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:: The Lidless Eye Inquisition ::

A weblog dedicated to the exposure of the crackpots of the lunatic self-styled 'traditionalist' fringe who disingenuously pose as faithful Catholics.
Welcome to The Lidless Eye Inquisition | bloghome
"Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her...But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)." [Pope St. Pius X: Allocution of May 10, 1909]

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[:::....Recent Posts....:::]

As I am planning a return to blogging in other for...

Though this weblog has been suspended "in perpetui...

After pondering this in recent days, I cannot thin...

Points to Ponder: I now come to the positive reas...

"One From the Drafting Board" Dept. The material ...

Before this weblog is formally closed in perpetuit...

On Altar Girls and General Norms of Interpretation...

Final Reflections I would like to thank Shawn McE...

On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal: [Pref...

This weblog for the lions share of the past year a...

The Inquisitors
:: I. Shawn McElhinney
:: F. John Loughnan
:: Peter J. Vere JCL
:: Greg Mockeridge
:: Apolonio Latar
:: Gregory Rossi
:: Keith Kenney
:: The Curmudgeon
:: Mark Bonocore
:: Gregg the Obscure
Affiliated Weblogs/Websites
:: Rerum Novarum [>>>]
:: Sean O' Lachtnain's Home Page [>>>]
:: Envoy Encore Weblog (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: Cooperatores Veritatis [>>>]
:: Thoughts of Apolonio Latar III [>>>]
:: Sancta Liturgia [>>>]
:: Disturber of the Peace [>>>]
:: Vita Brevis [>>>]
Specialty Weblogs
:: The (New) Catholic Light BLOG (Peter Vere JCL, contributor) [>>>]
:: John Betts' Boycott BLOG [>>>]
Ecumenical Jihad*
:: Apolonio Latar and Kevin Tierney's Culture of Christ BLOG [>>>]
Specialty Weblinks
:: A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' [>>>]
:: On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary [>>>]
:: The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard [>>>]
:: On Assisi and Catholic Principles [>>>]
:: F. John Loughnan's "Classification of Some Integrist (Lidless Eye) Websites" [>>>]
:: A Syllabus of Various (Mostly Pseudo-"Progressivist") Dissenting Authors [>>>]
:: A Canonical History of the Lefevrist Schism - Peter J. Vere's License Thesis From Saint Paul University, Ontario, Canada [>>>]
:: What Makes Us Catholic Traditionalists - written for The Wanderer December 6, 2001 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Yes Virginia, Fr. Nicholas Has Been Suspended - written for The Wanderer March 6, 2003 (Pete Vere JCL/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Squelching Fr. Gruner's 'Squawking Squire' [>>>]
:: RadTrad Watch [>>>]
:: Antisemitism and the Catholic Right [>>>]
[:::....Site Intention, Disclaimer, Copyright, Etc....:::]
:: Intentions of this Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Weblog "War and Peace Length" Disclaimer (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Site Copyright (I. Shawn McElhinney/SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Exhortation to Those Who Participate in the Message Boxes (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Linking to Tridentine Apostolates, Etc. --A Lidless Eye Inquisition Clarification Thread (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Heretical Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Mario Derksen's Catholic Insight
:: Responses to Mario Derksen--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario on EENS (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Errors on Man (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Mario Derksen's Sedevacantism--Parts I-III (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Response to Mario --Parts I-II (Kevin Byrne) [>>>]
:: Mario's Sedevacantism and His Conscience (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -I. Shawn McElhinney's Discussion List Comments on the "Karol Wojtyla is the Pope" Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
Gerry Matatics' Apostolate
:: Gerry Matatics Too Hard Line For The Remnant (Pete Vere)[>>>]
:: Concerning Gerry Matatics and His Alleged Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Schismatic and Theologically Specious Pseudo "Traditionalist" Apostolates....:::]
Catholic Apologetics International (or CAItanic)
:: Bob Sungenis' "Reply" to Richard John Neuhaus --Parts I-II (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard J. Neuhaus on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On CAItanic and the "Petrification" of their Opponents (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On Stunted Ecclesiology and Other Examples of the Arrested Development of CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Baghdad Bob Meets Bible Bob (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commentary on CAItanic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sungenis/Ferrara and Double Standards (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On Sungenis’ “Novelty”--Parts I-II(Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Short Response to John Salza and Sungenis (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: A Brief Clarification by Your Weblog Host On "Mr. Ipse Dixit" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Matatics vs. Sungenis (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Sungenis and God's Contingent Knowledge--Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar III) [>>>]
:: On "The Big Bang Theory" and its Pertinance to Catholic Doctrine (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Novus Ordo Watch
:: On "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: More on "Novus Ordo Watch" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Props to David Alexander (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Remnant
:: Beyond Lunacy (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: The Remnant Gets it Right (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Commending Christopher Ferrara (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)
