Monday, June 5, 2023

Contending For The Faith---Part 16


In St. Jude 1:3, we read, "Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." [Emphasis mine]. Contending For The Faith is a series of posts dedicated to apologetics (i.e.,  the intellectual defense of the truth of the Traditional Catholic Faith) to be published the first Monday of each month.  This is the next installment.

Sadly, in this time of Great Apostasy, the faith is under attack like never before, and many Traditionalists don't know their faith well enough to defend it. Remember the words of our first pope, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1Peter 3:16). There are five (5) categories of attacks that will be dealt with in these posts. Attacks against:

  • The existence and attributes of God
  • The truth of the One True Church established by Christ for the salvation of all 
  • The truth of a particular dogma or doctrine of the Church
  • The truth of Catholic moral teaching
  • The truth of the sedevacantist position as the only Catholic solution to what has happened since Vatican II 
In addition, controversial topics touching on the Faith will sometimes be featured, so that the problem and possible solutions may be better understood. If anyone has suggestions for topics that would fall into any of these categories, you may post them in the comments. I cannot guarantee a post on each one, but each will be carefully considered.

TO MY READERS: This week, my guest poster, Lee, writes about one of the "Villains of Vatican II"--Fr. Thomas Merton. Although not present at Vatican II, this priest led many souls astray with his Modernism. Please feel free to comment, as always. If you have a specific comment or question for me, I will answer as usual, however it may take me longer to respond this week.

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

Fr. Thomas Merton: The Monk, The Modernist, The Lost Soul

By Lee

On his "Apostolic Journey" to Cuba, the United States, and during his visit with the United Nations in 2015, "Pope" Francis (Jorge Bergoglio) had an address where he mentioned four notable Americans whose memory he wanted to honor as people because they brought about a better future. These Americans were: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. He described each person's achievements, and had plenty of good things to say in honor of their memory. Of the four, I want to zero in on the last person on the list; Thomas Merton.

Francis said these words about him: "A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions." (Emphasis mine). 

What Francis is saying here is not untrue. However, when he praises a specific person, one needs to beware. Unfortunately, a good Catholic friend of mine, was reading Merton's books  and expressing his excitement over what he thought was excellent spiritual theology. I've also seen him quoted in the poetry corner of a traditional Catholic bulletin as if he deserves recognition for his contribution to the spiritual life and the Catholic Church. While I'm not trying to cause dissension among Traditionalists, I think it's appropriate to review why his writings should be avoided altogether, even if some of his books and writings were approved by some bishops of his time. (Much of the information below comes from the book The Encyclopedia of Thomas Merton, for which I take no credit,---Lee). 

Merton: His Background 
Thomas Merton was born in Prades Pyrenees-Orientales, France on January 31, 1915, to Owen Merton, a New Zealand painter and Ruth Jenkins Merton, who was an artist. Neither of his parents were Catholic with his father being Anglican and his mother being a Quaker. They met at a painting school in Paris. He was baptized in the Anglican Church at the request of his father. Merton's father was often absent during his son's childhood due to much traveling.

During World War I, the Merton family left France for the United States. They lived first with Ruth's parents in Queens, New York, then settled near them in Douglaston. In 1917, the family moved into an old house in Flushing, Queens, where Merton's brother John Paul was born on November 2, 1918. The family was considering returning to France when Ruth was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She died from it on October 21, 1921, in the Bellevue hospital when Thomas was only six years of age and his brother John Paul was three.

In October 1933, when Thomas was eighteen, he entered the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate to study Modern Languages (French and Italian).

In January 1935, he enrolled as a sophomore at Columbia University in Manhattan. There he had close and long-lasting friendships with Ad Reinhardt, who became known as a minimalist painter, and poet Robert Lax, John Slate (founder of the international law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom), and Robert Giroux, who later became Merton's publisher.

In January 1938, Merton graduated from Columbia with a B.A. in English. In June of that same year, his friend Seymour Freedgood arranged a meeting with Mahanambrata Brahmarchi, a Hindu monk who was visiting New York from the University of Chicago. Merton was impressed by him, believing the monk was profoundly centered in God. While Merton expected Brahmachari to recommend Hinduism, instead he advised Merton to reconnect with the spiritual roots of his own culture. He suggested Merton read The Confessions of St. Augustine and the Imitation of Christ.

Merton decided to explore Catholicism further. In August 1938, he decided to attend Mass and went to Corpus Christi Catholic Church on West 121st Street in Morningside Heights near his campus. On November 16, 1938, Merton was baptized a Catholic at Corpus Christi Church and received his first Holy Communion at the age of twenty-three.

Frustrated with the noise of the world and its commotion, Merton went on a retreat at the Trappist Monastery (known as the Abbey of Gethsemani, located just outside New Haven, Kentucky) on December 10, 1941. He was so impressed by a sermon and his experience that he wished to join the monastery. The novice master would come to interview Merton, checking his qualifications and decide if he was worthy enough for such a way of life. During his interim, Merton worked on polishing floors and scrubbing dishes. He was accepted into the monastery as a postulant by Frederic Dunne, who was the abbot. He struggled with his adjustments to their strict way of life.

In March 1942, Merton was accepted as a novice at the monastery. In June, he received a letter from his brother John Paul stating he was soon to leave for the war and would be coming to Gethsemani to visit before leaving. On July 17 John Paul arrived in Gethsemani and the two brothers did some catching up. John Paul expressed his desire to become Catholic, and on July 26 was baptized at a church in nearby New Haven, Kentucky leaving the following day for the war. This would be the last time the two saw each other. John Paul died on April 17, 1943, when his plane crashed over the English Channel. A poem by Merton to John Paul is in his most famous work and autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain.

Merton kept journals throughout his stay at Gethsemani. Initially, he felt writing to be at odds with his vocation, worried that it would be a conflict of interest with the monastic rules, but his superior, Dunne, saw that Merton had both a gifted intellect and talent for writing. In 1943, Merton was tasked to translate religious texts and write biographies on the saints for the monastery. He approached his new writing assignment with the same fervor and zeal he displayed in the farmyard where he worked.

