It is as if the Church simply caved in before the world and its Prince.

Around the time of the Second Vatican Council some of our sound practices were simply dropped, as if they were no longer needed.  For example, the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass which included the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

QUAERITUR: Does anyone believe that the Devil stopped attacking in the 60’s?

My recollection of the 60’s suggests that the attacks redoubled and with great effect.

Consider how the reformers of the rite of Baptism, approved by Paul VI, dropped the exorcisms despite the teaching of the Church about the Enemy and  the effects of Original Sin.  Consider how the orations of Holy Mass in the Roman Rite were stripped of their clear references to sin, expiation, propitiation, judgment.

It is as if the Church simply caved in before the world and its Prince.

“But Father! But Father!”, you snivelers yammer from behind your Fishwrap, “The Council was lead by the spirit!  The spirit of the Council!  Everything is so much better now! It’s undeniable.  But yoooooou… you and your … your… GAH!  Vatican II didn’t go nearly FAR ENOUGH!   Küng says so!  But yooooou… you can’t see that because you don’t have the spirit of the Council?  And she doesn’t like you at all!  Why?  WHY?!?  Because YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

I love Vatican II so much that I won’t lie about it.

Today at the ever-more-useful Crisis there is a great piece which urges the return to the use of exorcism prayers and other devotions to fight the evil of the Enemy of our souls.

Here is the front part, but be sure to go there to read the whole thing. My emphases and comments.

A Call to Restore Prayers of Exorcism

In 1886, Pope Leo XIII added the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to the prayers he had already ordered to be said after the Low Mass in 1884. The origin of the prayer is subject to much speculation, particularly about whether or not Leo received a locution with the voices of Jesus and the devil. Regardless of the exact details of this alleged event, which some deny for being unsubstantiated, there are some historical testimonies to the fact that a mystical experience moved the Pope to compose the prayer and to have it said daily throughout the world.  [I believe the accounts about Leo and the locution.]

On June 29, 1972, Pope Bl. Paul VI, who stopped the recitation of the prayer, seemed to confirm an element’s of Leo’s prophecy, stating in his homily in St. Peter’s Basilica that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” [One source close to Paul VI thought that by the phrase the Pope mean liturgical abuses.  HERE] This built upon Leo’s sense that the devil would have extraordinary influence in the twentieth century, including within the Church. [Which is clearly the state of affairs now.] Paul continued his reflection on the influence of the devil on November 15 of that same year in a general audience entitled “Deliver Us from Evil,” arguing that “one of the major needs [of the Church] is defense from that evil we call the Devil.” Pope Paul, referencing Ephesians 6:11-12, argued that we need to withstand the evil one with the armor of God.

Was a large part of the smoke of Satan entering the Church our denial of his influence and a laying down of our spiritual arms to confront him? [Was it Pius XII who said that the Devil’s greatest victory was getting us to deny his existence?] For too long we have denied or overlooked the influence of the devil on our lives and the Church. Therefore, we have grown lax in seeking the Lord’s power to overcome his opposition. Praying for this deliverance is central to Christian prayer, as we see even at the end of the Our Father, which has been translated, “deliver us from the evil one.” After being tempted, Christ commanded the devil, “away with you Satan!” and cast out many demons in his ministry. Our Lord took spiritual warfare seriously and recognized our need for deliverance, as he brought “freedom to captives.” He also gave power and authority to his disciples to exorcise: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons” (Mk 16:17; see Luke 9:1). This power has been overlooked of late, as belief in the influence of the evil one now appears superstitious to many.

Take the example of exorcism prayer in the Rite of Baptism as part of the liturgical reforms following the Second Vatican Council, promulgated in 1969 by Paul VI. It is fascinating that the Associated Press quoted Bl. Paul as questioning the revised prayer in the audience I referenced above (though these lines have been removed from the official text). The AP article reads: “In his speech. Pope Paul appeared to regret that in the new rite of baptism, which he approved three years ago, less emphasis is given to exorcism. This is the part in which the priest orders Satan to get out of the new Christian. ‘I don’t know whether this is realistic,’ he said of the revised exorcism.” In the audience, Paul recognized both the increased influence on the devil and that the Church had softened her response.  [Paul also seemed to lament the loss of Latin in our liturgical worship even as he allowed it to be expunged.  Incredible.]


This world has its Prince.

We are in a constant state of spiritual warfare.  The Enemy neither lays down arms nor ceases the attack just because we idiots stop defending ourselves.  How stupid is that, anyway?

For the umpteenth time, no initiative we undertake in the Church will succeed without a revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.  We must reclaim what has been lost and reintegrate it into our regular practices and daily lives.  We need what was won for us and handed down through the centuries of our forebears’ experience.  We need a wide-spread renewal of the older, traditional Roman Rite.

