod of Maynooth.
  • He was named professor of theology at the Catholic University in Dublin on its foundation. The General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Beckx, proposed to appoint him professor of theology at the Roman College in Rome, though as it turned out circumstances unrelated to Fr. O’Reilly intervened to prevent that appointment.
  • At a conference held regarding the philosophical and theological studies in the Society of Jesus, he was chosen to represent all the English-speaking “provinces” of the Society — that is, Ireland, England, Maryland, and the other divisions of the United States.

In short Fr. O’Reilly was widely recognized as one of the most erudite and important theologians of his time.

Finally, the following quotation by Dr. Ward in the justly renowned Dublin Review (January 1876 issue) is worth quoting (emphasis added):

“Whatever is written by so able and solidly learned a theologian — one so docile to the Church and so fixed in the ancient theological paths — cannot but be of signal benefit to the Catholic reader in these anxious and perilous times.”

Dr. Ward thought his times were anxious and perilous! Well, let us now see what “signal benefit” we, a little more than a century later, can derive from some of Fr. O’Reilly’s writing.

We open with a brief passage from an early chapter of the book, called “The Pastoral Office of the Church”. On page 33 Fr. O’Reilly says this (emphases added):

“If we inquire how ecclesiastical jurisdiction… has been continued, the answer is that… it in part came and comes immediately from God on the fulfillment of certain conditions regarding the persons. Priests having jurisdiction derive it from bishops or the pope. The pope has it immediately from God, on his legitimate election. The legitimacy of his election depends on the observance of the rules established by previous popes regarding such election.”

Thus, if papal jurisdiction depends on a person’s legitimate election, which certainly is not verified in the case of the purported election of a formal heretic to the Chair of Peter, it follows that, in the absence of legitimate election, no jurisdiction whatever is granted, neither “de jure” nor, despite what some have tried to maintain, “de facto.”

Fr. O’Reilly makes the following remark later in his book (page 287 — our emphases added):

“A doubtful pope may be really invested with the requisite power; but he has not practically in relation to the Church the same right as a certain pope — he is not entitled to be acknowledged as Head of the Church, and may be legitimately compelled to desist from his claim.”

This extract comes from one of two chapters devoted by Fr. O’Reilly to the Council of Constance of 1414. It may be remembered that the Council of Constance was held to put an end to the disastrous schism which had begun thirty-six years earlier, and which by that time involved no fewer than three claimants to the Papacy, each of whom had a considerable following.

Back to Fr. O’Reilly:

“The Council assembled in 1414…

“We may here stop to inquire what is to be said of the position, at that time, of the three claimants, and their rights with regard to the Papacy. In the first place, there was all through, from the death of Gregory XI in 1378, a Pope — with the exception, of course, of the intervals between deaths and elections to fill up the vacancies thereby created. There was, I say, at every given time a Pope, really invested with the dignity of Vicar of Christ and Head of the Church, whatever opinions might exist among many as to his genuineness; not that an interregnum covering the whole period would have been impossible or inconsistent with the promises of Christ, for this is by no means manifest, but that, as a matter of fact, there was not such an interregnum.”

Thus one of the great theologians of the nineteenth century, writing subsequently to the 1870 Vatican Council, tells us that it is “by no means manifest” that a thirty-six year interregnum would have been impossible or inconsistent with the promises of Christ. And we can therefore legitimately ask: at what stage, if any, would such be manifest? After thirty-seven years? Or forty-seven years? Clearly, once it is established in principle that a long interregnum is not incompatible with the promises of Christ, the question of degree — how long — cannot enter into the question. That is up to God to decide, and who can know what astonishing things He may in fact decide.

And, indeed, as Fr. O’Reilly proceeds further in this remarkable chapter, written over a hundred years ago but surely fashioned by Divine Providence much more expressly for our day than for his, he makes this very point about what it can and cannot be assumed that God will permit. From page 287 (all emphases added):

“There had been anti-popes before from time to time, but never for such a continuance… nor ever with such a following…

“The great schism of the West suggests to me a reflection which I take the liberty of expressing here. If this schism had not occurred, the hypothesis of such a thing happening would appear to many chimerical. They would say it could not be; God would not permit the Church to come into so unhappy a situation. Heresies might spring up and spread and last painfully long, through the fault and to the perdition of their authors and abettors, to the great distress too of the faithful, increased by actual persecution in many places where the heretics were dominant. But that the true Church should remain between thirty and forty years without a thoroughly ascertained Head, and representative of Christ on earth, this would not be. Yet it has been; and we have no guarantee that it will not be again, though we may fervently hope otherwise. What I would infer is, that we must not be too ready to pronounce on what God may permit. We know with absolute certainty that He will fulfil His promises; not allow anything to occur at variance with them; that He will sustain His Church and enable her to triumph over all enemies and difficulties; that He will give to each of the faithful those graces which are needed for each one’s service of Him and attainment of salvation, as He did during the great schism we have been considering, and in all the sufferings and trials which the Church has passed through from the beginning. We may also trust He will do a great deal more than what He has bound Himself to by His promises. We may look forward with a cheering probability to exemption for the future from some of the troubles and misfortunes that have befallen in the past. But we, or our successors in future generations of Christians, shall perhaps see stranger evils than have yet been experienced, even before the immediate approach of that great winding up of all things on earth that will precede the day of judgment. I am not setting up for a prophet, nor pretending to see unhappy wonders, of which I have no knowledge whatever. All I mean to convey is that contingencies regarding the Church, not excluded by the Divine promises, cannot be regarded as practically impossible, just because they would be terrible and distressing in a very high degree.

While Fr. O’Reilly himself disclaims any status as a prophet, nevertheless a true prophecy is clearly exactly what this passage amounts to. Moreover it is the kind of prophecy which, provided it is advancedconditionally, as in this case, both can and should be made in the light of the evidence on which he is concentrating his gaze. In respect of much that lies in the future there is no need for special revelations in order that we may know it. As Fr. O’Reilly indicates, except where God has specifically told us that something will not occur, any assumptions concerning what He will not permit are rash; and of course such assumptions will have the disastrous result that people will be misled if the events in question dooccur. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaias 55:8)

 

The Vatican’s Hell Hall: The Weird Mysteries of the Paul VI Audience Hall

Infernal Art and Architecture in the Vatican

The Vatican’s Hell Hall:
The Weird Mysteries of the Paul VI Audience Hall

Darkness Visible: Eerie, shrieking skull-like faces seem to peer out menacingly from the base 0f La Resurrezione, an eight ton sculpture, as “Pope” Francis speaks during an audience on November 21, 2015 at the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. It is only one of the many bizarre things associated with this auditorium. (image: Getty Images/AFP / rights-managed)

by Francis Del Sarto

G.K. Chesterton once referred to architecture as “the most practical and the most dangerous of the arts.” When it comes to the dangerous part of the equation, church-related edifices built with Vatican II mandates in mind should all come with the spiritual equivalent of boarded-up doors and windows, and prominently-displayed “CONDEMNED — KEEP OUT!” signs.

One of the foremost offenders in this regard, and perhaps the creepiest looking of of all, has to be the 6300-seat snake-head-like Hall of the Pontifical Audiences. As construction on it was completed in 1971 during the ill-begotten reign of Giovanni Battista Montini (“Pope” Paul VI), the building is more popularly known as the Paul VI Audience Hall (or the Aula Paolo VI in Italian).

Inside, on the stage behind the seated “pope” is a massive artwork allegedly depicting the Resurrection of Christ. We say “allegedly” because, unlike in conventional renderings, there is no joy to be found in it, no angelic Alleluias! singing the praises of Our Lord’s victory over the grave. Rather, it could more likely be taken for a glimpse into the horrors of hell or perhaps some tragic pagan epic, than it could pass for a scene of Easter glories. Both the hall and the sculpture will be treated in depth momentarily, but first it will be profitable to examine the Novus Ordo justification for such grotesqueries.

“Vatican II changes everything.”

A number of architectural styles have been wildly popular over the past half-century or so: modernisthyper-modernist, and post-modernist, chief among them. As for Catholic, not so much. One could even say there has been a concerted search-and-destroy effort to attack true Catholic churches whenever possible, either selling them to secular buyers or Protestant sects, levelling them to the ground in a scorched earth policy to usher in the Age of Strange, or gutting their interiors of all that made them worthy places for priests to offer the true Mass through a process that has been aptly described as “wreckovation”.

It would not be a stretch to say that post-Vatican II ecclesiastical architecture in many cases represents a deliberately anti-Catholic form of church design. The title of Michael S. Rose’s 2001 book on the subject pretty well describes those Modernist edifices: Ugly as Sin. Often it seems that the men designing those temples are deliberately seeking to make them as hideous and un-Catholic as they possibly can.

The title of this section is a quote by Father (or “Father”) Richard S. Vosko, a noted “liturgical design consultant” and wreckovator extraordinaire. He is a promoter of worship spaces for “happy people on the move”, and he “speaks reverently and respectfully of pagan cultic practices, but can barely say anything pertaining to the Catholic Church except by laughing uncontrollably”, as noted by the late Paul Likoudis in an article for The Wanderer in 2001. (Note that when a progressive speaks of “people on the move” or the popular Novus Ordo catchphrase, “a pilgrim people”, the moving does not denote a pilgrimage to, say, Rome or the Holy Land or to some indulgenced church or shrine — that would be a centuries-old traditional Catholic devotional practice. Rather, what is meant is the Modernist sense of Catholics moving from an orthodox belief system to an ever-evolving one, from the stability of immemorial objective truths to continually-mutating subjective experiences.)

