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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Please, Michael, Save the Big Guns for the Real Bad Guys!

Ever since watching the Mic'd Up episode on "The (Un)Catholic Media," I've been shaking my head. Why, Michael, why? The first thirty minutes on the establishment media and dissent rags like America Magazine and National Catholic Reporter were totally on target. But then the Mic'd Up team turned their guns on the traditionalists. Perhaps it's because the folks at Church Militant TV are, for the most part, young; but they don't seem to have a sense of history and the crisis that led Archbishop Lefebvre to take the steps he did to protect the faith. Their attack, how can I call it anything else, on traditionalists grieved my heart. It began with a video clip by Simon Rafe on "reactionary Catholics." Into this group (specifically mentioned during the segment) were lumped the SSPX, The Remnant, Catholic Family News, Angelus Press, and the sedevacantists as if all these are equivalent. To do that was, in my opinion, a slander. Most traditional groups specifically reject the sedevacantist position.

Here's what Rafe said:
"Idolizing the Latin Mass and expressing nothing but disrespect and ridicule towards the current pontiff and his predecessors they [unspecific, presumably every group they mentioned in the segment] encourage vulnerable Catholics to leave for disobedient, schismatic groups." Peter O'Dwyer and Christine Niles both stated that SSPX is in schism, but what are their credentials to make such a determination? Michael Voris talked about unnamed cardinals in Rome saying the SSPX are in schism. So what? Does an individual like Cardinal Kaspar speak for the Church? Where is a dogmatic statement from the Vatican that the SSPX are schismatic? I will give them the fact that they were after the excommunication was imposed, but it has been lifted. Provide a document that declares unequivocally that the SSPX is in schism now. I don't think there is one.

In fact, according to John Salza, J.D. the Vatican Ecclesia Dei Commission obliquely confirmed that the SSPX is NOT in schism. Here's what he writes:
The commission declared that Catholics can fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending Masses offered by SSPX priests – and this was before the excommunications were lifted! (see letter from Monsignor Perl dated September 27, 2002) [This was a private letter to an individual. I haven't been able to find it but did find a follow up letter from Msgr. Perl clarifying what he wrote. He was essentially saying what Fr. John Hardon said which I describe below.] If the priests of the SSPX were in schism, the Ecclesia Dei commission would not allow Catholics to assist at their Masses, since in doing so they would be allowing Catholics to worship outside the Church (and thus permitting them to break the Third Commandment). This proves that SSPX bishops and priests are not in fact in schism (for example, Catholics could not fulfill their Sunday obligation by attending liturgies offered by the schismatic priests of the Eastern Orthodox sects). The same commission has said that, so long as Catholics attend SSPX chapels out of their devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass (and not because they want to separate themselves from the Roman Pontiff – of course they don’t!), such conduct is also not sinful.
I find this logic much more convincing than the ten minute Mic'd Up  commentary on reactionary Catholics. Read Salza's full article which makes a powerful argument despite the trivialization of anti-schism spokesmen by the Mic'd Up team.

Now a sidelight.

Last September I received an unsolicited email from Executive Producer Terry Carroll at Church Militant TV. It was addressing a blog post I did on the satanic Mass in Oklahoma City and the SSPX prayer vigil of atonement. After summarizing the irregular situation of the SSPX and their non-canonical status, he wrote:
​We have a pretty strong FBI in production right now on the SSPX, scheduled to air towards the end of November. [I can't find anything on the Church Militiant TV website to show this ever came to fruition.] We are inviting them to return to communion with the Church and, hopefully, discouraging anyone tempted to flee to their false "safe haven." In my response to the above email [from a supporter], I made an observation that was, to me, quite shocking, even though I thought of it! Please read my overall response and tell me what you think of the observation that priests suspended a divinis​ commit a mortal sin when they celebrate Mass in a non-emergency situation and that, therefore, what the SSPX did in Oklahoma City was a compounding of the evil of the Black Mass. 
 The Black Mass in Oklahoma City was, indeed, a serious act of sacrilege for which prayers of reparation were appropriate, but there's no way for that situation to be defined as an "emergency" such that suspended priests should be offering Masses of reparation. Unless, of course, you recognize that suspended priests offering Masses of reparation commit mortal sins when doing so and, therefore, what the SSPX clergy did in Oklahoma City was fully consistent with the activity that drew them to Oklahoma City. The devil was able to celebrate not only a Black Mass but that he was able to draw validly ordained but suspended Catholic priests to commit mortal sins when saying Masses "in reparation." I see this as a victory for the devil, not something to be celebrated..... 
I replied to Mr. Carroll's invitation to comment after considerable thought. Here's what I wrote. The comments in red were not in the original email:

Dear Mr. Carroll,

Please excuse the length of my response to your email, but you brought up a number of issues and I think they are all worth addressing. I’ve been thinking and praying about this and I also sent your email to a priest friend I respect. His response is at the end in blue. Here are my view on these issues from my own historical background. Keep in mind that I graduated from college in 1968 so my entire adult life has been in this period of mass confusion.

