Of Elephants and Naked Emperors – Faux-Genderism and the Rebellion Against God

“Know ye that the Lord he is God: he made us, and not we ourselves.”

Psalms 99:3 Douay Rheims Bible

Out of the depths of Judeo-Christian history comes a word speaking directly to the confusion, rebellion, and despair abundant in this present age. How astounding to find a truth, written in the hazy mists of time somewhere beyond two millennia ago, so striking in the prescience and accuracy with which it confronts the “transgender” nonsense prevalent in this era supposedly representing the pinnacle of human knowledge and wisdom.

And not we ourselves.” God created us, and we did not. And therefore, we must accept how he created us: male and female, designed to be fathers and mothers, complementing and accompanying each other in this life He has given us. St. Robert Bellarmine sees in this passage an expression of the deepest gratitude to God:

“Enter into his house with praise and thanksgiving, acknowledging you owe all to him, and have received everything from him.” [1]

Yet today we are surrounded with denial of this obvious truth, and instead of gratitude we witness outright rebellion in the cacophony spewing forth from the progressive elites. “Transgender” implies it is possible to transition between the male and female genders, or that there might be some spectrum of intermediate genders which are neither male nor female. But human gender is written indelibly into each and every one of the 30 trillion or so cells in the human body. The biological mechanism for sex determination allows for only two genders, male and female. Colin Wright helps us to understand this in a particularly clear statement:

“When biologists speak of sex being “binary,” we mean something very straightforward. There exist only two sexes, which are fundamentally rooted in the binary classification between sperm and ova. Males have the function of producing small gametes (sperm), and females large gametes (ova). Other measurable sex differences beyond gametes (which include genetic differences, hormone levels, and average morphological and behavioral differences) are either a cause or consequence of this fundamentally binary and definitional distinction between males and females, and they need not be binary.” [2]

Disorders which arise with the chromosomes determining gender in humans do not result in gender variants – they are abnormalities which happen at a very low rate in this extremely complex system called the human body. Similarly, psychological disorders can interfere with a person’s proper perception of their gender.

As we are taught by the Catechism in the case of homosexual disorders [3], charity must be exercised in dealing with those suffering from gender disorders. But the exercise of charity does not mean the right thing to do is to pretend the disorders do not exist. Yet the American Psychiatric Association did exactly that in 2013. The APA Fact Sheet describing the reclassification of gender disorders is a masterpiece of deception:

“ . . . people whose gender at birth is contrary to the one they identify with will be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. . . . The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.” [4]

The term “gender at birth” implies gender is an arbitrary assignment, one that might be changed, made at birth by doctors or others who have no appreciation for the inherent being of the newborn baby. This is simply false. As discussed above, a person’s gender is determined at the cellular level, and is immutable. Further, while people with psychological gender disorders experience a conflict between the truth of how they were created and their erroneous perceptions of that creation, this re-definition of the condition now commits some clever sleight of hand, and asserts the real issue here to be the symptom: “ . . . the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.” The idea that the underlying problem is the discomfort experienced with injury or disease, rather than the actual injury or disease, would never be considered for physical ailments.

A similar ploy is used by those who would make a distinction between gender and sex, as in this statement from the World Health Organization:

“Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.” [5]

This is nothing other than an attempt to normalize gender disorders, building the entire edifice of gender ideology upon the psychological illnesses of the gender-confused. Rather than acknowledging the need for treatment, the medical profession has turned truth upon its head, and conditions which should be recognized as abnormal and requiring treatment have been instead ordained as healthy and normal. It is fascinating to see that those who have succumbed to gender ideology have adopted the mantra of “pride” – thereby accusing themselves of slavery to sin and prophesying their own destruction. Catholic teaching describes pride as one of the capital sins, addressed in the Catechism [6] referencing St. Gregory the Great, [7] who himself refers to Holy Scripture:

“The beginning of the pride of man, is to fall off from God: Because his heart is departed from him that made him: for pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it, shall be filled with maledictions, and it shall ruin him in the end.”

Ecclesiasticus 10:14, 15, Douay-Rheims Bible

It shall ruin him in the end.” The immediate result of the “reclassification” of gender disorders is the denial of corrective psychiatric treatment to suffering individuals. The damage resulting from the loss of psychiatric treatment is then magnified, since a justification has now been created for mutilating the gender-disordered in an attempt to approximate their bodies to their “perceived” gender. Sarah Cain exposes the inherent immorality of the euphemistically termed “gender-affirming care”:

“. . . these are not medical procedures because they are not healing. They do not have the potential or even goal of healing, only of placating an ill mind. Mutilation harms the individual in distress, denigrates the medical profession, and sickens society.” [8]

Such presumptuous yet pathetic attempts to violate the creative plan established by God constitute open rebellion against Him – a fact noted in 2014 by Pope Benedict. [9] Not surprisingly, the human misery caused by the rebellion implicit in “gender-affirming” care is horrifying. I challenge you to review the graphic descriptions documented by TT Exulansic of the physical mutilation involved [10] – and then imagine the mental distress patients experience when they finally and fully realize that what they have done to themselves cannot be undone.

But the damage done to the afflicted individuals is not the only impact. The failure to recognize the objective truth of the matter propagates throughout society. A whole vocabulary has grown up around the seemingly endless varieties of gender disorders which are now being trumpeted as alternative forms of health. We have worked ourselves into a situation in which everyone must feign blindness to the elephant in the room, and cooperate in attacking those who have the temerity to point out the nakedness of the faux-gender emperor. The original message of “live and let live” has morphed into a more aggressive and demanding form, progressing even to the initiation of legislation to criminalize speech which doesn’t go along with this hoax. [11] A recent survey demonstrated the tyrannical bent of the cultural degradation among millenials resulting from faux-genderism:

“The survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that 44 percent of respondents between 25 and 34 say what’s known as misgendering should be a crime. Only 31 percent were firm that such conduct should not be a crime . . .” [12]

The faux-gender movement has had a signficant impact on society. Christians need to get beyond their typical reactive posture and instead get ahead of the problem, and try to understand where this mushrooming disaster is heading. The progressive contagion will continue to propagate if we do not fight it, since the devil is never satisfied with the extent of his grip on souls. The stakes are very high. It would be bad enough if this evil were to be confined only to adults. However, what I find to be particularly disturbing is the focus by the faux-gender leviathan on children.

I think it is now possible to understand the direction in which this evil is going. It is a pattern we have seen before, when the broad acceptance of homosexuality led to “homosexual marriage” and then adoption of children by homosexual couples. I grieve for the children who are saddled with a pseudo-mother or father, and who will never know the love of a real mother or father, a love they deserve to experience, and a love God intended for them to have, because we have brashly decided homosexual couples are fit to raise children. And now, with the cultural appeasement of gender ideologues, we are told we must accept the ludicrous spectacle of disturbed men dressed as provocative women reading stories to children – as if that is nothing out of the ordinary. The whole business is clearly an effort to influence children to believe faux-gendered people are perfectly normal and safe. Beyond the dismaying spectacle of “story hours,” the country’s education establishment has been stealthily working to steer children toward “gender transition” while avoiding parental notification. [13] The progressive elites have lost all sense of judgment and propriety and respect for the innocence of children. Witness, for example, the perverse videos on the website “Queer Kid Stuff – LGBTQ+ And Social Justice Videos for All Ages”, [14] among which is a video of the reading of a children’s book explaining abortion. [15] What possible justification could there be for teaching children about the murder of other children in the wombs of their mothers? Unfortunately, all of the indoctrination is having an impact – and the rapid acceleration of youth professing to be enslaved by gender confusion should be causing alarms to sound across the country. [16]

But even the massive psychological devastation among youth caused by the pestilence of gender ideology is not enough for the gender progressives. As with the destruction of children in the womb via abortion – as with the surrender of children to homosexual couples – as with the sudden focus on “gender affirmation” surgery and chemical intrusion on even young children [17, 18] – it is clear the devil is intent on further pursuing the attack on children to another level. We now see the faux-gender movement heading straight toward pedophilia. Any sane parent has got to be terrified by the sick chants heard along the route of the June “Pride” parade in New York City:

“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children.” [19]

This movement is not just a product of the activists. We now see the legal framework for the protection of children being undermined by the “eminent” members of the International Commission of Jurists, who produced a document last March in cooperation with United Nations agencies which advocated that sex between adults and children who consent should be decriminalized:

“Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual, in fact, if not in law. In this context, the enforcement of criminal law should reflect the rights and capacities of persons under 18 years of age to make decisions about engaging in consensual sexual conduct and their right to be heard in matters concerning them.” [20]

Thinking like this should not be thought to be remote and irrelevant to us here in the U. S. As reported in detail by John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist, Minnesota Democrat legislators of the same ilk in May fought but failed to prevent language in the Minnesota Human Rights Act specifying that pedophilia is not a sexual orientation:

“By removing that language, the bill would have opened the door to widening the definition of sexual orientation to include pedophilia as a protected class alongside other minorities.” [21]

The important thing to recognize here is that the progressive elites of society – the corporate, media, legal, academic, and medical professions, and every component of government – are leading the faux-gender attacks on children. Therefore, we must understand we can no longer look to secular institutions to protect Christian norms. We must instead look to the Church.

The Church to date has done a decent job of setting forth the Christian principles governing our understanding of gender. For example, the Catechism is quite clear:

“Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.” [22]

There are other good examples of Catholic teaching on this matter. In 2017, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) along with other Christian leaders published a statement upholding the Christian understanding of sexuality and male and female genders. [23] This year the USCCB provided doctrinal guidance asserting the immorality of surgical or other physical intervention for the purpose of addressing gender dysphoria or gender disorders, and also voted in June to revise the Religious and Ethical Directives for Catholic Health Care to prohibit so-called “gender-affirming” care involving surgical or other manipulation to artificially attempt alteration of a patient’s gender. [24, 25] Individual bishops have also weighed in, as did Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge with his 2021 catechesis on gender ideology. This document is an excellent statement of the basic principles in this area, teaching the truths inherent in God’s creation of man and woman, while expressing appropriate solicitude for the afflicted. It also recognizes much of the social harm being done by the faux-gender movement. However, the document is, consistent with its title, only a catechesis, a statement teaching Catholics the articles of their faith in this matter. [26]

But simply teaching Catholics what they should already know or directing Catholic institutions to act within the teaching of the Church is not sufficient. Especially when we see the infiltration of movements to endorse and support gender ideology at even the very highest levels of the Church. For example, several American bishops have succumbed to the deception at the root of the faux-gender crisis, by implicitly accepting the distorted language of the “LGBT” movement. The following statements originate from a group of radical U. S. bishops who have chosen to focus exclusively on the maltreatment experienced by the gender-disordered:

“ . . . the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that LGBT people are to be treated with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity . . . All people of goodwill should help, support, and defend LGBT youth. . . .” [27]

Although these declarations sound compassionate and reflective of Christ’s love, they suffer from the deceit inherent in the references to “LGBT people” and “LGBT youth,” which legitimize the fiction that faux-genderism is normal. There is not a single reference in this statement to assisting these disturbed people to receive psychiatric treatment to heal their mental disorders.

Even worse are the troubling statements from Cardinal McElroy attempting to leverage the Synod on Synodality, thus potentially affecting the entire Church, in the effort to endorse gender ideology:

“Cardinal McElroy argues that the synodal process on synodality for a synodal Church is an opportune time to revisit — and revise — some doctrines of the Church. Among those are the question of priestly ordination for women, but his main focus was on “radical inclusion of L.G.B.T. people.”” [28]

Faithful bishops should be emphatically and persistently speaking to the world, not just Catholics. A case in point is the November 2022 address of Oklahoma Archbishop Paul Coakley to the Napa Institute, a Catholic organization dedicated to transforming the culture, wherein he attributed the roots of the faux-gender crisis to the devil:

“If the devil can confuse society about sex and gender, he obscures our understanding of God’s plan for humanity at its very roots.’” [29

The effectiveness of the Archbishop’s speech can be measured by the aggrieved response from those who endorse the faux-gender evil, such as the zealots at New Ways Ministry. [30] Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco has also not been afraid to proclaim the demonic nature of the transgender ideology. [31] The leadership provided by orthodox Catholic shepherds like these on this issue is critically important. William Kilpatrick put it this way recently:

“The U.S. bishops have a lot on their hands. But there are some topics they can’t afford to ignore. While the bishops are rightly concerned by the large number of children who are being kidnapped by sex traffickers on our southern border, they also need to start worrying about the even larger number of children who are being trafficked into a perverted ideology by some well-meaning but naive people—and also by a substantial number who are neither well-meaning nor naive.” [32]

In the face of overwhelming pressure from the progressive elites, now including even treacherous elements from within the Church itself, it is time for the faithful shepherds of the Church to lead the fight against this evil. And the key word is “fight.” The time for mild, cautiously tempered arguments designed to avoid offense is over. It is time to proclaim the truth fearlessly. Like the apostles, martyrs, and saints of centuries past.


1. Bellarmine, Robert. “A Commentary on the Book of Psalms.” Psalm 99. eCatholic2000. 2016. https://ecatholic2000.com/bell/psalms.shtml#_Toc417747233

2. Wright, Colin. “Are There More Than Two Sexes?” City Journal. March 2, 2023. https://www.city-journal.org/article/are-there-more-than-two-sexes

3. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994, paragraph 2538. https://www.usccb.org/sites/default/files/flipbooks/catechism/568/#zoom=z

4. “Gender Dysphoria.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). American Psychiatric Association. 2013. https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Practice/DSM/APA_DSM-5-Gender-Dysphoria.pdf

5. “Gender and health.” World Health Organization/Health Topics. Accessed July 24, 2023. https://www.who.int/health-topics/gender#tab=tab_1

6. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994, paragraph 1866. https://www.usccb.org/sites/default/files/flipbooks/catechism/459/#zoom=z


8. Sarah Cain. “The Moral Cowardice of Ignoring Trans Adults.” Crisis Magazine. July 24, 2023. https://crisismagazine.com/opinion/the-moral-cowardice-of-ignoring-trans-adults

9. Maike, Hickson. “Moral theologian: Benedict XVI called gender ideology ‘the ultimate rebellion against God.’” LifeSiteNews. May 16, 2023. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/moral-theologian-benedict-xvi-called-gender-ideology-the-ultimate-rebellion-against-god/

10. TT Exulansic. “Genital Mutilation for the Masses.” The American Mind. June 14, 2023. https://americanmind.org/salvo/genital-mutilation-for-the-masses

11. Linebarger, Cullen. “THOUGHTCRIME: Michigan May Imprison Residents for Years for “Misgendering” or “Threatening” LGBTQ Individuals Under New “Hate Speech” Bill.” Gateway Pundit. June 30, 2023.

