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Traditional Latin MassChristopher Sanchez

(LifeSiteNews) — The first time in my life I ever witnessed a priest run out of Holy Communion was during a Traditional Latin Mass for the feast of St. Joseph this year. I was a couple of steps back in line from the priest when I heard him say, “No more.” He proceeded to turn back to the altar, and the rest of us were forced to return to our pews to make a spiritual communion.

I immediately felt that his words were full of foreboding but did not know why. Was this foretelling a future deprivation of food, our earthly “daily bread?” I pondered the idea on my way out of Mass.

It was not until later that it occurred to me that the incident’s foreshadowing was more direct, and more profound.

Spoiler alert

At the time of the television release of the film Catholics, also known as Conflict: A Fable of the Future, Catholics probably didn’t imagine that they or their children would relive the suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass therein portrayed. The 1973 fictional film, based on a novel of the same name, depicts a scenario that, at the time, was all too real and fresh for devoted Catholics: the Latin Mass had been banned by the Vatican. 

In this vision of the future, in the year 2000, a group of monks living on an island offshore Ireland are defying Rome by continuing to offer the Latin Mass publicly, drawing faithful Catholics from all over the world – and much publicity – in the process. 

But that’s not all. Catholics have not just been force-fed the Second Vatican Council’s Novus Ordo Missae: the Protestant-flavored, watered-down Mass said in the vernacular, facing the people. 

Now, with the Fourth Vatican Council in motion, even more radical changes are being made, the seedlings of which we have already seen in real life, in pockets of the Church. 

Private confessions are no longer permitted. The Catholic Church is now integrated into an “ecumenical brotherhood” and is participating in the first “World Congress of Christian and Buddhist faiths.” Priests no longer wear clerics, but regular clothing. Eastern-style meditation is now an accepted part of clerics’ daily routine.

With the Catholic Church now merged into the World Council of Churches, Rome’s pressure on the Irish, traditional monks is heating up. The Vatican has sent Father Kinsellas, played by Martin Sheen, to whip them into shape. Despite the newest revolution in the Church, the Latin Mass remains immensely popular, and throngs of people are flocking to Ireland to hear the Latin Mass from the monks in defiance of Rome’s new mandates.

The film opens showing these devout laymen from around the world gathered on a hill of the Irish mainland as they hear Holy Mass. Many are holding up signs inscribed with protests such as, “Bring Back Latin Mass,” and “Bring back the faith of our Fathers.”

Fr. Kinsellas looks upon the Mass-goers with apparent displeasure before attempting to catch a boat ride to the island where the monks reside. After this unsuccessful attempt — the man assigned to pick up Fr. Kinsellas is convinced he is not a priest, since he isn’t wearing a Roman collar — he manages to secure a helicopter ride to the monks’ island.

Upon his arrival there, Fr. Kinsellas confronts the monks’ superior, “Father Abbot,” with this troubling popularity of the Latin Mass.

“This spring you had 20 charter flights from Europe alone,” Fr. Kinsellas protests to Fr. Abbot, noting that the hill upon which they say the Latin Mass once served as a “symbol of rebellion,” when Oliver Cromwell persecuted Irish Catholics.

Fr. Kinsellas is eventually more direct, declaring that the monks’ Latin Masses are “being interpreted by some commentators as the first stirrings of a Catholic counter-revolution.”

He goes on to take aim at the private confessions the priests give, pointing out that they are only permitted “in cases [when] the sin is so grave, the ‘special council’ is required.”

“What am I to do?” Fr. Abbot responds. “The people still think it’s a special sin to molest a child or take another man’s wife, all that sort of thing. What am I to do if the people still believe that sin is mortal to the soul?”

“The idea of Catholics confessing their sins to a priest in private is very distasteful to other groups within our ecumenical brotherhood,” Fr. Kinsellas explains.

But what really makes the monks’ way of life utterly intolerable to the Vatican is that the Traditional Latin Mass is antithetical to the new conception of the Mass as a merely symbolic act, devoid of the true Sacrifice of Christ and of the Real Presence of His Body and Blood. 

