The New Prideful “Arians” Within the Roman Catholic Church:
On Why Most Catholics Abhor or Reject the Extraordinary Rite
By Joseph Andrew Settanni
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi –
(Latin aphorism that expresses the profound criticality of worship, life, identity, culture, and mission of the Roman Catholic Church.)
In his speaking of the traditional Holy Latin Mass,“… so many young people are attracted to this venerable form of the Roman Rite.” – Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, OR, April 28, 2018
As a prologue to much that may be said, it would help to mentally recognize that contemporary human beings do live in a morally and spiritually dark age of secularization; it is made mostly comfortable by often ameliorative technological advancements that, as a rather odd convenience, usually masks the regnant horror existing. And, for the most part, this dreadful situation is thought to be just a normal condition of contemporary society and its simply laicist (read: Godless) civilization dedicated, directly and indirectly, towards evil. And, much evil gets spread through ignorance.
Uninformed intentions, often due to an unfortunate lack of requisite knowledge, can then produce an unneeded confusion and confounding of means and ends, which, of course, the Devil really loves; this would be for an attempt at helping a situation or even a recognized crisis to be properly met, carefully resolved, and sufficiently overcome, for these are truly desperate times (e. g., a massive lack of vocations) within Holy Mother Church.
Equally, cause and effect, moreover, can also be significantly misperceived or misunderstood. And, for instance, the ongoing secularization of the Church is a real force much too often unrecognized as such, especially since the Second Vatican Council, which, cheerily, had embraced the temporal world. As a harsh result, even very serious considerations of (mortal) sin and damnation were, in fact, impiously temporized for the improperly catechized laity, long on much earnestness, short on much requisite intelligence. If this hurts to read, know then that the truth can sometimes or, really, often hurt people; however, only the truth can make people free.
Having even the best of intentions is not really good enough, inclusive of the decades-long horrible crisis that the Church is still in, fully regardless of (many failed) attempted remedies, and comprehensive of the here assumed jocularity of the “reform of the reform of the reform.” It is ever quite solicitously productive of a strange seriousness and earnestness, highly productive of human asininities parading as true wisdom, settling in and within the Church, backing false charming solutions and lovely pious hopes. An odd parody of utopianism, one might guess.
And, now, what ought to be the shock, such oddly formulaic “incestuous” remedies will simply not do; it has been ongoing and nauseously productive of much unrecognized insanity, inclusive certainly of the aforementioned secularization of both Catholic theology and its related religion; this is as perceived, most surely, in the Novus Ordo Mass, subject as it is to protean vernacular performances, which, as such, sadly prohibits the needed comprehensive fullness of Catholic culture’s right blossoming. It, also, supports the secularization process observed.
Sometimes, as an imperfect human being, one can be much too close to a problem and, consequently, just not be able to consciously see it. This, logically, can lead to difficulties, besides innumerable raucous absurdities, perhaps, unconsciously suspected by the simply theologically depraved. And yet, ‘tis a wonderment, indeed. Nonetheless, spiritual violence must be done, to the (knowing or unknowing) enemies of the Cross wherever they may be, in the proper name of Christian charity and for opposing evil.
A wrong diagnosis, severe enough, enables a then false prognosis to occur, which can prove sometimes rather fatal to a patient or, in this specific cited case, an entire religious institution. And, fortunately, only the Holy Ghost ultimately ensures that no earthly final disaster can, in fact, so occur, though this remonstrative article may imperiously get dismissed, by the enlightened ones, as yet another vacuous, tedious parlous screed. So be it. Truth is eternal.
Prologue for a Sensible Catholic Epistemology
What may be critically needed here is to insightfully mention two interesting heuristic terms taken from Sociology, “manifest” and latent,” for better illustrative purposes. What is manifest is that which can be only easily seen on the overt surface of events or social realities; what is said to be latent, on the other hand, concerns that which can only, with some usual attendant difficulty, be discerned beneath the mere surface of events or social realities.
And, all this is related, intimately, to what can be called Catholic epistemology, the proper study of the knowledge of why Catholicism ought to be ever synonymous with orthodoxy; and, the righteous fight for the morally and spiritually needed promotion the traditional Latin Mass, sometimes called the Tridentine Mass (as a more limited meaning), though this manner of the Mass has actually historically existed long before the 16th century Council of Trent.
Most observers, if not professionally trained, perceive solely or mostly that which is obviously manifest; rarely, do many people ever quite clearly, e. g., recognize latent causes. Effects, too often being quite superficial by appearing on the surface (of the human condition), get often misinterpreted, more than is typically suspected, as supposedly then being the true causes.
