Conversion StoriesSchismatic Catholic

Graces Will Flow When Judgments Stop

Jean Koneazny Pollock
March 5, 2018 89 Comments

I’ve been “home” for a couple of years now.

“Home?” One might ask? Were you gone?

Well, yes, I was gone. I was gone from the Church. I left what we called the “New Church” for the “Real Church” around 18 years ago, a little over a year after we began attending the Indult Tridentine Mass in 1995.

So how did that come about?

Well, here’s my story.

My parents did not like the changes that were instituted after the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965, although they went along with them and did as they were told. Could that have been the beginning of it? I remember hearing discussions about something going on “with the Pope” when Vatican II was taking place, but I was only in 5th grade at the time and, while I cared deeply about God and our Faith even then, a child doesn’t take much in when it comes to grown-up things that grown-ups are concerned about. Kids not only don’t understand, but they can do nothing about things that are in the grown-up world. So I stayed out of it.

I do remember seeing Pope Paul VI on our neighbor’s television when he came to the UN. That seemed to be a very big deal. And I remember, after the Council was over and our Mass had changed from Latin to English (about which I was very sad, because I loved the Latin Mass and especially the High Mass choir, in which my father sang), that a new, very young priest came out onto the altar one Sunday morning. I was around 15 years old then. That Sunday was a two-fold shock, because when we entered the church, there was a huge, plastic covering over where the high altar had been. Our altar was in the process of being demolished, and I was absolutely horrified. Our church, St. Joseph’s, had been one of the last ones to institute the “liturgical changes” that we were hearing about. This new priest came out and faced the congregation, smiled and said, “Good morning!”

We all, to a man, sat there and stared at him like he was from outer space. He was talking in church! Not only that, but he was standing there as if he were waiting for us to answer! Dear Lord, this was uncomfortable, to say the least. Needless to say, no one said a word. We. Do. Not. Talk. In. Church. Who didn’t know that? So what was this all about? A priest was breaking the rules? He grinned and said something to the effect of, “Hey, don’t you people in Canaan answer when someone says ‘good morning’?”

People squirmed.

He said, “OK, I’m going to try it again. GOOD MORNING!”

“Go-od mor-n-ing…?” came the weak response from a few voices here and there.

“Well there you go, that’s better!” said Father.

And off we went, into the New Church. Guitar Masses (my sisters and I hated them!) and Father Smiley. My parents said he was “fresh out of the seminary.”

In 1974, I married a Catholic whose family had beliefs much like those of my family. I began reading The Wanderer, a conservative Catholic newspaper. In the midst of the Church’s troubled waters, The Wanderer reported everything that happened in the Church, in our country, and in the world, and it put me on guard. I had also taken a subscription to American Life League president Judie Brown’s pro-life publication ALL About Issues, which exposed the pro-abortion enemies within the government and the Church. I was certainly an “active participant” in the defense of the Catholic Faith from the enemies within as well as a defender of the right to life and the real rights of women. (I discovered Phyllis Schafley and took an active part in sending out hand-written and carbon-copied letters to women family members and friends against the government’s proposed Equal Rights Amendment).

Meanwhile, in my marriage, as babies began to arrive, I had to “go against the grain” there as well. I took on the study of nutrition, since I didn’t know anything about it and wanted to raise healthy children. I discovered that the best way to raise healthy children was to shun non-nutritious grocery store food and raise our own food. So that is what we did. I learned that doing things the way my grandparents and generations before them had done it was the best way to get the nutrients needed for healthy bodies.

Not only that, but as the years went by, more babies arrived and I was regularly the focus of “Another baby on the way?!” questions, when “normal” folks were only having two. It wasn’t easy.

It seemed as though everything was a struggle! I don’t mean to say that I was unhappy about things — by no means! I thoroughly enjoyed everything I was learning and was happy to be immersed in all these different aspects of living.

Years later, after having moved back to New England from upstate New York, where we’d been homesteading on an organic potato farm near Lake Ontario, I was re-joined by my family. My sisters were both married now, and they had children, too. Since we were now geographically close again, we began sidewalk counseling together outside of abortion clinics on Thursdays. When Randall Terry’s Rescue Movement began in the late 1980’s, we “signed up” as it were, inaugurating CT PLAN (Connecticut Pro Life Action Network) to organize and carry out baby-rescuing efforts in Connecticut. We closed down abortion clinics and were arrested for peaceful non-compliance.

This is all a lead-up to trying to explain (maybe even to myself) why the Latin Mass seemed like the “right” thing to do.

I remember getting a phone call from my sister. “Jean,” she said, “there’s a Latin Mass over here in Wingdale, NY on Sundays at noon. You have to come!”

“Joan,” I replied, “Wingdale is an hour and 15 minutes from us. We are not going to drive that far for Mass. And who cares about the Latin Mass anyway?”

“Jean, they are going to close it down if enough people don’t go!” Joan said.

For some reason I was unable to abide that thought; “OK! I’ll go!” I said. “But Pat is teaching CCD on Sundays, so he won’t be able to go.”

So the following Sunday I packed up however many kids we had home at the time (I think it was seven) in the van, and went to the Latin Mass for the first time since the changes had occurred.

It was beautiful! There was a choir with a High Mass. Ethereal — I loved it! It felt right. Within a couple of weeks, Pat had resigned his teaching position as a CCD teacher so he could join me, and we never looked back. It was another one of those things that my grandparents and generations before them had done that should not have changed. We had rediscovered “the Mass of All Time.” (Unfortunately, we were not schooled in the history of the Mass, nor did we think it through logically. In reality, there have always been occasional changes in the Mass.)

Well, maybe we did look back, but not in the way that you might think. We looked ’way back, long before Vatican II. At the time, we were friends with a man by the name of Richard Ibranyi, and we also became acquainted with the Most Holy Family Monastery in New Jersey and Brother Michael Dimond (yes, of the infamous “Dimond brothers”). They exposed us to all sorts of articles “proving” the infiltration of the Catholic Church by malicious outsiders and the evils of Vatican II and the “post Vatican II popes.” It was “proven” through “writings of the Church” that a sacrament cannot be changed and, consequently, we became convinced that the “new sacraments” were invalid. Any man who had become consecrated a bishop or ordained a priest after the sacraments had been changed was not a real bishop or priest. Not only that, but because they accepted Vatican II and its heresies, the Church taught that they were ipso facto excommunicated. Period. No declaration needed. Canon 188.9 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law said so.

We church-hopped for a while, going from the Indult (issued by Pope John Paul II) to SSPX (Society of Saint Pius X, a breakaway group), to Monroe, CT (“Faithful Catholics”), to SSPV (Society of Saint Pius V, an even more radical spin-off from SSPX) and finally ended up at an independent chapel in Glenmont, NY, where we attended Mass, again an hour and 15 minutes from our house, for 18 years.

The scariest time was going to the SSPX chapel. I remember sitting there thinking, “Well, the roof hasn’t caved in yet!” because we’d read so much for years in The Wanderer about how they were “out of the Church.” But the Mass was very beautiful and we loved it. We began to have one of their priests up to our family home to say Mass for the whole 30-something of us and to give us catechism lessons for adults afterwards. I couldn’t, however, reconcile their position of recognizing that John Paul II was the Pope while they offered him no obedience. If he was indeed the Pope, then it was incumbent upon a Catholic to obey him. I thought it a schismatic mentality. I thought the same about the St. Benedict Center (the center of the Feeneyite controversy, concerning “no salvation outside the Church”) in New Hampshire. That is one reason that we ended up as sedevacantists.

Because we were convinced that we were “doing the right thing” and had “re-discovered” the real Catholic Mass and the Faith (unadulterated!), as difficult as it was, we assumed that our good-willed Catholic friends would all soon join us. Understand that when I say “us” I mean my whole family! Not only my husband and myself and our many children, but both of my sisters and their families, my brother and his young family and both of my parents became convinced sedevacantists — those who believe that the seat (sede) of Peter was empty (vacant-ist). For years and years we lived this way. The fact that most of our friends avoided us was something that we chalked up to sufferings that we had to endure for the love of the Faith and Our Lord. While we missed our old friends, we’d made many new acquaintances in the “Traditional Catholic” church, which blunted the loss. We became good friends with families from the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, NH, a group that had spun off from the Father Feeney debate years earlier. We were dedicated “Feeneyites” for years as well, believing that Father Feeney had been wrongfully treated by Pope Pius XII, until finally, one of our sedevacantist priest-friends took the time to show us how Canon Law and encyclicals showed that Father Feeney had interpreted the teaching incorrectly.

There were a few times that I re-examined our sedevacantist position. The first time was in 2004. My conclusion after that re-examination was that a person was not condemned for remaining in the “Novus Ordo” church. Such people simply didn’t know any better, and that was OK, because the “New Church” seemed like the “Real Church” to them.

Another time I was presented with a challenge regarding our position and re-examined it again, very carefully, writing and talking to my sedevacantist friends. I would say to our independent priest occasionally, “Father, do you not agree that we should re-examine our position now and then? Because, since it is a conclusion that we have come to and is not dogmatic, if we are wrong, we are out of the Church, right?” And Father would always say that, yes, it was indeed the prudent thing to do.

But I always ended up coming down on the sedevacantist side. I must admit that it never occurred to me to examine Vatican II in the light of the possibility that it, in itself, might have been from God. We were completely immersed in the belief that everything that came from that council was not Catholic, beginning with the Mass, but also its documents. The pre-1962 Missal was all that we would use. We were told that Pius XII had had no right to begin the changes, so our priest went with the oldest missal he could find; I believe it was the Father Lasance Missal from 1949.

Why did Pius XII have “no right” to change anything? I’m not quite sure. I know that it must have had something to do with Pope St. Paul V’s Quo Primum, which said, quite clearly, that not one word of the Tridentine Mass could be changed and that anyone who dared to do so would have the wrath of God come upon them and the wrath of Saints Peter and Paul — although that didn’t connect with the first changes that were made by Pope Pius XII in the Holy Week services.

I read articles and books and listened to talks by the likes of John Vennari (may he rest in peace), Chris Ferrara, John Salza, and a few others on the errors of sedevacantism, but they always had a “disconnect,” if you will, with saying that the Pope was indeed the true Pope, but he was in error and that one could and should “resist him to his face.” That just didn’t make sense to me. If he was the Pope, then God put him in charge, and Catholics are duty-bound to trust and obey. The only thing that made sense was that they were not popes because of the (obvious to us) heresies they believed and promulgated. The rest of the clergy weren’t even really ordained, as far as I was concerned, because the rites of ordination and consecration had changed, and that “wasn’t allowed,” so I believed (may God and the priests forgive me!) that those ordained in the New Rites were “men in priests’ clothing.”

Also, I didn’t believe that the hosts in the New Mass were consecrated. We had been told that to bow to a piece of bread as if it were God was worshipping a false God. (I told you we were serious!) There is a teaching in the sedevacantist circles that the New Mass is the “abomination of desolation set up in the holy place” described by the prophet Daniel. We were in deep and total. As much as I’d like to deny it, I can’t. I was a “soapbox sedevacantist,” always trying to convince everyone that the “Real Church” was tiny — just a handful of believers, as was prophesied in all the end-time prophecies!

The August 2015 issue of the Catholic Family News arrived, as it had for 20 years, in our mailbox. The main article on the front boldly stated “Deposing A Heretical Pope.”

“Ah!” I said, elated. “Finally John Vennari has come to his senses!” I sat down to read it.

But … by the time I’d read a few columns, I was getting a bit disconcerted. This article was proving, by using Church documents and quoting saints, that even if a Pope became a heretic, no one can depose him, and (the kicker) he remains Pope.

“Pat! You’ ve got to read this article!” I said to my husband. “They have presented an argument that, while not totally convincing, at least carries as much weight as the argument for sedevacantism!”

Pat read it and wasn’t as bothered as I was. I passed it on to my son-in-law, and he too wasn’t impressed.

But my roots had been shaken. What if we’d been wrong all these years?

