Stick with the 1917 Code of Canon Law

Source:  Deus Meus et Omnia


Which Code for Tradition?


One of the more noticeable developments within the Society of Saint Pius X in recent years has been the growing references to canons found in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John-Paul II. Although one might be tempted to speculate as to the reason of this development, this present reflection will limit itself to the problem of the Code itself. Certainly, there has been disagreement among those Catholic desiring to be faithful to Tradition as to the respective status of the two Codes of Canon Law- that of 1917 and 1983. Those who hold to the sedevacantist thesis reject the New Code on the grounds that the man who promulgated it was no pope, and thus incapable of imposing anything upon the Church. Among those who embraced fully the Second Vatican Council, there was likewise no problem. Pope John-Paul II had acted within his rights, and indeed, within the realm of his duty- to reform the law of the Church in the light of the Council.


But for those who both recognized the legitimacy of John-Paul II as Successor of Saint Peter and yet questioned the decisions of Vatican II, things were not so simple. On the one hand, there were those who argued that since the Pope had promulgated the New Code, there was a duty to accept it, or at least as much of it as was possible, given the problematic nature of some of the canons. These saw the code as simply a collection of individual canons. One could not speak truly therefore of the Code as one thing, except as a convenience. It was one in the sense that all the canons were gathered together within it and organized. Each canon was what counted, since each canon was a law promulgated by the pope. In such a scenario, every canon would be accepted save for those which went contrary to the teaching of the Church, such as Canon 844.4 which allows non-Catholics to receive the sacraments (such as Holy Communion) from the Catholic Church provided they cannot approach their own ministers and likewise profess the Faith of the Church regarding those sacraments. This, of course, is contrary to the practice of the Church for reasons grounded in the Faith itself. One cannot have the virtue of Faith only on one point, while rejecting other dogmas of Faith. But apart from such cases, all of the other canons are received as validly promulgated.


Yet there is another manner of regarding the Code of Canon Law. One may regard it not as a simple collection of individual canons, but as something promulgated as a unity or whole. Pope John-Paul II, after all, did not speak of the Code as a simple collection of canons, brought together for convenience sake into one book. It was as one thing that he promulgated it, and it was meant to be taken as something unified, a book of Law. Indeed, the Code was to be the canonical embodiment of the Second Vatican Council, the legal incarnation of its teaching. Thus, in the L’Osservatore Romano of the 12th of March, 2012, it is affirmed,


In his report during the introduction to the new Code of Canon Law in 1983, he [Pope John-Paul II] emphasized to the bishops that the Code was part of the Council and that in this sense it was the Council’s last document.


It is in this canonical embodiment of the Council’s teaching that we must examine the binding nature of the Code of 1983. It is insufficient to simply regard the Code as if it was a collection of canons, each independent and to be examined according to each one’s merits. The Code has a purpose and a spirit that defines it. This is not something that is hidden, or the opinion of conspiracy theorists. Indeed, in the Constitution whereby the New Code was promulgated, “Sacrae Disciplinae Leges” the Pope speaks precisely of the purpose of the New Code and its new spirit.


To understand the problem more deeply, it is necessary to turn to some notions from philosophy. This is not to turn the discussion to matters too difficult for the normal Catholic to understand. These notions can be understood. Philosophy speaks of all things created as having four causes: the Formal Cause, the Material Cause, the Efficient Cause, and the Final Cause. This breakdown is of such importance that all four can be found in the definition of every true law given by Saint Thomas Aquinas. To this definition, indeed we will soon turn. In any case, if we examine the Code by looking at each cause we will see the following. The Final Cause, which is the most important, is that the Code will move the Church in the direction willed by the Second Vatican Council, the renewal of the Church through the teaching of the Council. The Formal Cause will be the translation into the Code of its new teachings. These must inspire the Code if it is to bring us to that renewal. The Pope tells us of this new spirit. The Code is to translate the new ecclesiology expressed at Vatican II. Let us look at the Pope’s own words, found in the promulgating Constitution:


…Indeed, in a certain sense, this new Code could be understood as a great effort to translate this same doctrine, that is, the conciliar ecclesiology, into canonical language. If, however, it is impossible to translate perfectly into canonical language the conciliar image of the Church, nevertheless, in this image there should always be found as far as possible its essential point of reference.