1) My first point relates to Fr. [John] Hardon’s assessment of the SSPX and the situation many in the homeschool movement were facing. I homeschooled my youngest for five years (early to mid 90s). During that time I attended many home school conventions and Fr. Hardon was generally a speaker. At least one, time possibly more, he was asked by concerned parents whether they could go to an SSPX parish because of the horrible situation in their local dioceses. This was a time when many bishops endorsed graphic classroom sex ed programs and overnight retreats for Confirmation using sacramental blackmail to force parents to accept their “progressive” agenda. The bishops were also trying to impose “home school guidelines.” The problem was that the very bishop who was meeting with NACHE (National Assoc. of Catholic Home School Educators - who wanted a seat at the bishops’ table), Cardinal William Keeler, had some of the worst programs in his diocese, programs that caused families to home school in the first place! (The cathedral school in Baltimore was using “anatomically correct” dolls in the Kindergarten – the dolls had pubic and underarm hair, the boy doll had a penis and a rectal opening, and a condom in his pocket – I presume they removed the condom before giving the doll to the children. The female doll had the correct external genitalia and breasts. We attended one bishops’ meeting and attempted to show the dolls to the bishops who would not look at them – too embarrassed! But they were okay for kindergarteners! Baltimore wasn’t the only place using them.) Notre Dame High School in Baltimore also had terrible things going on and attacked parents who objected. At any rate, NACHE playing footsie with Keeler caused a big rift in the home school movement with NACHE and TORCH on one side saying “trust your bishop” and banning Seton Home School from their conferences. One NACHE board member, a well known convert, had the gall to chide Fr. Hardon who was also on the board. He remained even though they stopped seeking his advice. When asked why he didn’t resign (I was present when he answered this question.) he responded it “wasn’t the Jesuit way.“ Seton et al on the other side of the debate stressed that, “Parents are the primary educators even before the bishops.” They started their own IHM conference that continues to this day and has pretty much passed NACHE by.

At any rate, back to Fr. Hardon who knew exactly the problems in the American Church and the challenges for parents. He answered the question about whether families could go to the SSPX parishes saying, “Yes.” They could if they had no reasonable alternative to a parish they considered a danger to the faith provided they did not give the impression that they rejected the authority of the pope. He said SSPX Masses were valid but illicit, but if a familiy’s faith was in jeopardy going to an SSPX Mass was a better alternative than the local heretical parish. I was a witness to this and heard him say it. (Fr. Hardon NEVER, however, gave any support to the SSPX decision to go their own way. He wrote this in 1998: "One of the problems today is that some Catholic families are being estranged from the Faith by their own priests. The cavalier way in which some priests deal with the liturgy, their indifference to the Church's doctrine on faith and morals, and even their open hostility to the Vicar of Christ have estranged many of the faithful. Not a few have taken refuge with the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre. It is imperative that these people be reunited with the Vicar of Christ. We must pray. But we should also put them into contact with priests who are loyal to our Catholic heritage. A practical recommendation: write to Father C. Frank Phillips, C.R., Pastor at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago. His address is 825 N. Carpenter Street, Chicago, IL 60622.") [Obviously, Fr. Hardon would never advise Catholic parents they could go to a schismatic service that did not fulfill their Sunday obligation, so he clearly did not believe they were in schism.]

I cannot be as hard on the SSPX as your email is. I lived through that awful time and could tell many heart-wrenching stories of parents trying to find friendly bishops and pastors who would let their children make first Communion and Confirmation outside the normal channel. Many parents had older children who still had not received the sacraments because of these wicked bishops! Parents were traveling to other states, in fact. It was that bad and, in some places, I’m sure parents still are facing these situations although, hopefully, to a lesser degree.

2) I also believe that, without Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions we would be in a much worse place today with regard to the liturgy. Can anyone really believe the TLM would be happening anywhere today without the SSPX? They kept it alive amidst the clown, polka, circus, and hootenanny masses. I blush to think of some of the Masses my husband and I participated in after Vatican II. I believe the archbishop saw a liturgical nightmare and had good reason to conclude it was an emergency situation in the Church that called for an unusual response. Think of the Aryan heresy and how Athanasius was exiled and persecuted and I think it’s easier to see how AB L could have believed it was an emergency. And in fact, were there any, even orthodox bishops [in the U.S.] promoting the Latin rite? I don’t recall any.

What about today? Well...the crisis is not behind us or there would be no need for Church Militant TV. You might believe that, okay, what AB L. did was, perhaps, necessary at the time, but not now. However, parishes were formed, priests were ordained and trained in the TLM, the flock became dependent on them. How can such a situation be resolved easily? In my opinion, which probably isn’t worth much, the best situation would be for Rome to make SSPX a prelature like Opus Dei or the Anglican practice Catholics. But the antagonism toward the SSPX seems pretty strong so I don’t know whether that will happen. However, my sympathies are with the SSPX and I say that as a Catholic who only rarely goes to the TLM. I have no ax to grind. I am afraid, in view of what happened with Pope Francis forbidding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate from saying the TLM, which Pope Benedict said all priests have a right to say, well...that trust has been undermined. It certainly will not make reunion easier.

