CCHD? Not a Penny!

You have made it a den of thieves.

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.
~Lectio Divina, November 22, 2019



Last night I happened to look at my email and found a message from Complicit Clergy.  Since I don’t often hear from them, I took a look.  This is what I found:

Catholics Cannot In Good Conscience Support CCHD

The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will likely be happening THIS WEEKEND in your parish.

CCHD is using your hard-earned money to support organizations that promote an anti-Catholic agenda, including abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. Watch this video to learn more about how your money is being spent and why you should not be giving money to this cause.

WATCH NOW     (Click to watch! NM)

Actually, this subject of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) was on my list of  five more things promised to be shared with you in my last blog, “Unmasking the Enemy.”   I had listed the name of Saul Alinsky.  When I turned to Lectio Divina this morning and found Jesus’ words in Luke 19:46, “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves,” I knew it was time to share what Complicit Clergy has to say about the corruption in CCHD and more.  The video you see at Complicit Clergy is an excellent clip of a more extended conversation aired just today by Taylor Marshall with Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute.  You can click to hear the full interview, and it is up to date with where the USCCB has been sending our money and sobering reality checks.

However, a few weeks ago, I found Taylor and Michael on a video from earlier this year, where they were discussing Saul Alinsky and Corruption of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  I found this program full of the background of the roots of the CCHD and took notes because it is so nefarious. (The program is lengthy.  It starts about Sal Alinsky, and about 54 minutes in it goes to formation of CCHD.)


Around the time of WWII, the United States Bishops formed the National Catholic War Council. They later changed the name to United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Around 1966 USAID was created -United States Agency for International Development. I wanted to understand what this agency does and why our bishops would support it and create a way to get money from them (Catholic Relief Services-CRS)  I found information which I share in part here:

From Human Life International (a Catholic apostolate)  An article worth reading is called “Exposing the Global Population Control Agenda.” I will post some info, but visiting the website is a good idea.  They explain The Kissinger Report, which continues to be the foundational document on U.S. government population control and share a link to it, which is posted on the USAID website. Talk about daunting!  Here is the Link:  KISSINGER REPORT.

We understand abortion, birth control, euthanasia, or other forms of population control, but the thinking behind it is perhaps something we don’t completely understand.  That’s why The Kissinger Report is a good refresher.

In order to protect U.S. commercial interests, NSSM-200 cited a number of factors that could interrupt the smooth flow of materials from LDCs to the United States, including a large population of anti-imperialist youth, whose numbers must be limited by government population control. The document identified 13 nations by name that would be the primary targets of U.S. government population control efforts. Under the heading of “Concentration on key countries” we find:

Assistance for population moderation should give primary emphasis to the largest and fastest growing developing countries where there is special U.S. political and strategic interest. Those countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia [sic]. … At the same time, the U.S. will look to the multilateral agencies, especially the U.N. Fund for Population Activities which already has projects in over 80 countries to increase population assistance on a broader basis with increased U.S. contributions. This is desirable in terms of U.S. interests and necessary in political terms in the United Nations.

Pope Francis recently said we should do whatever the United Nations tells us…

Back to the CCHD

Today, Church Militant has a video on Saul Alinsky and CCHD.  It’s today’s Vortex, and as usual, Micahel Voris pulls no punches.  I read the text of the video and found there is a link to Michael’s research from several years ago.  When I visited that page, I found some resources.  This one is the best for those of us just learning how to unmask the enemy within the Church.  I’ll share a few words, but visit the link to The Capital Research Center – Foundation Watch.  It’s their report from September 2009.  When you understand the organization called “ACORN” (remember the Obama election years?), you get a picture of how much CCHD money has been poured into these radical left organizations since the beginning of CCHD. It gives a clearer understanding of why outraged Catholics are saying, “Not a penny!”

