DICI.org – Interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger: “We’re back to square one”

Interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger : “We’re back to square one”

16-10-2012

An interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger, First Assistant General of the Society of St. Pius X, on the present situation of the Society.

Kirchliche Umschau: Just a few months ago, the Vatican seemed to be on the verge of granting canonical recognition to the Society. It seems now that all efforts were in vain. Bishop Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggested as much in several recent interviews.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: All efforts were not in vain, but an agreement in the near future is improbable. In both our estimation and that of the Curia, any agreement would be pointless unless we are on the same page about what the Faith really means. This common understanding was to be expressed in a “doctrinal declaration”, which we took ample time in drawing up, and in April 2012, Bishop Fellay, our Superior General, presented a preliminary, informal draft. But, to our great surprise, this text was rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. So we are back to square one.

Kirchliche Umschau: How do you account for Rome’s change of direction?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: In Rome there is a group strongly opposed to a canonical regularization for the Society. Such an official recognition would in effect be a sign that the post-Vatican II era is outdated and that a new chapter has begun. Of course, this would not suit the agenda of the Council’s supporters. For them, official recognition of the Society of St. Pius X would be not merely an insult, but also a questioning of the Council’s status, therefore a collapse. It appears that the Council’s adherents prevailed.

Kirchliche Umschau: Do you think that there could be a new development?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Not just think–I know! The facts are what they are. The Church everywhere in the world, with some rare exceptions, is undergoing a process of self-destruction, and not just in Europe. In Latin America, for example, things don’t seem to be any better. Where the economy is relatively strong, as in Germany, Swizterland, and the United States, the external structures remain. But the loss of the Faith can be seen everywhere. Now, without the Faith, there is no Church. In Germany, the bishops recently sent a clear message: the right to collect taxes from Church members is more important than 120,000 Catholics leaving the Church every year. We are witnessing a march to destruction unseen in history, a rising tide which not even the bishops can stem, using, as they do, tactics devoid of the spirit of Faith. Joseph Ratzinger, as a Council father 50 years ago, spoke of a Church, “imbued with the spirit of paganism,” which the Council did its part to usher in. I am convinced that this turn of events, on the one hand, will bring the bishops to a more sober frame of mind, and, on the other hand, will leave only the conservatives holding fast, meaning those who quite simply wish to believe as the Church has always believed, and to persevere in their Catholic Faith. With those holding fast, we will no longer need to argue. Agreement in the Faith will soon follow.

Kirchliche Umschau: You are insinuating that the tide of self-destruction will engulf liberal Catholics. But the liberals see things differently. They want even more reforms to assure the survival of the living Church.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: I am inventing nothing. I see events and where they lead. Which religious order or diocese has younger members to ensure its future growth, and which ones are dying out? We can observe that decline and dissolution are most apparent in those places where the so-called conciliar reforms are most eagerly followed. I don’t deny that, in the arena of public opinion–and on the parish level–the liberal approach is more acceptable. But the Church does not live by social acceptance or by human applause. She derives her energy from men and women who believe and practice their Faith, who are prepared to renounce worldly pleasures to become priests, monks, or nuns. These latter are conspicuously absent among the liberals, and that is why they now want to receive priestly ordination, but of course without celibacy, without any self-denial. And they naively expect to increase their vocations by lowering the standards!

Kirchliche Umschau: Do you foresee a new excommunication of the Society’s bishops, or even of the whole Society?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: There are many who might welcome a new excommunication, but during this pope’s reign, it seems highly improbable. How would they justify it? There is no “traditional heresy.” We do not belong to the sedevacantists. We fully accept that the assistance of the Holy Ghost is granted to the pope and the bishops. But from Rome’s standpoint, the Society was pronounced guilty of “disobedience” even when the excommunications from 1988 were later withdrawn. How would they justify new ecclesiastical penalties? For refusing the Council? In the Credo none of the articles state: “I believe in the Second Vatican Council…!” The imposing reality of the facts just mentioned should be more important than the discussions. We find today a new generation of young priests, who slowly but surely discover the Old Mass, and through it, the Catholic Faith in its entirety, and the authentic priesthood. But in many cases we find young Catholics interested in the Faith, who nearly always discover it outside of their parishes. These honest souls are very impressed by traditional doctrine and worship, even if they still attend the New Mass. They observe the Society, follow it with interest, seek to contact us, ask for our publications, and stay in communication with us. The same holds for the Ecclesia Dei communities, and among diocesan priests, who, thanks to the Motu Proprio of 2007, have begun to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. We are more than just a Society with almost 600 priests; our influence is deeply felt in the Church, and particularly in those circles which have a future. If the Romans want to save face, they will wisely avoid an excommunication which they will soon have to revoke.

