Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Thorn in our side cont’d:

August 15th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Michael Voris at his best: calling out the bishops (and priests) for damage caused and for no apologies:  Where’s the Apology? | The Vortex (


St. Tarcisius feast is also Aug 15

August 15th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Cleansing Fire – St. Tarcisius, Boy Martyr


The Thorn in Our Side

July 31st, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

COVID tested our faith, and we failed the test – LifeSite (

I have been asked why I am no longer posting on CF. It would be fair to say that the attached article from over a year ago by Lifesite News really summarizes the troubling broth in which we stew, that so much else seems unimportant by comparison.

I will resume again, but not yet. There is too much still to ferret out for the individual soul from the day when the public Mass ceased. The magnitude of what happened has barely been touched. We’ve hardly begun.


Lepanto’s Ape of the Church Edition

July 9th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Your Catholic Week in Review (Ape of the Church Edition!!) (



Cdl. Müller: Fr. Martin’s LGBT propaganda is ‘heresy’

July 4th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Cdl. Müller: Father James Martin’s LGBT propaganda is ‘heresy’ (


Now it’s about thanking God; not counting our works

June 28th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Overturning Roe v. Wade is a tremendous gift we should praise God for (

(Mother Miriam)


Are you ready for some GOOD NEWS?

June 12th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The Remnant Newspaper – CHRISTIAN RESET: 20,000 March Against the New Order


Abp. Vigano comments on Leaked SCOTUS Draft

May 18th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Declaration on the Leaked Draft of the US Supreme Court (



On Mother’s Passing

May 2nd, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Departures:  On Mother’s Passing



The week you were buried

I dug up the Peace Rose

you had so lovingly tended.

It was more rescue than theft.


How could I have left her

to a new owner’s whims?

To one heedless of her name

or unaware of her needs?


Interred with skill, and fed,

she should have bloomed anew,

or at least leafed lustily

in wordless gratitude.


Then you, I mean she, vanished!

Missing, with only emptiness

to prove she had been here,

or that I had ever cared.


I could have endured the loss

had she departed as you did,

a petal at a time, wafted away

by dementia’s chill hand.


But memory, too, was rooted up,

gone to a place unknown.

I can only follow your flight path

with my own wind-shaken petals.


Do you hear what I hear?

April 22nd, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Perhaps I hear this question more than some because of my vax warnings or postings, or maybe it is about coming out of a science background, but the gist of the question is: “I wish I’d never gotten the jab; how can I get rid of it (i.e. detox from the shot)?

The quick answer is ‘you can’t.’  But it is not as hopeless as one might think. If you didn’t die as a proximate reaction to the shot itself, and were not a willing acceptor of the ‘mark of the beast,’ and are no longer taking any ‘jabs,’ then there are some things that you might be able to do to shift the odds toward your favor, even if not fully into your favor. The details are in this link. Here’s how to detox from the COVID spike protein – from the jab or the virus – LifeSite (

Mostly it is about belatedly boosting our immune systems, which is not an unreasonable strategy. It can also be used to detox from having contracted COVID. As the implausibility of any efficacy dawns on those who suffered through being ‘forced’ to vax, as we see pilots rehired quietly, military careers resuscitated, students readmitted to their coursework without vaxxing, and truckers honored as true heroes, the power agenda becomes even more evident. At least by the time the ’17th round of jab’ is in process, maybe we’ll get the message. Meanwhile, might not repeated jabs counteract efforts to heal from what has already been administered?  You think?






247 Years Ago

April 18th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Two hundred forty-seven years ago, April 19, 1775 to be exact, Concord Bridge was the site of the Shot Heard Round the World! It was a shot for freedom, and the catalyst to begin the Revolutionary War. How ironic it is that in our very years there should again be a shot heard around the world,  a ‘jab’ as some might call it, threatening our own freedom with lock-downs, masks and penalties, putting heroes on the ‘firing line’ in a different way, i.e. being ‘fired’ from jobs for refusing to take the hit, for exercising hard-won rights for which others have often surrendered their lives. It is a sad evolution of the shot for freedom into no real freedom from the shot. It took farmers then, and truckers now, to demonstrate  that we inherited something worth protecting, the right to follow our consciences, a right that comes from God, not from collusion of government, medical, tech, media and finance.