From this there are derived certain fundamental criteria which should govern the entire new Code, both in the sphere of its specific matter and also in the language connected with it. It could indeed be said that from this there is derived that character of complementarily which the Code presents in relation to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, with particular reference to the two constitutions, the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium and the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes.

Hence it follows that what constitutes the substantial “novelty” of the Second Vatican Council, in line with the legislative tradition of the Church, especially in regard to ecclesiology, constitutes likewise the “novelty” of the new Code.

Among the elements which characterize the true and genuine image of the Church, we should emphasize especially the following: the doctrine in which the Church is presented as the People of God (cf. Lumen gentium, no. 2), and authority as a service (cf. ibid., no. 3); the doctrine in which the Church is seen as a “communion,” and which, therefore, determines the relations which should exist between the particular Churches and the universal Church, and between collegiality and the primacy; the doctrine, moreover, according to which all the members of the People of God, in the way suited to each of them, participate in the threefold office of Christ: priestly, prophetic and kingly. With this teaching there is also linked that which concerns the duties and rights of the faithful, and particularly of the laity; and finally, the Church’s commitment to ecumenism.

The Pope makes it quite clear that this Code of 1983, is meant to be the Council’s “last document”, for it embodies the “novelty” of its teaching by putting it into canonical form. There is indeed a unifying spirit that binds the canons together, and that is the new vision of the Church put forward by the Council. Thus we see that the Church must express itself now according to the new idea of itself found especially in “Lumen Gentium” and “Gaudium et Spes“. This new vision permeates the Code, gives it life, and therefore provides the reason why Catholic Tradition must refuse it. There cannot be a new definition of the Church, given to us now after 1900 years. The Church’s nature has always been understood by the Magisterium. It certainly does not now need to be discovered.


If we look at the definition of Saint Thomas on the nature of Law, we find that he teaches that it is an ordinance of reason, promulgated by the proper authority, for the common good. In this succinct definition, we have the four causes. It is an ordinance (material cause) of reason (formal cause) promulgated by the proper authority (efficient cause) for the common good (final cause). It is not enough that it be promulgated by the proper authority. The same must hold true for the promulgation of the Code. It is not enough that it be promulgated by the Pope. It must be for a purpose, and this purpose governs its nature. The Laws of the Church must be ordered to their purpose- the salvation of souls, and this salvation can only be acquired by means established by God firstly: Faith and the life of the virtues. The supernatural order was not discovered at Vatican II. The Church had had myriads of saints from her founding, all of whom reached Heaven by adherence to the true Faith and by sanctity of life. The New Code is ordered to the “renewal of the Christian life” according to new principles, principles which did not demand conversion of life and opposition to the world. And so the Code incarnates this new vision, a vision of a modern Church no longer at war with the world, but  friends with it, a Church no longer identified with the Catholic Church.


So we end with the stark reality of this Code of 1983 having a life of its own, child of a Council turned away from the past towards a humanistic future. The new spirit is the life binding together the canons even as the soul makes one in operation the organs of the body. It cannot be accepted for the very reason the reform cannot be accepted, even if there are good and traditional elements sometimes present. The life and direction of this new law is the death of the Catholic spirit. For Tradition then, Catholics must hold on to the 1917 Code, inspired by its own life and finality. It is not a question of denying the Pope’s authority, but of taking John-Paul II at his own word. This is a New Code for a New Ecclesiology, not for the Catholic Church.

Out with Democracy; In with Monarchy

Source:  The Counter-Revolution


A Simple Argument for Monarchy


“A Man is a Democrat because he himself wants to rule, a man is a Monarchist because he wants to be ruled well.”


On Authority: It is absolutely essential to begin not by speaking in terms of different systems and natures of governance, but by examining the very nature of authority itself. Where does it come from? If we examine the animal kingdom we find examples of leadership, but no authority; no one animal holds any position of judgement over another, conclusively authority then does not come from nature. Limiting the inquiry to man itself, we can deduce down to a question “Can two people give a person a right that they themselves do not possess?”. The obvious answer is always no. I do not have a right to take things that belong to you, and my neighbor does not, so we can’t give a chosen representative of ours the said right. If we take it even further and have 100 people all consent that said representative has this right over you, it still does not endow him with the legitimate authority to do so. No matter how large we make the base of people affirming his action, it does nothing to legitimize his authority exercised. Authority then clearly does not stem from man, but only from God. Christ tells Pilate in his trial that “Any power you have comes from God”. God himself assures us of the natural truth we can so easily find evident in our natural logic. In nature, we see one strong leader emerge among groups of animals. The lion, the so-called king of the jungle, do not operate among democratic groups. Among every group, weak and strong, an alpha male emerges, and different groupings of animals keep generally to different areas. We see a natural case for nationalism, and taking pride in where one happens to be born and reside. What we see in the natural world clearly reflects the supernatural world. God as creator and King of the universe, and see among the ranks of heaven a hierarchy of supernatural beings and men arrayed under the headship of God. The most natural state of man is indeed monarchy.