By 1947, Merton was more comfortable in his role as a writer. On March 19, he took his solemn vows, a commitment to live out his life at the monastery. In 1948, Merton published several works for the monastery that year, which were: Guide to Cistercian Life, Cistercian Contemplatives, Figures for an Apocalypse, and The Spirit of Simplicity. That same year, St. Mary's College in Indiana published a booklet by Merton, What Is Contemplation? Additionally, he published a biography, Exile Ends in Glory: The Life of a Trappistine, Mother M. Berchmans, O.C.S.O.

A year later, Merton's abbot, Dunne, died on August 3, 1948, while riding on a train in Georgia. Dunne's passing was heart-breaking for Merton, who had come to look on the abbot as a father figure and spiritual mentor. On August 15, the monastic community elected Dom James Fox, as their new abbot. In October, Merton discussed with him his ongoing attraction to the Carthusian and Camaldolese orders and their way of life. Fox responded by assuring Merton that he belonged at Gethsemani. Fox permitted Merton to continue his writing. At this point, Merton gained popularity outside the monastery. On December 21 he was ordained as subdeacon.

In 1949, he published Seeds of Contemplation, The Tears of Blind Lions, The Waters of Siloe, and the British edition of The Seven Storey Mountain under the title Elected Silence. On May 26, he was ordained a priest, saying his first Mass the following day. In November, Merton started teaching mystical theology to novices at Gethsemani, a duty he greatly enjoyed. By this time, Merton was a huge success outside the monastery, The Seven Storey Mountain had sold over 150,000 copies. In subsequent years, he would author many other books, which would gain him a wide readership. He would revise Seeds of Contemplation several times, viewing his early edition as "lacking warmth and human affection." A person's place in society, views on social activism, and various approaches toward contemplative prayer and living, became constant themes in his writings.

As the years progressed at Gethsemani, Fr. Merton changed from the passionately inward-looking young monk to being well known for his progressive interfaith dialogues with other religions and his non-violent stand during the race riots and the Vietnam War of the 1960's.

In the 50's and 60's era, Merton became entrenched with the ideas of the human experience and one who was deeply concerned about the world. In essence, he became not concerned with the rules laid down by the Trappists, but the rules laid down by the world. He was the "social justice warrior" of his time. He regarded his viewpoint based on "simplicity" and expressed it as a Christian sensibility. 

His New Seeds of Contemplation was published in 1961. In a letter to a Nicaraguan "Catholic" priest, liberation theologian and politician, Ernesto Cardenal, Merton wrote: "The world is full of great criminals with enormous power, and they are in a death struggle with each other. It is a huge gang battle, using well-meaning lawyers and policemen and clergymen as their front, controlling papers, means of communication, and enrolling everybody in their armies."

Merton was over joyed by all the Sessions of of the Second Vatican (Robber) Council (1962-1965) and took great interest in it. He said, "That Council! Such hopes and such fears! But the Holy Spirit really is in command there, though He may not be at the Pentagon" (Witness to Freedom, pg. 283) At the same time, he admitted to certain fears about what the Council might do, especially the fear that new obligations would authoritatively be imposed. He states: "The Council would be a disaster if it simply reaffirmed disciplinary rules that had been in place for centuries. What was needed was reform and renewal. This is not the world of Gregory VII or Innocent III or Pius V, or even Pius X. To be a perfect Christian, even a saint, according to their pattern, is no longer enough. On the contrary, it is apt to be terribly dangerous, even fatal. (Witness of Freedom, pg. 45) In preparation for the Council he read Hans Kung's book, The Council, Reform and Reunion where it was written, "...the vigor and honesty of the message was tremendous."

Two points to which Merton was pleased most with the Council was the changes made to the liturgy in Sacrosanctum Concilium and how the Church changed its relationship with the Jews.  In "Liturgy and Christian Personalism" and "Liturgical Renewal: The Open Approach" he reflects on the words from the document (SC) that sees the liturgy as the chief means, "...whereby the faithful may express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the Church." (art 2).

He sees the liturgical renewal as the greatest development in the liturgy since the patristic age. In the second article, he discusses some aspects of the renewal that he sees as especially significant: the departure of rubricism (where all that was needed was to make sure that the priest did everything correctly); the active involvement of the people in the liturgy; communion under both kinds; and a new "spirit of openness" between priest and people. On April 25, 1964, he wrote to Canon A.M. Allchin, an Anglican friend at Oxford, that he thought it would be helpful for Roman Catholics, as they move into the vernacular, to learn from the Anglican tradition. (Hidden Ground of Love, pg. 26). 

On the second point, Merton's Jewish friend Rabbi Abraham Heschel visited Merton at Gethsemani on July 13, 1964, where expressed his anguish over the third session of the Council. Merton was moved, and on the next day, wrote a letter to Cardinal Augustin Bea where he stated that he hoped the Council would not to miss "this opportunity for repentance and truth which is being offered her and which so many are ready to reject and refuse" (Hidden Ground of Love # 433). Merton points out that it is especially the Church that would gain from this statement on the Jews. "I am personally convinced that the grace to truly see the Church as she is in her humility and in her splendor may perhaps not be granted to the Council Fathers, if they fail to take account of her relations to the anguished Synagogue." 

He suggests that one way of dealing theologically and diplomatically with the fears of the bishops in Arab countries would be the so-called realization that Jews, Muslims, and Christians are Abrahamic faiths as well as "people of the book." "Perhaps this common theological root in the promises made Abraham might bear fruit in a Chapter on anti-Semitism, oriented to peace with all Semites and then with special emphasis on the relation of the Church and the Synagogue and at least an implicit recognition of the long-standing sin of anti-Jewish hatred among Catholic" (HGL, 434) In September of the that same year, Heschel quite upset, wrote a letter to Merton telling him that the original Council statement, which had been in almost all respects a monumental declaration, had been - he had been told - replaced by a watered down text that was offensive to Jews, even expressing the desire that the Jewish people would seek union with the Catholic Church. 

Heschel wrote that he told "Pope" Paul VI, "I am ready to go to Auschwitz any time if faced with the alternative of conversion or death" (HGL,434). Merton responded immediately, saying that he was stunned by what the Rabbi had told him. "My latent ambitions to be a true Jew under my Catholic skin" (HGL, 434) surely will be realized, he said, if he had to continue to go through the experiences of this kind. Shortly thereafter, the fourth Session of the Council gave a statement in Nostrae Aetate eliminating the offensive parts of the document Heschel feared.