Kirchliche Umschau: So there is still a chance to regularize the Society, but it seems that the bottom line is to “recognize the Council.”

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Of course we recognize that there was a Second Vatican Council. Archbishop Lefebvre himself was a Council father. Nonetheless, we must admit that not only the post-conciliar reforms, but also certain texts of the Council itself are in contradiction with important doctrines already defined by the Church. Certain ambiguities and novelties are at the heart of the present dissolution taking place within the Church. For Rome, it is unacceptable that we speak of “the errors of the Council.” You see, we criticized the Council while it was everywhere being celebrated and when the Church enjoyed a deeper faith and vitality than it does today. Why would we suddenly make an about-face, when our warnings and criticisms have been vindicated over time? The sad reality is that, 50 years after the Council, Archbishop Lefebvre’s predictions were far from exaggerated. In the 1970s, due to the enthusiasm and naive optimism of the moment, nobody could have imagined that the Catholic bishops would rally in favor of homosexuality, the propagation of Islam, and the dissolution of marriage, which unfortunately is now the order of the day! The Vatican is faced with the ruins of the Church, which was at one time so beautiful and strong. But now there is no true renewal, no relief in sight. A realistic evaluation of new charismatic communities, which were extolled in the last decades as signs of vitality, should serve instead as warning signs. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been an honest and thorough investigation of the causes of the present situation in the Church. The Church is destroying herself, and silencing all discussion of the problem will not make the problem go away. Pretending that the Council is not to blame for the post-conciliar crisis is burying one’s head in the sand.

Kirchliche Umschau: Since you seem so little disposed to compromise, why do you still hold discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because the pope and Rome are realities inseparable from the Faith. The loss of faith in the Church’s structures—a loss of faith from which we have been spared, thanks be to God–is only one aspect of the crisis in the Church. For our part, we suffer also from a defect: the fact of our canonical irregularity. The status of the post-conciliar Church is imperfect, nor is our status the ideal.

Kirchliche Umschau: Are you referring to members of your community who refuse the discussions with Rome?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Yes, but they are few, very few. The prolonged period of separation has led certain members to confusion in theology. Deep down, these persons set faith in opposition to law, as if union with the pope, the primacy of the pope, were just a minor question of law.

Separating the legitimacy of the pope from the Faith, and reducing his legitimacy to a merely juridical question, is a sign of great danger. Finally, it comes from a Protestant view of the Church. But the Church is visible. The papacy belongs to the domain of Faith.

We ourselves, Catholics faithful to Tradition, suffer from the crisis in two ways. We participate in this crisis, albeit on a different and higher level, as I see it. There is no denying the obligation to take an active part in overcoming the crisis. And this combat begins with us, by desiring to overcome our abnormal canonical status.

Kirchliche Umschau: So we are back to square one. Why not just go along with Rome?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Because we cannot exchange an imperfect status for one that is even less perfect. Union with Rome is supposed to be an improvement, not a mutilation. Having to omit certain truths of the Faith, as well as being forbidden to criticize various doubtful and liberal positions: all this would be tantamount to a mutilation. We will not go along with that.

Kirchliche Umschau: The General Chapter was held in July. What position was taken by members of the Chapter?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: We laid down six guidelines to be met before any reunion with Rome. These were so many touchstones which restated the points to which we have always held fast. Our position was reinforced once more.

Kirchliche Umschau: On the Internet, there is a debate over this issue. Thundering condemnations are hurled at the Society’s leaders, who are accused of treason.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: You are quoting Bishop Williamson, who was excluded from the General Chapter by the great majority of superiors. That shows how strongly united we are.

Kirchliche Umschau: But you have a problem of communication. Judging by certain forums over the Internet, the situation couldn’t be worse.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: It is true that the Internet calls for, even requires, a new form of communication. We are obliged–just as the Vatican is–to go beyond the printed publications in use until now. But surely there are simple souls who are easily misled by sowers of discord, who themselves are widely misinformed by what they read on the Internet. Our priests appealed to the faithful not to go on these discussion sites which are often very rude, and not to let themselves be troubled and upset by the rumors and maneuverings found on the Internet. We will use the available means of communication from now on, including the Internet.