Thus, upon critical analysis, for instance, the attrition of many young folks from the Church is not a cause but, rather, the effect being observed. The true cause is a lack of fundamental orthodoxy in the modern Mass versus the venerable, traditionalist Holy Latin Mass, now also called the Extraordinary Rite. The latter ever rejoices abundantly with an effulgent celebration of the righteous Trinitarian Dogma, which Arianism always wrongly condemned, of course.
It is perceived, by many knowledgeable critics, that the New Mass has a fully conformist attitude shown explicitly by its use of the vernacular languages in line with secularist-oriented expectations; the traditional Latin Mass, in contrast, explodes laicist demands for a wanted conformity and, moreover, challenges vigorously the corruptive sociocultural norms of such Godlessness. Consequently, what is one greatly positive result for solidly advancing Catholicism with the Latin Mass?
Theological and religious orthodoxy has ever attracted sincere, inquiring, or great minds towards it, as with the many notable and outstanding conversions of the 19th and early to mid-20th century: Orestes Augustus Brownson, Isaac Hecker, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newsman, G. K. Chesterton, Monsignor Ronald Knox, Evelyn Waugh, Lord Kenneth Clark and, literally, a plethora of others; novelties in religion or theology, in contrast, do produce diverting distractions that, more or less, eventually repel most people who tend, on average, to keep seeking after other (and, perhaps, some much more attractive) novelties.
Only the (Catholic) truth consistently and continually expounded and defended for ages produces the logical mental and moral gravity of sincere attraction; bland mediocrity, observed inconsistency, or very long-term compromise creates, instead, a natural repulsion, where evil gets tolerated and often endorsed. This is so very true, moreover, of all heresies.
G. K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, significantly written when prior to his conversion, explains the adamantly pro-Catholic tendencies, by which, one can see, “the thrilling romance of orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad.” If only the bulk of the (insane) hierarchy of the Church intelligently ever felt this way, the appropriate return to the venerable Latin Mass would have, lovingly, occurred quite long ago by now.
To this extremely important and notable point, he quite sagaciously continues there that, “To have fallen into one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.”
As he, a brilliant defender of the Catholic Faith, would have fully agreed, the true, the good, and the beautiful are to be found supremely, unquestionably, united in the Holy Latin Mass, which forever possesses architectonic timelessness and sacred universality, among many other very important attributes.
Chesterton’s theological logic is, thus, simply superb, for compared to the truly boring monotony of repeated lies (heresies), era by era, the truth ought to be ever exhilarating, but can be often difficult to clearly perceive. To add to the greatly unfortunate turmoil, Satan, moreover, has made it difficult, with the ongoing metaphysical struggle on earth, for very many to accurately recognize the truth, beauty, and what is actually good. Too often, sin and damnation get ignored as being the logical companions of evil.
Thus, most souls, to no surprise, eventually go to the Infernal Regions; they will not reach the Church Triumphant in Heaven, for their tutored ignorance will simply not then be bliss. Universal salvation is, therefore, just another heresy, for many are called, few are chosen.
For humans, as part of the omnipresent human condition, are fallen creatures living in a fallen world, which, admittedly, seems platitudinous to say. Nonetheless, mortal imperfection is so definitive, not ultra-sophisticated sapiential cognizance surely. It needs, thus, to be understood that a half-truth, a typical heresy, is like half a brick; it can be thrown farther and is harder to see, though this will just be dismissed, by opposed critics, as yet another merely witless diatribe against the Second Vatican Council. Good reading can be recommended as a mental palliative.
As an extended “preface,” one could then instructively read such books as: Peter Kwasniewski’s Nobel Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages; Peter Kwasniewski and Fr. Jonathan Robinson’s Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church; The Great Facade: The Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church from Vatican II to the Francis Revolution, 2nd Edition, by Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Christopher A. Ferrara; Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass by Lisa Bergman; and, here for good measure, Dom Prosper Gueranger and Peter Kwasniewski’s The Traditional Latin Mass Explained.
Thus, while it may be, e. g., considered latent that much substantive stupidity supports a heresy, it is quite manifest that the mainstream of the Church hierarchy does support it, meaning such stupidity, and so mightily at that. What would help may be called the noetic development of a way of treating proper cognizance that could be called, for want, perhaps, of a better expression, a “synthetic intelligence.”
This so pertains to the needed philosophical ability to critically perceive and integrate the necessary interconnections and interrelationships between and among pivotal ideas, for as Richard M. Weaver noted long ago, ideas do have consequences. There needs to be a way, therefore, of synthesizing the ideational elements, within the necessary interconnections and interrelationships between and among pivotal ideas, for creating a comprehensive cognitive context for rationally achieving a better perceptive knowledge base.