By 1965, Merton finally achieved the solitude he had long desired while living in a hermitage on the monastery grounds. Over the years, he had occasional battles with some of his abbots about not being allowed out of the monastery despite his international reputation and voluminous correspondence with many well-known figures of the day. In 1966, he fell sick and while he was in a Louisville, Ky hospital, fell in love with a student nurse. Even though this relationship was short lived, he reflected on the past when he was in college and the intimacy he had with the women. His friend James Wygal, who was a psychologist in Louisville, had a meeting with him in his office about his relationship with the nurse. Put in a uncomfortable situation, he tried to dismiss the thoughts in his head but at the same time corrected him by stating, "You are on a collision course" (Learning to Love 85)

At the end of 1968, the new abbot, Flavian Burns, allowed him the freedom to undertake a tour of Asia, during which he met the Dalai Lama in India on three occasions, and the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen master Chatral Rinoche, followed by a solitary retreat near Darjeerling, India. In Darjeeling, he befriended Tsewang Yishey Pemba, a prominent member of the Tibetan community. Then, in what was to be his final letter, he noted, "In my contacts with these new friends, I also feel a consolation in my own faith in Christ and in his dwelling presence. I hope and believe He may be present in the hearts of all of us."

On December 10 (the same day he entered the Abbey of Gethsemani 27 years earlier), 1968, Merton was at a Red Cross retreat facility named Sawang Kaniwat in Samut Prakan, a province of Bangkok, Thailand, attending a monastic conference. After giving a talk at the morning session, he was later found dead in the afternoon in the room of his cottage, wearing only shorts, lying on his back with a short-circuited Hitachi floor fan lying across his body. His associate, Jean Leclercq, states: "In all probability the death of Thomas Merton was due in part to heart failure, in part to an electric shock." His body was flown back to the United States onboard a US military aircraft returning from Vietnam. He is buried at the Gethsemani Abbey.

The Reading of Bad Books
One only wonders if Thomas Merton ever truly converted to Catholicism. What inspired him to be a monk was not the Rule of St. Benedict or St. Bernard etc. but a book recommended to him by a friend while he was still at the University of Columbia. It was  Aldous Huxley's Ends and Means. This book covered topics of asceticism and spirituality, but not from a Catholic point of view. In fact, Huxley was agnostic and was heavily influenced by Eastern philosophies through the principle of ahimsa where he learned it from his friend Jiddu Krishnamurti of the Theosophical (Occultist) Society.

Merton was touched by Huxley's version of the human experience and his process of prayer, detachment, and love, which he derived from the book. Huxley was a novelist who moved to Hollywood and is famous for his dystopian novel A Brave New World which compared to 1984 is based on a futuristic time period where a World State has citizens who are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy.

He is also known for his work The Doors of Perception which is based on perennial philosophy borrowed from Eastern mysticism. The rock band The Doors, under lead singer and occultist Jim Morrison, named their group after Huxley's work.

If authors like Huxley were the works that Merton was reading before his so-called conversion, one can only conclude that he was misled throughout his life with not being raised Catholic and the education he received in his youth. He was never fit to become a real monk under any Catholic Order, and what's worse, was how he was permitted to enter the monastery. One book is enough to kill the soul like a drop of poison is enough to kill the body. Our Lord did say, "And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell." (St. Matthew 10:28).

St. Alphonsus Ligouri says it best regarding the reading of bad books and the benefit of reading good books when he says:

The reading of spiritual works is as profitable as the reading of bad books is noxious. As the former has led to the conversion of many sinners, so the latter is every day the ruin of many young persons. The first author of pious books is the Spirit of God; but the author of pernicious writings is the devil, who often artfully conceals from certain persons the poison that such works contain, and makes these persons believe that the reading of such books is necessary in order to speak well, and to acquire a knowledge of the world for their own direction, or at least in order to pass the time agreeably.

But I say that, especially for nuns, nothing is more pernicious than the reading of bad books. And by bad books I mean not only those that are condemned by the Holy See, either because they contain heresy, or treat of subjects opposed to chastity, but also all books that treat of worldly love. What fervor can a religious have if she reads romances, comedies, or profane poetry? What recollection can she have in meditation or at Communion? Can she be called the spouse of Jesus Christ? Should she not rather be called the spouse of a sinful world? Even young women in the world that are in the habit of reading such books are generally not virtuous seculars.

But some one may say, What harm is there in reading romances and profane poetry when they contain nothing immodest? Do you ask what harm? Behold the harm: the reading of such works kindles the concupiscence of the senses, and awakens the passions; these easily gain the consent of the will, or at least render it so weak that when the occasion of any dangerous affection occurs the devil finds the soul already prepared to allow itself to be conquered. A wise author has said that by the reading of such pernicious books heresy has made, and makes every day, great progress; because such reading has given and gives increased strength to libertinism. The poison of these books enters gradually into the soul; it first makes itself master of the understanding, then infects the will, and in the end kills the soul. The devil finds no means more efficacious and secure of sending a young person to perdition than the reading of such poisoned works.

Remember also that for you certain useless books, though not bad, will be pernicious; because they will make you lose the time that you can employ in occupations profitable to the soul. In a letter to his disciple Eustochium, St. Jerome stated for her instruction that in his solitude at Bethlehem he was attached to the works of Cicero, and frequently read them, and that he felt a certain disgust for pious books because their style was not polished. He was seized with a serious malady, in which he saw himself at the tribunal of Jesus Christ. The Lord said to him: "Tell me; what are you?" "I am," replied the saint, "a Christian." "No," rejoined the Judge, "you are a Ciceronian, not a Christian." He then commanded him to be instantly scourged. 

The saint promised to correct his fault, and having returned from the vision he found his shoulders livid and covered with wounds in consequence of the chastisement that he had received. Thenceforward he gave up the works of Cicero, and devoted himself to the reading of books of piety. It is true that in the works like those of Cicero we sometimes find useful sentiments; but the same St. Jerome wisely said in a letter to another disciple: "What need have you of seeking for a little gold in the midst of so much mire," when you can read pious books in which you may find all gold without any mire?

As the reading of bad books fills the mind with worldly and poisonous sentiments; so, on the other hand, the reading of pious works fills the soul with holy thoughts and good desires.

