Magnum Falsum Principium
His rigged election duly signed, sealed and delivered by the
So, finally, this narrow, fundamentalist, not to say downright embarrassing Church of Exclusion — of stifling mediaeval dogmas and archaic, courtly liturgical trappings — would be put back in its pre-Benedictine box. The sheer relief of resuming Modernist business as usual could not stem the visceral antipathy of Jorge and his handlers, however.
Once their radical brother-in-arms, how they resented their enfeebled comrade Joseph Ratzinger!
His 'moderate' Modernism had successfully served its dialectic purpose in the phony post-conciliar tug-of-war between so-called conservative and liberal prelates. But now it impeded and imperilled the revolution.
Even the corrosive ecumenical project Benedict dutifully maintained and furthered on so many fronts had been endangered by his unforgivable 2005 Regensburg address. As Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, an infuriated Jorge had rushed to denounce that brief but refreshing blast of truth about the "evil and inhuman" Mohammed.
"Pope Benedict's statements don't reflect my own opinions," he declared to Newsweek Argentina. "These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years."
The Vatican reacted quickly. By removing the Archbishop of Puerto Iguazú from his post within four days of his making similar statements to the Argentine national media, it signalled to Cardinal Bergoglio that he would be next if he did not desist. Bergoglio responded by promptly cancelling his planned flight to Rome, boycotting the second synod of Benedict's pontificate.
Typical of the pride and petulance now tragically identified with the papal office, this early show of defiance captured the exasperation of radical Modernists from day one of the 2005-2013 papacy.
Despite Benedict's ongoing commitment to the Council they co-opted, controlled and successfully instrumentalised, they barely held their frustration and anger in check as John Paul II's endless tenure was effectively extended by his successor.
Until they pressured him out and rectified their 2005 defeat.
Motu proprio WMDs
This is all by way of framing the deeper significance of that derogatory outburst in the Sistine Chapel immediately after the Great Rectification of 13/3/13.
It was reportedly fired at Benedict's Master of Ceremonies, Mgr Piero Marini, when he offered the new pontiff the mozzeta — the cape-shaped papal garment that covers the shoulders and reaches to the elbow.
No chance! Who needed snooty ostentation when socialist ostentation would do!
And so, with ostentatious 'humility,' Francis not only proceeded to introduce himself to the world without the ermine-edged mozzeta, but without the stole that signifies the authority of the papal office.
Ever so humbly, he then presented himself as the Bishop of Rome, asked the people to bless him before he blessed them, refused to use Latin, did not sing the blessing (and did it incorrectly), and gabbled with trademark incoherence about a "walk of friendship."
Amid the usual outbreak of euphoric papolatry, a sinking feeling prevailed among the less impressionable. The subsequently reported comment to Marini confirmed their worst fears — only for buoyant Bergoglianistas to dismiss it as apocryphal. Never happened, they crowed.
Of course, he said it. Or words to that effect. Perhaps "circus" instead of "carnival"? But whatever was lost in translation, the anti-traditional sentiment prefigured the assault on Tradition that followed.
"And so it is happening — how painful it is to see this! — that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta," exclaimed the saintly Cardinal Caffarra (RIP) in his letter to Pope Francis last April, decrying the centrifugal chaos he unleashed in 2016 with Amoris Laetitia.
The Pope's second motu proprio WMD — Weapon of Mass Deconstruction by Decentralisation — Amoris devolved the final say on sacrilegious Communions for adulters and sodomites to bishops.
Earlier, in 2015, devolution of the marriage annulment process was triggered by Mitis Iudex, Dominus Iesus. A procedural recipe for widespread abuse, Mitex was introduced by Francis despite the catastrophic outcome of similar annulment provisions devolved to America in the 1970s (special concessions later rejected when John Paul II approved revisions for the Code of Canon Law).
Sooner rather than later, therefore, we expected a third strike aimed at the Holy Sacrifice. In the event, the motu proprio finally launched in early September was no less perilous for being less than nuclear.