3) I was taken aback by your comparison of priests of the SSPX with Charlie Curran. I realize you were talking about their canonical situation and not their orthodoxy. Nevertheless, it was a disconcerting thought. I was actually at one of Charlie Curran’s rallies at CU back in the late 60s because I was attending Trinity College down the street. My roommate and I went down out of curiosity. Curran had the dissent ready and the New York Times attack ad prepared before the text of Humanae Vitae was even released. His malice and dissent was deep-seated. He rejected all the Church doctrine on marriage and sexuality. The SSPX, on the other hand, is faithful to Church doctrine and are concerned about the ambiguities in Vatican II and even some things they believe cannot be reconciled with long-standing doctrine. (At least that’s my understanding. I haven’t really made a study of the SSPX.) But it’s clear they hope for reunion with Rome or they would not meet with Vatican representatives. I see their situation more in line, as I wrote earlier, with the orthodox who are out of union with Rome, except that SSPX has not put a patriarch in the place of the pope. We have an SSPX parish in Annandale and I have friends who attend there. They pray for the pope at every Mass.

4) As for the Oklahoma situation, I have a different take. About 1000 members of SSPX parishes attended their Mass of reparation and the prayer vigil, some from relatively far distances. That seems to me to be a pilgrimage. Those people attending from far away had a right to be ministered to and that’s what the SSPX priests did. I realize they have no canonical status, but many of those people may come from places where there is in fact an “emergency” situation in the local church. Fr. Hardon said many times that the faith would disappear in entire dioceses. If you were in one of those dioceses and the bishop was still disallowing the TLM and Masses were filled with liturgical abuses and heresy, would you not attend an SSPX parish? I am blessed to be in a diocese where the majority of priests are good, the TLM is available in at least a few parishes, and the novus ordo is generally reverent. The bad parishes are well known and easy to avoid by the orthodox. They attract the Call to Action, Just Faith, and other dissenters. Many diocese don’t have the blessing of so many good priests.

I’d also point out that Fr. Z posted the SSPX video on his website.

In closing, I hope Church Militant TV will treat the SSPX situation gently. In many ways we owe AB. Lefebvre a debt of gratitude. I think we all want to see a reconciliation between Rome and the SSPX and encouraging prayer and sacrifice for that would be wonderful. It is interesting and sad to me that the hierarchy seems to go out of the way to dialogue with protestants, Hindus, Moslems, pagans (Remember the papal Mass where Pope John Paul II was incensed by a shaman?) and yet the SSPX are reviled. So sad. Some people disparagingly refer to the SSPX as “rad trads” who deserve no consideration or respect, but I consider them brothers and sisters seeking the truth at a very difficult time in Church history. Can they be obnoxious? Absolutely, but they are closer to Catholics like me and those who watch Church Militant TV than those in putative union with the Church turning the Mass into the Barney show or a sporting event or a celebration of the gay lifestyle with Fr. Showman up front.

Here’s what my priest friend wrote after reading your email:
St. John XXIII and Bl. Paul VI indicate that the Council was not to pronounce any refinement of Church dogma, but rather to promote the development of ministries that would help people to better and more deeply appreciate the truths of our Faith. With both popes clearly certifying that it was only a pastoral council, it was strange that several of its documents were called dogmatic constitutions. Sadly, through the ambiguous language of these documents and the widespread appeal to "the spirit of Vatican II,” we came to a point where even Bl. Paul VI noted on June 29, 1972 that the smoke of Satan [as opposed to the incense of pure worship] had entered the Temple of God. SSPX seems to be in a condition more accurately described as ongoing discernment rather than dissent. It notes that, just because Church leaders capitulated to some heterodox practice (as Moses capitulated to the hardness of heart that demanded access to divorce [note that Our Lord refers to the authoritative Chair of Moses, analogous to the Chair of Peter]), does not mean that such a capitulation becomes part of the magisterial Deposit of Faith. Likewise, just because some aberration or sacrilege became acceptable after Vatican II does not mean that such an aberration or sacrilege was authorized by that Council. That logical fallacy - post hoc, ergo propter hoc - is quite obvious. The "problem" that plagues SSPX is the conviction that the Catholic Faith must incarnate the eternal truths of God's love, truth, mercy and fidelity. Over the past half century, large numbers of Catholics have been seduced into believing that God's Word and Truth cannot be incarnate, but only indicated in our human condition. Thus we are not to appreciate His commandments as standards of conduct, but merely as guidelines and goals, to which we are to aspire as conditions permit. This is why we now rarely hear about objective virtues, but are drowning in subjective values and the dynamics of "values clarification".

