The youth group, called Fidelis, invited me to go with them to see the new documentary on the founder of the Society of St. Pius X. The theatre was full of people from Our Lady of Sorrows, the Society of St. Pius Parish here in Phoenix Arizona. They were very respectful and friendly. I sat next to a 37 year old woman and her husband who have 10 kids. The place was full of kids having a good time.
There were six priests from the Society and one brother. They are building a very beautiful traditional church. (If only we would build beautiful traditional churches too.) I went up and greeted all the priests, who were also very warm and cordial. I have met a couple of them before. Their church is a short distance from our parish, St. Catherine of Siena, Phoenix Az. After the movie I said good bye to them and they thanked me for coming.
In all this hot discussion about the “schismatic Society” we need to remember that Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications placed on the 4 consecrate bishops by Pope John Paul (after Archbishop Lefebvre ordained them without permission from Rome).
Recently, quite a few of the Society families, have started attending my Sunday 10 am Latin Mass. One lady asked me if at anytime Holy Communion is given out in the hand in the the St. John Bosco Chapel where the Holy Latin Mass is offered. The answer was no. I think she asked this because she does not want to be guilty for having walked all over the small pieces of the Holy Host that fall on the ground when people take Jesus’ Body in their hands. Again, a small piece of the Holy Host was on the paten (that the altar boy puts under the chin of those communicating) at our school mass this morning.
Watching the documentary was a sad experience for me as I saw the liberalization of the Catholic Church take place after Vatican II. As a young man, I was personally effected by this in my own Catholic practices. Traveling around the United States, Europe and Canada in 1965-66 with my family, we learned how the “new” Catholic Church was coming about. At that time the laity became experts on everything along with the priests and bishops and everything was up for discussion. And it only got worse as time went on.
Later on my boyhood parish (Resurrection, Aptos, California), was where I continued to learn at classes that the church’s teachings had changed. We were told that the Council of Trent was no longer valid because it had been a council of reaction against the protestant revolution (the correct description of the reformation). Now only the Vatican II’s teaching was good.
It wasn’t long after that that I became a self directed Catholic who decided what I did and did not believe. I went to mass when I wanted, I received Holy Communion in mortal sin, I invited non Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
Most of you are too young to have gone through these changes, you were just born into them. It is not your fault that you do not knew what the Church taught before the council of Vatican II. You didn’t know any better.
I bring these issues up to show that I was part of the destruction of the Catholic Church that you see in this documentary. And because of this, no one can tell me that this did not happen. Resurrection Parish in Aptos, California still has no kneelers and the last time I was there at daily mass, they passed the paten around and everyone grabbed their own Holy Communion. I do not know if this still goes on.
I think it was bad for Archbishop Lefebvre to have ordained the bishops with out permission from Rome. But I also believe that how he was treated by the church’s officials was very wrong too. He just wanted to pass on the Catholicism that he had received, (and preached all over Africa), to the next generation of Catholics.
I am very thankful to the Society for having maintained the Holy Latin Mass and other sacred traditions during the time of “mass destruction” of the 70, 80 and 90’s.
I give them all the credit that Pope Benedict again allowed us to be able to offer the Holy Latin Mass without having to get an indult or permission from our prelates (Summorum Pontificum). Pope Benedict stated very clearly that the Tridentine Mass had never been abrogated (that means not permitted to be offered). In the dialogue with the Society, Pope Benedict conceded to issue the Apostolic Letter; the Motu Proprio on September 14, 2007. And ever since then the Latin Mass has spread like wild fire all over the world. Most of your reading this were effected by this and have rediscovered the great Church’s treasure of the Holy Latin Mass because of the Society of St. Pius X asking for it.
Each one of us know how scandalous church politics can become by powerful liberals in the Church. But all will be settled when we die. May we all have some charity in our relations with the Society of St. Pius X.
Let us do our part by investigating what the Catholic Church has taught from the her beginning so as to be able to understand what has changed in the Church. Then, hopefully we will get back to liturgies that are pleasing to God.
We need to pray and stay in the heart of the Holy Catholic Church to help it return to her 2000 year old traditions. The prophets were always persecuted by the Israelites, can we expect anything different. It is so good to be a traditional Catholic.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.