Connect the dots. The attack on the Vetus Ordo is also an attack on John Paul II, not just on Benedict.

I learned today that Francis appoint Jeffrey Sachs – who is seriously into population control (gosh! I wonder how they want to do that?!?) – to the Academy for Social Sciences.

That, from the guy who issued the cruel Traditionis custodes. That will be his legacy. His very own Plessy v. Ferguson document and it is all on him.

If you think these two data points –  Jeffrey Sachs and TC – are not connected, think again.

Meanwhile, we read at Messa in Latino that Polish bishops, during their ad limina visit, brought up TC with the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Warsaw’s Archbishop, Kazimierz Card. Nycz, says:

“In the Congregation it has been admitted that the question has been resolved too harshly and instead of serving unity, in individual cases, it could lead someone to leave the Church”.

“too harshly”

Uh huh.

And we are still waiting for the other shoe to drop: an instruction on how TC should be implemented.

Connect the dots.

Remember that Francis and crew have been systematically attacking and destroying the magisterium of John Paul II.  The JP2 Institute for the Family is but one instance.

People associate the freeing up of the Traditional Latin Mass with Benedict XVI and rightly so.  But the groundwork was laid by John Paul.

Think it through.  The so-called “Ecclesia Dei” communities entrusted themselves, first, to John Paul II, who made provisions for them.

While JP2 himself wasn’t all that interested in traditional worship, in his pastoral concern he extended himself to these people.  He implored, even commanded by his Apostolic authority, from bishops a generous approach to people who desired the traditional forms.

The attack on the Vetus Ordo is also an attack on John Paul II, not just on Benedict.

It is an attack on their persons not just their policies.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  2. John Malloy says:

    I’m not sure why John Paul II did not give the SSPX a bishop. Instead he issued “Ecclesia Dei” in a matter of days, and created the FSSP to syphon off priests and congregants from the Society. John Paul II wrote, in Ecclesia Dei, that “the root of this schismatic act can be discerned in an incomplete and contradictory notion of Tradition.” I would like THAT explained! And of course they were then excommunicated “latae sententiae.” What a mess. The traditional mass was tightly controlled under the long reign of JPII.

    [Complicated times. You have, of course, entirely missed the point.]

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Thank you very much for this timely post, Father.

    I could not believe the continuing negative commentary on social media surrounding St John Paul II’s recent feast day. On one Divine Office Facebook group, I inquired how one would properly observe St John Paul II’s feast with the 1961 edition of the Roman Breviary, which is of course permitted by a recent directive of the Holy See. My goodness, you would have thought that I asked if there was a votive office for pachamama!

    Surely I am not the only Catholic who loves the traditional Roman Rite AND St John Paul the Great (yes, I said it), but it certainly does feel like it…

  4. redneckpride4ever says:

    The other day I asked how many practicing Catholics actually pay attention beyond going to Mass.

    I failed to realize that maybe with the current happenings that people have just stopped paying attention. In other words they acknowledge that Francis is Pope but turn away because of all the heterodoxy from the current magisterium.

    The novelty of being surprised by any of this has long since worn off.

  5. CasaSanBruno says:

    True, but this is nothing new. As early as a few weeks into this pontificate it was impossible to find books by John Paul II and Benedict XVI in the Catholic run bookstores in Rome. In some secular bookstores; but it was clear that some indication from the new administration had gone out to the Catholic bookstores of Rome and they blindly obeyed.

  6. roma247 says:

    To anyone who has read Windswept House, this shouldn’t come as any surprise.

  7. West of the Potomac says:

    I’m in a regular, diocesan, JPII kind of parish in a region dripping with really great, orthodox priests. Reform of the Reform OF Masses here and TLM every Sunday since just after Summorum.

    Very strong growth at the TLM the last three or four years. When we started we had 75 – 100 people every Sunday. Now we are consistently at 400 – 500 people dominated by families with young children. In the early years, our growth was from people outside our parish who were looking for the TLM. The past several years, however, the growth has been from OF Mass attendees within the parish.

    We have prime-time Masses every Holy Day of Obligation and multiple weekday Masses regularly scheduled every week. On many feast days and for special things like Epiphany water blessings, there are more regular OF attendees than EF attendees.