I began to pray about it. I asked our priest what he thought, but he hadn’t read the article. I believe it was written by Robert Siscoe. I remember talking about it to a fellow sedevacantist at our chapel, and he said that he didn’t understand why I was so moved by the article, that it wasn’t convincing to him at all and that Siscoe had been a 33rd degree Mason before he converted, so he was likely just trying to continue to lead people away from the true Faith.

During that time one of our sons was attending Gregory the Great Academy, a Catholic boarding school for boys in Pennsylvania. I was being exposed to a lot of (what we traditionalist Catholics called) “Novus Ordo Catholics,” and I remember being impressed with the depth of trust in God that they displayed — something I didn’t have! Traditional Catholics tend to “wrap themselves in cocoons” (as I say) and not have a lot of interaction with non-Trads. As I see it now, I was being exposed by Jesus to Novus Ordo Catholics. And I couldn’t help being impressed. I was also meeting priests who were trained and ordained in the New Church and was surprised — often awed — by the depth of their love for God.

I began to wonder… What if something had gotten through and they really were priests??

The following February I went on retreat at the SSPX retreat center in Connecticut. I took the opportunity to query these well-tooled trad priests on their own beliefs and the beliefs and teachings of SSPX. They believe that the new Rites are valid, I was told. They said that the priests were trained in the new seminaries with the new teachings, so they didn’t know the Real Catholic Faith, but that they could certainly absolve people of their sins. Just don’t go to the New Mass, I was warned. Not that it wasn’t valid, just that it wasn’t … what? Good enough? That didn’t make sense. If they believed that the New Mass was valid, then it was the Sacrifice of Calvary. How could it be “not good enough”?

I also asked why it was that Archbishop Lefebvre had disobeyed the rules of the Church and consecrated bishops if he believed that the new Rite was valid. The answer: He doubted the intention!

Even a lay, uneducated Catholic like me knows that the Church teaches that intention is never to be doubted. What was up with that? Why wouldn’t the Archbishop know that?

At last, we were able to get together with our very honest and well-educated sedevacantist priest. I told him that my Number One Question was this: Is there any possibility that the New Rite might be valid and that something might have gotten through and the man was really a priest after all? And secondly, did he think that there was a possibility that the New Mass might truly be valid and that, inferior as the ritual was, those priests actually consecrated the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord?

I sat back and waited for his confident “Absolutely not!” But, instead, he said, “It is possible.”

I was floored.

If that were the case, what the HECK were we doing???

Now came the emotional part. I turned up the heat on my prayers and supplications. I fasted, prayed, wept, read, talked to everyone I could; I sent out e-mails to anyone who I thought might have an answer. Everyone I trusted was contacted. I sent out e-mails to everyone in my family, to many sedevacantist friends, to “sedevacantist thinker par excellence” John Lane in Australia. I discussed the topic over many coffees with my mother, wrote to our friend, Ben, who was raised in the SSPX, wrote to sedevacantist nuns, my sedevacantist friend Margaret, and many more. Some helped (thank you for your efforts!), some thought I was having a “crisis of faith,” some thought I was crazy — basically, because after all, “isn’t it obvious that Pope Francis is a heretic? I mean, look what he says about homosexuals! ‘Who am I to judge?’ What kind of an answer is that for a Pope? And isn’t he trying to allow adulterers to receive Communion? What about that?

But the problem wouldn’t go away. For, if those men were really priests, and the New Mass was really a Mass, something wasn’t adding up. Not to mention that I began to really think critically about our position as sedevacantists. I began to play the “devil’s advocate” for the “New Church.” For example:

1. If our position was correct, then why hadn’t more Catholics joined us by now? All of my husband’s siblings were devout Catholics who went to Sunday Mass, some daily Mass, said the Rosary, etc. And what about all the other Catholics that I was meeting at the school? When we first became sedevacantists, I truly expected that in a few years all those Catholics who were devoted to the Faith would see the truth of sedevacantism. That had not happened.

2. If the Church had defected, wouldn’t that make a mockery of all those Catholics who had lived and died practicing what they thought was the Catholic Faith? Would God really do that to His faithful children? Would He really have denied them His Body and Blood for over 40 years?

3. If the sedevacantists were right, where were the fruits of sedevacantism? Our Lord said “By their fruits you shall know them.” Really, looking sedevacantism and traditional Catholicism boldly in the face, where were the fruits? I saw perfect law-keeping, but I also saw a dearth of charity; the corporal works of mercy weren’t visible. Neither was there an evangelical spirit. I remember asking our priest when we first became sedevacantists why he wasn’t out there on the street corners trying to bring people into the Church. His reply was that he “was in hunker-down mode.” That answer never set right with me, but because I was so convinced of our position, it didn’t deter me. I just thought that he was in error in that outlook.

4. Our priest has a policy of never answering the phone and rarely calling back. Why was our priest so hard to get in touch with, if he was “one of the few priests left in the world”? I realize that he doesn’t represent all priests, but nevertheless, there are few enough as it is, so why was he so hard to contact?

5. What if? What if it was time for things to be re-presented in the Church? What if it was time for Latin in the Mass to go, for people to understand what was going on and to be actually included? It was, after all, in the middle of an extremely turbulent time in the world. Education was degenerating; young adults were rebelling against the hypocrisy of the Powers That Be. Maybe the Faith needed to change its wording and its approach in order to reach the souls of this day? After all, the Church is responsible for all the souls in the world, and if things weren’t working one way, then God could certainly find another. Discipline can change. The Mass had not always been the Tridentine, as we had believed! And a re-reading of Quo Primum said clearly, to me, at least, that the Pope was talking to those who were going to be saying the Mass, not to future popes, since it is impossible for one Pope to bind a future Pope to a discipline.

The book True or False Pope by Robert Siscoe and John Salza was hot off the press, and I am pretty sure I was one of the first to place an order. Again, I was also pretty sure that the arguments would be fairly easy to refute because of the mindset of non-sedevacantist trads to propose that there was a Pope but he could be ignored. When I got to Page 65 or so, they presented a point that I hadn’t clearly thought through before. The assertion was that Our Lord had founded His Church not only on Saint Peter, but upon St. Peter and the other eleven Apostles. He had made the promise that He would be with His Church “until the end of time.” This granted it visibility, jurisdiction, and also the right to govern. The book stated that John Lane had been contacted, but his answer to this problem didn’t make sense to me at all. I wrote to him to ask him about it; he said he had been misquoted, but the answer that he gave me via e-mail was really even worse. He said that he was writing a book on it and that I should “wait to make any decisions about returning to the Novus Ordo.” Uhhhh, no thanks!

So now, another Big Question was: where is the Church? I had always just confidently stated that it was “in eclipse” as per Our Lady of La Salette’s message, but now I wasn’t so sure that that was correct.

It couldn’t be SSPX; there was too much controversy there for too many Catholics and there were no faculties (authorization to function as a priest). It had always bothered me that they call themselves “parishes” when they are most definitely not authorized as parishes. That was “faking it” — wishful thinking and more than a bit presumptuous.) It was obviously not sedevacantist chapels for many reasons, among them no clear faculties. “Supplied jurisdiction” doesn’t work for very many people — there is no unity, zero visibility, etc. I kept thinking of the over one billion souls who had been born, lived, and died as Catholics since the Second Vatican Council who would have been “fooled” by God by remaining faithful to the Church. Also, all Catholics know that faculties flow from the Pope to the bishops to the priests. If the New Rites were valid, then epikea (the idea that a law can be broken or ignored in order to achieve a greater good) would definitely not suffice — or be necessary — to resolve the question of the lack of faculties among separated groups such as the SSPX.

Holy Week of 2016 arrived, and we did our usual Good Friday Tre Ore readings by ourselves at our chapel over in New York. (We never had a priest during Holy Week because our priest always went to a trad chapel in Virginia to join in the Triduum as it is “meant to be celebrated.”)

The following week was Low Sunday in the “real Church” (where we went), but it was Divine Mercy Sunday in the “New Church.”

On Monday night the phone rang. It was a call from a friend whose whole family had been very dear to us before we had become sedevacantists. They had moved to Virginia, and we had pretty much lost touch, though we still cared for each other. Our families had been very close friends in the late 1980’s. We had met during the heyday of Rescues. This family is well-known for its consummate ability to harmonize and sing liturgical song. The father, Joe Garvey (may he rest in peace) had been a composer and had written some beautiful music. His family had carried on the love of music as they married and had children. One of his daughters, Johanna, is a gifted choir director. It was she on the phone. She had called to tell me that their daughter, Stephanie, was getting married to a man from Massachusetts. The whole family had been asked to sing at the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass, which was the following Sunday, so they were going to combine a trip up with a bridal shower for Stephanie, and did we want to come? We most certainly did! It was a wonderful reunion — it was so good to see everyone again!

The next day, Low Sunday (that is, Divine Mercy Sunday), we woke up to an unannounced, freak, and horrible storm with snow, sleet, wind and rain. It was incredibly nasty out! It was too dangerous to drive and, when that happens on a Sunday, we stay home and say our Mass prayers and Rosary in front of our altar to the Sacred Heart in our cozy living room in front of the wood stove. That is what we did that Sunday. I had texted Johanna and offered to bring them warm clothing, because they had come from an early spring in Virginia and were completely unprepared for this storm of storms. But she declined, saying they’d be fine; they would have something to offer up. I couldn’t convince her to let me bring them any comfort!

Some of our children and grandchildren made it to our house, and we proceeded to kneel and say our prayers, all cozy and warm in front of the wood stove, while the storm was crazy outside. My mind kept wandering to picture the Garvey family (almost all of them had come — at least 20-some!) up at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, outside in this horrible weather. I had a suspicion that they were offering their sufferings for our “return to the Faith.” As if we needed to “return” to the Faith! We were the ones holding on to the True Faith!

I thought.

Were we?

A few weeks earlier, out of the blue, a sedevacantist friend had sent me an article by Stephen Hand about the Abbé de Nantes. It was long, and I couldn’t read it right away, but one night, in the wee hours of the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, I couldn’t sleep, so I got out my iPad to read something. I remembered that article and thought that this would be a good time to read it.

The Abbé was a devout and well-educated, very well-respected priest who was the abbot of a monastery in France during the Second Vatican Council. When the Mass changed, he was distraught. He was, in fact, the one who was the moving force behind “The Ottaviani Intervention.” His thought was that he would have the New Mass thoroughly examined and exposed for what it was — a heretical, non-Catholic service. His plan was to present this report to all of the bishops of the Council, which was still in session, have them sign it, and then present it to Pope Paul VI, thus proving that either the New Mass had to go or that the Pope was a heretic and a movement to have him depose himself as a heretic must be initiated.

What happened knocked his proverbial socks off. The report was written, certainly. Ottaviani and Bacci signed it. But, when it was presented to the other bishops attending the council, not one of them would sign it!

The Abbé was being courted at that time by Fr. Guérard des Lauriers to proclaim Pope Paul VI a heretic. He wanted “to set up a faithful and unofficial Church in the midst of the universal wreckage, and planned to assume complete pastoral jurisdiction in an extraordinary manner, independently of official ecclesiastical authority, either local or Roman” (see http://crc-internet. org/our-doctrine/catholic-counter-reformation/for-the-church/introduction/).

The Abbé resorted to his most powerful weapons: prayer and trust in Jesus. This was indeed a tough spot.

He ended up being convinced that “by virtue of the Promise of Our Lord, it was impossible for the Church to promulgate a false Sacrament.” Even though it was impossible to understand, he was staying with the Church.

Des Lauriers and the others went on to become well-known sedevacantists.

This article I read, as I mentioned, in the wee hours of Ascension Thursday morning, May 5, 2016. As I finished the article, I put aside my iPad and said to myself, “Oh no! I’ve got to go back to the Novus Ordo!”

The next morning, Pat had gotten up before me and was sitting at the kitchen table, barely awake. I poured myself a cup of coffee and plopped myself down across from him with conviction.

“Pat,” I declared, “I am going back to the Novus Ordo.”

