Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pope John Paul "the Great" and his crime syndicate: Part I, Fr. Maciel

Contents

1. Investigative reporting by Jason Berry

2. "The Mission of Father Maciel"
by Alma Guillermoprieto

3. Michael Hoffman's Afterword 
_______________________________________

"Money paved way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican"
Jason Berry, April 6, 2010 (excerpt)

"How Fr. Maciel built his empire"
Jason Berry, Apr. 12, 2010 (excerpt)


Nov. 30, 2004: Pope John Paul II gives his apostolic blessing to Rev. Fr. Marcial Maciel

...Maciel was a morphine addict who sexually abused at least 20 Legion seminarians from the 1940s to the '60s. Bishop John McGann of Rockville Centre, N.Y., sent a letter by a former Legion priest with detailed allegations to the Vatican in 1976, 1978 and 1989 through official channels. Nothing happened.

Maciel began fathering children in the early 1980s -- three of them by two Mexican women, with reports of a third family with three children in Switzerland, according to El Mundo in Madrid, Spain.

Concealing his web of relations, Maciel raised a fortune from wealthy backers, and ingratiated himself with church officials in Rome...Maciel's chief supporter (was) Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state from 1990 to 2006...

Maciel left an ecclesiastical empire with which the church must now contend. The Italian newsweekly L'espresso estimates the Legion's assets at 25 billion euros, with a $650 million annual budget, according to The Wall Street Journal....

In 1994 Pope John Paul II heralded him (Maciel) as "an efficacious guide to youth." John Paul continued praising Maciel after a 1997 Hartford Courant investigation by Gerald Renner and this writer exposed Maciel's drug habits and abuse of seminarians.

In 1998, eight ex-Legionaries filed a canon law case to prosecute him in then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's tribunal. For the next six years, Maciel had the staunch support of three pivotal figures: Sodano; Cardinal Eduardo Martínez Somalo, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; and Msgr. Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Polish secretary of John Paul.

During those years, Sodano pressured Ratzinger not to prosecute Maciel...In 2004, John Paul -- ignoring the canon law charges against Maciel -- honored him in a Vatican ceremony in which he entrusted the Legion with the administration of Jerusalem's Notre Dame Center, an education and conference facility...

John Paul's support gave Maciel credibility as he moved with seamless ease among the ultra-wealthy. At a 2004 fundraiser in New York, a video cameraman filmed him running his fingers down the tuxedo lapel of the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, a major Legion supporter. Besides donations, Legion schools in Mexico with high tuitions and low salaries subsidized the operations in Rome...Legion supporters ranged from Steve McEveety, producer of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" (Legion priests advised on the film), to Thomas Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza and Ave Maria University in Florida. Others who supported the Legion include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who spoke at Legion conferences...and the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, who wrote that he believed with "moral certainty" that the charges against Maciel were "false and malicious."

Harvard Law Professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon taught at Regina Apostolorum Athenaeum, the Legion's university in Rome, and advised in the planning that led to the order's first university in America, University of Sacramento, Calif. In a 2002 letter for the Legion Web site she scoffed at the allegations against him and praised Maciel's "radiant holiness" and "the success of Regnum Christi [the order's lay wing] and the Legionaries of Christ in advancing the New Evangelization."...

William Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, defended Maciel in a letter to the Hartford Courant, after a 1997 article that exposed Maciel's history of pedophilia.

Two Legion priests are TV news celebrities: Jonathan Morris on FOX, and Tom Williams, a theology professor at the Legion university in Rome, for NBC during Katie Couric's coverage of the 2005 conclave and again with Couric at CBS....(we) made repeated efforts to seek comment from the three cardinals who allegedly received substantial payments under Maciel's auspices, by speaking with Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi on the telephone and via follow-up e-mails. Besides calls to the residences of the two cardinals in Rome, the paper made an extensive effort to contact now-Cardinal Dziwisz, in Krakow, Poland. Iowana Hoffman, a Polish journalist in New York, translated a letter with questions for the cardinal, faxed it to Dziwisz's press secretary, but was told that the cardinal "does not have time for an interview."

Sodano, the former secretary of state and now dean of the College of Cardinals, and Martínez Somalo, former papal chamberlain, did not respond to messages left with Lombardi. A receptionist who answered Sodano's residential number said to call the Vatican. The woman answering Martínez Somalo's phone, when asked in Spanish if he would speak with a journalist, said emphatically, " No entrevista! " -- "No interview."


Had Sodano, Martínez Somalo and Dziwisz responded, the cardinals might have answered one question that hovers over this baroque financial drama: How do Vatican officials decide what to report, and to whom, if they are given large sums of money? The Vatican has no constitution or statutes that would make such transactions illegal. But those familiar with the strategy say it was Maciel's goal to insulate himself from the Vatican's archaic system of secret tribunals by making friends with men in power. For most of his life, it worked.

...The Legion constitution included the highly controversial Private Vows, by which each Legionary swore never to speak ill of Maciel, or the superiors, and to report to them anyone who uttered criticism. The vows basically rewarded spying as an expression of faith, and cemented the Legionaries' lockstep obedience to the founder....

Dziwisz was John Paul's closest confidante, a Pole who had a bedroom in the private quarters of the Apostolic Palace. Maciel spent years cultivating Dziwisz's support. Under Maciel, the Legion steered streams of money to Dziwisz in his function as gatekeeper for the pope's private Masses in the Apostolic Palace....such exchanges are not considered bribes in the view of Nicholas Cafardi, a prominent canon lawyer and the dean emeritus of Duquesne University Law School in Pittsburgh. Cafardi, who has done work as a legal consultant for many bishops, responded to a general question about large donations to priests or church officials in the VaticanUnder church law (canon 1302), a large financial gift to an official in Rome "would qualify as a pious cause," explains Cafardi. He spoke in broad terms, saying that such funds should be reported to the cardinal-vicar for Rome. An expensive gift, like a car, need not be reported.


...Maciel wanted to buy power," said the priest who facilitated the Mexican family's opera carita to Dziwisz. He did not use the word bribery, but in explaining why he left the Legion, morality was at issue. "It got to a breaking point for me [over] a culture of lying [within the order]. The superiors know they're lying and they know that you know," he said. "They lie about money, where it comes from, where it goes, how it's given."

When Martínez Somalo, a Spaniard, became head of the congregation overseeing religious in 1994, Maciel dispatched this priest to Martínez Somalo's home. The young priest carried an envelope thick with cash. "I didn't bat an eye," he recalled. "I went up to his apartment, handed him the envelope, said goodbye. ... It was a way of making friends, insuring certain help if it were needed, oiling the cogs."...Martínez Somalo's office took a new name: Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. But the job description stayed the same. From 1994 to 2004, the Spanish cardinal's duties included investigating any complaints about religious orders or their leaders. In the files of that congregation, according to several former Legionaries, sat letters that dated back many years, accusing Maciel of abusing seminarians. When the wrenching accounts of nine seminary-victims of Maciel made news in the 1997 Hartford Courant, Martínez Somalo did nothing. That was the reaction throughout the Roman curia.
John Paul named Martínez Somalo to the post of carmelango, or chamberlain, the official in charge of the conclave when a pope is elected.

For years Maciel had Legion priests dole out envelopes with cash and donate gifts to officials in the curia. In the days leading up to Christmas, Legion seminarians spent hours packaging the baskets with expensive bottles of wine, rare brandy, and cured Spanish hams that alone cost upward of $1,000 each. Priests involved in the gifts and larger cash exchanges say that in hindsight they view Maciel's strategy as akin to an insurance policy, to protect himself should he be exposed and to position the Legion as an elite presence in the workings of the Vatican.

Fichter, the former Legion member, is today pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Haworth, N.J. He has been a diocesan priest for a decade, and serves in the Newark archdiocese. He coordinated the Legion's administrative office in Rome from February 1998 until October 2000. "When Fr. Maciel would leave Rome it was my duty to supply him with $10,000 in cash -- $5,000 in American dollars, and the other half in the currency of the country to which he was traveling," explained Fichter. "I would be informed by one of his assistants that he was leaving and I would have to prepare the funds for him. I never questioned that he was not using it for good and noble purposes. It was a routine part of my job. He was so totally above reproach that I felt honored to have that role. He did not submit any receipts and I would have not dared to ask him for a receipt."

...After the ex-Legion victims filed a canonical case in 1998 against Maciel in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Sodano as secretary of state -- essentially, the Vatican prime minister -- pressured Ratzinger, as the congregation's prefect, to halt the proceeding. ...José Barba, a college professor in Mexico City and ex-Legionary who filed the 1998 case in Ratzinger's office, learned from the canonist handling the case, Martha Wegan in Rome, of Sodano's role.

"Sodano came over with his entire family, 200 of them, for a big meal when he was named cardinal," recalled Favreau. "And we fed them all. When he became secretary of state there was another celebration. He'd come over for special events, like the groundbreaking with a golden shovel for the House of Higher Studies. And a dinner after that." The intervention of a high Vatican official in a tribunal case illustrates the fragile nature of the system, and in the Maciel case, how a guilty man escaped punishment for years. "Cardinal Sodano was the cheerleader for the Legion," said one of the ex-Legionaries. "He'd come give a talk at Christmas and they'd give him $10,000."

...In 2009, a year after Maciel's death, the Legion disclosed its surprise on discovering that he had a daughter. The news jolted the order and its lay arm, Regnum Christi. Yet in an organization built on a cult of personality, the long praise from John Paul suggested a legacy of virtue in Maciel. Legion officials scrambled to suppress skepticism. Two Legion priests (said) in July (2009) that seminarians in Rome were still being taught about Maciel's virtuous life. "They are being brainwashed, as if nothing happened," said a Legionary, sitting on a bench near Rome's Tiber River....

In a book on Maciel published in Spain, journalist Alfonso Torres Robles calls an event on Jan. 3, 1991, "one of the most powerful demonstrations of strength by the Legion ... at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, when John Paul II ordained 60 Legionaries into the priesthood, in the presence of 7,000 Regnum Christi members from different countries, 15 cardinals, 52 bishops and many millionaire benefactors." Maciel had the event filmed and a sequence used in a video the Legion sold until 2006. John Paul was a strategic image in Legion mass mailings and the video shown to potential donors when seminarians accompanied priests to their homes. 

...Maciel forced all Legionaries to take private vows, never to speak ill of Maciel or any superiors, and to report to their superiors anyone who did. The vows ensured his cult of personality. 