In the second place, the soul that is imbued with holy thoughts in reading is always prepared to banish internal temptations. The advice that St. Jerome gave to his disciple Salvina was: "Endeavor to have always in your hand a pious book, that with this shield you may defend yourself against bad thoughts.

In the third place, spiritual reading serves to make us see the stains that infect the soul, and helps us to remove them. The same St. Jerome recommended Demetriade to avail herself of spiritual reading as of a mirror. He meant to say that as a mirror exhibits the stains of the countenance, so holy books show us the defects of the soul. St. Gregory, speaking of spiritual reading, says: "There we perceive the losses we have sustained and the advantages we have acquired; there we observe our falling back or our progress in the way of God."

In the fourth place, in reading holy books we receive many lights and divine calls. St. Jerome says that when we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us. St. Ambrose says the same: "We address him when we pray; we hear him when we read." In prayer, God hears our petitions, but in reading we listen to his voice. We cannot, as I have already said, always have at hand a spiritual Father, nor can we hear the sermons of sacred orators, to direct and give us light to walk well in the way of God. Good books supply the place of sermons. St. Augustine writes that good books are, as it were, so many letters of love the Lord sends us; in them he warns us of our dangers, teaches us the way of salvation, animates us to suffer adversity, enlightens us, and inflames us with divine love. Whoever, then, desires to be saved and to acquire divine love, should often read these letters of paradise.

How many saints have, by reading a spiritual book, been induced to forsake the world and to give themselves to God! It is known to all that St. Augustine, when miserably chained by his passions and vices, was, by reading one of the epistles of St. Paul, enlightened with divine light, went forth from his darkness, and began to lead a life of holiness. Thus also St. Ignatius, while a soldier, by reading a volume of the lives of the saints which he accidentally took up, in order to get rid of the tediousness of the bed to which he was confined by sickness, was led to begin a life of sanctity, and became the Father and Founder of the Society of Jesus—an Order which has done so much for the Church. Thus also by reading a pious book accidentally and almost against his will, St. John Colombino left the world, became a saint, and the founder of another religious Order. 

St. Augustine relates that two courtiers of the Emperor Theodosius entered one day into a monastery of solitaries; one of them began to read the life of St. Anthony, which he found in one of the cells; so strong was the impression made upon him, that he resolved to take leave of the world. He then addressed his companion with so much fervor that both of them remained in the monastery to serve God. We read in the Chronicles of the Discalced Carmelites that a lady in Vienna was prepared to go to a festivity, but because it was given up she fell into a violent passion. To divert her attention she began to read a spiritual book that was at hand, and conceived such a contempt for the world, that she abandoned it and became a Teresian nun. The same happened to the Duchess of Montalto, in Sicily. She began also by accident to read the works of St. Teresa, and afterwards continued to read them with so much fervor, that she sought and obtained her husband’s consent to become a religious, and entered among the Discalced Carmelites.

But the reading of spiritual books has not only contributed to the conversion of saints, but has also given them during their whole life great aid to persevere and to advance continually in perfection. The glorious St. Dominic used to embrace his spiritual books, and to press them to his bosom, saying, "These books give me milk." And how, except by meditation and the use of pious books, were the anchorets enabled to spend to many years in the desert, at a distance from all human society? That great servant of God, Thomas a Kempis, could not enjoy greater consolation than in remaining in a corner of his cell with a spiritual book in his hand. It has been already mentioned in this work that the Venerable Vincent Carafa used to say that he could not desire a greater happiness in this world than to live in a little grotto provided with a morsel of bread and a spiritual book. St. Philip Neri devoted all the vacant hours that he could procure to the reading of spiritual books, and particularly the lives of the saints.

Oh! How profitable is the reading of the lives of the saints! In books of instruction we read what we are bound to do, but in the lives of the saints we read what so many holy men and women, who were flesh as we are, have done. Hence, their example, if it produce no other fruit, will at least humble us and make us sink under the earth. In reading the great things that the saints have done, we shall certainly be ashamed of the little that we have done and still do for God. St. Augustine said of himself: "My God, the examples of Thy servants, when I meditated on them, consumed my tepidity and inflamed me with Thy holy love." Of St. Francis, St. Bonaventure writes: "By the remembrance of the saints and of their virtues, as if they were so many stones of fire, he has inflamed with new love for God."

St. Gregory also relates that in Rome there was a beggar called Servolus; he was afflicted with infirmities, and lived on the alms that he collected: he gave a part to the poor, and employed the remainder in purchasing books of devotion. Servolus could not read, but he engaged those whom he lodged in his little house to read for him. St. Gregory says that by listening to these spiritual readings Servolus acquired great patience and a wonderful knowledge of the things of God. Finally, the saint states that at death the poor man besought his friends to read for him; but before breathing his last he interrupted the reading, and said: "Be silent, be silent, do you not hear how all paradise resounds with canticles and harmonious music?" After these words he sweetly expired. Immediately after his death a most agreeable odor was diffused over the room, in testimony of the sanctity of the beggar, who left the world poor in earthly goods, but rich in virtue and merits.

But to draw great fruit from spiritual reading:

It is, in the first place, necessary to recommend yourself beforehand to God, that he may enlighten the mind while you read. It has been already said, that in spiritual reading the Lord condescends to speak to us; and, therefore, in taking up the book, we must pray to God in the words of Samuel: Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. Speak, O my Lord, for I wish to obey Thee in all that Thou wilt make known to me to be Thy will.

In the second place, you must read not in order to acquire learning, nor to indulge curiosity, but for the sole purpose of advancing in divine love. To read for the sake of knowledge is not spiritual reading, but is, at the time of spiritual reading, a study unprofitable to the soul. It is still worse to read through curiosity. What profit can be expected form such reading? All the time devoted to such reading is lost time. St. Gregory says that many read and read a great deal, but, because they have read only through curiosity, they finish reading as hungry as if they had not been reading. Hence the saint corrected a physician called Theodore for reading spiritual books quickly and without profit.