Kirchliche Umschau: Certain groups have targeted Bishop Fellay himself.

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Bishop Fellay has certainly done more for the cause of Catholics faithful to Tradition than all those who doubt him, criticize him, and even accuse him of treason. For several years, he has conducted relations with Rome prudently and skillfully; never did he act impulsively, nor did he let himself be provoked or lose patience. Today we have the Tridentine Mass available to any priest; we have seen the lifting of the “excommunications” which were inveighed against us in 1988; we have had the discussions on the problems of the Council. And, as an Austrian bishop admits, we have brought the Council back on the table for debate. Thus, as a result, the Council is no longer sacrosanct and its glory turns to dust. And all this remains true notwithstanding the litany of praises heaped on the Second Vatican Council by the 50 year jubilee.

Our Superior General has accomplished a great deal, because he persevered in the negotiations and faithfully presented our theological positions. On that score, I observe that he has only one aim in view in this crisis of the Church, namely to preserve the Faith and to serve the Church with our whole heart.

Kirchliche Umschau: One question remains. Why is it that Bishop Fellay seems to have done nothing against the smear campaign mounted against him these last few months over the Internet?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Patience, kindness, and generosity appear to many as weaknesses, but this is not so. Faced with repeated attacks and harassment over the Internet, we do not abandon our values and our principles. We deal with plotting and intrigues according to the laws of the Church. This may seem like procrastination which can be annoying to some, but it can’t be done any other way if we don’t want to betray our own ideals. I would like to make this clear: let no one imagine that he can criticize authority with impunity.

Kirchliche Umschau: What does this mean specifically?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: Bishop Williamson has been given fair warning. This is a sad moment in the history of our Society. If he continues his Internet campaign against the Society and its Superior General, then his expulsion from the Society cannot be avoided. Besides his false ideas, he has plotted under cover. The veritable tragedy is the fact that for years he has not accepted the authority of the Superior General, but has assigned to himself a God-given mission. Before the General Chapter, he rallied priests and faithful to rebellion. For a Catholic bishop, this is very serious.

Kirchliche Umschau: The Society’s purpose is not limited to negotiations with Rome. What other fields of apostolate do you envision?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: The West has lost the Faith. One reason for this loss is the fact that the Church is no longer presenting the Faith, no longer brings it to the world. Modern churchmen almost seem to be ashamed of their faith, which is why they campaign for the defense of the environment, the redistribution of wealth, and aid to development. We cannot just wait for them to come to their senses. We must be more active in society, have a greater influence in public, and rebuild Christendom with prudence, humility, and charity. As Our Lord appealed to those of His time: do not fear!

Kirchliche Umschau: Where do you see the important challenges to face?

Father Niklaus Pfluger: We witness presently a world-wide persecution of Christians in the East. Our task is to draw our attention to our persecuted brethren and to come to their aid. The General Chapter’s Declaration made this clear. In the Western countries, parents are having fewer and fewer children because family values are declining. The laws of the State pose greater threats to the family, the building block of society. One major task is aid to families. We must give our support to large families, lest they be marginalized by society at large. But our primary duty remains–as re-emphasized by the General Chapter’s Declaration in July–the defense and preservation of the Faith, and specifically the formation of truly Catholic priests. That is the best way we can be of service to the Church.

On the personal level, sanctification is called for. Prayer, religious instruction, and the distribution of the sacraments are one aspect; an exemplary life and fraternal charity are the other aspect. They go together. By accomplishing this task, we help to save our own souls and those of our neighbor. Yes, indeed, we have known such moments where we have a real foretaste of the harmony and happiness of heaven. Materialism, atheism, coupled with false religions: all these are standing more and more in the way of a healthy Catholic life. We are speaking here of a decisive mission for the Society: to help believers of good will to keep the Faith in times of difficulty, and to live that faith. This is our task at the present time, and a magnificent and sublime one at that, if we use our God-given talents to spread the fire of divine love to the ends of the earth. This is only possible through a deep and vibrant faith.

Kirchliche Umschau: Thank you for the interview, Father.