ACORN was a highly partisan organization involved in racketeering and serial violations of tax, campaign finance, and other laws.  CCHD and ACORN are cousins in a sense, and their common bonds must have made it excruciating for CCHD to disown ACORN. Both CCHD and ACORN were inspired by Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing. Alinsky is the Marxist Machiavelli who dedicated his 1971 manual on grassroots activism, Rules for Radicals, to Lucifer, whom he called “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.”…

The Alinsky Connection CCHD has long supported groups such as ACORN that engage in left-wing community organizing.  In fact, it was created specifically to do so. Former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, a prominent Catholic layman who served on the board of Capital Research Center, complained in the late 1980s that CCHD was a “funding mechanism for radical left-wing political activism in the United States, rather than for traditional types of charities.”…

Some Catholics were apparently inspired by a blog post written by the late Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, the editor of the journal First Things. Father Neuhaus wrote that the collection for CCHD was “misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice, [and] should, at long last, be terminated.” He added that a decade ago the CCHD was “exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion
activities and politicians.”

Isn’t it something that we are reading about the late Fr. Neuhaus adding “that a decade ago the CCHD was “exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion activities and politicians,”  in a decade-old article ?!  Heaven must have decided long ago to make sure that today’s Gospel reading makes mention of thieves in the “temple.”  Nothing has changed until now – perhaps.

Links:  Vortex -Alinsky & the Bishops

  CCHD & ALINSKYPage has a list of useful references

  The Capital Research Center – Foundation Watch

“Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.

“And every day He was teaching in the temple area.  The chief priests, the scribes and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put Him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on His words.” ~ Luke 19:45-48

“The chief priests, the scribes and the leaders of the people”
We could say our chief bishops, certain priests and lay leaders.  Something to think about as we watch the shameful fleecing of the Catholic faithful continue unabated by those very ones.

We can give to charitable causes we know are trustworthy.  The truth is just a click away nowadays.

God bless you always,

Nancy M


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©2019 Nancy H Montgomery,

Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of

Unmasking the Enemy

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
…You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!”
                                      ~ Jesus, Matthew 23:23-24


I’ve been thinking about what to share.  There are so many directions I could take.  I made a list of the items that seem important to share with readers of ORCatholic.  Half of the list really delves into the root cause for finding ourselves in the middle of such an upheaval.  I am going to group those topics together. It’s taken plenty of research, but once you begin to put the pieces together, the picture does become so much clearer.

Just for starts and in no particular order, I’ll begin here with the other five topics.

Another defiant act by Francis – reported by Ann Barnhardt – no candles, no crucifix on Altar…

…as he celebrated Mass at Basilica of St. John Lateran.  He was there to celebrate Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  I was struck by Ann’s research into the meaning of the candles and her report with a picture of Francis at the church and also earlier of Pope Benedict at the same altar.  From Ann’s resources:     The pure wax extracted by bees from flowers symbolizes the pure flesh of Christ received from His Virgin Mother, the wick signifies the soul of Christ, and the flame represents His divinity. (New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia)At a pontifical high Mass, celebrated by the ordinary, seven candles are lighted. The seventh candle should be somewhat higher than the others and should be placed at the middle of the altar in line with the other six. For this reason, the altar crucifix is moved forward a little. In Requiem Masses, and at other liturgical services. e.g. Vespers, the seventh candle is not used. If the bishop celebrate outside his diocese. or if he be the administrator, auxiliary, or coadjutor, the seventh candle is not lighted.

Read Full article:  Antipope Bergoglio Mass at St. John Lateran: No Crucifix, No Candles.


New word from Atika, Japan – The Angel of Akita requests Prayers of Reparation for Desecration of the Vatican.

This is an amazing word because of the way it was delivered.  I found this Saturday night before going to sleep.  I spent most of the day in prayer and fasting for the very purpose requested in this word.  Needless to say, I took the message to heart.

“Most Catholics do not know, but to desecrate the Vatican Gardens is an extremely diabolic act, because when Pope Leo XIII in his haste to discover the bones of St Peter had some poorly trained Archeologists dig up the tomb of Saint Peter beneath the High Altar, they dumped all the dirt they found IN THE VATICAN GARDENS. Later is was realized that that DIRT was the ashes of Saint Peter the Apostle and the Roman Martyrs burned on stakes by the Emperor Nero.  (I posted a blog article about the event and the Dirt) Therefore, to desecrate the Vatican Gardens is to desecrate the SPIRITUAL FOUNDATIONS of the Church of Rome. It is a ghastly vile act!