To derive advantage from pious books it is necessary to read them slowly and with attention. "Nourish your soul," says St. Augustine, "with divine lectures." Now to receive nutriment from food, it must not be devoured, but well masticated. Remember, then, in the third place, that to reap abundant fruit from pious reading, you must masticate and ponder well what you ready; applying to yourself what is there inculcated. And when what you have read has made a lively impression on you, St. Ephrem counsels you to read it a second time. (See St. Alphonsus Ligouri, The True Spouse of Jesus Christ). 

Merton's "Christ"

In the spring of 1933, while visiting in Rome, the young Merton discovered the Roman churches and their Byzantine mosaics, and for the first time, he tells us, he began to find out something about the person whom people called Christ. "It was in Rome that my conception of Christ was formed" (Seven Storey Mountain, 109). "These mosaics, told me more than I had ever known of the doctrine of a God of infinite power, wisdom, and love who had yet become Man and revealed in His manhood the infinity of power, wisdom and love that was His Godhead."

In the final chapter of his book New Seeds of Contemplation he denies original sin and blasphemes why Christ became man when he states: The Lord made the world and made man in order that He Himself might become Man... The Lord would not only love His creatures as a Father, but He would enter into His creation, emptying Himself, hiding Himself, as if He were not God but a creature. Why should He do this? Because He loved His creatures, and because He could not bear that His creatures should merely adore Him as distant, remote, transcendent and all powerful." He continues "In becoming man, God became not only Jesus Christ but also potentially every man and woman that ever existed." In Christ, God became not only this man, but also in a broader and more mystical sense, yet no less truly, 'every man.' (pgs. 294-295).

Like a true Modernist, he dilutes Christ's divinity by focusing on His humanity, even going as far as blasphemously stating that Christ became "every man." It almost sounds like something coming out of Gaudium et Spes #22 "For by His incarnation the Son of God united Himself in some way with every human being. He labored with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted with a human will, and loved with a human heart" or worse yet #12 "According to the almost unanimous opinion of believers and unbelievers alike, all things on earth should be related to man as their center and crown."

In another book, The New Man he has this to say about baptism: "This opening up of ourselves to God is what happens in baptism, the sacrament of illumination. In baptism we discover (recover) our true identity. The fire that is divine grace makes us members of the risen Christ, uniting us with him and with one another in God. This grace, reestablishing humankind in existential communion with God, is God's gift. We have not stolen it like Prometheus. It had been given to us because the Father wanted us to have it, in order that we might find ourselves and become his children." (pg. 223)

In baptism, original sin is removed and we become children of God with sanctifying grace. This is why God wishes us to have it, not because of opening ourselves to God so that we can discover our true identity.

On July 11th 1967, Merton wrote to a man who found it difficult to square his understanding of Christ with the seeming abandonment that Christ went through when suffering on the cross. Instead of explaining how He was following the Father's will and not His own, and that it was a mystery of faith, Merton states: I have no explanation of how He was able to feel such dereliction, but the fact that He did so does not trouble me because it reminds me that He shared a lot of my own kind of feelings and was therefore closer to me (Witness to Freedom, pg. 334). 

Like a true Modernist, Merton's "Christ" is what Pope St. Pius X warned about when he said "In the person of Christ, they say, science and history encounter nothing that is not human. Therefore, in virtue of the first canon deduced from agnosticism, whatever there is in His history suggestive of the divine, must be rejected. Then, according to the second canon, the historical Person of Christ was transfigured by faith; therefore everything that raises it above historical conditions must be removed. Lately, the third canon, which lays down that the person of Christ has been disfigured by faith, requires that everything should be excluded, deeds and words and all else that is not in keeping with His character, circumstances and education, and with the place and time in which He lived. A strange style of reasoning, truly; but it is Modernist criticism." (Pascendi Dominis Gregis #9)

Like a true Modernist, Merton's "sacraments" are a form of evolution of dogma which Pope St. Pius X condemned when he said, Agnosticism tells us that history, like ever other science, deals entirely with phenomena, and the consequence is that God, and every intervention of God in human affairs, is to be relegated to the domain of faith as belonging to it alone. In things where a double element, the divine and the human, mingles, in Christ, for example, or the Church, or the sacraments, or the many other objects of the same kind, a division must be made and the human element assigned to history while the divine will go to faith. Hence we have that distinction, so current among the Modernists, between the Christ of history and the Christ of faith, between the sacraments of history and the sacraments of faith, and so on. Next we find that the human element itself, which the historian has to work on, as it appears in the documents, has been by faith transfigured, that is to say raised above its historical conditions. It becomes necessary, therefore, to eliminate also the accretions which faith has added, to assign them to faith itself and to the history of faith: thus, when treating of Christ, the historian must set aside all that surpasses man in his natural condition, either according to the psychological conception of him, or according to the place and period of his existence. 

Finally, by virtue of the third principle, even those things which are not outside the sphere of history they pass through the crucible, excluding from history and relegating to faith everything which, in their judgment, is not in harmony with what they call the logic of facts and in character with the persons of whom they are predicated. Thus, they will not allow that Christ ever uttered those things which do not seem to be within the capacity of the multitudes that listened to Him. Hence they delete from His real history and transfer to faith all the allegories found in His discourses. Do you inquire as to the criterion they adopt to enable them to make these divisions? The reply is that they argue from the character of the man, from his condition of life, from his education, from the circumstances under which the facts took place - in short, from criteria which, when one considers them well, are purely subjective. Their method is to put themselves into the position and person of Christ, and then to attribute to Him what they would have done under like circumstances. In this way, absolutely a priori and acting on philosophical principles which they admit they hold but which they affect to ignore, they proclaim that Christ, according to what they call His real history, was not God and never did anything divine, and that as man He did and said only what they, judging from the time in which he lived, can admit Him to have said or done. (Pascendi Dominis Gregis # 30). 

Inter-Religious Dialogue
Merton emphasized repeatedly "that it is absolutely essential" for contemporary society to recover "a dimension of wisdom oriented to contemplation as well as to wise action" and that to develop such an awareness "it is no longer sufficient merely to go back over the Christian and European cultural traditions. The horizons of the world are no longer confined to Europe and America. We have to gain new perspectives, and on this our spiritual and even our physical survival depend. (Mystics and Zen Masters, pg 80). Inter-religious dialogue has a crucial role in this process, Merton believes because, "the value hidden in Oriental thought actually reveal themselves only on the plane of spiritual experiences, or perhaps, if you like, of the aesthetic experience." (Thomas Merton Reader, pg.302).
Merton believed those committed to spiritual values and discipline have a responsibility to form this universal consciousness through dialogue. While he had no expectations of "visible results of earth shaking importance," Merton stated that he was, "convinced that communication in depth... is now not only possible and desirable, but most important for the destinies of the Twentieth Century." (Asian Journal pg 313).