Juan Vaca and seven other early victims of Maciel who first spoke publicly, in the 1997 Hartford Courant report by Gerald Renner and this writer, gave graphic accounts of how, in Spain and Rome in the 1950s, they watched Maciel inject himself with a morphine painkiller called dolantin, as the drug was called at the time. In 1956, a strung-out Maciel entered Salvator Mundi Hospital in Rome. Cardinal Valerio Valeri, a reed-like former diplomat and prefect for Congregation of Religious, was furious over letters from an older seminarian in Mexico City who had seen Maciel self-inject and worried about his overly affectionate behavior with boys. The priest who ran the Legion high school was also concerned about Maciel's drug use and advances on youths. Cardinal Valeri suspended Maciel and arranged for Carmelite priests to assume control of the Legion house. 

...Maciel traveled between Spain and Latin America, raising money for a big project underway in Rome: Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica. Maciel got his break in 1959 when Pius XII died. Micara, by then the vicar of Rome, signed an order reinstating Maciel — something for which, in the interregnum between popes, he had no authority to do. Canon law puts official duties in abeyance in the interim. What were Valeri and other officials who were offended by Maciel to do? Expend what capital they had with the new pontiff, challenging Micara over a druggy priest with a vice for boys but cash lines to build a basilica? Maciel was redeemed by an illegitimate order from a cardinal to whom he had given $10,000 13 years before, according to a priest with access to Legion files

....Maciel reaped lasting dividends in Monterrey with the Garza-Sada families. The dynasty dates to 1890, when Isaac Garza and his brother-in-law, Francisco Sada, opened a brewery. Isaac's sons, Eugenio and Roberto Garza Sada, both graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built a bottling factory in 1943. As they branched into other industries, the Garza brothers founded a university, TEC — the Technical Institute of Superior Studies in Monterrey. Maciel launched private schools in Monterrey, one for boys, one for girls. He exported to America a model for prep schools to attract well-heeled families who would join Regnum Christi, which organized study groups to discuss Maciel's letters. Lay celibates, the highest level of Regnum Christi members, live in communities and work relentlessly on fundraising...."They were grooming us for Regnum Christi — the Movement. If your family had money, power, influence, they wanted you. They kept telling me, 'God gave you everything, you must give back by fighting the forces of evil.' … Their whole discourse was this paradise of moral rectitude...." Two of (Garza-Sada) siblings joined the Movement. Paulina, now in her 50s, is a Regnum Christi consecrated woman in Rome. A brother, Fr. Luis Garza Medina, graduated from Stanford University in California in 1978 with a degree in industrial engineering and entered the Legion. At 32 he became vicar general, the second highest position. Through the two siblings, Maciel secured a continuing flow of money from the family. Fr. Garza donated $3 million of his inheritance to the Legion, according to a colleague at the time. In an e-mail exchange, Fr. Garza would neither confirm nor deny the amount or the donation....

Maciel died in a surreal drama where his life pieces converged with shuddering fall. In late January 2008, he was in a hospital in Miami, according to a Jan. 31, 2010 report by reporters Sota and Vidal of El Mundo....In the hospital gathered Alvaro Corcuera, Maciel's successor as director general; the Legion's general secretary, Evarista Sada; and numerous other associates. Maciel reportedly refused to make a confession, stirring such concerns that someone summoned an exorcist, though the article does not describe a ritual. The men around Maciel were jarred when two women appeared: Norma the mother, and Normita, 23. At that point, Maciel reportedly said of the Normas: "I want to stay with them."

The El Mundo article continues: "The Legionary priests, alarmed by Maciel's attitude, called Rome. [Fr.] Luis Garza knew right away that this was a grave problem. He consulted with the highest authority, Alvaro Corcuera, and then hopped on the first plane to Miami and went directly to the hospital.
[Garza's] indignation could be read on his face. He faced the once-powerful founder and threatened him: "I will give you two hours to come with us or I will call all the press and the whole world will find out who you really are." And Maciel let his arm be twisted. After the priests got Maciel to a Legion house in Jacksonville, Florida, he reportedly grew belligerent when Corcuero tried to anoint him, yelling, "I said no!" The article says Maciel refused to make a final confession, and states flatly that he "did not believe in God's pardon." That is an opinion that Maciel's sordid life might well support, but for which, in fact, we have no proof. 

In announcing his ascent to heaven, immediately following Maciel's 2008 death, the Legion high command took propaganda to a level beyond category.



The Mission of Father Maciel
New York Review of Books (excerpt) | June 24, 2010
by Alma Guillermoprieto

Maciel on the cover of Quien magazine (Mexico), March 19, 2010

Of all the terrible sexual scandals the hierarchs in the Vatican find themselves tangled in, none is likely to do more institutional damage than the astounding and still unfolding story of the Mexican priest Marcial Maciel.

The crimes committed against children by other priests and bishops may provoke rage, but they also make one want to look away. With Father Maciel, on the other hand, one can hardly tear oneself from the ghastly drama as it unfolds, page by page, revelation by revelation, in the Mexican press.

Father Maciel, who was born in Mexico and died in 2008 at the age of eighty-seven, was known around the Catholic world. Against ordinarily insurmountable obstacles, he founded what was to become one of the most dynamic, profitable, and conservative religious orders of the twentieth century, which today has almost eight hundred priests and approximately 70,000 men and women around the world who participate in the lay movement Regnum Christi. The Legion of Christ, nearly seventy years old as an order, is comparatively small, but it is influential: it operates fifteen universities, and some 140,000 students are enrolled in its schools (in New York, its members teach in eleven parish schools). And its leadership has long enjoyed remarkable access to the Vatican hierarchy.

A great achiever and close associate of Pope John Paul II, Maciel was also a bigamist, pederast, dope fiend, and plagiarist. He came from the fervently religious state of Michoacán in the southwest of Mexico and grew up during the years of the Cristero War (1926–1929), a savage conflict that pitched traditional Catholics (Cristeros) in provincial Mexico against the anticlerical government in the capital. One of his uncles was the commanding general of the Cristeros. Another four uncles were bishops. One of them, Rafael Guízar Valencia, brought him into a clandestine seminary in Mexico City. As a twenty-year-old who had not even taken his vows, Maciel created a new religious order with the help of another uncle.

... Maciel was evidently a man of some magnetism. Dozens of wealthy women contributed generous amounts for the Legionaries’ good works, and the Mexican magazine Quién, normally known for its society pages and not for its investigative reporting, recently had a story about one of Mexico's wealthiest widows, Flora Barragán de Garza, who donated upward of $50 million during the years of Maciel's glory. “She gave him practically all our father’s fortune,” Barragán’s daughter told the Quién interviewer, adding that the family finally had to intervene so that the by then elderly woman would not be left destitute. Her generosity allowed Maciel to travel first-class throughout his peripatetic life, but it also provided the seed money for the network of private schools to which wealthy Mexican conservatives dispatched their children.

In 1997, Blanca Estela Lara Gutiérrez, a Mexican woman who was living in Cuernavaca, looked at the cover of the magazine Contenido—a Reader’s Digest sort of publication—and saw on it the face of her common-law husband. She had been his partner for twenty-one years and borne him two children, and she knew him as a private detective or “CIA agent” who, for understandable work-related reasons, put in only occasional appearances at home. Now she learned that he was a priest and that his real name was Marcial Maciel. 


He was, the magazine said, the head of an order whose strictness and extreme conservatism appeared to hide some vile secrets: the article, picking up information first brought to light by Gerald Renner and Jason Berry in the Hartford Courant, revealed that nine men—two of whom helped to establish the Legionaries in the US and another still an active member, and the rest all former members of the order—had informed their superiors in Rome that Maciel had abused them sexually when they were pubescent seminarians under his care.

The accusations were not new, nor would they be the last. In 1938 Maciel was expelled from his uncle Guízar’s seminary, and shortly afterward from a seminary in the United States. According to witnesses, Maciel and his uncle had a gigantic row behind closed doors, and one witness, a Legionary who had known Maciel since childhood, told the psychoanalyst Fernando González that the bishop’s rage had to do with the fact that Maciel was locking himself up in the boardinghouse where he was staying with some of the younger boys at his uncle’s seminary.

...Later, it would become known that Maciel had his students and seminarians procure Dolantin (morphine) for him. This led to Maciel’s suspension as head of the order in 1956. Inexplicably, he was reinstated after two years. Much later still, someone realized that his book, The Psalter of My Days, which was more or less required reading in Legionary institutions, and was a sort of Book of Hours, or prayer guide, was lifted virtually in its entirety from The Psalter of My Hours, an account written by a Spaniard who was sentenced to life in prison after the Spanish civil war.

Uneducated and mendacious, Maciel nevertheless had a genius for politics, and for personal relations. But there was more... Maciel’s envoys would regularly deliver envelopes with thousands of dollars in cash to key Church hierarchs. Private audiences with the Pope commanded as much as $50,000 dollars per visit, money that was channeled through Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Polish priest who was the Pope’s private secretary from 1966 until John Paul’s death.

...It is hard not to think that these are the reasons the Vatican ignored the detailed and heart-wrenching letter sent in 1998 by eight of Maciel’s accusers (the ninth member of the group having died). Even as the public first became aware of the accusations through the Hartford Courant and the Mexican press, which picked up the story immediately, the Vatican refused to act. Instead, Pope John Paul II put forward the beatification of Maciel’s mother and of his uncle, Bishop Guízar. (The bishop is now Saint Guízar; Maciel’s mother is still going through the beatification process.) It was only in 2006, after John Paul’s death, that a Vatican communiqué announced that Maciel had been “invited to lead a reserved life of prayer and penitence.” He lived out his final years quietly and died in the United States. The Legionaries, however, have continued to grow in numbers and in wealth.

...Paraguayans have not abandoned their cheerful president, former priest Fernando Lugo, despite the fact that he is known to have fathered at least three children (he seems to think there may be more) while he was still a bishop. Homosexuality has also been tolerated and to some degree almost expected of skirt-wearing priests in this macho part of the (Latin American) world. It is possible, perhaps, that for many Catholics baptism, confession, and weekly mass are almost bureaucratic procedures, like voting or getting a driver’s license, and that true faith is something that happens at homemade altars and through the magical pathways of much older rituals, leaving priests to live their own lives as long as they do a creditable job with the sermons and the burials. The sexual abuse of children and its cover-up are a different matter entirely, one suspects.