    IMHO Benedict was a genius for his awkward two Forms of one Roman Rite plan. [It was a good juridical solution to a problem that needed urgent attention. It wasn’t perfect, but in advancing the ball we mustn’t be paralyzed by making the perfect the enemy of the good. That’s why libs always win.]

    It seems that since 2017, the year of the Fatima anniversary, parishioners here began to sense the attacks on JP and Benedict — both generally beloved by our OF and EF folks alike — and there seems to be a recognition that we’re all in this together.

  8. floydf says:

    From the Wisdom of the Interwebs this AM: “Keep adjusting your world view until you no longer are surprised. If you are surprised by this, try adjusting your paradigm to something like, …”

  9. BeautifulSavior says:

    I think it is time to dust your copy of Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s, Lord of the World (1907). As I was finishing O’Brien, The Sabbatical it kept coming to mind that I should reread Benson’s novel. There on The Encounter, Chapter II, Part III is the name of Pope: John XXIV, Papa Angelicus. He is the Pope at the beginning of the reign of the beast.

    Didn’t Pope Francis said a couple of weeks ago that the next Pope after him should be named John XXIV? I think he said it in jest, but I also remember that at the beginning of his pontificate he did say we should read Monsignor Benson’s novel. It seems to be a favorite of his.

    There is so much in this novel that seems as if it were written for our time! Interesting point in the novel that as the Church is persecuted the people and the hierarchy communicate only in Latin. Today we are persecuted for using Latin. Mmmmm.

  10. Boniface says:

    Geoffrey, I hear you. The attitude of some who seem to think they know better than the Magisterium who is a saint and who’s not is sickening, to say the least. Perhaps this was the very “contradictory notion of Tradition” of which the great St. John Paul II wrote.

    I once experienced the great joy of being able to assist at a Dominican Rite mass on his feast day – a votive mass celebrated in his honor in which he was able to be commemorated by name (perfectly licitly, by the way, of course).

  11. iamlucky13 says:

    I figured it is probably worth trying to figure out a little more precisely what Mr. Sachs’ views are on population control. I didn’t find any clear summary, but Google Books lets me view some relevant snippets from some of his books. He does make some good comments about the importance of good medical care for mothers and children, but he also makes many clearly problematic statements.

    For example, in Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, he writes about the UN’s International Conference on Population and Development Plan of Action as one of the most important UN goals, and selects the following passage to explain his view (note, I’m redacting it heavily for brevity, and the focus of the original is far from singular on abortion, but the general intent of the statement is preserved):

    All countries are called upon to strive to make reproductive health accessible through the primary health-care system…Such care should include, inter alia…abortion.

    I did not see anywhere that he brought up the UN statement in the same document that “Governments should take appropriate steps to help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as a method of family planning.”

    Sachs also very clearly promotes contraception:

    Even when households would prefer to reduce fertility, they need reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception, in order to turn aspirations into reality.

    I did not find any advocacy from him for forced population control – secular society fortunately has largely not forgotten the ugliness of past efforts to implement such schemes.

    Overall, the appointment is concerning, although apparently there are 39 other members of the commission, so hopefully there are some strong orthodox voices on it, as well.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    If you want to see yourself, look at your friends, and in this case, associates, promotions, hires, appointments, visitors, etc. Most of the people Francis surrounds himself with are people most here could easily identify as hostile to the faith, definitely including men of the church, but in this case, a billionaire meddler. Who is this person to have any influence on our church, what is Catholic about him. I care so little about these people I have no idea what he’s about, but let me guess, he’s a “philanthropist”, which in today’s parlance means he tinkers with social engineering in some capacity, something he practices on the inferiors that fill his world. A person like this has no business anywhere in the church but the confessional, probably the last place you’d find him. Yet somehow he’s at the top of the pecking order in our church. Well, birds of a feather…

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  14. Imrahil says:

    Surely I am not the only Catholic who loves the traditional Roman Rite AND St John Paul the Great (yes, I said it), but it certainly does feel like it…

    Well, here’s one too.

