Procinctu Press | THE BLOG

Chapter 3 | The Creation of the New Mass 1948-1969

Father Anthony Cekada gives an overview of Chapter 3, The Creation of the New Mass 1948-1969, of his book, “Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI.”

Chapter 2 | The Liturgical Movement: The Change Agents

Father Anthony Cekada gives an overview of Chapter 2, The Liturgical Movement: The Change Agents, Old Mass vs New Mass, of his book, “Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI.”

Chapter 1 | Old Mass vs New Mass

Father Anthony Cekada gives an overview of Chapter 1, Old Mass vs New Mass, of his book, “Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI.”

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Immaculate Conception

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Immaculate Conception

The theological authority of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is unsurpassed in the Catholic Church. He is the Universal Doctor of the Church. He is the patron saint of theologians, philosophers, academics, and of Catholic schools. His great learning and understanding were matched only by his radiant virtue, especially his chastity, and for this reason he is also honored with the title of Angelic Doctor.

Nevertheless, it is not uncommon to find in our day, especially on the internet, people who treat the sacred teachings of the Universal Doctor as little more than glorified opinions devoid of genuine authority. Such people, who themselves could perhaps not pass a single exam in dogmatic theology, tend to dismiss quickly any teaching of St. Thomas that does not suit them on the grounds that, well, “St. Thomas was wrong on the Immaculate Conception!”

This has become a popular “one-size-fits-all” means for people to neutralize the unsurpassed authority of the Doctor of Doctors, a remark that ultimately serves as a carte blanche to dissent from Aquinas on any theological matter one pleases. “Possibly the briefest way to deal with such nonsense”, one sedevacantist advises, “is to ask the armchair expert if they could kindly explain what St Thomas DID teach on this doctrine. Embarrassing silence is the usual response” (“St. Thomas Aquinas’s position on the Immaculate Conception”).

It is time we examined this accusation a bit more closely: Is it really true? Did St. Thomas Aquinas deny the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, defined as a dogma ex cathedra by Pope Pius IX in 1854?

To answer this question, we direct our readers’ attention to an article that explains exactly what St. Thomas did and did not hold concerning the Immaculate Conception:

As the Dominican author explains, there are nine different ways in which one can understand the term “immaculate conception.” St. Thomas denied the first eight of these meanings, and concerning the ninth one he did not speak at all. It was, however, the immaculate conception in the ninth sense that was defined as dogma by Pius IX. In other words, Aquinas only denied all erroneous definitions of “immaculate conception” and simply never considered as a possibility the one that was eventually proclaimed a dogma.

The theological crux of the issue was maintaining the dogma that our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed everyone, including the Blessed Mother, while at the same time affirming her complete sinlessness. If the Mother of God was entirely free from sin, how then did she need a Redeemer? “My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Lk 1:46-47; cf. Rom 5:12). In 1661, Pope Alexander VII formulated the answer: “…her soul, from the first instant of its creation and infusion into her body, was preserved immune by a special grace and privilege of God from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our human race…” (Apostolic Constitution Sollicitudo Omnium EcclesiarumDenz. 1100).

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX made the infallible proclamation:

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus)

St. Thomas did not deny what was defined thus. As Fr. Lumbreras demonstrates in the article linked above, the Angelic Doctor affirmed the very principles that ultimately led to the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception. To say that Aquinas “was wrong on the Immaculate Conception” is thus a half-truth at best, and it must certainly never be used either to question the Universal Doctor’s credibility or to dispute his authority.

The following papal documents underscore and reiterate the status of St. Thomas Aquinas as the Church’s greatest theological teacher:

The teaching of the Angelic Doctor is also the perfect antidote to Modernism. While paying lipservice to him, today’s Modernists pervert and undermine St. Thomas’ thought in their ressourcement theology. As Pope Pius XI counseled:

…[I]f we are to avoid the errors which are the source and fountain-head of all the miseries of our time, the teaching of Aquinas must be adhered to more religiously than ever. For Thomas refutes the theories propounded by Modernists in every sphere, in philosophy, by protecting, as We have reminded you, the force and power of the human mind and by demonstrating the existence of God by the most cogent arguments; in dogmatic theology, by distinguishing the supernatural from the natural order and explaining the reasons for belief and the dogmas themselves; in theology, by showing that the articles of faith are not based upon mere opinion but upon truth and therefore cannot possibly change; in exegesis, by transmitting the true conception of divine inspiration; in the science of morals, in sociology and law, by laying down sound principles of legal and social, commutative and distributive, justice and explaining the relations between justice and charity; in the theory of asceticism, by his precepts concerning the perfection of the Christian life and his confutation of the enemies of the religious orders in his own day. Lastly, against the much vaunted liberty of the human reason and its independence in regard to God he asserts the rights of primary Truth and the authority over us of the Supreme Master. It is therefore clear why Modernists are so amply justified in fearing no Doctor of the Church so much as Thomas Aquinas.

(Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Studiorum Ducem, n. 27)

It is no wonder that “Pope” Francis recently railed against “decadent scholasticism”, which he carefully distinguished, of course, from the “real” St. Thomas.

During his lifetime, Aquinas produced an abundance of theological and philosophical writings. Here is a small selection in English translation:

For online access to countless scanned articles about Thomistic doctrine (and much more), we recommend The Catholic Archive.

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. May this little post help to increase genuine knowledge and dispel ignorance.

Vatican Support for UN Agenda 2030 Is Threatening to Children

Semi-Conservative Novus Ordo organisations (Voice of the Family) declare that Vatican support of UN Agenda 2030 poses immediate threat to the lives of children.

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: PAPAL SUPPORT FOR UN 2030 AGENDA POSES IMMEDIATE THREAT TO LIVES OF CHILDREN

Voice of the Family is today publishing an in-depth analysis of the United Nations’ Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and their potential impact on the lives and well-being of children and the wider family. The SDGs consist of 17 goals and 169 targets that nation states have committed themselves to achieve by 2030. The analysis also examines the support offered to the UN agenda by Pope Francis and other representatives of the Holy See.

The briefing explores:

  • The goals and targets of the UN SDGs that pose a threat to lives and wellbeing of children, born and unborn
  • The real meaning of the language of “sexual and reproductive health”
  • The destructive consequences of existing UN “sexual and reproductive health programmes” and the planned expansion of such programmes
  • The connection between the SDGs and moves to impose destructive “comprehensive sexuality education” worldwide
  • The strong support for the SDGs expressed by Pope Francis
  • The further support for the SDGs offered by the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers, the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
  • The increasing convergence between the Vatican and the sex education agenda of the UN, as seen most clearly in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and the “sexuality education” programme produced by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Voice of the Family invites you to share this briefing widely, especially with your bishops and clergy, in order that they may be informed of the immediate and serious threat posed to children and the family by the support offered by Pope Francis and Vatican bodies to these aspects of global anti-life and anti-family agenda.

Pope Pius XII and False pope Francis

Original Post on Novus Ordo Watch

Pope Pius XII destroys Amoris Laetitia and Francis’ False-Mercy Gospel

What a breath of fresh air it is to hear a true Pope speak, a genuine Vicar of Christ, through whom is heard the voice of St. Peter. Clarity reigns, confusion and doubt are put aside, and orthodoxy is affirmed. And it is no wonder, for every true Pope is a true shepherd of the flock of Christ: “…the sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers” (Jn 10:4-5).

The “voice of strangers”, by contrast, is heard in the insufferable drivel put out by the Vatican II antipopes — all six of them, by the way, not just Francis –, and this is becoming more and more evident with every day that passes.

On May 15, the semi-traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli published five magnificent magisterial contributions of Pope Pius XII (1939-58) condemning the then-emerging “new morality”, more commonly known today as “situation ethics”, which is essentially a morality that “is not based in effect on universal moral laws … but on the real and concrete conditions or circumstances in which men must act, and according to which the conscience of the individual must judge and choose” (Pius XII, AddressSoyez Les Bienvenues).

These five documents consist of four papal speeches and one instruction of the Holy Office, and we are happy to reproduce them on this web site. They are of tremendous value and provide a direct refutation of the doctrine of the impostor “Pope” Francis (Mr. Jorge Bergoglio), whose false-mercy gospel, especially as expressed in his controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia, puts forth a de facto situation ethics, any protestations to the contrary notwithstanding (cf. his Address to Jesuits of Oct. 24, 2016, in which he speciously warns of “falling into situationalism”).

The five documents in question are the following:

You can read each document in full by clicking on its link.

There is nothing left of the Bergoglian drivel about “accompaniment”, “discernment”, or (his distorted concept of) “mercy” after Pius XII is done with him.

Let’s go ahead now and examine some very specific examples of where Francis’ false teaching is clearly condemned by Pope Pius XII.