As it turns out, Maciel’s common-law marriage to Lara Gutiérrez was not exclusive. Some ten years after he met her, he began a long-lasting relationship with a nineteen-year-old waitress from Acapulco, to whom he introduced himself as an “oil broker.” He had a daughter with her, and, according to a recent article in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, several more children with other partners.

After she found out that her husband was not a CIA agent but a child- molesting priest, Lara Gutiérrez did not come forth with the news that she was married to him. Perhaps she was terrified unawares of the man she believed “was her God,” as she would say a decade later. Perhaps she was simply ashamed. At any rate, she kept silent ...And then, last March, two years after Maciel’s death, Lara Gutiérrez appeared with her three sons on one of Mexico’s most well-regarded talk shows and listened quietly while two of her children testified that their father, Marcial Maciel, had made them masturbate him, and had first attempted to rape them, the older one said, when he was seven years old. (This testimony has been tarnished somewhat by the revelation that the sons had earlier demanded millions of dollars from the Legionaries of Christ in exchange for their silence. The order has not attempted to deny the accusation, however).

We have a double vision of Maciel: we see the saintly figure known to his followers—one long, elegant hand placed on his chest, the other raised in benediction—and, as if through a keyhole, the other, nightmarish, Maciel, demanding that young boys masturbate him and then assuring the shocked, traumatized children that he was authorized by the Vatican to obtain “relief” by this means from dreadful physical pain.

...The Legionaries—that is, Maciel—financed the construction of the church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Philip Martyr in Rome, which Maciel intended for his mausoleum. But strikingly, Maciel the priest nearly always staged his pederastic dramas in the infirmary, or sick room (enfermeria) of whatever Legionary seminary he happened to be at, as if this were a place where he could be cured. The masturbatory acts were explained to his victims as a remedy for his pain, but perhaps he truly hoped for healing of some sort in the infirmary. He knew, in any event, how sick he was: he left instructions with his delegates not to start the process of his canonization until thirty years after his death—in the hope, one can guess, that the memory of his sins would be erased by then.

Quite apart from the damage to Maciel’s victims, there is the pressing question of why the Catholic Church, as an institution, did not condemn him when he was ordained as a priest, or when he founded the Legionaries, or when the story of his pederasty made the covers of magazines, or when enough evidence was found for Pope Benedict XVI to conclude that Maciel should live out the rest of his life in seclusion, or even when the rumors grew strong enough to warrant a Vatican investigation of the order as a whole. The answer surprises no one: at a time in which churches are emptying, the Legionaries have been a rich source of conscripts, money, and influence. In Mexico everyone from (billionaire) Carlos Slim to Marta Sahagún, the wife of former president Vicente Fox, gave money to or asked favors from MacielIt was not until last year that Karol Wojtyla’s successor, Pope Benedict XVI, at last authorized a visitation—churchspeak for investigation—of the entire order of the Legion of Christ.

As usual, the press and some disaffected religious have been way ahead of the Vatican. Now we learn from the press that the order kept some nine hundred women under nonbinding vows as consagradas, or quasi nuns, in conditions of severe emotional privation. According to a recent report in Milenio, the women, members of the Regnum Christi, live communally although they are not ordained. They are allowed to see their parents once a year, and spend two weeks with the rest of their family every seven years. They are expected to donate half their material worth after fifteen years of consecration, and donate the full amount after twenty-five. Twice a month they are obligated to have a confession-like conversation with their female superiors, who in turn report on the content of these talks to their own superiors within the Legionaries. The Vatican visitators who conducted the recent investigation of Maciel were allegedly surprised to discover the existence of the consagradas, and to find these and other violations of canonical law in their statutes.

In the end, the scandal of Marcial Maciel, gruesome and grotesque as it is, may turn out to be a scandal of the Catholic Church. There is the distressing question of the Church’s last pope, the popular John Paul II, and his relations with the demonic priest. There is the not unimportant fact that the Legionaries—along with Benedict XVI and indeed John Paul II—represent the most morally conservative part of the Church, and that they now appear enmeshed in squalid moral scandals. There is, above all, the fact that an entire large, wealthy, international institution is now under suspicion (what did Maciel’s fellow Legionaries know, when did they know it, and who was complicit?) and that the greatest institution of all, the Roman Catholic Church, appears to have engaged in a cover-up for decades on its behalf....

...Many priests and nuns, it would seem, opt to “obey” rules but not comply with them, as the Spanish formulation has it (obedezco, pero no cumplo). I offer this simply as anecdotal evidence, but in my casual, friendly, and often admiring acquaintance with members of the Catholic orders—all from the social activist branch of the Church, for whatever it’s worth—a remarkable number have been involved in some sort of couple relationship...(end quote).


Michael Hoffman's Afterword 

These crimes were facilitated in many ways: through bureaucracy, greed and venality, but above all the devil worked through those priests and hierarchs who instilled in the faithful an allegiance to a false understanding of obedience. Beware religious authorities who insinuate that you must obey them rather than God, reversing the Gospel command to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

This is the lesson to be gleaned from this disgusting and criminal Vatican farrago, as it transpired in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II — and many of the most guilty hierarchs remain in power under Pope Benedict XVI.

Marcial Maciel named his organization the "Legion of Christ" and by his subsequent actions he blasphemed that name, the name above all others, to which every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:10). How any Christian can give allegiance to the Vatican mafia that is still in place and which enabled Maciel's crime spree is beyond rational comprehension, except in terms of the functioning of a cult mentality (Matthew 20: 25-28).

***

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm speechless.

Anonymous said...

Now that I've recovered, I have to say something that I never ever thought I'd say.

This is enough to make me wash my hands of the Roman Catholic Church altogether. Corrupt from head to toe.

If anyone here has any advice, I'd appreciate it right now.

Violet

Domino's said...

Hi, Phil from Domino's here. Just want to update on the Tom Monaghan angle, Mr. Monaghan sold the company 12 years ago and has no interactions or stake left in Domino's at all anymore.

Michael Hoffman said...

Dear Violet

I will venture a brief opinion because frankly I want to preclude here discursive debate on Catholicism itself. What should be debated in my view is the extent to which institutions foster antiChrist blind obedience and cult mentalities, whether on the Left among the New Agers, or on the Right in the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the best fruits of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's work was his non-cooperation with papalolatry and all the corruption that radiates downward from it.

One can imagine cultic Catholics in 2004 learning of Maciel's crimes and then seeing Pope John Paul blessing him and thinking, "Fr. Maciel must be okay, the charges are false, he is being blessed by the pope!" This is rabbinic guru mentality, not the mindset of the Christian who has been set free from the dictatorship and personality cult of Phariseeism by Jesus himself!

The rabbis of Orthodox Judaism are at the center of a personality cult. How dare any Catholic imitate that pagan model of darshan with the guru, which is a species of Oriental despotism with a pedigree going all the way back to Pharaoh?

As far as the Church goes, the demonic forces would love to have us throw out the baby with the bathwater, instead of working to expose blind obedience and cult mentality within the Catholic Church. We should not toss out the apostolic root and the communion of saints because neo-Platonic usurpers have overtaken the ecclesia.

Yet, a radical reform is desperately needed and the gigantic Vatican bureaucracy must be swept with an iron broom.

It is a lie that we owe obedience to the hierarchical evildoers who are being directed by diabolic forces to discredit Christ's ecclesia. Tridentine prelates such as Archbishop Lefebvre understood this; so too does Bishop Richard N. Williamson, and there are others, including within the Novus Ordo rite.

Our proof texts are Acts 5:29 and Matthew 20: 25-28.

Bernadette said...

I must agree with you Violet...it is enough to damage forever any trust in or belief in the evil and corrupt world of the man-made Vatican machine...one must beware of the smaller traditional groups, and the SSPX is not above corruption...there is not to be had any safe haven, anywhere I am sorry to say...it is always about money in the end...

Anonymous said...

Violet, This is just one scandal that issues from the Vatican. Keep in mind that there have always been scandals, but the pure virginal bride of Jesus Christ which is the Church can not be responsible for the scandals committed by human beings within the structure. Also keep in mind that the Vatican and the Church are not the same entity. There are those who explain this by saying that a counterfeit organisation which poses as Church has occupied the Vatican and other real estate throughout the world. I recommend you read up on this at christorchaos website. Have faith in the Church established by our Lord.
Angela

Anonymous said...

How dare any Catholic imitate that pagan model of darshan with the guru, which is a species of Oriental despotism with a pedigree going all the way back to Pharaoh?
--------------------------------
Well said! This is the curse of India!

Elsa Zardini said...

Excellent Mr. Hoffman: the article but especially your commentary above. As to the demolishing "blind obedience", Saint Paul reproved Saint Peter (the Pope) because he was quite wrong and Saint Peter understood and accepted it (Galatians 2: 11). It is in the Bible that we should not obey blindly.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember St. Peter Damian and his Liber Gomorrhianus? Corrupt prelates are nothing new. Wash your hands of the Catholic Church, Violet. Really? Methinks you should take the mote out of your own eye first. If you think there isn't mendacity and greed in the SSPX you haven't been in that milieu long enough (or you've forgotten your catechsim under the section detailing "original sin") -- and don't let the presence at SSPX chapels of scrupulous seniors with lace head coverings jockeyng for "first-in-line" place for invalid confessions fool you.

Since corruption is not new, what Mr. Hoffman is trying to demonstrate (as part of his whole thesis) is that the events he chronicles would never have happened if scholars of his perspective were running the show (or if Bishop Williamson were running the show). Bishop Williamson's knowledge of ecclesiology and sacramental theology woudn't get him through remedial seminary courses (either post- or pre-Vatican II). If what Bishop Williamson says turns you on, by all means worship at his altar since through your incessant and misplaced accolades you elevate Bishop Williamson to the level of a Jim Jones-like rock star. Rabbinic guru mentality? It applies to Bishops Williamson and de Mallerais as well. Their claims to "eternal Rome" are a joke considering how they can't even recognize valid development of doctrine nor can they understand the Church's right to alter sacramental forms in cases where those forms were not explicitly specified by Our Lord.