    That is to say, I can understand the picking-and-choosing to a degree in principle. It would feel rather awkward to celebrate Pope St. Paul VI. in a trad manner, unless the Church actually mandated a feast (which she doesn’t); nor is such a feeling un-Catholic or something like it. I say that, by the way, even though I do not dispute the actual content of his canonization (which is that some way or other he is in Heaven now) and even though I actually consider him a highly interesting, highly sympathetic figure. (Though for clarification, I also consider Theobald Bethmann-Hollweg a perhaps slightly less but still highly interesting, perhaps slightly less but still highly sympathetic figure, and it was under his chancellorship that the First World War broke loose with the power he lead as the most-if-not-only guilty party.)

    What I do not understand is why would do such a thing to Pope St. John Paul II. in particular, who was holy in a somewhat manifest manner and inspired by his holiness. For that is the thing I remember him most, and it’s even clearer than the title “the Great”, though he perhaps deserves that too for his role in the crush of Communism and (dare I say it) the institution of World Youth Days.

    Coincidentally, what I also do not understand is that people don’t understand that holiness is something distinct from making no mistakes, or making lesser mistakes than other people. It is a shuddering thought that a man as manifestly holy as Pope St. John Paul II, for instance, thought Macial Marciel was the future of the Church; but it doesn’t make him any less holy. “And God knows best”, as the Muslims say, being right for a change.

    – As for the question: I think the thing to do if you have the proper books is to say a third-class office (in 1954 language, a minor-double office) for the feast of a Pope-and-confessor that falls on (in this case) a Friday, possibly importing the collect and the second-nocturn from the Novus Ordo or something.

  15. Imrahil says:

    Dear John Malloy,

    well, he was ready to give them a bishop, and Archbishop Lefebvre had in principle agreed to the terms and all. Then Archbishop Lefebvre, as the people in Star Wars, said “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”, though emphatically not because he thought he had compromised his movement with the actual terms of what he had signed. [Archbp. L recounts that, after asking multiple times when the SSPX would be granted a bishop, and hearing “Not ready yet” over and over again until Card. Ratzinger said, “I don’t know”, he concluded that Rome was not going to honor their side of their agreement. In retrospect, he was probably right: the upper echelong of, for example, the Secretariat of State interferred not a few times in the work of the Pontifical Commission. One can imagine their apoplexy at the thought of a reconciled SSPX with a bishop. As today, there are those who would rather see smoking craters sown with salt than a thriving parish with traditional worship and preaching. Why? Because… SHUT UP! Because… VATICAN II! And… and SHUT UP!]

    “Latae sententiae” is, by the way, actually lighter than, say, ferendae sententiae would be. They had consecrated a bishop, and that was forbidden under pain of excommunication. And now for the interesting observation: the Congregation for Bishops somehow took the matter in their hands, though they are not a court, [Ooops. The Congregations have their juridical sections and that congregation has competence. Moreover, they did what they did just as local bishops will also do, to confirm a sentence so that the lifting of the censure will be handled differently.] and said they had fallen under excommunication by canons 1364 and 1380. When Pope St. John Paul II himself issued his motuproprio, he (in a manner that can only be understood as deliberate) left the mention of 1364 out. That can only mean he, somewhat silently, ruled that we are not talking about the actual crime of schism (which is what 1364 is about), though still an excommunication for the unlawful consecration of bishops. (He also never added other punishments, such as exclusion from the clerical state. He never even specifically addressed Archbishop Lefebvre’s claims that he was free from the latae-sententiae punishment under can. 1323 no. 4 or at least can. 1324 § 1 no. 8 and § 3.)

  16. robtbrown says:

    If memory serves, the SSPX wanted two bishops. My understanding is that both sides agreed to the terms. Msgr LeF wanted them within a month of the signing. Rome said nothing, which prompted the question of when. Cardinal Ratzinger then was asked, and the answer finally came back that he didn’t know. LeF suspected a bait and switch by the Vatican (IMHO, Ratz was also a victim of it) and called it off.

    The Vatican plan was to create the Ecclesia Dei Commission and the FSSP for those SSPX members who wanted to come. After the talks fell through, the plan went ahead. The first members of the FSSP were SSPX priests.