So, when Vosko says that Vatican II represents “the end of stable religion”, it is most assuredly said in triumph. The Likoudis article already referred to showcases Vosko’s contributions to “Catholic” churches after the council and would be worth quoting in full. For copyright reasons, however, we must restrict ourselves to repeating only some salient portions (readers are encouraged to read the full text here):

In a revealing appearance April 3 [2001] at the University of Toledo’s Corpus Christi Chapel [see inside here], which he designed, Vosko bedazzled some 300 Toledo-area Catholics with his talk about building worship spaces for “happy people on the move,” showing himself as a man in movement.

…For 56 minutes, Vosko articulated his rejection of Christian teachings, his rejection of Catholic art, architecture, and ritual, his contempt for Catholics stuck in “old habits” of prayer and worship, as he attempted to explain what his new religion is all about.

In Vosko’s anthropological religion, the story of Jesus is a “myth” and Catholic rituals are not objectively different from Sioux sun dances or the Shamanic practices of Nepalese monks.

…He said “there’s a lot of debate in the Church,” because “some challenge the Church to a new direction” while “others cling to relics of a bygone era.”

…Art and architecture — said the art consultant for Roger Cardinal Mahony’s new cathedral and Bishop Matthew Clark’s cathedral renovation, among others — are only important insofar as they help people on their “inner search.”

How Corpus Christi helps people on their inner search is not clear. The edifice, described by one person in the audience as “very cerebral,” is appallingly stark. Except for the labyrinth in colored tiles on the floor, and the wood and upholstered chairs (no kneelers), the church’s sharp surfaces are entirely white, except for a two-story window, which frames the “sacred” pine tree just outside. A pyramid-shaped skylight at the peak of the church intensifies the whiteness. The chapel’s stations of the cross are set in the floor. A large granite immersion pool bubbles water in the gathering space. The overwhelming effect of Vosko’s edifice is that it would be more serviceable as a showroom for upscale sports cars.

…”Some people use tradition as a way of staying in a habit. We cannot stand still,” Vosko said as he continued walking around the labyrinth he designed into the floor of the chapel, “because life is too short.”

…During his lecture, Fr. Vosko expressed his preference for the church-in-the-round model, saying circles — citing Stonehenge, Indian tepees, and mandalas as examples — are powerful symbols, as is the labyrinth. He also defended Corpus Christi Chapel’s movable bare wooden cross, which he described as a “powerful totem that puts us in touch with that which can be.”

He told his audience that when he is retained as a consultant for a parish renovation, that “sometimes you have to strip away things … that get in the way, things that are just habits.”…

(Paul Likoudis, “Liturgical Design Consultant Reveals His New Age Religion”The Wanderer, Apr. 26, 2001)

What Vosko says in explaining his approach is more or less echoed by the vast majority of his fellow architectural anarchists, including the Modernist mind behind Paul VI Audience Hall, whom we will meet in a few moments.

Lex orandi, lex credendi — how we pray reflects what we believe, and vice versa. Just as the Modernist infiltrators realized that the most effective way to “re-educate” the faithful into accepting a false religion cast as “up-to-date Catholicism” was by radically altering the way they worshipped, in the form of a “New Mass”, those changes had to carry over to celebrants discarding traditional vestments in favor of cheap, undignified ones (aka “horse blankets”), changing the furnishings of the church (replacing the altar with a table, moving or even hiding the tabernacle, removing altar rails and kneelers, etc.), and ultimately replacing pre-Vatican II churches with late-20th century specimens of spectacular bizarreness, the unwritten rule apparently being: The designer is to be given complete freedom in choosing whatsoever style most greatly pleases him, provided it fits in with the faith community, and is approved by the local authorities. However, under no circumstances may the finished edifice appear to be, much less be able to function as, a Roman Catholic church.

This has been made abundantly clear over and over again throughout the world, so much so that any number of pictorial essays have been published to decry the outrages. Thus, for example, we see on the semi-traditionalist Tradition in Action the appropriately-titled “Churches of Hell”, where one can see a “church” that looks like a dunce cap, another with weird angles out of some German expressionist movie, yet others resembling a Shinto shrine or some type of occult building, etc.

Do you like origami? The Japanese art of making decorative shapes from folded paper can produce some lovely works; unfortunately, it’s not something that really lends itself well to church design — quite the opposite, to be honest. However, that fact did not dissuade some determined German Novus Ordos from erecting an origami-style “rest stop for the soul” along the autobahn, as reported here at Novus Ordo Watch back in 2017.

That same year, we also reported on the disgraceful new “basilica” at Fatima, which constituted one of many Vatican II church attacks on the 1917 apparitions. We wrote: “The ugliness of it all speaks volumes: It is the architectural expression of the Novus Ordo religion. For this reason alone it cannot be anything other than ugly” (“Blasphemy at Fatima: The ‘Basilica of the Holy Trinity’”, May 22, 2017).

Even secular web sites don’t fail to see the obvious, such as Thrillist, which published a feature entitled “The Nine Ugliest Cathedrals in the World” (eight out of nine are Novus Ordo, with the last one being an oddball Anglican “Cardboard Cathedral” in New Zealand). Check them out at your own risk.

Circling back around to the primary subject of this article — the Paul VI Audience Hall — we can’t leave this section without noting that the designer of the hall, Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979), although a fairly prolific architect, was to our knowledge involved in only one other collaboration on a religious structure, the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, in San Francisco, California, which is quite hideous in its own right:

St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco, aka “Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation”
(image: Wikimedia Commons / public domain)

According to the cathedral’s entry on Wikipedia: “The design process was controversial. A preliminary design reminded one critic of ‘the effort of a camel and donkey to mate.’”

Not all have given it a negative rating, however. Two years ago, the eclectic Architectural Digest ranked it among the nation’s prettiest, but even in reporting that fact, a San Francisco-based website saw fit to open the article with this gibe:

Know[n] to few as Church of Mary of the Assumption or Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, the church at 1111 Gough [Street] has been rechristened by San Franciscans as Our Lady of Maytag. (It also goes by the sobriquets “Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation” and “McGucken’s Maytag.”) One look at its washing machine agitator-like roof and you will see why.

(Brock Keeling, “Church of Mary of the Assumption named one of nation’s prettiest churches”Curbed San Francisco, Feb. 7, 2017)

The McGucken of “McGucken’s Maytag” is Bishop Joseph Thomas McGucken (1902-83), who ordered the erection of a cathedral to replace the previous St. Mary’s, which had been destroyed by arson in 1962. The new one was designed while McGucken was in Rome attending the Second Vatican Council, and it has been called the “first cathedral truly of our time and in harmony with the liturgical reforms of the Council” — by architecht Nervi himself.

The Horrors of Hell Hall (CAUTION: Frightening images ahead)

Freak Shows & Buffoonery: In between the usual progressivist platitudes heard in the Modernist echo chamber known as Paul VI Hall, inane spectacles serve as diversions, but the frivolity masks a darkness: The hall was built with the express intention of replacing the Church’s “relics of a bygone era” with Vatican II’s “new direction”, and quite successfully so.

Not far south of St. Peter’s Basilica, only a stone’s throw away, one can find the Hall of the Pontifical Audiences, which was solemnly inaugurated on June 30, 1971. It resides partly in Vatican City but mostly in Rome, and the Italian part of the building is treated as an extraterritorial area of the Holy See.

The following video clip provided by the Associated Press shows “Pope Saint” Paul VI and Pier Luigi Nervi during the opening of the hall (the first minute of the video has no sound):

Commissioned in 1963, the auditorium was built on land donated by the Knights of Columbus. Construction began in 1966. Paul VI and his successors have used it as an alternative to St. Peter’s Square as a venue for Wednesday audiences or when the weather is inclement. It stands as an ongoing mocking reminder to Catholics by their enemies that “Sorry, folks, but we’re running things now!”

Controlling adversaries in such close physical proximity to the Vatican is in line with something ominously declared some time ago, namely, how “within the eight city blocks that make up the Vatican State no fewer than four Scottish Rite lodges are functioning… Many of the highest Vatican officials are Masons.” Before scoffers dismiss this as the wild rantings of a traditional Catholic “conspiracy theorist”, let it be known that the man making the statement, far from being one of the faithful, was Carlos Vazquez Rangel, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Masons of Mexico, who proudly made the boast during an interview with the political journal Processo (see John K. Weiskittel, “Freemasons and the Conciliar Church”, in The Athanasian XIV, no. 4 [June 1, 1993]).

We’ve already seen the thoughts of Fr. Richard Vosko, the “liturgical design consultant” responsible for guiding wreckovation in American churches. What he had to say about the thinking behind Novus Ordo church architecture is equally apropos the Paul VI Masonic Audience Hall: “Vatican II says we have to have a totally new understanding of what religion is.”

Architect Nervi was in complete harmony with this “new understanding”, which, when it came to sacred spaces, was to stand traditional thinking square on its head and to serve as “a challenge to conventional religious thought”. (It is noteworthy that one of his other chief projects assisted the aims of world government, when he was one of three architects who designed the UNESCO Headquarters aka the World Heritage Centre, which was completed in Paris in 1958.)

From an analysis of the Paul VI Audience Hall, we read:

Nervi’s Audience Hall is, at its core, an intersection of two profound ideas in his life’s work—the relentless search for the “truthful style” and the creation of an architecture of optimism. In a broader sense, the building serves to challenge (and ultimately redefine) ideas of what sacred architecture can and should be.

A prime example of this challenging or rethinking can be found in the material choices for the Audience Hall—

“Every element in the structure is in fact made of white cement, blended with special inert matter containing fragments of Apuan marble. All the surfaces are left exposed and no finishing material is used, ensuring that cement, traditionally considered a poor, sad material, is here given the same worth as the precious stones employed in the nearby basilica.”

