The implementation of the contents of the Vatican II documents that was eviscerated by a “ spirit” invoked in the name of that same council was the inheritance of an unsuspecting Pope John XXIII. A widespread revolt against the teaching of Humanae Vitae on the moral evil of contraception further deepened this spirit of revolt through the pontificate of the suffering Pope Paul VI, who decried the “ smoke of Satan” in the “ sanctuary of the Church.”
Now, the revelations of misjudgment by some officials in the Vatican in their admiration for Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, have come to an embarrassing finale, as Maciel is now known to have fathered a child while living a double life. This is following earlier reports of other sexual sins on his part. Although Benedict moved quickly soon after he was elected to mitigate the damage by ordering Maciel to remove himself from public life, we now know the full extent of the betrayal of which this man was capable.
Thousands of members of the Legion and its lay movement, Regnum Christi, must now figure out how to go forward. It is a movement without a prime mover because it is a spiritual family without a spiritual head. May they enjoy the prayers and best wishes of all as they seek God’s will in the midst of bitter disappointment.
Also, in these days, Austria and Germany are erupting. Make no mistake about it, the fierce outcry against the Holy Father’s episcopal appointments and initiatives to bring unity within the Church are a personal attack. God have mercy upon all those who betray the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord and His true Vicars on earth, Benedict and his Predecessors.
Our Holy Father Benedict has declared war against an orthodoxy that exists only on paper, but not in liturgy or life. For years we have produced many orthodox catechisms and documents, while the liturgy is gutted, manipulated, and deformed into an unrecognizable mess. This ruin of the Church’s prayer has resulted in a ruin of the Church’s life, with Catholics leaving a Church which appears to have abandoned the cross in droves for other versions of a Christianity without the cross, of which there are many.
A betrayal of the cross of Christ is a betrayal against the Church herself, an evisceration of the Body of Christ which must be faithful to the whole Gospel or to none of it. There is no middle way: “ If you are lukewarm I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Benedict XVI has declared war on the toothless version of Christianity that has gutted Holy Mother Church in the name of a supposed “ spirit of Vatican II” which has laid waste to the praxis of Holy Faith in liturgy and life. There is no such thing as a “ spirit of the Vatican Council” which sets itself up in opposition to the letter of that same council without disastrous results.
Daily public obedience is manifested by the docile and holy spirit of priests and people who receive the liturgy from Holy Mother Church as it is given and celebrate it correctly with joy and gratitude. This must be joined to a constant desire to grow in the knowledge of the true faith as handed down by our Holy Father, through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and magisterial teachings.
Pray for the Holy Father. God grant him strength in the battle, length of life and victory over his enemies.
(Fr Cusick's column A Leaven in the World appears weekly in The Wanderer. Photo by CNS/Catholic Press.)