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13 comments on “DICI.org – Interview with Father Niklaus Pfluger: “We’re back to square one”

  1. chris torey on said:

    If we are back to Square One and intend to stay there, why the purge on Bishop Williamson and his supporters?

    • The “purge” you speak of has been, and will be, nothing more than self-inflicted!
      A few priests and Bishop Williamson have chosen to ignore repeated requests for silence and a wait-and-see stance concerning the melee with Rome. Instead, they have repeatedly and publicly attacked their superiors for what they MIGHT do, not only on the internet, but also from SSPX chapel pulpits, forcing mass-goers to be subjected to emotionally charged accusations against the SSPX leadership. Couple this with Bishop Williamson’s unauthorized confirmations in Brazil (fully well knowing that another bishop is scheduled to do the same thing in December), his repeated attacks via his blog, and the video that went trad-viral where he says, “We’ve got to get rid of Fellay,” to Father Joseph Pfeiffer’s, “Fellay is evil, follow me, follow me” tour across the USA, to the formation of “The SSPX of the Strict Obedience” with Father P. voted in as their leader (no, I’m not kidding and yes, it sounds like it’s straight out of a Farside cartoon) – all actions based on what their superiors MIGHT do!!! Contrary to recent popular belief, the SSPX is neither a democracy nor a constitutional republic. Even if it was, would you expect a general to put up with repeated public insubordination and the inciting of rebellion from within his ranks without reprisal???!! I’ve watched as repeated opportunities have quietly been provided to allow all who have put themselves out on a limb to reel it in, and have been met with either arrogance or a deaf ear! The real shocker is that they were allowed to get away with this bull for as long as they have!!! The SSPX ain’t the Water Buffalo Lodge, but if it were, Fred and Barney would have been booted a long time ago!!!
      Purged???!! You better believe it, but only by their own hands!!!

      • Hark – That post was fantastic! You gave a perfect summation of the events. Thank you for your very clear thoughts.

        • Well, Ma’am, meanin’ no disrespect. Howsomever, what of the “purge” of “controversial” items from SSPX websites that has been transpiring for quite a spell? You know, things that might inflame the elder brethren or upset the delicate, crystalline ephemera which now define the frontispiece of the “kaput negotiations”… as if Tradition ever could have been “negotiated” any more than could Scripture or the Perennial Magisterium.

          Remember, “imago est omnia” to established AND wannabe trendies and “purges” inevitably cut both ways.

    • ‘Square One’ referes to 2009, not to 1988 nor to 1976. So we’re back to 2009 and by that time Bp W was already a liability to the SSPX – at least by the standards of its current leadreship. How could it be any different? Regarding the relations to Rome, Bp Fellay and Bp Williamson push in two opposite directions.

  2. His Harkness! “Herald of Reason” and friend of all clean-living folks, everywhere – great to see you back!

    I am more convinced the whole +Fv+W bruhaha is little more than a frathouse ruckus and will be resolved in time. After all, all parties involved are Europeans, right? And the wheels coming off the Menzingen beerwagon is no recent development, etiher. There has been a sustained history of “strange developments”, only one of which is their purgation of +W.

    Let ’em get it out of their systems, clean house and reorganize and we’ll see. Anyway, the one man who would do most to pop the Vatican’s ecumenical balloon, were there to be a mano a mano sitdown with HH Benoit, is His Lordship of Wimbledon.

    Said it before. Sayin’ it again! ( The video rights alone would be worth millions! )

  3. Fr. Pflueger states: “Separating the legitimacy of the pope from the Faith, and reducing his legitimacy to a merely juridical question, is a sign of great danger. Finally, it comes from a Protestant view of the Church. But the Church is visible.”

    Sorry, Father, but I know of NO Traditionalist, or even merely Tradition-friendly, Catholic worth mentioning that “separates” the “legitimacy of the pope from the Faith.” Not a one.

    All the Trads I know and those I read with profit are quite sure that Pope Benedict, like his predecessors, is an actual pope with actual authority in an actually visible Church, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. There is no question, either, of his “legitimacy” vis a vis a “juridical question”, either. Those fellas in the red robes that piled into the Sistine Chapel in 2005, at least far as I know, were the College of Cardinals and, again – far as I know, they did a little voting and politicking in there and came out with Benoit as their man.