Some of his most blasphemous and apostate statements are quoted as follows:
"If I affirm myself as a Catholic merely by denying all that is Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. in the end I will find that there is not much left for me to affirm as a Catholic: and certainly no breath of the Spirit with which to affirm it." (Guilty Bystander, pg. 129)

"The capacity for contemplative experience and the fact of its realization... are therefore implicit in all the great religious traditions, whether Asian or European, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem, Christian."  (Mystics and Zen Master, pg. 209).

During his Asian pilgrimage he summarizes his three meetings with the Dalai Lama by by saying, "I felt we had become very good friends and were somehow quite close to one another. I believe, too, that there is a real spiritual bond between us." (Other side of the Mountain, pg. 206).

It's a shame Merton never believed in the words of Pope Pius IX who said:
Also perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial...So, in accordance with your pastoral care, work assiduously to protect and preserve this faith. Never cease to instruct all men in it, to encourage the wavering, to convince dissenters, to strengthen the weak in faith by never tolerating and letting pass anything which could in the slightest degree defile the purity of this faith. With the same great strength of mind, foster in all men their unity with the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation; also foster their obedience towards this See of Peter on which rests the entire structure of our most holy religion. See to it with similar firmness that the most holy laws of the Church are observed, for it is by these laws that virtue, religion and piety particularly thrive and flourish... Consequently, by presenting the word of truth properly and by preaching not themselves but Christ crucified, they should clearly proclaim in their preaching the tenets and precepts of our most holy religion in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church and the Fathers. They should explain precisely the particular duties of individuals, frighten them from vice, and inspire them with a love of piety. In this way the faithful will avoid all vices and pursue virtues, and so, will be able to escape eternal punishment and gain heavenly glory.(Qui Pluribus #15,20,26).

I have on a couple occasions visited the Abbey of Gethsemani. The outside structure is traditional since it was built in the 1800's, but the inside has been gutted like a fish of its former beauty before Vatican II. It reflects the spirit of Thomas Merton's legacy: Lost, void, and apostate.


  1. Very interesting post ! This man did not convert to Catholicism but rather to modernism. If he could have lived long enough to see the interreligious congresses of Assisi, the meetings of the fake V2 popes with leaders of false religions and the Novus Ordo interreligious ceremonies, he would surely have been delighted.

    I don't read many spiritual books, but one I like is the life of Saint Anthony written by Saint Athanasius. It's a very edifying and useful read for us who struggle in a hostile world where temptations abound.

    God bless you Lee and Introïbo !

  2. Simon,

    Great recommendation.


  3. Thank you very much Lee for a long overdue writing on ths evil and sick man.I am glad you talked about his books.God bless


    1. David,

      It was not a pleasant experience going through his works. There was so much more I could have written but there is only so much of him that I could take.


  4. Hello Introibo and/or Lee:

    Do you know anything about Our Lady of La Salette Church in Queens, NY? 46-44 204th St, Bayside, NY 11361

    Do you think that it is valid and do you recommend attending?

    Thank you. Anonymous

    1. @anon4:41
      I'm unsure as to validity. The "bishop" who was pastor, admitted in 2019 to molesting a boy for over two years. My advice: stay far away.

      God Bless,


    2. Hello Introibo:

      Thanks for your response. Other than SSPV, what traditional Catholic Mass locations would you recommend in the New York City area?

      Thank you. Anonymous

    3. @anon9:09
      In NYC, there is really only one place if you can't get upstate or to Long Island. The SSPX has a mission at 283 Lexington Avenue. There is Mass every Sunday at 1:30 offered by Fr. Kevin Robinson who was ordained in the Traditional Rite by Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta of the SSPX. I know Fr. Robinson personally and he is a properly trained and validly ordained priest. His Mass (although 1962 Missal) is unquestionably valid. Although wrong on his R&R position, he tries to be the best priest he can and prays much.

      God Bless,


    4. Hello Introibo:

      The SSPX mission in NYC is now at Hotel Belleclaire. I assume that because Father Carl Sulzen is now on Long Island, I suppose that he has the NYC mission.

      If somebody CAN travel outside of NYC, what traditional Masses do you recommend in the NYC area, other than SSPV, who of course have been known to deny the sacraments to people?

      Thank you. Anonymous

    5. @anon5:03
      I wasn't aware that change took place. It has been some time since I spoke with Fr. Robinson, and I both wish him well and hope he comes to the sedevacantist position. I don't know Fr. Sulzen, but if he is validly ordained in the Traditional Rite by an SSPX Bishop, it would probably be safe to go there (and to the SSPX Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel on Long Island if Fr. Sulzen is there as well).

      I love the SSPV and I personally know of only ONE instance of denying the Sacraments to anyone. As long as you don't make a big deal of going to "Thuc clergy" they will not interrogate you. The one instance I witnessed was deserved. I saw an immodestly dressed woman who appeared to be in her early 40s go to the altar rail. She was NOT modest in dress. Fr. Curatolo bent down and whispered in her ear and she left as Fr. would not give her Communion dressed like that. Good for him!

      I would recommend Fr. John Evangelista of the Ave Maria Chapel, but the President of the Board threw him out and they are without a priest. I can't believe his stupidity, and it still angers me.

      I was told the CMRI now has a chapel upstate NY. If true, I would recommend them. I agree with all their theological positions. You could go on their website or perhaps call their seminary to see if there is such a chapel upstate.

      I tell Traditionalists to look up SSPV and CMRI wherever they travel. If you are unfortunate enough not to have either, independent priests can be good provided you fully vet them first.

      I hope this helped!

      God Bless,


    6. Is Father Evangelista without a chapel or is active in a small mission?

    7. @anon4:00
      Fr. Evangelista was unceremoniously thrown out by the President of the Board, and his whereabouts are unknown. He will not give anyone contact information.

