I am a tradition-minded Catholic. I adhere with my whole heart and with my whole soul to Catholic Rome, the guardian of the Catholic faith and of those traditions necessary for the maintenance of the faith. I am writing this article to express my annoyance at the way modernism has infiltrated into the Church around the world. Had an article like this been published before 1965, nobody would have questioned it. But many reading it now may have their eyebrows raised.
Something went wrong in the Church after Vatican II. The traditional Latin Mass was abandoned in favour of the Mass in vernacular. Did Vatican II decree that the Mass in Latin be abolished? Many including priests will say that the Church has abolished Latin. But the constitution of the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium decreed that ‘the use of Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.’ But in spite of Vatican II, Latin was discarded. It’s just not the Latin language, but in Sacrosanctum Concilium you will see that there is nothing which even hints at such novelties as Mass facing the people, a vernacular Mass, Communion in hand, extraordinary ministers of Communion or altar girls. I love the ancient Mass because it contained the Catholic dogmas, which Protestants denied. It has sanctified the lives of millions down through the centuries. In January 1995, several of us pleaded with our Bishop for the Latin Mass.
The Pope in his Ecclesia Dei stated ‘respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.’ Till today we have not got a positive reply. Recently Cardinal Ivan Dias, without any hassles, granted a Latin Mass to those who requested it in Mumbai. World-wide the Latin Mass has spread everywhere. There are several seminaries in USA and Europe that train young men to be priests in the old rite of Mass. And it is in these seminaries that vocations are flourishing. While in other seminaries, including those in Goa, vocations are on the decline. Precisely for this reason there are priests who have crossed the age of 75 years and still serving the Archdiocese of Goa.
The number of priests ordained each year here in Goa are far less (about 30) than the number of priests who die, retire or leave the State of Goa. If this trend continues, in fifty years there’ll be hardly a few priests left. And in hundred years’ time, there may not be a single priest in Goa. One thing that all should know is that there can be no vocations, if Jesus and His Mother are not known and loved. In most homes Jesus and Mary are hardly mentioned. Today’s youths are not being challenged to become saints. Sanctity is now looked upon as a form of insanity. How can young boys and girls become priests or religious if they are religious illiterates?
Our children are fed with husks of materialism. Television and computers have become the chief form of entertainment for the greater part of the day. Prayer hardly enters the minds of most of our youths and they go to rest at night without a thought of the state of their souls. They are spiritually starved and consequently make the wrong choices in life. They are more interested in university degrees than in gaining souls for Christ. Should we then pray for vocations when our seminaries are replete with theological mishmash – very often a jumble of human opinions? Do you think that young boys will be attracted to priestly vocations when they see females distributing Holy Communion? Can the young girls who serve Mass in a few parishes ever dream of becoming priests, but instead would they not unknowingly hinder many boys from going to priesthood?
Worse still, the purity of the Catholic faith, as handed down by the apostles and the Magisterium of the Church over the centuries, has been tarnished. Did not St. Paul warn us when he wrote: ‘But though we or an angel from Heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema (Gal 1.8)’. Yet we see that our doctrines have been contaminated with heresies, novelties and innovations set in motion by liberal clergy.
In 1634, Our Lady of Good Success (Quito) had revealed to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres that in the 20th century (this trend is now continuing in the 21st century), vocations would perish because of poor formation in monasteries, the sacraments would be abused and set aside, and that impurity would inundate the streets like filthy ocean waters, so that ‘there would be almost no virgin souls.’ Furthermore, Our Lady foretold that innocence will no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. People would care little for the things of God. Satan would rule over the world because of faithless men. The secular clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for priestly ministry and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to obtain.
All of us know to what extent these prophecies have been fulfilled. Doesn’t this situation appear gloomy and hopeless? Some bishops and priests claim that the Church is much alive. Everybody is now hilarious, somewhat like the pagan soldiers and bystanders at Mount Calvary. They did not understand who was dying on the Cross. But times have not changed since then. When Christ’s Body had been taken down from the Cross, It was wrapped in clean linens, but today His Body (Holy Communion) is being received in soiled hands of presumptuous ruffians and there is no sign of reverence. Worse still, there is no manifestation of remorse of conscience on the part of those who receive the All-pure Christ sacrilegiously. The practice of Communion on hand existed in the early centuries of Church history. The Synod of Rouen (650 AD) condemned it as an abuse and it was stopped after that. The Sixth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople (680-681 AD), forbade the faithful to take Holy Communion in their hand, threatening the transgressors with excommunication. Pope Paul VI’s instruction Memoriale Domini states that traditional method of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue should be maintained. Some priests in Holland introduced Holy Communion on hand as an ecumenical gesture, in spite of the Pope’s instruction to the contrary.