Otherwise, for instance, many surely related ideas, concepts, social, economic, cultural, aesthetic, religious, and political movements are simply seen in isolation, one from the other, as if there were no larger meaning or context for a better, needed, and more precise understanding and comprehension of reality. Human intelligence, if nothing else, would seem to fairly require this prudent consideration, especially in a day and age predominated by so much rampant insanity and, worse yet, glorified hypocrisy too.
The disastrous calamity, e. g., known as the Second Vatican Council did not happen by mere accident; many truly nominalist-oriented ideas, percolating for several generations back, had come together to finely shape, design, and formulate the determinedly modernist outcomes and, moreover, the permanent revolution (almost never noticed), so planted in a “Trotskyite” manner, as the horrid aftermath.
This is whereby the alleged “practical” Letter of VC II is too often set, supposedly, against the “idealistic” Spirit of VC II. All of which, upon intensely cogent study, is seen to be just blatant nonsense, for the Council must be taken or rejected as a whole, not continually reinterpreted or semantically reinvented; this has been illegitimately done, through much sophistic argumentation and knavish persiflage, as with “the reform of the reform of the reform,” to, then, wrongly serve often tendentious or certain meanly partisan ends. The truth, thus, should be clear.
And so, regrettably, most of the clerisy persists with a clownish regard for the truth, by preferring sets of semantic, gymnastically-astute verbal and printed performances, certainly unworthy of the honored name of Catholic theology. Not very surprisingly, mainstream Catholic religious practice has severely suffered as well, along with a drastic, scandalous, and noted continuing decline in holy orders vocations, generation by generation. And, it needs to be wisely remarked here, this matter, at the least, is productive of much evil.
Brief Analysis of the Terrible Tragic Situation
The new “Arians” who eschew (almost all unknowingly) profound orthodoxy and the historical ones do have a great deal in common, more than either would admit. The ancient (nominalist) Arians, both firmly and comfortably entrenched within the structure and hierarchy of the Church for a long time, felt no urgently compelling need to possibly consider that they were, in fact, fundamentally wrong. Winners rarely do.
Both the new “Arians” and their ancient counterparts, of course, did not think of themselves as being heretics. But, what is the valuable historical understanding to be here conveyed for useful elucidation?
Arianism explicitly denied the Trinitarian Dogma by claiming that Jesus Christ, though created by God the Father, remains forever separate from the nature of the Father and, as a permanent consequence, exists as an inferior creature to the Lord God. They vilely dared to blasphemously defile the honor and righteousness, glory and Godhead, of Jesus the Christ. Nothing less was implied.
Notice the clearly cognitive reductionism, the obviously reduced understanding and appreciation of the Messiah, the Savior of the World. (Better yet, notice the tendentious absurdity involved, especially if one cannot easily deal with the clearly inherent blasphemy.)
The total victory of Arianism would have, in fact, significantly forced increasing degrees of ardent secularization, within the body of the Church, because of its rather blatant theological and, of course, consequently kindred religious reductionism, its nomnlism. For as William F. Buckley, Jr. was fond of quoting Leon Trotsky, who says A must say B. Q. E. D.
In critical extrapolation, since it rudely attempted to then handle the doxology of Christology in a more secular (or easier) way of understanding Trinitarian theology and its quite cognate religious implications, Arianism needs to be intelligently seen as a form of rather subtle secularization in cognition. Mystery was to be reduced more into human terms of comprehension, meaning rather than orthodoxy’s truth being upheld against error and in adamant defense of proper Catholicism.
As crudity and rudeness do complement each other, the same holds for bigotry and heresy, contrary to orthodoxy as the guardian of rational and metaphysical truth. How, nonetheless, may this cogently presented cognizant insight be more readily and appropriately discerned for proper theological and religious purposes and, thus, augmented insight?
It is as with the earthly naturalism, against supernaturalism, seen in how the Son of God (being the mere “son”) must, thus, be always held subordinate to the Father. But, such silly half measures, as it were, for supposing the Trinity’s doxology is ludicrously poor fodder for starving souls really needing the genuine truth, as necessary food for eternal life. Generation by generation, therefore, Arianism was more and more found to be ultimately unsustainable claptrap, not ever any creative or truly inventive theological revelations of a rather high order, as was claimed, for no heresy invented is superior to true orthodoxy and its related glory.