12. Davis, Jack. “Using Wrong Pronouns Should Be ‘Criminal Offense,’ Say Almost Half of Millennials: Survey.” The Western Journal. July 16, 2023. https://www.westernjournal.com/using-wrong-pronouns-criminal-offense-say-almost-half-millennials-survey/

13. Berg, Luke. “How Schools’ Transgender Policies Are Eroding Parents’ Rights.” American Enterprise Institute/Conservative Education Reforn Network. March 2022. https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/How-Schools%E2%80%99-Transgender-Policies-Are-Eroding-Parents%E2%80%99-Rights.pdf?x91208

14. Queer Kid Stuff – LGBTQ+ And Social Justice Videos for All Ages. Accessed 24 July 2023. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCecsVoeJcsXbAra7Sl4mOPw

15. Mondoro, Jean. “Resurfaced video shows gender-confused YouTuber reading children’s book about abortion.” LifeSite News. July 17, 2023. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/resurfaced-video-shows-gender-confused-youtuber-reading-childrens-book-about-abortion/

16. Respaut, Robin and Terhune, Chad. “Putting numbers on the rise in children seeking gender care.” Reuters Investigates/Youth in Transition. October 6, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-transyouth-data/

17. “The dark side of transgenderism: Moral monsters are mutilating children without parental involvement.” Washington Examiner. July 31, 2021. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/dark-side-of-transgenderism-monsters-mutilating-children

18. Kao, Emilie. “We’ll Tell You What ‘60 Minutes+’ Won’t About How Transgender Movement Endangers Kids.” The Heritage Foundation. June 30, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/gender/commentary/well-tell-you-what-60-minutes-wont-about-how-transgender-movement-endangers-kids

19. Orsi, Michael. “‘Pride’ marchers chanting ‘we’re coming for your children’ shows what the LGBT agenda is about.” LifeSite News. July 4, 2023. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/pride-marchers-chanting-were-coming-for-your-children-shows-what-the-lgbt-agenda-is-about/

20. “The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law Proscribing Conduct Associated with Sex, Reproduction, Drug Use, HIV, Homelessness and Poverty Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law.” The International Commission of Jurists. March 2023. https://share-netinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/8-MARCH-Principles-FINAL-printer-version-1-MARCH-2023.pdf

21. Davidson, John Daniel. “Yes, The Trans Movement Is Coming For Your Kids.” The Federalist. May 3, 2023. https://thefederalist.com/2023/05/03/yes-the-trans-movement-is-coming-for-your-kids/

22. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994, paragraph 2333. https://www.usccb.org/sites/default/files/flipbooks/catechism/562/#zoom=z

23. “Created Male and Female: An Open Letter from Religious Leaders.” U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Promotion and Defense of Marriage. December 15, 2017. https://www.usccb.org/topics/promotion-defense-marriage/created-male-and-female

24. “Doctrinal Note on the Moral Limits to Technological Manipulation of the Human Body.” U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. March 20 2023. https://www.usccb.org/resources/doctrinal-note-moral-limits-technological-manipulation-human-body

25. Brown, Lauretta. “US Bishops Approve Plan for Guidance to Health-Care Institutions on Transgender Issues.” National Catholic Register/Nation. June 16, 2023. https://www.ncregister.com/cna/us-bishops-approve-plan-for-guidance-to-health-care-institutions-on-transgender-issues

26. Burbidge, Michael. “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology.” Catholic Diocese of Arlington. August 12, 2021. https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/communications/bishop/public-messages/catechesis-on-gender-ideology-english-20dec.pdf

27. “God is on your side: A statement from Catholic Bishops on protecting LGBT Youth.” Tyler Clementi Foundation. Accessed July 24, 2023. https://tylerclementi.org/catholicbishopsstatement/

28. de Souza, Raymond. “Cardinal McElroy’s Attack on Church Teachings on Sexuality Is a Pastoral Disaster.” National Catholic Register. January 26, 2023. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/cardinal-mcelroy-s-attack-on-church-teachings-on-sexuality-is-a-pastoral-disaster

29. “Msgr Herron Dinner – Archbishop Coakley.” Facebook/Napa Institute. November 30, 2022. https://www.facebook.com/napainstitute/videos/462400956047305/

30. Shine, Robert. “USCCB Secretary Claims Transgender Equality Is “Doing Great Damage to Society.” New Ways Ministry. December 14, 2022. https://www.newwaysministry.org/2022/12/14/usccb-secretary-claims-transgender-equality-is-doing-great-damage-to-society/

31. Lamb, Matt. “Abp. Cordileone condemns abortion as ‘satanic worship,’ LGBT ideology as ‘demonic.’” LifeSite News. April 11, 2023. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-cordileone-condemns-abortion-as-satanic-worship-lgbt-ideology-as-demonic/

32. Kilpatrick, William. “The Trans Controversy: American Bishops Face a Divided Nation and a Divided Church.” Crisis Magazine. July 18, 2023. https://crisismagazine.com/opinion/the-trans-controversy-american-bishops-face-a-divided-nation-and-a-divided-church

The Failure of Catholic Teaching on Abortion

While many hail the recent Supreme Court decision returning abortion law to the states as a landmark victory for unborn children, it must be recognized that this decision did not find abortion to be immoral, or even illegal – it merely determined that there was no federal constitutional right to abortion. And it therefore must be admitted that a decisive victory in the debate over abortion has not yet been won – the case against abortion has not yet been made. An honest assessment of the debate would consider, for example, the following discouraging statistics regarding Catholics and abortion from May 2022:

“Overall, about three-quarters of U.S. Catholics (76%) say abortion should be illegal in some cases but legal in others. Just one-in-ten say abortion should be illegal in all cases, with no exceptions, while a similar share (13%) take the position that abortion should be legal in all cases, without exceptions.” [1]

This is an astonishing set of statistics. The thought that something so violent as the deliberate destruction of an infant within the womb of a mother can be thought to be legal and just by a strong majority of those who count themselves as faithful members of the Church founded by none other than Jesus Himself is almost unbelievable. It is one thing for statistics like these to be discovered among the pagan and the unchurched, but for Catholics themselves to be found so corrupt in their faith is a sign of moral decay that cannot be ignored.

Our Catholic leaders should ask themselves why there is such a failure to accept a fundamental teaching among even Catholics themselves. Are we experiencing a period of such concerted evil everywhere that the teaching of the Church is simply overwhelmed? Or is there something wrong with how the Church has attempted to assert its views on this subject, despite the intent of the Second Vatican Council to make the Gospel accessible to modern man? What exactly has the Church taught on this issue?

It may seem trivially obvious, but the words that are chosen in taking a position on a particular issue are critically important. I experienced this in the course of a long career working in every aspect of the systems engineering process for a major military system. The development of system requirements is a prime example. These requirements are written down and debated and sometimes fiercely fought over at successively greater levels of detail. The government must obtain the right product – and the contractor must meet the requirement while remaining profitable. I recall the comment of a very wise old engineer, who had fought the battles over computer program development requirements with a particular prime contractor for a very long time:

“All we have are words.”

That is, if we failed to construct our requirements with carefully reasoned language that fully reflected our actual intent, the end product we had envisioned would not be achieved.

There is a remarkable paucity of such precise language these days in the statements of the Catholic Church.

The expression of the Catholic position on abortion suffers from just this condition. A comment by Pope Francis from a November 2022 interview exemplifies the weakness of the Church’s message to the world on abortion. When asked whether abortion should be treated as a priority for the bishops in comparison to other social issues, the Pope responded with the following discussion:

“In any book of embryology it is said that shortly before one month after conception the organs and the DNA are already delineated in the tiny fetus, before the mother even becomes aware. Therefore, there is a living human being. I do not say a person, because this is debated, but a living human being. And I raise two questions: Is it right to get rid of a human being to resolve a problem? Second question: Is it right to hire a “hit man” to resolve a problem? The problem arises when this reality of killing a human being is transformed into a political question, or when a pastor of the church uses political categories.” [2]

It is interesting to me that the Pope ignored the question that was actually asked. It is, I suppose, one way of avoiding a question with a faulty premise. But he could have also answered directly, and set this question in its proper context. He could have said that abortion is not just one social issue among many. He could have said that abortion is uniquely evil, because it involves the cooperation of a mother in the death of her own child, and it therefore attacks the heart and soul, the very foundation, of human life and society.

The Pope goes on to make several confusing comments about abortion. He likens abortion to a murder for hire contract, a contract undertaken to solve a “problem.” This is not an apt analogy. Abortion is the murder of an innocent child – a child who, as a gift from God, is most decisively not a problem. The problem exists with the mindset of the mother and the society which deem it necessary to reject that which God has done. And also, again quite unlike a murder for hire contract, abortion requires the direct physical participation of the mother in the killing of the unborn victim. The Pope’s analogy fails to acknowledge the monstrously destructive impact of abortion, as it literally tears apart that most intimate of human relationships, that of a mother and her unborn child. By calling the unborn child a problem, the Pope has submitted to the secular paradigm framing the abortion issue.

The Pope’s comment about abortion as a political question has me flummoxed. What comes to my mind is that politics is the means by which we govern ourselves. Of course we should want to implement fundamental Christian values into the core of our governance – which necessarily involves politics, and political parties.

These comments are generally indicative of weak and ineffective teaching about the evils of abortion. However, with his comment about personhood the Pope has exposed a serious problem with the Church’s teaching on abortion.

The Pope stated that the science of embryology indicates that a living human being exists within a month after conception, but at the same time he mentioned that he could not confirm that an unborn child is a person. This statement unfortunately leaves in doubt the humanity of the unborn child in the first month of existence, but even worse, fails to make any argument for the personhood of the unborn child. Compare this to the position put forth by the U. S. Catholic bishops on abortion:

“Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church’s opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person.” [3]

The bishops here apply their arguments to the status of the child from the moment of conception, and do not leave out the first month of life as does the Pope. And they state that the unborn child must be treated as a person. However, the bishops’ statement falls short as well. Despite their argument that the unborn child should be treated as a person, they do not actually state that the unborn child is a person. This is a significant distinction and the question naturally arises: Why not? Why can we Catholics not bring ourselves to use language that states specifically that the unborn human being is fully a person?

The history of the church’s position on abortion reflects a debate over the centuries concerning when exactly the soul enters the body of a new human being:

“In the course of history, the Fathers of the Church, her Pastors and her Doctors have taught the same doctrine – the various opinions on the infusion of the spiritual soul did not introduce any doubt about the illicitness of abortion. It is true that in the Middle Ages, when the opinion was generally held that the spiritual soul was not present until after the first few weeks, a distinction was made in the evaluation of the sin and the gravity of penal sanctions. Excellent authors allowed for this first period more lenient case solutions which they rejected for following periods. But it was never denied at that time that procured abortion, even during the first days, was objectively grave fault.” [4]

And according to an unnamed theologian cited by John-Henry Westen of Lifesite News, the Church has never declared the unborn child to be a person:

“I checked with the best theologian I know and learned that the Church has never defined the unborn child as a “person” but has always said the unborn has personal dignity. The medieval theologians did not know about the development and genetics of the child in the womb, so they debated things like when the soul enters the body. Given modern genetic understanding, it seems clear now, but there has been no dogmatic declaration.” [5]

“It seems clear now, but there has been no dogmatic declaration.” That, apparently, is the best we can do. The Church has addressed this issue of the personhood of the unborn multiple times – but in every instance does not quite actually state unequivocally that the unborn child is a person from the moment of conception. Examples of such statements include the USCCB position on abortion mentioned earlier in this article, as well as the recent USCCB Amicus Brief filed for the Dobbs decision [6], and paragraphs 2274 [7] and 2319 [8] of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Church’s argument in general is that human life in itself, whether or not personhood has been established at conception, deserves the rights of personhood. Donum Vitae reflects this position:

“Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life”. [9] [emphasis added]

Other magisterial documents on this subject provide more insight into the rationale for the Church’s position to date. Here is a key passage from Evangelium Vitae of 1993:

“Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be ascertained by empirical data, the results themseves of scientific research on the human embryo provide a valuable indication for the use of reason of a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?” [10]

Why is “empirical data” implied here to be the standard by which truth must be assessed? Why does the Church attempt to make this argument based purely on scientific evidence?

A fairly recent statement reflecting the ordinary magisterium of the Church on abortion is the Instruction by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dignitatis Personae of September, 2008, which updated Donum Vitae (1987), and referenced both Veritatis Splendor (1993) and Evangelium Vitae (1995). Interestingly, Dignitatis Personae claims right at the outset that “ . . . the Catholic Church draws upon the light both of reason and of faith and seeks to set forth an integral vision of man and his vocation . . .” [11] Yet despite that assertion, Dignitatis Personae refers back to and endorses Donum Vitae’s statement which did not quite declare the unborn embryo to be a person:

“If Donum Vitae, in order to avoid a statement of an explicitly philosophical nature, did not define the embryo as a person, it nonetheless did indicate that there is an intrinsic connection between the ontological dimension and the specific value of every human life.” Although the presence of the spiritual soul cannot be observed experimentally, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo give “a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life . . .” [12]

Here we see the limits inherent in the Church’s reasoning on abortion. Neither theological nor philosophical arguments are considered to be useful, apparently, and the Church attempts to convince using only reason based on science. The Church should use the full arsenal of reasoned arguments at her disposal: it is a mistake to assume that the secular world is amenable only to explanations employing “scientific” evidence. The perceived limitations of the secular mindset should not be allowed to shape the battleground over how morality is to be defined. Andrew Greenwell points out why arguments with such limitations are inadequate:

“Only persons are made in the image of God, have a capacity for God, and have supernatural destinies. Remove God from the picture, therefore, and invariably the concept of person becomes unintelligible. The dignity of man, the concept of personhood, cannot be built upon agnostic, much less atheistic, foundations. True, it is a philosophical concept, but it is intimately theological at its foundation.” [13]

Dr. Jeff Mirus has made the argument for personhood with the necessary clarity, avoiding the “as a person” characterization:

“The Church has always held that the human person is a union of a body and a rational soul, and that each soul is created individually by God. But over the centuries there have been theological debates over exactly when the soul is created and infused into the human body. Revelation does not answer this question, but the Church has always answered philosophically in this way: The soul is created in the same instant in which it is infused into the body, and that happens as soon as the matter is suitable. In other words, biology plays a key role in answering this question. This is why, in the medieval period, most theologians held that the soul is created and infused at the time of “quickening”, which is essentially when we become aware of the movement of the baby in the womb. However, we now know that the “matter”—the body—is distinctively human from the moment of conception, when the sperm and egg unite to form the zygote. There is no time after successful fertilization that the embryo is or can be anything other than human. Consequently, Catholics can now confidently state that the soul is created by God and joined to the body at the precise moment of conception.” [14] [emphasis added]

Dr. Mirus does not back away from using the argument that the soul is joined to the body when the matter is suitable in conjunction with the biological evidence to draw the conclusion that the soul, and thus personhood, arrive at the moment of conception.

The insistence that the unborn child is fully a person from conception is vitally important to the abortion debate. Unfortunately, the approach that the Church uses leaves an opening for the abortionists to attack. Since personhood has not been established to commence at the moment of conception (nor at any time during gestation for that matter), then abortionists can claim that the unborn are not persons. If the unborn child is not a person, then it is not a person that is being destroyed in the act of abortion. Human dignity and human rights are not a concern if that human is not a person. Only a person has rights. The Church should not be afraid to do battle and counter this falsehood with the hardcore abortion advocates, those progressive movers and shakers who are leading and shaping our society and culture today.

The significance of the unborn child’s personhood in making the case against abortion is clearly borne out in the U. S. Supreme Court’s deliberations on the matter. In the original decision legalizing abortion throughout the United States, the Court’s inability to recognize the personhood of the unborn child was a key aspect of the argument supporting abortion. The 1973 Roe Court’s actual words summarizing their conclusions about the personhood of the unborn speak volumes:

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theologians are unable to arrive at a consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” [15]

The Court further said that if personhood had been established for the unborn child, then that would have guaranteed that child’s right to life under the 14th Amendment. [16] The Casey decision on abortion [17] following on twenty years later did nothing to change the Court’s view of the unfortunate absence of the personhood of the unborn, and now, fifty years later, neither has the Dobbs decision:

“Our opinion is not based on any view about if and when prenatal life is entitled to any of the rights enjoyed after birth.” [18]

The Court in Dobbs determined that abortion is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution, and therefore should be a matter to be be decided by the individual States. And those States may still determine that an unborn child does not enjoy the rights of personhood, and is therefore still subject to abortion. Reliable legal protection for the unborn child, regardless of the circumstances of his birth – such as rape or incest or the health of the mother – circumstances for which that innocent unborn child has absolutely no responsibility – still does not exist in the United States.

The lamentable fact that the Catholic Church, the most steadfast of anti-abortion institutions, has not yet seen fit to unambiguously declare the unborn child a person does not help in the fight against abortion. If even the Catholics won’t declare that the unborn are persons, then why should anyone else believe that the unborn are persons – from the moment of conception?