Fathers!  Use the older Rituale Romanum.  Learn the older, traditional Mass.  Say it often.  Turn those altars back towards the Lord.  Don’t be afraid.  Reinstate devotions such as novenas and Exposition with Benediction.  Bring the Church’s language Latin back into your liturgical lives.  Reclaim your patrimony, your identity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. L. says:

    “Don’t be afraid.” In my diocese, vocations are nearly non-existent, but nevertheless I think that virtually any Priest who did these things would be transferred to the equivalent of Siberia or harassed until he left altogether. The hostility of my diocese to traditional Catholicism is shown by the destruction of the interiors of churches with a traditional layout, and their hostility to Priests who are viewed as being “rigid.” It would take a lot of courage for any Priest to exercise his rights in that way.

  2. pseudomodo says:

    I have an image of St. Michael and the prayer on my phone lock screen and Our Lady of Guadalupe on my home screen.

    I pray the prayer to St. Michael every night before going to sleep. Been doing this for a few years now.

    That and this blog gets me through the day.

  3. greenlight says:

    So what can/should a parent do when his children, now teenagers, have been baptized in the newer rite? I only learned of these issues a couple of years ago and was very disturbed. Had I known, I would’ve asked to have the older rite or taken them some place else.

  4. un-ionized says:

    greenlight, I wouldn’t worry about baptism in the newer rite. I do wish I had been baptized validly in the new rite, there is a serious question and the bishop punted and it worries me. But I have to accept it was done and can’t be fixed and I believe that any time something like this happens it is to cause us to rely completely on Christ, not even on something that the Church says is necessary. I am not expressing exactly what I mean here but I think you can figure it out better.

  5. Titus says:

    So what can/should a parent do when his children, now teenagers, have been baptized in the newer rite?

    Be happy that they were baptized? The old form is fantastic, but you get just as cleansed of original sin if the lady at the laundromat pours soapy water on your head and says “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” You can’t go back and be baptized again.

    Of course, all that being said, the baptism rite is a fantastic way to ease into the traditional liturgical books. It’s short, it’s comparatively easy, it has all sorts of fun old tidbits (salt!), you can even do much of it in English (but good luck finding the 1961 Collectio Rituum with the approved translation and the vernacular-approved portions delineated), and baptisms are being done all the time. Plus, it really knocks the socks off the new form. Most priests who isn’t ideologically opposed to anything old or in Latin will likely be amenable to using it if approached graciously and provided with the tools to do so.

    [In the case of “emergency” baptisms, there are ways to “supply” the rites that were excluded.]

  6. Legisperitus says:

    un-ionized, I understand there is such a thing as a “rite for supplying things omitted at baptism,” also known as a conditional baptism, for cases where the validity is in doubt. That may be worth looking into.

  7. ChesterFrank says:

    I remember when Pope Benedict asked that parishes incorporate some Latin into their Masses through a few hymns or common prayers. One parish announced that and did as stated for almost a month. I haven’t heard Latin since then. I have not seen a benediction in decades. Novenas I say on my own. Would the Lucifer issue of a few posts ago be resolved with an exorcism at baptism?

  8. Huber says:

    “This world has its Prince.”

    The sad thing is, the Church is so preoccupied with and focused on this world that it doesn’t look (ad orientem) to the next.

    Just look the USCCB website – the bishops preoccupy themselves so much with changing this world that they forget their purpose is to shepherd souls into the next (and that all the “social justice” is a byproduct of Christian civilization, rather than an action item). They concern themselves with initiatives for immigration, cultural diversity, social justice – they try to change this world into heaven rather than prepare souls for death.

    All this Frankfurt Socialism in the Church, spending all the apostolic energy on making this world a better place only serves this world’s prince -not Christ the King of men.

    How many souls have to be lost before they realize they’ve been working versus populum and aversio a Deo?

  9. un-ionized says:

    legisperitus, the conditional baptism is for if the priest is not sure if you are validly baptized, I know. My conditional baptism was done invalidly. so I have been invalidly baptized twice. The bishop punted, allowing the priest who did this to himself determine validity. There were three solid violations of canon law including a fatal deficiency of form involving the water. A canon lawyer told me to get it done over but how is the question. So I have just decided to let the creepy people who are running things now lie and stuff and probably on judgment day I will be all right. Things are very very loose right now, everything is bolted, nothing is riveted.

    I have heard of other people in other dioceses having the same thing happen so I guess it’s another new thing we are doing.

  10. “In his speech. Pope Paul appeared to regret that in the new rite of baptism, which he approved three years ago, less emphasis is given to exorcism. This is the part in which the priest orders Satan to get out of the new Christian. ‘I don’t know whether this is realistic,’ he said of the revised exorcism.” In the audience, Paul recognized both the increased influence on the devil and that the Church had softened her response. [Paul also seemed to lament the loss of Latin in our liturgical worship even as he allowed it to be expunged. Incredible.]