A final point should be made here. Just because Church leaders can be cowered into capitulating to the demands of the Culture of Desecration and Death does not mean that the Holy Spirit is being unfaithful in leading the Church to all truth. What we need to learn is to foster those attitudes of
repentance and reverence, whereby we can become less stingy in our receptivity to God's mercy and truth. The hubris which heralded the opening of the Council needs to be purged by a humble repentance, whereby the wisdom of God can deliver us from false spiritualities of manipulation by drawing us into the transcendent and transformative mystery of His gracious love.
Thanks for persevering to the end of this long email. I pray for the success of Church Militant TV and all associated with it. 

Mary Ann Kreitzer

Well, that ended the email, but I have a final word. The last segment of Mic'd Up was an interview with John Allen of CruxNews. I think John Allen is an honest reporter, but Crux is filled with dissident Catholics. Why pick someone in the secular media who heads up an organization that employs many attack dogs going after Church doctrine? It just seemed strange to me. Surely there are Catholic reporters working for the secular press who are not enabling the Catholic bashers like Crux is. Wouldn't one of them have been a more appropriate interviewee?

Church Militant TV does many good things and I applaud them for that. But this Mic'd Up wasn't one of them. Here's a video reply from The Remnant. They deserve to be heard in response to this Mic'd Up. If you watched the Mik'd Up, please watch this response to their slander.


Philip Dunton said...

You are spot on! Michael Voris doesn't know who the real enemy of the Church is! He never mentions the real problem, the penetration of Free Masonry into the Vatican. Catholic Family News gets it, so does Remnant but Michael is clueless.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks, Phil. The whole thing makes me sad and I can't help wondering if there is more to the story than we're aware of. The coverage, in my opinion, was trivial and unprofessional. To quote "unnamed" cardinals to "prove" the SSPX are in schism...really, what kind of evidence is that? Who can take it seriously?

TMABlok said...

Michael goes round in circles and quite frankly I get so irritated by him chasing his tail I've stopped listening to him except for his news coverage

TMABlok said...

I get so irritated by him chasing his tail as it were that I've stopped listening to him except for his news coverage

Dymphna said...

I have cancelled my CMTV membership and put their e-mails into my spam folder.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

It is so sad. They undermine their good work with this. Michael was so quick to apologize and take down the Vortex on Cardinal Burke. I think they need to apologize to all the traditional groups they slandered.

Carolann said...

I cannot understand how Michael can air an an extremely dangerous video that may have the effect of further confusing faithful Catholics. I suscribe to Church Militant,and read other blogs such as The Remnant. I had just ordered a video from Angelus Press on the life of Archbishop Lefevre. My husband and I attend the Novus Ordo Mass, and have no intentions of joining an SSPX parish,yet I respect them for keeping The Faith.
The devil is having a field day.

Elizabeth said...

Michael Voris is becoming a joke, a bad joke. Shame on him.

Aged parent said...

Mary Ann:

I think you quite perceptively see the problem with Mr Voris' group, a problem found in many "newbies" to the long, hard battle: they are young. They are simply not old enough to appreciate the hell we have been put through since 1970 and on top of that I don't think they do a lot of historical reading on this matter. Because of that they lack perspective. I see this on certain sites and blogs as well. But as things go from bad to worse I suspect many will begin to see what we have all been seeing for a long time.

Aged Parent
The Eye-Witness

Chloe said...

What a tragedy this all is. Michael Voris was a super star to me and I loved the Vortex. But something's gone wrong. I stopped watching quite a while ago and now, with this unwarranted attack on the Remnant, I've cancelled Church Militant altogether. The Church is in a first class mess and Michael completely refuses to see where it's coming from. Please pray for him that he comes to his senses.

Christopher Castragnoli said...

Thanks so much for posting this! The comments from your priest friend are especially spot on. As Peter Kreeft once said Christ the King has been turned into Christ the Kitten in many places. Or worse..he's been portrayed as Barney the Purple Dinosaur! ("I love you, you love me") No sin, no hell no Four Last Things, no miracles (the miracle of the loaves was that everyone started sharing their own food which they'd brought with them, doncha know.), no resurrection, no Real Presence. Drain the supernatural and your drain the faith! Jesus becomes just some Wise Teacher, or Dr. Phil! God willing things will turn around. We're all going to need all the graces we can receive from our Lord in the tumultuous times ahead! Fast and pray everyone, especiallly now! Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison

Anonymous said...

I used to be a supporter of CMTV up to a year or so ago when it became clear there was something very wrong going on - causing the irrational, bizzare and self-contradictory behaviour. They are assisting in the Pope's leading people astray by giving the clear impression that he's not doing anything wrong, not continually attacking the doctrine of the Faith and the objective natural moral law. I pray this evil influence will soon be eliminated and they will once again become a force for good in the Church and the world.

This explicit attack on those who do speak the truth, who take their responsibility for their souls and the souls of their children, and others, seriously, is diabolical. It is heartbreaking to see a good man who did so much good, lose his reason in this public way, putting souls in harm's way. Blessed Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle . . .

Anonymous said...