It was not surprising, therefore, that two days later the Angel of Akita, who had appeared to Sister Agnes Sasagawa 46 years ago, should appear again. If you do not know, at Akita, which is an approved apparition of Our Lady, Our Lady’s Statue wept repeatedly in the presence of Catholics and pagans and forewarned of a great battle inside the Church between Cardinals and Bishops…”  READ FULL POST


Diabolical Disorientation

“Diabolical disorientation is when a person is disoriented by various tricks of the devil. These diabolical tricks are not simply a kind of possession portrayed on television and in the movies. The devil, the purveyor of diabolical disorientation, manages often to give the targeted person a perception quite different from reality and yet the person so diabolically disoriented is convinced what he thinks is the truth when it is actually a lie.” ~FR. NICHOLAS GRUNER

Where Did the Phrase “Diabolical Disorientation” Originate? We can thank Sister Lucy of Fatima for coining the term. You will find it in her writing, especially between 1969 and 1971. Time and again, she comes back to this statement.  With so many changes going on in the Church since Vatican II, faithful Catholics and friends reported to Sister Lucy, strange activities of various clergymen, bishops and priests. The Catholic faithful knew that something was wrong. And so they asked Sister Lucy for her advice on this. She explained that it is diabolical disorientation. The devil is behind it, she said, and the devil has misled many people, surprisingly even bishops and Cardinals; and although she has not said it, maybe even the Pope himself.

Why Haven’t We Heard of This Threat Before Now? 
It may be that it wasn’t Sister Lucy that came up with the term but rather the Blessed Virgin Herself, in the Third Secret of Fatima. The Third Secret was supposed to be released by 1960, but to date, it still has not been fully released. The Third Secret foretells our time of apostasy in the Church. We know this because Cardinal Ciappi says: “In the Third Secret, it is foretold, among other things, that the Great Apostasy in the Church begins at the top.” This means a number of Cardinals and bishops and priests in the Vatican are misleading the faithful and leading them into apostasy… READ FULL ARTICLE


Vatican II and the removal of St. Michael Prayer during and after Mass 

Pope Paul VI wrote some interesting words in 1976“… We would say that through some mysterious crack—no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God.”

And yet, it was this same Pope who oversaw removing St. Michael the Archangel from the liturgy and the St. Michael the Archangel prayer said after every Mass for the protection of the Church from the great Satanic onslaught foreseen by Pope Leo XIII in 1884! READ ARTICLE


Bishops at USCCB Disgust Many

“..Serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty, and the death penalty.”
These are on the same par as millions upon millions of babies being murdered? 

This was in America Magazine for those who wanted to tweet the news:

U.S. bishops: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself…. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.”

This was the title of an article about the same topic at Lifesite News:

1 in 3 US bishops at fall meeting vote to downplay abortion by citing Pope Francis

America Magazine is pro-liberal, pro-gay, pro-Francis.  Their editor is Fr. James Martin, need I say more?  They didn’t follow the bit of debate that broke out when Cardinal Cupcake from Chicago wanted everything Francis wrote in their “Faithful Citizens” letter.  America Magazine rather tiptoed around the topic, so I’ll quote from Lifesite:

Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego objected, saying, “It is not Catholic teaching that abortion is the pre-eminent issue that we face as the world in Catholic social teaching. It is not.”

McElroy also said he believes that saying the threat of abortion remains the USCCB’s “pre-eminent priority” is “at least discordant with the pope’s teaching if not inconsistent” and that it is a “grave disservice to our people if we’re trying to communicate to them what the Magisterium teaches.”

The bishop of San Diego was contradicted by Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. Strickland stated that the word “pre-eminent” must remain in the letter, and Chaput underscored that abortion is indeed the most important social issue of our time.

“I am against anyone stating that our saying it’s ‘pre-eminent’ is contrary to the teaching of a pope because that isn’t true,” Chaput said.

“It sets up an artificial battle between the Bishops’ Conference of the United States and the Holy Father which isn’t true,” he continued.

“So I don’t like the argument Bishop McElroy uses. It isn’t true, you know. We support the Holy Father completely. What he says is true. But I think it has been the very clearly articulated opinion of the bishops’ conference for many years that pro-life is still the pre-eminent issue. It doesn’t mean the others aren’t equal in dignity.”

