April 2020 How We Learned the Truth in the Early Days of Traditionalism

April 2020 How We Learned the Truth in the Early Days of Traditionalism

Today we have many things readily available to us, that were not available a half of a century ago, when Vatican II and its perfidious spirit was set loose on us. Communication was far more difficult. Thanks be to God the copying machine became available in offices at that time. What we can find today with a few clicks of a mouse and a little typing, was buried in dusty libraries. Some of it was not even in English, although over time I have found that a lot was, including things that would have been very helpful a half of a century ago. My parents probably have spent over a thousand dollars on copies and postage between 1965 and 1975.


If anyone found something they thought was good, such as the Bull, Quo Primum, they would make copies and circulate to all of their family and friends locally and also those they knew throughout the country. We were all trying to sort out what was going on and how we should deal with this crisis. We were discussing things and looking for the answers. We knew deep down that Father Dunphy was wrong, when he said that there are no answers. There had to be an answer for us.


Stop and think, even the Douay-Rheims Bible was not readily available. TAN Books was founded in 1967, and republished the Douay-Rhiems and the Catechism of the Council of Trent in the early 1970's, which many of us purchased. They also published several of Father James Wathan's works. In 1971, Wathan's The Great Sacrilege criticizing the Novus Ordo was published and when we found out about it in 1973, we ordered a copy.


In about 1972, someone found a copy of the Bull, Quo Primum of Pope Pius V, when he published the Missale Romanum. The Council of Trent ordered all of the liturgical books inspected and corrections made, and the Missal was the first project completed. The Pontifical and Ritual were also revised to remove anything that had crept in that should not have been there. This was immediately copied and made the rounds. It was quite influential, as it gives priests the right to use the Missal from before Vatican II.


About the same time, prophecy came to light. In 1970, Yves Dupont published Catholic Prophecy through TAN Books. Some, reading Sacred Scripture, especially the Apocalypse, we came to the conclusion that we may be in prophetic times, possibly even the time of Antichrist. And so this book became a best seller, and still influences people today. Later on someone circulated a prophecy attributed to Padre Pio about the Three Days of Darkness. This immediately made the rounds. We wondered if the Three Days of Darkness might come upon us. In fact, some are still wondering today. (Note, we will consider prophecy in a separate piece. The purpose of this piece is to merely show the influences that effected our thinking at the time, not to comment on the legitimacy of our reflections.) Another thing circulated, a prophecy attributed to a Saint Nilus.


And then there is the famous Canon 209, which Father Francis Fenton published. Basically the Catholic Church supplies jurisdiction to priests in cases of common error. This one we misinterpreted, although Father Fenton quoted the whole Canon in his work, which also circulated. There was certainly error coming from Vatican II and it was common. However, that is not what the Canon actually means. If we had known it means an error about the possession of an office, Traditionalism might not have gone the direction it actually did. We knew that Traditionalists priests were not our pastors, but functioning in an emergency, which all believed existed.


Yves Dupont translated the diary of a priest sent into a Catholic seminary by the Communists from Russia. He entitled his typed work, The Story of Seminary Student 1025. TAN Books later released a fictionalized version under the title of AA_1025. This made the circuit rapidly. At the time we did not know that Pope Saint Pius X had warned that the enemy had already infiltrated the Church even before the Communist take over of Russia. Also the Alta Vendita story was not available to us. However, when we read this, we believed indeed that "an enemy has done this." (Matthew 13:28)


At this time also, the Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget circulated with the promises that were put in the Index of Prohibited Books. And many recited these prayers in order to obtain these promises. (No one at the time knew of the condemnation.)


One of the first controversies after the institution of the Novus Ordo Missae was the mistranslation of the words, "pro multis," to "for all," instead of their literal meaning found in Sacripture, "for many". Someone found the portion of the decree found in the Missale Romanum, De Defectibus on defects in the form of consecration, stating that a mutilation of essential form of consecration that changes meaning, invalidates the consecration. Two changes are made in the consecration of the wine, the mistranslation of "promultis", which is retained correct in the Latin Novus Ordo and the omission of the words "the mystery of faith." We heard of the reasoning behind the translation put forward by Joachim Jeremias, a Biblical 'scholar.' He put forth that Aramaic has no real word for "all," therefore Jesus had to use what was available, therefore He said "many," when He actually meant, "all." We did not know at the time and it was not found out until a few years ago, that two questions were answered by Modernist Rome in the early 1970's on this question, stating that what Jesus meant was "for all." It should be noted that Benedict Pope of the Conciliar Church ordered better translations of the Novus Ordo into the vernacular, which repaired this mis-translation among others. However, we must ask ourselves, in light of these two notices, what do Novus Ordo priests mean, when they say "for many."


Soon people began writing what they were thinking about what was going on in the Catholic Church. Yves Dupont wrote from Australia; Dr. Hugo Maria Kellner and Mr. William Strojie wrote in the United States. Some people in Louisville, Kentucky began writing a paper, which they called Veritas. They translated some writings from Father Joachim Saenz-Arriaga from Mexico. Writers would present what the Church teaches, citing their source, then add their comments. We were hungry for information that would help sort things out.


During the early 1970's all Traditionalists were implicit sede vacantists, because how could a Pope give us what flowed from Vatican II in our pulpits and sanctuaries? However, the position sede vacantism had not been invented. Battle lines over the Pope began to be drawn after the SSPX became entrenched throughout the world.


Several important documents did not see the light of day until far later. We have already seen the two notices about translating "pro multis" as for all." The Bull, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, would not be translated until the late 1980's into English. The declaration of Paul VI in 1974, Insauratio liturgica did not become readily available until a few years ago. If we had known that Paul VI intended to change the essential Rites of the Sacraments, we would known with certain to stay away from them.


Catholic Prophecy: https://archive.org/details/CatholicProphecy/page/n1

Padre Pio Prophecy: https://www.tldm.org/news/darkness-11-13-98.htm

Saint Nilus Prophecy: https://www.traditioninaction.org/Questions/B249_StNilus.html