See the source image



He is Risen as He said!

April 17th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“The Resurrection” by Pieter Lastman (Dutch, 1612)
The J. Paul Getty Museum; Oil on oak panel


Apb. Vigano has finally said the words …

April 8th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Abp. Viganò: The Church needs an ‘official investigation’ of Benedict’s resignation – LifeSite (



What is the date of Christ’s death?

March 30th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Cleansing Fire – April 3rd, 33AD at 3PM, Christ died

9 days after the Feast of the Annunciation.

7 Clues Tell Us *Precisely* When Jesus Died (the Year, Month, Day, and Hour Revealed)| National Catholic Register (



Pope Francis to consecrate Russia to Blessed Virgin Mary 3/25

March 15th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25 – LifeSite (

What the consecration of Russia will mean for the world – LifeSite (

Consecration is expected to occur at noon in NY (5:00 PM in Rome)

The Station of the Cross is sending the following invitation:


Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary 


“Join us on Friday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, for the Celebration of Penance and the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Station of the Cross will air this program live at 12 noon Eastern [Daylight Savings Time]  on all of our stations:

Boston, MA – 1060 AM

Buffalo, NY – 101.7 FM

Elmira, NY – 88.1 FM

Erie, PA/NE Ohio – 92.1 FM/89.5 FM

Fredonia, NY – 88.5 FM

Lancaster, NY – 90.7 FM

Oil City, PA – 88.3 FM

Olean, NY – 100.5 FM

Owego, NY – 91.9 FM

Rochester, NY – 1460 AM/92.9 FM/99.3 FM

Salamanca, NY – 1590 AM

Southbridge, MA – 970 AM

Syracuse, NY – 88.7 FM

Worcester, MA – 1230 AM


You can also listen anywhere in the world via livestream by downloading our iCatholicRadio app or by visiting


In a letter to all bishops, Pope Francis said, “I ask you to join in this act by inviting the priests, religious, and faithful to assemble in their churches and places of prayer on March 25, so that God’s Holy People may raise a heartfelt and choral plea to Mary our Mother.”






From the pen of Abp. Carlo Vigano

March 7th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Now we have surprise input from the pen of one of the Church’s most respected leaders. We might even rephrase the title as: “Can we give up hating long enough to analyze his strategic argument?” Long enough to be grateful that we have someone who seeks us out to teach in an age where so many bishops are running away from their responsibilities, leaving their sheep to graze the media hillside in disorder and fear?

Looking beyond the globalist propaganda


Hello Diane Harris,

I am sending you now a document which I consider particularly relevant for the United States: it’s the English translation of my original Italian statement on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
It is urgent and necessary that American people would understand that the Russian Federation is not any more the Soviet Union and President Putin is not a Communist dictator.

In the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, we must clearly recognize and denounce the coup d’état of the deep state worldwide, functional to installing the New World Order, involving the WEF, NATO, UN, the European Union, the IMF…

In some points of my document, I also touched on issues concerning the Biden family scandals and the great responsibilities of the American deep state.

There is a real risk that the Biden Administration will take advantage of this crisis, of which Joe Biden himself is an accomplice and responsible. There is also a real risk that it will serve to cover up his crimes, those of his son Hunter, the China virus pseudopandemic, the Durham investigation, the 2020 electoral fraud, as well as jeopardizing the mid-term elections.

It cannot be overlooked that the pre-eminent intent of the architects of the New World Order is the destruction of the Christian civilization and that Russia is currently the only country in Europe capable of facing this diabolic plan.

I hope that you will be able to help spread this statement of mine, in the hope that it may contribute to the truth, which is the foundation of justice and peace.

God bless you!
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop


A Message from Abp. Viganò,

Former Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S.



of Msgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop,
Former Apostolic Nuncio to The United States of America
on the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Nothing is lost with peace. All can be lost with war. 

The Media Narrative
If we look at what is happening in Ukraine, without being misled by the gross falsifications of the mainstream media, we realize that respect for each other’s rights has been completely ignored; indeed, we have the impression that the Biden Administration, NATO and the European Union deliberately want to maintain a situation of obvious imbalance, precisely to make impossible any attempt at a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, provoking the Russian Federation to trigger a conflict. Herein lies the seriousness of the problem. This is the trap set for both Russia and Ukraine, using both of them to enable the globalist elite to carry out its criminal plan.