The bishops applauded Archbishop Chaput’s intervention.

The debate began when Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago asked (see video below at 49:25) for an amendment to the short letter that would include the entire paragraph 101 from Pope Francis’s controversial 2018 apostolic exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate.”

Frankly, I can only applaud the bishops who took the high road concerning abortion!  However, none brought up the Amazon Synod or the acts of idolatry performed in front of the world from the Vatican Garden, inside St. Peter’s or the church with the poster of a woman nursing a baby and an animal.  Perhaps they spoke about it in their private meetings, but the faithful need to hear our bishops take a stand against these acts. It seems we have bishops unwilling to address the elephant in the room.  What do you think Jesus would say?  Somehow I can’t imagine Him saying, “Well done my good and faithful servants” to these guys until they begin to choose to protect their flocks.  I can hear Him saying some of the “Woe to you…” words in Matthew 23…

Francis came out this week saying those who speak against the Amazon Synod are racists.  Count me in.

God bless you always,

Nancy M.

©2019 Nancy H Montgomery,

Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of

Pope Benedict speaks in favor of Veri Catholici

When I read this I was struck by the name of the site in English – Real Catholics.  The “R” in stands for “Real”.  As I talk to more and more Catholics who are just coming into understanding about what is really taking place in the Church from the top down, I find myself praying more and more about helping faithful Catholics understand what “real” means.  When you visit the website this post is linked to, take time to browse around and learn why they believe our true Pope remains Pope Benedict.  There is indeed a growing conviction that against all odds, this is true.

Nancy M.


via Pope Benedict speaks in favor of Veri Catholici

Appealing to Heaven

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls.  Amen.


Pope Paul VI wrote some interesting words in 1976

 “… We would say that through some mysterious crack—no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God.”

And yet, it was this same Pope who oversaw removing St. Michael the Archangel from the liturgy and the St. Michael the Archangel prayer said after every Mass for the protection of the Church from the great Satanic onslaught foreseen by Pope Leo XIII in 1884!

St. Leo XII wrote the spiritual warfare prayer …

 At the end of his Angelus message given in St. Peter’s Square, Sunday, April 24, 1994, Pope St. John Paul II urged Catholics to recite the prayer to Saint Michael once again:

“The prayer can fortify us for that spiritual battle about which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks [of]: “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power.”(Ephesians 6:10). And to this same battle that the Book of the Apocalypse refers [to], recalling in front of our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (cf. Revelations 12:7).

Surely, this scene was very present to Pope Leo XIII, when, at the end of the previous century, he introduced to the entire Church a special prayer to St. Michael: ‘St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil… ’

“Even if today this prayer is no longer recited at the end of the Eucharistic celebration, I invite all to not forget it, but to recite it in order to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and the spirit of this world.”  (From The Vision of Pope Leo XIII)

Our Church is in the midst of dire times.  Some parishes have returned the prayers to St. Michael and to Our Lady following Mass.  Perhaps with prayer and a nudge from you, your parish might do the same!

God bless you always,

Nancy M.

©2019 Nancy H Montgomery,

Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of

That Call to Prayer

I mentioned yesterday that the head of the SSPX called for a day of prayer and reparatory penance concerning the acts of idolatry that took place in Rome during the Amazon Synod for his own order and invites all Catholics to join in prayer.  I received this email from SSPX today:


Following the Synod on the Amazon, the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, Father Davide Pagliarani, invited all priest members, religious brothers or Oblates, seminarians and tertiaries, to observe a day of prayer and reparatory penance, in order to defend the sanctity of the Church.

It is about, he writes in a Letter of 20 October 2019, “the honour of the Roman Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is not an idolatrous and pantheistic fair”.

At a time when the civilizing mission of Catholicism is profoundly distorted, and when the sanctity of the priesthood is threatened by new reforms, all the faithful are cordially invited to join in this day of fasting and praying, on Saturday, November 9, 2019, especially to repair the recent scandals that have taken place in the capital of Christianity.

God does not abandon His Church; the gates of hell will never prevail over it (Mt 16:18).