    Then why did he permit it?

    L. says: The hostility of my diocese to traditional Catholicism is shown by the destruction of the interiors of churches with a traditional layout, and their hostility to Priests who are viewed as being “rigid.” It would take a lot of courage for any Priest to exercise his rights in that way.

    There has to come a point when priests take their lamps out from under their bushel baskets. Yes, I understand that a bishop can make a priest’s life hell. But while priests keep their heads down, their flocks take the hits.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Anita, or the flocks are forced to disperse…

  12. JabbaPapa says:

    The prayers of exorcism formed part of the Rites of Initiation in my own Baptism in 2005, and at least in our Diocese, in somewhat minimalist form perhaps, they are also part of the infant Baptism Rite when the Baptism is given within the Mass. The basic theology and the need for these exorcisms was also explained both to we Catechumens and more briefly to the Congregations of the Masses where these exorcisms took place.

    To omit them is scandalous.

  13. Gerard Plourde says:

    Regarding the quote regarding the Devil’s success in blinding us to his existence –

    The original quote is from Baudelaire – “La plus belle des ruses du diable est de vous persuader qu’il n’existe pas.” (“The devil’s finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist.”)

  14. lmgilbert says:

    At Holy Rosary, the Dominican parish here in Portland, after the noon Mass we now have prayers at the foot of the altar. After the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and the “O Salutaris Hostia” sung, the following are said:

    1. O Sacrum Convivium: ” O sacred banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
    V. Thou didst give them bread from heaven:
    R. Containing in itself all sweetness.
    O God, who under a wonderful Sacrament hast left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever feel within ourselves the fruit of Thy Redemption: Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

    This is followed by the the prayers prescribed by Pope Leo XIII to be said after every low Mass:

    1. The Hail Mary (Said 3 times)
    2. The Hail, Holy Queen, followed by “Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
    3. Then:
    “Let us pray.
    “O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
    4. Followed by: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, etc.
    5. Then:
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.

    Exit priest and server.

    The Blessed Sacrament remains exposed until Benediction at 7:30 in the evening.

  15. kiwiinamerica says:

    There is no more eloquent symbol of the vacuous optimism which pervaded the Church around the time of the Council than the axing of the prayer to St. Michael. Why would anyone, still less a Pope, remove prayers to St. Michael the Archangel from the Mass?? I mean why??

    Too many prayers making the angels bored? The Mass was too long and people were getting spiritual indigestion? The devil had been put out of business so St. Michael could stand down? The Church had caught up with the times and moved beyond all that 19th century devil blather?

    Try to get a mental image of a Pope…..a Pope, mind you…sitting in his study with a red pen in his hand and the Missal on his desk in front of him and saying to his secretary…..“dude, we need to get rid of some of these prayers”.


    It is my admittedly worthless opinion that much of the chaos in the Church over the subsequent decades can be traced directly to this asinine decision of Paul VI.

  16. Thomas Sweeney says:

    Without meaning to be disrespectful, Pope Paul was a stupid Pope. He relinquished the authority of his papacy, to the new age liberals, who were hell bent on destroying what they could never build. A kind of slipshod catholicism has been allowed to seep into almost every parish. And a good percentage of today’s priests, remind me of government workers, time servers. The truly noble ones are marginalized and kept under scrutiny, lest their holiness be a cause for infection. I would love to see a current bishop in a rumpled suit, without cuff links, going about his job of being a holy shepherd, and inspiring us to be worthy of God’s love. Maybe I shouldn’t generalize, because there are some, who I am sure, do their very best under trying circumstances.

  17. Aquinas Gal says:

    I read about how the “reformers” wanted to take out the Orate Fratres from the Mass. Luckily, Paul VI caught that one and insisted it remain.
    I’m also glad I was baptized in the 50’s, so I got the full exorcism!

  18. Worm-120 says:

    What can I do if I’m concerned about the influence of the demonic on my family? I pray and have mass offered, but I’m becoming convinced there’s more than the “the flesh and the world” going on, there is a history of the occult, abuse, and addiction. Are there books? I’m not sure the priests here would take a request for exorcism very seriously, though one did suggest I give up what my family struggles with and offer it up for them. Can I say the leonine prayers by myself?

  19. Precentrix says:

    Out *bishop* mandated the prayer to St Michael after Masses in our diocese. It doesn’t happen everywhere but at least he tried.

  20. Gabriel Syme says:

    Anita Moore,

    Of Paul IV, you ask: “Then why did he permit it?”

    I wasn’t alive during his time, but from what I have read / heard of him, my impression is that he was:

    – weak willed
    – gun-shy when it came to confrontation
    – effeminate
    – easily deceived and easily swayed

    He didn’t feel able to recall or modify V2 documents, so instead attached a note of clarification.

