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Do You Think the Holy Ghost Chose Pope Benedict XVI....
Quote:Neo-Traditionalism and the Cult of Man

Three years is a very short period of time in comparison with the long years through which the Church has marched since her foundation, and even in the span of one man's years it is not considered great. Yet when we consider the change which has come upon the traditionalist movement since the 19th of April, 2005, that is, the day of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, three years seems like a very long time indeed. His election has proven to be the Day of Judgement for the Catholics who have clung to Tradition through the pontificates of his predecessors in the Post-Conciliar Church. His pontificate has begun a process which will have lasting effects upon the traditionalist movement, for it has laid bare the reasons which have led various Catholics to have resisted the changes brought upon the Church since Vatican II.

At the centre of the resistance to the novelties of the Council and it's aftermath stand a number of figures who recognized that the devastation which has swept the Church has as it's root a doctrinal deviation. Among these figures are Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro-Mayer. They saw, even at the Council, that a new theology was battling for the soul of the Church. This new theology, infected with modernism and liberalism, was the source of all the dolorous effects which left no diocese of parish untouched, save for those who rallied to these two defenders of the Faith. The Society of Saint Pius X has been the lightening rod of this movement, taking the opprobrium of the reformers upon itself in order to continue the traditional teaching and worship of the Church unsullied. For this group, the new theology was the force behind the liturgical reforms and all the other changes in the Church's devotional life. Until these errors were overturned officially by the Church, no true restoration would be possible.

Some of the laity rallied to the Archbishop and his allies, but not always with the same understanding of the crisis. Some were with him only because of the liturgical crisis or the abandonment of various traditional devotions in the local parishes. They saw the Society of Saint Pius X as a refuge until something palatable would appear again in their local churches. They were not so concerned with what they would consider more obscure questions of religious liberty or collegiality or ecumenism. Some indeed had already imbibed a lesser strain of liberal ideas, especially in those countries which were culturally pluralistic and democratic. Others saw some of the doctrinal questions, but for them there was always a fear that resisting the Pope was the real evil, even more than doctrinal novelty. Therefore, when 1988 came, and the Archbishop consecrated four bishops against the will of the Pope, some fled back to the parishes or to the nascent Ecclesia Dei communities. In these latter communities, the laity could find traditional devotions and the Tridentine Mass, although the doctrinal question was ignored in the process. They were willing to accept a pluralistic Catholicism as long as they had the approbation of the Pope and the local bishops.

But while John-Paul II reigned, there remained many who were at least somewhat aware of doctrinal issues, especially in the area of ecumenism. The travelling pope with his myriad ecumenical or interreligious meetings gave them an uneasy feeling that something was not right in Rome. His decisions to allow female altar servers and to apologize for various supposed offenses committed by the Church in the past left them agitated. Yet there always remained a vaguely guilty feeling that they could not rally to the Pope to the same degree as the "conservative" Catholics who idolized the late Pontiff and confered upon him the title of "the Great". Since they blamed Pope John-Paul II for various ills, their affections were transferred to the head of the CDF: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He was the vigilant doctrinal watchdog in their eyes, and one who seemed sympathetic to those who wished the traditional rite a more visible place in the Church. He was the friend of Tradition.

Not all were so quick to accept this icon of Tradition in Rome, especially those who took the time to read his books or examine the documents which were issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Among these was Archbishop Lefebvre, who saw in the Cardinal's ideas the marks of neo-modernism. It was he who pointedly told the Cardinal that both of them were pointed in opposing paths, one to the restoration of Christ's kingship, the other to apostasy. But the traditionalists who had fixed upon the German Cardinal as their one hope turned a blind eye to the unpleasant warnings coming from the Archbishop or his Society. They did not want to read the Cardinal's works or to ask themselves too many questions. Cardinal Ratzinger was the friend of Tradition in a Rome awash in modernism. Of course, they should have asked themselves how it was that the Pope that they were critical of had appointed Cardinal Ratzinger in his position, and would not allow him to retire from it. Does this not indicate a union of ideas between the two? But these traditionalists needed desperately to feel that they had a friend who was one of them among those who wore the Cardinatial robes.

And so Pope John-Paul II went before Him who judges all men. At the Pontiff's funeral presided the Bavarian Cardinal, and the world watched as he communicated Brother Roger, who at least publicly appeared to be a protestant. Ostensibly, the Cardinal did not know this, but it is difficult to imagine that he did not know who Brother Roger was, considering that when he was murdered, the present Pope said he was looking down on us from Heaven. In any case, the "friend of Tradition" became Pope, and the hearts of many looked for change.