The real "carnival"
To understand why our papal wrecker has only just turned his attention to the Mass — preferring instead to focus on rupturing, directly or ambiguously, the nexus between doctrine, morals, conscience and life — we need only reflect that there's not much left to wreck!
With the Mass in daily tatters, and thirty years of John Paul II's liturgical travesties still more vivid in the popular imagination than Benedict's short-lived decorum, there was never any urgency. Although our "messy" pontiff lauds the malleable mess of endless options we call the Novus Ordo, he knows the devilish score as well as anyone. Namely, that this "banal product" (as Cardinal Ratzinger labelled the New Mass), has steeped two generations of prelates, clergy, religious and laity in liturgical disobedience, sacrilege, blasphemy, and sheer indifference.
"We have a liturgy which has degenerated so that it has become a show," lamented Ratzinger in 1992.
Twenty-five years later, a dire liturgical pastiche still holds sway in the 90% of parishes beyond glorious exceptions like London's Brompton Oratory.
The "show" goes on; the "carnival" is institutionalised.
There is no need to labour the point. We live it every day. Quite apart from the altar girl abomination, wall-to-wall Extraordinary Monsters, unbearably trite and/or Protestant 'hymns', etc., etc., the degeneration is marked by insufferable noise and activity — before, during and after Mass — by congregations oblivious to where they are and Who is Present.
Typical of the malformed and clueless clergy who facilitate such workaday sacrilege were the dozens of Philippino priests, in albs and stoles, their iphones and cameras held high, snapping shots of Francis from the pews as he processed down the aisle for his papal Mass in Manilla on 16 January 2015.
It is not the solemn ceremonial of Catholic tradition fostered by his predecessor, but this kind of unspeakable behaviour (and far worse) that constitutes the real liturgical "carnival" beloved of neo-Modernist and orthodox prelates alike. The latter, reflected Dr. Timothy J. Williams, a professor at Steubenville University, are blind to this Novus Ordo Effect:
It remains a mystery to me how modern prelates can be morally and doctrinally orthodox (at least as far as we can tell) and yet simultaneously believe that the Holy Mass is nothing more sacred than a MacDonald's Happy Meal.
Is this simply the radical legacy of the Novus Ordo, the complete break between the Lex Orandi and the Lex Credendi? No matter what good is contained in the homilies such men preach, or whatever letters they write, their actions at Mass undo all this good in 15 minutes. When you act like a clown at Mass, or simply smile stupidly while others act this way around you, you turn the Church into a ship of fools, and all but fools abandon ship.
The apocalyptic ramifications are now papally apparent. For if, as asserted by Cardinal Ratzinger in his memoirs, "the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy," then one might reasonably posit that, in equally large part, the Francis Effect is the Novus Ordo Effect — and vice versa. Since by extolling the NO as a heavenly 'gift' to the Church while acting out its secularising tendency to the hilt, Francis telegraphs the symbiotic relationship between his theological and liturgical Modernism; the toxic doctrinal and moral fruit of which he is now cementing in pastoral practice.
We had early warning in this regard.
Spurious commentaries depicted a new pontiff well-disposed to Summorum Pontificum. Yet these were quickly trumped by shocking online footage of a liturgical philistine. It showed Archbishop Bergoglio, seated and still fully vested, looking on as a couple danced a full-blooded tango back and forth across the sanctuary on which he had just offered Holy Mass.
A jaw-dropping desecration that said more than a thousand dubia, it forewarned the transfer of casual sacrilege from the altars of Buenos Aires to those in Rome — soon confirmed by red flag incidents like the one in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in July 2013, after his return from WYD.
Fresh off the plane from Rio, the cameras followed his slow and awkward gait to Our Lady's chapel, where, instead of kneeling in prayer, he placed a beach ball on the altar. Laughed off and spun as further proof of his 'refreshing informality,' the gesture was nothing less than a papal nod and wink to bereft Novus Ordo sanctuaries everywhere; to the swapping of the sacred for the profane.