To read the Open Letter from the Superior General:  OPEN LETTER

Earlier today, I watched Raymond Arroyo’s interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider.  In the closing few moments, Raymond asked the bishop what he would say to the Catholics watching.  Bishop Schneider closed his comments by saying;

“…Pray to make hours of reparation for the sins of the high clergy who betray today Christ… also to pray for good new priests and support the good bishops – there still are – to have courage, strength, and wisdom to be faithful shepherds in these dark times.”


May God bless you always,

Nancy M.

Extra Note:  The picture at the top of this post was found at Fr. Z’s Blog.  – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (Great place to visit!) I find it chilling to see all the candles lit around the Pachamama idol.  Disgusting.

©2019 Nancy H Montgomery,

Views and opinions found in links on this site are not necessarily those of

The Schism We Face


I opened my email today to find a post from (Bishop Emeritus Gracida of Corpus Cristi, TX) that gives insight into the schism that took place after Vatican II.  He believes we are fast approaching another such event.

Faithful Catholics, unaware of the tremendous upheaval coming into our Church as a result of Vatican II, can find it frustrating when trying to understand what our Catholic brothers and sisters are talking about with terms like traditionalist, conservative, modernists, sedevacantists or schism. These terms weren’t essential to me until I realized that they apply to the very core of my true faith. That is why I believe then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s talk on the schism stemming from Vatican II is vital in helping us understand what is behind the one we face.  Knowing founder Archbishop Lefebvre’s background and SSPX beginnings helps in understanding some of those frustrating terms:

The current head of The Society of Saint Pius X has called all his priests and laity to fast and pray in reparation for the idolatry of the Amazon Synod this weekend.  From Lifesite News:

The Superior General of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is calling for a day of “prayer and reparation” and for Masses to be said to ask God to protect His Church and to spare it from punishments for the pagan rituals that were performed at the Vatican during the Pan-Amazonian Synod. FULL TEXT HERE

(Other priests have joined the call.  I’m making it a personal commitment and will post about this call to prayer. )

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was the Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers and assigned to participate in the drafting and preparation of documents for the upcoming Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) announced by Pope John XXIII. Most of the texts he helped prepare for the Vatican II Council were rejected, and new, liberal, modernist versions were substituted in their place. Archbishop Lefebvre, along with other conservative or traditionalist prelates, formed a group called The Coetus Internationalis Patrum representing the minority at Vatican II. When members of the Holy Ghost Fathers demanded implementation of council-inspired reforms in 1968, he resigned as Superior General.

In 1970, Lefebvre founded the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a small community of seminarians, in the village of Écône, Switzerland, with the permission of Bishop of Fribourg. In 1975, the Holy See ordered Lefebvre to disband the society. Committed to the traditional Church, Lefebvre ignored the decision. In 1988, he consecrated four bishops to continue his work with the SSPX. The Holy See immediately declared that he and the other bishops who had participated in the ceremony had incurred automatic ex-communication under Catholic canon law. Lefebvre, also using canon law, refused to acknowledge the ex-communication until his death three years later. At the request of the four surviving  SSPX Bishops in 2009, 18 years after Lefebvre’s death, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the ex-communication. The Society of Saint Pius X came back into communion with the Church. While they are no longer considered sedevacantist, there remains other communities which are.

Pope Benedict’s talk to the bishops in Chili happened only one month after the Vatican’s “split” with SSPX founder Lefebvre. Benedict is considered to be a big part of Vatican II, yet even while he was still a Cardinal, we understand by reading these words that he himself was not happy with the destruction that took place in so many of our Churchs and within the liturgy.  It is very revealing.  Especially when we realize that there is a growing consensus among Catholics that he is the true pope, but that is for another post.



Posted on November 7, 2019

Cardinal Ratzinger’s address to bishops of Chile

Following is the translated text of an address by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, given 13 July 1988, in Santiago, Chile before that nation’s Bishops.