This hope bore fruit in the Motu Proprio. It was a document which while saying that the old rite was never abrogated, also said that the old and new rites were actually the same rite (!) and promised that both forms of the same rites would mutually enrich each other. But the Benedict Fan Club ignored any unpleasant things from THEIR Pope. He was the great restorer. He was the anti-thesis of the last Pontiff. The rift within Tradition began to make itself felt. Surely the Society of Saint Pius X would sign on to the "Benedictine Revolution", the "Marshall Plan" to restore the Church. It was time to put aside differences and work with the friend of Tradition. After all, he gave back to the Church her ancient Usage (almost said "rite). But the Society of Saint Pius X continued to insist on a doctrinal discussion on the errors of the Council as a pre-requisite to any agreement, basing themselves on the notion that there can be no union in the Church without a union in the truth. The critics grew impatient.

The change in the prayer for the Jews should have been a wake-up call that this Pope had no intention of leaving the 1962 Missal untouched; after all, he made that quite clear in the letter which accompanied the Motu Proprio ("oh, that was only a political move; he never really meant what he said in that letter"). The change brought even more to light the blindness which has come upon a number of traditionalists over this Pope. There was not even a murmer at seeing a uniformed member of the Salvation Army in St. Peter's taking part in an official liturgical service with the Pope, along with an Orthodox, an Armenian Apostolic, a Lutheran... Desperately these traditionalists point out what nice things the Pope is wearing these days. He is using pre-Conciliar vestments and thrones, after all. But when he affirms that the way of ecumenism is one which the Church has irrevocably set out upon, there is silence. When the relics of Catholic saints are handed over to the Orthodox (to whose assemblies these saints never belonged), there is silence. When he calls the meetings at Assisi of the late Pope, "prophetic", there is silence. When he writes in his encyclicals things contrary to Tradition, such as his novel view of Purgatory or that God is Eros as well as Charity, there is silence. When he changes the ancient prayer for the Jews in the old Rite, suppressing the very words of Saint Paul, while changing nothing in the prayer of the New Rite, there is not silence, but vociferous support and petitions of defense. This Pope will do what his post-Conciliar predecessors could not, and that is win the submission of traditionalists to the Council and all it's pomps, and all it's works. They will accept his vision of One Missal in which the new and old forms will blend, a vision he has already publicly stated as Cardinal. He will give them the fruit of Neo-Modernism, and they will eat.

The Motu Proprio gave birth to what we must call "Neo-Traditionalism", a new acceptance of change in the name of obedience to the "friend of Tradition". The doctrinal errors will be put aside in favour of a pragmatic pluralism, which can only end in acceptance of error. But what is underneath this enthusiasm which now has captured so many? Is it love of the truth?

Unfortunately, the cult of personality which exalted the last pope has been replaced with another which exalts the present one. Many want, indeed desperately need, to put their hopes on Pope Benedict XVI. They want to feel part of the club again, to feel appreciated by someone in the Church. and they will close their eyes and shut their ears to anything which might put an end to their hopes. Indeed, those who have continued to warn of the doctrinal errors which reign even in the mind of the Pope are set upon by the very traditionalists who would have said the same thing four years ago. The errors have not changed, but these traditionalists have. They use the same language and the same arguments used by the "conservatives" after the Council who plead loyalty to the Pope as the reason for accepting change.

Every Catholic, however, must realize that there is no loyalty greater than loyalty to the Truth. Christ identifies Himself as the Truth. All that who are of the truth hear His voice. God is a jealous God; He does not promise the comfort of being accepted and loved as part of the club. He promises the Cross to those who are truly His disciples. There can be no question of putting aside differences in order to work together when those differences pertain to the Truth taught by the Church, no matter if this means resisting the novelties of prelates, even of the Pope. To put aside differences of truth implies that there is something of greater worth than truth, which is to say that there is something of greater value to the Church than Christ Himself. It is impossible. It is to dethrone Christ yet again and set up an idol, the idol of man. it is the cult of man, and that cult even now is taking root in the hearts of traditionalists who only four years ago spoke up for the truth contra mundum, no matter who that might include.


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Re: Do You Think the Holy Ghost Chose Pope Benedict XVI.... - by B of Navarre - 09-21-2011, 10:22 PM

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