Read Full Article on the Remnant Website…


Declaration of Victory by Remnant

February 21st, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A MAJOR VICTORY: Heroes and Patriots Sacrifice Everything for Freedom – YouTube


The ‘why’ in the bible . . .

February 9th, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Over many years, alone and in bible studies with others, the most difficult question has always seemed  to be “Why?”  But it is also a question that can yield much fruit as we crave to know better our God. Most studies stop after the “Who, what, when, where, and how” are answered.  “Why?” always seems a bit audacious. Who are we to question the ‘why’ of the mind of God?

But there is nothing to fear in asking the “why” of God’s actions, and there are a number of verses where we, through the disciples, are invited to do so. In first grade we were taught the following exchange:

  • “Who made me?” (Answer: God made me.)
  • Then the second or third question is usually:
  • “Why did God make me?”
  • Aha! We are invited to ask “why!” And the answer embraces a 3-part ‘why’:
  • “God made me to know Him, to love Him and to Serve Him …”

In that pursuit, we inevitably stumble into asking more “why’s” on the path to knowing God more fully.

One ‘why’ which has been on my mind a lot lately is the “why” implicit in Luke 18:8b in which Christ invites His Apostles to ask themselves the question:

“Nevertheless (or ‘yet’) when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Why did Christ ask His Apostles’ opinion on this matter? Why don’t we know how they answered? And how can we not be invited to share in contemplating that same “why?” The “Y” in the road leads us deeper into knowing, loving and serving.

I offered no answers to that question, just an invitation to comment on why this is posed as a question instead of the answer given as a teaching. We know the mission and we know the outcome (God wins; has already won!) but what will be the result of our embracing His work? Or of NOT embracing His work?  The questions are of course linked to preparation for the Second Coming.

While sorting out the recent Catechism’s “re-presentation” of the historic teaching, I was surprised to find that ‘to serve’ had disappeared from the traditional 3-part priority list. Paragraph #1’s title now proclaims “The Life of Man — to know and love God.”  Is this a restatement of “Non Serviam?” i.e. of Satan’s refusal to serve? Or just a typographical error he is exploiting?


“The Carnage Has Begun”

February 2nd, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

“The Carnage Has Begun”: British Priest Rebukes Pope, Calls on Bishops to Openly Resist Suppression of Latin Mass

Written by  Diane Montagna | Vatican Journalist

“The Carnage Has Begun”: British Priest Rebukes Pope, Calls on Bishops to Openly Resist Suppression of Latin Mass

BOMBSHELL NEW VIDEO — Priest Once Imprisoned in Burma Decries Francis’ Suppression of the Old Mass

“Sit back and consider it: the highest power on earth is attacking the greatest good on earth, precisely when it’s his job to defend and preserve tradition and to pass it on to the next generation.” – Fr. James Mawdsley

A British traditional Catholic priest who was once imprisoned and tortured in a Burmese jail is openly challenging Pope Francis’ efforts to suppress the Church’s ancient Roman liturgy.

In a 9-minute video titled “Why withstand Pope Francis publicly?” [watch it below] Father James Mawdsley, formerly a priest of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), asserts that in his letter accompanying Traditionis Custodes, Francis “declared his intention to eradicate the traditional liturgy” and “impossibly claimed that the Novus Ordo constitutes the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

“Caiaphas was High Priest of the Old Covenant when he arranged for Jesus’ execution. Now shall the Vicar of Christ try to have Christ’s memorial destroyed?” he asks.

“What is happening is evil beyond description,” Father Mawdsley says. “Sit back and consider it: the highest power on earth is attacking the greatest good on earth, precisely when it’s his job to defend and preserve tradition and to pass it on to the next generation.”

Fr. Mawdsley is no stranger to challenging oppression. At the age of 27, he spent 14 months in solitary confinement in Burma’s infamous Kengtung prison and was brutally beaten for challenging the country’s regime for its human rights violations.

He also challenges Congregation for Divine Worship Prefect Archbishop Arthur Roche’s claim in a recent interview with Catholic News Service that “the negative reaction to Traditionis Custodes has been very little,” saying to the archbishop, “What do you expect when a reign of terror is unleashed?