“Jean … can this possibly wait?” he implored, “I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee!”

Merciless, I replied, “Nope. It can’t. I’ve been thinking about it all night and I have finally been convinced. Not only that, but since my family is all going to Mass this morning, I have to tell them today.”

Pat groaned. (Sometimes I am pretty sure that being married to me can be a daunting and exhausting experience.)

That morning, we were having our sedevacantist priest come out to say an early Holy Day Mass for us at our private family chapel. I decided that I’d better tell my family all right then, as long as they were all gathered together. It wouldn’t be fair to tell them in an e-mail or something later, since I’d had the chance when they’d been right there in person. So after Mass, I asked everyone to please say a Hail Mary with me out loud because I had an announcement to make. After some scoffing at me, the Hail Mary was prayed — and then I dropped the bomb. Faces went white with shock and horror. Oddly enough, no one really asked “Why?” — and they still haven’t to this day. They all think I’m doing it for an alternate reason: “emotion,” “boredom in the Tridentine,” “more fun in the Novus Ordo” are some of the reasons they give for my “defection.” I would think that they’d give me more credit than that after having been a sedevacantist for 18 (wasted!) years, but apparently not. Not yet, anyway! All they can do is either 1) Ignore me as an apostate or 2) Try to show me where I am wrong. But, never, never ask why I did it.

Right after my announcement that same Ascension Thursday, and right smack in the middle of the Extraordinary Year of Divine Mercy, I drove myself to our local pastor, explained my situation, went to Confession and was received back into the arms of our Holy Mother the Church. Just like that! It happened on May 5, 2016, exactly 30 days after our friends had offered their sufferings for us on Divine Mercy Sunday.

I don’t pretend to have all of the answers concerning everything that has come out of Rome. And I can keep in mind the very real truth that no one, not even the Pope, is impeccable in their decisions. They can be imprudent. But I have changed my whole way of looking at things since I have been given the grace to return to the bosom of the Church. I don’t have to understand everything, nor do I have to be able to explain everything, for starters! I trust that God knows what He is doing.

In the first place, I owe a lot. Since I constantly criticized the Popes of the Second Vatican Council for 20 years, one of the restrictions that I have imposed upon myself is “no criticizing the Pope or bishops or priests.” Instead, I have ordered myself to judge as I would like to be judged. In other words, they are human. God has put them in charge. They have dedicated their lives to the salvation of souls. That can’t be easy! So… give them the benefit of a doubt.

I have come to believe that the Second Vatican Council is almost as important as the First Coming of Christ. And, no offense to my beloved trad friends, but that the “sedevacantists and traditional Catholics” are more like the Pharisees and Sadducees than they’d like to admit. It is as if, in following those rules and saying all those prayers, how could God possibly damn them?

But on the other hand, there is a dearth of charity and a superabundance of superiority (how could it be otherwise when an sedevacantist/trad is part of the very, very few who God has entrusted with His real truth?) … and unkindness, mercilessness! Also, it’s very depressing to be a traditional Catholic, because you have read so many of the end-time prophecies that you know that things are just going to go from bad to worse. You get almost addicted to hearing how awful things are, and look for the next bad thing that’s happened to further illustrate that the prophecies are all coming true now. The kids are sick of hearing about it, since they’ve been hearing it all of their lives and nothing has happened as we said it would. Their Faith has been formed by fear more than by the love and trust of God.

I think that the Second Vatican Council was indeed an “opening of the doors and windows of the Church.” It needed to be aired out! It was stale with the rules and they had, inadvertently, become God, while God Himself had become obscured by His own rules!

I understand why Pope Francis is getting a bit annoyed with traditionalists. He is bending over backwards to try and get everyone to accept the Mercy of God and get immersed in His love and return to the Church — and all the trads can do is criticize, criticize, criticize!

Look at it differently. These post Vatican II popes have been trying to reach out to everyone in the whole world. You might not like the way they are doing it, but really, you aren’t in their position and you don’t have to answer to God for them. But you do have to answer to God for your attitude and lack of charity. We do have to answer to God for refusing to look at things in a different way. Stubbornness won’t be rewarded, but letting the Holy Spirit move us will. Humility is an absolute necessary requirement for salvation.

I feel so bad for John Vennari. He spent his whole life fighting an uphill, unwinnable battle, for that is not the direction that God has for His Church.

Fruits of traditional Catholicism? How many trad Catholic families do you know who are immersed in the love and service of the Church and are aware of the great and constantly-available mercy of God? How many trad youths? I haven’t seen many. I have, on the other hand, spoken to many, many heartbroken mothers who have done everything in their power to pass the Faith on to their children, but the children reject it. They don’t just reject traditional Catholicism; they reject God altogether and turn to sin! I’m not saying that everything is rosy back in the Church. But in looking for fruits in traditional Catholicism, as we are advised by Jesus to do, I don’t see much. And precious little happiness, either. I wonder just what trad Catholics think the end result is going to be. Where are they going with it? What is the end goal? It should be obvious by now that the Church is not going to return to the past. Allow the Tridentine Mass? Yes, done. But return to it? No. Never, as far as I can see.

The Pope did contribute a great deal of money to acquire a large cathedral for the SSPX in Rome, but I am sure that it is not because he is interested in going backwards. It is in the interest of bringing them back in union with Rome, so they will be able to receive regular graces. That is why he also extended the faculties to them to continue to hear confessions even after the Year of Mercy was over. He wants everyone home, no matter what you have been told. Read his writings! He is constantly exhorting everyone to humility, forgiveness, generosity and to Christ!


At first, going to the Novus Ordo Mass was an effort of pure obedience. I was horrified by so many things that assaulted my post-sedevacantist viewpoint. The very first Mass was during the week at the Shrine of Divine Mercy. Ewww! It seemed so loud! (We have the blessing of living only 20 minutes from the Shrine, and they offer at least three Masses every day.) It was not easy, but I wasn’t expecting it to be easy. I found it impossible to “find my voice” for the first few months. I just went because it was the Mass, and I needed it. Then, after many, many Masses, I began to find my voice. (Remember, I had been gone — and silent — for 20 years!). Luckily I was guided by the Holy Spirit to seek a spiritual director for those difficult months. I was all alone in this journey, as no one in my family could see — nor did they want to see — my points, and Father Thaddaeus walked me through things, answered my questions and prayed ardently for me. His guidance was an undeserved but much-needed blessing at the time, and now, two years later, with me very comfortably happy back “home,” he remains my spiritual director.

As difficult as returning to the Novus Ordo Mass was at first, I have been blessedly at peace with this whole thing. I truly love it now. Graces flow when judgments stop! It’s glorious to feel the love of God growing in my heart! I am learning so much about the love of God and how to trust in Him. The monthly Magnificat publication is a great comfort.

Pat returned about a half a year after I did, under a completely different set of circumstances, and just two weeks before the Extraordinary Year of Mercy ended. Our sons Gavin and Quinn are with us too, in our return. It was hard for Quinn at first (it’s hard for everyone at first!), but now, though he still misses our old chapel in New York State, he loves it. He served the Stations of the Cross for the first time last night. At our chapel in New York, that never was allowed.

As I went along, I wrote to my old friends, told them of my return and was, for the most part, not only welcomed back with open arms, but so warmly and with so much love that it was a bit overwhelming. So many people whom I had insulted by thinking that they were the ones “out of the Church” were completely willing to forgive me and so very happy that I was back “home.” (I put off telling Pat’s siblings, hoping that grace would prevail and he would return. When he did, I let him tell his siblings, and they were overjoyed. It had been so many years, they had almost given up hope.) It has been pretty amazing, and we are so grateful!

We have had some conversations with our children and our friends from our sedevacantist chapel, but mostly it is them trying to convince us to return to sedevacantism, something which isn’t ever going to happen. I was out long enough and I’ll never, by the grace of God, leave again! I can’t say that I can understand or explain everything that seems wrong that has come out of Rome since Vatican II. But if that is the Church, where else can I go? I can just trust that He’s at the helm, and I don’t need to figure everything out before I am in where I belong.

At this time, I am praying for healing in our family, because we raised them in the sedevacantist mindset, and it is very painful for them to witness this return to what I had so adamantly thought was not the Church. I have put the whole thing in the hands of a devotion that I came across when I was at Gregory the Great’s Immaculate Conception Rugby playoffs: Our Lady, Untier of Knots. It seemed very appropriate.

I discovered a few months later that it is our Pope’s favorite title and devotion to Our Lady.

“Our Lady, Untier of Knots, pray for us!”


1. Jesus gave the keys of the Kingdom to Peter, the first Pope. He established His Church upon Peter and the other eleven Apostles and promised to be with His Church until the end of time and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The Church is visible, jurisdictional, governmental and hierarchical.

2. Because of the Promise of Our Lord, it is impossible for the Church to promulgate a false Sacrament.

3. Ergo, the Sacraments in the Catholic Church are real.

4. Ergo, the post-Vatican II Mass is real.

5. Ergo, there is no epekea to rely on for not having faculties if there is a hierarchy!

6. The Popes aren’t mistakes. They are part of His plan. There are many saints, Church documents, and teachings that say no one can depose a Pope. There is only one place sedevacantists can point to, to say that a “heretical Pope” deposes himself ipso facto. That is Canon 188.9 of the 1917 Code. Canon Law can be argued (otherwise there would not be canon lawyers or an ecclesiastical court). Point: The sedevacantist conclusion can be 100 percent wrong. Error on that point would mean that sedevacantists are outside of the Church!

7. We have been looking at things wrong. It was time for things to be “changed up,” according to God’s plan.

8. Some not-so-good things that have happened as a result of the Council will be righted in good time. It’s OK. God is in control. It usually takes about 100 years for the Church to return to normalcy after a Council. We are halfway there.

9. We need to trust that God is in charge of His Church and stop thinking that we have to put everything through our own “Catholic Sieve.”

10. We should distrust ourselves and trust the Church. Sedevacantism is not the answer. It is not united, it is not charitable, it is exclusive and it is not from God.

Jean Koneazny Pollock

Jean Pollock was born and raised in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. She has been married to husband, Patrick, since 1975, is the mother of 10 wonderful children and grandmother of 12. Jean has been a Nationally Certified Herbalist since 1998 and owns Mystical Rose Herbals (www. Favorite pastimes are cooking for large crowds, writing, wildcrafting, and growing medicinal herbs and creating herbal teas, medicines, salves, creams, and scrubs and more. Jean offers herbal consultations and herb classes, and has just published her first book, entitled Plant Magic – An Herbal Study Guide for Kids, available on her website.

  • Ave Crux

    This is absolutely sad…and irrational.

    • AJ

      You are not obligated to attend Mass if the closest legitimate one is too far away. Despite this, many trad Catholics travel hours to hear Mass.

      • Jean Pollock


    • MDK66OP

      I think you just displayed the lack of charity the author described in her article. I agree with you on communion in the hand. Dissenting and disobedient bishops introduced that despite several attempts by Pope Paul VI to nip it in the bud.

      I highly doubt you find “consecrated hosts [plural!] on the floor in a pile of dirt swept up by the janitor.” One, that would indicate *everybody* at your parish is an utterly ignorant boob and two, that you don’t give a rat’s behind about the real presence as you mentioned because if you did, you’d have pointed out, yelled even, that a pile of consecrated hosts was swept up in a pile of dirt (seemingly routinely by the way you word it), and three, that your parish church is filthy if the janitor sweeps up “a pile of dirt.”

      While I fully understand the desire for a proper and reverent mass, your over-the-top comment (insults [monsters], exaggeration [hosts in piles of dirt], accusation [mass is an abomination, a pure invention {gee, it is awfully similar to what 2nd century Saint Justin Martyr described!}], judgement [parental “dereliction of duty in the eyes of God”]) betrays you. Do you truly *love* your fellow Catholics?