    He wept when he read Bugninis “new” (protestant) description of what the mass is, in the missal (I think he managed to act upon that though).

    He was prone to being driven by emotion and in particular of making sudden, grand “over-the-top” gestures.

    He allowed himself to be marginalised and treated with contempt in the wake of Humane Vitae.

    I do not wish to be unfair to him and I am (of course) open to correction, but this is my impression.

    Reading of how pre-planned and gerrymandered aspects of Vatican 2 were, It would not surprise me to learn that his malleable and agreeable nature were exactly why he was elected.

    Certainly, he was no Pius X, Lion of Munster or Archbishop Lefebvre. Few men are (I am certainly not!).

  21. un-ionized says:

    worm-120, yes, you can pray the Leonine prayers by yourself.

  22. un-ionized says:

    worm-120, i forgot, but the chaplet of St. Michael seems to help too.

  23. Pingback: THURSDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit

  24. OldLady says:

    I vote for extra spiritual protection, not less, for the helpless which certainly describes infants. Society’s ever growing blindness to Evil did not happen without the influence of the Church being weakened. Take out one prayer here & there, adopt a bit of social change. Failure to protect the young is a very serious matter. One can not assume that the people around a child have their spiritual interests at heart. Infants and children deserve the strongest possible Armour of God possible. Child exploitation has become increasingly more vulgar over the decades and I cant help wondering if there is any connection. Never before have I realized how lucky I am to have been baptized so long ago!

  25. rmichaelj says:

    Reply to worm-120,

    In regards to protecting one’s family, a source I found helpful is It is run by Father Ripperger who is an exorcist. He is a traditional priest in “good standing” if that is a concern for you. I use the audio multimedia which is excellent. He only asks for donations via penceware or alternatively for acts of sacrifice.

  26. jbpolhamus says:

    And what are we to do in the forsaken diocese of San Diego? We are utterly abandoned in the parishes. It is a return to the desert of the 1970’s, with a bishop now seeking to empower groups of minority cadres within the diocese, to start telling the faithful how the law is going to be laid down. Dear Lird, remove Bergoglio quickly.

  27. Tony Phillips says:

    Nothing against the prayer to St Michael, but I must admit I don’t like the Leonine Prayers much. They do sort of drag out the (traditional) Mass, which ought to end with the Last Gospel (which itself is an addendum to the Mass, not really part of it). Moreover, they were really started not by Leo XIII, but by Pio IX (not exactly my favourite pope, [That figures.] given his–shall we way–innovative approach to dogma) and were triggered by the impending loss of the pope’s temporal power. Once that happened, they were re-purposed towards the conversion of Russia, but since Russia today seems more Christian than the decadent West, that now seems obsolete too.

    I don’t want to see the prayer to St Michael disappear (though few in a Novus Ordo congregation would have heard of it), but making it obligatory post-Mass isn’t, in my mind, the right approach.

  28. TDPelletier says:

    Father Jean-Régis Fropo, former exorcist in the French diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, made known, about a month ago in L’Homme Nouveau, his realization that the new ritual of Baptism is so purged of exorcism prayers that it does not combat demonic influences that might, in certain cases, operate around birth or even during pregnancy. He recounts cases that led him to that conviction. He even had a meeting with Cardinal Sarah, who was sympathetic to his plea to look into the possibility of a revision of the ritual, but the poor Cardinal had to admit that his Congregation was already submerged with plenty of work, which would make the revision unfeasable in the short term. The prefect enjoined him to go talk about it to bishops. Father Fropo then talked to Bishop Rey, who said something like : “Well, since Summorum Pontificum is in force, we can now use the old Baptism ritual”. That would be at least part of the solution. So, Fathers, please LEARN AND USE THE OLD BAPTISM RITUAL. Fathers, mothers, please, ASK FOR THE OLD BAPTISM RITUAL. It’s there for you, ready to be used for your children. Catechumens, ASK FOR THE RITUAL.

    source :—le-cri-d-alarme-d-un-exorciste.htm

  29. StWinefride says:

    Thank you to TDPelletier – I had also thought of mentioning the article linked. For those who understand French, the whole text from Homme Nouveau can be found on the French Forum Catholique:

    St Michael the Archangel, pray for us!

  30. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    jbpolhamus, abandoned to the desert, I’m very sorry to hear of your plight, and wish you well, and will remember you in my prayers. I only want to suggest that you read the Fathers of the Desert, and study them. It would seem that Divine Providence has, in effect, placed you and your brothers and sisters in San Diego, into the footsteps of – indeed, into the company of – these holy men. If you imitate them you may yet find the peace and sanctity we all seek, I believe. Again, my prayers go with you.

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