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Our Lady's Electronic Newsletter: May 2007
Just when some traditional Catholics thought Pope Benedict XVI might dam the stream of novelties and nonsense that has flowed from Vatican II, those who hold to the true Faith and the true practice of our Faith were shocked this Easter when the Holy Father introduced a new version of the Stations of the Cross.
The big blow came from the Vatican's changes to not just the route that Catholics were invited to follow, but the content of the ceremony.
Traditionally the Via Crucis begins with a reflection on how Jesus was unjustly condemned to die by Pontius Pilate, to whom He was given up by the Sanhedrin, the council of Jewish priests. Now we are invited to think not of Our Suffering Lord but of the poor suffering Jews. In his remarks, the Pope recalled the sentence that was passed over the Jews by the Nazis, and their suffering in concentration camps.
Gone from the "New Way of the Cross" is the station where Jesus drops the Cross, as well as the sixth station with its reference to St. Veronica, who wiped the adorable face of Jesus. St. Veronica, the Vatican tells us now, is "merely apocryphal" and not mentioned in the Gospels. Apparently they have forgotten that the tradition of the Church is to be believed and revered equally with the words of the Gospel. There were still more changes to come. A reference to Judas Iscariot was inserted by Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, who "updated" the ceremony at the Pope's request. Later, at the eighth station, where Jesus met a group of women, the Pope spoke out against the suffering of "violated" women.
In one ceremony the Holy Father managed to apologize to the Jews, and to women. Last year he apologized to the Muslims. And this Easter he referenced the poor suffering peoples of Africa, the victims of years of colonial oppression. Pretty soon he won't have anyone left to apologize to!
What puzzles us is the Pope's seeming desire to continue in the footsteps of his predecessor with "reforms" and "updates" to the rituals and ceremonies Catholics have held dear for centuries. Only a few years ago John Paul II gave us his ill-conceived "Luminous Mysteries" to add to the Rosary. Now Benedict XVI wishes on us a new and "politically correct" Way of the Cross. In the name of God, why?!
To remember the Way of the Cross as it really was and as it should be remembered, the Fatima Shoppe offers you The Passion, a beautiful hardcover book which is a compelling reminder of Christ's sacrifice.With a foreword by Mel Gibson, it has photos taken on the set of the movie The Passion of the Christ by award-winning photographers Ken Duncan and Philippe Antonello. Click here to order your copy today.
Our Lady of Fatima warned us almost 90 years ago that if Her requests were not heeded, Russia would continue to spread its errors throughout the world and would become God's instrument of chastisement by which the world would be punished for its sins against God and Mary's Immaculate Heart.
There are some, even now, who have not believed Our Lady, who have not heeded Her warning. They say that Russia's intentions are peaceful, especially now that the Communists have been overthrown. The Russians are a force for good in the world, they say. The Russians are reasonable people, they say. We can get along with them, they say. In fact, they say, we should join with the Russians to create a New World Order, after which the world will know true peace.
Nonsense! The people in power in Russia today are the same people, right from Vladimir Putin on down, who ruled the Soviet Union before the sham "peaceful overthrow" of the Communists. And their intentions are exactly the same as in the days the USSR faced off against the USA in the Cold War. Read "The Eve of Annihilation? Putin Announces New Cold War!" in the latest issue of The Fatima Crusader (No. 85). If you don't believe Our Lady of Fatima's warning, surely you should believe the words of Putin himself. If you do believe what the Blessed Virgin told us, you owe it to yourself, your family, and your nation to pass the Fatima Message on to those who, in spite of all the evidence, still do not believe.
Ever since the coronation of Pope Benedict XVI, rumors have been circulating that he would, "when the time is right" issue a motu proprio or other document "authorizing" the use of the Tridentine Mass of Saint Pius V. (We put "authorizing" in quote marks because the traditional mass was never and could never be suppressed. See Father Paul Kramer's new book The Suicide of Altering the Faith in the Liturgy).
Sadly, we are still waiting for the Holy Father to say the words we long to hear. Weeks have turned into months, and months have turned into years. Now we have a new document, Sacramentum Caritatis, the Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist released on March 13th. What does it offer the faithful who are longing for the return of the Mass of All Time? Nothing more than "a reform of the reform".
As Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI did not hide his dissatisfaction with the results of Vatican II's liturgical revolution. While the Cardinal's words always fell short of the doctrinal pointedness of Cardinal Ottaviani, he nonetheless recognized that liturgically, something had gone wrong.
However, it seems now that in this and all things, Pope Benedict XVI is firmly a man of Vatican II. He rules out bypassing the Council's destructive liberalism, since he himself favors the two key modernist tenets of the Council: ecumenism and religious liberty. As a result, instead of the old Mass, we will have more Latin in the New Mass, the tabernacle restored to a central location in churches, yet more "inculturation", and -- believe it or not -- limited intercommunion with Protestants.
The founder of the Society of Saint Pius X, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre said, "Psychologically, pastorally, and theologically, it is impossible for Catholics to give up a liturgy which is the true expression and stay of their faith, and adopt new rites conceived by heretics, without exposing their faith to the gravest danger. It is not possible to imitate Protestants indefinitely without becoming one. How many of the faithful, how many young priests, how many bishops have lost their faith since these reforms were adopted? One cannot flout nature and faith and escape their vengeance."
One wonders if the Pope and those around him responsible for this latest stirring of the liturgical pot have ever read these words.
Click here to read "Ever in Search of the New Synthesis" , John Vennari's report on the Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist in Catholic Family News.
James Bannister writes about the hoped-for restoration of the traditional Mass in Fatima Perspectives No. 538 Visit the Fatima Network to read his comments.
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