      John 13:35
      By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

      Catechism of the Catholic Church
      2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

      – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

      – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

      – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

      • Ave Crux

        In fact, I DID find a consecrated Host swept up in a pile of dirt after I went one day to the church to pray. I knelt down and gathered It up gently and reverently, and took it across the street to the rectory where I asked to speak to the priest and presented it to him .

        The priest, with total indifference, folded IT up in a piece of paper and put it on his desk!!! He acknowledged absolutely nothing and I left in total silence after seeing the callous manner in which he receive that Host – Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

        I also witnessed a teenage girl playing with the host after receiving it week after week on Saturday evenings at the Mass she attended with her family. I finally had to approach the father and explain to him what was wrong. After that I was persona non grata with the family.

        Everything I said in my reply was completely honest, objective and completely based on fact. If the facts sting, that’s not my fault, that’s the sad reality of the situation in the Novus Ordo Church. Wake up.

        • MDK66OP

          Once you found a Host. I do not argue the tragedy of that occurrence, but you used the plural, indicating it’s fairly common. I can’t believe “honest and objective” given what I noted in my previous reply to you.

          • Ave Crux

            I used the plural simply because I have heard other recount similar experiences. In fact there is a Eucharistic miracle in South America because the Host was found left on the candle rack. I have read of these reports by other people on many occasions.

            • Debra Sweeney

              I wouldn’t bother trying to defend yourself. What I have noticed in certain circles is that when one accuses another (or a whole group of people as with the OP) of a “lack of charity” it is not grounded in truth. It is typically the result of the person’s distaste for the truthful message being sent to them. This distaste is oftentimes accompanied by a misunderstanding of what the other said sometimes to the point of misrepresenting what they have said to others.

              • Ave Crux

                You’re right. It’s often for the sake of other readers, though, who need to understand the truth of the matter that I usually refuse to let false or erroneous statements stand unchallenged.

          • Ave Crux


            I was kneeling and praying one afternoon in front of the Tabernacle at the side of the Church in my neighborhood. As I knelt there, there was a woman working in the Sacristy just across the very small Sanctuary, only about a dozen feet from where I was kneeling. I could hear her working and at one point, I became aware of the sound of cellophane being torn open and the clinking of a ciborium. I didn’t pay much attention, and returned to my quiet prayers.

            A moment or two later, this same woman crossed the Sanctuary, ciborium in hand, opened the Tabernacle, and placed inside of it THE CIBORIUM SHE HAD JUST FILLED WITH UNCONSECRATED HOSTS!!!




            Fortunately, the Pastor happened to be in the back of the Church when this happened. I immediately went to him and explained what I had seen. He rushed to the Tabernacle very upset, and removed the Ciborium; then went to the Sacristy and remonstrated with the woman who had done this.

            In fact, I don’t even know if she had first removed a partially filled ciborium of duly consecrated Hosts from the tabernacle and then added unconsecrated hosts to it, as I had just arrived a few moments before.

            Had she done that, then the ciborium became a mix of both, and was just taken to the Sacristy as if Our Lord were not actually present. I wasn’t there long enough to know.

            I mentioned this to a Priest I know who had been a Diocesan Priest before joining the Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP). He told me of horrors:

            1) NEVER ONCE while he was a priest in that parish was a ciborium of fresh, unconsecrated hosts placed on the Altar during Mass so they could be consecrated to replenish those that had be distributed at earlier Masses. He, too, now wonders if that was because they were just placing unconsecrated hosts directly into the Tabernacle for distribution after the others had been consumed.

            2) He also said they used to put Hosts into a wicker basket to distribute at Mass, and that particles were everywhere.

            3) For these and similar reasons, he eventually left the diocese and joined the FSSP. In fact, he can hardly bear to speak about everything he witnessed because it brings back such painful memories.

            I don’t even want to think about how long this was going on in the parish where I witnessed it, and now I often wonder at this and other churches if the hosts have been properly consecrated.

            THIS is why Traditionalists are upset. Look at CHRIST whipping those who desecrated the Temple, driving them out IN ANGER…..How much more is God indignant with those desecrating the Blessed Sacrament and replacing the Mass of the Ages with one which makes this not only common, but leads to such abuses that the problem will only get worse.

            According to you, righteous indignation at such desecration is “uncharitable”….

            Well you take that up with Our Lord Who gave us an example of what true zeal is for the honor of God’s House and His worship.

          • Ave Crux

            MDK66OP: So here is yet another heartbreaking example in an email I received TODAY from a friend:

            “I was horrified at Mass today. I saw a man receive Jesus in his hand, and then he pretended to put the Host in his mouth. Right afterwards, he put Jesus in his pocket! I watched the whole thing in utter astonishment. What frightens me is that I know that people steal the Consecrated Host for black masses and other evil deeds. The man left right afterwards, I couldn’t find him…..”

      • 2Vermont

        It’s interesting that you assume that the OP is not guilty of calumny here. Are you sure your own biases don’t betray you?

  • NoFan

    It breaks my heart that you have abandoned the Traditional mass; The mass of countless saints and martyrs. You have abandoned it for a, “banal, on the spot concoction”, as Benedict XVI once said. I do not know if it is valid or not but I believe with my heart and soul that the Novus Ordo is displeasing to Almighty God. Everything about it is man-centered. I judge no one and pray for all and believe that one day , Holy Mother the Church will anathematize the abomination call the Novus Ordo.

    • MDK66OP

      “I judge no one.” Um…

      “I do not know if it is valid or not.” You judged the bishops of the world and the Magisterium of Jesus’ Church. It’s valid.

      “Displeasing to Almighty God” and “man-centered” and “abomination.” You judged every priest and bishop who has ever said this mass with love and adoration for our Lord, making His holy sacrifice present to us, and bringing us His flesh and blood for our salvation.

      • NoFan

        Cardinal Ottavaini , of Vatican II fame , once commented that it is allowable to question the validity of the NO mass. Therefore, I do.
        I judge no one, as I am forbidden to judge by Christ, my Lord. Of course , He meant that we do not know the heart or intentions of individuals and are therefore forbidden to judge them as in condemnation. I condemn no one and pray for all.
        My opinion on the NO mass remains the same. It has destroyed the faith of countless Catholics. It’s fruits are rotten and so is it.
        Please don’t think that this is a personal attack. You are obviously an excellent Catholic , as evidenced by your having 10 children. God bless you.
        I love the faith, as you do, and when I see it being destroyed by enemies from within, I will state my case and do what I think is right. Leading people back to tradition is what I think is the right thing to do.
        God bless.

        • Jean Pollock

          Cardinal Ottaviani was not right if he said that you could doubt/question a Sacrament that the Church has promulgated. If you read the link I provided in my story, you will see that C Ottaviani caused a LOT of trouble with his “Intervention”.

          • NoFan

            Dear Jean,
            What the cardinal meant was that he feared that the formation of priests in the future would be of such poor quality that they wouldn’t fulfill the requirements of saying a valid mass. He was correct in that many priests today don’t seem to believe what the Church has always taught. Witness the pope. He believes that a person in an adulterous situation can receive holy communion. Many priests see nothing wrong with abortion or artificial contraception. Both of those are mortal sins. They all do not believe as the Church believes. I do not know if the Novus Ordo is valid or not but for the sake of my soul, I avoid it as the plague.

          • Luke Peto

            It is entirely allowable for a person to doubt the validity of the confecting of a sacrament in any particular instance when there is manifest reason to do so: and there is manifest reason to doubt the validity of many celebrations of the Novus Ordo as the liturgy of itself does not generally
            make the sacrificial nature of the rite and mystery of transubstantiation as taught by the Church self-evident, meaning that a defect of intention in the priest could invalidate the whole thing because the minimum of intention to do what the Church does is not supplied by the form per se.

            • Luke Peto

              In the Tridentine mass, on the other hand, the nature of the rite itself supplies the priest’s minimum of intention to do what the Church does if he merely follows the form.

  • Free Bee

    Welcome home … again!

    • Jean Pollock

      I’m so grateful to be home!! Thanks!!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. I find it very compelling, and your struggles seem very real to me. I came into the Church via a different route: Baptist, Evangelical Protestant, Neo-Calvinist (as a kind of separatist, so I get the sedevacantist mindset a bit), and all very anti-Catholic. I have been in the Church now several years, and my family followed. More recently I have discovered the TLM and I love it. However, coming from where I have the question of authority has been a huge topic, and I could never knowingly separate myself from the Pope. So, my family and I go to the Novus Ordo Mass weekly at our parish, which seeks to be beautiful and reverent, but I often don’t love the music, and then I go once a month to a TLM in another parish, which is in full communion with Rome. I would never expect you, given your story, to go back to the TLM, even if in full communion with Rome, but I love the ancient beauty and great depth of the TLM for many reasons. And I am praying that TLM’s increase in our area. However, I too have found much to love with the Novus Ordo, though I do have some issues (mostly the typical ones). But I will say that we recently celebrated our church’s feast day with a Latin Novus Ordo Mass, complete with beautiful Latin chant and polyphony and great reverence. Feedback was extremely positive. I think our parish, though Novus Ordo, wants more tradition. So we’ll see what happens there. I wish you well. Pax.

  • Ave Crux

    Have you never considered that you’re not limited to just two choices between the sedecantist position and the novus ordo?

    You make it seem as though there isn’t a third alternative that is quite legitimate and praiseworthy. This is neither accurate nor honest.

    The Traditional Mass is available throughout the world with the permission of Rome. We owe it to God to offer Him a liturgy befitting His dignity and sanctity.

    If the Blessed in Heaven cast down their crowns and prostrate before God’s throne, and the All Pure Seraphim cover their faces before Him, how much more so ought sinful mortals show Him due reverence?

    You are quite wrong in saying the Church will not return to the Traditional Mass. God will not tolerate a man centered Liturgy much longer. It is truly an Abomination standing in the Holy place.

    The Tabernacle which contains Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, King Of Heaven and Earth, is shoved to the side because “the Celebrant can’t stand with his back to It” and man has become the center of worship, not God.

    Your position is based on pure sentiment, not the teachings of the Church regarding what is proper to a Pope’s Authority, which is not absolute, and what is proper to the development of the Church’s traditions, nor its historical development, nor the concrete reality of how the novus ordo came about… Which was done by those intent on destroying the Church. That is an established historical fact.

    And as far as judging is concerned, you have judged traditionalists’ motives and understanding poorly while accusing them of judging, whereas they are simply acting upon objective facts and the teaching of the historical Church, attempting to protect the Church against those who have infiltrated it.

    And if you have any doubt about that you should read the testimony of Bella Dodd, a former operative of the Communist Party who directed 1,000 young men to enter the seminaries in the 1950s.

    She said she was not alone in this and that many of these men at the time of her testimony were already in positions of higher authority within the Church, and that the Church would be changed by them beyond recognition.

    You are quite naive and quite mistaken.

    • AJ

      One problem with what was called the indult Mass (Tridentine Masses allowed by Rome) is that they are often held at inconvenient times, in churches in bad areas, etc. Many trads like me got the impression the modernist priests of those parishes were doing these things deliberately to discourage attendance, so they could justify stopping the Masses. Plus they often used wafers from that morning’s novus ordo for the Tridentine Mass. I attended a few, but between the inconveniences and seeing something unique to the novus ordo church (women in lace mantillas but wearing pants!), I decided to stick with independent chapels.

      • MDK66OP

        Pants? Really?

        • AJ

          I kid you not.

    • Jean Pollock

      No, my whole journey is one of trusting that God is at the helm and trusting that it was He who inspired the Council and the changes, whether we agree or not and so I opened myself up to obedience and re-trained my know-it-all attitude to let the Holy Spirit guide me instead of me telling Him what was best. You cannot imagine what a relief it is to STOP CRITICIZING and START TRUSTING and LOVING. I imagine that I sound sappy to you, and sentimental and all the other adjectives that trads disapprove of, but I have NEVER been more at peace or more in love with God and my Faith. It might be because I am so close to the Shrine of Divine Mercy and go there for Mass so often, but whatever it is, I am very, very blessed and very, very content. And it’s NOT because I have compromised, I assure you. It is because I have allowed myself to be taught. God bless Father Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC. I highly recommend his new book, “Stepping on the Serpent” offered by the Marian Helpers.