Nervi’s decision to leave the ferrocemento unfinished has roots in modernist theory. Huxtable sees structure as “the basis of modern architecture.” If this is in fact the case, then Nervi’s work represents a clear articulation of modernist principles and perhaps even the “truthful style” he sought throughout his career. The materiality of the Paul VI Audience Hall is also a challenge to conventional religious thought, particularly pertaining to the design of sacred spaces. Nervi’s use of concrete, a “poor, sad material,” is no accident. It is a commentary on the futility of relying on precious materials to create a sense of the divine—in his Audience Hall, Nervi demonstrates that space achieves sanctity through structure and thoughtfully designed spaces, not expensive skins or claddings.

(Billy Griffits and John David Scott, “1971 Paul VI Audience Hall”; posted at Florida International University, n.d.)

Nervi’s style choices anticipate “Pope” Francis’ championing of what’s been referred to as the “church of the poor”, or the “miserablist church”, based on a Modernist postulate that the Church must be unadorned, as displays of pomp and grandeur are an affront to the needy. But not only, it is argued, should she eschew solemnity and dignity, she should consciously present a plain, even shabby, appearance, as achieved by Nervi as a statement against the Church’s architectural tradition. Yet, far from being an affront to the poor, the beauty of the churches were meant to give them a respite from the misery of their everyday lives, to give them a foretaste of Heaven, their true goal.

All of this reminds one of the lament of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, which goes in part: “I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments, and make her feel remorse for her historical past” (Mgr. Georges Roche, Pie XII devant l’Histoire [Montréal: Éditions du Jour, 1972], p. 52; trans. by Christopher Ferrara).

In recent years, the Vatican’s audience hall has become the subject of much scrutiny on the internet. Many critics, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, have raised questions about the weird, snakelike features of the building, both inside and out. It’s one of those things that, once seen, can’t be unseen.

The exterior shape of the building has been likened to the head of a pit viper, a resemblance enhanced in 2008 when its roof was retrofitted with photovoltaic panels. Yet it’s only after one goes inside that the full effect can be appreciated. If one stands at the far end of the hall and looks all the way down to the stage at the other end, where Francis and his four immediate predecessors have given their Modernist pep talks, there’s what looks like a gigantic viper staring back at one with the windows as the elliptical eyes so characteristic of the Viperidae family of reptiles. The stage is the mouth with pillars to either side of the middle shaped like fangs, the center aisle for a tongue, and the design of the ceiling and walls reminiscent of snake skin.

Indeed, visitors who wander into the hall initially unaware of its function could be excused for mistaking it for a museum of herpetology. If an architect had tried to give it that viperous visual effect, it’s not clear what he would have done differently. Have a look:

Any resemblance to the face of a viper is entirely accidental… 

Tradition in Action devoted one of its “Church Revolution in Pictures” features to the subject, in a post aptly entitled “Teaching from the Serpent’s Mouth”. After describing how different areas in the hall’s interior are suggestive of the reptile, the following cogent point is made:

If these analogies are objective, the Pope [sic] stands precisely in the center of the serpent’s mouth. It is from there that he delivers his speeches during his general audiences and special meetings. Quite different from speaking from the chair of Peter, the cathedra of truth. The conciliar Popes now deliver their new doctrine from the serpent’s mouth.

For those who may be unaware of the significance of speaking through the mouth of a serpent, the last such incident was recorded in Genesis 3:1-5. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work out too well.

In any case, there has naturally been no shortage of would-be debunkers. Some have written off the effect as merely created by the distortion of a photo taken using a fisheye lens. The trouble with that is that by doing an image search of the hall, it becomes abundantly clear that while such a lens would certainly increase the effect, there are simply too many photos showing the same effect that it would be a conspiracy in its own right to suppose that they were all taken with a fisheye lens or otherwise distorted, independently of one another and for no apparent reason. No, even Vatican Media itself publishes photos showing this viperous look, as can be seen in this picture of Francis’ Jan. 2, 2019 audience.

We can even see this effect in a shot taken from inside the building as construction was in progress. No optical effects, just a standard lens:

(image: arcvision.org / fair use) 

For some perspective, here’s a shot from the back corner:

Next is another straightforward look down the center aisle:

(image: Manuel Chacón-Palomares at historia-arte.com / CC BY 4.0) 

Interestingly enough, just on the very day of the release of the present article, the following photo was shared on Twitter by Vatican journalist Arthur Herlin. It depicts the auditorium having been transformed into a giant playground for the children of Vatican City employees. Once again, the reptilian vibe is present:

(image: twitter.com/arthurherlin / fair use) 

The hard-t0-miss “there’s a viper staring at you” effect is no doubt attributable in large part to the trapezoid shape of the building. Yes, you read that right: The edifice was not built in the shape of a rectangle but of a trapezoid (trapezium). This is highly significant because the trapezoid is considered the most Satanic of shapes in occultism, perhaps because its visual discordance — and frequent asymmetry — lends itself to disorientation and disharmony. For obvious reasons, we’re not going to link to Satanic web sites or to sites where Satanic rituals are explained, but suffice it to say that there is a Law of the Trapezoid and an Order of the Trapezoid connected with Satanism and occultism. People who must know about these things can do their own research.

The point is not that a trapezoid shape is bad in itself — it obviously isn’t — but that Satanists have a preference for its use and consider it highly suitable for their practices. They believe that it facilitates the demonic, that it gives certain energies to those who are sensitive to it, etc. Just as there is Catholic architecture, which uses shapes and designs that are particularly suited to the sacred worship of the Holy Trinity, so there is also anti-Catholic architecture, Satanic building design, which those pitiful souls use for their nefarious ends.

As far as the Paul VI Hall goes, its trapezoidal shape is hard to miss when viewed from above:

image: Maxar Technologies (fair use) via Google Maps street view (screenshot) 

Occultists’ love of the trapezoid would explain why some Novus Ordo altars are made in that shape and why — get this — “Pope” John Paul II’s body was placed in a coffin that was trapezoidal in shape, not merely when viewed from the top but also when viewed from the side. This is hardly an accident, and it speaks volumes. Of course the interreligious “meditation room” of the United Nations headquarters is also trapezoidal in shape.

Thus, it isn’t all that surprising that, once the Modernists had usurped the See of St. Peter, the first chance they got to build an auditorium meant to be a venue for papal events in the heart of Catholicism, they made it trapezoidal, odd, and sinister.

Still, some will write off the snake-head-like appearance of the building as some observers simply having overactive imaginations, seeing what’s not there — an example of the psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia (perceiving meaningful connections in unrelated objects, such as animals in clouds, a grinning face in a car’s grill and headlights, etc.). Like a Rorschach test, “conspiracy theorists” are just projecting their delusions. Nervi would never have intended to fashion something that looks like the head of a serpent, and, clearly, not everyone sees it. Right?

Granted, the human mind does tend to arrange unrelated objects to signify something else. But the arranging can come not only from the observer, it can also come from the designer. No one knows if Nervi had such an uncanny conception; but whether or not it was intended, the design easily lends itself to such an interpretation; and it is not unreasonable, given everything that has transpired in the Vatican since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, to point out that perhaps there is more than just inexplicable “oddity” here — perhaps there is deliberate Satanic intent.

But whatever the case may be, what definitely no one sees inside that barren hall is anything that in the least identifies it as being Catholic: There are no crucifixes or crosses, no religious paintings, no statues, or anything else to raise the heart and mind to God. Now that is not up to interpretation — the striking absence was a deliberate attempt by those tasked with furnishing the hall to reject Catholic ornaments (with one exception, to be mentioned shortly).

“Wait”, some Novus Ordo stalwarts may chide us, “how can you possibly overlook the striking artwork that’s situated directly behind the pope, and that rises high above him”?

Yes, how indeed does one miss a two-story-high elephant in the room?

A Frightful Centerpiece of Blasphemy and Sacrilege

Christ or Antichrist? Looming menacingly above Benedict XVI, and looking more like a creature from a horror film than the Savior of mankind, is what the artist described as Jesus Christ emerging from amid toxic smoke (“smoke of Satan”?) and human skulls after a nuclear Armageddon.

In 1977, on the occasion of Paul VI’s eightieth birthday and less than a year before his death, the Vatican was gifted with an enormous bronze sculpture that would prove to be the hall’s finishing touch. La Resurrezione (“The Resurrection”) is a Modernist nightmare image that shrieks the message of blasphemous rebellion stated somewhat less shrilly by its surroundings. As Atlas Obscura, a website dedicated to unusual places around the world, puts it: “If you want to talk to the Pope you will have to stare down this surreal vision of Jesus rising from a nuclear hell”; while another site, Lazer Horse, describes it as “intriguingly sinister”.

Elsewhere, comments randomly found around the internet use terms like “bizarre”, “frightening”, “ugly”, “ghoulish”, a “monstrosity”, “evilly horrific”, “demonic”, “gruesome”, “terrifying”, “depressing”, “strikingly weird”, “dark”, “oddly nightmarish”, and “Satanic looking”. So, suffice it to say, no one’s going to confuse it with the spiritually uplifting works of great Catholic artists from the past. But why must it be so diametrically opposite to the spirit of true sacred art? The compulsion to debase that which is holy, inherent in theological Modernism, necessarily carries over to its counterparts in other fields — it cannot do otherwise.

La Resurrezione replaced the original (and traditional) artwork that served as the backdrop for the audiences the first few years (it can be seen in the video from the Associated Press embedded above). In 2011, it received restoration work, lest this priceless treasure be lost to posterity. Unlike Pier Luigi Nervi, who seemingly left no specific clue as to whether there was any extra-architectural significance to the hall’s design, La Resurrezione‘s creator Pericle Fazzini (1913-1987) was quite specific when speaking about the message he intended to send with it. An obituary in The New York Times reports:

The Vatican commissioned Mr. Fazzini to provide a work for its modern auditorium. The result was “The Resurrection,” a statue depicting Jesus rising from a nuclear bomb crater.