As usual, Hilaire Belloc, in his The Great Heresies, gives the clear explanation that, “Arianism was a typical example on the largest scale of that reaction against the supernatural which, when it is fully developed, withdraws from religion all that by which religion lives.” And, upon close examination, the direction of the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council has, in fact, done the same by increasing spiritual dissolution over time, through mostly covert secularization of the Catholic spirit in theology and religion. But, if this important fact is not recognized, there will only be the sad case of the blind leading the blind.
The marked inability of so many presumed (and presumably educated) Catholics, being absolutely unable to perceive the obvious, speaks volumes, negatively, about the tremendously poor catechesis involved, if nothing else. The situation has long ceased being merely pathetic; it is obnoxious, indeed, and intolerably reprehensible as well. Why the notable concern and severe censure?
The true Catholic spirit joyously exalts supernaturalism, as with openly acknowledging the Mystery of Evil and the Mystery of Good, besides, of course, sacredly championing what must remain mysterious in all of the Seven Sacraments of the Church. All the blessed angels and saints in Heaven would agree, of course, along with the Communion of Saints, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, in addition, would not dissent. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception triumphantly shouts the truth of this absolute superiority of the metaphysical order versus the mere temporal order.
For the proper requisite defense of holiness, moreover, the Church, in truth, has no other choice. Verily, Christ’s Birth, Resurrection, and Ascension are, in fact, all miracles, though broadcast media these days remain skeptical with their seemingly bold immaculate perceptions to the contrary, for Christ is the Cross and the Cross is Christ. There is no genuine salvation without the Cross, without the Holy Son of God Triumphant.
In deep contrast, the new “Arianism,” in which, e. g., the many vernacular languages (aka the vulgar tongues) have replaced Church Latin, represents its own vulgar version or attempt at a not-so-subtle theological secularization; and, this situation has logically created the smugness of the majority of the present heretics who are greatly incapable, of perceiving their own heretical notions; this is, principally, because of nominalism in philosophy that has sadly, also, overtaken most of extant Catholic theology as well.
So, insightful and indicative parallels, basic equivalents, with the ancient Arians do properly exist in substantial terms of a certainly strange sort or kind of modernized “neo-Arianism.” Of course, it is rarely perceived as such due to the basic prevalence of nominalism and how it rots way the intellect.
After all, they (the original Arians) notably were, at the time of their main and predominant influence, the known majority and, in many places, even the vast majority of the Christian believers of that era. A supportive thought among the Arians must have so occurred to them: Could the majority, the existing plenitude of the faithful in so many lands, be that seriously wrong? Pridefulness leads to blindness.
They, the majority of the new “Arians,” do piously seek only Easter Sunday, not Good Friday, as their chosen ideal. And, once again, it will, thus, historically be up to the struggling orthodox laity, over some generations, to help dissuade, carefully disabuse, the necessarily erroneous and deficient beliefs of the laity’s miscreant majority and, of course, the equally ignorant majority of the hierarchy.1
Unfortunately, both of these unorthodox and, thus, so nominalist belief orientations, though set many centuries apart, share many of the same ugly characteristics, as, of course, extant heresies so often do. The heresiarch Arius was indicatively fond of utilizing secular thematics, for his religious propagandizing, by utilizing popular tunes to sell his message vocally, while seeming to be yet orthodox.
Many of the new “Arians” also think themselves to be highly or, at least, logically orthodox in their own beliefs, and look down upon or, at the least, tend to seriously question the rightness or justifications of the Catholic traditionalists. With being surely much exacerbated in recent years, the resulting chaotic ecclesiastical situation prevailing has, in fact, become increasingly problematic; this is as to many doctrinal and dogmatic matters of faith among the believers, most of whom do simply appear, on the surface, sufficiently sanguine with evil Pope Francis’ continuing progressive liberalizations.
But, as is illustrated vividly in The Latin Mass magazine and elsewhere, too many observers by now have so well noted that the traditional, preconciliar Latin Mass Catholic Faith is, essentially speaking, completely opposed to the predominant Novus Ordo Church. For Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi profoundly encapsulates, therefore, the inclusive sensus catholicus truth of the true Faith.
Those who recalcitrantly do not “get it” are in line for quite a sore awakening after their mortal deaths. Such words, pointed verbiage, may offend liberal or progressive Catholics, but what is so tremendously under consideration here is of a true profundity, not an existent ecclesial soap opera. What must be said? There needs to be a profound, Catholic, traditionalist restoration within the Church, sooner rather than later.