  17. Imrahil says:

    Reverend Father,

    thank you for the clarifications.

    As for what I meant with “not a court”, I never disputed that the Congregation for Bishops has the right to its opinion whether someone has incurred a latae-sententiae excommunication, particularly if the someone is a bishop. However, a superficial reading of the Code had left me with the impression that the only person who can actually sit in judgment over a bishop is, in penal matters, the Pope in person (or of course someone specifically delegated by the Pope for the case, but then that would’ve been public, wouldn’t it).

    (The difference for me is that if I say, as I do, “the SSPX, whatever their problems with the hierarchy, is a group of Catholics not in schism”, I only have the private opinion of a Congregation against me and not the judgment of the Church. As I noted I do not have the opinion of Pope St. John Paul II against me, at least not an opinion he made public.)

    Dear robtbrown,

    and from what I’ve heard, afterwards some people originally intended for the episcopacy were not promoted. For me, the obvious conclusion is that Abp Lefebvre would have put forward Fr Schmidberger, who was at the time officially the general superior, with Abp Lefebvre in more of a founder-plus-emeritus-plus-bishop rôle. Under the changed circumstances, it was probably in itself a good idea to make clear that the bishops are auxiliaries and the general superior a priest, so as not to create the impression of setting up a different Church.

    Even if one would accept, for the sake of the argument, the idea of “operation survival” (and let it just be said that Lord has many possibilities to supply the trad community with bishops if He so desires, which up to now He seems to have done for FSSP, ICRSS and so forth), it still was wrong though to just consecrate someone who someone mentioned in the heat of the moment as a replacement – because he occupies some of the next highest positions within the structure or the like – without at least internally inquiring whether he really would make a good bishop. (At least, I’ve heard reported also that such a thing was done. And though I haven’t heard it with names, it’s not a far strech of imagination to suppose that one of those who stepped in as such candidates on short notice was Bp Williamson.)

  18. adriennep says:

    Your conclusion is bone chilling. To think that Sachs and TC are connected, that an attack on the Vetus Ordo is an attack on the very persons of John Paul II and Benedict: this is more than tears can bear. I also feel personally under assault since those two men led me into the Church. Any attack on them is also at the core of my being. To know that Benedict is still alive and in sound mind enough to see what is going on . . .

  19. Chad the Great says:

    J.P. II is unfairly maligned, because his positives are not as relevant today. He was a giant who stood fast against worldwide communism, and played a major role in bringing down the U.S.S.R.-a magnificent feat.
    That was his mission, though. Personal holiness and removing communism while evading nuclear war. His primary failure, was his inability to pacify the internal structure of the Church. He appointed bad bishops, at the behest of manipulative subordinates, and eventually issues the excommunications, which are the dark spot for his papacy.

    Lefebvre, whether anyone likes it or not, saved the Mass. He WAS a modern day Athanasius, and his canonization will happen one day.

    A saint excommunicated another saint. It’s not unfeasible, or beyond the pale. I haven’t looked, but in the 2,000 year history, surely there are examples.

    We are concerned now with defeating these awful clerics, who want to crush the Mass and ruin the Church. We are no longer worried about the U.S.S.R., and the achievements of J.P. II. Are somewhat alien to people in this era. They are massive nonetheless. In fact, many of his mistakes, like the Koran debacle, were part of his work as a peacemaker. We have to look at everything the man did. All in all, the world, the Church, and you and me were blessed we had him as a pontiff.

  20. robtbrown says:


    The pope is the final arbiter of every promotion to the episcopacy. So even if the name Williamson had been submitted, the pope could simply have given the non placet.

    Keep in mind that there were Cardinals (e.g., Gagnon, Oddi, Thiandoum) who were close to the SSPX and could have served as intermediaries.

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    From a 2017 twelve-page statement signed by about a dozen Catholic scientists and laity:

    “The Catholic Church has a long history of advancing knowledge and obtaining the insights of science in order to better pursue Her religious mission.

    25. A particular concern is the dominant to exclusive selection of politicians whose moral
    attitudes and philosophies are in direct conflict with Catholic teaching.