"Idolizing the Latin Mass and expressing nothing but disrespect and ridicule towards the current pontiff and his predecessors they [unspecific, presumably every group they mentioned in the segment] encourage vulnerable Catholics to leave for disobedient, schismatic groups.'"

Something's rotten in Detroit:

From Catholic Culture's site review of Church Militant:
"Fidelity: Caution
The FIRST "weakness" : "Fidelity: Extreme antipathy to the liturgy of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite Example(s)"

Here's Catholic Culture on "The Remnant"
Fidelity: Danger!
Fidelity: The Remnant attacks the authority of Vatican II and rejects certain doctrinal teachings of the council. Example(s)
Fidelity: The Renmant supports Archbishop Lefebvre and the leaders of the society of St. Pius X, who have been guilty of schismatic acts and persistent disobedience to the Pope. Example(s)
Fidelity: The Novus Ordo Mass is completely rejected and denounced as a horror of the Church. Example(s)

I am no fan of Catholic Culture - Here's a review of them: "Can anyone document where the site has not been Orthodox to Catholic teachings? Sure. Here is an easy one:
This is a center recognized by lawful authority - the Diocese of Phoenix - and CatholicCulture has the chutzpah to determine what is "authentically Catholic". I'm sorry, but I grew up learning that the person who gets to determine what is Catholic and what is not is the Ordinary. Canon Law would seem to back up what I learned: Can. 216 Since they participate in the mission of the Church, all the Christian faithful have the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings, according to their own state and condition. Nevertheless, no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority. Is CatholicCulture "competent ecclesiastical authority"? I doubt it.
And that's the point. This is one website's opinion of who is faithful to the Church and who is not based on their vision of the Church and nothing more. It's not supposed to work that way. The Ordinaries and Rome get to determine what is authentically Catholic, not some laymen who set up a website. ... only the Ordinary can authoritatively say whether something is "Catholic" or not. Otherwise, it's just opinion, and should only be presented as such... if Dr. Mirus et al. said "We see problems with this diocesean retreat because of X, Y, and Z" but they go too far, IMO, by saying it isn't "authentically Catholic" and speaking about its "Fidelity". They do not have the authority, nor as far as I can tell the appropriate education (e.g., an STL) to determine such things. They are setting themselves up as a virtual "competent ecclesiastical authority" by making statements about the "Catholicness" of websites, etc., and I see this as an error and unorthodox especially with regard to Canon Law."
(CC Finances also seem to be fishy too)

More Finances here

Seems all of us are in schism (including Voris & CC) because we CAN'T TRUST our ordinaries to lead us to heaven--but our own judgments are possibly worse (cafeteria Catholicism). I am a sedevacantist and have joined SSPV; they try to preserve and pass on the faith and priesthood as it was prior to any 50s changes to sacraments, morals and doctrine. To me seems safest road to heaven for me and mine.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching Voris a few years ago. The biggest problem is that the people at CMTV are outrageously undereducated, they would constantly produce cringe worthy moments that undermined Catholic apologetics. In one video on Church and Science they named Marie Skłodowska-Curie a "French Catholic" even though she was in fact a Polish Atheist who was hated by the French, especially after she committed adultery on her French husband. They didn't even bother to check wikipedia! I don't know how many times I almost punched my computer screen because of their stupid mistakes.

Conclusion: CMTV is filled with uneducated people who are not good enough to be mainstream journalists, they don't know how to fact check and do high school level research (aka use wikipedia). People like Michael Voris should be talking heads on cable news programs, not Catholic apologists and newsmen.

The reason why CMTV is somewhat popular is because of a lack of competition in the "angry white-American male" demographic. CMTV's base audience is Catholics who watch Fox News, peoples whose faith is political more than it is spiritual. The only upside to this is that people like Voris make the SSPX look stronger and more desirable - anyone who is educated or has a basic understand of logic and reason will "facepalm" at anything produced by CMTV.

I'm sorry if I came off as uncharitable but a spade is a spade. Public stupidity is subject to public scrutiny, especially when souls are at stake.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Krietzer:

We live in particularly evil days. Sadly it seems that our Shepherds have largely abandoned us. Under these conditions good folks, like Mr. Voris, will make mistakes.

In these tumultuous seas under such dark clouds I think that we should strive to include in the Bark of Peter as many folks as who can fit. We should be pulling folks in rather than pushing them overboard.

Let us forgive Mr. Voris. Christ has Risen. The battle is already won. All we have to do is stay afloat.

God bless

RIchard W Comerford

susan white said...

Voris has made himself judge and jury of all things catholic while turning his back on friends - respected men in the community of catholic media who've been there long before Michael arrived on the scene. Dispicable him to do that - not exactly a charitable act. I can no longer support him because of it. He's acquired a lot of "bells and whistles" but real substance is lacking. I cancelled my subscription!

Barbara Jensen said...