“Suddenly there came to me the idea of Christ preaching peace for 2,000 years, and the place where He prayed for the last time: the olive grove of Gethsemane,” said Mr. Fazzini in a book about the work. “I had the idea of depicting Christ as if He were rising again from the explosion of this large olive grove, peaceful site of His last prayers. Christ rises from this crater torn open by a nuclear bomb; an atrocious explosion, a vortex of violence and energy.”

“The Resurrection” is molded in red bronze and yellow brass and measures 66 feet by 23 feet by 10 feet.

(“Pericle Fazzini, 74, a Sculptor for Vatican”The New York Times, Dec. 5, 1987)

According to the Wikipedia entry for the abominable piece, “The original work was done in polystyrene and the fumes of the burning plastic gave Fazzini a blood clot during its production.” Talk about the smoke of Satan!

Setting Christ’s Resurrection in an ahistorical, fictionalized late 20th century is quintessentially Modernist, because it is art that, supposedly, speaks to modern man. This was touched upon at Vatican II, when Gaudium et Spes, the council’s so-called Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, declared:

The Church acknowledges also new forms of art which are adapted to our age and are in keeping with the characteristics of various nations and regions. They may be brought into the sanctuary since they raise the mind to God, once the manner of expression is adapted and they are conformed to liturgical requirements.

Thus the knowledge of God is better manifested and the preaching of the Gospel becomes clearer to human intelligence and shows itself to be relevant to man’s actual conditions of life.

(Second Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, n. 62)

Fazzini’s final work, dedicated in 1987, was a hideous monument to Padre Pio at San Giovanni Rotondo. You can view it here. It’s not quite as overtly sinister as his unorthodox take on the Resurrection, but every bit as peculiar (we can’t believe that the holy stigmatized spiritual son of St. Francis would be thrilled at this rendering of him, though he would take solace in knowing that he had undergone a similar indignity in bronze as his Divine Master).

Returning to La Resurrezione, as disturbing as it is when viewed from afar, it is no less so seen up close, especially when we zoom in on the head that’s allegedly that of Christ:

image: youtube.com (screenshot / fair use) 

Rather than Our Blessed Lord displaying the expression of one who has conquered sin and death and risen triumphantly from the grave, Fazzini’s version gives this “Jesus” a world-weary look of uncertainty and perplexity. It isn’t an expression that exactly strengthens the belief, devotion, and resolve of the faithful. Instead, the befuddled look they see upon that countenance manifests the doctrinal flux and confusion that overcame Catholics post-Vatican II, when they found themselves faced with a new religion emanating from what appeared to be the Catholic magisterium.

Beyond that, there is something else that brings this further into the creepy zone. It has been pointed out that the rather scraggly hair billowing out on the right of the photo when taken as a whole, bears a resemblance to a serpent’s head, so we’re back to the reptile connection again.

And then there is the odd coincidence someone found that when mirroring the left side of the statue, there appears something that looks eerily similar to the head of the Satanic Baphomet:

images: lazerhorse.org (cropped) and etsy.com (fair use) 

Some may say that’s straying too far down the rabbit hole, but at what point do the number of seemingly meaningful correlations connecting the hall and sculpture to diabolical symbolism reasonably cease to be coincidences and suggest deliberate planning?

And to throw in a distinctly sedevacantist what if?, there’s a certain conspiracy theory centered around the year 1958. This is just meant as a bit of fun speculation, but according to the so-called Siri Thesis, in that year Genoa’s Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was elected pope but was pressured to resign before he could appear on the balcony of St. Peter’s. According to one version, he was forced out by being told that if he didn’t, a nuclear strike would be launched on Rome, wiping out the Vatican and the entire college of cardinals, which was gathered there in conclave. As a result of his resignation, the suspected Rosicrucian Freemason Angelo Roncalli became Antipope John XXIII — and the rest, as they say, is history.

Following this hypothetical narrative, La Resurrezione would represent a celebration of the triumph of the 1958 coup, with the nuclear blast representing the threat through which occult forces were able to seize the reins of the Church, and the “risen Christ” (Antichrist?) representing the emergence of the Novus Ordo Sect — with a “New Resurrection” leading the way to a “New Pentecost”.

The occult connection to this? The excommunicated apostate Paul Roca (1830-1893), who had once been ordained a Catholic priest, had boldly predicted the takeover of the Vatican by dark forces, as though he had preternaturally obtained foreknowledge of Satan’s plan to destroy the Church. Roca, three of whose works can be found on the Index of Forbidden Books, wrote infamously:

I feel that divine worship, as regulated by the liturgy, ceremonies, rites, and rulings of the Roman Church, will suffer a transformation soon, at an ecumenical council. It will return the Church to the venerable simplicity of the apostolic golden age, and harmonize it with the new stage of modern conscience and civilization.

(Paul Roca, Abbé Gabriel; quoted in Rev. Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, The New Post-Conciliar or Montinian Church [La Habra, CA: Edgar A. Lucidi, M.D., 1985], p. 194; italics given. Fr. Sáenz y Arriaga‘s book was first published in the original Spanish in 1971.)

What Roca describes in this quote is, of course, precisely what was accomplished by the subversive Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.  (Of particular interest in this passage is how Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the chief architect of Paul VI’s “New Mass”, seems to have used it as part of his playbook in developing his liturgical revolution, as he too said the Church must restore the ancient norms, while contradictorily claiming to also seek to harmonize it with modern man, as though the aims were somehow compatible.

In his book Glorious Centennial, Roca wrote in the manner of the Modernists, à la Teilhard de Chardin, about an “evolving” Jesus. His choice of language in the passage is highly suggestive of the sculpture’s figure emerging from the radioactive gusts swirling around him: “Nobody will be able to stop Christ’s whirlwind,” he wrote (quoted in Sáenz y Arriaga, The New Montinian Church, p. 187; see scan here). Obviously, the Christ he had in mind is an occult counterfeit.

And that is obviously also the “Christ” of La Resurrezione:

The Vatican likes to use its audience hall also for concerts and similar events. The embedded photo carousel above shows images of La Resurrezione lit up for the occasions.

“And he laid hold on the dragon the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan….”

This section heading is a quotation from the twentieth chapter of the book of the Apocalypse (verse 2), in which St. John speaks of an angel binding the devil, casting him into the bottomless pit for a thousand years and sealing him there so he can no longer seduce the nations. Once the thousand years are past, Satan is set loose to work evil again, but the good news — such as it is — is that it will be only for “a little time” (v. 3). Yet he will make up for his lack of time by amassing a vast army — “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (v. 7) — to wage war against the faithful. This ties in with what St. Paul writes in one of his letters to the Thessalonians: “And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way” (2 Thess 2:6-7).

God and His Church, however, will prevail. Satan and his minions shall lose decisively, and he, along with the beast and the false prophet, will suffer forever in a pool of fire and brimstone, after which comes the General Judgment (see Apoc 20:9-15; 2 Thess 2:8).

Where are we on this timeline? No one can say with certainty which milestones have been passed and which are still ahead, but given the state of the Church and the world, it’s probably safe to say we’re quite far along. In 1957, when interviewed by the Mexican Fr. Augustine Fuentes at her convent in Coimbra, Portugal, Sister Lucy of Fatima spoke with great gravity about the future. After stating that the Blessed Virgin Mary was sad because her message at Fatima wasn’t being heeded, Lucy declared:

But believe me, Father, God will chastise the world and this will be in a terrible manner. The punishment from Heaven is imminent.

Father, the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Blessed Virgin. And the devil knows what it is that most offends God and which in a short space of time will gain for him the greatest number of souls. Thus the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God because in this way, the devil will succeed in leaving the souls of the faithful abandoned by their leaders, thereby the more easily will he seize them.

(Sister Lucia of Fatima, Interview with Fr. Augustine Fuentes, Dec. 26, 1957; quoted in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, vol. III: The Third Secret [Buffalo, NY: Immaculate Heart Publications, 1990], pp. 504-505; underlining added.)

Now, while there is always going to be some debate as to whether a spiritual or a material chastisement is meant, it is the opinion of the present writer that there is no reason to necessarily conclude it must be only one of the two. Sister Lucy says God is to punish the world in “a terrible manner”, and how terrible would it be for there to be multiple fronts with which to deal, rather than but a single one? She very well could have had in mind a Pandora’s box out of which many evils would spring, so richly deserved by a world that has largely abandoned God and refused to heed Our Lady of Fatima’s call to repentance.

Regardless, there certainly cannot be much debate as to the meaning of the punishment being imminent. Whatever the nature of the punishment or its precise timeframe may be, “imminent” certainly doesn’t mean “many decades from now”. No, a reasonable inference is that when Lucy said “imminent”, she meant “right around the corner.” Just ten months after she made this statement, the fateful papal conclave was assembled to elect a successor to Pope Pius XII. Incidentally, in the same interview, she told Fr. Fuentes that Russia would be used by God as “the instrument of chastisement chosen by Heaven to punish the whole world”.

The punishment from Heaven was indeed imminent, and it involved God allowing permission for a coup d’état in which a false pope would be installed. (Returning to the Siri thesis for a moment: It is Russia that is speculated to have made the nuclear threat.) This silenced the voice of St. Peter at the Basilica that bears his name and set in motion a tidal wave of Modernism that changed virtually every facet of Catholicism by means of a false councilfalse sacramentsfalse canon lawfalse annulments, etc. Most of these things took place during the 1963-78 reign of the very man for which the Paul VI Audience Hall was named, and this was possible only because he was a false pope and thus the divine protections guaranteed for the Papacy were not verified in him.

Also set in motion at the robber conclave of 1958 was the phenomenon Sister Lucy noted when she talked about how “the devil does everything to overcome souls consecrated to God”. Within a decade there broke out the spiritual pandemic that is still afflicting the Church and the world today, and which is so amply documented on this web site.