“Of course, people are keeping their heads down,” he continues. “Many clerics do not say openly what they think because they are afraid of vicious reprisals” such as confirmations or baptisms being “banned” in the Old Rite, or being told they can no longer celebrate the traditional Mass.

“The carnage,” he says, “has begun.”

No Stranger to Oppression

Fr. Mawdsley is no stranger to challenging oppression. At the age of 27, he spent 14 months in solitary confinement in Burma’s infamous Kengtung prison and was brutally beaten for challenging the country’s regime for its human rights violations, particularly those committed against ethnic minorities. It was also in the solitude of his prison cell that he experienced a deep conversion to Christ that would eventually culminate in a vocation to the priesthood.

Years later, reflecting on his imprisonment, Fr. Mawdsley would say: “Primarily, it was to show solidarity with the Burmese people, and particularly with the prisoners. It’s very clear when you’re willing to be alongside people in prison for their political rights, they realize they’re not forgotten by the world.”

In the new video, published on Jan. 28, Father Mawdsley says: “Truth is needed for spiritual health … It’s not enough to know it in our hearts. We need to hear it said by men in authority, from bishops and cardinals, that nobody has the right to attack tradition.”

Prelates such as Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago are “willing for the war and the slaughter to continue,” Fr. Mawdsley observes.

Addressing himself to those shepherds who wish to suppress the traditional liturgy, he says: “You may personally hate the Old Mass, but you can see that Christians love it. They love to encounter Christ there. They pray there more deeply than anywhere. Why would you take this away?”

Prelates such as Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago are “willing for the war and the slaughter to continue,” Fr. Mawdsley observes, in a reference to the cardinal’s brutal new policy for implementing Traditionis Custodes in the archdiocese. “Of all the days of the year, he chose Christmas Day to drop the axe. Who does that? Is that not sick? … He’s like another Herod.”

The former FSSP priest, who left the fraternity with the intention of speaking out, also called Archbishop Roche’s claim that most of the episcopate support efforts to suppress the traditional liturgy “unbelievable” given the reactions of bishops to Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa. “But this is precisely, bishops, why we need to hear in public what the truth is. Otherwise, the propaganda from Archbishop Roche will stand. And it’s so depressing to think that the Shepherds can’t find it in them to defend Christ, to defend the flock, to defend the faithful and to defend tradition.”

The Remnant spoke with Fr. Mawdsley about his new video:

(Diane Montagna) Fr. Mawdsley, why did you make this video?

(Fr. Mawdsley) Because if we do not speak the obvious truth then truth will die in us. Pope Francis, Archbishop Roche, Cardinal Cupich, and many other bishops are acting illegally in attempting to suffocate tradition. They are betraying the mission which Jesus gave to the Church. It would be wonderful if they were so surprised by the strength of resistance that they reconsidered and repented. But their reaction is not the priority. More important is that priests speak the truth without fear, otherwise we have nothing left. The flock is starving. And as all generations before us have passed on the Deposit of Faith, so for the sake of future generations we must not drop the ball. Or we must recover it. Without Tradition there is no future. And most importantly, for God’s glory. Those who had Tradition robbed from them in the 1950-70s did not know where it was leading. We have seen the horror, the indignity, the weakness, and inappropriateness of the Novus Ordo. In essence it is still Christ’s awesome Holy Sacrifice of Calvary; but what man has done to His Memorial is a faithless insult to God.

Let us defend the flock, let us break the jaws of the wicked and rescue the prey from their teeth.

(DM) You were ordained a priest of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. What is your relationship to the FSSP now?

(Fr. M) The FSSP is, I think, one of the best bodies of priests in the world. They are a great treasure in the Church. But I informed the superiors that I would leave and did not seek permission. It followed that I have been suspended a divinis for illegitimate absence. Obviously, I do not hold this against the Fraternity. They are definitively not the problem. But I will keep a distance, for there are vicious men in the hierarchy who will want to meet [mete] out reprisals on the innocent, in order to paralyze resistance.

Traditionis Custodes is built on lies, its content is incoherent, and it is aimed at the destruction of the greatest good on earth.

(DM) Did this video have anything to do with your leaving the FSSP?