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “And so they were imprisoned in this rationalistic mentality, which did not end with them. Because in the history of the Church – although often the Church Herself has condemned rationalism, illuminism – later it often happened that it fell into a theology of ‘yes, you can, no you can’t; up to this point, thus far.’ And it forgot the strength, the liberty of the Spirit, this rebirth of the Spirit that gives you liberty, the frankness of preaching, the proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord.” (Homily of Apr. 24, 2017)

POPE PIUS XII: “The ‘new morality’ affirms that the Church, instead of fostering the law of human liberty and of love, and of demanding of you that dynamics which is worthy of the moral life, instead bases itself almost exclusively and with excessive rigidity, on the firmness and the intransigence of Christian moral laws, frequently resorting to the terms ‘you are obliged’, ‘it is not licit’, which has too much of an air of a degrading pedantry.” (Radio Message La Famiglia of Mar. 23, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “There also exists a constant tension between ideas and realities…. So a third principle comes into play: realities are greater than ideas. This calls for rejecting the various means of masking reality: angelic forms of purity, dictatorships of relativism, empty rhetoric, objectives more ideal than real, brands of ahistorical fundamentalism, ethical systems bereft of kindness, intellectual discourse bereft of wisdom” (Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, n. 231). / “Recognizing the influence of such concrete factors, we can add that individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the Church’s praxis in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage. Naturally, every effort should be made to encourage the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor, and to encourage an ever greater trust in God’s grace. Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal” (Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 303).

POPE PIUS XII: “The distinctive mark of this morality is that it is not based in effect on universal moral laws, such as, for example, the Ten Commandments, but on the real and concrete conditions or circumstances in which men must act, and according to which the conscience of the individual must judge and choose. Such a state of things is unique, and is applicable only once for every human action. That is why the decision of conscience, as the advocates of this ethic assert, cannot be commanded by ideas, principles and universal laws…. Such judgments of conscience, howsoever contrary they may seem at first sight to divine precepts, would be valid before God, because, they say, in the eyes of God a seriously formed conscience takes precedence over ‘precept’ and ‘law.’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenuesof Apr. 18, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “This way of living attached to the laws, distanced them [=the Pharisees] from love and from justice. They followed the laws and they neglected justice. They followed the laws and they neglected love. They were the models. And for these people Jesus had only one word (to describe them): hypocrites.” (Homily of Oct. 31, 2014)

POPE PIUS XII: “This personal view of things spares man the necessity of having to ask himself, at every instant, whether the decision to be taken corresponds with the paragraphs of the law or to the canons of abstract standards and rules. It preserves man from the hypocrisy of pharisaical fidelity to laws; it preserves him both from pathological scruples as well at from the flippancy or lack of conscience, because it puts the responsibility before God on the Christian personally. Thus speak those who preach the ‘new morality.’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenues of Apr. 18, 1952)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity [!], generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins…. The Synod Fathers stated that the discernment of pastors must always take place ‘by adequately distinguishing’, with an approach which ‘carefully discerns situations’. We know that no ‘easy recipes’ exist” (Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, n. 298). / “Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us” (Homily of June 9, 2016).

POPE PIUS XII: “It will be objected, however, that such abstinence [for people in an adulterous union] is impossible, that heroism such as this is not feasible. At the present time, you can hear and read of this objection everywhere, even from those who, because of their duty and authority, should be of quite a different mind. The following argument is brought forward as proof: No one is obliged to do the impossible and no reasonable legislator is presumed to wish by his law to bind persons to do the impossible. But for married people to abstain for a long time is impossible. Therefore they are not bound to abstain: divine law cannot mean that. In such manner of argument, a false conclusion is reached from premises which are only partially true. To be convinced of this, one has simply to reverse the terms of the argument: God does not oblige us to do the impossible. But God obliges married people to abstain if their union cannot be accomplished according to the rules of nature. Therefore, in such cases, abstinence is possible.” (Address Vegliare con Sollecitudine of Oct. 29, 1951; cf. Denz. 804)

ANTIPOPE FRANCIS: “In education we are used to dealing with black and white formulas, but not with the grey areas of life. And what matters is life, not formulas. We must grow in discernment. The logic of black and white can lead to abstract casuistry. Discernment, meanwhile, means moving forward through the grey of life according to the will of God. And the will of God is to be sought according to the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the rigidity of an abstract doctrine.” (Q&A with Male Religious on Nov. 25, 2016)

POPE PIUS XII: “This personal view of things spares man the necessity of having to ask himself, at every instant, whether the decision to be taken corresponds with the paragraphs of the law or to the canons of abstract standards and rules. It preserves man from the hypocrisy of pharisaical fidelity to laws; it preserves him both from pathological scruples as well at from the flippancy or lack of conscience, because it puts the responsibility before God on the Christian personally. Thus speak those who preach the ‘new morality’” (Address Soyez les Bienvenues of Apr. 18, 1952). / “The authors who follow this system [of situation ethics] hold that the decisive and ultimate norm of conduct is not the objective right order, determined by the law of nature and known with certainty from that law, but a certain intimate judgment and light of the mind of each individual, by means of which, in the concrete situation in which he is placed, he learns what he ought to do” (Holy Office Instruction Contra Doctrinam of Feb. 2, 1956).