Behind Francis: Ghoulish detail of La Resurrezione up close

The 2002 article “An Index of Catholicism’s Decline” by Patrick J. Buchanan uses the cold, hard statistical facts to spotlight the fruits of the Vatican II revolution: a rapid decline of priests, nuns, brothers, and seminarians, along with dwindling Mass attendance; a steep increase in marriages being declared null; “Catholic” school closings; and opinion polls showing a majority of “Catholics” who don’t believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist or in the necessity of confession. At the same time, acceptance of the so-called “divorced-and-remarried” as legitimate spouses grew, and of course the sinful practice of artificial birth control was not only declared acceptable but also used by most, and so the two-child family became the norm. Even the horrendous crime of abortion, the logical consequence of the acceptance of contraception, began to lose its stigma, to such an extent that today there are countless “Catholics” who either accept it as morally legitimate or at least defend it as a civil “right”, with no punitive consequences by the people who claim to be the lawful Roman Catholic authorities.

All of this came on the heels of Vatican II, which closed in 1965. Truly, in the Fatima seer’s words, “the souls of the faithful [had been] abandoned by their leaders”. Worse yet, the people who once had been their legitimate leaders remained in their positions and did the revolution’s bidding, and those who refused were replaced. Either way, then, the de facto “Catholic” hierarchs were the “false apostles [who] are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13), as St. Paul warned. They were “the hireling [who] hath no care for the sheep” (Jn 10:13), in the words of our Blessed Lord, and the situation persists to this day.

On top of that, we have the famous incident of Pope Leo XIII’s vision of a conversation between Christ and Satan, in which the devil was granted more power to destroy the Church. It was part of a vision the Pope is said to have had that led to the composition of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel that Catholics are accustomed to recite after Low Mass. This vision is described, among other sources, in a 1935 booklet published by a Benedictine priest:

A rather peculiar circumstance induced Pope Leo XIII to compose this powerful prayer. After celebrating Mass one day he was in conference with the Cardinals. Suddenly he sank to the floor. A doctor was summoned and several came at once. There was no sign of any pulse-beating, the very life seemed to have ebbed away from the already weakened and aged body. Suddenly he recovered and said: “What a horrible picture I was permitted to see!” He saw what was going to happen in the future, the misleading powers and the ravings of the devils against the Church in all countries. But St. Michael had appeared in the nick of time and cast Satan and his cohorts back into the abyss of hell. Such was the occasion that caused Pope Leo XIII to have this prayer recited over the entire world at the end of the Mass.

(Rev. Celestine Kapsner, O.S.B., Begone Satan! [Collegeville, MN: Celestine Kapser, 1935], p. 24)

More detail regarding the actual content of the vision is related by Fr. Domenico Pechenino (1873-1950) in the Mar. 30, 1947 edition of La Settimana del Clero (p. 2):

…This is what happened. God had shown Satan to the Vicar of His divine Son on earth, just like He did with Job. Satan was bragging that he had already devastated the Church on a large scale. In fact, these were tumultuous times for Italy, for many nations in Europe, and a bit around the world. The freemasons ruled, and government hadn’t become docile instruments. With the audacity of a boaster, Satan put a challenge to God. — “And if you give me a little more freedom, you could see what I would do for your church!” — “What would you do?” — “I would destroy it.” — “Oh, that would be something to see. How long would it take?” — “Fifty or sixty years.” [–] “Have more freedom, and the time that you need. Then we’ll see what happens.”

(Translation taken from Kevin J. Symonds, Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael [Boonville, NY: Preserving Christian Publications, 2015], p. 44.)

In 1946, the Archbishop of Bologna, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano (1872-1952), related the “historical explanation” for the line in the St. Michael’s prayer that mentions that the demons “prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.” He had received it from Mgr. Rinaldo Angeli, Pope Leo’s long-time personal secretary: “Pope Leo XIII truly had a vision of demonic spirits, who were gathering on the Eternal City (Rome). From that experience — which he shared with the Prelate and certainly with others in confidentiality — comes the prayer which he wanted the whole Church to recite” (Nasalli Rocca di Corneliano, Dio — L’Uomo — Il Diavolo, 2nd ed. [Rome: Figlie della Chiesa, 1951], p. 20; trans. by Bryan Gonzalez).

Some sources claim that the timeframe the devil was given to attempt to destroy the Church is 75-100 years, but since it is not known what year should mark the starting point anyway — it is reasonable, but by no means necessary, to assume that it was the year of the vision — the discrepancy is not that important.

What adds to the difficulty is that the exact date of Pope Leo’s vision is disputed. However, if it happened on Oct. 13, 1884, as some assert, it would mean it took place exactly 33 years before the miracle of the sun at Fatima. Novus Ordo writer and researcher Kevin Symonds concludes that, based on his findings, we may “surmise that the vision may have taken place sometime between January 6, 1884 and August, 1886…” (Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael, p. 29).

Regardless of the precise start and end dates, we have certainly all been able to see the effects of this diabolical power surge, however long it lasted. In fact, it is possible that Pope Leo’s quick reaction to the matter — his institution of the St. Michael’s prayer to be recited throughout the Universal Church — actually delayed the start date for a significant amount of time.

Some may object that even if we assume as much as 100 years’ duration and start from the year of the vision, it would mean that after 1984, or perhaps 1986, the devil’s power was taken away again, which hardly jibes with our experience. However, this leaves out of account the fact that according to the alleged vision the devil received an increase of power for however many years, so it would merely be the additional power that would be taken away from him after the allotted time has elapsed.

Another point to be made is that while Satan still retains plenty of power after — just not as much as over that time span — it cannot be forgotten that he was able to build a tremendous amount of momentum for evil during those years. Thus he now has a huge army of human sycophants happily carrying out his agenda — some of them consciously and maliciously, others as useful idiots, some indifferently, and still others under the diabolical delusion that they are doing the work of God (cf. Jn 16:2).

But whatever the case may be about this or that alleged vision or other private revelation, the objectively verifiable facts demonstrate beyond doubt that a new religion has been established in the Vatican since 1958, a religion that is Masonic and Naturalist in essence, a religion that despises Catholicism. It is, quite manifestly, a religion that expresses itself in art and architecture such as can be seen in the dreadful “hell hall” that is the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican.

Vatican II really did change everything, didn’t it?

Viganò’s Theological Vortex: A Critical Commentary (Part 1)

A whirlwind of error and confusion…

Viganò’s Theological Vortex: A Critical Commentary
(PART 1)

In recent weeks, the now well-known former Vatican nuncio to the United States, “Abp.” Carlo Maria Viganò, has spoken at great length again about his position on the Second Vatican Council and the “conciliar sect” (his words) that emerged from it. On Sep. 1 and 3, respectively, the recognize-and-resist paper Catholic Family News published two of his latest monographs on its web site. They can be found in the following posts:

Upon reading these texts, we decided that a critical commentary on them would be fitting. Readers who may be a bit wary about reading sedevacantist criticism of Fr. Vigano, are encouraged to recall that we do give credit where it’s due: Vigano’s Jun 9, 2020 condemnation of Vatican II and the post-conciliar errors was outstanding, and we acknowledged as much. Unfortunately, Vigano has not drawn the logically necessary conclusion from his findings, with the inevitable result that he has now enmeshed himself in a theological quagmire from which he cannot escape except by recognizing that the “Popes” of Vatican II and the post-conciliar religion are not true Vicars of Christ.

Comments on Viganò’s Response to Stephen Kokx

Vigano’s letter of Sep. 1, 2020, is in reply to Stephen Kokx, a contributor to Catholic Family News, who had sent him a few questions about what, in his opinion, Catholics ought to do now. Since Vigano had suggested that Catholics separate from the Conciliar Church, Mr. Kokx inquired as to what such separation would look like — considering that Vigano acknowledges Francis as the lawful Roman Pontiff and so clearly isn’t telling people to abandon the notion that he is the Pope.

Vigano responded as follows:

While it is clear that no admixture is possible with those who propose adulterated doctrines of the conciliar ideological manifesto, it should be noted that the simple fact of being baptized and of being living members of the Church of Christ does not imply adherence to the conciliar team; this is true above all for the simple faithful and also for secular and regular clerics who, for various reasons, sincerely consider themselves Catholics and recognize the Hierarchy.

Instead, what needs to be clarified is the position of those who, declaring themselves Catholic, embrace the heterodox doctrines that have spread over these decades, with the awareness that these represent a rupture with the preceding Magisterium. In this case it is licit to doubt their real adherence to the Catholic Church, in which however they hold official roles that confer authority on them. It is an illicitly exercised authority, if its purpose is to force the faithful to accept the revolution imposed since the Council.

Once this point has been clarified, it is evident that it is not the traditional faithful – that is, true Catholics, in the words of Saint Pius X – that must abandon the Church in which they have the full right to remain and from which it would be unfortunate to separate; but rather the Modernists who usurp the Catholic name, precisely because it is only the bureaucratic element that permits them not to be considered on a par with any heretical sect. This claim of theirs serves in fact to prevent them from ending up among the hundreds of heretical movements that over the course of the centuries have believed to be able to reform the Church at their own pleasure, placing their pride ahead of humbly guarding the teaching of Our Lord. But just as it is not possible to claim citizenship in a homeland in which one does not know its language, law, faith and tradition; so it is impossible that those who do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church can arrogate to themselves the right to remain within her and even to ascend the levels of the hierarchy.

Therefore let us not give in to the temptation to abandon – albeit with justified indignation – the Catholic Church, on the pretext that it has been invaded by heretics and fornicators: it is they who must be expelled from the sacred enclosure, in a work of purification and penance that must begin with each one of us.

(“Abp.” Carlo M. Viganò, Letter to Stephen Kokx, Sep. 1, 2020; italics given.)