It spoke, in other words, to the same old, same old: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi — how we pray and worship effects what we believe; as we believe, so we live and act.
Accordingly, the Tango Mass and the Beach Ball Prayer prefigured the über-Modernist mentality behind the moral and doctrinal horrors which followed: the heterodox and heretical views and actions comprehensively detailed by Spanish clergy in The "Bergoglian Synthesis" (see CO, Aug-Sept 2016), and subsequently echoed in dutiful public denunciations by the four cardinals, and 200+ priests and scholars who have now signed the "Filial Correction" against his "Propagation of Heresies."
With our scorched-earth liturgical landscape now overseen by such diabolic disorientation, the greatest fear was that Summorum Pontificum would be vaporised by yet another motu proprio WMD.
Though widely disregarded and obstructed, the mere existence of Summorum presents a continuing threat to the freewheeling liturgies underpinning the Modernist revolution. However, when Francis finally turned his attention to the Mass, his liturgical motu proprio did not provoke Amoris-like headlines. You could have blinked and missed the fact that Magnum Principium —the Great Principle — was signed on 3 September, released on 9 September, and entered into force on 1 October. Yet the resounding sigh of relief that greeted this non-event in some orthodox quarters, recalled the naivety and false hope that greeted the Pope's election.
Ostensibly, the document deals with two specific changes to Canon 838 of the Code of Canon Law, which addresses the authority of the Apostolic See and national episcopal conferences in preparing liturgical texts in vernacular languages. As summarised by Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register:
Specifically, the document, issued motu proprio (on the Pope’s own initiative) introduces changes to two paragraphs of canon law, stating the Vatican will continue to have the authority to approve or reject a proposed translation, but it will no longer have a clear role in the final stage of the translation process.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will no longer instruct bishops to make proposed amendments, but simply have authority to confirm or veto the results at the end of the process.
Thus, a little for everyone.
The bishops now control the process; Rome retains its veto.
The document is also littered with the usual platitudes about ensuring "authentic interpretations" of the Latin: "congruent with sound doctrine" through "a vigilant and creative collaboration full of reciprocal trust" between the Apostolic See and bishops’ conferences, so that the renewal of "the whole liturgical life might continue." And so on and so forth.
Certainly, it could've been far worse. Francis did not hand the bishops a liturgical carte blanche. No matter how it is dressed up to look like a healthy clarification of roles proper to bishops vis-à-vis Rome, however, the canonical changes are obviously stepping stones in the protestantisation process accelerated by Amoris — viz., decentralisation with a view to autonomous local Churches.
Indeed, Salesian Msgr. Markus Graulich, the undersecretary at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, pointed out that Magnum Principium means it is no longer possible for all English-speaking Catholics around the world to have the same English missal. He finds this further balkanisation of Catholic liturgical life a positive development!
But then Msgr Graulich also believes there are enough safeguards in place to protect the translation process from the faithless paws of a hierarchy teeming with Modernists, semi-Modernists and chronic compromisers! As Italian journalist Alessandro Gnochi observed about the 2014 Synod:
More than half of the bishops present at the first Synod, not yet the two-thirds needed [for passages approving sodomitic "unions" and sacrilegious Communions for the divorced-remarried to be considered “the expression of the Synod”] but almost, have already switched (what we know as our) religion. Perhaps it still has something vaguely Christian, but it is far away from being Catholic. We find ourselves confronting a Synod in which the majority of Cardinals and Bishops threw at least three Sacraments overboard: Matrimony, Confession, and the Eucharist.
Since the very Vatican charged with approving or rejecting the final translated product is itself increasingly stacked with Bergoglian placemen, is it too fanciful to imagine that bishops might fancy their chances of mistranslating with impunity?