Ever heard of conciliar theory? It's the doctrine that holds that supreme authority in the Church lies with a General Council (this does not nullify infallibility, rather it complements it). To resist the decrees of a general council is to resist the Holy Ghost itself. To "accuse the council" (as Lefebvre did, or as his disciples Williamson and de Mallerais do) is not a heroic act of iconoclasm as Mr. Hoffman suggests, but sheer stupidity of satanic proportions.

This is important to remember since Mr. Hoffman's thesis is an attempt to discredit the Council (which is, ulitmately, an attempt to discredit the Holy Ghost) by discrediting the Popes who have implemented its decrees. And in this most recent case, what is the best Mr. Hoffman can come up with? Examples of corrupt prelates! Against the organic reality of The Church, this type of juvenille neo-Protestant criticism is dust. The Church is Holy even if many of its members frequently aren't.

The dual charisms of indefectibility and infallibility belong to the Bishop of Rome and the See of Rome. That is de fide. In no way are those charisms justification for papolatry, but those charisms exist and were promised IN SPITE of the sinfulness and fallen nature of the office holders.

Anonymous said...

Vatican Mafia? Sounds like what I hear from Birkenstock-clad "she males" on college campuses, or from the pages of that debauched, drunken Brit Chris Hitchens. I imagine you think there are angels working the cash registers in the SSPX accounting office (or perhaps I should type $$PX). Do you think all $$PX prelates are impeccable? If you do, I want a prescription for the drugs you're taking so I can ignore objective reality, too.

Tridentine prelates? Did you use that ridicuous terminology with a sense of pretension when you typed it? Why not use the term "Nicene prelates"? Or how about "Florentine prelates"? Or how about "Lateran prelates"? Hey, what about those "Chalcedonean prelates"?

Accepting the Novus Ordo Missae as valid is not blind obedience. Accepting the new rites of ordination, episcopal consecration, and anointing is not blind obedience. Accepting the pastoral directives of a validly convoked general council is not blind obedience. Accepting the 1983 Code of Canon Law is not blind obedience.

Let me guess, some Hindus bought a few 7-11s or gas stations in your neck of the woods. This has caused you aphasiac shock. Clearly, if Bishop Williamson was in charge the 7-11s and gas stations where you live would be owned by the Dutch.

There's got to be some 7th Day Adventist Church you can hang out in on Saturday night to satisfy your Protestant libido.

Michael Hoffman said...

To ANONYMOUS 7:48 A.M.

There is calumny, falsehood and presumption in your comments. I will take them in sections.

Due to the limits imposed by Blogger I will reply in separate parts, as follows.

REPLY, PART ONE

ANONYMOUS wrote:

"Does anyone remember St. Peter Damian and his Liber Gomorrhianus? Corrupt prelates are nothing new. Wash your hands of the Catholic Church, Violet. Really? Methinks you should take the mote out of your own eye first." (End quote).

Hoffman replies:

The question is, to what extent are we obliged to obey criminals ("corrupt prelates") who happen to be bishops, cardinals or popes? Whether or not this corruption has a long patrimony in the Church, did Christ establish his Church as as web to capture innocent children and destroy their sexual innocence? To what extent are we more obligated to protect the reputation of "corrupt prelates" rather than the reputation and integrity of the Church Christ founded?

ANONYMOUS WROTE:

"If you think there isn't mendacity and greed in the SSPX you haven't been in that milieu long enough (or you've forgotten your catechsim under the section detailing "original sin") -- and don't let the presence at SSPX chapels of scrupulous seniors with lace head coverings jockeyng for "first-in-line" place for invalid confessions fool you."

Hoffman replies:

It has been my observation that the SSPX is comprised to a greater degree of the young rather than old "scrupulous seniors." I am not certain why you chose only to focus on the latter demographic -- perhaps the better to fuel your sarcasm? I take from your remarks that you regard institution-wide sexual corruption of youth and massive payoffs at the highest levels of the Church as the usual wages of "original sin." Hence the alleged "greed" and "mendacity" of the SSPX is equivalent to the record of massive molestation and payoffs in the greater Church itself.

If invoking original sin is the palliative, how do we distinguish the church of the Bride of the New Adam from the wicked world itself, where original sin, molestation and the money power reign?

ANONYMOUS WROTE:

"Since corruption is not new, what Mr. Hoffman is trying to demonstrate (as part of his whole thesis) is that the events he chronicles would never have happened if scholars of his perspective were running the show (or if Bishop Williamson were running the show). Bishop Williamson's knowledge of ecclesiology and sacramental theology woudn't get him through remedial seminary courses (either post- or pre-Vatican II)." (End quote)

Hoffman replies:

My only areas of expertise are in the rabbinic texts of Orthodox Judaism compared and contrasted with the New Testament; the history of early modern British and early American labor, and the psychology and epistemology of secret societies. If by "running the show" you imagine that I fancy myself a candidate for pope or theological peritus in the Catholic Church, you are quite mistaken. On the other hand, I am as much entitled to speak my mind as any "am ha'aretz" was in the time of Jesus, in defending or following Him. Insulting Bishop Williamson without furnishing evidence of his alleged abysmal theological ignorance,is argumentum ad hominen and as such, is beneath contempt.

END PART ONE

See below for the next part -

Michael Hoffman said...

REPLY TO ANONYMOUS 7:48 A.M. PART TWO (see above for part one)

ANONYMOUS WROTE:

"If what Bishop Williamson says turns you on, by all means worship at his altar since through your incessant and misplaced accolades you elevate Bishop Williamson to the level of a Jim Jones-like rock star. Rabbinic guru mentality? It applies to Bishops Williamson and de Mallerais as well. Their claims to "eternal Rome" are a joke considering how they can't even recognize valid development of doctrine nor can they understand the Church's right to alter sacramental forms in cases where those forms were not explicitly specified by Our Lord." (End quote)

Hoffman replies:

Your own point itself might be less of a "joke" if you stuck to facts rather than spewing outlandish hyperbole and invective about my alleged sycophancy toward Bishop Williamson as a "Jim Jones-like rock star."

Moreover, I have offered no "incessant" accolades for Bishop Williamson, nor does he demand, require or insinuate a need for such servility. You are patently ignorant of the fact that Bishop Williamson and this writer have clashed on several substantive issues in the past, in particular concerning his view of the United States and the American Revolution. Bishop Williamson has never allowed my strong dissent from some of his most passionate opinions to harm our friendship. His humility and lack of personal ego in this regard are notable.

If there is a rabbinic guru mentality toward Bishop Williamson inside the SSPX it expresses itself in rather odd ways: the SSPX has taken away his seminary rectorship and his right to speak in public and attacked him by name in the media.

I don't know Bishop Tissier de Mallerais well enough to opine on his toleration for criticism. If cultic Catholics are servile toward de Mallerais or Williamson, it may be that this is more the fault of an obsequious mentality among traditional Catholics generally, than the fault of either of these two bishops.

My support for Bishop Williamson is limited to two counts: 1. his willingness to dissent from the pope in matters where the pope stands against Jesus Christ. 2. his non-cooperation with the incorporation of the rabbinic "Shoah" theology" into the Church in the form of the religion of Judaism for gentiles which I term Holocaustianity. Intrinsic to Holocaustianity is the derogation of Calvary and its replacement by Auschwitz as the greatest act of cosmic evil ever to have occurred on earth.

Perhaps Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict's promulgation of Holocaustianity is what you mean when you refer to "valid development of doctrine." There is such a thing of course, but a distinction must be made between the use of the term in its literal sense, and as a euphemism for radical alteration of the Deposit of Faith, which can never be subject to any "development."

Yes, the Church certainly has the right to "alter sacramental forms," for example, in returning the liturgy to as close as possible to the one celebrated by the early church (though Pius XII objected to this move on grounds that it was empty antiquarianism, a point on which we are free to agree or disagree). However, the two bishops, Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer, who consecrated the four SSPX bishops, drew a line at the point where the "altered sacramental form" was leading to rank disrespect for the corpus Christi and this disrespect or shall we say minimalism, was gradually becoming institutionalized theologically by the well known formula, "lex orandi, lex credendi." They adhered to the Tridentine form not because it was the only form of the Mass, but because it unambiguously expressed Catholic doctrine amidst a sea of lukewarm (Rev. 3:16) or worse, liturgy.

END PART TWO.

Part three follows -

Michael Hoffman said...

REPLY TO ANONYMOUS 7:48 A.M. PART THREE (see above for part two)

ANONYMOUS WROTE:

"Ever heard of conciliar theory? It's the doctrine that holds that supreme authority in the Church lies with a General Council (this does not nullify infallibility, rather it complements it). To resist the decrees of a general council is to resist the Holy Ghost itself. To "accuse the council" (as Lefebvre did, or as his disciples Williamson and de Mallerais do) is not a heroic act of iconoclasm as Mr. Hoffman suggests, but sheer stupidity of satanic proportions." (End quote).

Hoffman replies:

"...sheer stupidity of satanic proportions." Wow, you certainly are enamored of your own grasp of these matters, and God help those who dissent a centimeter from your august position.

You will forgive me for appearing satanically stupid in your eyes, but I do accuse the Second Vatican Council document "Nostra Aetate," largely formulated by Cardinal Bea, as being a radical departure from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nostra Aetate is no more divinely inspired than is a declaration from the masonic lodge or the United Nations. My arguments on this head will be found in "The New Catholic Shoah Theology," ("Revisionist History" no. 47 [April-May 2009], pp. 3-5).

ANONYMOUS WROTE:

"This is important to remember since Mr. Hoffman's thesis is an attempt to discredit the Council (which is, ulitmately, an attempt to discredit the Holy Ghost) by discrediting the Popes who have implemented its decrees. And in this most recent case, what is the best Mr. Hoffman can come up with? Examples of corrupt prelates! Against the organic reality of The Church, this type of juvenille neo-Protestant criticism is dust. The Church is Holy even if many of its members frequently aren't." (End quote)

Hoffman replies:

I do not know from whence you derive this false witness, but it is as sloppy and mistaken as most of your other lucubrations. I have no desire to "discredit the (Second Vatican) Council." You confuse me with others. "Nostra Aetate" is a matter of conscience with me. I cannot assent to it without believing I am in peril of my soul and betraying my Savior.

I reject your conflation of the Holy Ghost with a document which is largely from the pen of Augustin Bea. "Nostra Aetate" is a revolutionary new doctrine, not a "valid development" of sound doctrine.