What Vigano proposes here is an utter ecclesiological train wreck. Let’s try to disentangle this so we can see more clearly the absurdity of what the retired nuncio is saying, namely:

  1. The establishment headquartered in Vatican City, and of which Pope Francis is the head, is the Catholic Church
  2. Catholics cannot mix with Conciliarists
  3. Conciliarists are those who, retaining the name of Catholic, publicly embrace and teach the errors and heresies of the Second Vatican Council, knowing them to be contrary to the prior Magisterium
  4. Those who adhere to the errors and heresies of Vatican II not realizing them to be contrary to the prior Magisterium, are Catholics, not Conciliarists
  5. Conciliarists are members of the Catholic Church, from which they should be expelled
  6. Some Conciliarists are members of the hierarchy
  7. Catholics are not permitted to abandon the Catholic Church

Is your head spinning yet?

This response clarifies nothing; rather, it makes it glaringly obvious that “Abp.” Vigano is making it up as he goes along and/or is looking to reconcile the irreconcilable, which he is forced to do if he wants to avoid Sedevacantism: Vigano maintains that Catholics cannot mix with Conciliarists, yet he also maintains at the same time that Catholics are mixed with Conciliarists in the same (Catholic) Church.

His response clearly does not square with traditional Roman Catholic ecclesiology, which is rather straightforward:

Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.

(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 22)

Most men feel that the Church’s supreme head and shepherd should decide who are Catholics and who are not.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quartus Supra, n. 15)

In his letter to the Ephesians the apostle teaches that Christ established [the] ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith and unites them in the one bond of love and communion? The wisdom of the Divine Lawgiver ordered that a visible head be placed over a visible body so that “once so established, the opportunity for division might be removed.”

(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Commissum Divinitus, n. 10)

Vigano is telling his followers that they must determine, on their own authority and — note well! — against the judgment of the (supposedly) legitimate Pope and the Holy See, what magisterial teachings are erroneous and heretical and therefore must be rejected. Furthermore, Vigano wants his followers to determine for themselves who is in good faith and who is in bad faith about the false conciliar and post-conciliar doctrines, and then somehow separate from those they have identified as being in bad faith, even if they happen to be their lawful pastors, and even though they are in full communion with the Pope and enjoy his approval!

Stated bluntly, Vigano is essentially saying that the Catholic Church can teach a truckload of Modernist garbage in her Magisterium — those who recognize that it is garbage and therefore refuse to submit, are Catholics; those who submit by accident because they’ve been deceived and don’t realize it, but wouldn’t submit if they did realize it, are Catholics as well; but those who recognize that it is garbage but submit to it anyway are not Catholics but heretics. In other words, the mere submission to the Roman Pontiff and acceptance of his Magisterium does not guarantee one is a Catholic at all, and in fact may even indicate that one is not a Catholic. That is in direct contradiction to the teaching of Pope Pius IX that “one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff” (Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17).

Clearly, what Fr. Vigano is proposing is a colossal theological train wreck. In fact, it includes or implies the very concept of schism he disclaims: Pope Pius IX warned that “the Catholic Church has always regarded as schismatic those who obstinately oppose the lawful prelates of the Church and in particular, the chief shepherd of all” (Quartus Supra, n. 12); and the 1917 Code of Canon Law makes clear that he who “refuses to be under the Supreme Pontiff or refuses communion with the members of the Church subject to him, … is a schismatic” (Canon 1325 §2; Peters translation). That is precisely what Vigano is advocating.

The fact that he accepts Francis as the lawful Pope does not get him off the hook — if anything, it aggravates the matter:

What good is it to proclaim aloud the dogma of the supremacy of St. Peter and his successors? What good is it to repeat over and over declarations of faith in the Catholic Church and of obedience to the Apostolic See when actions give the lie to these fine words? Moreover, is not rebellion rendered all the more inexcusable by the fact that obedience is recognized as a duty? Again, does not the authority of the Holy See extend, as a sanction, to the measures which We have been obliged to take, or is it enough to be in communion of faith with this See without adding the submission of obedience, — a thing which cannot be maintained without damaging the Catholic Faith?

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quae in Patriarchatu [Sept. 1, 1876], nn. 23-24; in Acta Sanctae Sedis X [1877], pp. 3-37; English taken from Papal Teachings: The Church, nn. 433-434.)

Vigano might reply that his position is one of paramount obedience to the true Faith, made necessary by the fact that the lawful prelates, not excepting the Pope himself, have betrayed the Deposit of Faith. Yet such a rejoinder, too, is contrary to the traditional Catholic position and rebuffed by Pius IX and Leo XIII:

Indeed one simple way to keep men professing Catholic truth is to maintain their communion with and obedience to the Roman Pontiff. For it is impossible for a man ever to reject any portion of the Catholic faith without abandoning the authority of the Roman Church. In this authority, the unalterable teaching office of this faith lives on. It was set up by the divine Redeemer and, consequently, the tradition from the Apostles has always been preserved. So it has been a common characteristic both of the ancient heretics and of the more recent Protestants — whose disunity in all their other tenets is so great — to attack the authority of the Apostolic See. But never at any time were they able by any artifice or exertion to make this See tolerate even a single one of their errors.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Nostis et Nobiscum, n. 17)

We congratulate you, therefore, on the fact that although you suffer, doubtless, at the defection of your brothers, separated from you by the breath of perfidious teaching, you are not troubled for all that, and are even being stimulated by their error to receive with greater willingness and to follow with more zeal not only the orders, but even all the directives of the Apostolic See; and by so doing you are certain that you cannot be deceived or betrayed.

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Didicimus Non Sine; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 439.)

Wherefore it belongs to the Pope to judge authoritatively what things the sacred oracles contain, as well as what doctrines are in harmony, and what in disagreement, with them; and also, for the same reason, to show forth what things are to be accepted as right, and what to be rejected as worthless; what it is necessary to do and what to avoid doing, in order to attain eternal salvation. For, otherwise, there would be no sure interpreter of the commands of God, nor would there be any safe guide showing man the way he should live.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, n. 24)

The traditional Catholic teaching on the Papacy is as beautiful as it is clear: It is precisely by clinging to the Pope of Rome, to the Magisterium of the Apostolic See, that one’s orthodoxy cannot suffer shipwreck. Unlike all the other dioceses in the world — including Astana in Kazakhstan, we must point out to Athanasius Schneider admirers — it is the Roman See alone that has the divine guarantee of never defecting from the true Faith, because its head is the successor of St. Peter, to whom was promised an unfailing Faith by Christ the Lord (see Lk 22:32):

This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this see so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine. Thus the tendency to schism is removed and the whole church is preserved in unity, and, resting on its foundation, can stand firm against the gates of hell.

(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 4; underlining added.)

Hence Pope Leo XIII taught: “Union with the Roman See of Peter is … always the public criterion of a Catholic …. ‘You are not to be looked upon as holding the true Catholic faith if you do not teach that the faith of Rome is to be held’” (Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 13).

What Vigano is trying to do is split Catholic Truth from the Roman Church. And that is theologically fatal and by no means a safe alternative to Sedevacantism, although it is, alas, a popular one. What drives him to commit such theological suicide? It is the absurd recognition of Jorge Bergoglio as a true Pope, along with his five predecessors. That is what throws a monkey wrench into the clear and straightforward Catholic teaching, because it is impossible to reconcile the Catholic doctrine about the Papacy as the unfailing bulwark of the Faith with the idea that Popes can teach heresy and other errors in their magisterium. Such an attempt to square the circle cannot but result in further confusion, absurdity, and error.

The recognition of a public apostate like Bergoglio as the rightful Roman Pontiff is the linchpin that keeps the entire recognize-and-resist madhouse together. Remove that pin, and the traditional Catholic theology will fall into place.

How is Vigano’s idea of the Catholic Church much different from a Protestant church? What good is a hierarchy and magisterium that can teach heresy and other soul-endangering errors? And how does he claim that Vatican II contains errors and heresies (see his June 9, 2020 monograph) when his own “Pope” and almost the entire “Catholic hierarchy” tell him otherwise? Why would any potential convert from Protestantism be drawn to such a church as the only true Church established by Christ?

Holy Scripture calls the Catholic Church “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Is that an apt description of the Vatican II Sect? Would not a more fitting term be the “operation of error” St. Paul warns about in the last days (2 Thess 2:10), or “the great harlot” St. John speaks of in the Apocalypse (17:1)? Why is it that the recognize-and-resist adherents seem to understand that virtually everything about the Vatican II Church is false — false doctrines, false saints, false Mass, false sacraments, false annulments, etc. — except the Pope? Why is he always genuine? Does it not stand to reason that a counterfeit church can emerge only from counterfeit authorities, that is, from false popes?

Vigano’s position does great damage to the traditional Catholic doctrine regarding the unity of the Church: The Catholic Church is one in Faith, worship, and government; whereas the church about which Vigano speaks is divided in faith, worship, and government. Keep in mind that in his response to Stephen Kokx, Vigano maintains that the Conciliarists “do not share the faith, morals, liturgy, and discipline of the Catholic Church” — and yet he claims they are part of the Catholic Church!

All the strength and the beauty of this mystical body [the Church] results from the firm and constant union of all the members of the Church in the same faith, in the same sacraments, in the same bonds of mutual charity, in submission and obedience to the Head of the Church.

(Pope Pius VII, Apostolic Constitution Ecclesia Christi, n. 1. English taken from Papal Teachings: The Church, n. 134.)

In his letter to the Ephesians the apostle teaches that Christ established [the] ecclesiastical power for the benefit of unity. And what is this unity unless one person is placed in charge of the whole Church who protects it and joins all its members in the one profession of faith and unites them in the one bond of love and communion? The wisdom of the Divine Lawgiver ordered that a visible head be placed over a visible body so that “once so established, the opportunity for division might be removed.”

(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Commissum Divinitus, n. 10; underlining added.)