      • Ave Crux

        Right, well, were you to leave the protective confines of the Shrine of Divine Mercy and go out into liturgical mayhem of the broader Church it would become clear to you that this was NOT inspired by God.

        I suggest you read the biography of Bella Dodd, a former, famous Communist operative who was converted by Bishop Sheen.

        She explained to the US Congress that while she was a Communist in the United States, she directed 1,200 young men to enter the seminaries of the Catholic Church during the 1920’s in order to destroy the Church from within.

        She provided this testimony in the 1940s and 50s. She indicated that as a consequence of her directing these young men into the seminaries, as well as other communist operatives who did the same thing in other countries throughout the world as directed by their headquarters in Moscow, that the Church would become “unrecognizable” [her word).

        She also said at the time of her testimony that many of these young men had already advanced to upper levels of authority within the Church hierarchy, including four (4) Cardinals with whom she was in continual contact in the Vatican.

        Well, they’ve accomplished their directive and the Church did indeed become unrecognizable following Vatican II.

        So much for the inspiration of God changing the Church…

        Clearly an enemy has done this.

  • JDebattista

    Crypto papolatry is no substitute for sedevacantism: both are extreme pendulum swings. Bergoglio may be a truly elected Pope, but that should not blind Catholics to his devastating errors which are causing undeniable ambiguity, confusion and schism. His now notorious ‘who am I to judge’ does not excuse us from denouncing the bad fruits of his pontificate, because charity and mercy divorced from painful truth are patently false. I will have no truck with sedevacantism, but I know enough Church history to remember very bad Popes who were duly elected. I admire the sincerity of Mrs Pollack, and her courage in abandoning the obvious dead end of sedevacantism, but non judgemental acquiescence to the epochal crisis afflicting our Catholic Church, exacerbated under this sinister pontificate may lead to an equally dangerous Fideistic providentialism, such as the doubt that there can be an ipso facto heretical pope.

    • AJ

      I always wondered if there was a term for the Pope worship that novus ordos seem to indulge in. Now I know! 🙂

    • Jean Pollock

      Oh my goodness! Please go easy on the man whom God has chosen to guide His Church! It might help you to love him more if you actually read his daily messages and read the whole of Amoris Latitia. My self-imposed rule for myself of “no criticizing the pope” forced me to try to see the good in him and I see a man who is Jesuit-trained with an ENORMOUS HEART FOR EACH AND EVERY PERSON in the whole world. He is trying to make it easy for everyone to come to Jesus, especially in the Eucharist. If he is going a bit too far, it will be taken care of — don’t worry! AL is not a dogmatic statement and is being discussed. If it needs fixing, it will be fixed. God is at the helm!! Don’t worry! Pray ardently and with much love and trust for Pope Francis I (calling him “Bergoglio” is a subtle insult — in my sedevacantist life it was a statement saying “He ain’t no pope of mine!”.

      • Ave Crux

        Sure, why trouble ourselves about sacrilegious Holy Communions being encouraged by priests; or why be troubled about those priests thrown into confusion when people living in adultery come to them and demand to be admitted to the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion despite sins contrary to the express teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ which they are not willing to abandon?

        No we shouldn’t trouble ourselves about Our Lord being received by unrepentant sinners anymore than we should trouble ourselves if we were to go to receive Holy Communion without repenting of our sins either. This is really a big fuss about nothing, isn’t it?

        And the two thousand years of Moral Theology and Sacramental practice, with the Church telling people in grave sin that they needed to reform their lives according to the teachings of Christ before they could be admitted to the Sacraments…that was really all just a big mistake wasn’t it?

        Where in the world has the Catholic Church been for 2,000 years? The Church was just plain mean and cruel until Pope Francis arrived. Wow, did we get it wrong, big time!

      • JDebattista

        Never have I prayed more for any pope than I have for Bergoglio, and for one painful reason – I consider him to be a bad pope, not fit for purpose. Love without truth is mere fideistic sentimentalism, and the truth is there for any Catholic with a modicum of the sensus fidei to see: this Pope of Ambiguity has in five years sown more confusion and division in his flock than any other in recent history. We have Cardinals against cardinals, bishops against bishops, priests against priests, all contradicting each other about fundamental and serious doctrinal and pastoral teachings of our Catholic Church. About criticism, we owe the Pope obedience, but not blind obedience. I wouldn’t bank much on Bergoglio’s Jesuit training, seeing the mess ( a pet word of this pope ) in which that once glorious order has fallen into. About God choosing Bergoglio, please read Church history to see that the Spirit has always inspired, but the electing Cardinals were not always open to His inspiration, as evidenced by the number of popes who were power mad, simonists, nepotists, lechers, and even taught and were accused of heresy. Re subtle insults, please consult the Little Book of Insults, available on the web, to see that no pope has uttered such a continuous stream of harsh insults, vulgar deprecation , and outright denigration against those he disagrees with as Bergoglio has. I will go on praying daily for Bergoglio, but as for trust in him, let’s say that under his pontificate, my only trust is in God.

        • Ave Crux

          You are 1,000% correct in everything you have said. Your are rational, objective, factual, historical.

          But Jean would have you put on rosey-colored glasses (rather, a blindfold) and ignore what your eyes are seeing, what even the secular news is now remarking upon, play tambourines and handle the Eucharistic blithely indifferent to all the particles (even Hosts!) falling to the floor and being trampled upon (as one very concerned priest was able to verify when performing a very scientifically modeled evaluation of just what happens when one receives Communion in the hand….70% of the hosts handled leave particles in the hands of those who receive). And I have seen Hosts dropped to the floor numerous times at novus ordo Masses and yet not once at a Traditional Latin Mass.

          It appears Jean has abandoned the guidance of a discerning intellect and is judging everything based upon her emotional engagement of the novus ordo. It is not being judgemental to say this; it is something she makes clear by her own explanations.

          It’s all about how it makes HER feel… Not about how it makes GOD feel or what abuse the Blessed Sacrament is subjected to.

          Sadly, we are not called to be emotional. The sanctification process gives preeminence to the supremacy of the INTELLECT over the emotions and sensibilities; to Truth over blind obedience and submission to error, even when spread by the Pope himself.

      • Luke Peto

        God has not chosen a Pope since St. Peter – not of his active will anyway. Human beings choose the popes of their own free will.

  • AJ

    Interesting story. I converted to the traditional Catholic Faith in 1978, from Orthodox Judaism. The Church I knew about and had fallen in love with, was the pre-Vatican II Church. I was very shocked to find what the Church had turned into after V2. In ignorance I went to the local parish, and it was only by the grace and mercy of God that I “just happened” to meet a very traditional priest when I knocked on the rectory door. He educated me weekly from the (unrevised!) Baltimore Catechism and Douay Rheims Bible, shared my sentiments about “the changes”, but stayed in the novus ordo institution out of a sense of obedience. However, when I saw what the novus ordo was like, my gut feeling (as a newly baptized Catholic) told me not to stay. Father gave me his blessing to go to the Tridentine Masses I had recently discovered via a Catholic neighbor, but said he had to stay where he was. To this day I have not been to a novus ordo again, nor will I go to one. I go to the Tridentine Mass and it is truly the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven. As a converted Jew, I recognize in the Tridentine Mass some very basic ancient Jewish rituals…the Tridentine Mass is very Jewish! The novus ordo strikes me as very protestant. I have met many novus ordo Catholics, and I’m sorry but when I have to spend hours educating them on the most basic facts of Catholic dogma because they had such a horrible catechesis since V2. I know I have made the right decision to stay in the traditional movement. As Christ Himself said, By their fruits ye shall know them.

    • MDK66OP

      As long as the priest does the red and says the black without adding his own bits to the ordinary form, there is nothing wrong with it. The priest that brought me back into the Church by his excellent homilies said very reverent masses.

      Make sure you’re “doing” the word of God, too:

      Matthew 25:34-36
      34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
      35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
      36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

      • AJ

        Matter, form, and intention are required to confect a Sacrament. I am not sure if novus ordo clergy have the right intention, even when the matter and form is correct.

        • Jean Pollock

          The Church has always taught that we are to assume intention is there. Full of wisdom (as usual!). If we went about doubting the intention of priests, where would we be?? We’d be crazy!!

    • NoFan

      God bless you, AJ. I agree with everything you said.

    • Ave Crux

      I have a very dear friend who is also a convert from Judaism, via a stop in Protestantism. She too has been horrified by the very Protestant, desacralized Novus Ordo Mass, which she said is virtually identical to Protestant services she used to attend. In fact, she said the Episcopal Rite was actually more reverent kneeling for Holy Communion, etc.

      She said when she finally entered the Catholic Church she was deeply saddened to see how much of the glory and reverence of its Liturgy and spirituality had been stripped away.

      She ended up by joining an FSSP chapel for the Traditional Mass and Sacraments.

      • Jean Pollock

        Trust! God will reward you for it. I am living proof. It’s not easy to have the approach to God simplified, but if the Church did it, then it is because HE wanted it!

        • Ave Crux

          In fact, the Church didn’t want it.

          You would do well to educate yourself on how Bugnini… one man, in collaboration with Protestants… developed the new Mass and had Paul VI sign off on all the modifications.

          In fact, Pope Paul VI wept after the fact to realize that he had approved an elimination of the Octave of Pentecost, one of the greatest Feasts of the Catholic Church. He never even understood what he was signing.

          And to prove that none of this was of God and was anything but fruitful (a proof of God’s action) is the fact that Priestly vocations plummeted, religious vocations plummeted, monasteries emptied, and unimaginable devastation followed the imposition of the new Mass which was never called for at Vatican II. Pope Paul VI himself said that the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary.

          Wake up!

          You’re basing absolutely nothing on facts… It’s all blind sentiment. We are rational beings first.

          Look at the fruits!! To quote a great Catholic apologist, it’s a devastated Vineyard.

        • Luke Peto

          The Novus Ordo as generally practised is not a “simplification”; it is a desacralisation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which has to be modified from the current norms of practice just to be made Catholic (look to the Oratorians for an example of how that is accomplished). Why would you turn your back on the mystery of Calvary made present again in order to embrace an empty celebration of man in which it is impossible – impossible – amid the clamour and noise and repetitive “active participation”, to find and approach Christ upon the cross offered up to the Father in Heaven, unless one shuts ones eyes and retreats into internal prayer? Because it makes you feel better?

  • christopherschaefer

    St. Mary’s, Norwalk, Connecticut is a so-called “Novus Ordo” parish–and the PRINCIPAL Mass on Sunday is a Solemn High TLM at 9:30 AM, with professional choir, Gregorian propers, polyphony. And the congregation belts out the simple responses, as Pope Pius X required. The 11:30 AM Mass is a Novus Ordo high mass, with Gregorian propers and Ordinary, incense, readings sung–not read–in English, etc: “mutual enrichment”, as called for by Benedict XVI. Holy Week is entirely according to the traditional (pre-1950s!) Rite. People drive from over an hour away to attend the Sunday 9:30 TLM–and we’re not sedevacantists.

    • Thanks for sharing. That sounds awesome!

  • 2Vermont

    I happen to be a member of the NY sedevacantist (Catholic) chapel mentioned in this story. I have been going there for about 4 years now and travel a great distance to assist mass there. I have found the priest and other Catholics there nothing but welcoming and charitable. It is extremely unfortunate that Jean felt the need to bad mouth these good folks (not to mention a hard working, holy priest) and provide fodder for those that are ignorant of sedevacantism and/or are outright anti-sedevacantist.

    • Ave Crux

      Thank you. I suspected as much.

      • 2Vermont

        You’re welcome.

    • AJ

      I have been a traditional Catholic since 1978 and had the great honor and privilege to know very holy priests like the late Fr Fenton, Randolph, Bishop Mc Kenna and others. Most of them were sedevacantists, though Bp McKenna was a sedeprivationist.