In order to prevent a possible schism, Vatican allowed Holy Communion on hand under very restricted circumstances. It must be remembered that Communion on the tongue is the law of the Church. Communion on the hand is an exception to the law (it is an ‘indult’), which is not commanded but only allowed if all the conditions outlined by the Vatican are present. If the conditions are not present, then the permission is not granted and Communion on the tongue only is permitted. The present Pope always gives Holy Communion on the tongue, even when people stretch out their hands.
Communion on hand was introduced in Goa some time in the early nineties. Most of the conditions under which Communion is permitted are not followed here in Goa. Very few priests and laity here in Goa do realize that this method of receiving Holy Communion is a sure way of destroying reverence and respect for the Holy Eucharist. Only God knows how long He will tolerate abominations and desecrations of the Sacred Host. Reverence is declining in our churches. Have you not observed that people sometimes just talk and even shout before the Tabernacle. Most will not genuflect, when they pass the tabernacle. What shall we say of St. Francis Xavier, whose relics are in Goa, who at times when distributing Holy Communion felt so carried away by a sense of adoration towards Our Lord, who was in his hands, that he got on his knees and in that position continued giving Holy Communion? If this Saint were to come back alive, what shall he say of the painful levity due to which Communion is given on hand instead of on the tongue? By comparison with the Saint – so humble, so angelic – do our people not easily present an image of presumptuous ruffians?
It’s not only the traditional externals of the faith, but many of the words by which the faith is expressed have been forgotten. When was the last time you heard ‘Church triumphant,’ ‘Church militant,’ or ‘Church suffering?’ When was the last time that you heard ‘Hell’ being preached? At Fatima, Our Lady showed a vision of hell to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco to let the world know that Hell exists. And this vision was confirmed by the Great Miracle of Sun. Have you heard of ‘souls of poor sinners’ being mentioned by many of our preachers here in Goa? What about the last things – death, judgement, heaven and hell – which had comprised the very core of the Church’s evangelism and catechism for nearly 1962 years before Vatican II. Just how many people were drawn to conversion and confession by these sermons on the last things. And it is rare to hear any priest mention the heroic virtues or even the life of the saints. The ‘message of Fatima’ is hardly preached. And since Vatican II devotion to Our Lady has been downplayed.
There are many in high places within today’s Church who seem to have no interest in Our Lady. This Our Lady’s message makes them uncomfortable. Our Lady came to Fatima to save the Church from the current crisis of faith. It seems to me that by avoiding preaching Fatima Message, the gates of Hell have been opened. In 1846, Our Lady of La Salette prophesied that Lucifer would be unleashed from Hell. The well-known Cardinal Newman had said in his life time ‘In my time the devil is outside the Church, but in hundred years, the devil will be inside.’ The Cardinal died in 1890 and today we see nothing but chaos and confusion in the Church. Less than hundred years later, Pope Paul VI stated on June 30, 1972: ‘From somewhere or other, the smoke of Satan had entered the temple of God.’ The same Pope made another startling statement: ‘The old Church is being demolished and the bricks are being used to build a new counterfeit church.’ The tradition minded Catholics like me are, however, assured of the Divine promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail over the Church. But right now as we try to practice our faith and at the same time being united with the Pope, we are facing a tough time. Whether it is the Latin Mass or Holy Communion on hand, we differ with the views of many of the clergy here.
At the Diocesan Synod is being held in Old Goa, the traditional Catholics were ignored. Most of the priests do not believe that there is a crisis of faith in the Church today. Shall we lose hope? Not really. At Quito, La Salette and Fatima, Our Lady spoke of this crisis of faith. And the Church has approved all these apparitions as valid and true. And at all these three places, Our Lady has assured that She shall triumph, in spite of the evil influence in the Church.
We do understand that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. This Mystical Body of Christ is today being mocked, betrayed by her children, wounded, scourged and is slowly ascending Calvary in its most painful purification. And we do know that the Church, like Christ will also experience its glorious resurrection. Then the Church will shine in all its splendour.
The crisis of faith will end only when Our Lady of Fatima is obeyed, that’s when enough people will do the First Saturday devotion and the Pope will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate heart of Mary. And then the Immaculate heart of Mary will triumph and the miracle of the Second Pentecost will come like a river of grace and of mercy which will purify the Church and make her poor and chaste, humble and strong, without any spot or wrinkle, all beautiful as she was at the beginning at the time of the First Pentecost. It is then that all the viruses that have been attacking the Church from within will be expelled. Clarity of thought and great vigour will return to the entire Church. The Church will once again speak of death, judgement, Heaven and Hell. The Tridentine rite of Mass abandoned for the sake of ecumenism will be restored and there will be one fold, one shepherd, just as Christ willed and prayed while he lived on earth.