Thanks Mary Ann for your clear and informative article. I have come to the place where I will no longer challenge Michael Voris via e-mail for his refusal to acknowledge the source of the aggressive deterioration of the institutional Church, already happening before eyes, is the Bishop of Rome and those with whom he is allying. The last Mic'd Up episode was truly shameful . I have lost respect Church Militant, and am beginning to wonder who really is pulling Michael's strings. Something is very wrong.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks for all the comments. Viterbo, I'm sorry I could not publish yours because of the insult to the pope. We owe him respect as the successor of Peter no matter how much we may disagree with him. Mr. Comorford, I agree with you 100%. I have no animosity toward Church Militant TV or Michael Voris. In fact, I like much of what he does and will continue to post his good work. I do not think, however, that we should demonize either Archbishop Lefebvre or the traditionalists as a whole. Most that I know recognize the validity of the novus ordo, but think it diminishes the aspect of sacrifice and reverence. I can't really disagree with them.

We are, indeed, in difficult times and I would hope those of us who are fighting modernism could hold together and pray for unity. My lenten prayers will all be for the "irregular" situation of the SSPX to be remedied. "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful...."

raymondnicholas said...

Just found your site. I've been a fan of Joan of Arc since I could read, which has been reinforced with viewing the 1920s silent film and reading Mark Twain's take in later years. We need strong women in the Church, but not the equivalent of milquetoast men. Now, on to business. I find CF's tone in the video to be totally degrading toward MV, like he is royally po'd for appearing on one of MV's shows and is trying hard to backtrack. I am not impressed. Also, the tenor of the responses is emotional. Chloe, if you had seen MV's statistical review of the absolute decline in Church's numbers in every single facet/demographic, you would not say that he doesn't know what is going on. That work alone should be peer reviewed and saved on every orthodox blogger's website and shared. It is that good. However, I do believe that MAK's assessment is correct. Something has gone wrong over at CMT. MV has a duty to respond to each of her points and let's see what happens. Finally, let me make an assumption about why MV may be saying the things that he is saying. Satan works both sides of the aisle. Militant objection-ism to the direction of the Church may be just as damaging to the soul as turning heretical, because a person can become filled with hate, leaving no room to take joy in what the Church does. Do not be consumed in anguish by what you see, but do fight the corruption. Hint: if you feel angry during Mass, you need help!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks for your comment, RaymondNicholas. Good points. But I have to comment on your final statement. If you're at a Mass where the priest is taking great liberties with the liturgy to the point where you aren't sure the Mass is valid, shouldn't that make an orthodox Catholic angry? And grieved as well. I've politely questioned a priest who omitted the Creed at Sunday Mass and one who did the offertory prayer in the center aisle while the couple bringing up the gifts stood there with him. Both priests went ballistic when I spoke to them after Mass. One leaned down and whispered in my ear, "Honey, you're full of it!" then walked away giving me the one-fingered salute over his shoulder. Now there was an angry man who need help!

Steve Dalton said...

Michael Voris is promoting a cultic mindset in his followers. He wants good Catholics to never criticize the Pope publically. Oh, he will rip the bishops and the priests a new one, but never the man who's responsible for putting these guys in office in the first place. I was in a cult thirty years ago, and this blasting the underlings for what's gone wrong, while leaving the true malefactor untouched is an old story to me. Well, Mikey will get to play the valiant crusader for his gullible audience while the money rolls in,eh?

Mornac said...

One has to wonder if Mr Voris accuses the Holy Father himself of participating in mortal sin for having allowed this SSPX Mass to be offered in his own basilica this past summer:

To my knowledge, Pope Francis did not ask for the altar to be re-consecrated as is normally done in cases where a sacrilege has been committed.

raymondnicholas said...

Hey Mary K, I did not fully explain myself in that last sentence. I was thinking not about Mass abuses, but simply going to Mass angry at the world for what is happening in the Church. A person cannot live in constant anger, stress, etc., even though through the internet we see abuses in the Church reported daily from around the world, like that Vatican priest wanting to sue a blogger for telling the truth. It boils my blood. In my own case I attend a church with a priest in favor of the lgbt agenda and women's ordination. I sat in shock on the Feast of the Assumption when he argued from the pulpit for women priests and used Mary as his role model. What can you do when you feel imprisoned in the pew? I found my way to a church an hour away one day for TLM in the extraordinary form. That was called a High Mass in my day. I felt as if I found home again. But then back to reality and my regular Sunday Masses. BTW, I sent a blistering email to the "priest-in-charge" and the other one hasn't made an heretical comment in months.

raymondnicholas said...

PS: I forgot to mention: if a priest had done to me what he done to you, Mary K, I would have pulled a Theo Shoebat on him. Just so you know my proclivities.

John B said...

Is it possible that someone in the heirarchy got to Voris and threatened and,or bribed him to get on the pope's program? or am I paranoid?
John B

Anonymous said...

Ms. Kreitzer:
Re: Vision of Don Bosco of the Two Columns

Thank you for your reply.

I have always been inspired by the story of Don Bosco's vision of the Church as a great flagship escorted by smaller ships which, with the Pope at the helm, sails though stormy seas beset by enemas on every side; and finally finds sanctuary by tying up on two great columns which represent devotion to Mary and the Eucharist.