    Of course, Father, as you would prefer to cast as an heretical gang of rabblerousers those Catholics opposed to surrendering the Society’s assets and mission to the not-so-tender mercilessness of the hijackers who run the Vatican, one wonders just what politics Menzingen’s munchkins are playing here, as well. After all, did Abp. LeFebvre clearly, definitively and without compromise state his mind on the spiritual bankruptcy of the men who seized control of the levers of Vatican power 50 years ago, or did he not? And where, exactly, do we whom you would call protestants differ from His Lordship in this very same question?

    And would you care to argue that this bankruptcy has somehow improved since 1962?

    I believe you know, since at some point in your clerical career you probably learned it from your SSPX instructors, that, in fact, things have only deteriorated and not improved.

    Thus, as in all things related to the public relations warfare being waged by Rome and Menzingen, we come back to a critical question: Would a “reintegration”, based on ALL past “reintegrations” ( i.e., ICK, FSSP, Papa Stronsay’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, etc. ), signify the surrender of the staunch, uncompromising principles and Catholic rights ( to say nothing of duty ) incumbent on the Society to preach always and everywhere and without compromise that which has been handed on and always in the same meaning and in the same understanding?

    Look at Kriegsmarine Kommandant Mueller, look at Schoenborn, look at DeNoia et al, KEY players in Benoit’s theatrical/political maneuvers, before answering, please. And then take a hard look at what theatrical/political maneuvers ( ongoing still, including the sacking of Bp. Williamson ) the munchkins in Menzingen have been up to recently. Is it not clear, Father, that as rapidly as Menzingein aligns its course and trims its bishops to meet sunny Nova Roma’s latest winks and nods, Benoit’s galleys take on even more menacing “skippers” and the tempo of the stretched skin drum down in the slave hold gets ratcheted up to “ramming speed”?

    Think there’s a reason for that? Well, I can point out one, from Benoit Himself, when he stated, as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF that Traditionalists cannot be resisted TOO STRONGLY!

    They mean to wipe us out, Father. You wanna call that a “protestant mentality”, then be my guest. I’m sure the Revolutionary Army entering the Vendee had its own turgid epithets for the Catholics they proceeded to annihilate, as well.

    • I really feel sorry for you and your ilk, gpm. What point of “back to square one” do you not understand?

      • Been years since I last spotted an ilk, tq. Cain’t say I seen even one since this ruckus kicked up, neither. If’n I do, I’ll snap a Polaroid and pass it along, though! : – )

        However, I’ve seen more’n my share o’ institutional and political kahoots takin’ place and that’s what’s got my dander up. Blaming +W for the false reads, miscues and pollyanna attitude down there in ol’ Menzingen, though, is just not sporting.

        He’s been treated like a redheaded stepchild ever since this little romance-turned-farce began. And dang it all! that just ain’t fair! Some folks want to turn the Society into a Mr. Rogers Singalong Club over what? That +W doesn’t care for Julie Andrews or the PC-spin on numbers even the International Red Cross questioned right after the war?

        Hmmmm? Who’s ilk is getting gored here?

  4. gpmtrad says:

    “Think there’s a reason for that? Well, I can point out one, from Benoit Himself,
    when he stated, as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF that Traditionalists cannot be resisted TOO STRONGLY!”

    gpmtrad, can you quote chapter and verse for that statement? Not to dispute what you have said, but just for reference.

  5. Ex opere operato.

    Beside the intergalactic improbability of the Good Lord putting up with the likes of me, He seems to actually tolerate even goofier subjects as well. Although, I doubt NeelyAnn, tq, and our ever-well-spoken engineering whiz, Tradical, along with who knows who else would agree, arguing that THAT subjective comparison is also intergalactically improbable.

    Anyway, one of the popes who abdicated and then got himself re-poped ( at least making it easier on historians by keeping the same pontifical name ) was a TEENAGER.

    And when you look closely at some of the blahblahblah floating down the Tiber these days, all so ecumenically correct, it well could have been written by an adolescent while listening to Simon & Garfunkel, a poster of Teilhard deChardin beeming down on his PC as he munches on Doritos.

    Ah, for the days of yore when clarity, precision and orthodox exactitude bloomed.

    And there was a day when in Menzingen such considerations mattered….

    Oh, well.

  6. Got lucky on the first search…… check around the 11th paragraph, below. The quote is all in capitals.

    From a John Vennari speech:

    John Vennari: I believe he [Pope Benedict the XVI] has the potential to split the traditionalist camp right in half and to split traditionalist groups right in half because so many are enamored of the good things he says about Literagy, those good things. Not everything he says is good.