We should not think that the derelict reasoning of the U. S. Supreme Court regarding the personhood of the unborn is an antiquated relic of the outdated thought of 50 years ago. Abortion proponents still today employ that very same thought process. An article written by an academic in response to the first occasion on which Pope Francis (2018) made the argument about hitmen and abortion [19] takes exactly that position, assigning eligibility for the rights of personhood to those who have “moral status,” which is defined as:

“. . . a philosophical term which means they are morally significant, and harms and benefits to them must be considered when making decisions.” [20]

The author made the point that an execution by a hitman involved a human victim who possessed unquestioned moral status, while an abortion did not involve a victim with that same level of status:

“It’s not clear whether foetuses have moral status, or at what stage of their development they might acquire it. Some insist that foetuses attain moral status at conception. Others insist that moral status is acquired once the foetus becomes “viable”, which means it could survive outside the womb. Others still contend that moral status isn’t acquired until birth.” [21]

The Church’s failure to firmly and clearly declare the unborn child a person from the moment of conception allows brutally arbitrary reasoning such as this to go unchallenged. The Church must hasten to resolve this unfortunate gap in its moral teaching to the world on abortion. Even in this era of growing evil, what the Church says to the world matters. While we await a decisive magisterial declaration, the murderous deviltry of abortion remains the worst scourge perpetrated upon the most innocent among us. There should be no doubt at all that the world’s foremost Christian religious authority adamantly and emphatically declares that the unborn child has a soul and is a person from the moment of conception.


  1. Smith, Gregory A. “Like Americans overall, Catholics vary in their abortion views, with regular Mass attenders most opposed.” Pew Research Center. May 23, 2022.
  1. “Exclusive: Pope Francis discusses Ukraine, U.S. bishops and more.” America Magazine. November 28, 2022.
  1. “Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church’s Constant Teaching.” USCCB: Fact sheet by the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Accessed 7 April 2023.
  1. “Declaration on Procured Abortion.” The Vatican:Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. November 18, 1974.
  1. Westen, John Henry. “Pope Francis just said he won’t comment on unborn children as ‘persons.’” Lifesite News. November 28, 2022.
  1. Brief for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Other Religious Organizations, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 597 U.S. _ (2022)

7. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994, paragraph 2274. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a4.htm

8. United States Catholic Conference, Inc. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Catechism of the Catholic Church, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1994, paragraph 2319. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a4.htm

  1. “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Deignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day.” The Vatican: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. No. 1. February 22, 1987.
  1. “Evangelium Vitae,To the Bishops Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, Lay Faithful and all People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life.” The Vatican: The Holy See. No. 60. March 25, 1995.
  1. “Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions.” The Vatican: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. No. 3. December 8, 2008.

12. “Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions.” The Vatican: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. No. 5. December 8, 2008. https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20081208_dignitas-personae_en.html

  1. Greenwell, Andrew. “Catholic Social Teaching: The Human Person is Made in the Image of God.” Catholic Online: News: Home and Family: Living Faith. December 1, 2011.
  1. Mirus, Jeff. “Original Sin: What is it really and why does it matter?”
    Catholic Culture: Commentary. May 16, 2017.
  1. Roe v Wade, 410 US 113, 159, (1973)
  1. Roe v Wade, 410 US 113, 156-157, (1973)
  1. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 913-914, (1992).
  1. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022), 597 U. S. __, Opinion of the Court, 38, (2022).
  1. Mares, Courtney. “Pope Francis: Abortion is like hiring a hitman.” Catholic News Agency. October 10, 2018.
  1. Shahvisi, Arianne. “Abortion is Nothing Like Hiring a Hitman, Whatever Pope Francis Says.” The Conversation: Politics and Society. October 11, 2018.
  1. Shahvisi, Arianne. “Abortion is Nothing Like Hiring a Hitman, Whatever Pope Francis Says.” The Conversation: Politics and Society. October 11, 2018.


It is particularly disturbing during these unstable times that as the nation continues its abandonment of traditional Christian values and principles and steadily persists in its descent into chaos, a corresponding collapse is underway within the Catholic Church. At the precise time that the secular world could most benefit from a Church standing its ground on the teachings of Jesus, the same evils bedeviling the world are taking root within the Church. It is so anomalous now to witness bishops and cardinals supporting the homosexual and transgender perversions, [1, 2, 3] and members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, appointed by the Pope himself, advocating for abortion. [4] And the aberrations in the direction of the Church are not limited simply to questions of morality: the Vatican is now actively championing dangerous progressive causes, aligning itself with the radical globalist agenda of the World Economic Forum. [5] The abject capitulation by the Vatican to the oppressive and coercive measures undertaken by governments around the world in response to the covid pandemic is an especially disheartening recent example of the Church’s failure to fight evil. [6, 7]

With the Church in such disarray, perhaps it should be no surprise that its leaders have now turned upon their own. The suppression of the Traditional Mass delivered a stinging rebuke to some of the most steadfast of the Catholic flock. But make no mistake – this betrayal of traditional Catholics is not about unity or obedience or graciously accepting a hard teaching – it is about the substance of the faith itself. It is essential to recognize that the scope of this attack on the Traditional Mass is not limited to forcing traditional Catholics to attend a different liturgical rite for an hour or two on Saturday or Sunday. The liturgy is the primary way in which Catholics pray: it guides and forms our entire Catholic life. The way in which we pray is intimately related to our faith, to what we believe, and to how we conduct our lives. Catholics who are so passionate about the Traditional Mass are that way because they know that the Traditional Mass is better for them. Far better. Better for their faith – and better for their life.

Therefore, for those of us who suffer from an “attachment” to the Traditional Mass, gravitation toward the Novus Ordo is simply absurd. It makes no sense, and it’s not going to happen. Further conflict is inevitable here in the Arlington diocese, due to a problematic condition contained in the recent policy implementing restrictions on the Traditional Mass which has not received much attention:

“Pastors of parishes in which the Mass in usus antiquior is celebrated . . . must develop a pastoral plan ‘to lead the faithful who are attached to the antecedent liturgy towards the celebration of the liturgy according to the liturgical books reformed by decree of the Second Vatican Coucil, and which form the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.’” [8]

And so the seeds of conflict, where there were none to begin with, have been sown.

Accordingly, my purpose here is to briefly present some detail as to why the Traditional Mass is considered to be so critically essential by traditional Catholics. Since most Catholics have never encountered the Traditional Mass, they probably wonder what the fuss is all about. It is also likely that those devout Catholics who have not had the opportunity to experience a Traditional Mass have no idea what they are missing, and would be surprised to learn that the Novus Ordo incorporates a very limited and restricted expression of worship of Jesus compared to that of the Traditional Mass.

The differences between the Traditional Mass and the Novus Ordo involve every aspect of the Mass, including the prayers, the music, and the actions of priest and congregation. I recommend the recent Mass of the Ages videos for an easily understood yet comprehensive overview of all of the differences. [9] For this discussion I will focus on just some of the Ordinary prayers, those which do not change on a weekly basis, with the intent to provide here the perception of one average lay Catholic who walks into Church and there experiences something life-changing in the Traditional Mass.

Because of parish duties, I sometimes attend the Novus Ordo Mass as well as the Traditional Mass on Sunday. Both Masses are conducted by the parish priests in a reverent and worshipful manner. So I am in a good position to compare these two Masses, in a situation where the Novus Ordo is not subject to the abuses which commonly affect it. Compared to the Traditional Mass, the Novus Ordo can only be described as spartan. It is stripped-down, business-like, and efficient. The prayers are minimized. It seems that once Mass begins, Father is reading the Gospel in a matter of minutes, and most of the congregation’s time prior to that has been spent singing or saying the responsorial psalm. And then after the Creed, it is startling how quickly Father is commencing the Consecration. There are usually a few stalwarts who attempt to find the prayers proper to that particular Sunday using the Missalettes, but it is not easy given the speed of the Mass. The famous so-called “full and active” participation for many people means simply listening to whatever is being sung or said, although some prayers do enjoy substantial participation, such as the Confiteor, the Gloria, the Creed, and the Our Father.

At a typical Traditional Solemn Mass (known as Missa Cantata if celebrated by one priest without deacons), which should always have been the norm for Sundays in my humble opinion, Mass does not even begin until holy water is sprinkled upon the entire congregation and the opening Antiphon, taken for most of the year from the famous penitential psalm of King David, is sung by priest and choir and congregants:

“Thou shalt sprinkle me Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed;

Thou shalt wash me, and I shall become whiter than snow.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.

Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.

And grant us thy salvation.

O Lord, hear my prayer.

And let my cry come unto Thee.” [10]

Even before Mass starts, we are reminded of our failings, and that our ability to worship Him depends on our desire to free ourselves of sin and beg for His grace and forgiveness. That same attention to repentance persists throughout the Mass, in many different prayers which do not appear in the Novus Ordo. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales website has a convenient comparison clearly depicting the differences between the two forms of Mass. [11] It seems as if someone thought that it is unhealthy for us to acknowledge the reality of our circumstances before God, and therefore removed almost every mention of sin.

Mass begins with the prayers at the foot of the altar, built around Psalm 42, Judica Me, a beautiful psalm, voicing supplication, hope, and confidence in God:

“Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation which is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.

For Thou, O God, art my strength: why hast Thou cast me off? and why go I sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?

Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy mount, and into Thy tabernacles.

And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth.

To Thee, O God, my God, I will give praise upon the harp; why art thou sad, O my soul, and why dost thou disquiet me?

Hope in God, for I will still give praise to Him: the salvation of my countenance and my God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

I will go in to the altar of God.

To God who giveth joy to my youth.” [12]

This psalm perfectly sets the tone for the Mass, as we admit our utter dependence on God amidst the vagaries of life and our own faults and go into worship at the altar of God. Only after this preparation is it time for the Confiteor, our explicit declaration of repentance. And only then does the priest approach the altar, but even as he does so, he continues in penintence:

“Take away from us our iniquities, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be worthy to enter with pure minds into the Holy of Holies: through Christ our Lord. ” [13]

These prayers at the foot of the altar have been removed from the Novus Ordo, except for the Confiteor itself, and replaced with a single cursory line:

“Brethren (brothers and sisters), let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” [14]

It is easy to see, right from the beginning of the Mass, how very different the practice of worship is between the two Masses. In the Traditional Mass, we do not even raise our eyes to Jesus until we have taken the time to offer our repentance and gratitude to Him, at some length. And that is one of the things I value most about the Traditional Mass. This time of preparation at the beginning of Mass serves to separate us from the clamor of the world and opens our souls to His voice.

The same dichotomy between the two forms of Mass happens again, after the Credo. Several of the Traditional Mass prayers intended to prepare our hearts for the Sacrifice that is about to happen have been either abbreviated or extracted from the Novus Ordo. The very first of the prayers of the Offering, Suscipe, sancte Pater, is a good example of this:

“Accept, O holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this unspotted host, my living and true God, for mine innumerable sins, offences, and negligences, and for all here present: as also for all faithful Christians, both living and dead; that it may be of avail for salvation both to me and to them unto life everlasting. Amen.” [15]

The language used here in the Traditional Mass regarding salvation and the truth about what Jesus did for us is indispensable. It communicates truth, and hope, and it is missing from the Novus Ordo. Similarly, the prayer Deus, qui humanae in the Traditional Mass professes another significant truth:

O God, who, in creating human nature, didst wonderfully dignify it, and hast still more wonderfully restored it, grant that, by the Mystery of this water and wine, we may become partakers of His divine nature, who deigned to become partaker of our human nature, even Jesus Christ our Lord, Thy Son, who with Thee, liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: world without end. Amen.” [16]

This prayer speaks directly to the God-given dignity of our human nature, one of the central themes of Vatican II – yet that part of the prayer has inexplicably been removed from its depleted counterpart in the Novus Ordo:

“By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” [17]

References to salvation and Jesus’ Sacrifice continue in the Offerimus tibi and the two following prayers, also removed from the Novus Ordo:

“We offer to thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, beseeching Thy clemency, that it may ascend before Thy divine majesty as a sweet savour, for our salvation and for that of the whole world.” [18]

“Accept us, O Lord, in the spirit of humility and contrition of heart, and grant that the sacrifice which we offer this day in Thy sight may be pleasing to Thee, O Lord God.” [18]

“Come, O almighty and eternal God, the Sanctifier, and bless this Sacrifice, prepared for the glory of thy holy Name.” [18]

These essential words placing the Offering in its correct context of Jesus’ Sacrifice have been replaced in the Novus Ordo by verses which fundamentally obscure its nature:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands,it will become for us the bread of life. [19]

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink. [19]

These words could serve as a nice blessing before meals, but hardly describe the momentous nature of the Sacrifice that Jesus Himself continues to make for us at Holy Mass. Father Z’s discussion about the Jewish origin of these prayers is illuminating. [20]

The diminishment in the Novus Ordo of the depth and breadth of the spiritual realities reflected in the Mass continues with the prayer for the Washing of the Hands. In the Traditional Mass, the eloquent and heartfelt sentiments of Psalm 25 are used to describe the necessary purity of the participants in the Sacrifice, but also clearly convey devotion and outright love for the Lord:

“I will wash my hands among the innocent: and I will compass Thine altar, O Lord. That I may hear the voice of Thy praise: and tell of all Thy wondrous works.

I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men. In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.

But as for me I have walked in mine innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way; in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord.” [21]

This language of reverence and affection and desire to be right with the Lord has been replaced with this peremptory phrase in the Novus Ordo:

“Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” [22]

And then there is the prayer Suscipe, sancta Trinitas, a fitting summary of the prayers of offering, in which we address the holy Trinity and request the intercession of the Saints:

“Receive, O holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee, in memory of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, that it may avail unto their honor and our salvation, and may they vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven, whose memory we celebrate on earth. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.” [23]

Yet another important prayer excised from from the Novus Ordo.

The appreciation of salvation, wherein we not only recognize what Jesus has done for us but also show our determination to bind ourselves to that salvation, is woven throughout the Traditional Mass – not employing simple, plain statements devoid of human emotion – but rather embracing language that is unmistakeably full of love for Jesus. The prayers of the Traditional Mass allow us to pray with wholehearted devotion, worship with no reservations and all doubts cast aside, in complete dependence on and love for Him.

The fundamental alteration of the Mass demonstrated by this brief comparison of the changes affecting just some of the prayers is characteristic of the entire Novus Ordo. For example, the prayers of the Roman Canon have effectively been displaced by the optional and severely abbreviated “Eucharistic Prayer II.” And while the defective 1970 Novus Ordo version of the Canon itself has undergone significant corrective revisions, as discussed by Monsignor Pope in 2010, [24, 25, 26, 27, 28] – it seems rather tragic that we have to go about patching up the crippled Novus Ordo version when we already have the undamaged original in the Traditional Mass. The many other aspects of the Mass which speak powerfully to the human soul, such as Gregorian chant and sacred hymns, or the intervals of silence which allow our hearts to hear His voice, or the incredibly worshipful way in which the Holy Eucharist is treated and adored by both priest and congregation – have all been scrubbed, reduced, minimized and condensed in the Novus Ordo.

The Traditional Mass delivers a message radically different from that of the Novus Ordo, generating in our hearts a profound disposition to worship Jesus, assisting us in the recognition of our sinful nature, leading us into the joy of repentance, and celebrating the incalculable benevolence of Jesus’ Sacrifice. This disposition permeates and encompasses our daily life: it affects how we conduct our lives, how we relate to God and to others, how we set our priorities, everything. And it is poorly supported by the Novus Ordo.