The Role of the King: First of all, in discussing a monarchy we must clearly define the role and nature of a king. The king is first and foremost the guardian of the Church. The King is coroneted by the Church, and has a responsibility to create and guard an environment where evangelization is easily done, and a nation for the faithful to live in with moral standards that make it much easier to go to heaven. The King represents the natural familial headship. God is the King of the universal family, the Pope as the earthly representative of God and leader of his flock on earth, the King is the head of the family of the nation, the priest is the father of his parish, and a father is the head of his family. Each has a unique leadership role, and a special responsibility not just for the care and wellbeing of his family on a physical level, but also sacred duty to help guide and lead their souls on the journey to Heaven. The King and the royal family have a noble responsibility to be an example to the whole nation. They are to, at all times, act with dignity and respect. In the very traditional notion of monarchy, the royal family has an obligation to strive to the ideal of family life. Everything in right order, the way they live their lives should be an example to the whole nation of decorum and proper function. The king is also the protector of the commons. The King by nature of his authority can prevent oligarchic rule by the wealthy by curbing their influence on behalf of the common man. We see time and time again this is the case. Ivan IV of Russia, also known as Ivan the terrible, at one time got fed up with ruling and threatened to abdicate. Russian oligarchs had to come and convince him to retake his throne, for they could not continue life without he protecting them from the common people. He did return, and subsequently destroyed the power of the Russian oligarchs in protection of the common people. Another time, the Russian serfs formally plead Catherine the Great to reject the restrictions the nobility and oligarchy were placing her under, and assume the role of an absolute monarch, because they knew with a monarch in power, they have a course of recourse against abuses by the oligarchic class. The King also serves as a physical embodiment of the nation; a unifying figure that people across all social and economic classes can look to, and identify with. One of the most astounding examples in history of this is the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which united 13 different lingo-ethnic groups into one nation, which relative for the time, was unitive and successful. The Kaiser had a huge role in holding the nation together, as citizens of all backgrounds could look to him, and see the nation. The king and the royal family have a responsibility to be a lead example of secular morality, and refrain from public disorderliness, so that all citizens may look to them, and model their own lives off that of the monarchy.


Nobility: One supremely unfortunate consequence of the enlightenment is the hatred espoused for even the idea that there can be distinctions among men, such as nobility, yet it is instinctive of every man to recognize they exist. One has only to look at the throngs of citizens and tourists alike who line up to catch a mere glimpse of a monarch anywhere in the world, or how a common man instinctively respects another more when learning he possesses a title.  The very fundamental need of a soul is order. The Venerable Pope Pius XII said “Social inequalities, even related to birth, are inevitable. Benign nature and God’s blessing to humanity illuminate and protect all cradles, looking on them with love, but do not make them equal. On the other hand, to a mind instructed and educated in a Christian way, these disparities can only be considered a disposition willed by God with the same wisdom as the inequalities in the family. Hence, they are destined to bring men more closely together on the present life journey toward the Kingdom of Heaven, with some helping others in the way a father helps a mother and children.” Pius XII gives us an exceptionally beautiful examination of the role of the Nobility: to guide the common man. As the king serves as the father figure to the nation, one should consider the nobility to be an older brother. As one does not only look to the father, but older siblings for guidance end example, one should also look to the nobility. As Christ tells us “To whom much is given, much is expected”. The role of a traditional nobility would be to replace the new pagan pantheon of celebrity gods, which idolizes people the more degenerate they act. The idea of a nobility is antithetical to the modern error that preaches no distinctions among men, yet a man need feel no more indignation that he is not born part of the nobility than he feel at not being born king, or even an eldest sibling. One might even feel relief that he is not born into such a position of responsibility. To briefly list a selection of noble responsibilities: to live a moral life of exceptional quality and raise your children and heirs to do the same. To be a regional representative of the King and all he represents; the King, as the font of honor, has a sacred duty to appoint men who exemplify virtue and are pillars of the community and are strong protectors of the faith. Things for which he rightly deserves honor. It can be pointed out that these are responsibilities of a good family, and they are, but in the context of nobility there is an accountability system where one can be stripped of their rank for failing to live to the standards so outlined.