:: Points to Ponder - on the SSPX (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On the "Reconciliation" Rumours of the SSPX (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: SSPX Demotes Key Priest Hoping For Reconciliation (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Three Cheers for Sedevacantism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Fr. Paul Aulagnier (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Schism For One Dollar (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Bishop Rifan the Prophet (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Is the SSPX Still Lefebvrist? (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Civil War Breaks Out in the SSPX's French District (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Apostolates...:::]
Kevin Tierney and His Apostolate
:: Responding to Kevin Tierney's Criticism (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Some Brief Comments on Kevin Tierney's Response to Gregg the Obscure (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Response to Kevin Tierney's Response to I. Shawn McElhinney (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More Sophistry From Kevin Tierney --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Obedience and Kevin Tierney's Appeal to Canon Law 212 (I. Shawn McElhinney/Pete Vere JCL) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Tiernam Dubiosum --Parts I-III, Addendum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Note About A Blog (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtrads Again (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On True and False 'Traditionalism' With Kevin Tierney --Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Pope John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, and Global Government --Parts I-III(Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: Clarification on Global Government (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Brief Response to Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings on Diversity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: An Example of the Honesty That Must Accompany Dialogue (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Muttering On Many Subjects (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Detailed Response to Kevin on The Revised Missal, Corpus Christi, Church Attendance, Church Forms, Protocol 1411, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Musings (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussing the Liturgy and Various Contrastings With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Refuting the “He’s Not Disobedient. He's Just Stupid.” Defense (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: "Responsum ad Tiernum" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Controverted Subjects and People in General....:::]
:: Response to a Self-styled "Traditionalist" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Term "Inquisition" (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Addressing a Sedevacantist Heretic (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: February's Quote of the Month (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: On TAN Books (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: On Defining Modernism (Chris Burgwald) [>>>]
:: Refuting the Late 'Trad' Michael Malone's Errors on Vatican II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From His Beatitude Melkite Patriarch Maximos IV Saigh, Cardinal of the Roman Church (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Catechism and Radical Traditionalists (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Screwtape Parody on Radical Traditionalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a Rad-Trad --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Hell and the Catechism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Sola Fide Trads (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Some Traddie Fallacies Examined (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With Adrian a Self-styled 'Traditionalist' --Parts I-VIII (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Opatus of Milve (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Mr. Smith's Misunderstandings --Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Integralist-'Traditionalist' Conection --Parts I-V (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Discussion With Christopher Blosser on Reflections on Covenant and Mission (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the Morality of Promoting Conspiracy Theories (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: Question About the Magisterium (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Islam (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Have 'Traditionalists' Been Too Hard on the Pope Viz Islam (F. John Loughnan) [>>>]
:: A Conversation --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney/Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Fatal Flaws of False 'Traditionalism' With Albert Cipriani--Parts I-VII (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: A Conversation on Spiritual Maturity and the Traditional Catholic Approach to Difficulties --Parts I-III (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Is it Okay to Complain? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Obedience: The Rise of True Catholics --Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Radtradism and Mother Teresa (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Common 'Traditionalist' Errors in Dogmatic Theology and the Ordinary Magisterum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Notes on the Ordinary Magisterium (SecretAgentMan) [>>>]
:: Some Self-styled "Traditionalist" Mendacity (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Posting Rules for Radical 'Traditionalists' (The Curmudgeon) [>>>]