    32. A chronic problem in the operation of the academies recently has become acute. The Pontifical Academies, in their focus on issues of global environmental challenges and human development, have been importing secularist values, perspectives, and philosophies into
    their documents and statements, making it appear as if the Church was morally uncertain
    and is holding open different views on core teachings at the heart of Gospel teaching on matters of grave importance. The Church cannot accept, especially implicitly, that humanity
    can contracept and abort its way to a healthy environment, economy, or society.

    33. The problem is not the secularist scientists or economists of the Pontifical Academies as much as it is the Church supervision of the Academies. The membership of the Academies
    do not offer moral expertise. Yet the leadership of the Pontifical Academies consistently
    engages in selective invitation of experts who are leading advocates of morally
    problematic approaches, and provides a privileged forum for their views, which inevitably
    carries an implied endorsement by the Church.”

    Meanwhile, the John Paul II Institute is corrupted or effectively destroyed; the Dubia unanswered; the “Higher Committee for Human Fraternity” is building the “multifaith complex” dubbed the “Abrahamic Family House;” “Traditionis Custodes” does the opposite; the Vatican partners with certain CEOs and others as “Guardians;” at St. Peter’s in Rome Pachamama is venerated and the TLM suppressed; for Nativity scenes strange art replaces pious art; oddities in the Novus Ordo continue such as the recent “dirt pile” altar in Germany; St. Paul is characterized as “rigid;” and this from Vatican News last week: “Cardinal Mauro Gambetti explains that the just-established “Fratelli tutti” Foundation aims to promote and support sustainable growth and a new humanism and provide a workshop for the future.”

  22. TonyO says:

    There is little reason to doubt that Francis’s intention is to completely undermine the work of JPII, at least in many respects. He literally eradicated the old JPII institute and erected a new structure with nearly the same name, but with completely different people, including those utterly opposed to JPII’s way of seeing things. People who who would not have been given the job of janitor in the old Institute are now running it. And Francis did all this with a quite obvious poke in the eye for JPII himself, (not just for his work).

    John Paul II was a great pope and a great saint, who – yes – had some major flaws and made some real mistakes. One of them was refusing to immediately pull back from the entirely unnecessary Paul-VI-dig-your-heels-in position on the traditional mass “problem” and strike out with a completely new direction. Such as, for example, simply declaring as TRUE the basic SSPX claim that the old mass had never been abrogated – the position that Benedict affirmed 28 years later. JPII could have announced it in 1980, and he could have simply permitted and even promoted a dual “use” program for western Catholicism as the new normal. By 1985 the whole “trad” issue would have gone away. (Or any of a number of other pathways that also could have taken most of the wind out of Lefebvre’s “emergency” sails.) Or, you know, JPII could have easily done an end-around the Vatican-politics maneuvering that was trying to bolix a bishop being named for SSPX – and named one on his own initiative without all the falderol.

    But many saints, even widely acclaimed saints, have made mistakes. Popes, even those who are saints, do not have the gift of all-encompassing prudence and wisdom. I actually think JPII’s larger failure was not that of mistakes on dealing with SSPX, but in failing to reform the bishopric. He knew, or should have known, that the machinery in place for the advancement of names for the bishopric (and for cardinal’s hats) is gravely damaged. That machinery should have been the focus of a major overhaul. It CANNOT be that hard to find a good priest in each diocese of the world, instead of the likes of Kasper and Cupich.

  23. Imrahil says:

    Dear TonyO,

    instead of the likes of Kasper

    A mere couple of weeks ago I would have mentioned Cdl Kasper myself in such a sentence.

    The odd thing is, though, that in his old days and, I guess, seeing where the “Synodal Way” in Germany is headed, he seems to have come round now, so we have to give him his due for that. (And may God continue to pour down grace upon him.)

  24. Cincture says:

    “JPII could have announced it in 1980, and he could have simply permitted and even promoted a dual “use” program for western Catholicism as the new normal. By 1985 the whole “trad” issue would have gone away. (Or any of a number of other pathways that also could have taken most of the wind out of Lefebvre’s “emergency” sails.)”


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