Those satisfied with the motu proprio's superficial "safeguards" should pause, take a deep breath, and recall the deceitful methodology synonymous with its Modernist author; shamelessly evident and openly admitted by his boastful collaborators before, during and after the Sodomy Synods (see CO passim. Also The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?: An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, by Edward Pentin, Ignatius Press, 2015).
In that ongoing perfidious light, papal calls for faithful translations and the retention of a Vatican veto hardly inspire confidence.
At very best, in kicking the liturgical can further down the relentless road of Novus Ordo disintegration and degeneration, it buys a little time.
But only those in desperate denial will fail to see the motu proprio for what it obviously is: another Modernist means to justify the decentralising end.
Magnum Falsum Principium!
Effectively, this subversive intention is proclaimed in the very first paragraph, wherein Pope Francis regurgitates a spurious magnum principium to suit his designs:
The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.
On the contrary, as endlessly restated by traditionalists for half a century, Sacrosanctum Concilium stated that "the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." The use of the vernacular was only to be "extended" when it was considered to be "of great advantage to the people."
As Peter Kwasniewski, professor of theology at Wyoming Catholic College pointed out, it is true that "a number of Council Fathers spoke out strongly in favour of greatly increasing the role of the vernacular; but they were a minority."
There were many more "who admitted that [the vernacular’s] use should be expanded in certain situations, while not displacing the customary Latin," and there were many others who "adamantly reaffirmed the primacy of Latin due to qualities frequently acknowledged by the magisterium of the Church, such as its antiquity, longevity, stability and universality."
It is altogether in keeping with a pontiff notoriously economical with the truth (CO passim), that he would present a subversive motu proprio as a mere clarification of canon law, and kick it off with this great false principle of the 'holy vernacular'. A naked lie forever mouthed by Modernists, it maintains the Novus Ordo as a pliable and pivotal instrument of their revolution.
The truth of the matter is that Modernists know and have only one great principal: to wreck.
Francis has applied that principal to faith and morals with devastating effect.
With Magnum Falsum Principium [M-F-P] he has set his long-term sights on finishing off what is left of the Mass and the liturgical unity essential to the health of the Mystical Body of Christ.
Ideology vs. reality
But M-F-P constitutes just one strategy — 'death by a thousand translational cuts', as it were.
There should be no doubt that a Pope who has equated attachment to the Traditional Latin Mass with mental disease is still likely to follow up with the motu proprio we feared:a nuclear-tipped WMD aimed specifically at Summorum Pontificum.
But as Monsignor Nicola Bux said during a recent interview, such an ideological act would not alter the liturgical reality one jot. A highly respected former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he explained in the Italian newspaper La Verità of 27 September:
The reality, however, is like water: if one blocks it at one side, it looks for another path. Whosoever wishes to annul the Motu Proprio [Summorum Pontificum] would have to face a large resistance movement, a resistant Church, a growing and not suppressible reality; and this for a simple reason, namely, because it experiences the renewal of the liturgy as a rebirth of holiness in our hearts. [onepeterfive.com]
To assist that rebirth of holiness through liturgical knowledge and understanding, and in response to the ominous M-F-P, we offer the ensuing wisdom of Romano Guardini, an acclaimed master of the spiritual life.
Short, simple sermons tailored for his German parishioners, they were first published, along with many others, 80 years ago. In view of the noisy, mouthy, chronically restless 'liturgies' that plague our churches, readers will find this small selection especially valuable; both personally and in re-evangelising family and friends protestantised by the Novus Ordo "carnival."
The forgotten fundamentals they recall cannot be proclaimed often enough — not least by the successor of Peter.
Just think of all that time Francis saves by not responding to regular complaints from cardinals, bishops, priests and lay scholars about his propagation of heresies. Perhaps he could turn these broad bands of unholy silence into a holy exercise of interior reflection: on how the Traditional Latin Mass protects and instills the Catholic spirit of worship explained by Mgr Guardini?
Intellectually enlightened and spiritually fortified, he could then set about instructing his clueless flock in liturgical principles both genuinely great, and eternally true.