(Fr. M) The videos were made after I left the Fraternity, after I was suspended. I left the Fraternity with the intention of speaking out. The reason I did not seek permission was precisely to get a distance from the Fraternity, to be suspended, so that they can in truth say they are not responsible or accountable for the things I am saying. For the same reason, after some thought, I have not approached any other order or sought to be incardinated in a diocese. It would only bring trouble to them under the current oppression. There really are vicious men in the hierarchy who will unleash reprisals if they can find a target.

The Responsa are its vomit. It is better to be suspended than to pretend this wickedness has legal value.

(DM) What message would you like to send to your brother priests in light of Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa ad dubia issued by CDW Prefect Archbishop Roche just days before Christmas?

(Fr. M) God is mighty. We only need to follow Him, no matter what cost. He does not want us to support the destruction of Judas and Caiaphas, I mean with those like Archbishop Roche and Pope Francis who are savaging the Church and casting the faithful out. We can recognize their authority without complying with abuses of it. It really does not matter what price we pay on earth, only let us live in truth, let us defend the flock, let us break the jaws of the wicked and rescue the prey from their teeth. Traditionis Custodes is built on lies, its content is incoherent, and it is aimed at the destruction of the greatest good on earth. The Responsa are its vomit. It is better to be suspended than to pretend this wickedness has legal value.

Note from Michael J. Matt

Please consider sharing this vital video message with your priest, bishop, friends, family, and social media contacts. This is no longer a question of Traditionalism vs. Modernism or Neo-Catholicism. This has become a matter of life vs. death, freedom vs. tyranny, patriotism vs. globalism, and Christianity vs. atheism.

Every priest in the world, diocesan, FSSP, SSPX, ICK, etc: Please find a way to undermine the anti-Tradition agenda of this pontificate as Father Mawdsley has done so courageously. 

You bishops who have kept the Faith: For God’s sake and the sake our nation and our children, please find a way to circumvent the evil orders coming down from the Vatican. We beg you, Your Excellencies, resist this globalist pope of the New World Order.

To the “clans” the world over: Share this urgent video message, which is also available at The Remnant’s YouTube and Rumble channels, as well as Fr. Mawdsley’s YouTube channel. Holy Mother Church needs all of her sons and daughters to stand with her as she undergoes this horrific persecution at the hands of human hirelings who have abandoned the Cross in pursuit of human respect.


Cdl. Burke criticizes Papal praise for LGBT ‘leader’

January 21st, 2022, Promulgated by Diane Harris

‘Opinions of a man,’ not the Church: Cardinal Burke criticizes Pope Francis’ praise for LGBT group leader – LifeSite (

Featured Image
Cardinal Burke interviews on EWTN’s The World Over, January 20, 2022
The World Over Screenshot Fri Jan 21, 2022 – 11:59 am EST

(LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke has openly criticized Pope Francis for his recent endorsement of the pro-LGBT group New Ways Ministry, clarifying that his words are merely the “opinions of a man” and have “nothing to do with the Magisterium of the Church.”

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday on EWTN’s The World Over, the American cardinal discussed his “miraculous” recovery from COVID-19, the attacks launched against the Traditional Latin Mass from the Vatican and high-ranking prelates, and the Pope’s letters of gratitude to pro-LGBT advocate Sr. Jeannine Gramick of the controversial New Ways Ministry.

Alongside his criticisms of Francis’ personal musings, Burke has defended the right of Catholics not to receive the COVID jabs, citing “Catholic teaching” as the basis for rejecting shot mandates while criticizing Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin for implementing a jab requirement.

He added that “forced vaccination is a violation of human rights.”

The former head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, also defended the Latin Mass, explaining that its use has “absolutely not” been a cause of disunity in the Church, and that there is nothing “in the documents of the Second Vatican Council that would lead to a banning of the traditional way, of the traditional posture or position of the priest during the celebration of the Mass.”

Regarding the Pope’s praise of the work of New Ways Ministry, Burke maintained that the position taken by previous popes and entered into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis in 1999 still stands, that Gramick’s teaching on homosexuality does “not faithfully convey the clear and constant teaching of the Catholic Church.”

Burke added that Pope Francis’ personal opinions on the matter have “have nothing to do with the Church’s teaching.”

Below follows a full transcript of the interview:

Raymond Arroyo: First of all, how are you feeling? And are you having any lingering effects from the COVID recovery?