Other Council documents that I have difficulty with are not so obviously defective or troubling to my soul to warrant dissent. Except for "Nostra Aetate," I cannot be certain that the Council was in other respects certainly defective. Therefore I assent to those other documents In your prideful sense of your own omniscience you have dared to presume -- on no evidence -- that the classic SSPX position concerning the Council is my own position. Au contraire.

What was in fact defective and indeed monstrous, were the post-Conciliar distortions and abuses of the Council, and Pope Paul VI's subsequent 1969 rerun of Anglican Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's tyrannical suppression of the Latin Mass.

Most tragic of all is your dismissal of investigators of the Vatican's institutionalized spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12) as "juvenille neo-Protestant...dust."

With friends like you, the Church has no need of any enemies.

Sincerely in Christ,

MICHAEL HOFFMAN
www.RevisionistHistory.org

Anonymous said...

Hoffman wrote:

“The question is, to what extent are we obliged to obey criminals ("corrupt prelates") who happen to be bishops, cardinals or popes?”

Anonymous replies:

What commands did the bishops, cardinals, and/or popes in question give you that were so onerous to obey? What command did Fr. Maciel or Pope John Paul II, for instance, give you that went against your conscience? What command does your local ordinary give you that goes against your conscience? As has been said in the past, semper ecclesia reformanda, a point upon which I would heartily agree – however, if a valid command is given that is in no way morally, spiritually, or physically injurious, your basis for ignoring that command because of your declaration of someone’s moral worth (or lack thereof) is reflective of the same “I am the judge of right and wrong” mentality that plagues this country. If we could only obey impeccable leaders, there would be no obedience. You hate facades and hypocrisy. Good, so do most people.

Hoffman wrote:

“It has been my observation that the SSPX is comprised to a greater degree of the young rather than old "scrupulous seniors." I am not certain why you chose only to focus on the latter demographic -- perhaps the better to fuel your sarcasm?”

Anonymous replies:

No, it was merely my experience both at the SSPX chapel I attended and the independent chapel I attended before that.

Hoffman wrote:

“If invoking original sin is the palliative, how do we distinguish the church of the Bride of the New Adam from the wicked world itself, where original sin, molestation and the money power reign?”

Anonymous replies:

Because the Church establishes and proclaims the standard. That her members fall short, and sometimes tragically so, in no way negates the standard or the proclamation (otherwise the Church would never have survived as long as it has).

Hoffman wrote:

“Insulting Bishop Williamson without furnishing evidence of his alleged abysmal theological ignorance, is argumentum ad hominen and as such, is beneath contempt.”

Anonymous replies:

“The Novus Ordo Missae is not per se invalid.” That’s a typical Williamson quote, often repeated, that is as close to ‘beneath contempt’ as one can get. It’s a remark designed willfully to instill doubt in the faithful. Any rite of Mass can be potentially invalidated by a variety of factors sabotaging matter, form, and intention (yet he singles out one specific rite as part of his mentor’s pathological thesis). Since the Latin Mass was used as the basis for satanic, or black, masses I suppose I could say that the “’62 Missal is not per se invalid.” Any rite of Mass is not per se invalid.

Hoffman wrote:

“Intrinsic to Holocaustianity is the derogation of Calvary and its replacement by Auschwitz as the greatest act of cosmic evil ever to have occurred on earth.

Perhaps Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict's promulgation of Holocaustianity is what you mean when you refer to "valid development of doctrine."”

Anonymous replies:

Even after reading your newsletter, I think Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI would disagree that they’re replacing Calvary with Auschwitz. However, I was referring to Dignitatis Humanae, which satisfies all of Cardinal Newman’s criteria for valid doctrinal development as outlined in his essay “On the Development of Christian Doctrine.”

End of Part 1. Part 2 follows.

Anonymous said...

Part 2.

Hoffman wrote:

“You will forgive me for appearing satanically stupid in your eyes, but I do accuse the Second Vatican Council document "Nostra Aetate," largely formulated by Cardinal Bea, as being a radical departure from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nostra Aetate is no more divinely inspired than is a declaration from the masonic lodge or the United Nations.”

Anonymous replies:

The substance of your claim is no different than Dollinger’s regarding what he referred to as the behind-the-scenes machinations at Vatican I that led to Papal Infallibility (which Dollinger felt was unprecedented and to which he could not assent). After returning home from Vatican I, Dollinger was asked how he felt about the council and he replied (I’m paraphrasing here because I don’t have the exact quote at hand), “I obey the true Church; the one before the Council.” It does not matter who pens any particular decree at any given council. Once the Fathers of any Council and the reigning Pontiff sign off on it, the Holy Ghost has essentially spoken. You can scoff at that all you want, but at the peril of denying larger and deeper organic ecclesial realities that pertain to apostolicity and Our Lord’s promise. A pastoral decree such as Nostra Aetate clearly does not rise to the same level as Pastor Aeternus; however, both are to be given the same assent of the faith.

Hoffman wrote:

"Nostra Aetate" is a matter of conscience with me. I cannot assent to it without believing I am in peril of my soul and betraying my Savior.”

Anonymous replies:

Dollinger and Kung again. They produced more than their equivalent of your newsletter in justification of their disobedience. The specifics are different. The abstraction is the same. The title of Charles Curran’s infamous book was “Faithful Dissent.”

Hoffman wrote:

“I reject your conflation of the Holy Ghost with a document which is largely from the pen of Augustin Bea. "Nostra Aetate" is a revolutionary new doctrine . . . “

Anonymous replies:

The Council Fathers didn’t seem to think so (1,821 votes for; 245 votes against). Infallibility at Vatican I wasn’t a unanimous vote, either. Regardless, the explanatory footnotes from the Acta of the Council (at least in the Abbott edition from the Sixties) provide more than sufficient clarification.

Hoffman wrote:

“Except for "Nostra Aetate," I cannot be certain that the Council was in other respects certainly defective.”

Anonymous replies:

You cannot be certain? It’s not about intellectual certitude. It’s about faith.

Hoffman wrote:

“What was in fact defective and indeed monstrous, were the post-Conciliar distortions and abuses of the Council, and Pope Paul VI's subsequent 1969 rerun of Anglican Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's tyrannical suppression of the Latin Mass.”

Anonymous replies:

Sacrosanctum Concilium #50 was explicit. “The rite of the Mass is to be revised . . . “ and, later, “The rites are to be simplified . . . “ No tyranny. The directives were clear.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

Anonymous said...

The dogmatic errors of "anonymous" are typical of neo-cons. I'm not sure who is more satanic, the man who molests children or the ostensible catholic who calumnates elderly people in order to provide, in a sort of perverse and twisted way, evidence of credibility of the true Church of Christ.

If we are going to point to the laity as any way indicative of where we ought to find ourselves these days, then we could have a field day with the novus ordo pews. But of course such an apologetical method would be decried as gratuitous ad hominem if it were directed at him by an opponent.

I won't waste much more of my time on this drivel. There is something very bizarre about an obnoxious neo-con catholic apologist spouting off about indefectibility and infallibility as if pointing to such concepts somehow prove a point. Add to this a shallow, but robust over-confidence coupled with enough theological knowledge to be as puffed up as he is dangerous and it's enough to make one want to vomit.

Maybe someone should clue him into the fact that pointing out old corruption as somehow justifying new doesn't really solve anything. In fact, it only serves to see the contrast between what good shepherds do in the face of such corruption and wicked one's who further it by the dereliction of duty, yes, even the man who possesses infallibile authority, which in reality only serves to infinitely aggravate the evil.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the "papal knighthood" bestowed on Rabbi David Rosen was also a product of money-wielding access. Money = access. What amounts, if any were shelved out by the rabbis and other Talmudist organizations for access and influence?

Anonymous said...

“The dogmatic errors of "anonymous" are typical of neo-cons.”

Firstly, a catalog of those ‘dogmatic errors’ would be appreciated. Secondly, why is it that those who do not agree with Mr. Hoffman on certain points, or who are not “traditionalists” are somehow labeled as “neo-cons?” What if one is – to borrow from C.S. Lewis – merely Catholic?

“If we are going to point to the laity as any way indicative of where we ought to find ourselves these days, then we could have a field day with the novus ordo pews.”

This is reflective of an attitude that has developed through the years in the traditional milieu (one that I observed firsthand) that only traditionalists are the Church, and that adherence to particular externals are the sole benchmark for one’s catholicity. The SSPX, perhaps not formally, but in praxis and essence, claim, “We are the true Church.” So do the SSPV and CMRI. So did the “Old Catholics.” This is like a centrifuge of Protestant exegesis of scripture, where everyone decides what the Church should be like based on their feelings, perceptions, or individual judgment. Adherence to externals can excessively err and border on a type of liturgical sensuality that blinds one to larger objective, ecclesial realities.

“Add to this a shallow, but robust over-confidence coupled with enough theological knowledge to be as puffed up as he is dangerous and it's enough to make one want to vomit.”

Let’s just say that I don’t have enough vomit-inducing over-confidence to consecrate four bishops without papal mandate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hoffman,

Two quick points:

1. Let’s assume for a moment that Paul VI was a homosexual as was rumored in some circles. Would Paul VI’s sinfulness be sufficient to nullify Humanae Vitae, which J.T. Ford and G. Grisez (and others as well as The Church) regard as infallible? In other words, if I wanted to practice methods of artificial contraception with my wife against what was infallibly set forth in Humanae Vitae, would Paul VI’s homosexuality, if true, be sufficient grounds for that disobedience?

2. What is the essence of Nostra Aetate? That not all the Jews in the world at the time were present in Pilate’s court, so the curse incurred upon those who pressed for his crucifixion can’t be applicable to all the Jews or to Jews born today. Is this really any different than objecting to the remark that “All Catholic priests are pedophiles”? Since not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, to repeat that false charge does no help in any way to the activity of the Church. In like manner, one cannot hold someone culpable who did not participate in a particular evil.

Michael Hoffman said...

Dear ANONYMOUS 10:49 A.M.

(This is in Two Parts)

PART ONE

In reply to your question no. 1: If a monstrous individual such as Adolf Hitler supported organic farming (which he did; appointing Richard Walther Darre as the first organic government minister of agriculture in history), does that mean that organic agriculture is not healthful and that I should feed my children food laden with herbicides and pesticides? Obviously, the principle of healthy food is not nullified because a wicked person advocates it. However, because I practice organic agriculture it does not follow than I obey or adhere to Adolf Hitler.