Monarchy and the Church:  A common symbolic emblem often used in the past is that of the double-headed eagle, representing the Church and the state. As God’s representative body on earth, the Church in the past would have been understood as the only body besides God who places authority over the monarch. The idea of an absolute monarch free to do whatever they wish, so often presented as a defense of republicanism, is a picture only made possible by removing the Church from the picture. This is not to say that some absolute monarchs did as they please, but those always did so outside the scope of the Church. The monarchy has a sacred duty to protect the Church and enable its salvific mission to all mankind, and the Church in return consecrates the monarch, and endows his rule with a certain authority otherwise much lacking. The Church, as with all men, has a strict set of laws governing the actions of the monarch. He cannot order unjust actions without the condemnation of the Church, and is bound to act within certain parameters or risk losing support from the church, and his throne.


Monarchy and the death of man and Tradition: The 21st century has been an era of exceptionally rapid change. In only 10 years, we have gone from the United States Supreme Court upholding the natural law, to acting as if the only law is the constitution. In the past year, there has been an active campaign to deny that there are even differences between men and women, seeking the active abolition of gender and gender roles. In the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, she tells us that the last battles of satan will be over marriage and the family. We have seen the institution of marriage destroyed through contraception, state ownership, no-fault divorce, and the legalization of same-sex “marriage”. Pew research says that 74% of millennials support same-sex marriage. The next target to bring down, and how satan subverts the family, is by attacking men. Men will always fight for women and children, so they must be brought to heel first. Think of every speech in a war or an action movie where the protagonist is trying to inspire men. Without exception, every single one mentions their women and children. There are lots of reasons that can all be accurately sighted as to the reason of the downfall of men, such as the declaration of every pro-man thing as sexist, the hook-up culture promoting free love without commitment, feminism convincing women that tradition is to be spat upon, and the use of contraception and abortion destroying the very summit of a married life: these things are all true however one concept rarely considered is how the abolition of monarchy has influenced men and the concept of what it is to be a man. The King has the unique role as the patriarchal head of the nation; he leads the family of the nation as a father leads his household. The king’s authority does not come by some mandate of the governed, just as a father’s authority does not come from consent of the whole family, but both are divinely ordained by God to bring people closer to him. We have seen in the past few century’s a rejection of the notion of divinely ordered authority, and the rise in the notion of popular authority, that if you get enough people to consent to something it becomes true. The abolition of monarchy, and the king’s authority as patriarch of the nation ex officio, has diluted the duties of a father and weakened his authority to create a strong family unit. With a monarch in place, guiding the nation and acting as the patriarchal example, men will have an example to emulate in their family lives, and will be more united in the common purpose of raising a family. Monarchy and fatherhood go hand in hand in strengthening the nation.