“In recent months, we have put a lot of work into the case of Lefebvre with the sincere intention of creating for his movement a space within the Church that would be sufficient for it to live. The Holy See has been criticized for this. It is said that it has not defended the Second Vatican Council with sufficient energy; that, while it has treated progressive movements with great severity, it has displayed an exaggerated sympathy with the traditionalist rebellion. The development of events is enough to disprove these assertions. The mythical harshness of the Vatican in the face of the deviations of the progressives is shown to be mere empty words. Up until now, in fact, only warnings have been published; in no case have there been strict canonical penalties in the strict sense. And the fact that when the chips were down Lefebvre denounced an agreement that had already been signed shows that the Holy See, while it made truly generous concessions, did not grant him that complete license which he desired. Lefebvre has seen that, in the fundamental part of the agreement, he was being held to accept Vatican II and the affirmations of the post-conciliar Magisterium, according to the proper authority of each document.

“There is a glaring contradiction in the fact that it is just the people who have let no occasion slip to allow the world to know of their disobedience to the Pope, and to the magisterial declarations of the last 20 years, who think they have the right to judge that this attitude is too mild and who wish that an absolute obedience to Vatican II had been insisted upon. Similarly, they would claim that the Vatican has
conceded a right to dissent to Lefebvre, which has been obstinately denied to the promoters of a progressive tendency. In reality, the only point which is affirmed in the agreement, following Lumen Gentium 25, is the plain fact that not all documents of the Council have the same authority. For the rest, it was explicitly laid down in the text that was signed that public polemics must be avoided and that an attitude is required of positive respect for official decisions and declarations.

“It was conceded, in addition, that the Fraternity of St. Pius X would be able to present to the Holy See — which reserves to itself the sole right of decision — their particular difficulties regarding interpretations of juridical and liturgical reforms. All of this shows plainly that in this difficult dialogue, Rome has united generosity, in all that was negotiable, with firmness in essentials. The explanation which Msgr. Lefebvre has given, for the retraction of his agreement, is revealing. He declared that he has finally understood that the agreement he signed aimed only at integrating his foundation into the ‘Conciliar Church.’. The Catholic Church in union with the Pope is, according to him, the ‘Conciliar Church’ which has broken with its own past. It seems indeed that he is no longer able to see that we are dealing with the Catholic Church in the totality of its Tradition and that Vatican II belongs to that.

“Without any doubt, the problem that Lefebvre has posed has not been concluded by the rupture of June 30th. It would be too simple to take refuge in a sort of triumphalism and to think that this difficulty has ceased to exist from the moment in which the movement led by Lefebvre has separated itself by a clean break with the Church. A Christian never can, or should, take pleasure in a rupture. Even though it is absolutely certain the fault cannot be attributed to the Holy See, it is a duty for us to examine ourselves, as to what errors we have made, and which ones we are making even now. The criteria with which we judge the past in the Vatican II decree on ecumenism must be used — as is logical — to judge the present as well.

“One of the basic discoveries of the theology of ecumenism is that schisms can take place only when certain truths and certain values of the Christian faith are no longer lived and loved within the Church. The truth which is marginalized becomes autonomous, remains detached from the whole of the ecclesiastical structure, and a new movement then forms itself around it. We must reflect on this fact: that a large number of Catholics, far beyond the narrow circle of the Fraternity of Lefebvre, see this man as a guide, in some sense, or at least as a useful ally. It will not do to attribute everything to political motives, to nostalgia, or to cultural factors of minor importance. These causes are not capable of explaining the attraction which is felt even by the young, and especially by the young, who come from many quite different nations, and who are surrounded by completely distinct political and cultural realities. Indeed they show what is from any point of view a restricted and one-sided outlook; but there is no doubt whatever that a phenomenon of this sort would be inconceivable unless there were good elements at work here, which in general do not find sufficient opportunity to live within the Church of today.

“For all these reasons, we ought to see this matter primarily as the occasion for an examination of conscience. We should allow ourselves to ask fundamental questions about the defects in the pastoral life of the Church, which are exposed by these events. Thus we will be able to offer a place within the Church to those who are seeking and demanding it and succeed in destroying all reason for schism. We can make such schism pointless by renewing the interior realities of the Church. There are three points, I think that it is important to think about.

“While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek refuge in the traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there. After the Council there were many priests who deliberately raised ‘desacralization’ to the level of a program, on the plea that the New Testament abolished the cult of the Temple: the veil of the Temple which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ’s death on the cross is, according to certain people, the sign of the end of the sacred. The death of
Jesus, outside the City walls, that is to say, in the public world, is now the true religion. Religion, if it has any being at all, must have it in the nonsacredness of daily life, in love that is lived. Inspired by such reasoning, they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches as much as they could of that splendor which brings to mind the sacred; and they have reduced the liturgy to the language and the gestures of ordinary life, by means of greetings, common signs of friendship, and such things.