    • Jean Pollock

      What was the bad mouthing that you observed? I was only relating my experiences in my journey home, not attempting any bad-mouthing. The rest of my family still attends SMC and we have friends there. Father C was a dear friend of ours and we love him still. My sincere apologies for any attitude of bad-mouthing I may have done. It was most certainly not intentional! Mea culpa!

  • Evangelicus Catholicus

    This so much reminds me of my story being a part of a heretical Protestant cult group for many years. We thought the rest of organized Christianity was of the devil. It is truly a relief and a blessing to come out from under that Pharisaical mind-set into the love and the freedom we have in Christ.

  • Lolo

    Welcome home Jean. I have mostly grown up in the Novus Ordo Mass. Yes, I also play the guitar and we sing songs of praise and worship that draws everyone into entering as deep as possible into the Mass. It’s not jingle jangle! Did not care for the Kumbaya of the sixties! Different strokes for different folks I guess. What matters is the HEART and our disposition as to how we participate in the liturgy sincerely and reverently as possible. Our Priest is very holy and preaches and prays the Mass as opposed to saying it! Latin I don’t understand and do not “feel” the connection. The incense is great at Christmas and Easter as many choke from the smoke and our smoke detectors go off! I am as reverent as possible. So, I don’t wear a mantilla on my head and neither do men.LOL! Yes, I also wear slacks! IMHO if I lived on a far of island I would dress accordingly and God would still love me and I HIM. In the end, there are things not perfect like Eucharist ministers, altar servers who seemed bored at Mass etc. But then again I have come to realize if we receive Our Lord, with all our imperfections and weaknesses hand or tongue we ought to receive in fear and trembling but mostly out of love. For God is Love and mercy personified. He sees the heart! No matter how hard we try we ALL fall short of the Glory of God!

    • Jean Pollock

      Here! Here!!

    • NoFan

      Dear Lolo,
      You don’t “feel” the connection with Latin? Please realize that it is the official language of the Church. This being so, you should make an honest effort to at least learn liturgical latin.

  • Lucy

    Dear Jean, thank you for sharing your story. Although familiar with SSPX I had never really heard of sedevacantists (how do you pronounce it!). I was a child of 10 when the new Mass was introduced in my parish. I recall it was a very smooth transition – one week the Mass was being said in Latin and the next it was in English. One week we were receiving Communion on the tongue, the next in our hands. My mother, who was a very devout and holy lady, never had a problem with it. Actually being an Italian immigrant she never did learn to speak English, so whether the Mass was said in Latin or English made little difference to her – she just kept praying the Rosary through Mass! I can’t say I was a fan of the folk hymns that were introduced shortly after the changes – thank God they’ve all but disappeared, just like a lot of other bad 70’s stuff. Like many young people I stopped practising my faith for a few years in my teens – but I never stopped believing in anything the Catholic church taught – I just stopped attending Mass – mainly out of sheer laziness. Fortunately I returned to the faith in my early twenties and really haven’t looked back. I have always had a strong devotion to Our Lady which has helped me enormously and later on I developed a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. I have been blessed with wonderful priests who are loyal to the Church and administering the sacraments. Mass in my parish is very reverent. We are also blessed to have two daily Masses on weekdays which are well attended by many young people as well as old.
    I am in contact with a number of young families who favour the traditional Latin Mass. Recently I had the opportunity of attending a traditional Mass. It was like attending something quite foreign and I would not choose to go back. As you know, everything, I mean even the readings, was in Latin. The only English spoken was by the priest when he gave the homily. Yes, there was a lot of silence. I’m not sure how conducive that is to staying awake, but it might help some people focus more on the Mass. Attending the traditional Mass made me realise all the more how much sense the changes implemented by Vatican II made. Certainly there were some liturgical abuses at the start, but now 50 years on it’s not hard to find a good Novus Ordo Mass nearby. Most of the young priests coming out of the seminary these days tend to be conservative and the revisions to the English Missal in 2011 have enhanced the liturgy.
    I am with the Pope 100 percent – I agree that it is not our job to criticize, especially when we don’t know all the facts. We have to trust in God who established the Church, who promised to protect it from the assaults of Hell and to be with His Church to the end of time.
    I was saddened recently when I asked a group of Catholic children to pray for the Pope and a little boy said ‘I hate the Pope’. Recently his family moved to another town to join the SSPX. I would ask them what are they teaching their children? If they’re taught to hate the pope, they might one day end up hating the church – that’s how all the protestants started out.

    Anyway Jean – welcome back!

    • MDK66OP

      The “e” in sede is pronounced like “eh” as in “Eh? What did you say?”
      Vacantism is pronounced like “vac ont ism” with the accent on the second syllable.

    • NoFan

      Dear Lucy,
      Do you realize that the traditional mass is essentially the same as from the times of the Apostles? It made countless saints and martyrs. It has been around for close to 2,000 years and the Novus Ordo has been around only 50 years. Since the Novus Ordo was introduced, countless Catholics has left the faith along with a vast number of priest and nuns. You say you don’t like the Latin mass because it’s in Latin. Do yourself and favor and get a missal, as countless Catholics have done before you and you can then follow along perfectly. In my opinion, you are taking the lazy way out by wanting everything in English just so that you an understand it all. Please do more research on the Latin mass. It is the closest thing to Heaven this side of Heaven.

      • EM

        Bravo! Thanks for your comment. We have haemorrhaged not only not only parishioners, but also vocations, since the New Mass was introduced.

        I don’t understand how the article writer can come back to Novus Ordo (the ‘new order’).
        The ‘popes’ since it egularly break the 1st Commandment: ‘I am the Lord thy God…Thou shalt have no other gods before me” in their Assisi ‘interfaith’ meetings – including one where JPII allowed the crucifix to be taken off the altar and a statue of Buddha placed there and incensed.
        And the new emphasis on mercy only? Pre Vatican II, God’s Mercy and Justice were equally mentioned. How the devil lulls modern people into complacency.
        Yes, trad communities can lack charity. But the devil attacks hardest where the truth is. Trads keep the true faith, not a modern, ‘comfy’, pleasing-to-modern-man version. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the guardians of what was then the True Faith. They were attacked by the devil and fell prey not to other sins, but to pride and lack of charity. We trads can learn from them. Where the truth is, the devil attacks hardest.
        And fruits? The fruits of VII speak for themselves – the aforementioned loss of parishioners and vocations, the closing of churches, the lack of belief in hell and purgatory, so no fear of going there, so no need for amendment of life. The fruits of VII can be seen now and will be experienced forever in Eternity.

        • Jean Pollock

          I think that the exodus after V-II could have been a “cleaning out” of those faith was connected to the Rules. When challenged, they left. Priests, nuns and lay.

          • Ave Crux

            Right, let’s clean house and get rid of vocations because they are people who like “Rules”. What kind of shallow thinking is that?

            Do you recall from Genesis that the first and only test God gave the human race in Adam and Eve was to OBEY A RULE…? To test their obedience and self-renunciation?

            And that God proceeded to give us more “Rules” when He burned the Ten Commandments into stone, punishing the Israelites for not obeying them?

            And that the entire Book of Leviticus is all about Rules?

            “Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

            How dare you suggest that these hundreds of thousands of precious vocations were so much garbage to be “cleaned out”, so many “disposable” souls to be gotten rid of because they immolate themselves and obey rules, and were made to contend with the wiles of satan when he succeeded in demolishing the rules that protected them from “the world, the flesh and the devil”?

            Pardon me, but the entire construct of Religious Life is the Rule….every single religious reformation in the history of Catholic Religious Orders consisted of returning to the primitive, more stringent RULES of the founders of the Orders – the Carmelites, Franciscans, Benedictines…

            Saint Teresa of Avila — one of the greatest mystics of all time, who had visions of Christ, a transpierced heart and Mystical Marriage — what called by Christ to re-establish the ancient RULE. And St. Teresa said: “Show me a religious who follows the Rule faithfully, and I will show you a saint…”

            Are you suggesting that all of this was delusion….? That “rules” were a problem, not a means to heroic sanctity…..?

            Jean…what blind, insensible pride to say such a thing….“Quo vadis…?”

      • Jean Pollock

        Dear Nofan, Actually, the Novus Ordo is much closer to the original Mass than the Tridentine Mass. Check out Justin Martyr’s Mass. It’s almost word-for-word novus ordo.

        • NoFan

          Dear Jean,
          I’m sure you realize that Pope Pius V wrote ,”Quo Primum” in, 1570. In it he codified the mass and forbade anyone from ever changing it and called down the wrath of Saints Peter and Paul upon anyone whoever dared to change it. Please read his short encyclical when you have time. No one, including the pope had a write to change the mass. I’m sure you are well aware of the utter devastation that has taken place since the Novus Ordo began and the countless sacrileges that have taken place and continue to do so. Instead of the youth being attracted to the NO, they are repulsed and flee the faith the first chance they get. The Church perfected the mass over many centuries and then codified it. Under it, the Church was strong and safe. With the introduction of the NO, the death rattle of the Church began.

    • Lucy

      Dear NoFan, One of the reasons the new order of the Mass was introduced was to return to the Mass of the early Church. We have a very good account of the early Mass in the writings of Justin Martyr – it sounds for all the world like the Novus Ordo Mass, including prayers of the faithful and the sign of peace. I am not being lazy as you say by not trying to follow the Latin rite and I like to hear the Word of God proclaimed in a language that I can understand. The Mass was not always said in Latin and certainly not in the earliest time of the Church – it is something that developed over time. The first Mass would have been in Aramaic which is the language spoken by Our Lord and the Apostles. In any case, you are welcome to attend the Latin Mass if that is what appeals to you. I will continue to attend the Mass in English. God bless

    • Jean Pollock

      Thanks for your letter. You sound very much at peace, which I don’t perceive in many of the previous replies to my story. I agree with you regarding the Mass. For a long time after my return, tinged as I was with a spirit of non-compliance, I “endured” the new Mass but attended out of trust that this is what God wants for the Church at this time, else He would not have permitted it. Now that I have been “home” for almost two years now, I have come to absolutely LOVE to hear the prayers in my own language and to be able to answer with my brothers and sisters in the congregation. I have learned so very much more about the actual and tangible love of God since my return. I am NOT saying that the love of God is not preached or taught in the trad chapels, but (and maybe because they are not able to receive the fullness of the graces that God has available only through belonging to the fullness of the Church? Not sure here) here, back home, it is amazing. I am able to love others — even those in blatant sin — more than I’ve ever been able to before. Reading Father Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC’s book “Stepping on the Serpent” and having him as my guide for coming home questions and puzzles has been a Godsend in the “love and trust of God” department. I can’t recommend his book highly enough! It is hot off the press and one of the most important books I’ve ever read on the love of God. (Published by the Marians in Stockbridge, MA)

      I didn’t think I was bad-mouthing the priest from our chapel. God forbid and forgive me if I was!! What I was trying to do was to illustrate how little care there seems to be for those who leave, especially because we were such close friends, or so we thought.

      I’m not saying there aren’t problems in the Church. I’m not foolish or blind. But the Church is guided by Christ. He is at the Helm and He willed both Vatican II and the changes. Were there abuses after V-II and over-done reactions? Obviously. But, as dear Pope Francis says, “It takes about 100 years for the Church to right Herself after a Council. We are halfway there.”

      I have read hellacious stories about reactions of priests, bishops and people after the Council of Trent commanded their “new Mass”. One priest was almost murdered when he tried to follow the rules of the changes!

      Is it of general knowledge that Pope St. Pius X “corrected the errors in the Vulgate Bible”? And if everything was perfect, why did he have to write his own catechism? Why wasn’t the catechism of the Council of Trent good enough? The answer is because the Church needs to keep up with the people she’s trying to reach. You can’t use old English and think that it’s going to be better than modern usage because it’s “old”. The point of the Church is to reach people and save souls, not hang on to things just because they’re old, tried and true! No harm in keeping things fresh and clean! Just keep giving us teaching, the Sacraments and everything else the Church gives us!