I became ill quite suddenly and then I was very quickly put on the ventilator, but when I came out from that, I think it was on the 20th of August, and I began to read these messages and to learn about all the people who were praying for me, I was really overwhelmed with it and just filled with a profound gratitude. I have to say that when they took the tubing out and I was conscious again, that I had an immediate sense that our Blessed Mother had been taking care of me all the time, and I say this very sincerely. The doctors had informed my good sister Mary that there was really not any hope that I was going to survive this, and that she should put my things in order, and I have no question in my mind that it was all these prayers that were raised up to Our Lord and the prayers that He heard, and saved me for some work now that He has for me to do. But I had immediately that very strong sense and it has remained with me; it really was miraculous, and we should never doubt the power of prayer. But in this instance, I have experienced it in a remarkable way because I knew I was dying and I really wasn’t at all certain that I would survive. When I then gained my consciousness again, I learned about all these prayers that were offered, I understood what had happened.

In many reports of your illness you were portrayed, Your Eminence, as a vaccine denier and skeptic. Even the pope made reference to you as a denier on the papal plane returning on his trip from Slovakia in September. He said: “Even in the college of cardinals there are some deniers and one of those, poor guy, is hospitalized with the virus: the irony of life.” What did you think when you heard those comments that you were a denier and a skeptic of vaccines? Are you?

Well, no, I have never said to anyone that he or she should not be vaccinated. I have insisted that the question of having the vaccination is a personal decision, it’s an exercise of a fundamental human right, and that I’m absolutely opposed to forced vaccination, to these mandates. But I have not taken a position of being against the vaccine. On the other hand, we have only one Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ: we put ourselves in His hands, and vaccinating the whole world is not going to save the world. and that there is this kind of rhetoric today where people think that if that if everyone were vaccinated everything would be just fine; that isn’t correct thinking for a Christian.

And scientifically invalid I might add as events have proven particularly with this omicron variant. The Vatican however, Your Eminence, is currently mandating vaccines for all employees. It’s been encouraging that everyone, including children, be vaccinated. Several members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard have lost their jobs for not receiving the jab. There are no numbers of reporting on other jobs that have been lost so far, we just don’t know. Your reaction to the Vatican’s vaccine mandate especially now, when as we mentioned it’s been widely reported the vaccine’s not effective against omicron, and several European countries have now – namely England and Spain – have lifted their vaccine mandates?

The Vatican’s position on this is very severe, there’s no question about it. You cannot enter for instance the apostolic palace or other offices of the Vatican unless you can demonstrate that that you are vaccinated and this is a very severe policy. I understand – I don’t know personally but I understand – that that there are a number of people who cannot come to work because they’re not vaccinated, and of course their absence from work is classified as unjustified and therefore they aren’t paid: and also, I have heard that a number of the Swiss Guards had to leave the service of the Guards because they chose not to be vaccinated. As I said before I believe that the forced vaccination is a violation of human rights, and also there are normal precautions which can be taken with regard to the spreading of any kind of illness and those precautions should be taken; but it’s correct: there are a lot of people who have been vaccinated who now have contracted seemingly this omicron variation. To me the bottom line is that the vaccination, as it is, is an experiment. We don’t have the necessary experience with the vaccine, and so people who take the vaccine are accepting to be part of an experiment.

Yes, and as you mentioned there have even been Vatican officials who’ve now contracted COVID, many of them triple vaxxed in some cases. Tell me how this squares though with Catholic teaching because the CDF document of last year, of last December, said you can in good conscience and as a good Catholic decide not to take these vaccines, and that’s perfectly licit, but now we seem to be getting a different message, at least in word, from the Vatican, to say nothing of these mandates they’ve dropped on employees.

What the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith said is Catholic teaching. A forced vaccination of people is no part of Catholic teaching and that’s all I can say: this has never been in the Church’s teaching, in the document of the Congregation. The CDF was clear about that and I thought that it was understood. But then the Vatican itself has taken this position which really doesn’t square with that teaching and it’s causing a great deal of suffering.