The Demand for Monarchy: Often in our modern, defeatist culture, we tend to make jokes about things that are decidedly not joking matters. You often hear people say things like “I’ll see you in hell” or use demonic influence as a joke, forgetting the terrifying power that satan and his minions have over this earth. One such thing that has been treated this way is the illuminati. We have come to see them as something only nutty conspiracy theorists would believe exist, and make movies such as National Treasure, which use them as the “fictional” villain, forgetting completely that, in fact, they do exist, and the nature of influence they have over our world. In Italy, for the bicentennial of the founding of the freemasons in 1917, there were a rash of masonic riots so severe the papal guard encouraged the Pope to flee for his own safety. Among the reasons we have made such a joke out of the illuminati is we forget their founding ideals. Adam Weishaupt, founder of the illuminati, set forth these goals for his society: Overturn throne and altar, destroy all religion, abolish private property, deify sensuality, repudiate marriage, state control of children, and establish one world government. Some would vehemently insist that it is pure happenstance coincidence that in the time since Weishaupt, this is exactly what has happened. Using our modern American culture as a sounding board, one is labeled as backwards if he believes in any higher power. The only god people worship anymore is sex, and we have seen the oversaturation and obsession of sex in our culture, from children’s movies to the billboards on the highways, to the non-chalance and casual hookup and free love culture, sex has become a god, and replaced the position of the One True God in our world today. Marriage has been attacked relentlessly, through no-fault divorce, and contraception, to the endorsement of homosexual unions as a valid marriage by the state, and even some protestant churches now, in all of this we see that the millennial generation is getting married at terrifyingly lower rates than the previous generation, preferring cohabitation and slipping between sexual partners to an actual lifelong commitment, and especially over raising children. We see how parents are perfectly willing to abandon their children to state indoctrination for most hours of the day, selfishly pursuing their own desires in the void of time left, and how the state relentlessly pursues domination over children and the elimination of parent’s choices and natural rights such as the decision to vaccination, as seen recently in Californian legislation. The state ravenously devours the natural parental rights, seizing authoritarian control of the up-coming generation. We see the emergence of the United nations, and how it levels punishes countries not following its globalist agenda. We have seen marxism infect all corners of the globe, and even the secular culture calls millennials the entitlement generation for its embrace of Marxist ideals, and feeling the world owes them something. All of these things we see in our modern culture can naturally be traced back to the very first of the ideals: topple throne and altar. Throne and Altar, Monarchy and the Church, often represented by the double headed eagle, each half looking out and protecting the other. To institute the rash of changes outlined by weishaupt, the first thing to go always has to be throne and altar, for the arrangement of the two will lead a society to a greater freedom to be holy, and create an environment ripe for sanctification, and a morally strong culture. Monarchs are free to act for the greater good of the people, and not slaves to changing opinions and whims as politicians. Monarchs are free to act for the salvation of souls, rather than slaves to mere human whim. The only way to save our world is through Christ, but accepting a leader who proceeding from supernatural authority, governs with the laws of the Church and eternal salvation, not just for himself, but for the whole of his nation in mind, brings us that much closer to embracing the Sacred Heart of Jesus. All things to Christ, through Mary.

The Novus Ordo Missae and Extreme Spiritual Necessity

In the May/June 2017 issue of the Recusant, there is a letter dated June 14, 2017 written to the editor by a Mr. Dennis Whiting in which he writes the following:


“You direct me to the Bishop’s conference at Emmett, Kansas on 18th September, 2016 where you claim that he contradicts his normal stance by saying that Traditional Catholics may attend the New Mass whenever they wish. So I toil through the one hour and three-quarter video to within 20 minutes of the end to find that the Bishop does not say that at all! Only that there could be some cases of extreme necessity where it might be acceptable for a Traditional Catholic to attend a reverently conducted NOM. This was in answer to a question from the floor which I found inaudible but which may have envisaged some circumstance of ‘extreme necessity’.


“Bishop Williamson’s position here is consonant with that of Archbishop Lefebvre’s in 1980 according to the Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre of Michael Davies.  The relevant excerpt can be found on the TradCat website.”


I have demonstrated in a paper I published in October 2016 that Archbishop Lefebvre taught in the early 1980s that a priest of the SSPX was to never advise anyone in a positive manner to take an active part in the Novus Ordo Rite of Mass because the Novus Ordo Rite is in itself bad.  Those who have argued otherwise have allowed for certain circumstances to morally permit one to actively attend it.  One of these individuals was Mr. Sean Johnson in a paper he wrote defending Bishop Williamson’s comments to a lady in Mahopac, New York in June 2015.  One of these circumstances was “extreme spiritual necessity”.  In my paper mentioned above, I challenged the “extreme spiritual necessity” circumstance stating that the Church has never taught that to actively attend Mass, even a legitimate one, when one hasn’t done so in a long time is of “extreme spiritual necessity”.  I invite the reader to read my paper for a more detailed argument.


To date, as far as I am aware, Mr. Sean Johnson has not publicly provided evidence from the teaching of the Church for his “extreme spiritual necessity” claim.  Now we have Mr. Dennis Whiting following suit with the same “extreme spiritual necessity” claim.  I therefore challenge both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Whiting to provide the evidence from the teaching of the Church to support their claim.  If they cannot do so, then they ought to do the right thing and make a retraction.