Our most beloved Redeemer, Christ the Lord, willed as you well know, venerable brothers, to deliver all men from the captivity of the devil, free them from the yoke of sin, call them from darkness into his wonderful light and be their salvation. When he had blotted out the handwriting of the decree against us, fastening it to the cross, he formed and established the Catholic Church, won by his blood, as the one “Church of the living God,” the one “kingdom of heaven,” “the city set on a hill,” “one flock,” and “one body” steadfast and alive with “one Spirit,” one faith, one hope, one love joined and firmly held together by the same bonds of sacraments, religion and doctrine. He further provided his Church with leaders whom he chose and called. In addition, he decreed that the Church will endure as long as the world, embrace all peoples and nations of the whole world, and that whoever accepts his divine religion and grace and perseveres to the end will attain the glory of eternal salvation.

(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Amantissimus, n. 1; underlining added.)

Indeed no true and perfect human society can be conceived which is not governed by some supreme authority. Christ therefore must have given to His Church a supreme authority to which all Christians must render obedience. For this reason, as the unity of the faith is of necessity required for the unity of the church, inasmuch as it is the body of the faithful, so also for this same unity, inasmuch as the Church is a divinely constituted society, unity of government, which effects and involves unity of communion, is necessary jure divino [by divine right].

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Satis Cognitum, n. 10; italics given; underlining added.)

If these teachings are true — and they are — then it is absolutely impossible for the Vatican II Church to be the Roman Catholic Church.

Somehow, Vigano himself seems to realize this. For that reason, further on in his response to Kokx he speaks of a “conciliar sect”, “a strange and extgravagant Church” which “coexists, like wheat with the tare, in the Roman Curia, in dioceses, in parishes.” Although we have no problem agreeing that there is indeed a strange New Church around that falsely passes itself off as the Catholic Church, any attempt to locate that False Church as somehow present in and existing together with the True Church is necessarily dead on arrival, theologically. This kind of thinking, although no doubt very appealing to many semi-traditionalists, conflates Christ with Satan, truth with lies, salvation with damnation — all of which it locates in one and the same divine institution, even in the very same people at different times and in different senses. It makes the Immaculate Bride of Christ into a whore!

According to what Vigano is proposing, then, Francis would be the Holy Father and Vicar of Christ when he condemns abortion, canonizes a true saint, or extends faculties for confession and marriages to the Society of St. Pius X. Yet the same Francis would then turn into infernal Head of the Conciliar Sect when he teaches the moral licitness of adultery under certain circumstances, signs an apostate declaration on human fraternity, or declares that proselytism is solemn nonsense. It is a kind of theological version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now imagine all of those things set forth in one and the same “papal” document!

Vigano’s mystifying ecclesiology would mean the complete disintegration of the Church into a hopeless free-for-all of more or less arbitrary resistance, perpetually. Is a certain episcopal appointment to a diocese an instance of the False Church or the True Church acting? You decide. Is the latest encyclical safe to read and embrace? Maybe ask Vigano first. Should this or that mandated liturgical change be implemented or not? Let’s see what “Bp.” Athanasius Schneider thinks about it. Is the newest canonized ‘saint’ a true one to be accepted, venerated, and imitated — or a dangerous charlatan to be cast aside? Check with ‘The Remnant’. Oh, and what about those newly-introduced criteria for declaring a marriage null? That depends — have you gotten along with your spouse lately? (wink, wink). Clearly, this is absurdity on stilts!

A False Church coexisting with the True Church would also create a practical impossibility: From the former, Viganò says, one is required to separate, whereas from the latter, one is not permitted to. Good luck with that!

In truth, Vigano’s idea of a coexisting Antichurch inhabiting the True Church is a clever intellectual fig leaf covering the naked truth that the establishment he recognizes as the Catholic Church is a heretical sect. It does not — and could not possibly — coexist with the True Church, any more than our Blessed Lord would share His Throne with Lucifer (cf. 2 Cor 6:14-16). Ironically, Vigano’s curious Church-Antichurch amalgamation bears a striking resemblance to Vatican II ecclesiology — it’s just not clear exactly how many elements of the one can exist in the other!

How does the former Vatican nuncio think his temerarious idea squares with the pronouncement by Pope Leo XIII that the Church of our Blessed Lord “makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity (Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)? Or with this beautiful truth enunciated by St. Cyprian and confirmed by Pope Pius XI: “The Bride of Christ cannot be made false to her Spouse: she is incorrupt and modest. She knows but one dwelling, she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber chastely and modestly” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 10)? As St. Paul asked rhetorically, although in a slightly different context: “Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid” (1 Cor 6:15).

The motive behind Vigano’s disastrous theological position is clear, of course: Since he will not consider Sedevacantism as even a possibility, he must somehow force the square peg of the heretical Vatican II Sect into the round hole of the Catholic Church. But, as Pope St. Leo IX put it, “we confess the one Church, not of heretics but the Holy Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside which we believe that no one is saved” (Apostolic Letter Ejus ExemploDenz. 423; underlining added).

That the Church Jesus Christ established is not a church of heretics, should hardly be surprising, inasmuch as Our Blessed Lord’s promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [His Church]” (Mt 16:18) means precisely that the Church will never be overcome by heresy:

The holy Church built upon a rock, that is Christ, and upon Peter or Cephas, the son of John who first was called Simon, because by the gates of Hell, that is, by the disputations of heretics which lead the vain to destruction, it would never be overcome; thus Truth itself promises, through whom are true, whatsoever things are true: “The gates of hell will not prevail against it” [Mt 16:18]. The same Son declares that He obtained the effect of this promise from the Father by prayers, by saying to Peter: “Simon, behold Satan etc.” [Lk 23:31]. Therefore, will there be anyone so foolish as to dare to regard His prayer as in anyway vain whose being willing is being able? By the See of the chief of the Apostles, namely by the Roman Church, through the same Peter, as well as through his successors, have not the comments of all the heretics been disapproved, rejected, and overcome, and the hearts of the brethren in the faith of Peter which so far neither has failed, nor up to the end will fail, been strengthened?

(Pope St. Leo IX, Apostolic Letter In Terra PaxDenz. 351; underlining added.)

All of this shows that people must choose between the Vatican II Church on the one hand, and Catholic truth on the other. The two simply cannot be reconciled, and that is why all attempts to be Catholic in it ultimately always end in failure and frustration.

The solution is obvious: We must affirm Catholic truth and therefore reject Bergoglio and his equally fake predecessors.

To be continued in Part 2. 

Father Anthony Cekada, R.I.P. (1951-2020)

September 11, 2020

Sedevacantist pioneer has died…

Father Anthony Cekada, R.I.P. (1951-2020)

The sedevacantist priest, author, and seminary professor Fr. Anthony Cekada has died at his parish residence in West Chester, Ohio. This was announced moments ago on Twitter by Bp. Daniel Dolan, pastor of St. Gertrude’s Church:

Fr Cekada died peacefully this morning, surrounded by prayer, and well fortified by the Sacraments of the Church. Please remember this good and generous priestly soul in your prayers. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday morning, with the wake Wednesday evening.

(source)

Fr. Cekada had been suffering from complications after a series of strokes. Years earlier he had received treatment for cancer. He was 69.

This post is only an announcement of his passing, asking everyone to offer prayers for the repose of his soul. There will be a tribute to Father’s contributions to the true Catholic cause in a future post.

Funeral arrangements with precise date, time, and location will be posted in the combox below.

Every death is an important reminder that one day God will call us to judgment too, and it may be sooner than we think (see 1 Th 5:2).

Réquiem aetérnam dona ei, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat ei. Requiéscat in pace. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

 

No Bishop Pfeiffer: Feeneyite Fails at Attempt to Consecrate Bishop for SSPX-Resistance

Neal Webster botches episcopal consecration

No Bishop Pfeiffer: Feeneyite Fails at Attempt to Consecrate Bishop for SSPX-Resistance

Bp. Neal Webster mangles the essential words necessary for validity

Big news out of Boston, Kentucky: This past Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Bp. Neal Webster consecrated Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer a bishop for the SSPX-resistance. That, at least, is the official story. The truth is a bit more complicated.

But first, a little bit of context.

The Society of St. Pius X is a priestly society founded by Abp. Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991) with the approval of the local Novus Ordo bishop in Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1970. When on June 30, 1988, Abp. Lefebvre, joined by Brazilian Bp. Antonio de Castro Mayer (1904-1991), consecrated four bishops in defiance of “Pope” John Paul II’s explicit prohibition, the Vatican declared that all six bishops had incurred automatic excommunication for this “schismatic act”, and John Paul II subsequently warned all about “formal adherence to the schism”. After many years of an ecclesiastical “cold war”, eventually the Lefebvrists and the Vatican began talking again, and in 2009 “Pope” Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications against the four surviving bishops, with “full communion” still far off, however.

In 2012, as a reconciliation between the SSPX and the Modernist Vatican became a realistic possibility, some Lefebvrist clergy began to dissent and resist openly, the most prominent of them being Bp. Richard Williamson, one of the four consecrated by Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer in 1988. Some clergy began to leave the Society of their own volition, whereas others were expelled. On Oct. 24, 2012, the SSPX leadership under Bp. Bernard Fellay expelled Bp. Williamson, ironically, for failure “to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors” — as though any lawful authority (in the canonical sense) had ever appointed Fellay over Williamson. Thus, while Fellay could disobey his own superior (the “Pope”) all day long, Williamson was not permitted to disobey Fellay — but that’s not our topic now.

Before long, these former SSPX clerics began to form in a loose association called by various names, such as “SSPX of the Strict Observance” (SSPX-SO), “SSPX Marian Corps” (SSPX-MC), or simply “SSPX-Resistance.” Their idea is to be as hardline as the SSPX had been before the rapprochement with Rome began, and to oppose any “premature compromise” (source). They see themselves as the “real” SSPX and the true spiritual heirs of Abp. Lefebvre. Some of them gathered around Bp. Williamson, whereas others went their own way. This is where Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer comes in.