Your Eminence, I want to move on to another topic: the continued support of and attacks upon the traditional Latin Mass since Pope Francis’ motu proprio “Guardians of Tradition” that was released in July. In the archdiocese of Chicago where the Latin Mass has practically been banned – Cardinal Blase Cupich issued rules last month on Christmas day that banned the use of the traditional liturgy on Christmas, Easter Sunday, and the first Sunday of each month and other holy days; now Cardinal Cupich explains his reasoning for these new rules is the following: “To foster and make manifest the unity of this local church as well as to provide all Catholics in the archdiocese an opportunity to offer a concrete manifestation of the acceptance of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and its liturgical books.” Cardinal Burke, what is the fear of the Old Rite based upon, and is the ongoing celebration of the Latin Mass a challenge in your mind to the Second Vatican Council or the liturgical books that came out of it?

Absolutely not. In many dioceses now for many years, some of the faithful have been assisting at the celebration of the Holy Mass, especially on feast days, according to the more ancient usage, the usus antiquior, the extraordinary form as it’s called today. That hasn’t been any cause of disunity. In fact I served in two dioceses and it was a great blessing to have these communities who were following those ancient rites as they’ve been handed down to us from the time of pope Gregory the Great and even before, and I don’t want to talk about them as if they’re simply antiquities, not at all! The sacred liturgy is a living reality: it’s Christ himself acting in our midst to sanctify us, and the Holy Mass in the most wonderful way possible by His renewing His sacrifice on calvary sacramentally, and then nourishing us with His own Body and Blood. And this remains the reality, so that the form of the Mass as it was set forth after the Council of Trent but as it had existed for centuries before is a living reality, and you can’t deny that. With regard to the Second Vatican Council many things that happened after the Council with regard to the sacred liturgy have no foundation whatsoever in the in the documents on the sacred liturgy, and intelligent people who have studied these matters know well that there were many abuses following the Council – the so-called spirit of the council, and the whole way in which the liturgy was reformed, the rites were reformed. So there are legitimate questions. Some of them have been addressed, some need yet to be addressed. But Pope Saint John Paul II for instance, in the last years of his pontificate, was continually insisting on the need to address the sacred liturgy and to restore the transcendence of the liturgical action: namely that it’s Jesus Christ Himself who acts in our midst, comes into our midst through the sacred liturgy. And, of course, Pope Benedict XVI was a wonderful teacher in that regard, and Summorum Pontificum, his motu proprio by which he made more accessible the celebration of the extraordinary form, as he called it, was a great gift and was proceeding in the exercise of that gift. The use of that gift was a great gift in the church. I don’t understand this. I have a lot of contact with the oratories and parishes that celebrate the extraordinary form, and with priests, and it’s all positive. They don’t think of themselves as being the real Church or better Catholics than anyone else: they simply find a tremendous spiritual nourishment through these ancient rites, the traditional form of the mass. And why should that be denied to them?

Your Eminence, a priest in the Chicago diocese asked to be allowed to use the ad orientem posture, facing the East during mass: he was denied. When he protested, he was charged with inciting disobedience against the diocesan bishop. Has the ad orientem posture been abrogated, forbidden by the Council or the Church and what does the all of that have to do with the Latin Mass?

Any mass can be celebrated facing the Lord or facing the east ad orientem versus Dominum, and in fact many people tell me, and it makes perfect sense, that it’s a very beautiful thing to have the priest at the head of the congregation offering the Mass when everyone is facing Our Lord, so this makes it clear that the sacrifice is Our Lord’s sacrifice. We worship in spirit and truth in Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s true that that the more ancient usage was certainly to celebrate Mass facing the Lord, facing the east, but I don’t find anything in the documents of the Second Vatican Council that would lead to a banning of the traditional way, of the traditional posture or position of the priest during the celebration of the Mass; and why this is now being brought forward I don’t understand.

Your Eminence, the practical effect of this, I think people haven’t given due consideration in Rome, what I’m hearing is so many of these Catholic communities – and again these are small groups of Catholics but they’re fervent, the church is packed for these traditional Latin Masses – many of them are now going over to these Society of Saint Pius X chapels. Is the intention here on the part of some in Rome to drive those Catholics attached to this rite to the Society of Saint Pius X and then declare them all schismatics at some later date? Why create this division while talking of accompaniment?