:: Thoughts on Radtradism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Why Garrigou-Lagrange? (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: The Syllabus (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refutation of Some Common Radtrad Misuses of Citations (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: The Errors of Michael Malone Revisited (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting an Attempted Justification for Schism --Parts I-II (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Another Assisi? Parts I-II (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder -Maximus the Abbott as quoted by Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum §13 (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue With a 'Traditionalist' (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: "To Be Deep in Catholic Theology is to Cease to Be a (Pseudo) 'Traditionalist'" Dept. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Pope Benedict XV (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Charles de Nunzio (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: For Those Interested (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Refuting Mike's Errors (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Mike Tucker (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Will it Merely Be More Uncatholic "Business As Usual"??? (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. John Bosco (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From St. Irenaeus of Lyons (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Dialogue/Debate on Pascendi (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - From Cardinal Ratzinger on the Revised Roman Missal (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Responsum ad Hibernius (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Miscellaneous Material (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Dance (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Humanism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Humanism and Vatican II (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: John Paul II and Universalism (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: On Scruples (Gregory Rossi) [>>>]
:: On Tony Blair and Receiving Communion (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part I (Mark Bonocore) [>>>]
:: Confuting Radical Pseudo-'Traditionalist' Nonsense --Part II (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: "Wast-ing A-way A-gain in Se-de-vac-ant-a-ville" Dept. (Mark Bonocore/I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On the McElhinney Media Dictum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Tomorrow Christendom (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Correcting a Common Misperception of This Weblog (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Response to a Guimaraes Article (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: A Response to Fr. Nitoglia (Apolonio Latar) [>>>]
:: More on "Tomorrow Christendom" (Dom Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Surprised by Canon Law (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Michael Davies' Passing (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: On Redemptionis Sacramentum and Canonical Implications for Ecclesia Dei (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Notification of Assisi Essay, Etc. (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Points to Ponder - Richard John Neuhaus on the Vatican and "Americanism"--Parts I-VI (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: 8 Things You Can Do to Stop the Judaizers (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: On Circumspection in Speech and Public Writing (Gregg the Obscure) [>>>]
:: On the Revised Missal Ordination Rites and Other Tidbits (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - John Laux on an Interesting Parallel from History on the Subject of "Preserving Tradition" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: In Fairness to Michael Forrest (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews (Pete Vere) [>>>]
::Points to Ponder - Pope Gregory XVI on the Authority of the Popes (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Michael Forrest and the Jews--Part II (Pete Vere) [>>>]
[:::....Miscellaneous Dialogual Subjects...:::]
:: Real Catholic Traditionalism (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: An Open Challenge to Catholic Traditionalists (Dom Gerard Calvet/Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Briefly on Quo Primum (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Traditionalist Debate of the Millenium: Pete Vere vs. Shawn McElhinney (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Dialogue on Ecclesia Dei With Mark Downey (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Sister Lucia of Fatima, Ora Pro Terri Schiavo (Pete Vere) [>>>]
:: Ecclesia Dei And Respect for Traditionalists (Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]
:: On "The Vile Spectacle of Traditionalists Rooting for Bad News" --Dialogue With Kevin Tierney (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>> [>>>]
:: On Liturgical Nonsense, Recent Restore Rants, Church Music, Etc (I. Shawn McElhinney)[>>>]
:: Briefly Revisiting an Old Subject (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Examining Kevin Tierney's "Catholic Contract" (I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
[:::....Guest Editorials...:::]
:: The Problems Some Have With Interfaith Outreach (Guest Editorial by Gary Gubinski) [>>>]
:: On the Liturgical Movement (Guest Editorial by the Society of St. John; Prologue by I. Shawn McElhinney) [>>>]
:: Jacinta's Vision (Guest Editorial by Fr. Thomas Carleton) [>>>]
:: Guest Editorial on Private Revelation (Kevin M. Tierney) [>>>]
Any correspondence will be presumed eligible for blogging unless the sender otherwise specifies (cf. Welborn Protocol)