And, it could not, must not, be ever otherwise. For as Theodore Maynard, in his Orestes Brownson, had rightly written: “To be a Catholic at all a man must be orthodox.” How clearer could this splendid admonition be? Maynard, furthermore, correctly noted that, “There is, properly speaking, no liberalism in Catholic theology.” If only that absolute truism were made much more widely known today, perhaps, many demands for the demonic normalization of insanity would happily cease to exist. But, there is certainly witnessed an ecclesiastical establishment bizarrely caught up in a horrid form of wanted and practiced theological and religious schizophrenia no less.
There are, for those with honest eyes to plainly see, now two distinctly existing opposed liturgies, doxologies, and, thus, two very opposite compositional belief structures so weirdly occupying Holy Mother Church; while the Latin Mass traditionalists are manly on the fringes with Christocentric theology, the new “Arians” have their cognition as being, fundamentally, anthropocentric (often even explicit) in set orientation, though most often not recognized clearly as such. And, what of the sadly beleaguered and orthodox opposition?
In reiteration, the traditional Latin Mass Community’s mode of orientation is, in always sharp contrast, necessarily Christocentric both by intentional design and cognate fervent commitment; this holy attitude always cannot, moreover, be otherwise, for, in a rather deliberately pointed restatement here, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. And, certainly once again, it could not, must not, be ever otherwise. The logic is plain, the devotion is real.
What absurdly exists, since the Vatican Council of the mid-1960s, is mainly the hip desire for being “relevant” by promoting social welfare reform, not the older (read: orthodox) and correct focus upon the needed sanctification and salvation of souls and, always more importantly, the needed adoration and glorification of God, of the Divine Lord Transcendent.
Too many Catholics forget that they are not Protestants engaged in the building of social communities through religious efforts; modernist Catholics expect the Church to supply them with social functions, activity groups, or, perhaps, even various entertainments; in opposition, traditionalist parishes exist for only two fundamental reasons: 1.) the absolutely required worship of the Lord God Almighty and 2.) helping souls to try to get into Heaven.
Nothing really much more than that should ever exist, meaning as to proper ecclesial expectations. Thus, the principal core directive efforts are ever aimed at seriously promoting holiness, not, e. g., the formation of attendant social clubs for parishioners. Moreover, as to the larger perspective, the rejection of philosophical immanentism, especially as regarding Catholic eschatology, must be absolute, must be orthodox.
Everything or anything else as to parish life, if it may exist, is merely frosting on the cake, purely secondary, tertiary, or less in importance. Success, as to the Church’s primary divine mission, allows for the resultant organic growth of a Catholic social community centered on a parish, as parishes then get centered on a diocese.
Thus, the proverbial cart, the Church and its sacred purpose, ought never to be put before the horse, the variable propensities of the Catholic population, in a backwards manner. When efforts are (so wrongly) reversed, therefore, both the theology and religion of Catholicism do suffer, usually greatly. How may this be explained?
Because of philosophical nominalism clouding the minds of the new “Arians,” it is, therefore, virtually impossible for almost all of them to critically perceive any persuasive truth to the manifestly orthodox position of what can be called the preconciliar-oriented, Latin Mass Catholics.
This now fully religious, intellectual, theological, and spiritual divide makes any true communication nearly impossible, as there are two camps existing, in two quite different worlds of discourse; each becoming sadly, more and more as time goes on, indiscernible and so completely incommensurate one to the other. An existentially de facto, if not officially de jure, schism both experientially and phenomenologically exists, to the evil amusement of Satan and the immorally assembled fiery hosts of Hell. How can this situation be empirically observed?
The Latin Mass adherents, by the Catholic majority, are usually perceived as either kindly but irascible miscreants, haplessly misguided believers, or just nastily obstinate reprobates. They, the believing remnant, are quite normally marginalized, sidelined, ghettoized, and generally made to feel like outcasts among their own religious brethren. Nor can there be any middle ground of compromise, nor should there be. The followers of the Second Vatican Council (VC II), meaning the so-called postconciliar Church, cannot, by their truly quite hardened commitment, see any absolutely fundamental flaws that do, in fact, manifestly exist.
The orthodox Catholics who adhere to what may be denominated the preconciliar Church, equally, cannot simply compromise their adamant support for and deep devotion to the eternal and sacred truths of Roman Catholic orthodoxy. Compromise, moreover, would be a genuine mortal sin practiced by practiced knaves, not sincere, believing, and active Roman Catholics. Why is this declared to be?
The so pervasive nominalism in support of the Novus Ordo Mass and, moreover, all that it logically involves prohibits authentic communication in terms of any informational discourse aimed at suitably effectuating any reaching of common dialogical ground; in turn, the needed basis of discursive speech would, therefore, be actively premised upon a communicational platform to hold a, thus, true dialogue, within the same one universe of genuinely conversational-communicative discourse, for an authentic exchange of ideas. Until then, ignorance remains so fairly prevalent.