    [Excerpt from “A Look at Pope Benedict XVI]

    John Vennari: I’m holding in my hand a book called principles of Catholic Theology, Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology, published by Ignatius Press. I’ve had this book for years and I’ve been saying for years that this book could win an award for the most misnamed book of the century. There are no principals in the sense of a set of clear and it’s not really Catholic Theology. It’s 393 pages of the modernist religion of vatii and only 50 years ago it would have been placed on the index of forbidden books.

    The writer of this book says on page 202 quote “ The Catholics does not insist on the dissolution of the Protestant confession and the demolition of their Churches, rather he hopes that they will be strengthened in their confessions and in their ecclesial reality” closed quotes.

    So in other words the writer hopes that the Protestants will become stronger and cling even more tightly to heretical creeds solemnly anathematized by the Council of Trent .

    The writer of the book says on page 381 speaking of Gaudium et Spes which is the pastoral constitution of the church of the modern world of vatii. He says Gaudiun et Spes as a whole we might say that in conjunction with the text on religious liberty and world religions is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius the IX a kind of counter syllabus. Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a counter syllabus and as such represents on the part of the Church an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated by 1789. In other words the French revolution.

    The writer speaks of the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius the IX and under Pius the X, and he claims that the syllabus represents, and this is a direct quote “An obsolete Church state relationship” .

    In other words this writer is calling the 2 greatest Popes of Church history one-sided in their efforts to protect the Church from the errors of liberalism and modernism, and the writer rejoices that vatii made an attempt to correct and to counter, his words, the teaching of blessed Pius the IX and Pope Saint Pius the X and to reconcile the Church with the masonic French revolution and the enlightenment.

    The writer says on page 191 quote “there can be no return to the Syllabus” In other words no return to the Syllabus of Pius the IX. And this certainly will make the freemasons happy because freemasonry has worked to overthrow the Syllabus of errors since it first appeared in 1864.

    The writer of the book says on page 334, quote, ‘The impetus given by Teilhard de Chardin exerted a wide influence, with daring vision. It incorporated the historical movement of Christianity into the cosmic process of evolution”.

    Teilhard as you know was a pantheist and an evolutionist and the writer goes on to rejoice that this Teilhardean evolutionary influence was particularly evident in vatii document Gaudium et Spes. [inaudible….[…] wonderful]

    And the writer goes on to say on page 389 against those who oppose vatii, he says quote “ Was the Council a wrong road that now we must now retrace if we are to save the Church? The voices of those who say that it is are becoming louder and their followers more numerous. Among them were obvious phenomena of the last years must be counted the increasing number of Integralists.” (End quote here) In other words, traditionalists groups (begin quote here again from the writer) in which the desire for piety, for the sense of mystery is finding satisfaction. WE MUST BE ON GUARD AGAINST MINUMIZING THESE MOVEMENTS WITH OUT A DOUBT THEY REPRESENT A SECTARIAN ZEALOTRY THAT IS THE ANTITHISIS OF CATHOLICITY. WE CAN NOT RESIST THEM TO FIRMLY” closed quote.
    The writer of the book you must have guessed is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (gasps from the crowd) who on April 19th 2005 was elected the 265th successor of Saint Peter and chose the name Benedict the XVI.

    John Vennari: Now, the first rule of thumb when trying to come to a true knowledge of who this man is and what he believes, first rule of thumb is, pay no attention to the newspapers, pay no attention to the news media, the magazines, radio, television because it’s very in the main [media] I mean there might be 1 or 2 who get it right, but in the main, they have no idea who this man is.

    [and] Neither do they understand that even when he speaks in traditional terminology, we cannot be sure that he defines these terms in the same way that Catholics have always defined them.

  7. No, the brilliance is all John Vennari’s.

    I’ve had the honor of working with him, briefly, in the past and can testify to his systematic, indefatigable journalistic prowess. If it’s out there, he WILL find it and explain it in a way that even a Bogus Ordo groupie, suffering from Medjugoogoo-itis, ecumaniacal edema and even congestive collegiality can understand!

    John’s secret? He’s CATHOLIC! ( Amazing what folks not trying to reinvent the universe can do, isn’t it? )

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