It has always seemed to me that we want to pull aboard as many souls as possible onto that great flagship and to encourage the smaller, escorting ships to tie up with the flagship steered by the successor to Peter.

In short we should be pulling souls aboard not pushing them off.

I think that there is room for both Mr. Voris and Mr. Matt aboard the Bark of Peter


God bless

RIchard W Comerford

Anonymous said...

Nice article, but maybe the whole traditional movement should also speak more nicely about the sedevacantists. By and large, I have been impressed with them. Smart and holy people. If Francis goes ahead and proposes communion for public adulterers, he becomes a (formal) heretic. It is not sufficient to simply resist him and still recognize him as Pope. That is sheer nonsense....unless you can explain how the legitimate authority in the Catholic Church can, through it's official teaching, lead souls to hell.

I am a university professor and not currently a sedevacantist (I am involved with Una Voce). But I may very well become a sedevacantist in November 2015.

I'll let doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, the perennial expert on ecclesiological matters, sum it up:

"A pope who is a manifest heretic automatically (per se) ceases to be pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction." (De Romano Pontifice. II.30.)

Anonymous said...

Voris appears to be a well-financed change agent. Pose as a trad, gain some followers and credibility, then begin to twist the followers (trads) toward a pre-determined agenda, attacking the real threat, which is the vindicated SSPX.

Anonymous said...

Mary Ann: I wrote a lengthy & thoughtful letter in e-mail form to Michael Voris early this morning. I articulated these (points you have made) and other points as well and am hoping to hear a thoughtful apology from him. I have numerous friends and family that were supporting him when they could and now we are all having second thoughts. None of us not belong to the SSPX... but anyone with even a small sense of the history here knows there would have been no Summorum Pontificum without the SSPX. It's a no brainier. I don't know where CMTv is heading... but unless there is a serious change... we're not going to be taking him seriously. I thought Remnant's response was really well articulated and historically accurate. If anything... this CMTv episonde makes me want to pre-pay next year's Remnant. Sincerely, Robert Fox.

Anonymous said...

The response to Voris, I don't get. I just see thin skin. Is he wrong about SSPX, really? Hypothetically, if Pope Francis decided to disband SSPX tomorrow, using every bit of his authority as Bishop of Rome, would they comply? I don't think so. Not a chance. Should they in that case? Yes.

Unknown said...

I absolutely agree with Mary's blog and all who have replied. For about three years I have been relying on CMTV for everything Catholic because everything that they put forth fully resonated with me. There have been a few instances with CMTV over the past 12 months that have had me scratching my head. Michaels stance of not critiquing the Pope was a little strange but I didnt make too much of a big deal of it and I have noticed several jabs at the SSPX in words such as "running away to schismatic groups". Again, I let this pass by me for the most part, but that Mic'd Up episode in question really shocked me and it was the first time ever that I seriously questioned CMTV. It seems that, from the makers of "where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed", we are faced with some "lies and falsehoods". I find that ignoring our Holy Fathers problematic quotes and gestures means that the whole truth is not being told, which in my books, means "lies". And speaking about the SSPX in such a fashion equates to "falsehoods". I have continued to keep my CMTV subscription for their older content but I'm a little cautious of their new. Let us keep CMTV in our prayers.

LWC said...

Appears sanctimony is not too unlike Albrecht's fractals. The only difference is self-righteous indignation.

Anonymous said...

God bless you for your courage! If I were you, I would go to another Catholic Church for Mass in future - not only that, I would write in the strongest terms to your bishop and copy the letter to the Vatican Congregation concerned with the Liturgy (I forget their official title) about their disgusting attitude, sparing no gory, vile detail. Clearly, these priests are demonic and need exorcism and a dire need for repentance for their sinful gestures as well as those priests who seek to publicly humiliate those faithful who are well within their rights (as proscribed by the Vatican) to receive Our Blessed Lord kneeling and on the tongue. Satan HATES the Holy Mass and the Holy Rosary is like torture to the same. Fortunately for me, I gently asked my PP why he left out part of the Liturgy before we say the Our Father - even he didn't know! I said to him ''would you dare address HM The Queen of England as Betty?'' so we ''dare'' to address Almighty God ''Our Father''. He took my point on board. God bless you for your courage!

Anonymous said...

Take time to read the full history of the SSPX. Then post an informed reply. But before such an undertaking,ask yourself,"Where was I when Vatican 2 was in session?"

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks, Anonymous 9:31 p.m.,

It wasn't my parish. We were in Detroit for a wedding and went to the church closest to the hotel. Big mistake. Turns out there are plenty of orthodox churches in Detroit, but that sure wasn't one. If you want to read a full description of the event go to

Anonymous said...