Pope Paul VI 's "Humanae Vitae" was a reaffirmation of what the church has always taught and believed about the sanctity of unborn human life. The authority for that belief is not derived from faith in or obedience to a man, Montini, i.e. Pope Paul VI. It is, rather, derived from the sanctity of human life as codified in the Bible and practiced and advocated by the apostles and saints of the church for 20 centuries. Because Pope Paul VI reaffirmed this sound doctrine does not mean that it depends in any way for its authority or validity on Pope Paul VI. Roman Pontiffs can create nothing. They are suposed to be the guardians of Sacred Scripture and that portion of ecclesiastical tradition that is made sacred by its fidelity to Scripture.

It seems that you imagine that the validity of Human Vitae derives from its papal approbation. In fact, it derives from the Bible and the saints and apostles who practiced and supported it in fidelity to the Word of God. Whether or not Pope Paul VI was an agent of the devil, Humanae Vitae stands as valid because it is a restatement of a truth that long preceded Pope Paul VI.

Shall we then at least have the decency to congratulate Paul VI for finally doing something right? If this were the case, then by al means, yes. But Paul VI's motivation was not benign according to Malachi Martin, S.J., who, I fully realize, often spoke with a forked tongue and was not to be trusted. For what it is worth, however, in 1978 Martin told this writer that Paul VI promulgated Humanae Vitae so that he could throw off suspicion and resistance to his suppression of the old Mass. This is indeed what came to pass: the dim-witted conservatives of the day imagined that so great a pontiff as one who would put forth Humanae Vitae could not have been doing anything sinister or acting as an agent of the Cryptocracy when he crushed the Tridentine Mass.

(End Part One).

PART TWO FOLLOWS:

Michael Hoffman said...

Dear ANONYMOUS 10:49 A.M.

(This is in two parts. See above for Part One).

THIS IS PART TWO

As for your question #2 I will not repeat here the extensive arguments I offered in "Revisionist History" no. 47 [April-May 2009], pp. 3-5. If you are seriously interested in pursuing the truth about Nostra Aetate, then kindly refer to that issue.

As a courtesy, I will, however, respond to one of your points:

"What is the essence of Nostra Aetate? That not all the Jews in the world at the time were present in Pilate’s court, so the curse incurred upon those who pressed for his crucifixion can’t be applicable to all the Jews or to Jews born today." (End quote).

I will go further. The curse in the Book of Matthew was not on all Jews for all generations. The Church never advocated the racial taint theory. Racial taint theories are inherently rabbinic, as for example the Midrashic fantasy about Ham. Rabbi Hitler and Rabbi Goebbels believed that the people they imagined were "Jews" were ineradicably evil. The rabbis of Orthodox Judaism believe that the goyim are ineradicably evil. Both views are derived from ancient pagan philosophies emanating from Babylon, Egypt and Sumer, the ultimate author of which is Satan, the accuser.

Jesus Christ, the advocate, came as a physician to heal the most vile Pharisee and the most vile Nazi. The universal philosophy of Jesus Christ is the great point of departure between racial paganism, whether Talmudic, Zionist or Nazi, and divine truth. In so far as Nostra Aetate encapsulates these truths it is on solid ground.

Nota bene: one of the hallmarks of Rosicrucian and masonic declarations is that historically they have mixed truth with grievous error. This is the case with Augustin Cardinal Bea's Vatican II document, which transgresses divine truth when it pays obeisance to carnal Israel and conflates the people of the Old Testament with the people of the Bible-hating, Bible-nullifying Babylonian Talmud; a pernicious lie which Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have extended and compounded many times over, thereby sowing tremendous confusion. Refer to Revisionist History newsletter for my complete analysis of Nostra Aetate.

Sincerely in Christ,
Michael Hoffman
www.RevisionistHistory.org

Anonymous said...

"This is reflective of an attitude that has developed through the years in the traditional milieu (one that I observed firsthand)..."

What is "reflective"? Your insinuation that errors among the laity is somehow indicative of the truth of our religion? Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. You brutally calumniated and mocked elderly catholics who may or may not suffer from a common spiritual pitfall (this is not the first time, I recognize your bitter style), I assume in order to perversely demonstrate the invalidity of traditional Roman Catholicism. I dispensed with your nasty ad hominem (among numerous other fallacies), which amounted to spiritual murder, and apparently you've completely missed the point.


"Let’s just say that I don’t have enough vomit-inducing over-confidence to consecrate four bishops without papal mandate."

I'm not surprised by your ill-reaction to the defense and preservation of Roman Catholic tradition considering you seem to think being an inane sychophant is the essence of our religious duty.

It is precisely because of ignorant cowards like you that the Catholic religion has been all but destroyed. If you find it distasteful that the SSPX fancies itself "the Church" (which of course they don't, this is just more of your habitual injustice speaking) maybe you should consider that tradtiion is not a matter of taste, that it is incarnate Divine Wisdom and as such you feel a little left out. Maybe that is why you are so spiteful. This priests simply accomplish their duties as faithfully as possible while the rest of the Church is more or less losing its life.

This fact clearly confuses and annoys you. It is because you have fundamentally misunderstood Catholic doctrine and its practice, at least at the heroic level.

Elsa Zardini said...

Interesting how the article ended up in a discussion about the sspx (above comments); "Ladran Sancho, señal que cabalgamos" (Quijote). I believe the sspx is the last remnant of the Church founded by God, hence, it has to be the center of the attacks by Satan. Naturally, there should be all degrees of sanctity within the sspx priests, as has been the case throughout the history of the Church. Nothing new. Most important for our souls is where should we go otherwise? (St.John 6:68). Also, none of the Popes since John XXIII have spoken "Ex-catedra"; may be they don’t dare...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hoffman,

I’m well aware that Humanae Vitae was a restatement of earlier Church teaching, and in no way do I believe that it was solely the product of Pope Paul VI, nor do I believe it derives its authority from papal approbation. Let me get that out of the way lest I be accused of following the cult of a particular individual or of ascribing to a Pope powers he does not have. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a papolater.

Regarding Malachi Martin’s assertion that Humanae Vitae was a smokescreen to divert attention away from Paul VI’s “sinister crushing” of the Tridentine Mass, all I can say is that various criticisms of the Tridentine rite (of the rubrics and epiclesis, for instance) were circulating long before Montini’s ascension to the Papacy – and those criticisms did not come from satanic or masonic sources. Moreover, many liturgical practices that some find so abhorrent (the sign of peace, versus populem worship) had existed in the liturgy at points in the past or had crept without malice into local practice. There is also a school of liturgical thought and scholarship that suggests much of what we regard as “Tridentine” were leftovers from the Gallican rite. The Roman rite was actually more austere and succinct than its Gallican cousin. Charlemegne attempted to achieve uniformity with Roman usage; he was unsuccessful and the Roman rite still possessed fused elements from Gaul. In any event, the suppression of local rites and the imposition of one rite on the entire Western Church was an unprecedented move by St. Pius V. Granted, his context and motivations were quite different, but St. Pius V didn’t establish a precedent so much as exercising a power which, up to that point, was unused in the history of the papacy. Chancery-type language (“thou art forever anathematized,” etc.) doesn’t bind future Popes in such matters (otherwise the Jesuits would still be suppressed). Regardless, liturgists lamented many things (and, in some cases, so did the laity) and the creation of a rite of Mass that addresses all the aforementioned points is mentioned in Sacrosanctum Concilium. Sacrosanctum Concilium called for a revised, simplified write. The Novus Ordo Missae’s promulgation wasn’t without a source decree (or without a very long history even before the decree). Indeed, the cancellation of the prior rite is implicit in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Malachi Martin’s assertion might fit a particular screenplay that calls for a “battle between two altars” or “the abomination of desolation is the New Mass,” but in reality the reasons for the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae were far more academic and far less melodramatic than that.

Anonymous said...

Part 1, reply to Anonymous 12:53 PM

“What is "reflective"? Your insinuation that errors among the laity is somehow indicative of the truth of our religion?”

By no means. I can assure you that what you erroneously perceive as calumny from me is infinitesimal compared to the incessant invective and bile directed at certain priests, Popes, bishops, and fellow Catholics at post-Mass functions when I was in the traditional milieu. Never once did I hear someone say that prayers should be offered for the prelates in question. It was a weekly post-Mass inquisition filled with the same vitriol I’ve read and heard elsewhere countless times and after a few years became quite tiresome. The Gospel is the good news. It’s not a license to complain, nor is it a death sentence.

“It is precisely because of ignorant cowards like you that the Catholic religion has been all but destroyed.”

Actually, any problem the Church is facing is a result of disobedience. The devil’s rallying cry was “I will not serve!” On an individual level, this rallying cry applies to a disobedient conscience led astray by a variety of factors, but in the context of recent history this applies to theologians Kung, Curran, and Boff, as well as to Abps. Lefebvre & Thuc.

However, the Church is nowhere near being “destroyed.” I’m having flashbacks of Hutton Gibson here. He said something like “Christ didn’t say the gates of hell wouldn’t almost prevail.” Right, Hutton. Because of changing demographics the Church might not look the way you’d like it to, but the tremendous growth of the Church in the Southern Hemisphere is a testament to the Church’s ability to rise from the ashes of any age and crisis. Whether or not there is resurgence in Europe remains to be seen. Pope Benedict XVI is attempting to remind Europe of its Christian heritage. Whether or not he’s successful, we’ll leave to the purview of history.

“maybe you should consider that tradition is not a matter of taste”

Very true. You should ponder that remark, too. Externals can change within tradition. The Church has manifested distinctly different ecclesiologies throughout its history while still remaining the same. Models of The Church by Avery Dulles is instructive in this regard.

End of Part 1. Part 2 follows.

Anonymous said...

Part 2, reply to Anonymous 12:53 PM

“This priests simply accomplish their duties as faithfully as possible while the rest of the Church is more or less losing its life.”

To your first point, I respectfully contend that the priests you refer to should turn themselves over to their local ordinary for use in their particular diocese. To your second point, the Church cannot “lose its life.” Maybe the Church wouldn’t appear in such a dismal state to you if Abp. Lefebvre hadn’t performed the consecrations. Who knows what graces he and the Church would have accrued if he’d acted differently?

“This fact clearly confuses and annoys you. It is because you have fundamentally misunderstood Catholic doctrine and its practice, at least at the heroic level.”