*Ecumenical Jihad listing is for weblogs or websites which are either dedicated to or which to the webmaster (i) are worth reading and (ii) characteri ze in their general outlook the preservation of general Judeo-Christian morality and which are aimed at positively integrating these elements into society. (Such sites need not even be Catholic ones.)

As society has grown more estranged from its founding principles, I wish to note sites which share the same sentiments for the restoration of society even if the means advocated in this endeavour differ. The Lidless Eye Inquisition does not necessarily endorse particulars with sites under this heading.

:: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 ::

A group of Catholic laity, all of whom love the traditional liturgy and the Church, have started a new Catholic blog to promote the Ecclesia Dei movement within the Church. Please check out Friends of La Nef!

:: Pete Vere 8:11 PM [+] | ::

On Hindsight and Assessing Various Factors that Impacted Church Changes Since Vatican II:
(Musings of your humble webmaster at Lidless Eye Inquisition)

This is an amplification of a thread I am working on in the comments boxes which is too long to be posted there. I will therefore cover what is more complex of that material here and link this post to it when done.

What you say is definitely true, however, it amazes me at the theories the SSPX peddles currently especially considering the decades of hindsight.

Hindsight can make wisemen out of the foolish oftentimes (and vice versa).

How can a Catholic Archbishop (who in some ways I respect immensely) who knows full well that the universal laws of the Church are infallible, just dismiss such a notion as far as the Novus Ordo is concerned ... by arriving at the "brilliant" arbitrary conclusion that well, since the New Missal is clearly harmful and univesal laws can't be, it must not be a law at all since the common good is undermined while ignoring all distinctions concerning types of law?

The long and short of it is a simple observation by the writer William Blake that "the eye that alters, alters all." For those who alter reality, everything to them appears skewed. And for those who want to pretend to have it both ways on the issues you discuss -which is the violation of the Law of Non Contradition which is at the very heart of the whole rebellious spirit of those who claim to obey the pope but only on their terms- they do so because their eye is altered presuppositionally and from there all of their errors project forth.

If you are referring to the Archbishop I think you refer to (formerly a resident of Winona???), then the answer is more than that but at the same time what I noted about altered eyes. For there is supposed to be an altering of one's "faith eye" when they come into full communion with the Church. With the bishop you refer to (if it is whom I think it is), they were once Anglican and never shedded their presuppositional reaction against Rome. It is one that they possess even though they would deny possessing it but (if you look at what they write) it is so obvious that it is redundant to some extent to point it out.

One of the reason Fr. Cekada makes mincemeat of the wishywashy sorts is that he demonstrates very convincingly that the universal laws (and the revised missal is certainly among them) of Paul VI, John Paul II, etc. qualify by objective standards as universal laws. The error is the subjective presumption that they are "harmful", etc. This is not based on an objective measure but instead is based on manipulation of statistics and without concern for the context of the centuries leading up to Vatican II.

The truth is, the appearance of vibrant faith prior to the Council was to some extent a mirage. It was non-existent in Europe and in America the growth was based in part on an adversarial relationship between Catholics and society at large -an adversarial relationship based in part because of differences in economic strata. There was also a "fortress mentality" of sorts which took an overly rigorous "Us vs. Them" approach to even other Christians -in part because of the problems with Know-Nothing types in the past but also because of (to some extent) triumphalistic notions based on a faulty ecclesiological understanding. The foundations for this started shifting noticably in the 1940's and many factors accounted for it. For the sake of space, I will touch on a few of them here.

The first was a shift in ecclesiological emphasis. This had long been in the works at theological faculties and the like but even as recently as 1928 (with Mortalium Animos) the official ecclesiological model was imperfect and flawed. Pope Pius XII with Mystici Corporis in 1943 gave magisterial sanction to one of the many alternate models of ecclesiology and this made its mark on theology in short order as well as in the minds of the average person who now had a different lens with which to view ecclesiology than the Bellarmine model.{1} Other models were given sanction at Vatican II in Lumen Gentium and other council documents but prior to the Council, they were being reflected upon by not a few influential theologians. The Curia was still wedded predominently to the Bellarmine model though and this created no small amount of friction. But if this had been just a matter of dispute between theologians and the curia, it would not have been as significant as it was. However, certain events in Europe and America were taking place which took the confrontations beyond the traditional circles they were confined to in years and centuries past.

But as this is a subject in and of itself to deal with, I will simply link to a five part series I wrote about two years ago which IMO explains a lot of the problems that many in the Church have in relating to one another:

An Outline of Various Church Models Throughout History--Parts I-V (circa November 23-24, 2003)

The truth is, the ravages of the so-called "enlightenment" period and the Church's general abdication from the public discourse at this time (particularly after the French Revolution) had the effect of hollowing out Europe from within. And when you add to that two world wars which wasted the landscape over there, you had as a result a populace that was primed to be seduced by the spirit of the age. But beyond that, Europe was already mission territory by the early 1940's and it the struggle was between those who wanted to find new ways to engage the culture and those who wanted to parrot the manualist approach had failed for a long time to make inroads into. The SSPX and other such movements of their stripe are essentially manualist in their approach. That explains one of the key problems briefly. To understand more, I recommend highly this essay from Dr. Marcello D'Ambrosio on ressourcement theology:

Ressourcement theology, aggiornamento, and the hermeneutics of tradition

That suffices to deal at the moment with the problems in Europe. However, in America the Catholic Church was blossoming when it was in decline in Europe. Therefore, to explain what happened in America means considering things from a uniquely American perspective which I will briefly do now.