An empirical case-in-point can be, appropriately, offered by looking at the surely sad dilemma of His Eminence Bishop Joseph Edward Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas; he unwittingly offers, in microcosm, what is truly destructive of the Church in the macrocosm, as to the overall disastrous ecclesiastical reality itself. Though filled with true and virtuous will, Bishop Strickland, being yet a confirmed nominalist, can, of course, still correctly see that young people are, increasingly, leaving the Church, which is so certainly true; it is, in fact, supremely undeniable and does not have to be imagined as to a major reality.
But, the profoundly caring Bishop, though compassionately filled with obvious good will and Christian devotion, incredibly misinterprets what he perceives. What he (wrongly) thinks of as the actual causes of this noteworthy disaffection of the young people are not the genuine causes; they are, rather, the definite effects, both directly and indirectly, of the real (read: nominalist) causes themselves.
Consequently, he will only attempt, through repeated failures, to, in effect, place many band aids upon severely gaping wounds bleeding profusely, and fully regardless of how many mere band aids do get lovingly and sincerely applied. Nonetheless, because of a profound misperception, many young adults are routinely “dying” in their souls and lost to the faith, for lack of knowing the mightily transcendent spirituality of Catholicism. And, the majority of young people, in their idealism, do seek some form of transcendence.
The dreadful misunderstanding (which is not at all deliberate on his part) has nothing to do with his still very clear compassion, sincerity, commitment, integrity, devotion, honesty, or wanting of what is good for his people, for his diocese. But, as Dr. Milton Friedman, in paraphrase, said so very long ago, one can be, indeed, quite sincere, dedicated, honest, and committed – and still be wrong!
The main, not solely, authentic cause of the continuingly great loss of so many young people is, basically speaking, the lack of the traditionalist Latin Mass; and, all that it fundamentally concerns; this is as to the important proper focus upon an openly intense and purely fervent orthodoxy, not the (implicit or too often heavily implied) anthropocentricism of the morally and spiritually deficient Novus Ordo Mass.
Among many others, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a most knowledgeable theologian, has openly remarked that the unity of Catholic tradition and liturgy reveals how very sadly deficient and totally inadequate the Novus Ordo will always integrally be, when compared to the much superior Latin Mass. The best medicine against heresy is the profound affirmation of Catholicity, meaning orthodoxy, not the liberalism, relativism, and subjectivism found in the beliefs of the modernists or progressives within the Church. Thus, the Latin Mass acts as a most logical traditional bulwark against heretical threats to both the needed preservation and promotion of truly Catholic theological knowledge and religious truths.
This is not, of course, naively said here as if that alone will be the one and only absolute cure-all magic elixir. It is, rather, all the spiritual matters and holy attitudes fully surrounding and encompassing the reality of the Latin Mass, which, appropriately, incorporates rightly the vital and attractive nature of why orthodox parishes, on average, routinely grow and the Novus Ordo ones routinely shrink. Corrective thinking must often include a firm frontal assault on the consequences of nominalism that do logically include myth, magic, and superstition, much more than is ever typically suspected.2
As a great historical instance of such a fact, the Hegelian “wizards,” at the VC II, wanted to hegelianize forever the fundamental thinking of Catholicism as a permanent replacement (read: permanent revolution) for neo-Scholasticism or anything like it. This laid down the pervasive and perverse groundwork for what became the Catholic Enlightenment myth of VC II with its own Hegelian Dialectic. How so?
The Letter of VC II is to be the Thesis, the Spirit of VC II acts as the Antithesis, and the progressive urge toward modernization/liberalization is the Synthesis, all are forms of (much too often unrecognized) secularist magic. In addition, the terrible ecclesiastical superstition involved is the absurd notion that VC II is now absolutely sacrosanct.
What was, back then, publicly declared to be only a pastoral council, later, was retroactively redefined as having supposedly been an ecumenical council instead. Both neo-orthodoxy and neo-Catholicism, therefore, functionally resulted in religious and theological support of this inordinately dreadful use of the ideologically repetitive Hegelian Dialectic.
Neo-orthodoxy, in adamant support of neo-Catholicism, dates from the still destructive aftermath of VC II and, seemingly, a functionally blind obedience to it has become mandatory for the Church. Thus, this harmfully generated myth, magic, and superstition fully carried over from known modernism and is now involved with today’s postmodernism, for there can be no supposed reform of the reform of the reform. The Hegelian Dialectic, imbedded at VC II, supremely thinks of itself as being the permanent reform that has, in effect, become the permanent revolution in the Church.