Were the Pelagians heroic? Were the Arians? The Donatists? The Jansenists? The Calvinists? The Old Catholics? Separated from the Church they all lost their life.

If you examine church & liturgical history, sacramental & dogmatic theology – and keep your emotions in check you will see that the SSPX, SSPV, and CMRI are empty vessels.

But in the end it’s not about an intellectual process. It’s about faith. It’s far easier to embrace the idea of loving Christ and His Church rather than actually doing so.

I love Our Lord more than you seem to give me credit for. And it’s clear that you love Our Lord, too. Just remember, He’s not a liar. He built his Church upon Peter, not Bartholomew or Timothy or Marcel. As I said, there are deep realities bound up in His promise. The Church has given us the Just War doctrine. There is no doctrine for Just Schism. As for just disobedience, that is a far more subjective matter. Clearly we differ over the criteria for just disobedience. Up until a few years ago I felt the way you do now (for all I know we probably sat in the same pew). Not any longer. However, I will pray for the day when we can all be in the same pew.

Pax vobiscum.

Anonymous said...

I've been loyal to the Catholic Church and the Republican Party my entire life. Both treat me no better than my cable company, which is always offering discounts and free gifts to NEW customers while showing no appreciation whatsoever for my loyalty.

To those that criticize Mr Hoffman, how are you going to explain to your grandchildren that you allowed them to become a minority in their own Church and country and ever more vulnerable to Rabbinic hate? Will you be able to tell them you fought the good fight?

Anonymous said...

Judas' betrayal doesn't demonstrate that Jesus was not the Son of God. John Paul II and all Vatican II scum don't demonstrate that the Catholic Church is not the Body of Christ. The true life of the Church is not in the political statements of cardinals from Vatican under siege, but in the Eucharist still decently celebrated in thousands of humble chapels all around the world.

Michael Hoffman said...

TO ANONYMOUS 5:49 PM

(BTW, let's have anonymous comments be associated with a nickname - sign in as anonymous if you must but sign your comment Joe Doaks or Buffalo Bill or Celtic Lass --anything that will make potential replies less confusing than trying to resond to "Anonymous" or "he" or "anonymous 12:12).

I notice you have nothing to say in defense of the defective Vatican II document Nostra Aetate. This is prudent of you, because it cannot be defended from Scripture or Scripture-based tradition.

All you offer by way of counterpoint is an exposition of liturgical history which conveniently omits the fact that Pope Pius V, in codifying the Tridentine Mass, did not suppress any other liturgy that was 200 years or older. Unlike Pope Paul VI, Pope Pius V granted liberty to venerable liturgies.

You can go on and on about the right and necessity of the Novus Ordo Missae. I am not debating that point. I merely stated that Pope Paul VI mercilessly crushed the Tridentine Mass in America with the dictatorial fervor of Thomas Cranmer.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 1:38PM

Your case against the Church is the same as the elder son's complaint against the prodigal son.
OP

J.M.J.+ said...

"However, I will pray for the day when we can all be in the same pew."

First I recognize and appreciate the change of tone. Secondly, you still exaggerate the ecclesiastical situation between the SSPX and the legal structure of jurisdiction. Not even the prelates of Rome admit that the Society is schismatic, they would not dare for their conscience still bears the weight of their crimes, knowing at least dimly what disaster they have caused by their works.

I assure you that so long as we possess the same theological virtue of faith, recognize true juridical authority, at least as regards presumption of validity, and worship according to the approved and traditional sacraments, we are in communion with one another. That doesn't change the fact that the errors introduced by the hierarchy do not unduly strain and tend to injure this unity.

If any material separation is involved, it is an effect that is accidental to and along side the formal intention of adhering to traditional Roman Catholicism in all its integrity. For we did not introduce these novelties, the bishops did. Such a posture can never be considered schismatic in principle, but the man who asserts that such would be the case implicitly condemns ecclesiastical tradition and subjects himself to the anathema of the magisterium. There is no other way around it.

If anyone would like to further discuss Roman Catholicism, they are free to join www.cathinfo.com

Joe said...

Mr. Hoffman,

Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council states that "Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures." This implies that a Jew, as a non-Christian, can, at the moment of his death, be received by God into everlasting life.

But, Session 8 of the Council of Florence states that "It is also necessary for salvation to believe faithfully the incarnation of our lord Jesus Christ. The right faith, therefore, is that we believe and confess that our lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, is God and man....This is the catholic faith. Unless a person believes it faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

It seems that we have 2 contradictory statements of faith here.

Is this an example of a legitimate development of belief, or an example of an illegitimate revolution in thought?

Regards,
Joe

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hoffman wrote:

"I notice you have nothing to say in defense of the defective Vatican II document Nostra Aetate. This is prudent of you, because it cannot be defended from Scripture or Scripture-based tradition."

Fictional correspondence between Dollinger and Newman: "Dear John Henry, I notice you have nothing to say in defense of the defective Vatican I document Pastor Aeternus. This is prudent of you, because it cannot be defended from Scripture or Scripture-based tradition."

"You can go on and on about the right and necessity of the Novus Ordo Missae. I am not debating that point. I merely stated that Pope Paul VI mercilessly crushed the Tridentine Mass in America with the dictatorial fervor of Thomas Cranmer."

I will engage my tendency to go on and on before stating the obvious at the end of this paragraph. Not that you're sympathetic, but sometimes I trip over Filipino Catholics who throw themselves to the ground during the elevation when I attend Mass. They, and others, do not deny the Real Presence in the Pauline Rite milieu -- and they are not flocking to the chapels that our Bishop set aside for the '62 Missal as per Summorum Pontificum. The last time I went to a Church offering the Mass as per the '62 Missal there were about a dozen people there, whereas my Novus Ordo chapel is robustly attended. Since The Mass is The Mass is The Mass, it's difficult for me to regard demand for the '62 Missal as a barometer for the health of The Church. Those who lamented the loss of the '62 Missal were very, very vocal. And it was that vocal faction who felt it was mercilessly crushed. By the late Sixties I don't know how Tridentine the rite was anyway. But I, and other Catholics I know, have no problem with the Novus Ordo Missae (nor do we have a problem with the '62 Missal since The Mass is The Mass is The Mass). Maybe I'm lucky, but I never experienced a Jolly Green Giant Mass or a Captain Crunch Mass, or any other such nuttiness. I don't know what else to say . . . maybe it depends on where you live. I suppose it's like everything else in life -- those who didn't miss the older rite didn't feel it was mercilessly crushed, whereas those who missed it felt it was mercilessly crushed.

Commodore Zen

Anonymous said...

Joe, There's no contradiction here.
The Jews can be saved if and only if they "believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". If they do so, they will be saved. There's no special curse on them if they confess Jesus Christ. OP

Anonymous said...

Zen said:

"Those who lamented the loss of the '62 Missal were very, very vocal. And it was that vocal faction who felt it was mercilessly crushed. By the late Sixties I don't know how Tridentine the rite was anyway."


That's not true at all. Were you there? I was. I grew up in a major east coast archdiocese and nary a peep was heard. Yes, a lot people complained, but they complained quietly to the priest about the "changes in the Church." Don't forget that this post Vatican II fiasco occurred to a generation of Catholics raised with a "Father is right" mentality. I knew no one who would have even dreamed of disobeying and starting a rebellion. The liberals were doing that, and we were horrified. But may I add that the sensitivity and compassion shown to those who were crushed by what transpired in the sixties in the Church was non-existent.

As for the Mass, that started changing at the end of VII, at least where I was from, again a major archdiocese. They had to condition everyone to change so that by 1969, it was a regular part of the Church's life and indeed it was. It got to the point where people dreaded going to Mass on Sunday (at least those who were still going) because every week something new was introduced.

Please don't rewrite the history of the sixties to suit your purposes. It's not necessary to your argument. I'm running into this a lot.

Violet

Joe said...

To Anonymous, at 3:43 AM,

No contradiction?

Nostra Aetate states that a certain category of non-believer contains members that have the potential of being accepted into heaven; that certain individuals can be justified without believing in Christ.

It goes without say that any convert to Christianity is on the path to salvation.

Regards,
Joe

Anonymous said...

It would like to hear Hoffmans view on what he thinks about the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and who he thinks was behind it?

Most common view is the it was the KGB but that fact that the assassin was a member of the Grey Wolves and I know of there activity since the fall of the USSR working with German and other foreign intelligence in foreign regions of conflict primarily Chechnya for US/British/Israeli/EU geo-political interests would seem to contradict this.

Anonymous said...

Violet wrote:

Zen said:

"Those who lamented the loss of the '62 Missal were very, very vocal. And it was that vocal faction who felt it was mercilessly crushed. By the late Sixties I don't know how Tridentine the rite was anyway."

That's not true at all. Were you there? I was. I grew up in a major east coast archdiocese and nary a peep was heard.

Violet,

Fr. Gommar DePauw -- on the East Coast -- was quite vocal in his defense of the older rite. He was the father of the "Catholic Traditionalist Movement" and known as such to this day even outside the immediate reach of his Long Island chapel.

As to your later comment:

"Please don't rewrite the history of the sixties to suit your purposes. It's not necessary to your argument. I'm running into this a lot."

With all due respect I was not rewriting history. To call the rite Tridentine by the late Sixties ignores changes (of varying degrees) from Trent onwards, and especially during '64 to '69. To this day there are traditional priests who feel the '62 Missal is not "traditional" and continue to use Missals from the Fifties (indeed, Abp. Lefebvre's authorization of the '62 Missal for use in the SSPX was one of the causes of the split within the SSPX that gave birth to the SSPV). As I indicated, there was -- as with all changes -- a subjective element to their reception based on what was experienced in different areas. Some liked them, others didn't. I indicated that in my post.

Commodore Zen

Anonymous said...

Joe, Sorry, Nostra Aetate does not state that any group of men can be saved without Jesus Christ. There´s no such statement in Nostra Aetate. Nostra Aetate is certainly not the most brilliant document of an unhappy Concil, but it's not an openly heretical text.

Gustave said...

To OP...
"Your case against the Church is the same as the elder son's complaint against the prodigal son."

I guess joining the Catholic Church is never having to say "I'm sorry" (see here and here).

Joe said...

To Anonymous, at 6:17 PM,

Nostra Aetate reads "...not be presented as rejected..." This implies an acceptance by God of people who reject his Son.

How do you interpret the aforementioned phrase?