      God Bless,


  5. Introibo

    Some years ago I wrote to them for info about their chapel and "religious order" and got a strange reply months later with no basic info.How do you know about their pervert "bishop"

    So you and Lee don't recommend reading Mertons Seven Storey Mountain.

    God bless

    1. Anon. 10:47,

      I don't recommend reading any of Merton's books.

      Two reasons:

      *Many of his works are heretical and blasphemous
      *Waste of time


    2. @anon10:47
      Merton's books are heretical and blasphemous as Lee stated.

      As to the "bishop" in Queens County, NYC, See

      God Bless,


  6. Lee,

    Thank you for your post. Looks like it was a lot of work putting this together. I think I’ve heard his name before, but I didn’t know anything about him.

    Thoughts, in no particular order:

    A Brave New World – this was recommended to me to read, but as I’ve read 1984 twice, and have so much spiritual reading to do, I put it off. Thanks for mentioning the book and author.

    Merton and Vatican II: “…eliminating the offensive parts of the document Heschel feared”; this reminds me of how they eliminated things in the novus ordo service which were offensive to Protestants!

    Perennial Philosophy – had to look it up, sounds very ecumenical.

    “My latent ambitions to be a true Jew under my Catholic skin…", it’s difficult for me to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one – was he confused? Was he trying to acknowledge any good things about the old covenant while acknowledging the new covenant with Jesus in Catholicism? As a priest, I would think he would have been more careful about what he wrote, as to not confuse others, but then again, look at the reading history and the company he kept, as you wrote. Who knows? What a statement!

    It took me a while to chew on the pearls of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, and then I read “To derive advantage from pious books it is necessary to read them slowly and with attention… you must masticate and ponder well what you ready; applying to yourself what is there inculcated. And when what you have read has made a lively impression on you, St. Ephrem counsels you to read it a second time.” What great advice. Thank you for including these saintly writings. I found them very beneficial. I often stress about how far behind I am in many matters, including spiritual reading.

    “…poison of these books enters gradually into the soul; it first makes itself master of the understanding, then infects the will, and in the end kills the soul… Remember also that for you certain useless books, though not bad, will be pernicious; because they will make you lose the time that you can employ in occupations profitable to the soul.” This reminds me of St. Alphonsus’s sermon on the value of time – always good to be reminded of this.

    -Seeking Truth

  7. con't:
    St. Jerome – I was unaware of his vision regarding the works of Cicero. I think we all probably have our own ‘works of Cicero’. Again, so many good lessons and reminders here that you shared by including these excerpts. “What need have you of seeking for a little gold in the midst of so much mire…” This reminds me of something I was advised on when I was newly converted, regarding sermons of a famous, charismatic bishop who went along with Vatican II. One must really know the Faith to avoid the false teachings therein. When these days I hear of this same bishop, and get recommendations to listed to some sermons, I think, no thanks, I have more than enough safe spiritual reading (via the likes of those such as Ss. Alphonsus and Francis de Sales) to last me a lifetime. I was also reminded of one of your previous posts, which referenced St. Thomas Aquinas, temperance, and the sinful vice of curiosity.

    Again, thank you for sharing the excerpts of St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s book. I found it very edifying. I enjoy reading, and have given up some book series due to some of this issues St. Alphonsus mentioned. I enjoyed reading the way he worded his lessons on the matter. To me, some of the words of Ss. Alphonsus and Jerome sounded like something perhaps true popes would say, with their powerful use of language and instruction.

    Speaking of true popes, I enjoyed reading the writings you shared – Pope Pius IX: “…perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason… those crafty men remove all distinction between…truth and error…” Reminds me of a quote by St. Alphonus I enjoy, “If the divine teaching authority of the Church and the obedience to it are rejected, every error will be endorsed, and must be tolerated.”

    God Bless your efforts and those of the other writers here, defending the Faith and sharing their knowledge.

    I’ve seen the following requested elsewhere, so if I may, to anyone reading these articles on this website, please say an Ave for the writers.


    1. Seeking Truth,

      That was a very detailed and gracious comment. Thank you for pointing out the highlights that helped you. My writings aren't always perfect and most of what I say are borrowed from what I quote or what I research.

      Merton is such a sad case. In my opinion he was always lost and never found the truth and I think it had to do with two major things. The people he conversed with and the books he studied. He found the true Church but was not instructed properly in it and therefore was a blind man leading the blind. A chain reaction.


  8. First time commenting here, but I thought I'd ask an off-topic question to Introibo or anyone that could possibly help, if it's alright? I'll also be straight forward and say yes, I am a Sedevacantist starting back in December 2022.

    I have noticed a certain trend among people calling themselves Traditionalists. These individuals favor contraception, married priests and bishops, believe the church can err, and I have also noticed they have a very strong hatred for Marian devotion. They claim that Marian devotions and celibacy makes someone into a homosexual.

    I've seen these people frequent the remnant newspaper and other R&R publications who refuse to ban them or take action against them.

    I can also tell you that on a relatively recent Novus Ordo Watch article one of these individuals came after me for attempting to report one of their buddies to the moderator. What strikes me is how this individual said that commenting with a male name and a profile picture of a female (Saint Gemma Galgani) equates to cross dressing.

    Perhaps I am being childish and petty, but this truly bothers me. But onto my question, have you or anyone here by chance encountered these particular individuals? I ask because I am finding this trend quite troubling. I have noticed them more so in Disqus comment sections.

    What I have said so far is more of a general idea of the situation. So, once again I apologize for the random off topic question.

    - Jeremy Van Auker

    1. Jeremy,
      You write:
      "I have noticed a certain trend among people calling themselves Traditionalists. These individuals favor contraception, married priests and bishops, believe the church can err, and I have also noticed they have a very strong hatred for Marian devotion. They claim that Marian devotions and celibacy makes someone into a homosexual."

      Any such person who believes such had better stop calling himself a Traditionalist, because he is not. The idea that a man having a profile picture of a female saint is "cross-dressing" is just plain whacky. Happily, I haven't known individuals like you describe, but there are numerous people calling themselves Traditionalists who should not. There are "Traditionalists" I've met who:
      * admire Adolph Hitler
      * see conspiracies everywhere
      *believe the Earth is flat and treat it as "dogma"
      And more.

      You need to discern the wheat from the chaff and avoid the latter at all costs.