Fr. Pfeiffer had been expelled from the SSPX together with Fr. François Chazal in September of 2012. Whereas Fr. Chazal went to Asia, Fr. Pfeiffer ended up establishing his own “church, seminary, and convent”, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Boston, Kentucky (aka “Pfeifferville”).

Fast-forward to July 29, 2020. Apparently with no prior public announcement, the Feeneyite Bishop (or “Bishop”) Neal Webster consecrated Fr. Pfeiffer a bishop in the Boston chapel (see full video here). It is not clear (to us, at least) whether Webster is a valid bishop because it is not clear whether he is a valid priest, and the validity of an episcopal consecration bestowed upon a man who is not a valid priest is doubtful. It is unnecessary to go into detail here, because the focus of this blog post is another: Even if Webster is a valid bishop, Fr. Pfeiffer’s episcopal consecration this past Wednesday was invalid. In other words, Pfeiffer is not actually a bishop.

The reason for the invalidity lies in the fact that Bp. Webster mangled the sixteen essential words that are absolutely necessary for the episcopacy to be conferred on a priest.

Before we look at the evidence for that, let us first review the applicable principles of Catholic sacramental theology:

15. — 1. – In the administration of the sacraments by fallible ministers it sometimes occurs that the matter and form are not rightly applied, due to inadvertence, negligence, error or deliberate will. In any case the objective change that results will be either substantial or accidental. Judgment of the quality of the change effected will be made not by the criteria of the physical sciences but in accordance with the common usage and estimation of prudent men.

2. – A substantial change takes place when in ordinary usage and prudent estimation the matter no longer remains of the same species and name as that determined in the sacrament (e.g., to use milk in baptizing), or when the words used in the form no longer retain the same sense (e.g., to say “ego to baptizo in nomine matris…”). A change is accidental when the matter remains the same in usage and name but altered in some accidental quality (e.g., to use leavened bread or a square host), or when the words of the form are different but retain the same sense (e.g., to say “ego te abluo…”).

16. — 3. – Regarding corruption or change in the sacramental form St. Thomas notes that, if the change in the words is at the beginning of the words, the sense is generally altered essentially or substantially, but not usually if the change takes place at the end of the words. If the corrupt forms cannot have other than a sacramental sense, they generally remain valid forms. Thus the separation of individual words of or syllables does not constitute a substantial alteration, unless the interval is long enough to alter the meaning of the sentence (more easily admissible when syllables are separated). In such a case the moral unity of the form as one complete prayer is destroyed by the interruption and also by such grammatical changes or mistakes as could actually change the meaning of the form. Substantial alteration may also be risked by faulty articulation or by clipping words through haste. In practice, where a complete word is de facto interrupted through a pause between syllables, it is advisable to repeat the word, unless the interruption is extremely slight.

17. — 4. A substantial change in matter and in form always invalidates a sacrament, whereas a purely accidental change does not have this effect. …

(Rev. Nicholas Halligan, The Administration of the Sacraments [Cork: The Mercier Press, 1963], nn. 15-17, pp. 8-9; italics given; underlining added.)

With this in mind, we can now consider the evidence of how Webster botched the Pfeiffer consecration.

In 1947, Pope Pius XII decreed:

…[I]n the Episcopal Ordination or Consecration, the matter is the imposition of hands which is done by the Bishop consecrator. The form consists of the words of the “Preface,” of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:

“Comple in Sacerdote tuo ministerii tui summam, et ornamentis totius glorificationis instructum coelestis unguenti rore sanctifica.”

[“Perfect in Thy priest the fullness of thy ministry and, clothing him in all the ornaments of spiritual glorification, sanctify him with the Heavenly anointing.”]

(Pope Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis, n. 5; bold print added.)

As can be seen beginning at 59:10 in the video, Webster does not pronounce this sacramental formula correctly. What he actually says is very difficult to transcribe, so we won’t even try. Instead, everyone can listen to it for himself.

The following brief video clip shows how Webster mispronounces the essential words by comparing them to what he should have said:

Thus Webster has rendered the consecration of Fr. Pfeiffer invalid. That is also the judgment of sedevacantists Bp. Donald Sanborn and Fr. Nicolas Desposito, by the way, among others.

Still, not everyone will be totally convinced that Webster’s botching of the essential words rendered the sacrament invalid. Nevertheless, it is beyond any dispute that the mangled words have rendered the validity doubtful. In other words, we cannot know whether the sacrament was conferred or not.

However, in practice Catholic theology requires us to treat a doubtful sacrament as invalid, precisely because we have no certainty that it was in fact conferred validly:

In a doubt of the validity of a sacramental conferral, every sacrament may be repeated conditionally, and certain ones must be repeated. However, the doubt must be prudent and reasonable, since an imprudent and rash doubt causes an irreverence to the sacrament…. Certain necessary sacraments must be repeated lest grave damage to religion or neighbor result: Baptism, absolution of those dying in mortal sin, Extreme Unction for the unconscious moribound, Holy Orders, the consecration of doubtfully consecrated hosts.

(Halligan, The Administration of the Sacraments, n. 48, pp. 20-21; italics given; underlining added.)

It is obvious that there exists at least a doubt that is both prudent and reasonable with regard to how Webster pronounced the essential form, given the evidence provided above.

As someone who has rightly railed against the doubtful/invalid sacraments of the Novus Ordo Church, Fr. Pfeiffer should be most concerned about the status of his own validity as a “bishop.” In other words, he ought to hold off on donning that miter.

Inevitably, some people will claim that we’re saying Pfeiffer’s episcopal consecration is invalid only because he is not a sedevacantist. That is not so. There have been many episcopal consecrations in the past by non-sedevacantist traditionalists, and we always consider them valid — unless there is evidence to the contrary. Thus, for example, we do not dispute the consecrations of Bp. Jean-Michel FaureBp. Tomas de Aquino, or Bp. Gerardo Zendejas, all conferred by Bp. Williamson. Nor do we dispute the validity of the consecration of the Modernist Bp. Arêas Rifan (because one of his co-consecrators, Licínio Rangel, was a valid bishop) or the hippie Modernist Bp. Thomas Gumbleton (because he was consecrated in 1968, just before the Novus Ordo rite was introduced). We go by Catholic principle here, not by emotion, passion, or theological tit-for-tat.

Now if someone could just relay all this to Father Pfeiffer.

 

A friendly call to Catholic perseverance by true traditional Catholics

Saint Athanasius the Great

Dear Fellow Traditional Catholic,

In the 4th Century A.D., the Catholic Church was severely persecuted by the Arian heretics. St. Athanasius clearly identified and combated these enemies of Truth (The Arians) who had iniquitously usurped Holy Mother Churches buildings, and “set up shop” to exact tribute. Church Historians estimate that 97% to 99% of the “Bishops” at that time, were Arian heretics.

A sin against Faith is the most grievous of all sins. St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches in regards to evil heretics:

“In a heretic who disbelieves one article of faith, no faith remains, either informed or uninformed.” (II-II, q. 5, a. 3.)

Hence, so although these reprobate/heretical Arian “Bishops” dressed like and pretended to be “Bishops”, they infallibly could not be [Bishops], as they did not possess de fide [The Catholic Faith].

They were really- impotent, impious, imposters who had, through their own prideful error, severed themselves from Christ’s Mystical Body [the] Catholic Church by their sin against The Faith. Logically, since they could not be Catholic, they could not hold *ecclesiastical office [i.e. be lawful Bishops] and of course they could not retain any authority from Christ to govern His Catholic Church as they were not members of it.

[*1917 Code of Canon Law (C. 188. 4.): “There are certain causes which effect the tacit resignation of an office, which resignation is accepted in advance by operation of law, and hence is effective without any declaration. These causes are: … (4) if he has publicly defected (fallen away) from the Catholic faith.”]

St. Athanasius, a Holy Catholic Bishop and True Sacrificing Shepherd, in order to encourage his small flock of True Catholics still remaining to persevere in The Faith during that terrible Arian persecution, wrote the following letter, which sadly is even more applicable today (2020 A.D.) i.e. during this dreadful time of [The] Apostasy:

Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock (4th Century A.D.)
May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises — but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle — the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith?
True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis.

No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray.

Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ. (Coll. selecta SS. Eccl. Patrum, Caillau and Guillou, Vol. 32, pp. 411-412)

Fellow Traditional Catholic, thus, against all odds, yet still thoroughly animated by the Virtue of Hope, St. Athanasius “rallied the troops” (The Church Militant) in his day and defeated the enemies of The Faith. Today’s dire situation, where people either do not want to think anymore, or are not able to think (reason) and draw the necessary conclusions, is truly the darkest time in Church History.

Nonetheless, to give in to despair is to not be without sin. The pius Fr. Titus Joslin wrote,

“The days are evil;”*… but opportunities of exercising charity are always at hand, and “charity covers a multitude of sins.” As others are less fervent, it is our part to be more fervent; and the more of evil we see around us, the more to be stimulated to do good works ourselves. “God is charity, and he who remains in charity abides in God, and God in him.” -1 John, iv
Therfeore, please pray fervently for the restoration of the True Faith to it’s ancient luster and for all True Catholics to do good and defeat evil.

Blessed be Our Lady Conqueror of all Heresies!

 

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¿Quis ut Deus? Veritas Vincit

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

¿Quis ut Deus? Stat Veritas

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

Traditional Catholic Education

A Traditional Catholic(Sedevacantist) Site.

Call Me Jorge...

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

AMOR DE LA VERDAD

IGLESIA CATÓLICA igual en 2000 años hasta la muerte de Pío XII

Ecclesia Militans

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Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

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SCATURREX

Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

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Defensor Blog ⚜️ Traditional Catholicism ⚜️ Apostolica Sedes Vacans

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Homunizam

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