For Bishop Strickland, having a “liberal” mind, he then unfortunately misperceives cause for effect and vice versa to the significant detriment of his failed attempts, sooner or later, and misconceived efforts at finding solutions to the loss of the children, when they become young adults. Why, in essence, has this unfortunately happened on such a momentous scale?
First, the paradox is presented. All of this is a logical result of the definite fracture that sadly occurred at the VC II, which began the so-called Enlightenment Era of the Church. That Council was said to be a great period of Catholic renewal d reinvigoration that, factually, was seen not to be true. It is easily probable, moreover, that none of the followers of the Novus Ordo, within the Roman Catholic Church, who do, in fact, constitute the definitely vast majority of adherents of the ecclesiastical establishment, ever think of themselves as (ignorant) heretics. Perish the thought.
And, in historical fairness, the exactly same thing could be, equally, said of the ancient Arian heretics who simply had thought of themselves as just being normal Catholics or, at the least, proper Christians. They had, quite righteously, condemned the actual Catholic, meaning thus orthodox, followers of the Church as, in fact, being the then supposed true heretics.
They were often driven to the outskirts of the cities, marginalized, ghettoized outcasts who became the minority desperately clinging to the vitality of orthodoxy, the true life of the Church. St. Athanasius was exiled five times during his repeated persecutions by his fellow (Arian) Catholics. Yet, deservedly, for several centuries thereafter, Athanasianism became an accepted synonym for true Catholicism, for there is no way to bypass sin and damnation, regardless of what the sophisticated cognoscenti may say.
Second, the new “Arians” with their Novus Ordo do, indeed, have the earthly power; this is because they control the vast majority of Church buildings, sources of revenue, the prestigious status positions, etc. In short, as in the days of St. Athanasius with his fight against Arianism, they are “the Church” overtly visible to the world.
And, third, as the old Arian heresy took a few centuries to finally get passed out of the Church’s entire fundamental system, the same situation seems to be now exactly true of this new manifestation of a massively anti-orthodox orientation. Is it, therefore, the supposed case that the lunatics running the asylum are to determine the membership (read: orthodoxy) of its inmates too?
Perhaps, to better understand what needs to be known, there should be the proper comprehension of the Church’s Magisterium, as to if properly orthodox criticism of the current tragic malaise (covering more than just several decades) within the Church, is validly legitimate or not.3
In any event, as the theme of this article should make clear by now, the basic cure for what troubles the Roman Catholic Church is the urgently needed return to the traditional Latin Mass throughout the entire world, not just in isolated places. One example below, among many that could be given and such are, of course, noted in The Latin Mass magazine, can fairly suffice for proper illustration.
When Archbishop Alexander Sample had, recently, celebrated the traditional Latin Mass, in Washington DC, he there, during his homily, readily and pleasingly appreciated the fact that there could be seen the attendance of a “very large presence of young people who have come to participate in this Holy Mass.”
Noting how the beauty, sense of mystery, and transcendence were fully present at the Latin Mass, he, quite significantly, referred to these traditional youth as “a great sign of encouragement and hope for the Church.” And, Archbishop Sample, furthermore, interestingly cited how priests and bishops had conveyed their true bewilderment, astonishment, or shock that “so many young people are attracted to this venerable form of the Roman Rite.”4
It is so genuinely sad that what ought to be just plain common sense is now to be regarded as being so astonishing, especially so among the (modernist) clergy. What does this scandalously say about the thinking of the majority of the hierarchy and priests? The Church, thus, has this tremendously great treasure that certainly attracts young people toward spiritual reverence and devotion, but it virtually keeps it hidden, mainly due to the preponderant existence of the Novus Ordo that, in fact, has no such strongly compelling or comparable affect on large numbers of young, believing Catholics.
They are actively seeking, therefore, both effectual transcendence and a dramatic sense of devout holiness, for it represents the finest ideal of Catholicism to often idealistic youth yearning for the truth, the truth of the Catholic Faith. It is no surprise, moreover, that such prominent converts as Evelyn Waugh and Lord Kenneth Clark, among many others, had protested vigorously against the loss of the venerable Latin Mass after VC II.
It is emblematic of the Church Militant, as is, for instance, St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine’s Controversies of the Christian Faith, translated into English by Father Kenneth Baker, S. J. In particular, Bellarmine, a leader of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, had confronted and refuted magnificently the advocates of the Protestant Revolution of the 16th century, while Catholic martyrs were dying in Great Britain and elsewhere for the sake of the Holy Latin Mass.