      God Bless,


    2. Jeremy,

      I haven't come across those sort of "traditionalists" but it doesn't surprise me they are out there. I understand why you are troubled, but don't let it get to you. It's just more proof that the world is in a great apostasy and as my grandmother used to say is going to hell in a hand basket.

      St. Gemma Galgani is a great saint. She used to faint when somebody took the Lord's name in vain. Can you imagine what she would think if she were living today especially towards those whom you describe?

      I'll keep you in my prayers my friend and thank you for the comment.


    3. Thank you, Lee and Introibo. I appreciate the advice and the kind words. And yes, I agree with you, Lee. Saint Gemma Galgani would be horrified beyond words if she was living today.

      I truly love Saint Gemma, she is my favorite Saint and a role model to me. It's funny, but most of the saints I honor are female. Saint Mariana of Jesus de Paredes (Lily of Quito), Saint Philomena, except one of them isn't a saint yet. She goes by the name Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres, the visionary of our Lady of Good Success.

      Not sure why I am much more devoted to the female saints than I am the male saints.

      Aside from those particular holy women, I do have great veneration for Saint Francis of Assisi.

      But once again, thank you for the kind words and advice. I appreciate it.

  9. How is everything doing in New York? I see it is full of brown stuff like an invasion of nuclear sand.

    1. @anon5:06
      The air here has not been so bad since 9/11, and in my opinion, it is slightly worse!! I've been wearing the mask painters use against strong fumes and particles. It is also way beyond Manhattan, unlike 9/11. Say a prayer for those of us in New York please!!

      God Bless,


    2. Praying for you, Introibo!
      That orange, foggy sky over New York looks almost un-real! Lord, have mercy on us!

      God Bless,
      Joanna S.

    3. Joanna,
      Thank you! The air quality is back to normal now (that is to say, "normal for New York City")! Deo gratias.

      God Bless,


  10. Lee and Introibo

    Another wacky one was a Father Bede Griffths a monk of Prinkash Abbey,England who converted to the True Faith before Vatican Two but then went off the rails by going to India to form a monastery based on Hindu ideas.Their so called "Mass" contains elements and passages from the Hindu writings.Utter garbage.They don't wear Benedictine habits but the robes of a Hindu "priest"

    1. @anon6:32
      More "Victims of Vatican II"--how much longer will God put up with it?

      God Bless,


    2. Anon 6:32,

      Thank you for mentioning Fr. Bede Griffths. I've never heard of him and it's just another testimony of what was on the minds of modernists back in the 50-60s.


  11. Hello Introibo:

    Do you know who ordained Father John Evangelista?

    Also, I have met Traditionalists who:

    Are racists.
    Think that infrequent reception of Communion is a great idea.
    Think that it's not good to give temporal help to those in need.

    And more!

    Thank you. Anonymous

    1. @anon7:14
      Yes, being an admirer of Hitler entails racism, and the other two ideas are un-Catholic as well.

      As for Fr. Evangelista, he was ordained by "Cardinal" William Godfrey in 1962. Godfrey was consecrated a bishop by order of Pope Pius XI in 1938. He was one of the first "Cardinals" created in late 1958 under "Pope" John XXIII. Godfrey was Archbishop of Westminster, England.

      God Bless,


  12. Hello Introibo:

    If somebody can't get to Mass regularly, or at all, do you think that the person could ask a traditional Catholic priest to come sometimes and give them the sacraments? Maybe if the priest is going from one Mass location to another and the person that wants the sacraments is on the way? Would a priest be willing to give Confession and Communion in a place other than the person's home, possibly even outside?

    Thank you. Anonymous

    1. @anon7:03
      Yes. If a person cannot attend Mass for serious reason (too far to travel, elderly, suffering illness, family duties, etc.), a Traditionalist priest should have no problem bringing them the Sacraments (Penance and the Eucharist) once a month or so. As to the PLACE in which the priest gives the Sacraments, you should dicuss it with him first. I'm sure reasonable requests could be accommodated.

      God Bless,


  13. A priest from the CMRI suggested that I look into the church in Bayside, Queens based on his meeting the two priests from that chapel. I don't think he knew about the "bishop" which got my spidey-sense tingling. I steered clear of them because of that.

    I appreciate your suggestion that people in NYC go the the SPX mass at the mission in Manhattan. I am worried, though, about the SSPX position on "Pope" Francis/ Is it safe to participate in their Mass?

    1. CyrusD78,
      First, you must make sure the SSPX priest is validly ordained, not a priest they took in from the Vatican II sect without conditional ordination. If he's valid, I see no reason not to go. I do not hold to the "anti-Una Cum" position. The only reason NOT to go would be if you or someone in your family going with you, might be shaken in their faith and accept Bergoglio as "pope." If that does not apply, then go and avail yourself of the graces from the Mass and Communion.

      God Bless,


    2. Hello Introibo:

      There is a Novus Ordo ordained monsignor at the SSPX priory in Ridgefield CT.


      A Novus Ordo ordained bishop has consecrated holy oils for SSPX in Europe.

      And SSPX considers indult confirmation done by a Novus Ordo ordained bishop to be valid.

      Thank you. Anonymous

    3. Anon6:37,

      "Bishop" Vitus Huonder from Switzerland, is invalidly consecrated, and he did attempt to consecrate the holy oils for the SSPX in Europe (to the best of my knowledge and belief, they will not be brought to the United States). I pity the SSPX members in Europe.

      Yes, they consider Vatican II "confirmations" valid. This however, has no bearing on Masses, Communion, etc.

      The SSPX has many problems, and you need to navigate them carefully. The SSPX-SO (also called "St Marcel Initiative") is led by Bishop Williamson, and has none of those problems. If you can go there, all the better.

      Thank you for commenting!

      God Bless,


  14. You know it is really annoying that I have to do work around to view your blog. It's as if you are doing something wrong, which you are not. In any case I will try to continue to view your blog and FU to the NWO.

    Meanwhile the transmania continues (bile rising)

    Even so, it is not the Gospel Accounts Sts. Matt. Mark and Luke

  15. In hindsight we can say that anyone tired of Tradition did not have the Faith. Would I have been as faithful during that time ? (During "a certain period" nothing could have got through, sure as a tank with 10 mile armour)