So now it should be obvious why the Traditional Mass will not simply be abandoned by those who have found it. The issue is not Sunday Mass – the issue is the character and substance of Catholic faith and life. Therefore, this Mass must be defended. It may be driven underground, but it will be sustained. I find it really quite surprising that the leadership of the Church has failed to consider its own history, which is replete with examples of how the faith flourished under persecution. The fervent flame of truth embedded in the Traditional Mass may have to be protected and nurtured exclusively within the bosom of orthodox Catholic families and heroic priests for now, but protected and nurtured it will be.


1. Wolfe, Raymond. “Cardinal Müller: Belgian bishops’ homosexual ‘blessings’ are ‘heresy and schism.’” LifeSite News. October 21, 2022. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-muller-belgian-bishops-homosexual-blessings-are-flat-out-heresy-and-schism/

2. Pentin, Edward. “Cardinal Müller: For Faithful Catholics, It’s a ‘Time of Tribulation and Psychological Terror.’ National Catholic Register. February 11, 2022. https://www.ncregister.com/interview/cardinal-mueller-for-faithful-catholics-it-s-a-time-of-tribulation-and-psychological-terror

3. Wolfe, Raymond. “Pope Francis’ American cardinals are pro-LGBT revolutionaries with a radical agenda for the Church.” LifeSite News. October 21, 2022. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-american-cardinals-are-pro-lgbt-revolutionaries-with-a-radical-agenda-for-the-church/

4. Jones, Kevin J. “Another Pontifical Academy for Life member criticizes overturning Roe v. Wade.” Catholic News Agency. October 21, 2022. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252613/pontifical-academy-for-life-member-criticizes-overturning-roe-v-wade

5. McLoone, David. “Vatican official at Davos says the Church is implementing the World Economic Forum agenda. LifeSite News. May 26, 2022. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/scalabrinian-missionaries-superior-general-at-davos-says-the-church-is-at-the-forefront-of-implementing-wef-agenda/

6. Moy, Alan B. “Catholics have been betrayed by the Vatican’s allegiance to secular COVID authorities.” LifeSite News. August 30. 2022. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/why-the-catholic-church-must-free-herself-from-secular-authorities-on-public-health-issues/

7. McLoone, David. “Vatican renews Pope’s push for COVID vaccination as an ‘act of love’ in new video.” LifeSite News. August 13, 2022. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-renews-popes-push-for-covid-vaccination-as-an-act-of-love-in-new-video/

8. Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “Policy for the Implementation of Traditionis Custodes in the Diocese of Arlington.”29 July 2022. https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/bishop/public-messages/2022/bishop-burbidge-publishes-instruction-for-the-use-of-the-traditional-latin-mass-in-the-diocese-of-arlington/

9. Mass of the Ages: A Stunning Trilogy About The Latin Mass. Directed by Cameron O’Hearn. https://latinmass.com

10. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, From the Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962. Summorum Pontificum Edition. Baronius Press Ltd. 2019. 895.

11. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. “A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TEXTS OF THE TRADITIONAL MISSAL AND THE NEW MISSAL OF 2011.” https://lms.org.uk/missals

12. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 900 – 903.

13. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 906 – 907.


15. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 922 – 925.

16. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 924 – 925.


18. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 924 – 927.


20.Zuhlsdorf, Father John. “ASK FATHER: Using the traditional offertory prayers in the Novus Ordo. Wherein Fr. Z rants.” Father Z’s Blog. 20 April, 2015. https://wdtprs.com/2015/04/ask-father-using-the-traditional-offertory-prayers-in-the-novus-ordo-wherein-fr-z-rants/

21. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 928 – 929.


23. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Manual, 1962. 930 – 931.

24. Pope, Msgr Charles. “Truth in the New Translation Series: The Opening of the Roman Canon. Community in Mission. May 4, 2010. http://blog.adw.org/2010/05/truth-in-translation-series-the-opening-of-the-roman-canon/

25. Pope, Msgr Charles. “Truth in the New Translation Series # 2: The Memento Domine or Commemoration of the Living in the Roman Canon.” Community in Mission. May 7, 2010. https://blog.adw.org/2010/05/truth-in-the-new-translation-series-2-of-the-roman-canon-the-memento-domine-or-commemoration-of-the-living/

26. Pope, Msgr. Charles. “Truth in the New Translation Series #3: The Communicantes of the Roman Canon. Community in Mission. May 14, 2010. http://blog.adw.org/2010/05/truth-in-the-new-translation-series-3-the-communicantes-of-the-roman-canon/

27. Pope, Msgr Charles. “Truth in the New Translation Series #4: The Hanc Igitur of the Roman Canon. Community in Mission. May 21, 2010. https://blog.adw.org/2010/05/truth-in-the-new-translation-series-4-the-hanc-igitur-of-the-first-eucharistic-prayer/

28. Pope, Msgr. Charles. “Truth in the New Translation Series #5: “The Quam Oblationem.” Community in Mission. July 2, 2010. http://blog.adw.org/2010/07/truth-in-the-new-translation-series-5-the-quam-oblationem/

The Traditional Mass Will Save the Church

I was born into the Traditional Liturgy, but was swept along into the explosion of experimentation occasioned by the advent of the Novus Ordo well before I was aware enough to appreciate its predecessor. Decades later, I began attending the Traditional Mass, sometime in the late 90’s, at a small mission church in Hawaii. I wish I could say that my reason for doing this evolved from some sort of deep understanding of the value of the Traditional Mass, but instead I have to admit that the driving force initiating this change was simply sheer irritation with many aspects of the Novus Ordo Mass as it was practiced at the time. Although I realize now how little I understood then of the actions and prayers investing that Traditional Mass, I immediately felt the solemn beauty and inherent reverence of that Mass.

One thing that I found most striking about the Traditional Mass was the demeanor of the attendees. These people were obviously serious Catholics. They were almost all dressed as if Mass was a special occasion. They bowed in respect when the priest processed by them on the way in and out of the Church. They came early to Mass, and afterwards, instead of hurrying out of the pews, they knelt back down again to fully embrace the Holy Eucharist they had just received. Before Mass, the church was quiet, and the many early arrivals were praying intensely or going to confession. There was none of the pre-Mass casual chatter commonly experienced amidst the pews in most Catholic churches today. They paid attention to the action in the Mass and to the homily. It was so unusual to experience, in certain parts of the Mass, a profound, worshipful silence. Even the children, of whom there were many, seemed to know that silence was imperative. It is a truth of nature that it is utterly impossible for some little fellows to stay still – but even they managed to stay quiet while squirming.

It became quite clear to me that people like this were not the typical Catholics of today – that is, that majority of Catholics who have rejected Catholic moral teaching and whose beliefs are indistinguishable from those of the unchurched pagan populace which supports abortion, contraception, aberrant sexual practices and faux-genderism, and most sadly, who have no idea that the Holy Eucharist is nothing less than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Himself. And that is what got me to thinking that the Traditional Mass is going to lead the recovery of the Church in its journey out of the chaos of the last six decades – it is undeniable that this liturgy has an incredible impact on the people who experience it.

I do not mean in any way to denigrate those faithful and orthodox Catholic priests and laity who pray the Holy Mass in the Novus Ordo form. I know of vibrant Novus Ordo parishes filled with fervent Catholics. In fact, it seems to me rather a heroic and miraculous thing – these Catholics have somehow managed to retain their faith without benefit of the full-strength Mass of the Ages. I can only surmise that parishes and priests like these must have fostered a sturdy spiritual base of truly devout Catholic families which were able to nurture the faith across successive generations. However, such parishes are the exception rather than the rule.

The attack on the Mass that commenced with Traditionis Custodes makes me more certain than ever that the Traditional Mass will be at the forefront of the recovery of the Church. If the Traditional Mass did not have the capability to make a significant impact, then it would not be a target worthy of such an intense assault. And that brings me to the question as to why the Traditional Mass has the horsepower that it does: what exactly is it about the Traditional Mass that captures the attention and so powerfully influences the behavior of those who worship within its confines?

I think the answer has to do with Tradition – not “tradition,” meaning nothing more than a nostalgic hankering after the way things used to be, which is frequently and mistakenly thought to be a hallmark of traditional Catholics. The potency of the Traditional Mass is a consequence of that same Tradition which is the indispensable spouse of Holy Scripture, and which has been the mighty bulwark that has always protected the Deposit of the Faith and the unity of the Church. The Holy Scripture that we read today has been contemplated and pondered and lived and taught and handed down by generation upon generation of saints and apostles and martyrs and prophets who have fallen on their knees in their encounter with our Lord. There is a beautiful and compelling section of the Te Deum that portrays this dynamic of Tradition working down through the ages:

“Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee;
The Father, of an infinite Majesty.
Thine honourable, true, and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.”

That very same Sacred Tradition has reverently wrought the Traditional Mass into a majestic composition of prayer, prayer connecting us directly to the living Word Himself. As opposed to the Novus Ordo, the Traditional Mass is not a conglomeration of hastily cobbled-together innovations and creative options grafted on to the stripped-down skeleton of its former self, developed in a mere few years after the Council by a Freemasonic archbishop, [1] and in blatant disregard of the requirements of the governing document from Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium. [2] Peter Kwasniewski’s recent article absolutely destroys the fiction that the Novus Ordo was a product of the Council. [3] The Council fathers did not intend to dismantle this precious Traditional liturgy handed down to us from our Christian forbears. Rather, they were keenly attentive to the necessity for adherence to Tradition in the development of Holy Mass. They specifically required that new developments in the Mass were to proceed naturally from the Mass as it already existed:

“Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.” [emphasis added] [4]

The Traditional liturgy represents the practice and expression of worship perfected by devoted followers of Jesus over the course of two millenia. Michael Fiedrowicz’ detailed documentation of the development of the Mass reveals the depth and breadth of that painstaking process. [5] The Traditional Mass exhibits its force and power because that accumulated wisdom of the ages perfectly focuses and presents to us Jesus’ Sacrifice. It is a priceless treasure. It has to rank among the greatest works of humankind. No wonder it speaks so eloquently to those who are willing to listen, who are located here in the 21st century amidst the din of accumulating chaos and moral aberration and abandonment of the natural order of life established for us by God.

There is one other very important reason that the Traditional Mass will be the liturgy leading Catholics into the future: it is not vulnerable, as is the Novus Ordo, to further drastic change. In the broad sweep of Christian history, the Novus Ordo was engineered in a mere moment, and was used to introduce radical revisions to the Christian liturgy, revisions which countered the march of Sacred Tradition. The precipitous and uncontrolled means by which the Novus Ordo was built established a precedent for further wholesale change, against which the Novus Ordo is defenseless.

And now the Novus Ordo liturgy, impoverished as it is but nevertheless the primary liturgy of the entire Roman Catholic Church here in the 21st century, faces a new juggernaut of change. There is an ambitious new enterprise rising among us, known as the Synod on Synodality. As best I can tell, this new action by the leadership of the Church is designed specifically to call into question every aspect of Catholic practice and faith. The guiding documents call for “listening” to those in the “margins,” and it appears that those “margins” include any and all, whether or not they live the Catholic faith. A few courageous Catholics have warned of the possible dire consequences, [6] but most seem to be oblivious. Who knows what new forms of liturgy will come into being, as the Novus Ordo is steamrolled by the suggestions of the “marginalized?” And who knows what new “interpretations” of established doctrine will spawn from Synodality run amuck? It is not simply the Traditional Mass that is being attacked – it is Sacred Tradition itself. Some will say that this is nothing new – it has been ongoing since the Council. Historian Henry Sire, while meticulously documenting the “unmaking” of Catholic Tradition, in 2015 optimistically thought that within a generation “the Mass of ages will have been restored to its central place in the life of the Church . . .”. [7] However, that prediction was made before the leadership of the Church had revealed its utter antipathy toward the Traditional Mass and before the ramifications of the spasms of synodality had begun to become apparent.

And so the Church faces an unstable and uncertain future, one in which the decline in Catholic practice and faith is likely to continue unabated. As Auguste Meyrat recalls, Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1969 prediction of a much diminished and more vulnerable Catholic Church now appears prophetic. [8] Therefore, at a time in which confusion reigns and devils swarm, I say look to the Mass of the Ages as an anchor that we can cling to and a beacon we can look to as the world darkens around us.


  1. Kwasniewski, Peter. “Was the chief architect behind the New Mass a Freemason? New evidence emerges.” LifeSite News. October 12, 2020.
  2. Di Pippo, Gregory. “Summorum Pontificum at Fourteen: Its Legacy.” Crisis Magazine. July 7, 2021.
  3. Kwasniewski, Peter. “Daringly Balanced on One Point: The New Papal Letter on Liturgy.” OnePeterFive. June 29, 2022.
  4. Paul VI. “CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM.” The Vatican. December 4, 1963, # 23. https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html
  5. Fiedrowicz, Michael. The Traditional Mass: History, Form and Theology of the Classical Roman Rite. Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press. 2020.
  6. Haynes, Michael. “Former Vatican adviser warns synod on synodality could lead to ‘chaos’, ‘ecclesial worldwide mess’.“ LifeSite News. October 21, 2021.
  7. Sire, H. J. A. Phoenix from the Ashes. Kettering, OH: Angelico Press. 2015, page 461.
  8. Meyrat, Auguste. “The Promise of a Post-Covid Church.” Crisis Magazine. August 31, 2020.

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?

A great many of us in this country do not deserve the honor implicit in these words from our National Anthem. And there are many others in this country who actually despise the values inherent in these words. The pandemic trauma of the last two years has been brutally revelatory in what it has shown of our collective lack of courage and character.

Land of the free? We have experienced in this pandemic a comprehensive destruction of our liberties, including restriction of movement, confinement, denial of religious services and the right to assemble, and coerced injection with dangerous, inadequately tested, experimental “vaccines.” All of this was done in the name of a false “common good:” a common good based only on the supposed efficacy of the vaccines and the futile mitigation measures; a common good which included no assessment of the societal impacts of the mitigation measures, such as suicide and mental health issues, child development issues, or economic issues; a common good calculation which failed to factor in the minimal impact of the disease to the great majority of the population; a common good calculation which employed distorted death rates; and a common good calculation which unbelievably and purposely ignored any medical treatment other than the “vaccines.”

Home of the brave? We appear now to be driven by fear. It is difficult to assess which is worse: the assault on our liberties, or the weak and timid way in which most of us have accepted it. Of all of the travesties that we have endured during this last two years, this has got to be the worst: the realization that our vaunted American independence is nothing but a sham. How bitterly disappointing, how very disheartening, how wretchedly tragic.

Among those who look to their faith as the foundation of their lives, perhaps the greatest disappointment in all of this miserable American covid spectacle has to be reserved for the failure of the Catholic Church to challenge government overreach throughout the pandemic. This failure is aptly demonstrated by the USCCB statement on Covid-19, issued in March of 2021, about a year after the pandemic started. [1] Our bishops, dedicated to the most important mission of all, the salvation of souls, apparently dismissed any consideration of spiritual health as restrictive mandates were decreed, and focused merely on physical suffering, accepting without question the government view of the efficacy of the vaccines, other mandates, and the danger of the virus, and even expanding upon the government’s progressivism by advocating globalist support of a false common good. There is not a single line in that document addressing the critical importance of freedom of religion or the damage done by coercive government mandates to that freedom.

This exposed American frailty, exacerbated by the lack of spiritual support from the Church, is bad enough: but another, more ominous, measure of plunging moral decline has surfaced during this pandemic: the ugly strain of tyrannical behavior which has been manifested in various sectors of our society over the past two years. And I speak not just of federal, state, and local governments. Corporations, teachers unions, the press, big tech and social media, academia, the medical establishment – leadership elites across the board – have all suppressed the free expression of information and activities opposing the party line dictated by the Democrat government and permanent government ruling class. Many otherwise ordinary citizens have taken it upon themselves to physically and verbally attack other citizens who do not toe the party line. The speed with which so many citizens have jumped on the coercion bandwagon is alarming. For two years there has been very little resistance to these totalitarian tendencies suddenly materializing amongst what was once a fiercely independent people who prized above all else the liberty to think and act with independence. I formerly thought that the “struggle sessions” and the indoctrination that happen in Communist countries could never happen here in the land of the free and the home of the brave: now, it is all too evident that such oppression could indeed become a permanent part of the social fabric of our ostensibly free country.

