Why do I always reference “Apostolic Catholicism” in my blogs and podcasts? Because I am convinced that what “normy-Catholics” label as “traditional Catholicism” is really nothing more than “Apostolic Catholicism.” That is, our true faith and true liturgy goes back to what Christ gave to the Apostles.
Granted, it’s very easy for normy Catholics to mock traditionalists as being stuck in a time-warp to the 1950s. But our beef with modernism touches not on the level of wax in mustaches or which whiskey goes with a certain cigar. Rather, it has to do with the salvation of souls all across the world. You see, if the Catholic clergy of the 20th century attempted to change the Catholic doctrine and the Catholic liturgy necessary for our salvation without approval of God Himself, then the number one thing a priest like me can do is to sound the alarms that “modern ‘Catholicism’ was never the will of God!”
Of course, people will say to me: “How can you be so arrogant to think that you are right and so much of the clergy is wrong?” The answer is: I am not fit for such an appraisal. But we have ancient and infallible warnings of what attempting to change the Faith will do to the Church. We’re going to unpack two important quotes. The first is infallible, for it comes from a Dogmatic Council. The second comes from a 5th century saint who fought heresy. We begin with Vatican I from 1870:
6. For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles. Indeed, their apostolic teaching was embraced by all the venerable fathers and reverenced and followed by all the holy orthodox doctors, for they knew very well that this See of St. Peter always remains unblemished by any error, in accordance with the divine promise of our Lord and Savior to the prince of his disciples: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”(Lk 22:32) —Vatican I, Pastor Æternus ch. 4, #6, Dogmatic Constitution from 18 July 1870.
Right there we have proof that the number one job of the Pope is to transmit doctrine as received, not invent it. The Council just infallibly stated that “the Holy Spirit was promised to [the Popes] not so that they might by his revelation make known some new doctrine.” Of course, there is no such thing as a “new doctrine” in Catholicism. And if there is a new teaching, it comes from hell—not heaven—even if it appears to come from an important figure of the hierarchy. The Apostle Paul even encouraged the Galatians to check himself in this admonition: But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a Gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a Gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.—Gal 1:8-9.
Four hundred years later, a saint and doctor of the Church wrote about just such a potential crisis in the Catholic Church:
What shall a Catholic do if some portion of the Church detaches itself from communion of the universal Faith? What other choice can he make if some new contagion attempts to poison, no longer a small part of the Church, but the whole Church at once, then his great concern will be to attach himself to antiquity which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty.—Saint Vincent of Lerins c. 445 A.D.
Most people who think I’m crazy say things like this: “Do you really think God would let the whole Church fall into error in the 20th century if He loves us so much?” St. Vincent of Lerins did not rule out such a possibility, and he knew more about God’s love than any of us. (He was a saint, after all.) In fact, in the above quote, St. Vincent just entertained the possibility that a “new contagion” against the ancient faith could grow so rapidly that it overtakes “the whole Church at once.” To me, this sounds like the 1960s. We must realize that not everything that happens in Church history is the positive will of God. Some things are only the permissive will of God.
And what is the solution if a small “new contagion” overtakes “the whole Church at once”? The great saint gives us extremely clear advice: Each Catholic who wants to be saved must “attach himself to antiquity, which can no longer be led astray by any lying novelty.”
And one final objection: Many decent Catholics will counter the above arguments with something like this: “I admit things are bad in the Church right now in 2023. But even St. Vincent did not allow for an ecumenical Council or a Pope to be deceived by such a ‘new contagion,’ did he?” Such an objection is not without merit. However, we are in unprecedented times that are clearly worse than the Arian crisis. The reason I always promote the documentary The Secret Still Silenced is because I believe that only the revelation of the true Third Secret of Fatima will reveal why God allowed (and warned us) that this “new contagion” would take over what seems like the entire Catholic Church.
That above-linked documentary shows you what the Third Secret of Fatima really is. (Hint: It’s not a Pope being shot by a gun or arrows flying from crossbows on a hill in Rome with corpses everywhere. The Third Secret of Fatima is about something much more terrible: The general apostasy within the Catholic Church—from the top, down.) It’s also predicted in Sacred Scripture: But my people heard not my voice, and Israel hearkened not to me. So I let them go according to the desires of their heart. They shall walk in their own invention.—Ps 80:12-13 DRB.