      Again, thanks for your thoughts. JKP

  • Ave Crux

    The title of this article should actually be:“Graces Will Flow When the Sacrileges Against the Holy Eucharist and the New Mass Are Stopped…..”

    Can you imagine how the SAINTS would respond to such sacrileges which take place all the time during the New Mass (and made possible by the form and spirit of the New Mass) with Communion in the Hand, clown and balloon Masses, Priests joking and dialoguing with the people from the Altar, Priests constantly improvising during the Mass (I have seen priests stop the Mass to hold a discussion with the people, or call up people around the altar, etc.) and other outrages made possible by the New Mass…?

    To show these claims aren’t baseless, you can easily locate videos of these abuses on YouTube. Because of link restrictions in the comments section, I was not able to do so with those I readily found.

    The abuses in the videos are more horrible than those I have described.

    There is even a video of Pope Francis when he was a Bishop in Argentina sitting behind the Altar fully vested for Mass as a couple performs a sensuous TANGO in front of the Altar — in the Sanctuary — for his benefit(!!!)

    There is also a video with Cardinal Schonborn at a balloon Mass — he participates by releasing a balloon in the sanctuary after attaching a note to it for God(!) — THIS is a Prince of the Church in the Santuary, before the Altar on which the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross will be made present again — His Blood shed for us, His Body given up for us, and they fill the church with balloons with this Cardinal’s blessing…

    We all ought to weep and make reparation.

    I was at a church in Virginia where the Rock Band was situated in the sanctuary directly behind the Altar at this “church in the
    round”, and the “hosts” looked like they had been cooked in someone’s kitchen, rolled out flat and then cut into tiny squares with a butter knife and crispy brown around the edges. These “hosts” were set on a table by the door to be brought up at the Offertory to be consecrated for Holy Communion! I couldn’t bear to attend the Mass and left.

    Saint Catherine of Siena cried out:“We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence!”

    Traditionalists — I say to you: Be silent no more! The outrages made possible by the New Mass must end if the Church is to be restored, the Sacrileges ended and the worthy Sacrifice of the Mass is to return for the Honor and Glory of God.

    • Jean Pollock

      The Church doesn’t need to “be restored”! Let your tongues resound with praise of God! I can hardly open the Old Testament without reading how the people prayed with voice AND BODY — raising their hands and shouting song and praise with tambourines and more. Why is it wrong? Why is it wrong to receive Jesus in the hand? He gave Himself to His apostles (and whomever else was in the room) in their hands, and that is how it was done for a long, long time. It’s not wrong! Jesus did it Himself!!

      • Ave Crux

        Jean, obviously no restoration at all is needed … and that’s why the seminaries are emptying, the convents and monasteries are emptying, there are virtually no Priestly vocations in many dioceses except where you have traditional minded Bishops, parishes are closing everywhere (for example, a huge percentage of parishes in New York City, one of the most densely populated areas in the United States, were closed in recent years), etc.

        Except – interesting to say – in the TRADITIONAL orders, the FSSP, the SSPX (just had to open a huge Seminary to accommodate all its vocations), The Institute of Christ the King, and all the Traditional Orders for women… all of these are flourishing with more vacations than they can possibly accommodate and are always looking to expand.

        There was a Carmelite Monastery in Pennsylvania that had to close for lack of vocations. The nuns used only the New Mass and didn’t wear the habit (an example of cause and effect).

        Well, the monastery was taken over by a Traditional Order of Carmelite Nuns with the permission of the Bishop.

        These Traditional nuns have the unmitigated Rule and only the Traditional Latin Mass. The order is flourishing. They have so many young vocations in their 20s and 30s that they have already had to set up several new Foundations and they’ve only been founded for less than a decade.

        The Holy Spirit breathes where it will and it’s not in the Novus Ordo Mass, which is sterile.

        “By their fruits you will know them….”, Our Lord taught us.

        Vocations are from God and He’s leading the choicest candidates only to the Traditional Orders in large numbers, while Novus Ordo seminaries are in serious decline.

        I read recently for example in one country they’re going to close virtually 70% of their parishes.

        When I find hosts on the floor and teenagers playing with them like they’re crackers, Priests joking from the altar where the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ is about to be on offered, we know something is seriously wrong in the Church.

        A restoration IS desperately needed. You have blinded yourself to the point of becoming indifferent to the facts which speak for themselves.

        All the devotion you speak of and more can be found in the Traditional Mass and in full Communion with the Catholic Church.

      • Luke Peto

        “The Church doesn’t need to “be restored”!” Yet you proclaim Vatican II, which is supposed to have “restored” or “revived” the Church, to be next to the coming of Christ. Hypocrite!

    • NoFan

      Well said, Ave Crux.

  • Kit Cronebaugh

    Your journey and observations were so similar to mine, it’s uncanny. The lack of fruit was the final nail in the coffin for me, that is after researching nearly every tenet of the sedvacantist position, and finding the truth. Then upon looking at early liturgies, I found that they are mostly Greek, as Latin had not even become the language of the Roman Empire until nearly 300 A.D:

    “The international use of Greek was one condition that enabled the spread of Christianity, as indicated for example by the choice of Greek as the language of the Epistles of Paul and its use for the ecumenical councils of the Christian Roman Empire. With the dissolution of the Empire in the West, Greek became the dominant language of the Eastern Roman Empire, later known as the Byzantine Empire.” WIKIPEDIA

    We tend to focus on our own place and time without regard to the adaptations of the universal church, in all times and places. Seeing a vibrant faith growing like wildfire in Africa, and masses in Swahili, local dialects in Uganda and Nigeria, I could see with my own eyes that Vatican II has enabled the church to reach so many more.

  • Bernie Radecki

    Thank you for your story. My mom became sedevacantist in 1971 (before the term came into existence) and it destroyed our family. I was a sedevacantist for 30 years. As you discovered, one who constantly and mercilessly criticizes the actions (and goes so far as to claim they can even determine what the hierarchy’s intentions are) of the Vicar of Christ and the bishops, priests and laity in union with him develops a blindness that surely rivals that of the pharisees who rejected Jesus Christ. I credit only the grace of God (and actual grace my wife received because of her natural goodness) from reaching into the darkness and plucking me out and into the light. As Satan used the Sacred Scriptures to tear the Protestants away from the Church, Satan has used the beautiful traditions of the Church to lead souls astray. Both Sacred Scripture and our Traditions are the precious things but both have been entrusted by God and His Son to the Popes and bishops in union with him and just like Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil, we followers of Christ must not, in pride, attempt to place our own understanding above that of God’s Divine Providence. One of the things that helped me a lot was this: The Faith is not something one finds in books and that one agrees to because it makes sense to them. Faith is believing things we can’t understand because of Who Jesus is.

    • Jean Pollock

      Oh my GOODNESS!! Are you related to the Radecki brothers???? The twins who have written that big, fat book that a dear friend gave me after I left to try and convince me to return???

  • susan d

    Dear Jean, welcome home! Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for taking the time and great effort to adjust to the differences in the Novus Ordo Mass. Your order to yourself to never criticize the Pope hits home for me. I have loved each Pope as a father since I came into the Church 46 years ago March 25. Each has shown me a facet of the Holy Spirit’s wondrous gifts! I do pray for Pope Francis daily as he has asked each of us to do, and I ask my little grandchildren to pray for him, too. The only thing worth trying to be is a saint!

    • Jean Pollock

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words!

  • Catherine

    “The declared enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics, must be criticized as much as possible, as long as truth is not denied. It is a work of charity to shout: ‘Here is the wolf!’ when it enters the flock or anywhere else.”
    —St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life

    • Jean Pollock

      Best not to shout and criticize the Vicar of Christ, though, and all that has come from the Church after Vatican II. WE DO NOT KNOW BEST. God does!! Let the Barque of Peter even out — there were & are abuses, but we should gently correct them. I am sure that the blessed and holy dear St. Francis de Sales, the gentle saint, would agree. It was he who coined the phrase “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”. Snippets of quotes can be the downfall of traditional-minded folk. I know, it was my downfall. Don’t over-simplify. If you’re going to over-do anything, “over trust” and “over love”, especially your enemies! That’s my 2 cents…

  • Pat

    You are missing the most important argument here Jean… Your position now is that the gates of hell HAVE PREVAILED because your “pope” is formally teaching error from the See of Peter. Christ promised this would never happen…. was Christ a liar?

  • Jules L.

    Thank you for your article, Jean.

    While I still have many problems with the liturgical chaos, and many things bother me, I came to basically the same conclusions you did. I couldn’t accept sedevacantism because I’m an ex-Protestant and sedevacantism basically meant going back to an “invisible” Church — where you’re always guessing where home ought to be. One of the main reasons I came to Catholicism to begin with was the preposterous idea that the “real Church” went underground basically from St. Augustine to Luther; sedevacantism seemed to be another spin on this (very different, of course, from Protestantism). I couldn’t accept the traditionalist position that recognizes the pope while considering the Novus Ordo illegitimate — if the visible Church is the true Church, but She got the Mass wrong this time, what’s to prove She didn’t get it wrong all those times it was modified in the past? (The sedevacantist position seems to me more honest in this way than the traditionalist position that rejects the Novus Ordo.)

    I don’t think it’s okay that extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the norm in most churches (in the most ordinary circumstances), or that music in church is so little conducive to contemplative prayer — to name just a few problems. But I think this world is reeling in pain from a major crisis of identity — yes, what’s the meaning of the sacred, but also what’s true manhood, true womanhood, the true family. It’s your article’s title that drew me to it, because it is God’s mercy that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Traditionalists who complain that “too much emphasis” today is placed on mercy, I think, need to read St. Faustina’s Diary. God’s mercy will not lead anyone to sin. It is an unfathomable ocean that shows us the reality and the depth of our sin and our need for redemption.

    It also seems many churches (Novus Ordo), as I’ve seen in my short lifetime, are slowly realizing that “the people” want Tradition, that when parishes try to “be cool” they end up just acting like a bunch of tools; that recently I’ve seen two parishes in my diocese start saying Mass ad orientem on certain days of the week and the parishioners love it… that there is beauty in the perennial Tradition and the more the Novus Ordo adopts a logic of continuity, not one of re-inventing the wheel, the more the Church will be renewed and be finally able to respond to the vocation I think God really wanted for it in Vatican II — as you alluded to — to save the world.

    “It is urgent for us to have patience,” as a good friend often says to me. God has not abandoned His Church. Priests are men of God — in spite of whatever flaws I might perceive in this or that one. I tell myself, about any priest I see, that he’s a hell of a lot braver man than I ever was, since at some point in his life — even if, sadly, he lost faith in that himself — he wanted to give his life for God.

  • Ave Crux

    So everything I have said about the profanations of the Holy Eucharist just days ago in this post — and which some commenters have tried to portray as “exaggerations” — was again validated today by a friend of mine who just sent me the following email:

    “I was horrified at Mass today. I saw a man receive Jesus in his hand, and then he pretended to put the Host in his mouth. Right afterwards, he put Jesus in his pocket! I watched the whole thing in utter astonishment. What frightens me is that I know that people steal the Consecrated Host for black masses and other evil deeds. The man left right afterwards, I couldn’t find him…..”

    So, THIS, Jean, is exhibit “A” in addition to all the other examples I have noted in comments below about why the Church in Her wisdom and love for the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ discontinued Communion in the hand during the very infancy of the Church’s history.

    How can you think Communion in the hand is fine, Jean, without regard to how Our Lord is profaned on these and other countless occasions? NONE of the examples I have shared would happened or even be possible at the Traditional Mass, where Our Lord is treated as GOD and KING, and the ALL-HOLY ONE, Who stoops down to our littleness and we receive His Sacred Body and Blood with wonder and humility, without danger of sacrilege.