We are witnessing a troubling convergence: a weak, rudderless populace meekly obeisant to an imperious ruling class. This convergence feeds and nourishes the massively dysfunctional autocratic governance we are now experiencing, which is usually found in third world countries not enjoying the rights of a constitutional republic. It probably indicates that the progressive left has finally managed to inflict a critical mass of injuries to our constitutional protections: a critical mass of injuries so severe that we will not now be able to fully recover or maintain our once-cherished rights.

There is currently a certain amount of optimism among conservatives, since the utter ineptitude of the feloniously installed current administration has become obvious even to the most oblivious of citizens. So the political portents bode well for conservatives in the 2022 midterm elections. But I wonder whether that will be a mere political victory of relatively short term value. Even if Republicans take majorities in the Congress, that will not change the underying content of the American character. A Republican victory will likely be driven by such things as inflation and the economy, but will not be reflective of any loyalty to conservative principles such as liberty or independence.

So here is what concerns me. Given the pervasive American infirmity that has now been revealed, what can be expected when the next extended disaster occurs? Autocratic governments and corporations and other power-brokers now have the roadmaps for the implementation of despotism in place and ready to be executed should the the opportunity arise. Let’s say, for example, that the Peoples Republic of China succeeds in engineering a virus which, unlike SARS-CoV-2, is actually really dangerous, a virus which is both highly contagious and also dangerous to a large rather than small percentage of the population. Or suppose the Russians succeed in crippling the U. S. electrical grid with a cyber-attack or an EMP attack, thereby disrupting critical requirements of daily life such as the food supply and utilities. Or – it is not hard to imagine – the current U. S. administration continues to frivolously fulminate about “climate change” and “Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity” issues, and thereby drives the U. S. into a prolonged and devastating economic depression which can also disrupt essential aspects of life. Scenarios like these are not unlikely at all, and will provide new excuses for progressive elites to exercise their totalitarian inclinations. And that could be just around the next fateful corner.


1. Public Affairs Office. “USCCB Administrative Committee Release a Pastoral Message on the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.” USCCB:News:2021. March 9, 2021. https://www.usccb.org/news/2021/us-conference-catholic-bishops-administrative-committee-releases-pastoral-message-covid


As any real conservative knows, the progressive agenda is inimical to foundational elements of society, such as the family. The ongoing destruction of the nuclear family, a critical component of the progressive agenda, is evil for many reasons. But in recent years I have become more aware of one aspect of that destruction, which has to do with its impact on God’s natural blueprint for our lives as expressed in family life, and particularly as expressed in the daily work of a mother and a father.

In our family, Dad is still with us, but Mom died about 4 years ago. She made it to 88, and was bright and alert until she had a serious accident from which she never recovered. After the accident, she was no longer able to communicate effectively, so it was one of those situations where there were so many things that you wish you could have said to her, but it was suddenly too late.

I have discovered since then that Mom meant more to me than I thought she did. It isn’t just that I miss the opportunity to talk to her, ask her opinion on things, or just to give her a hug. I think now that in addition to everything else, Mom meant to me that core sense of belonging that you feel as a child being raised in a family. It is a sense of home, a place of safety and warmth and unconditional love that can be reliably depended upon. And that experience of home is a very important thing. It provides a solid psychological foundation, a safe harbor. By just simply being herself, and doing what comes naturally, Mom cooperated in the design created by God for the nurturing, development, and flourishing of a new generation. And that sense of home that she built along with Dad remains with us, even when we leave home and strike out on our own, and begin our own families, and create that sense of belonging for another generation.

But now Mom is gone, from this life at least, and so is that sense of having a home. She, and the home I once knew, cannot be reached. And so I am all too aware that I am now missing something important in my life. Even though Dad is still here, and I have my own immediate family, and wife and children and now even grandchildren, they cannot replace what has been lost.

What must it be like for those children who have not experienced that solid sense of home? It must be terribly difficult, not having that foundation and that comfort, and having to experience life while lacking the natural love of a mother and a father that God intended for them. While I have only recently experienced that sense of loss, they must face their entire lives knowing something vitally important is missing. Such a fundamental deficiency effected on such a large scale as we have experienced here in the U. S. has to inflict damage, and it is not surprising that as the progressive agenda advances, we see increasing societal disarray.

However, there is some solace that can be gained by understanding that none of us while here on earth have ever been fully at home. The psalms, those ancient words that still today anchor the prayer of the Church, speak to a reality that faces all of us:

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication: give ear to my tears. Be not silent: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner as all my fathers were.”

Psalms 38:13, Douay-Rheims Bible

We are actually, all of us, nomads in this life, having experienced perhaps a little of what it is like to be truly home, but always bearing an innate desire for that real home that can only be experienced with God Himself. The Apostle Paul felt this yearning, as described by Pope St Gregory the Great:

“For we already long to come into the presence of God, but we are still hindered by the clog of a mortal body. So that we are justly called ‘prisoners,’ in that we have not as yet the advance of our desire to God free before us. Hence Paul, whose heart was set upon the things of eternity, yet who still carried about him the load of his corruption, being in bonds exclaims, Having a desire to be unloosed and to be with Christ. [Phil. 1, 23] For he would not desire to be ‘unloosed,’ unless, assuredly, he saw himself to be in bonds.” [1]

Perhaps that sense of belonging and home that I first knew as a child was simply a reflection, an echo, of the longing for our real home that God has sowed within us. So that sense of loss that I don’t seem to be able to dismiss is supposed to be there. We are made in the image and likeness of God, the scriptures say [Genesis 1:26-27], and therefore we who have been created by Him will only really be at home when we are with Him.



The Church and the Covid Crisis and the Illusion of the Common Good

Monsignor Charles Pope recently wrote what has to be considered the ultimately reasonable approach for Catholics to take in deciding what to do about COVID-19 and the vaccines. After reviewing the bidding – from the mandates, to the principles involved in determination of the morality of the vaccines themselves, to considerations of the common good and the rights of individuals, the monsignor asserts that what must be done in a situation like this is precisely what the bishops have done:

“The Church’s bishops have chosen to balance the common good of public health with the rights of individual conscience.” [1]

Dr. Edward Feser takes a similar approach, laying out quite thoroughly the principles involved in evaluating the legitimacy of vaccine mandates, concluding that:

“ . . . if a citizen has well-founded reasons for thinking the the conditions on a just vaccination mandate are not met, he thereby has grounds for resisting it.”


“The bottom line is that whether to get a Covid-19 vaccine is, in the nature of the case, a prudential matter.” [2]

These conclusions appear to be eminently reasonable. After all, who can argue against the common good or the rights of individuals to make their own prudential judgments?

The problem here is that both arguments incorporate the implicit assumption that in this crisis the truth cannot be definitively known: and therefore everything becomes a matter of competing opinions or judgments and how to justly balance them. But that implicit assumption does not reflect the facts of the COVID-19 crisis: there are actually certain indisputable realities about the vaccines, which anyone can understand, and which obliterate any common good arguments.

The first and most important of these realities is the simple fact that there has not been enough time to conduct long term testing for these novel, never-before-approved, “vaccines.” The risks associated with these vaccines are unknown – and therefore, a valid risk calculation weighing the benefits against the risks of the vaccines cannot be made. And that in turn makes it impossible to assess the common good which might be attributed to the vaccines. The real issue in this pandemic is not whether governments act justly by forcing indviduals to take the vaccines: the real issue is the truth about the vaccines.

As it turns out now, after a year of vaccine deployment, there are mounting indications that on several fronts governments have not been forthcoming with the truth. It is apparent now, for example, that these vaccines can induce severe adverse impacts, to a degree far exceeding those of any vaccines employed previously. [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] Having failed to conduct adequate long term testing in order to fully understand how these new vaccines operate in the human body, the government-medical establishment must now admit that the vaccines have been revealed to be “leaky”: they do not prevent COVID-19 infection [12], they do not prevent COVID-19 transmission, [13] and there are studies showing that they actually drive the proliferation of new COVID-19 variants. [14] Moreover, countries with high vaccination rates are actually experiencing COVID-19 surges. [15] Governments are now attempting to promote an absurd tail chase, advocating ever more vaccine “boosters” to counter the ever-increasing variants resulting from these leaky vaccines. [16]

There are now billions [17] of people worldwide who are infected with the spike protein generated by these vaccines and who are potentially subject to disastrous long term medical consequences. By failing to question the radical departure from prior established vaccine authorization procedures,there is a very real possibility that the Church has actually participated in a massive destruction of the common good, by meekly capitulating as governments instituted mandates and lockdowns which still today have not halted the pandemic. While it is not the Church’s role to usurp the prudential decisions of secular governments, the Church certainly should have aggressively pursued the truth, exercising its moral authority, and vigorously demanding accountability and full explanations for the obvious departures from proven medical standards. As recognized by the inventor of the mRNA vaccines himself,

“. . . in the western world, if there is a remaining moral authority in the world, it is the Catholic Church as the dominant moral authority.” [18]

But the Church has abdicated that role in this pandemic. Instead, and unbelievably, the Pope has waved the flag of globalism in order to more effectively enforce public acceptance of the vaccines. [19] The Christian flock is left adrift and unprotected by its shepherds.

Beyond the issue of failure to conduct long term testing, there are also other indisputable realities involved in this sorry pandemic response spectacle. These anomalous characteristics of the government-medical establishment approach to COVID-19 should be ferociously questioned:

These vaccines are unlike any others ever previously used. Vaccines employing messenger RNA technology to stimulate the human body to generate a target antigen were never approved for any disease prior to this pandemic. All previous attempts to create a successful coronavirus vaccine have failed. [20] Given these fundamental vaccine innovations, and the prior failures, these vaccines should actually have been required to undergo more extensive rather than less extensive testing than was previously required.

Early on in the pandemic, the U. S. government changed the rules for assigning cause of death in cases involving COVID-19, in such a way as to arbitrarily and falsely increase the COVID-19 fatality rate. [21, 22] This further impedes the ability to calculate any sort of rational risk assessment. Therefore, even the basic data used to determine the severity of the pandemic is itself adulterated, and unuseable. Not only is long term test data lacking, but even the available short term data is unreliable.

The U. S. government also recently tinkered with the fundamental definition of a vaccine, in order to allow the spike protein vaccines to fit the definition of a vaccine. Whereas before this pandemic a vaccine was defined to actually produce immunity to a specific disease, these vaccines are now defined to produce protection from a specific disease. [23] This is a classic scientific error of the worst sort: having failed to meet an objective standard, and instead of acknowledging failure and continuing to search for other means to meet the standard, the old standard is downgraded so that the previous, valid standard does not have to be met, and the new less rigorous standard can now justify “success.” This is deceptive in the extreme. It is unacceptable. It should not go unchallenged.

The government-medical establishment has opposed treating COVID-19 with repurposed drugs such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. [24] The FDA website actively discourages use of Ivermectin. [25] This despite significant evidence from multiple countries of Ivermectin’s efficacy against COVID-19, [26, 27, 28] as well as substantial evidence from clinical trials for the efficacy of both Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. [29, 30] The CDC guidance for treatment of COVID-19 mentions nothing about seeking early or prophylactic treatment for COVID-19, emphasizing instead that sick people should stay home unless they develop symptoms warranting emergency medical care. [31] Anyone viewing the CDC guidance would have no idea that there are many common-sense treatments which could be provided by personal physicians to mitigate the effects of the disease, including bolstering the immune system, employing drugs which have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, and assisting the body in fighting respiratory effects. Numerous protocols designed to mitigate the effects of the disease have been generated by concerned doctors, such as those developed by Dr. Peter McCullough and the doctors of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance. [32, 33, 34] It is beyond comprehension that the government-medical establishment has blatantly ignored such protocols and adopted a do-nothing approach except for the application of inadequately tested vaccines.

Credible societal authorities, including the Church, should be extremely concerned with the multiple fundamental governmental failures operating in this pandemic. It is time for the Church to abandon the easily adopted common good arguments which are based on the false assumption that the vaccines are safe and effective. And there is absolutely no reason for the head of the Church here on earth to trumpet globalism as the solution for the pandemic. The Church should be fighting for the truth instead of acting as just one more voice for the progressive globalist agenda.