I agree with everything you said in your email, except for one thing. You said, "Where would we be if the founder of SSPX had not founded the group." This, to me, implies a justification of his actions. Yes, the TLM may be much rarer today without what he did, but our faith tells us that one is never to do an evil in order to bring about a good. This is basic moral theology. If anything, the actions of Lefevre hurt the cause more than it helped, because sin has consequences, both seen and unseen, and flagrantly disobeying JPII like he did was wrong, even if one can reasonably argue that JPII's prohibition of the TLM was unjust.
Personally, I think what has helped the traditional movement flourish more than anything--and I would argue far more than Levefre's sinful conduct--was the involvement of Mother Angelica, and her constant promotion of both orthodoxy and the TLM. To me, she can be compared to a Padre Pio, when Levefre can be compared to a John Corapi. Levefre may have well been fighting for a just cause (and I certainly believe he was), but he had no right before God to employ any means necessary to get it. Every orthodox/traditional Catholic would agree if what Levefre had been fighting for in his dissent was something liberal, but because they see his cause as just, many look the other way, and call him a hero. Well, sorry, but dissent is dissent, no matter your reasoning. Furthermore, the cause of the SSPX is sympathetic on some matters, yes, but on others they are just plain wacky. For example, on not accepting the canonizations of (of all people!) Padre Pio and Jose Maria Escriva. Archbishop Williamson even said it was sinful for women to wear pants. Sheesh!

I'm not saying that Father John Hardon was wrong in saying you can attend an SSPX Mass without sin. However, you DO sin if you are in Italy and do this, because any involvement with them in Italy incurs a decree of excommunication. You may have unintentionally left this out of your blog post above, but I think it is vitally important for people (especially in Italy) to be informed of this, so that they will not be lead astray. Also, it is important to note that the Sacrament of Marriage done by an SSPX priest is not valid, and neither is Confession. Thus, even though I definitely empathize with the traditional cause, I would never go to an SSPX church. Why be tempted to receive two invalid Sacraments? Other than that, a traditional priest friend of mine once told me not to give to the collection basket if I go to an SSPX church. He did not say why, but I think because giving funds to them would be a sin. This guy is a fairly well known traditional priest. On the matter of their Sacraments, as well as the decree:


Anonymous said...

Forgot to add that, before going to an SSPX Mass, each person has a grave responsibility to make sure that such an activity has not been forbidden in their respective areas of the world. Italy has a decree of excommunication for participation in anything SSPX-related, but I am sure they are not the only place in the US and abroad, so do your research, and recall, too, that obedience is better than sacrifice!


Anonymous said...

One more thing....This may also still apply in Nebraska, because Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz excommunicated members of SSPX there in 1996.


Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I appreciate your comments, Dawn. From what I've read, AB Lefebvre justified his actions based on Canon Laws 1323 and 1324 which say that no penalty is applied to a person who "acted out of grave fear." Considering what was going on in the Church at the time (and France, I believe, was particularly a mess.) I cannot judge the archbishop. I cannot read his conscience either. If you watched the video from The Remnant, they cited a statement by a Vatican commission head saying that the SSPX was NOT in schism, but in an "irregular" situation. Let's pray for the reunion of the SSPX with Rome. I fear that is unlikely in the present situation.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

It was Cardinal Hoyos, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Go to 20:23 on the video. "They are not in schism. They are in an irregular canonical situation which we are trying to resolve."

I think we need to be careful in our language.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know from a traditional priest friend, JPII said that all members of SSPX were excommunicated. Later, B16 lifted that excommunication. I have no idea if this means only the priests of the society are still in schism, but those who are lay are not, or if no one is in schism at all. I have no idea. What I do know, however, is that a person who ordains bishops without the permission of the Pope has objectively committed the grave sin of disobedience. Maybe not subjectively, but objectively. Same with calling VII a false council, which is what he and SSPX say.

Second, why anyone would want to attend a Mass wherein the Confession and Marriage is not (or, at least may not be) valid is beyond my imagining, not to mention the fact that a very traditional priest told me not to give to their collection basket.

What's worse, a decree of excommunication for being involved with them is present in Italy, as well as in other places, I think. When something like that is issued, it is incumbent upon us to obey, as faithful Catholics who love our faith and love our Lord!

Michael Davies, if you recall, was sympathetic to the plight of SSPX in many ways, but NEVER agreed with the actions taken by their founder. As orthodox Catholics, we must always stand for the truth, no matter what the situation!

The traditional priest, Father Shannon Collins, gives a great talk on this matter. It is worth listening to. Very much so!


Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah, and Father Shannon's talk covers SSPX, too, not just sedevacantists.


Anonymous said...

Please consider adding a clarification to your last article regarding SSPX, so as to clear up any confusion. (Remember, you said the faithful who traveled to OK in protest of the black mass had a right to have their spiritual needs met?) I think it would help a great deal, because marriages and confessions are both very serious things--and many of the folks in OK probably confessed! Hope you do not think I am trying to make a fuss, but I just thought I would point this out. Father Z is very accurate and informative about these matters.


Unknown said...

A rather wealthy Texan named J Terry Carroll, is the one who bought the Building for St. Michael's Media & "Donated" the Building, and became the Controlling Opinion. Voris is Carroll's Mouthpiece.