It is not a coincidence in my opinion that the major flowering of American Catholicism was in the interim period between low and high literacy rates and fed by waves of immigration. The immigrants settled in America and though at a cultural disadvantage, nonetheless had it made compared to what they had to deal with in the countries they left (i.e. my Irish ancestors came over after the Potato Famine, my Ukrainian ancestors at the turn of the century when there was turmoil in the Slavic nations under the Tsar). The immigrants were poor as a rule and uneducated but they clung tenaciously to their faith as the anchor of their lives to some extent: where everything else was foreign this was familiar. Then there were the two world wars and the aftermath -the latter of which provided some of the keys to the unlocking of the undoing of the American Catholics (though no one at the time could have seen it). Nonetheless, in this period, literacy increased and with literacy meant access to more information than previously. However, much of the information commonly circulated was written in the template of the "resistance church."{2} This was a stance that started softening after WWI and really softened after WWII. And it is at that point where I will pick up this narrative.

With the advent of things like the GI Bill in 1944, many Catholics who could not afford to go beyond high school previously now could do so if they had served in the armed forces -as many did in WWII. This trend continued into the 1960's in America and produced for the first time, a larger batch of educated Catholics than there were previously. Many of these started questioning certain things which were previously accepted blindly and uncritically and attempts were made to shut them up that failed. And ultimately, the Second Vatican Council came and provided a perceived "justification" in the relaxing of outmoded disciplinary rules without as good of an explanation as to why this was done as could have been given.

As a result, many who remained within the ecclesiastical body in previous decades out of fear or blind obedience had those masks ripped away. They were now no longer blind and unquestioning but (at the same time) they got carried away with the increased latitude they gained after Vatican II.{3} Furthermore, the shedding of so many outmoded rules at once -coupled with the anti-authoritarian spirit of the age{4}- created in not a few people a suspicion of authority at best (and many became downright hostile to it) and this had a detrimental effect on the adherence to rules that remained to be followed. And with the handling of a couple of hotpoint issues at the time being less than prudent (referring to the priestly celibacy and birth control controversies), the concoction finally blew up and we to this day are feeling the effects of that occurrence.

This is why I have always rejected the Michael Davies method of positing "before and after" statistics and arguing in post hoc ergo propter hoc fashion over the decline in the Church in Europe and America. And while much more could be noted, this brief sketch will hopefully provide some food for musing at this time -though I may add to it or develop some of these points later on if I am so inclined.


{1} Which had been in a place of prominence since about 1600.

{2} One of the predominant tasks of [the Vatican] synod was to move the Church out of the garrison posture taken in the Counter-reformation period --a posture which intensified in its isolation after the French Revolution-- and situate her once again firmly into the role of engaging the modern world. This engagement was to be in as much a proactive role as a reactive one.

The landscape had in some ways changed drastically from the days when the Church withdrew from engaging the world. The most significant differences in that interim were (i) the increasing degree of literate people with secondary education (ii) the ever-increasing mobility as a result of technological advances as well as (iii) the ability for the average person to acquire information to an extent previously unheard of. In a sentence, the era of the illiterate, immobile many with few resources being at the obvious disadvantage of the literate, mobile, and heavily resourced few was over. And therefore, a paradigm shift had taken place that needed to be addressed. Pope Paul VI saw this problem early on -indeed as early as the 1930's when he was a member of the Roman Curia. As pope, he sought to address it through the ancient form of the dialogue. [I. Shawn McElhinney: From On the Intricacies of Dialogue - A Commentary (circa 2003)]

{3} This was the result of dissident theologians who were disingenuous about the teachings of the Council and created a "spirit" with which to appeal to rather than to what was actually taught.

{4} Not to mention that many of the cultural ballasts that existed prior to the 1960's were loosened in society. These had played their role in containing dissentions previously but now were of far less influence than they were previously.

:: Shawn 2:44 PM [+] | ::

:: Friday, September 23, 2005 ::
Interesting Historical Tidbit

I just got off the phone with Fr. Anthony Cekada (We're currently having a friendly private exchange over our differences that will likely go public in the next month). While I had him on the phone, I thought I would ask him whether sedeprivationism preceded sedevacantism. He was not completely sure, but he strongly suspects that both words were coined by Guerard des Lauriers in the very early eighties to distinguish between the two positions. Fr. Cekada also stated for the record that he is not a sedeprivationist although he stays on good terms with those who adhere to this theory.