Regards,
Joe

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this is necessarily the case, but if someone wants to claim that an erroneous idea of obedience led to the promulgation and acceptance of Nostra Aetate (and, for that matter, the promulgation and acceptance of the Novus Ordo Missae), than that individual would be obligated to apply the same criticism to Vatican I and Pastor Aeternus -- namely, that it was the product of the machinations of the few (or the one, Pius IX), and that it was "rammed" down the Council Fathers' throats. Were the 1,821 Council Fathers who gave a "placet" (a yes) vote to Nostra Aetate masonic change agents? Were they all on Cardinal Bea's payroll? If so, I suppose the Vatican I Council Fathers were change agents of their time whose votes in favor of Infallibility were willfully manipulated to corrupt the "true Church" Christ intended, but that the "traditions of men" maliciously thwarted. By this standard of criticism, if Nostra Aetate is an example of heresy (or error, or novelty, etc.), so is Pastor Aeternus (for the curious I'd recommend August Hasler's "How The Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion”). From that point we can look at any Council (Nicea, Orange, Lyons, etc.) and start picking apart the manipulators who corrupted Our Lord's Church with the "traditions of men." Either the Holy Spirit guides the Church through actions some find inscrutable, or it doesn't. It's not that Catholics obey because they're taught they're not specialists or experts -- they're taught to obey because they can trust the Holy Ghost in these matters of doctrinal formulation (especially in a Conciliar context). You do remember the disciples who walked away because they couldn’t comprehend that Our Lord was the “living bread” who came down from Heaven? Their attempt at intellectualizing the supernatural led them astray. And if you say the acceptance of Nostra Aetate is not under the purview of supernatural guidance, then neither is the acceptance of papal infallibility.

Commodore Zen

Joe said...

Commodore Zen,

You say,"...they're taught to obey because they can trust the Holy Ghost in these matters of doctrinal formulation..." Does this include obeying to the point of believing contradicting positions? Does God reject Jews who do not accept Christ as lord and saviour - 'yes' or 'no'?

You also say,"Their attempt at intellectualizing the supernatural led them astray." But, here, we are analyzing the natural - specifically, statements of belief - and finding a seeming lack of consistency in it.

Sincerely,
Joe

J.M.J.+ said...

"And if you say the acceptance of Nostra Aetate is not under the purview of supernatural guidance, then neither is the acceptance of papal infallibility."

Right, because there is no difference between a doctrine that was dogmatically defined and that which was merely an obiter dicta opinion found an entirely non-infallible, obscurely worded document that has little to do with the Catholic faith and morals. Thus your pious and platitudinous appeal to authority and the Holy Ghost (Who the Fathers more or less ignored) is in vain.

Ultimately, your comparison fails for, among other reasons, the simple fact that there is no parity between that which is true and that which is false. It's not so much about who said it, although it is interesting background, but what is said. There is no reason to reject the infallibility of the Pope for that was traditional doctrine, but there is every reason to suspect that which is contrary to the doctrine of Scripture and Tradition on its face.

Anonymous said...

An excerpt from Pope Paul VI’s letter to Abp. Lefebvre (sent to Lefebvre one month after he visited the Pope on September 11, 1976) Origins, CNS Catholic News Service documentary service December 16, 1976:

“Again, you cannot appeal to the distinction between what is dogmatic and what is pastoral to accept certain texts of this Council and to refuse others. Indeed, not everything in the Council requires an assent of the same nature: only what is affirmed by definitive acts as an object of faith or as a truth related to faith requires an assent of faith. But the rest also forms part of the solemn magisterium of the church to which each member of the faithful owes a confident acceptance and a sincere application."

Note the last sentence: "solemen magisterium . . . confident acceptance . . . sincere application, etc."

"The Second Vatican Council was an exercise of the Church's Ordinary Magisterium." -- 'Pope or Church' by Rev. Canon Rene Berthod. It is a matter of objective reality that the Fathers of the Council in union with the Pope signed off on all the documents. The Holy Ghost was "ignored" at a valid Ecumenical Council? Now, that is the novelty of the past two centuries. The vast majority of the Council Fathers and the Pope did not find Nostra Aetate obscurely worded.

Look, the V2 documents form an organic whole. Underlying Unitatis Redintegratio, the Decree on Ecumenism, and Nostra Aetate is a clear distinction between those in material, as opposed to formal, heresy. Someone born and raised in a Baptist household, for instance, is not formally a heretic -- not knowing the Catholic faith, the Baptist in question doesn't know the tenets they're rejecting.

In like manner, someone born into an Orthodox, or Rabbinic, Jewish family, will, of course, learn that Jesus is not the Messiah. What else could they possibly learn in such an environment? Their heresy is material, not formal, since they weren’t baptized Catholics who willfully left the faith in pursuit of error. This group of people (Khazar or not, “authentic” Jew or not), are acting according to their learned traditions in this regard. There’s no other group, by blood, or thought, who adhere to these notions – and I don’t believe rabbinic judaism gets too many converts.

Look, the Jews in the First Century A.D. who did not become Christians had a few options. They could've
a) become Essenes
b) become Gnostics
c) become atheists or Pagans
d) continued to follow their religious leaders from before and after the destruction of the Temple and raise future generations in this manner.

Is it so shocking to believe that "d" would have been the most likely choice and to construct a pastoral strategy upon it?

Commodore Zen

Anonymous said...

Commodore Zen

I'm assuming you are a priest.

Is there some way that I can contact you privately?

Violet

Anonymous said...

So much for Commodore Zen. You would think he would be zealous in assisting a confused sheep.

Thanks a lot, Commodore.

Violet

Anonymous said...

Violet,

Please accept my apologies. Unfortunately, I don't always have the time to access the internet when I would like to. I am not a priest, just someone who was in the "traditionalist" milieu for quite some time and who had unanswered questions. In the process of finding the answers I returned fully to The Church.

For a variety of reasons, I'm not comfortable giving out a personal email address. I hope you understand and will accept my apologies in this regard. I don't want to leave you confused. What I recommend is no different than the process I went through.

First, try to find a used copy of the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, specifically the Abbott edition from the Sixites (it's a little red paperback). Rather than reading criticisms about the documents, just read the documents for themselves and listen to The Church. Read the documents without prejudice or rancor and you'll see that they are quote orthodox. The majority of the citations in the conciliar decrees are attributed to Pius XII.

Procure the following:

1) "Challenge to Church: The Case of Archbishop Lefebvre," by Yves Congar. It is out of print, but it addresses many of the concerns you undoubtedly have. You can find a used copy online.

2) "The Decomposition of Catholicism," by Fr. Louis Bouyer. Sadly, it, too, is out-of-print, but it's an instructive text in providing a brief overview of the errors of L'Action Francaise. Bouyer's "decomposition" refers to disobedience on both the right and the left.

3) "The Banished Heart: The Origins of Heteropraxis in the Catholic Church" by Geoffrey Hull. This is also out-of-print, but will be republished soon in the UK (it can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com.uk). It's a fascinating study of the historic forces behind liturgical change in the history of The Church.

4) "Religious Liberty and Contraception" by Fr. Brian Harrison. This is in print and available from the John XXIII Foundation in Australia (they have a website). Fr. Harrison outlines and charts the development of doctrine behind Dignitatis Humanae in an attempt to quiet liberals who erroneously felt that The Church could change its position on birth control since it changed its position on religious liberty (which it didn't, as Fr. Harrison demonstrates).

5) Fr. Jungmann's two-volume set on the history of the Roman Rite. This is instructive to understand the many changes to the rite over the centuries. Out-of-print, too, and pricey.

6) Cardinal Newman's essay "On the Development of Christian Doctrine." This essay is available online and it's one that every Catholic should read.

7) An elementary seminary textbook in sacramental theology would also be instructive, since many of the most severe criticisms against the "new" sacramental forms can be answered with a cursory reading.

I would also recommend two books by Catholic lay apologists (as a counterpoint to the Michael Davies of the world):

8) "Pensees on Catholic Traditionalism" by Dave Armstrong (available through his website).

9) "Is the New Mass Valid?" by Adam Miller, which does a wonderful job of addressing all of Patrick Henry Omlor's arguments against the New Rite. Mr. Miller's book is available through lulu.com.

The hardest part will be to go to your local Catholic Church and attend Mass there. Why? Because you will probably have, just as I did, many somatic and internal reactions -- reactions caused by erroneous arguments that have been repeated quite often. You may feel compelled to walk out. I urge you to pray and make the effort with God's grace to remain. Over time, you will understand, just as I came to understand, that The Church is still moving through history saving souls.

Commodore Zen

Michael Hoffman said...

Commodore Zen recommends Yves Congar's attack on Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

To judge the lucidity and orthodoxy of the rabbinic agent Yves Congar, read the transcript of his 1955 conference to the Convent of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion at Paris, "The Religious Significance of the Restoration of the Jewish State and Nation in the Holy Land." It was published in English in DIALOGUE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS: CATHOLIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO ECUMENISM (Newman Press, 1966), pp. 445-461.

Anonymous said...

Commodore Zen

And what does someone do who does not have the money to buy the books that you have recommended?

I understand your discomfort in giving out personal information, and I thank you for your reply. But without the books....

Violet

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Hoffman,

Yves Congar's book is hardly an attack. It is a fraternal rebuttal to Lefebvre's points. It is written in an extremely cordial and charitable tone, and anyone would be hard pressed to find the slightest hint of antagonism towards Abp. Lefebvre in its pages. It's clear that Congar had respect for Lefebvre. Congar writes in the forward: "As far as I'm concerned, the seminarians of Econe, and the faithful in the Salle Wagram or the sports stadium at Lille, are brothers -- but brothers who are mistaken about the Council and the eucharistic liturgy primulgated by Pope Paul VI." His final exhortation to Lefebvre on p.76 is clearly heartfelt. The points Congar makes are valid and true, and do not derive their validity and truthfulness from the mere fact that Congar elucidated them.

Commodore Zen

Michael Hoffman said...

Dear Mr. Zen

Yes, the Novus Ordo Church, especially in its 20th century salad days, put forth a perfectly diplomatic front; those who speak with a forked tongue often do.

Congar supported the tyrannical ban on the Tridentine Mass. He was party to a vicious tyranny, his politesse notwithstanding.

Fr. Congar's record as a rabbinic agent is certainly germane in assessing the sincerity of his alleged "charity" toward Archbishop Lefebvre.