“There is no doubt that, with these theories and practices, they have entirely disregarded the true connection between the Old and the New Testaments: It is forgotten that this world is not the Kingdom of God, and that the “Holy One of God” (John 6:69) continues to exist in contradiction to this world; that we have need of purification before we draw near to Him; that the profane, even after the death and the Resurrection of Jesus, has not succeeded in becoming ‘the holy’. The Risen One has appeared, but to those whose heart has been opened to Him, to the Holy; He did not manifest Himself to everyone. It is in this way a new space has been opened for the religion to which all of us would now submit; this religion which consists in drawing near to the community of the Risen One, at whose feet the women prostrated themselves and adored Him. I do not want to develop this point any further now; I confine myself to coming straight to this conclusion: we ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his
brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion and find themselves deceived when the mystery is transformed into distraction when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the
priest or the liturgical director.

“Aside from the liturgical questions, the central points of conflict at present are Lefebvre’s attack on the decree which deals with religious liberty, and on the so-called spirit of Assisi. Here is where Lefebvre fixes the boundaries between his position and that of the Catholic Church today.

“I need hardly say in so many words that what he is saying on these points is unacceptable. Here we do not wish to consider his errors, rather we want to ask ourselves where there is lack of clarity in ourselves. For Lefebvre, what is at stake is the warfare against ideological liberalism, against the relativization of truth. Obviously, we are not in agreement with him that — understood according to the Pope’s intentions — the text of the Council or the prayer of Assisi were relativizing.

“It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church. Certainly, there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

“The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of super dogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

“This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy — the form in which the liturgy was handed down — suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the Council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the Faith — for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. —nobody complains or only does so  with the greatest moderation. I myself, when  I was a professor, have seen how the very same bishop who, before the Council, and fired a teacher whose was really irreproachable, for a certain crudeness of speech was not prepared, after the Council, to dismiss a professor who openly denied certain fundamental truths of the Faith.

“All this leads a great number of people to ask themselves if the Church of today is really the same as that of yesterday, or if they have changed it for something else without telling people. The one way in which Vatican II can be made plausible is to present it as it is; one part of the unbroken, the unique Tradition of the Church and of her faith.

“In the spiritual movements of the post-conciliar era, there is not the slightest doubt that frequently there has been an obliviousness, or even a suppression, of the issue of truth: here perhaps we confront the crucial problem for theology and for pastoral work today.

“The ‘truth’ is thought to be a claim that is too exalted, a ‘triumphalism’ that cannot be permitted any longer. You see this attitude plainly in the crisis that troubles the missionary ideal and missionary practice. If we do not point to the truth in announcing our faith, and if this truth is no longer essential for the salvation of Man, then the missions lose their meaning. In effect, the conclusion has been drawn, and it has been drawn today, that in the future we need only seek that Christians should be good Christians, Moslems good Moslems, Hindus good Hindus, and so forth. If it comes to that, how are we to know when one is a ‘good’ Christian or a ‘good’ Moslem?

“The idea that all religions are — if you talk seriously — only symbols of what ultimately is incomprehensible is rapidly gaining ground in theology, and has already penetrated into liturgical practice. When things get to this point, faith is left behind, because faith really consists in the fact that I am committing myself to the truth so far as it is known. So in this matter also there is every motive to return to the right path.

“If once again we succeed in pointing out and living the fullness of the Catholic religion with regard to these points, we may hope that the schism of Lefebvre will not be of long duration.”

Pope Benedict XVI on Aug. 28, 2010. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano

How different is then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s take on what the Church needs to move forward than our current pope?  If you have not had an opportunity to read it, Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote a very thought-provoking paper on the current crisis before the Amazon Synod. It was blocked from getting to the bishops who attended the meetings in Rome last February, but he managed to have it released in a German publication, and now we have it in English. Here is the LINK.

God bless you always,

Nancy M.

©2019 Nancy H Montgomery,

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