:: Pete Vere 11:57 AM [+] | ::

Better Honest Sedevacantism
Than Lukewarm SSPXism

I had an interesting conversation last night with a priest affiliated with the SSPX who had been slagging my book More Catholic Than the Pope. He kept arguing that the use of the label "extreme Traditionalist", when applied to the SSPX, was a misnomer because "the SSPX are not sedevacatist."

My response to Father-Johnny-Come-Lately-to-the-Traditionalist-Movement? "So what? Do you really believe that sedevacantism is more extreme than your own SSPX position?"

There was a pause on the other end of the line. "Of course, sedevacantists reject the pope. The SSPX only partially rejects the pope..."

"...so that you can tell your faithful that you are not sedevacantist. Functionally, what is the difference between what you're doing and what the sedes are doing?"

Longer pause. "I thought you were with the indult. I assumed you were an Ecclesia Dei traditionalist."

"I am, however, it has nothing to do with whether sedevacantism is more extreme than SSPXism. You assert that the sedes are the true extreme traditionalists. Now substantiate this claim."

Father seemed very uncomfortable from this point on in the conversation. "They totally reject the pope. Can't you see that this is extreme?"

"If I believed that Vatican II taught previously condemned theological errors and that the Novus Ordo was intrinsically evil -- both positions that SSPX has pushed in its official publications -- I too would be a sedeprivationist and possibly even a sedevacantist. So why is it more extreme to believe there is nobody in Rome than to believe that all of Rome's teaching must be sifted by Econe and given the SSPX's imprimatur?"

Long silence. "But they reject the last five papal claimants as Popes!"

"How is this an argument?" I mean, common, the SSPX have rejected both Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, so why not the popes who promulgated them? At the end of the night, Father could not provide me with a single argument as to why either sede position was more extreme than his own SSPX sympathetic position. After acknowledging that the SSPX "only partially rejects the pope", Father's only argument was the sedes "totally reject the pope."

What Father could not see is that he and the sedes share a common set of principles. The sede is merely honest about where these principles lead. Similarly, we the indult are honest about where our recognition of the last five papacies lead. It means that we must recognize both Vatican II and the Novus Ordo as legitimate. It is not always comfortable -- especially when you're exposed to the umpteenth example of bad liturgical music because you cannot find an indult on Sunday -- but that is where the truth leads if I believe the Pope is Pope.

Thus in America, like in France, the real traditionalist debate is between those who act with Rome's approval (Campos, the indult and Ecclesia Dei) and those who advocate the sede position. What we need, in my opinion, is a debate between Dom Basile Valuet of Le Barroux monastery and Fr. Anthony Cekada.

:: Pete Vere 5:38 AM [+] | ::

:: Monday, September 19, 2005 ::

Here's a couple questions to discuss:

1) Is sedevacantism growing among Tradition-X (Generation-X Catholic traditionalists)?

2) If so, what is is about the sedes that Trad-X finds more appealing than the Remnant/SSPX/resistance position?

3) Will the growth of the sede position among Trad-X, will sedeprivationism also spread from France to English North America?

:: Pete Vere 4:27 PM [+] | ::

:: Sunday, September 18, 2005 ::
No, Aliens are Not a Goverment Conspiracy

I must repectfully disagree with Sungenis over his belief that UFOs are a goverment conspiracy. If you talk to any former occultist who subsequently converted or reverted to the Catholic faith, they will tell you that aliens are a demonic manifestation. Hell is the place from whence these extra-terrestrials hail. This is why your local NewAge store probably has a large section on aliens and extra-terrestrials.

That being said, it is not uncommon for former occultists to receive an "alien visitation" shortly after converting or reverting to the practice of the Catholic faith. This is kinda Satan's last ditch effort to keep you hooked into the occult. There are stories about how these so-called visitors "from an advanced technological civilization" are scared away screaming near-obscenities (since Our Lord does not allow demons to speak obscenely about His Blessed Mother -- only protestants, feminists and atheists) about "that Woman" when confronted by the dark age invention of a small cross and some wooden beads held together by nothing more than a bit of twine and the blessing of the Catholic Church.