These examples should suffice to make our point, although they could be multiplied pretty much ad infinitum. While Francis may try, now and again, to give plausible deniability to his false ethics by “warning of situationalism” or by saying that our consciences must be formed “in light of the Gospel”, these are just instances of empty rhetoric meant to help the people swallow his spiritual poison. They allow Francis to “confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed”, as Pope Pius VI once described a favorite tactic of heretics (see Bull Auctorem Fidei, introd.).

It is amply clear that the Gospel most certainly does not back up Francis’ false morality. “He whom thou now hast, is not thy husband”, our Blessed Lord told the adulterous Samaritan woman (Jn 4:18) without much “tenderness”. It was simply the blunt truth about the “concrete situation” she found herself in, and she needed to hear it for the sake of her own soul. There was nothing to “discern”.

Similarly, the words spoken by St. John the Baptist as he “accompanied” the adulterous King Herod were: “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mk 6:18). He did not state that it was “less than ideal” for the king to be in adultery with his sister-in-law, because it was not less than ideal. It was wrong.

For a more in-depth critique of Francis’ (im)moral theology as found in Amoris Laetitia, we suggest you listen to our special-edition TRADCAST 013. You can access it here, free of charge.

We very much commend the people at Rorate Caeli for disseminating these five beautiful and very timely documents of His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. We do wonder, however, how it is that Rorate Caeliand their fellow semi-traditionalists do not realize the conundrum this puts them in.

After all, they believe that Francis is as true of a Pope as Pius XII was, yet they seem to take for grantedthat because Pius XII condemned the Bergoglian ethics, therefore Pius XII is right and Francis is wrong. On what, however, do they base this assumption? Why do they automatically conclude — and surely expect their readers to do the same — that Francis is refuted by Pius XII? Why could one not conclude, if one believes that Francis is a true Pope, that Francis is correcting Pius XII? If Francis can be wrong on such a serious matter, why couldn’t Pius XII have been?

Those who want to argue that Pius XII trumps Francis because Pius came earlier and, in any case, a future Pope will annul Francis’ teaching, should understand that Pope Leo XIII dismissed such argumentation as impermissible and as betraying a flawed understanding of the Papacy:

[I]t is to give proof of a submission which is far from sincere to set up some kind of opposition between one Pontiff and another. Those who, faced with two differing directives, reject the present one to hold to the past, are not giving proof of obedience to the authority which has the right and duty to guide them; and in some ways they resemble those who, on receiving a condemnation, would wish to appeal to a future council, or to a Pope who is better informed.

(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua)

Leo XIII went on to speak about the specific duties of Catholic journalists, which in our day could probably be extended also to bloggers, at least inasmuch as they do the work of journalists:

The task pertaining to them [=journalists] in all the things that concern religion and that are closely connected to the action of the Church in human society is this: to be subject completely in mind and will, just as all the other faithful are, to their own bishops and to the Roman Pontiff; to follow and make known their teachings; to be fully and willingly subservient to their influence; and to reverence their precepts and assure that they are respected. He who would act otherwise in such a way that he would serve the aims and interests of those whose spirit and intentions We have reproved in this letter would fail the noble mission he has undertaken. So doing, in vain would he boast of attending to the good of the Church and helping her cause, no less than someone who would strive to weaken or diminish Catholic truth, or indeed someone who would show himself to be her overly fearful friend.

(Leo XIII, Epistola Tua; underlining and italics added.)

We note with great interest that Rorate Caeli calls situation ethics a “heresy”, thus implicitly accusing “Pope” Francis of heresy. That a lack of pertinacity should keep Francis from being a genuine heretic can be ruled out, since he is on record stating that he remembers the controversy about situation ethics at the time he was a seminarian, scornfully shrugging off the threat as a “bogeyman” (see Address to Jesuits of Oct. 24, 2016, p. 3).

Another interesting point of note is that Rorate refers to the five documents of Pius XII they have made available, as “magisterial”. This is correct, of course, but we do wonder how many people in the semi-traditionalist recognize-and-resist camp would call three papal speeches and a radio message “magisterial” if the author were not Pius XII but Francis. Perhaps the folks at Rorate would, but most semi-trads bend over backwards to point out how Francis’ teaching, short of appearing in an encyclical, isn’t part of the Magisterium.

We recently produced a mini podcast on Pius XII’s condemnation of Francis’ false morality. You can listen to it here:

Lest there be any confusion about what we’re saying: Of course Pope Pius XII’s condemnation of situation ethics trumps Francis’ false ethics. But that’s because Pius XII was a true Pope and Francis is a fake one. Since Rorate and the other semi-trads continue to try to square the circle by insisting that Francis is nevertheless a true Pope, their position becomes a travesty of Catholic teaching on the Papacy.