  1. Pope, Charles. “Conscience, COVID Vaccines and the Common Good.” National Catholic Register. September 24, 2021.
  2. Feser, Edward. “Covid-19 vaccination should not be mandatory.” Catholic World Report. October 21, 2021. https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2021/10/21/covid-19-vaccination-should-not-be-mandatory/
  3. Malone, Robert. “Toxic spike proteins made by COVID jabs ‘often cause permanent damage’ in kids: mRNA inventor.” LifeSite News. December 14, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/toxic-spike-proteins-made-by-covid-jabs-often-cause-permanent-damage-in-kids-mrna-inventor/
  4. Delaney, Patrick. “Doctor who pioneered COVID HCQ protocol urges ‘resistance against governmental tyranny’.” LifeSite News. December 8, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/doctor-who-pioneered-covid-hcq-protocol-implores-society-to-resistance-against-governmental-tyranny/
  5. “Ignore the Latest Nonsense About ‘Variants.’ Stay Focused on Dangers of COVID Shots.” Children’s Health Defense. December 1, 2021. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/cdc-covid-variant-vaccines-young-people/
  6. Sadler, Ashley. “FDA documents show over 150K serious adverse events in first 3 months of Pfizer jab approval.” LifeSite News. December 3, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/fda-releases-documents-showing-over-150000-serious-adverse-events-in-first-3-months-of-pfizer-jab-authorization/
  7. Delaney, Patrick. “Renowned virologist warns of ‘collapse of our health system’ due to complications from COVID vaccines.” LifeSite News. December 3. 2021. https://lifesitenews.com/news/renowned-virologist-warns-of-collapse-of-our-health-system-due-to-complications-from-covid-vaccines/
  8. Conradson, Julian. “Leading Cardiologis Says Researchers Are Refusing to Publish Results Showing Link To Massive Increase In Heart Attacks.” The Gateway Pundit. November 30, 2021. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/ready-must-watch-leading-cardiologist-says-researchers-refusing-publish-supporting-study-results-show-covid-vaccines-link-massive-increase-heart-attacks-afraid/
  9. Delaney, Patrick. “Spike protein in COVID virus and shots weakens immune system, may be linked with cancer : Swedish study. LifeSite News. December 3, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/751409/
  10. Wolfe, Raymond. “Vaccines pose 7 times higher death risk than COVID for young people, Japanese experts warn.” LifeSite News. December 11, 2021. https://lifesitenews.com/news/vaccines-pose-7-times-higher-death-risk-than-covid-for-young-people-japanese-experts-warn/
  11. Kohlmayer, Vasko. “VAERS Data Indicates the Covid Vaccines Have Killed At Least 140,000 Americans.” American Thinker. December 9, 2021. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/12/vaers_data_indicates_the_covid_vaccines_have_killed_at_least_140000_americans.html
  12. Hounsell, Scott. “CDC Data, Global Sources Show Majority of Omicron Variant Cases Are Among Fully-Vaccinated.” RedState. December 13, 2021. https://redstate.com/scotthounsell/2021/12/13/cdc-data-global-sources-show-majority-of-omicron-variant-cases-are-among-fully-vaccinated-n490806
  13. Alexander, Paul and Vanden Bossche, Geert. “Fully vaccinated are a major source of COVID virus transmission: virologist, former HHS advisor. LifeSite News. December 7, 2021. https://lifesitenews.com/opinion/fully-vaccinated-are-a-major-source-of-covid-virus-transmission-virologist-former-hhs-advisor/
  14. Redshaw, Megan. “Vaccinated people may play key role in aiding evolution of more dangerous COVID variants, study says.” Children’s Health Defense. August 2, 2021. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/vaccinated-people-key-role-evolution-dangerous-covid-variants/
  15. Kohlmayer, Vasko. “Hard Data Shows the Covid Vaccines Do not Work.” American Thinker. November 29, 2021. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/11/hard_data_shows_the_covid_vaccines_dont_work.html
  16. Wolfe, Raymond. “Fauci admits COVID vaccine efficacy is failing, as FDA, CDC approve boosters.” LifeSite News. November 19, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/fauci-admits-failing-covid-vaccine-efficacy-as-fda-cdc-approve-boosters/
  17. “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccinations.” Our World in Data: Statistics and Research. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
  18. Hickson, Maike. “mRNA inventor stands with Abp. Viganò’s call for alliance against ‘fundamentally evil’ COVID tyranny.” LifeSite News. December 3, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/global-totalitarianism-is-a-bigger-threat-than-the-virus-mrna-pioneer-on-rise-of-covid-tyranny/
  19. Haynes, Michael. “Pope Francis tells global governance conference there can be no return to normality after COVID.” LifeSite News. November 18, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/no-return-to-normality-pope-francis-tells-pro-abortion-global-governance-conference/
  20. Gold, Simone, et. al. “America’s Frontline Doctors White Paper On Experimental Vaccines For COVID-19.” Pages 13, 14. America’s Frontline Doctors. June 1, 2021. https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/6076e4fd8bde421370729e47_Vaccine-PP.pdf
  21. “Vital Statistics Reporting Guidance: Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Desease 2019 (COVID-19).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statistics: National Vital Statistics System. April, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf
  22. Hunt, Tam. “How many deaths counted as Covid-19 deaths are actually from the virus?” Tam Hunt. August 12, 2020. https://tamhunt.medium.com/data-quality-issues-and-the-coronavirus-pandemic-db0356373fc2
  23. Attkisson, Sharyl. “CDC changes definition of vaccines to fit Covid-19 vaccine limitations.” Sharyl Attkisson. September 8, 2021. https://sharylattkisson.com/2021/09/read-cdc-changes-definition-of-vaccines-to-fit-covid-19-vaccine-limitations/
  24. Hemingway, Mollie. “YouTube Bans Sen. Ron Johnson For Discussing Treatment Of COVID-19.” The Federalist. June 11, 2021. https://thefederalist.com/2021/06/11/youtube-bans-sen-ron-johnson-for-discussing-early-treatment-of-covid-19/#.YMNZXXXhWng.twitter
  25. “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.” FDA.gov:Consumer Updates. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/why-you-should-not-use-ivermectin-treat-or-prevent-covid-19
  26. Richman, Howard. “Head of Tokyo Medical Association recommends ivermectin for COVID treatment.” American Thinker. September 12, 2021. https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/09/head_of_tokyo_medical_association_recommends_ivermectin_for_covid_treatment.html
  27. Horowitz, Daniel. “The unmistakable ivermectin miracle in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.” Blaze Media. August 24, 2021. https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-the-unmistakable-ivermectin-miracle-in-the-indian-state-of-uttar-pradesh
  28. “COVID-19 Projections.” Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: COVID-19 Resources. Accessed December 19, 2021. https://covid19.healthdata.org/india/uttar-pradesh?view=resource-use&tab=trend&resource=all_resources
  29. “Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines.” American Journal of Therapeutics. 21 June 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248252/
  30. “HCQ for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 302 studies.” Covid Analysis. December 14, 2021.
  31. “What to Do If You Are Sick.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19. Accessed December 21, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
  32. McCullough, Peter, et al. “Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection.” American Journal of Medicine. January 1, 2021. https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(20)30673-2/fulltext
  33. “MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol for COVID-19.” Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance: Prevention and Treatment Protocols for COVID-19. Updated June 30, 2021. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FLCCC-Alliance-MATHplus-Protocol-ENGLISH.pdf
  34. “IMASK+ PREVENTION & EARLY OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR COVID-19. Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance: Prevention and Treatment Protocols for COVID-19. Updated June 30, 2020. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Alliance-I-MASKplus-Protocol-ENGLISH.pdf

Questioning the Eucharistic Revival

The impending Eucharistic Revival in the U. S. Catholic Church promises to be a very ambitious undertaking indeed, purporting to accomplish nothing less than the revitalization of the entire U. S. Church. As described by Bishop Andrew Cozzens at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) General Assembly in June 2020, the goal is :

“To renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist” [1]

The catalysts for the Revival include the impact on church attendance of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disconcerting survey from a couple of years ago, indicating only a minority of Catholics believe in a fundamental article of the faith, the Real Presence of Jesus Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. [2, 3] Apparently, therefore, it has been decided that if we can just manage to explain the reality of the Eucharist to Catholics, and somehow bring them to an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist, then the ills of the Church will be overcome. Accordingly, the USCCB 2021 -2024 Strategic Plan includes a plan for a National Eucharistic Congress:

“The Committee for Evangelization and Catechesis is coordinating the effort to explore, plan and execute a National Eucharistic Congress. Declining Mass attendance, the lack of understanding of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and increasing religious disaffiliation are major challenges facing the Church today. The committee has recognized that the return to the Eucharist as the “source and summit” of who we are and what we do as Catholics is key to revitalization.” [4]

But I have some concerns. What evidence is there supporting the effectiveness of this approach for renewing the faith? The brief references to the disorders in the Church in the Strategic Plan don’t accurately characterize the gravity of the situation. The Church in the U. S. has been deteriorating for decades. Average weekly Mass attendance declined from 75% in 1955 to less than 24% in 2015. [5, 6] In 2019, average weekly Mass attendance had declined even further to about 20%, except for Christmas and Easter and some of the Holy Days of Obligation. [7] In 2008, only 12% of Catholics went to Confession once a year, and 45% had never been to confession. [8] Surveys by Pew Research from 2018 – 2020 report a majority of Catholics support contraception, legal abortion, homosexuality, “gay marriage,” and reception of the Eucharist by the divorced and remarried. [9, 10, 11]

Viewed in the context of the perspective provided by these surveys, it is clear the loss of faith in the Real Presence has been accompanied by severe damage to the whole of the Catholic faith. The Pew surveys reflect a rejection of Christian morality by a majority of Catholics. This is a problem which cannot be solved by a concerted effort at education about the Real Presence or creating encounters with the Blessed Sacrament.

It seems obvious then that Revival actions should be guided by a clear understanding as to what has caused the loss of faith. Such an understanding would then ensure the Revival addresses the heart of the matter, instead of simply promoting transitory experiences which may feel good but do not bring about the desired conversion. At the June 2020 USCCB meeting Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha broached the idea of conducting research to identify the most effective means of reaching Catholics for the Revival. [12] I submit we know neither the causes of nor effective means to address the loss of faith: the problem should be studied in detail.

Here is a hypothesis: the Catholic loss of faith is the natural consequence of Catholics embracing the immorality of the society in which they live. It is simply not possible for Catholics who have already rejected Jesus with their thought and behavior to simultaneously accept Him in the sacraments. Of all the things which make us distinctively Catholic, the sacramental life wherein Jesus enters directly into our lives in substantial ways from birth to death is paramount in the authentic practice of Catholicism. And this sacramental life has been decisively spurned by those who enjoy the prestige but not the practice of Catholicism.

The Psalms are often remarkable for how precisely they apply to current conditions, despite their antiquity. These verses from Psalm 105 provide a disquietingly apt description of the majority of today’s U. S. Catholics:

“And they were mingled among the heathens, and learned their works: and served their idols, and it became a stumbling block to them.”

Psalms 105:35-36 Douay-Rheims Version

The problem faced by the Church is not catechesis: rather, it is evangelization of Catholics themselves.

If Catholics are to be evangelized, then it is nothing more than simple common sense to begin the process of rebuilding their faith with examination of conscience and rejection of sin. Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski put it quite clearly when commenting on the Revival presentation:

“There will be no Eucharistic Revival unless we have a revival in the Sacrament of Penance.” [13]

There is a fundamental dynamic happening in the Church which does not appear to be accounted for in the Revival planning: when we are massively immersed in sin, we are blind to the truth – even truth as glorious as the reality of the Real Presence. Therefore, repentance – the rejection of sin and the subsequent removal of the blinders – should be among the first of the subjects on which this Revival is focused. We cannot be amazed by the Eucharist when we are still enamored of sin.

This lack of attention to the pervasive reality of sin among Catholics is a real weakness, an imbalance, in the Eucharistic Revival planning described to date. In the Catholic Church today, we seem to have an aversion to the confrontation of sin. It is as if the hard questions are being deliberately avoided – no one wants to bring up the problem of sin for fear of offending modern Catholics. And that is a grievous error: how can we expect Catholics to engage in repentance if their pastors are not even strong enough to call them to repentance? I realize the goals of the Revival were not developed in a vacuum – in fact, it seems the Revival strategy and approach reflect the thought of a broad spectrum of Catholic leadership in America. But then the problem becomes even more daunting – it is not just the bishops who are unable to face the need for the Sacrament of Penance – it is also the best and brightest among Catholic laity.

Pope Benedict touched on the importance of penance relative to the Eucharist in the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of 2007:

“ . . . an authentic catechesis on the meaning of the Eucharist must include the call to pursue the path of penance (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-29). We know that the faithful are surrounded by a culture that tends to eliminate the sense of sin and to promote a superficial approach that overlooks the need to be in a state of grace in order to approach sacramental communion worthily. The loss of a consciousness of sin always entails a certain superficiality in the understanding of God’s love. Bringing out the elements within the rite of Mass that express consciousness of personal sin and, at the same time, of God’s mercy, can prove most helpful to the faithful.”[14]

In our present Catholic circumstances, the “consciousness of personal sin” is not only “most helpful” but also essential. The situation is dire. The abandonment of Christian morality and the associated sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist endanger the souls of countless Catholics. Father Hardon eloquently and concisely characterized the worldly affliction with which we Catholics have aligned ourselves:

“There must be a massive blindness of mind in the consciences of whole nations about God’s authority in the moral order.” [15]

It is not merciful to ignore this situation. This should be considered an emergency of the first order, yet there is not any sense of urgency with regard to repentance in the current Revival planning.

Another worrisome aspect of the Revival has to do with uncertainty as to the content, the details of the message, of this Revival. What exactly will be taught? In the available information about the Revival, we hear a lot about broad objectives and process, but not much specific information about content. Here are the five “strategic pillars” of the Revival:

“1. Foster encounters with Jesus through kerygmatic proclamation and experiences of Eucharistic devotion.

2. Contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the truth of our teaching, Beauty of our worship, and Goodness of a life of service.

3. Empower grassroots creativity by partnering with movements, apostolates, educational institutions, and parishes.

4. Reach the smallest unit: parish small groups and families.

5. Embrace and learn from the various rich intercultural Eucharistic traditions.” [16]

These pillars tell us little about the message which will actually be delivered via the Revival. And some of these pillars invite a certain amount of anxiety: what do “grassroots creativity” and “diverse Eucharistic traditions” have to do with setting Catholics straight in their understanding of both the reality of and the requirements for reception of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist? Are we going to see new and different versions of the Pachamama experience tumbling out of these diverse traditions? This is not an unreasonable question to ask given the confusing and conflicting messages cascading out of Rome these days.

Similar concerns arise from some of the processes to be employed at the diocesan and parish levels. [17] Small group discussions and a national corps of hastily formed “Eucharistic preachers” do not lend themselves to the preservation of orthodoxy. And why does the first year of the Revival include the formation of priests? Do the leaders of the Revival think the years of seminary formation were insufficient when it comes to priestly understanding of the Eucharist? That is quite an interesting commentary in itself. Or perhaps “formation” is necessary to ensure priests speak only the approved message of the revival – whatever it might be. And then, even after they have received formation, our priests must accommodate the influx into their parishes of Eucharistic “missionaries” of questionable pedigree. It is almost as though some sort of parallel catechetical structure is being developed to replace parish-based religious education and priestly homilies.

There is one other aspect of the Revival planning which is surprisingly absent. Since the Mass is the central act of Catholic worship, then it would be reasonable to assess whether the Eucharist is receiving the proper, best, right reverence within the Mass. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, referring to the weakness of the Sunday celebration of the Liturgy in the U. S., said the Revival must emphasize superb, fitting celebration of the Liturgy, including the Liturgy of the Word. [18]

Taylor Marshall recently offered an insightful comment regarding the role of the Mass relative to the Eucharist. [19] He likened the Eucharist to a precious gem, a diamond, whose true value can be best recognized and fully appreciated when placed in a setting which brings out its full beauty. Does the Novus Ordo Mass, as it is experienced by Catholics today, fully express the reverence and solemnity due to the profound reality of Jesus’ sacrifice at the Consecration? Peter Kwasniewski thinks not:

“The classical Roman rite as it developed over so many centuries acquired numerous and very expressive gestures of adoration and care toward the Holy Sacrament, precisely because it is not a mere “thing,” but under the signs of bread and wine a divine Person is really present. How we treat Him is how we show our faith in Him and our love for Him. The liturgical reform cruelly diminished these gestures and introduced other practices, now habitual to the point of being immovable, that suggest we are dealing with common food and drink that, in the context of Mass, are given a new symbolic meaning (the technical term for this heresy is “transsignification”). The reformed rite is redolent of a Lutheran or Calvinist conception of the Eucharist. That is the “faith,” if one can call it that, of the vast majority of Catholics in the Western world.” [20]

The Revival should include a careful examination of our treatment of the Eucharist at Holy Mass. There is no point in teaching about adoration of the Eucharist outside of Mass if our worship of the Eucharist within the Mass is deficient.

Perhaps these issues will be satisfactorily answered in due time as we learn more about the Revival and its teaching materials, and the USCCB teaching document on the Eucharist is published. [21] I remain wary of a program, a very large program, which will take a lot of time, cost a lot of money, lack direction and focus, make a lot of people tired, and will do nothing to correct the true causes for the loss of faith we now see in the Church. In its methods and processes, and in its focus on symptoms rather than causes, it bears a striking resemblance to the progressive programs we currently see from the U. S. government. And that is not a good thing.


  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:09:30. https://youtu.be/3AOgMTxoeV8?t=578
  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:10:18.
  1. Smith, Gregory. “One-third of U.S. Catholics believe in transubstantiation.” Pew Research Center. August 5, 2019.
  1. “Thematic Framework of the 2021-2024 USCCB Strategic Plan.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Page 7.
  1. Saad, Lydia. “Catholics’ Church Attendance Resumes Downward Slide.” Gallup. April 9, 2018.
  1. “Frequently Requested Church Statistics.” Center for Applied Research In The Apostolate. Accessed October 8, 2021.
  2. Gray, Mark. “The End of 2020.” Nineteen Sixty-four. December 30, 2020. https://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-end-of-2020.html
  1. Gray, Mark and Perl, Paul. “Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice among U. S. Catholics.” Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. p. 57. April 2008.
  1. Masci, David and Smith, Gregory A. “7 Facts About American Catholics.” Pew Research Center. October 10, 2018.
  1. Fahmy, Dalia. “8 Key Findings about Catholics and Abortion.” Pew Research Center. October 20, 2020.
  2. Diamant, Jeff. “How Catholics around the world see same-sex marriage, homosexuality.” Pew Research Center. November 2, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/02/how-catholics-around-the-world-see-same-sex-marriage-homosexuality/
  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:29:05.
  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:48:05.
  2. “Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis Of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful, On the Eucharist As the Source and Summit of the Church’s Life and Mission.” The Holy See. No. 20, page 15. February 22, 2007.
  1. Hardon, John. “Understand your Catholic Faith or Lose It.” Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association: Archives. Accessed October 11, 2021.
  2. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:12:18. https://youtu.be/3AOgMTxoeV8?t=738
  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:16:26.
  1. Cozzens, Andrew. “My Flesh For The Life Of The World.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, General Assembly, Virtual Plenary Session Day 3. June 18, 2021. 00:37:22.
  1. “Mass of the Ages.” Directed by Cameron O’Hearn. 00:34:35
  1. Kwasniewski, Peter. “Liturgy expert: Worldwide spread of Novus Ordo has diminished belief in Real Presence.” Lifesite News. October 20, 2020.
  1. “USCCB President: Eucharistic Document Seeks to Deepen ‘Awareness,’ ‘Amazement.’” Catholic News Agency. June 21, 2021.