I don’t know. I’ve been told that too, that the thinking of some is that that anyone who is attracted to the more ancient usage should simply go over to the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, but that’s absolutely wrong because the more ancient usage is an integral part of the life of the Church it has been along all the centuries. Even after the introduction of the Novus Ordo, as it’s called in the more recent usage, the Church has always permitted to individuals and to groups the possibility of the use of following the more ancient usage. And so this idea that somehow if you are attracted to the usus antiquior you’re a schismatic, I mean this is simply wrong and it’s wrong to drive people in that direction. But Our Lord is with us in the Church: He told us he would remain with us always in the Church, and so we have to stay in the Church and fight to preserve and to promote and cultivate the liturgical life of the Church, also through the extraordinary form. And so I tell people we don’t have a choice. Saint Athanasius was exiled, he was excommunicated, he suffered so many humiliations for defending the truth of the faith, but he never left the Church. Padre Pio is another example more recent: he suffered a great deal at the hands of the Vatican and yet he remained faithfully in the Church, and this is what we have to do. Our lord isn’t going to permit – I know this – Our Lord is not going to permit that this beautiful gift of the more ancient usage, the beautiful gift of these rites will be lost. It’s clear that He hasn’t permitted it and since the time of the Council there’s been a continual growth and interest in the more ancient usage. I know so many lay faithful and also priests who have told me that being able to assist at the Holy Mass according to the usus antiquior has so helped them to deepen their understanding and their appreciation and their participation in the Holy Mass.

I’ve had a number of priests tell me it wasn’t until they either assisted or celebrated the old rite that they fully understood and then brought a new sacrality and devotion to the new one, because one feeds the other, it stands on the back of the other. But it is as you mentioned, Your Eminence – and I would add Mother Angelica’s name to that list of martyrs for the faith fighting and being abused by authorities at times over the liturgy, let’s face it – it is curious and bizarre to me that at the same time that the Vatican is inviting protestants and Anglicans to walk with the Roman Catholic Church in this synod, we are basically treating very faithful Catholics of a living beautiful tradition of the church as if they’re lepers and saying there’s no room for you at the inn. George Weigel called Traditionis custodes “theologically incoherent, pastorally divisive and unnecessary.” Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence is calling on the Church to support those attached to the old rite. Do you think this is going to be an ongoing struggle here, and how best to fight it?

It will be, and my counsel to people is: continue to do what you’ve been doing. This is nurturing your faith, this is nurturing your closeness to your bishop and your closeness to the whole Church, and that is the way that we can best fight this battle, and then to vindicate our rights in the Church, to make recourses when injustices are done to legitimate communities of the faithful. And, of course, there are also institutes of the consecrated life or societies of apostolic life whose particular charism is the celebration of the liturgy according to the roman rite according to the more ancient usage, and to promote that. It’s their right to do that. So I believe that there will continue to be a very strong response to the situation and God willing – and I’m sure that Our Lord will bless it – that we will return to a regular free usage of the more ancient usage of the Roman rite.

In the meantime, it’s going to be very difficult when many of these priests are not allowed to celebrate the Latin Mass in a parish setting, so I guess this goes underground like as it was in days gone by and in Communist China, I guess that’s where the whole world is now.

Your Eminence, in December pope Francis wrote a letter praising the work of sister Jeannine Gramick, the head of the very controversial New Ways Ministry, a group condemned by the Bishops’ Conference in the US and two previous pontificates. The Pope praised her work for her outreach to LGBTQ Catholics. His letter fully contradicts John Paul II and Ratzinger’s 1999 admonition against her work. What are your thoughts on this letter and the message it sends to the Church and the wider world?

Well, the church’s response to the New Ways Ministry, and at that time he was still alive, father Nugent, and sister Jeanine Gramick is found in a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the official organ of communication of the of the Church, in 1999, and you can read it there, and what’s written there is as true today as when it was written. What these personal acts of the pope are, are exactly that: these are acts that he is taking on personally, but they have nothing to do with the Church’s teaching as far as I’m concerned. What I read that was quoted in the media of the letter – or letters, I’m not sure – which is written to Sister Jeanine, these are simply the opinions of a man, but they have nothing to do with the Magisterium of the Church. That’s found very carefully set forth in that document: when a document is published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis this is very significant: it indicates to us that it is in a particular way an expression of the Church’s doctrine and discipline.
See also: Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment: Is Traditionis custodes Ultra vires? July 22 2021 Cardinal Burke wrote: (