A good friend of mine is a traditional Catholic priest in full communion with Rome who possesses advanced degrees in both the sacred sciences and engineering. He is experienced helping former occultists renounce their evil practices and embrace Catholicism. He summarizes the situation quite nicely: "No beings from an allegdly advanced technological society on another planet would be scared away by a rosary. They would simply blast you the second you whipped it out."

The same goes with a goverment conspiracy. If Aliens were a goverment conspiracy they would be scared away by school prayer and/or the judiciary, not the Rosary.


I received a legitimately friendly response from Sungenis (Given the past acrimony between the two of us, I use the word "legitimately" so that people will know that I am not being sarcastic when I say Bob's response was friendly.) Bob stands by his belief that many UFO citings are due to government "black op" projects, and Art Sippo intervened -- backing Bob up. According to Art and Bob, declassified information from the past shows the government using "UFO rumors" as a convenient coverup for experimental technology. Not being an expert in UFOs or military history, I will remain open to this possibility.

For his part, Bob stated that he was open to possibility that I am right in asserting that "aliens" are an occult/demonic manifestation. He mentioned that he would share this additional information with his readers. After a couple more emails, it because obvious that Bob was speaking mainly of "UFO citings" whereas I was speaking mainly of "alien encounters".

Here's a couple points to keep in mind:

1) The vast majority of people who claim "alien abduction or encounters" have previously experimented with the New Age, Wicca, or so-called "white" magick. Thus these people are already, to a greater or lesser degree, experienced with the occult.

2) The experiences alleged by people claiming alien encounters and abduction closely parrallel those claimed by witches during the middle ages with regards to encounters with demons.

:: Pete Vere 5:12 AM [+] | ::

:: Thursday, September 15, 2005 ::
Ferrara vs. Cekada, Cont.

Interesting thread over at FreeRepublic

:: Pete Vere 7:05 PM [+] | ::

:: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 ::

With the exception of Gerry Matatics, who as far back as I can remember advocated open dialogue with adherents to the theory, a number of older rad-trads increasingly appear to be getting worked up about sedevacantism. In fact, they are doing so using strong language that was previously reserved only for conservatives and moderate trads. As always, the question is "Why?" What inner fear have sedevacantists exposed in the heart of your average rad-trad?

To begin, I sympathize with Ferrara et al. Like me, he probably sees sedevavacantism growing among gen-x traditionalists and he finds this possible trend disturbing. If he's in this fight for the long-haul, then I hope he makes a dent in their arguments.

Nevertheless, sedevacantism is not an "enterprise". In fact, it is probably the least centralized and most organizationally chaotic branch of traditional Catholicism in existence. Secondly, the principles held by sedevacantists and those held by rad trads are not much differen. Rather, the sedes simply apply a strict logic to rad-trad premises and follow them to their logical conclusion.

This is why I have never seen a rad-trad defeat a sedevacantist. It is similar to Danton's head falling to Robispierre's guillotine during the French Revolution. There is very little Bishop Williamson and I agree upon, however, His Excellency once noted at a talk where I was present that a revolutionary will always triumph over a semi-revolutionary. After all, the revolutionary is totally committed to his revolution whereas the semi-revolutionary is trying at the same time to perpetuate and hold back his revolution.

This is why -- at least in my opinion -- Ferrara is being pulverized by Cekada. Despite being on the right side of the issue (Benectict XVI is a valid Pope), Ferrara has tied himself to the same principles as his opponent as he duels sedevacantism's greatest champion in the English speaking world. He's like Danton, one of the father's of the French Revolution who stood by its principles while finding himself horrified by its bloody consequences when Robispierre took these same principles to their logical conclusion. Sedevacantism is the logical conclusion of a certain resistance statement.

Two old sayings come to mind: A revolution eats her young and Who eats of the pope dies.

:: Pete Vere 8:02 PM [+] | ::

Open Letter to the FSSP

I can't believe the latest from a couple of FSSP priests. I was just vanity surfing and I came across not one, but two really positive reviews of my books that were published in respectable Catholic publications in recent months. Thanks padres! You didn't have to do this, so I really appreciate the kindness

Each was written by an FSSP priest for whom I have the utmost admiration. Here's Fr. Buckley's review of Surprised by Canon Law. And here is Fr. Tattersal's review of More Catholic Than the Pope.

:: Pete Vere 7:17 PM [+] | ::


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