Guarding the Tradition

When I walk into that quiet church on Sunday afternoon before Holy Mass, it is as if I have entered a different world. There are already several people kneeling silently in prayer, and from one corner of the church I can hear the muted murmur of others at confession. As I kneel and face the Tabernacle, the cares and concerns that were racing around inside my head begin to slow and drop away, and instead I begin to feel that hunger in my soul that only He can satisfy. I am so very glad to be here, a soul desperately in need of His grace, in a place where I know that I can find Him. “I will go in unto the altar of God . . .” As the ancient rite begins, those solemn prayers somehow draw me deeply into a sublime experience of the worship of God Himself, as they have for countless Christians before me.

I do not want to face the imminent loss of this most precious privilege, this treasure, of Catholic life. There is no doubt that the intent of Traditionis Custodes is to bring about the complete and total demise of the Mass that for 15 centuries was the principle form of worship of all Roman Catholics. [1] It is nothing less than a terrible tragedy. The question that begs to be answered is “Why?”

The Holy Father, citing a survey of the bishops, tells us that those who participate in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) are causing disunity in the Church, and are undermining the teaching of Vatican II. [2, 3] But TLM attendees around the globe constitute only only a tiny fraction of Pope Francis’ flock – how could such a small number of souls have any substantial impact on the Church at large? Even if they have somehow covertly multiplied, the great majority of these people are not customarily disgruntled folks: on the contrary, they are humbly grateful and joyful to be able to worship within the solemn beauty and reverence of the Mass of the Ages. The last thing they would do would be anything to disrupt that joy. They have no reason to engage in conflict with their fellow parishioners who attend the Novus Ordo.

Yet we must accept that Pope Francis perceives in the TLM and its adherents a real, substantial threat to the Church. Perhaps the bishops responded to the survey with new data, not previously recognized in the aggregate, indicating rapid TLM growth. It is hard to find research in this area, although there are some indicators of growth, such as the compilation of TLM sites at the Latin Mass Directory[4] and the recent survey by Crisis Magazine. [5] Pew Research [6, 7, 8, 9], Gallup [10] and CARA [11] can tell you about the unfortunate declines in foundational beliefs, practice, and membership within the U. S. Church, but this information is not sorted by TLM and Novus Ordo categories. Since neither the motu proprio itself, nor the accompanying letter, provide evidence which would help us understand the specifics of the threat, the question remains: exactly what is it that this small group of Catholics is doing that is so dangerous to the Faith? How are they manifesting their disunity, and how are they expressing their lack of fidelity to the teachings of Vatican II?

One way to gain some insight into Traditionis Custodes is to examine it in light of Pope Francis’ consistent prior teaching. A key aspect of that teaching which immediately comes to mind with respect to the TLM is the emphasis on the concept of “rigidity:”

“According to one of his closest advisers, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, for Francis both the Church and the world are in constant flux, and so his pontificate is one of ‘discernment, of incomplete thought’ for which the rigidity of rules is an obstacle. The Holy Father, he added, doesn’t want to teach “a definitive or complete word on every question which affects the Church and the world.” For him, Father Spadaro said, “neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems.” [emphasis added] [12]

It is important to note that the term “rigid,” as customarily used by Pope Francis, is not consistent with the normal usage of the word. In normal usage, identification of someone as rigid carries a negative connotation, implying that such a person is too rigid. The normal usage means unreasonably strict adherence to some belief or practice. In the context of morality, for example, rigidity could describe a person who has such a grim focus on sin that he engages in unhealthy scrupulosity, and is therefore unable to discern God’s will accurately.

Pope Francis, however, sees rigidity as any consistent and unchanging adherence to “rules,” regardless of the validity or reasonableness of those rules. Therefore, all rules which are inflexible and which do not admit of exceptions, are by definition rigid, and carry that negative characterization. This thought process is clearly illustrated in a homily from June 2016:

“Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.” [13]

“ . . . He frees us from the chains of the laws’ rigidity.” With this mode of thought, then, it is not much of a stretch to view the Commandments as mere ideals, which are no longer standards of Christian morality which must be followed. This concern with rigidity extends to religious practice as well. In the Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, for example, Pope Francis voices his dismay with “a punctilious concern for the Church’s liturgy,” some groups of Christians giving “excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting,” and complicating the Gospel by becoming “enslaved to a blueprint that leaves few openings for the working of grace.” [14]

Viewed from this perspective, the Traditional Latin Mass is the quintessential example of rigid religious practice. The TLM has indeed been unchanging – although incremental modifications have been made over the centuries, it has remained essentially the same since the reign of Pope St. Gregory the Great. [15] The people who prefer that unchanging TLM tend to be willing to accept unchanging standards of morality even though they may find them difficult, and even though they might find it necessary to make frequent use of the Sacrament of Penance when they fail. If the bishops’ responses to the survey did in fact suggest strong growth and increasing influence of the TLM, then that TLM and its adherents represent a bastion of rigidity among the faithful, which by its very nature is opposed to the direction in which Pope Francis is trying to take the Church. A threat such as this, therefore, must be dealt with firmly and decisively – and that is exactly what Pope Francis has done with Traditionis Custodes.

However, in the near term the fate of the TLM will depend on the bishops, who may have sufficient latitude to allow it to survive. Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco thinks so, [16] and there are Canon Law authorities who believe that bishops can permit dispensations from the requirements of this motu proprio. [17] There has already been a wide spectrum of responses from various bishops, ranging from complete termination of the TLM in some dioceses to various limitations and even full approval to continue as before in others.

It might help the bishops as they consider their decisions to take a look back at what the Council actually required for the reform of the Mass. Laity who are not familiar with Sacrosanctum Concilium [18] may be surprised. While Pope Francis has emphatically declared the Novus Ordo to be the intended product of the reform of the liturgy directed by Vatican II, the specific liturgical mandates of the Council were relatively minimal, and, as pointed out by Father Fessio more than twenty years ago, bear little resemblance to many of the innovations we now experience in the Novus Ordo. [19] Here is a brief summary of the nine specific mandates of Sacrosanctum Concilium:

  • More readings from the Bible.
  • Better homilies.
  • Restoration of the Prayers of the Faithful.
  • A suitable place allotted to the mother tongue.
  • Hosts consecrated at the same Mass.
  • Communion under both species – in limited circumstances.
  • Attendance for the entire Mass by the congregation.
  • Concelebration permitted on a limited basis.
  • The congregation to sing or say together the ordinary parts of the Mass in Latin.

Here are innovations characteristic of the Novus Ordo which are not directly mandated in Sacrosanctum Concilium:

  • The removal of the many beautiful and inspiring prayers and parts of the Mass which are present in my 1962 Missal but have disappeared from the Novus Ordo.
  • The addition of the three new “Eucharistic Prayers.”
  • The priest facing the congregation.
  • Reception of Holy Communion in the hand and the removal of the Communion rail.
  • The banishment of the Tabernacle from the center of the altar.
  • The general lack of reverence often displayed in the Novus Ordo environment, expressed most clearly by dress only slightly more formal than beachwear.
  • Music “ministers” performing at the front of the Church.
  • The inferior music routinely presented by said music ministers.
  • Lectors.
  • Altar girls.
  • Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.
  • The kiss of peace in the congregation.
  • Other miscellaneous practices which have crept in, like the holding of hands during the Our Father, or the congregation’s use of the orans posture for prayer.

Sacrosanctum Concilium did call for simplification of the Mass, and also sought as a priority “active participation” by the congregation. But that simplification was limited to removal of redundancy or “additions of little advantage.” Moreover, the reform was to be exercised with caution:

“Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.” [emphasis added] [18]

It is difficult indeed to make the case that the Novus Ordo innovations listed above grow organically from anything in the TLM. The wholesale changes evident in the Novus Ordo certainly exceed the measured approach to reform described in Sacrosanctum Concilium. It was not necessary to make sweeping changes to the structure and prayers of the Mass in order to meet the intent of the reform. For example, active participation can be accomplished in a variety of ways, even without any changes to the Mass at all. Pope St. Pius X eloquently described how the faithful should pray the Mass, in this beautiful instruction which appears in the 1962 Roman Missal:

“The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass.” [20]

Does this not reflect active participation at its best?

The fascinating thing here is that the TLM without any changes is actually much more closely related to the intent of the Council Fathers as reflected in the document Sacrosanctum Concilium than is the Novus Ordo with all of its changes. A look at a side by side comparison of the Novus Ordo to the TLM is astonishing in the contrast it presents. [21] It is as if the original, full strength, adult edition of the Mass was vigorously pruned to make it as simple as possible. The Novus Ordo is what remained after the Traditional Rite had been stripped down and reduced to its bare bones.

On the other hand, the Missa Cantata which I am fortunate to attend every Sunday due to the fervor of two holy parish priests, employs Gregorian Chant as a routine and integral component of Holy Mass. Gregorian chant, by the way, was not only the preferred musical form but also the primary means of active participation envisioned in Sacrosanctum Concilium. With respect to “a suitable place for the mother tongue,” I am able to pray every single word of every single prayer in that Mass in my native language, since the Missal incorporates English and Latin on facing pages. I am also able to join Father in his recitation of the Ordinary prayers in Latin as well, if that were to be required. Active participation in both the vernacular and Latin is therefore readily accommodated in the TLM. Regarding attendance for the entire Mass – I simply advise that if you wish to select a preferred seat, you should arrive early, because most people arrive well before Mass starts. And if you desire to leave the church immediately after Mass without hindrance, then you should position yourself at the end of a pew, since those TLM devotees almost universally kneel immediately after Mass is over and continue their contemplation, no doubt because they are profoundly conscious of the enormous significance of the Holy Eucharist they have just received, and wish to fully embrace that Real Presence before they head back out into the world. The Traditional Latin Mass as it is practiced today, before any changes to the structure, prayers, or form of the Mass have been made, is already compliant with most of the mandates of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

The bishops, while conducting their deliberations, should rest assured that Catholics who love the Traditional Latin Mass have no interest in fostering disunity with their Novus Ordo brethren. And in their devotion to the traditional form of Holy Mass they are endorsing, rather than rejecting, the teachings of Vatican Council II – and guarding the Tradition.


1. Bermudez, Alejandro. “Cardinal Burke questions Pope Francis’ authority to eliminate the Traditional Latin Mass.” Catholic News Agency. July 22, 2021. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/248472/cardinal-burke-questions-pope-francis-authority-to-eliminate-the-traditional-latin-mass

2. Francis. “Traditionis Custodes. APOSTOLIC LETTER ISSUED “MOTU PROPRIO” BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF FRANCIS On the Use of the Roman Liturgy Prior to the Reform of 1970.” The Vatican. July 16, 2021. https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/20210716-motu-proprio-traditionis-custodes.htmlFrancis.

3. “Letter of the Holy Father Francis to all bishops worldwide to present the Motu proprio “Traditionis custodes” on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the Reform of 1970.” The Vatican. July 16, 2021

4. “Find Traditional Latin Masses Around the World.” Latin Mass Directory. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.latinmassdir.org/

5. “The Growth of the Latin Mass: A Survey.” Crisis Magazine. July 26, 2021

6. Masci, David and Smith, Gregory A. “7 Facts About American Catholics.” Pew Research Center. October 10, 2018.
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/10/10/7-facts-about-american-catholics/esearch Center. October 10, 2018.

7. Fahmy, Dalia. “8 Key Findings about Catholics and Abortion.” Pew Research Center. October 20, 2020.

8. Diamant, Jeff. “How Catholics around the world see same-sex marriage, homosexuality.” Pew Research Center. November 2, 2020. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/11/02/how-catholics-around-the-world-see-same-sex-marriage-homosexuality/

9. Smith, Gregory A. “Just one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with their church that Eucharist is body, blood of Christ.” Pew Research Center. August 5, 2019.

10. Saad, Lydia. “Catholics’ Church Attendance Resumes Downward Slide.” Gallup. April 9, 2018.

11. “Frequently Requested Church Statistics.” Center for Applied Research In The Apostolate. Accessed August 5, 2021.

12. Pentin, Edward. “Pope Francis: Rigid People Are Sick.” National Catholic Register. October 24, 2016. https://www.ncregister.com/blog/pope-francis-rigid-people-are-sick

13. Westen, John-Henry. “Pope Francis: ‘Rigid… this or nothing’ Catholics are ‘heretical’ and ‘not Catholic.’” Lifesite News. June 9, 2016. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-rigid-this-or-nothing-catholics-are-heretical-and-not-catholic/

14. Francis. “Gaudete et Exsultate. Apostolic Exhortation on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.” The Vatican. 19 March 2018. Sections 57, 58, 59. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html

15. Williams, Brian. “Busting the Myth of the Tridentine Mass.” Liturgy Guy. July 23, 2021. https://liturgyguy.com/2017/07/23/busting-the-myth-of-the-tridentine-mass/

16. Rousselle, Christine. “Archbishop Cordileone: Traditional Latin Mass Will Continue in San Francisco.” Catholic News Agency. July 16, 2021.

17. Boniface. “Cardinal Cicognani on Canonical Dissimulation.” Unam Sanctam Catholicam. August 2, 2021.

18. Paul VI. “CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM.” The Vatican. December 4, 1963. https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

19. Fessio, Joseph. “The Mass of Vatican II.” Catholic World Report. July 23,2021. Editor’s note: This essay appeared originally in the September/October 2000 issue of Catholic Dossier and is based on a lecture on the liturgy given by Father Fessio in May, 1999.

20. The Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962. Angelus Press. 2004, 835.

21. “New and Traditional Side by Side – A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TEXTS OF THE TRADITIONAL MISSAL AND THE NEW MISSAL OF 2011.” Latin Mass Society of England and Wales. Accessed August 8, 2021.

Vaccine Hesitancy? Or Experimental Vaccine Gullibility

One artifact of the ongoing Corona virus vaccine controversy has been the distress exhibited in various quarters patronizingly worrying about those of us who are thought to be afflicted with the dreaded “Vaccine Hesitancy.” That disparaging characterization implies that anyone who is concerned about allowing themselves to be infected with one of the SARS-CoV-2 so-called vaccines has somehow fallen victim to misinformation, or is unable to make a mature decision because, after all, the conventional wisdom tells us that the vaccines are perfectly safe.

The following comment from an article in Townhall.com is a typical example of the disdainful attitude exhibited by those who have managed to rise above such simple-mindedness:

“I talked to Adam Bruggeman, M.D., a San Antonio physician, and he told me vaccine hesitancy is not the same problem as the logistics of making vaccines available to everyone. He believes vaccine hesitancy is mostly due to poor leadership, inconsistent messaging and hyper-partisanship. To educate those exposed to misinformation about the vaccine he set up a website, GetMyCovidVaccine.org to hopefully set the record straight.” [1]

So, whatever the reason, according to the good Doctor Bruggeman, the resistance to SARS-COV-2 inoculation is certainly not based on anything like knowledge, logic, prudence, or any sort of rational thinking. We, the unwashed, should stop trying to think for ourselves, and let our intellectual betters tell us what to do.

But just in case there are some citizens out there who still have an open mind, and who also brazenly dare to question the government and medical establishment, here are some simple facts that even a politician or a government bureaucrat, burdened as they are with preconceived “knowledge” which prevents them from seeing the truth, can understand.