The modernist forces that do surely oppose the old Mass, of course, need to be better theologically understood for determining the proper gravity of the sorrowfully divisive struggle that yet so fiercely continues.
For clarification sake, although, especially since VC II, there has been a predominant neo-Pelagianism; it is in the protean nature of most heresies, throughout the length of Church history, that they do not really stand intellectually alone; usually, one or more are involved, so it gets often a bit difficult to fully disentangle one from the other; the “radioactive” core of what motivates the pervasive neo-Pelagianism is this persistent “neo-Arianism” that heavily grips the minds and hearts of most of the (self-deluded) laity and clerisy inclusive.
Of course, the deliberately “take-no-prisoners” writing style of this brief article reflects the often sad kind of intense war being waged, so assiduously, against orthodoxy, especially as it is splendidly represented in the traditional and Holy Latin Mass.
Meanwhile, the (increasing depraved) denizens of the postmodern world have their rather idiosyncratic or ideological teleologies (aka half-baked witticisms) axiomatically indicative of so equally relativist and personalized entelechies (of a much diminished sort). In short, the absurd objectification of ultimate subjectivity glorified exists, which Catholicism must exist to adamantly repudiate and utterly confound; this by willingly offering the always needed and solely valid alternative seen best within the venerable Latin Mass. What more may need to be here cogently and concisely asseverated in closing?
This writing is not, therefore, designed to unctuously ameliorate the comfortable or to ever comfortably assuage the powerfully smug. So, there really is, in truth, an ongoing horrendous struggle against the new “Arians” within the Roman Catholic Church, which is, of course, a so terrible tragedy afflicting fallen creatures in a fallen world.5
However, as ever, the great Chesterton’s sapient words can, in just one sentence, be superbly applied to thoroughly demolish the vilely overdone, contemptuous, and pompous pretentiousness of all of VC II: “I don’t need a church to tell me I’m wrong when I know I’m wrong; I need a church to tell me I’m wrong when I think I’m right.” And, that sagaciously salient statement should be eagerly taken as the proper encapsulation of a Chestertonian sensibility, of a quite sensible Catholic epistemology.
Contemporaneously, the Church Suffering must endure, as the present calamity significantly undermines efforts at supporting the Church Militant, for there is a definite Catholic culture (separate from just Western culture) that ought to creatively inform and inspire all of Catholic life.
Ultimately, of course, what has and is happening is a major failure of ecclesiastical leadership, over the past sixty years starting at the top down, throughout the realm of Holy Mother Church.6
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus.
Athanasius contra mundum!
The promotion of either traditional Scholasticism or a neo-Scholasticism is basically inadequate without the consideration and incorporation of the requisite critical contentions of ontological theology for Catholic thought, philosophy, and theology. For instance, certain features of Late Scholasticism and much of what became known as neo-Scholasticism had definitely picked up too much of nominalism that, therefore, necessarily weakened the needed basis of presentable and defensible Scholasticism.
It could be seen that ontological theology, as to its informative principles, insightfully provides a then substantially and substantively superior intellectual basis for Scholastic thought’s required cognitive emendation, correction, and advancement for a, thus, wanted renewed success.
One can find this particular matter, namely, the greatly corruptive influence of nominalism, quite lucidly covered and expatiated correctly in such as volume as: Dr. E. B. F. Midgley’s The Natural Law Tradition and the Theory of International Relations.
5.) The omnipresent background reality, it needs to be openly said, of what is happening to humanity worldwide goes far beyond the confines of the Roman Catholic Church and its difficulties. For instance, the world fertility rate, already heading near unsustainable negative levels, is being projected toward virtual human self-annihilation; this is, e. g., as it can be guessed that, eventually, hundreds of millions of people will prefer exquisite “sex” with fully nonjudgmental and exotically-erotically capable robots.
Moral irrationality ever compounds, therefore, the truly major loss of needed and basic moral sanity where there resides Godlessness qua presumed normality. Future reproduction of the species, if it will somehow persist, will be done in only specially constructed bio-factories, which may, perhaps, be totally unlicensed by governments. This is because of an extreme devotion to mortal sin, the desire of most men and women not to have children, added to the known contraceptive/legalized abortion/infanticide revolution. Humanity’s predictable self-destruction, if present trends do greatly continue just unabated, seems fairly or reasonably assured.
The continued march of nihilism and its logical outcome being insanity will, eventually, force the closure of even all of the bio-factories as being contrary to an ultimate humanist liberation from God, as is fully wanted by this Culture of Death, in the true demonic service of Satan and the horrid hosts of Hell.