  • Luke Peto

    “There is only one place sedevacantists can point to, to say that a “heretical Pope” deposes himself ipso facto. That
    is Canon 188.9 of the 1917 Code. Canon Law can be argued …”

    No. This is not a matter of positive law but is an expression in law of a dogmatic fact: the Pope is by definition a member of the Body of Christ (in fact he its earthly head, see Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I), and heretics are not members of the Body of Christ (see anywhere, for instance Cantate Domino of the Council of Florence), therefore one cannot be both Pope and a heretic. This is no more open to “argument” than can canon law which denies communion to the divorced and remarried.

    “Point: The
    sedevacantist conclusion can be 100 percent wrong. Error on that point
    would mean that sedevacantists are outside of the Church!”

    No. Being mistaken as to the identity of the Pope puts one, of itself, in a position of material schism at worst, which does not place one outside of the Church.

    I’m not a Sedevacantist myself, but exchanging one demonic cult (Sedevacantism is full of them) for another (the bastard offspring of Vatican II that you baby boomers flock to like moths to a flame) is to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  • Ave Crux

    Jean, I want to establish some historical facts so no one here can be deceived by pipe dreams that the post-Vatican II debacle was desirable in the sight of God and arranged by Him as a perverse “renewal” that ended by destroying everything the Church held Sacred: smashed altars, Tabernacles shoved aside and no longer veiled in respect, painted over wall and ceiling murals of awe-inspiring majesty, iconoclasm left and right, abuses of the Holy Eucharist, empty seminaries and more.

    And the fact that you went from the one extreme of sedevacantism to the other extreme of supporting tambourines at Mass and Communion in the hand (your own words on what is not only acceptable, but pleasing to God) bespeaks a lack of informed and rational balance on both extremes,

    IT IS AN HISTORICAL FACT that Vatican II was hijacked by a Modernist coalition of Cardinals right after it commenced — after 3 years had been spent diligently preparing solid, orthodox schemas to guide the Council, which the Modernists simply jettisoned at the very beginning of the Council — and then steered the Council away from pastoral to doctrinal objectives.

    Then after the death of Pope John XXIII, Paul VI changed the governing body of the Council, and appointed staunchly radical, heretical Modernists, who were given full authority over the Council, while also directing that the Council would run for 4 Sessions, not just one (as Pope John XXIII intended), so they would have free rein and plenty of opportunity to make massive changes in the Church (=”unrecognizable”, as foretold by former Communist infiltrator Bella Dodd in her testimony before the United States Congress).

    It was a clear rupture with the Church’s sacred Traditions and doctrinal moorings, and outright villainy.

    THEN, Paul VI bypassed the Congregation of Rites (!) and appointed a newly constituted “Consilium” to formulate a New Mass (without any guidance from the Church’s Congregation of Rites!) out of thin air, under the authority of a Cardinal who had broken Canon Law by trying to manipulate the 1963 Conclave to have himself elected Pope!

    This Cardinal then appointed a mere monsignor (!) – Monsignor Bugnini – to create — yes, create from thin air — a “New Mass” in consultation with Protestant advisors. Even though nothing in Vatican II called for the abolition of the Traditional Liturgy — absolutely nothing.

    It was THEFT — pure and simple — of the Church’s sacred patrimony — stolen from us and made forbidden, without due process, and with malice of intent.

    The “New Mass” concocted by Bugnini (the product of man — hence the very reason it is sterile and produces nothing but humanists, sacrileges and loss of supernatural faith) was submitted to Synod of Bishops in 1967, who roundly rejected it as unacceptable and un-Catholic.

    So Paul VI made some changes and then Bugnini brought the revised “Novus Ordo” to the Consilium and dared to claim that Paul VI had declared as his personal wish and authority that this be imposed on the Church as the new Rite of Mass — without any further consultation, approval, or review of either the Synod of Bishops or the Congregation of Rites.

    That’s why it has been called Pope Paul’s Mass, and Bugnini’s Mass.

    “An enemy has done this…”, Jean, NOT GOD.

    There is a video online today — which I cannot embed since the forum prevents it — where a highly well-informed Church historian living in Rome, by the name of Henry Sire, presents the facts of this treachery very clearly.

    And the fact that you take to a public forum to lead others into confusion — without reference to this history, Canon Law and the Church’s own sacred Traditions, nor even the wisdom gained during the early centuries of the Church that Communion in the hand leads to profanation and abuse of the Blessed Sacrament — is a grave responsibility before God, based on nothing but your own personal sentiments and how you “feel”.

    Be careful….giving scandal by spreading error is something which needs to be repaired in the sight of God.

    • Jean Pollock

      Obviously God was in charge since He NEVER leaves His Church, so, while the modernists ATTEMPTED to destroy the Church, God’s Holy Hand remained in charge and, while there were (and are definitely still) “enemies within”, the Church did what God willed. She promulgated no false Sacraments and we all must not keep bucking against what She has changed, as is Her right and duty, no matter who were the tools used in the process. We must get over ourselves and what we think the Church should do and be grateful that She exists as the ever-guardian of our souls and of the Faith. Don’t let the modernists rile you. Pray for them — pray ARDENTLY for our enemies — and obey the Church in her directives. The rest will take care of itself. I’m not using sentiment, I’m using trust and obedience, as I should have years ago.

      • Ave Crux

        Right, and according to that logic God inspired the teaching by the Arians that Christ was not Divine which overran virtually the entire Universal Church, so that makes it okay and not heresy?

        And those faithful, orthodox Catholics who opposed it and reviled it for the heresy that it was, thus contributing to the restoration of the Church, were wrong to rise up and object to the heretical teaching?

        Maybe they should have folded their hands in pious submission and said… “Oh yes this is the new teaching from God, Jesus was just a man!”

        I’m not letting modernists “rile” me, and I’m not going to be part of the problem by going with their flow and letting it deaden my soul to the sacred, my heart to the profanations of the Blessed Sacrament, or instill indifference in me to the profane entering the sanctuary with their Rock masses and tambourines, or deaded to the fact that God deserves a God-centered liturgy not a man-centered liturgy, letting myself be gradually Protestantized by the Protestant service that has replaced the Mass of the Ages…. and failing to rebuke those in authority who allowed a handful of men to replace that Mass with a man-made construction.

        I’m simply not going to let them stand in my way of contributing to the Church’s restoration.

        I’m going to call them out for what they are: treacherous, thieving enemies of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and of God Himself.

        And I’m not going to go to tambourine Masses and receive Holy Communion in the hand and then say that’s what God wants me to do.

        You are naive and you want everyone else to be just as naive, and you dare to make it out to be piety, while our Lord Jesus Christ is put in someone’s pocket who then walks out of the church with it. Outrageous like these and many more are what we witnessed every day because of communion in the hand… Would you say is very pious .

        I’m going to be part of the restoration not the demolition.

        Thank you.

      • Ave Crux

        And I’ll add one other thing to my reply… You’re quite right in saying that God permitted this, however it was not because He approved of it.

        He permitted it so that the evil would be out in the open and that Catholics could clearly see who their enemies are and fight them with all their might and mane, not sit there and drink tea with the enemies of God and play tambourines in their profaned sanctuaries….

        Wake up, Jean, it’s a chastisement, not a “renewal”. A chastisement for all the lukewarmness of the Catholics who let it come to this by their lack of spiritual fervor and sanctity.

  • Ave Crux

    Furthermore, Jean, you show your lack of knowledge and penetration in this matter by completely disregarding the fact that all the Popes leading up to Vatican II (Popes Leo XIII, Blessed Pius IX, Pope St. Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII) all issued Encyclicals warning of the dire consequences and the crisis about to befall the Church as a result of Modernism…what Pope Saint Pius X called “the synthesis of all heresies”.… condemning the very things which we now are seeing in the Catholic Church; such as the proposition that we need to return to the Primitive liturgy, the glorification of man (Paul VI), Ecumenism, and many other egregious errors.

    You darken your intellect and refuse to see that these great Popes warned us of the very things we now see transpiring before our very eyes with fruits of devastation.

    You are blind and do not wish to see, and you want to blind others as well with your nonsense, swinging recklessly from the extremes of Sedevacantism to the humanistic errors of Modernism, holding forth your own decisions as a flawed standard of piety for others.

    An enemy has done this, Jean, not God. And it’s time for us to take our Church back from Modernist thieves and the devoted Communists who entered Her ranks in order to destroy Her from within… an historical fact which you have yet to acknowledge.

    No, instead you claim that the Modernists and Communists about whom we were warned did God’s work; and you now stand complicit, as one of its apologists.

  • Marcus Low Kian Ming

    Get a life you folks and leave her alone. Get your own story if you to make point!
    I am from Malaysia and my family and I attend RC as so Novus Ordo mass. We do not have major issues like profanation of the holy Eucharist. There may be some but i believe it us rare. There is a high degree of reverence when mass is celebrated where i live. I dont see a problem!
    I get it some of you love or believe that sspx or whichever group is celebrating mass the proper way.
    In my opinion there is just too much animosity and too little love. My neighbor who is an atheist thinks that organised relugion is a farce and especially Christianity because there is lack of charity when we are suppose to practise it.
    I dont think Christ would cares as much as issues you are so upset about as how love each other.
    Jean believes shes has made the right choice. The rest of you have made your point so get a life!

    • Ave Crux

      When someone states their position categorically in a public forum which invites comments, they are not supposed to be immune from others who will critique their position and point out it’s errors.

      There is a Catholic teaching that error has no rights, and if one of us deems the content of Jean’s article to be erroneous based on 2,000 years of Tradition, and doctrinal cohesion, not to mention FIVE (5) Popes who condemned the errors of Modernism, some of which Jean has actually defended in this column, sorry I’m not going to be silent…. especially for the sake of those who will read this article and be clearly misled.

      “We’ve had enough extra tations to be silent! Cry out with a thousand tongues! I see that the world is rotten because of silence!”
      St Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, who opposed an anti-pope and restored the Papacy to Rome… she spoke out fearlessly and unceasingly for the restoration of Holy Mother Church. She even told the Pope himself it would be better if he were dead if he continued to fail in his duty. No charity there?

    • Ave Crux

      Also, further to my earlier reply, you said: “I dont think Christ would cares as much as issues you are so upset about as how love each other.”

      I would like to give you just one example left for us by Christ Himself about how much He actually does care about the following:

      1) The profanations which now take place in many Catholic Churches with rock bands, joking priests, complete oblivion as regards Our Lord’s Presence in the Tabernacle as people walk by Him as though He were a “thing”, not a “Person”, without so much as bowing before Him, or nodding, or anything else, let alone genuflecting before Him.

      2) The sacrileges about His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist: I mentioned this week alone a friend emailed me horrified to see a man take the Eucharist at Holy Communion, start to put it in his mouth as though he was receiving, then stuffing Our Lord in his pocket and leaving the Church with Him; and I, myself, finding a consecrated Host in a pile of dirt the janitor swept up, and watching a teenager in front of me at Mass several weeks in a row playing with Our Lord in the Eucharist as though He were a mere cracker, and many other things we have seen.

      What example did Christ give us about these abuses in the House of God, abuses of His Sacred Body, and about what it is to show this love….?

      This is the example He gave:

      After making a whip out of cords, JESUS drove all of them out of the Temple, including the sheep and the cattle. He scattered the coins of the moneychangers and knocked over their tables. Then He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

      Was Our Lord lacking in charity for throwing over their tables and using a whip to drive them out of the Temple?

      Did Our Lord fail in self-control…? Or is the Love and Honor of God more important than the miserable sensitive self-love of human beings who always want to be coddled and petted, while Christ Himself is ignored in the Blessed Sacrament, profaned by abuse, trampled underfoot from careless in handling Him during Holy Communion.

      In fact, I see here in this forum, people are more upset about how they are treated than about these abuses of Christ Himself, which are treated merely as collateral damage so we can have the New Mass — so important to us!

      Wasn’t His Passion enough?

      The men in this scripture account profaned “only” the Temple of God; how much more will God show His wrath for those who have profaned the Temple of the Body of Christ?

      Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “What sign can you show us as authority for doing these things?” JESUS answered them, “Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will rebuild it.” The Jewish leaders said, “This sanctuary has been under construction for 46 years, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But the sanctuary He was speaking about was His own Body.