1. None of the SARS-CoV-2 experimental vaccines have been fully tested.

The so-called vaccines are actually nothing more than experimental biological agents. They have not been determined to be safe according to the standards required for the completion of the normal vaccine approval process:

“A typical vaccine development timeline takes 5 to 10 years, and sometimes longer, to assess whether the vaccine is safe and efficacious in clinical trials, complete the regulatory approval processes, and manufacture sufficient quantity of vaccine doses for widespread distribution.” [2]

There simply has not been enough time elapsed to conduct any sort of long term evaluation of the effects of the vaccines. They have only been approved via “Emergency Use Authorizations” (EUA), which the FDA uses to authorize medical countermeasures based on a preliminary risk-benefit analysis. [3] The initial EUA Review Memorandum for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine cited a safety follow-up time period of “a median of two months.” [4] That safety follow-up period has not increased with even recent EUA re-issuances. [5] The Fact Sheet for the June 25, 2021 re-issuance of the Pfizer-BioNtech EUA is remarkable for how weak it is with regard to safety. [6] It includes no definitive safety declaration – it merely calls the probability of allergic reactions and side effects“remote,” and it warns about a “very low” risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. It does not provide any perspective as to how the clinical trials it references would compare to those normally required for vaccines. To date, this sort of inadequate safety information has been the only information available to assist Americans who have made the decision to receive the COVID-19 inoculation.

2. The corona virus experimental vaccines employ new technologies and therefore represent unknown risks.

Vaccines utilizing mRNA technologies and the Corona virus spike protein never achieved approval for general use prior to this pandemic. [7,8] Further, the interactions of the spike protein within the human body have not been thoroughly studied and completely understood, and there is now evidence that this protein may be harmful. [9] The inventor of the mRNA vaccines himself has warned of the dangers of the spike protein, [10,11] Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, UCLA Pediatric Immunology, cited multiple studies in December 2020 to warn the FDA that the spike protein produced as a result of the inoculations is dangerous:

“.. . it appears that the viral spike protein that is the target of the major SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is also one of the key agents causing the damage to distant organs that may include the brain, heart, lung, and kidney.” [12]

These vaccines constitute a magnified risk: it is not as if the timeline of a typical vaccine has been accelerated. Risk has been piled upon risk, with an accelerated timeline amplifying the risk of an experimental vaccine technology incorporating new delivery methods and a new type of antigen.

Messenger RNA vaccine promoters like to say that these new vaccines are really not all that new or dangerous. [13, 14, 15] However, responses such as these do not mention that prior attempts to produce Corona virus vaccines have failed, particularly due to the phenomenon of Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE), a delayed reaction which may well not appear in accelerated trials:

“Given past data on multiple SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccine efforts have failed due to ADE in animal models . . . it is reasonable to hypothesize a similar ADE risk for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and vaccines. ADE risks may be associated with antibody level (which can wane over time after vaccination) and also if the antibodies are derived from prior exposures to other coronaviruses.” [16]

Evidence of harmful effects from the vaccines is beginning to emerge: myocarditis and pericarditis, [17,18] amplified death rates from the Delta COVID-19 variant for the vaccinated, [19] vision disorders including blindness, nervous system disorders, blood disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders. [20] Initial indications are that adverse occurrences resulting from these vaccines are far greater in scale than has been previously experienced. [21] The CDC reported that as of June 30th, 5,718 deaths have been reported in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting system following COVID-19 inoculation. [22] While the CDC will not admit that all of these deaths are caused by the vaccines, when viewed in context this number of deaths is beyond anything ever experienced with prior vaccines. When compared to adverse events following vaccinations for other diseases,

“The number of deaths recorded following the experimental COVID injections now equals the total number of recorded deaths following vaccines for the past 20 years. [23]

3. This pandemic does not constitute an emergency for the majority of the population.

For roughly two thirds of the population (ages 0–49), [24] the risk of fatality from COVID-19 is no greater than that of the seasonal flu, which for the 2018-2019 flu season was about 0.1 percent. [25] Data from the CDC Covidtracker site as of June 28th, 2021 indicates that for this age group, the Case Fatality Ratio is 0.13 percent. [26] The Infection Fatality Ratio (IFR) is even less, since the Case number does not include infections without symptoms that are not recorded. So for this sector of the population, the risk of fatality from COVID-19 is about the same as that of the annual flu season. Yet mass vaccinations incorporating experimental technologies on an emergency basis are not considered necessary for the flu. But in this pandemic the government is aggressively insisting that everyone over 12, a majority of whom have very low vulnerability to the disease, be injected with an experimental vaccine involving a new anti-viral method with unknown long term risks. There is a clear disconnect between the relatively low severity of the disease for most of the population and the drastic measures undertaken to overcome it.

4. The Infection Fatality Ratio (IFR) data for this pandemic has been deliberately overstated.

Back near the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC suddenly changed the rules for how fatalities should be listed if a patient had COVID-19. [27] The new rules required “listing COVID-19 in Part I of the death certificate as a ‘cause of death’ even if COVID-19 was only suspected as being a contributing factor.” [28] This is a major change: a contributing factor is not necessarily a cause of death. That judgment should be made by the responsible health professionals involved, and should not be automatically determined for all cases. “The end result of this change was to shift what is very likely a large number of fatalities into the COVID-19 tally that would not have been in the tally under the previous standards.” [28] This means that the foundational data upon which pandemic decision-making and reporting is based is severely flawed, and calls into question both the rationale and the urgency for SARS-CoV-2 mass inoculations.

5. The use of readily available drugs with anti-viral properties was not seriously considered in the U. S as a viable approach for fighting the pandemic.

There is now substantial evidence that drugs like Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin, especially in concert with certain other agents, can be used to effectively treat or prevent COVID-19. As of June 25th, 2021, a database of 311 HCQ COVID-19 studies, “229 peer reviewed, 259 comparing treatment and control groups” showed “HCQ is not effective when used very late with high dosages over a long period,” but that “effectiveness improves with earlier usage and improved dosing”, and “Early treatment consistently shows positive effects.” [29] A review published on June 17, 2021 in the American Journal of Therapeutics, presented similar conclusions about Ivermectin. [30]

An article published in the January 2021 edition of the American Journal of Medicine by Dr. Peter McCullough and a large group of associated physicians described how HCQ can be implemented as one element of a comprehensive treatment algorithm. [31] A similar thought process is reflected in the MATH+ and I-MASK+ protocols using Ivermectin developed by the doctors of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance. [32,33] The MATH+ protocol includes Ivermectin as a key component which works in concert with several other powerful medications to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and the I-MASK+ protocol, also employing Ivermectin as part of a detailed program, is targeted toward early treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

These methodologies based on HCQ and Ivermectin demonstrate simple common sense. It is eminently reasonable for physicians to treat patients with the readily available tools and do the obvious things, such as inhibiting the activity of the virus, stabilizing the immune system, and relieving dangerous symptoms such as blood clotting and inflammatory response, using drugs with known capabilities and safety profiles. These comprehensive approaches offered in the face of an aggressive and extremely contagious disease present a stark contrast to the myopically rigid focus on experimental vaccines exercised by the government and medical establishment.

It is puzzling that the United States, the most advanced country in the world, with all of its massive technological advantages, leads the world in COVID-19 fatalities, even when compared with countries with much larger populations. [34] Is this disparity due to the inflated COVID-19 fatality reporting in the U. S.? Or could it be that other countries successfully fought the disease with repurposed drugs like HCQ and Ivermectin? Consider this:

“Countries where HCQ is widely available, which are typically third world countries that have malaria or citizens who travel to malaria-endemic regions, have 1-10% of the death rates first world nations where HCQ is severely restricted.” [8]


The trauma of the last year and a half bears the unmistakable stench of progressivism, wherein the populace is browbeaten into submission by the groupthink and scorn of those who obfuscate and manipulate the truth while claiming they have superior knowledge. Vaccine hesitancy is not the problem. Vaccine gullibility is the problem. The American people have been entirely too submissive and unquestioning in their sheeplike response to the government and medical establishment.

That docility is a far greater concern than the pandemic.

But assuming Americans are somehow able to recover at least some of their backbone, then it is essential that the response to the SARS-CoV-2 attack be objectively assessed, and that assessment should recognize that the response was miserably inadequate. The government’s single-minded focus on vaccines worked to prevent successful implementation of therapies using drugs which were readily available at the beginning of the pandemic. A stronger and more vigorous strategy for responding to biological attacks must be developed. Reliance on the hidebound, slow, and bureaucratic processes of the FDA for approval of every use of every drug is not a sufficiently responsive method for developing counters to biological attacks. Let’s face it – we dodged a bullet this time. The virus was not extremely dangerous to the vast majority of the population. What happens when the Peoples Republic of China manages to engineer and deploy a truly dangerous virus which is also extremely contagious? Feeble responses like emergency vaccines with unknown safety characteristics will not do the job. The country must figure out how to harness the tremendous expertise of the entire U. S. medical community – especially front line physicians, and not just drug companies and government bureaucrats – to bring effective therapies to bear rapidly in the event of future attacks.


1. Herrick, Devon. “What’s Behind the Vaccine Slowdown?” Townhall.com. June 1, 2021. https://townhall.com/columnists/devonherrick/2021/05/31/whats-behind-the-vaccine-slowdown-n2590174

2. HOW CAN COVID-19 VACCINE DEVELOPMENT BE DONE QUICKLY AND SAFELY? Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: Vaccine Research & Development. Accessed June, 2021. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/vaccines/timeline

3. “Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccines Explained” U. S. Food and Drug Administration: Vaccines. Updated November 20, 2020. https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines-explained

4. “Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer-BionTech COVID-19 Vaccine Review Memo.” fda.gov. https://www.fda.gov/media/144416/download

5.Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Letter of Authority June 25 2021.” fda.gov. https://www.fda.gov/media/150386/download


7. Siler, Thomas. “A Doctor’s View About the New mRNA Vaccines.” American Thinker. February 15, 2021. https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/02/a_doctors_view_about_the_new_mrna_vaccines.html

8. Gold, Simone, et. al. “America’s Frontline Doctors White Paper On Experimental Vaccines For COVID-19.” America’s Frontline Doctors. Accessed June, 2021. https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/6076e4fd8bde421370729e47_Vaccine-PP.pdf

9. Bridle, Byram. “A Parental Guide to COVID-19 Vaccination: English Summary.” Canadian Covid Care Alliance. June, 2021. https://www.canadiancovidcarealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Guide_to_COVID19_vaccines_for_parents_v5.pdf

10. Redshaw, Megan. “Inventor of mRNA Technology_ Vaccine Causes Lipid Nanoparticles to Accumulate in ‘High Concentrations’ in Ovaries.” The Defender: Children’s Health Defense News and Views. June 17, 2021. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/mrna-technology-covid-vaccine-lipid-nanoparticles-accumulate-ovaries/

11. Publius. “Inventor of mrna Tech Says FDA Was Aware of Spike Protein Dangers Before Granting ‘Emergency Use,’ Possible Shot-Related Deaths Skyrocket.” Coronavirus News. June 17, 2021. https://coronanews123.wordpress.com/2021/06/17/inventor-of-covid-mrna-vaccine-platform-says-new-data-shows-danger-blames-lack-of-long-term-animal-trials-full-transcript/

12. Shula. “Covid-19 vaccine & Microvascular Injury.” Talking About The Science:Bringing you the research on the relationship of diet (and toxins) to behavior and health. March 11, 2021. https://www.talkingaboutthescience.com/whelan2020/

13. “Are the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna safe?” GetMyCovidVaccine.org. February 6, 2021. https://getmycovidvaccine.org/are-the-mrna-vaccines-from-pfizer-biontech-and-moderna-safe/

14. Seddighzadeh, Bobak. “How Safe Are the mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines? We asked the Experts.” Men’s Health. December 9, 2020. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a34909218/mrna-covid-vaccine-safety/

15. Fiore, Kristina. “Want to Know More About mRNA Before Your COVID Jab? MedPage Today. December 3, 2020. https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/89998

16. Ricke, Darrell O. “Two Different Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE) Risks for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies.” Frontiers in Immunology. February 24, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7943455/

17. Redshaw, Megan. “CDC finds ‘likely’ link between heart inflammation and Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines.” Lifesite News. June 24, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cdc-finds-likely-link-between-heart-inflammation-and-pfizer-moderna-covid-vaccines

18. Redshaw, Megan. “Pfizer vaccine ‘probably’ linked to heart inflammation, Israeli panel of experts concludes.” Lifesite News. June 7, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pfizer-vaccine-probably-linked-to-heart-inflammation-israeli-panel-of-experts-concludes

19. McGovern, Celeste. “Death rate from variant COVID virus six times higher for vaccinated than unvaccinated, UK health data show.” Lifesite News. June 18, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/death-rate-from-variant-covid-virus-six-times-higher-for-vaccinated-than-unvaccinated-uk-health-data-show

20. Solway, David. “Coronavirus vaccines may be the worst mistake we’ve ever made.” Lifesite News. June 30, 2021. https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/covid-vaccines-may-be-the-worst-mistake-weve-ever-made

21. Chaves, Antonio R. “A massive surge in COVID vaccine deaths.” American Thinker. June 16, 2021. https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/06/a_massive_surge_in_covid_vaccine_deaths.html

22. “Reported Adverse Events.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19. Updated June 30, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

23. Shilhavy, Brian. “CDC: 4,178 Americans DEAD Following Experimental COVID Injections – Deaths from COVID Shots now Equal 20 Years of Recorded Deaths Following Vaccines Since 2001.” Vaccine Impact. May 5, 2021. https://vaccineimpact.com/2021/cdc-4178-americans-dead-following-experimental-covid-injections-deaths-from-covid-shots-now-equal-21-years-of-recorded-deaths-following-vaccines-since-2001/

24. “Table 1: Population by Age and Sex:2019. United States Census: Age and Sex Composition in the United States: 2019. April, 2020. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/age-and-sex/2019-age-sex-composition.html

25. “Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States — 2018–2019 influenza season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Influenza. Last Reviewed: June 2, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2019-2020.html

26. “Demographic Trends of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US reported to CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Covid Data Tracker. Accessed July 3, 2021. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographics

27. “Vital Statistics Reporting Guidance: Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Desease 2019 (COVID-19).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: National Center for Health Statistics: National Vital Statistics System. April, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/vsrg/vsrg03-508.pdf

28. Hunt, Tam. “How many deaths counted as Covid-19 deaths are actually from the virus?” Tam Hunt. August 12, 2020. https://tamhunt.medium.com/data-quality-issues-and-the-coronavirus-pandemic-db0356373fc2

29. “HCQ for COVID-19.” @CovidAnalysis: Global HCQ/CQ Studies. Accessed July 5, 2021. https://c19hcq.com/

30. Bryant, A. and Lawrie, T. A. “Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: A Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Trial Sequential Analysis to Inform Clinical Guidelines.” American Journal of Therapeutics. June 17, 2020. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Ivermectin_for_Prevention_and_Treatment_of.98040.pdf

31. McCullough, Peter, et al. “Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection.” American Journal of Medicine. January 1, 2021. https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(20)30673-2/fulltext

32. “MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol for COVID-19.” Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance: Prevention and Treatment Protocols for COVID-19. Updated June 30, 2021. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/FLCCC-Alliance-MATHplus-Protocol-ENGLISH.pdf

33. “IMASK+ PREVENTION & EARLY OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR COVID-19. Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance: Prevention and Treatment Protocols for COVID-19. Updated June 30, 2020. https://covid19criticalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/FLCCC-Alliance-I-MASKplus-Protocol-ENGLISH.pdf

34. “COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC: Reported Cases and Deaths by Country or Territory.” Worldometer. Data accessed July 2, 2021. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/