When Fr. Abbot asks what the Mass “means” “nowadays” in Rome, Fr. Kinsellas admits, “The Vatican maintains that it’s no longer obligatory for Catholics to believe that the bread and wine on the altar are actually changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Except symbolically. It’s no longer necessary to think of God as being actually present in the tabernacle.”

This is the annihilation of the Mass – the ultimate betrayal of the Catholic Church.

To drive this point home, one of the monks portrayed in the film gives a moving testimony to the monumental importance of Transubstantiation.

When Fr. Abbot asks the monk why he considers the idea that “the Mass is now to be regarded as a symbolic ritual” as “heresy,” he replies, 

“Because the Mass is the daily miracle of the Catholic faith. Bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Without that, what is the Church?”

Now, in the age of Traditionis Custodes, this portrayal of the future of the Church highlights something critically important about the Latin Mass, beyond the fact that it renders proper worship to God and transmits the fullness of the faith.

The film makes clear that at its core the Latin Mass safeguards the very meaning of the Mass as the Sacrifice of Calvary made truly present, daily, in an unbloody manner. For that reason, it is impossible to reconcile the Latin Mass with a “new,” revised conception of the Catholic faith, which could no longer be called Catholic.

In other words, the Latin Mass is a bulwark of the Catholic faith and a threat to its subversion.

Accordingly, Fr. Abbot seamlessly connects Fr. Kinsellas’ revelation about Rome’s new conception of the Mass to its implications for the Latin Mass.

“So, unless I abandon the Latin Mass, I will be disciplined, is that what you’re saying?” Fr. Abbot says.

“I wish you wouldn’t put it quite that way,” Fr. Kinsellas replies.

Ecumenism as a path to One World Religion

That the film’s depicted compromises to the Faith leading up to its evisceration are not merely fictional, but have materialized in some form in the real world, should give us pause.

Whatever the author’s actual predictions for the future of the Church, the story resounds as an eerily disturbing warning to Catholics today. The viewer understands that the denial of transubstantiation is a natural result of ecumenism taken to its full conclusion. 

If Catholics are to become “united” with Protestants, Hindus, and Buddhists, and the latter are unwilling to convert to the Catholic faith, there is only one direction the Church – or rather, its hierarchy – can take: to make optional the belief that we consume the actual flesh of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Unfortunately, by all appearances, the Vatican is working toward this ecumenical “unity” right now under the guise of brotherly “love.”

A key milestone in this effort occurred earlier this year when the multi-faith Abrahamic Family House (AFH), composed of a church, a mosque, and a synagogue, opened in the United Arab Emirates, born directly out of the 2019 Abu Dhabi document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed by Pope Francis and Ahmed el-Tayeb during the Pope’s 2019 visit to the UAE. 

The document infamously states: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.” Professor Roberto de Mattei, founder and president of the Rome-based Lepanto Foundation, has pointed out to LifeSiteNews that this appears to be in discontinuity with the Fourth Lateran Council and with magisterial teaching from Pope Gregory XVI to Pope Pius XI.

The day he signed the document, in remarks to the Muslim Council of Elders, Francis said, commenting on the Genesis flood narrative and Noah’s Ark:

According to the biblical account, in order to preserve humanity from destruction, God asked Noah to enter the ark along with his family. We too in the name of God, in order to safeguard peace, need to enter together as one family into an ark which can sail the stormy seas of the world: the ark of fraternity.

This statement has momentous implications for Francis’ view of the Church and the direction in which he wants to take it. The early Church Fathers saw Noah’s ark as a prefigurement of the Catholic Church, since just as Noah and his family preserved their lives through the ark, we preserve our spiritual life – life eternal – through the Catholic Church.

St. Cyprian emphasized that the “one” ark of Noah was a type of the “one” Church, since it is a dogma that there is “no salvation outside the Church.” Francis’ exhortation, then, to “enter” the “ark of fraternity” signals a new, heretical conception of salvation, one that claims not to require the Catholic Church. 

The Vatican continues to take steps to achieve so-called “fraternity” and “unity” with other religions, including atheistic religions. Most recently, the Vatican issued a statement for the Seventh Buddhist-Christian Colloquium putting Jesus Christ and Buddha on the same level by declaring, “As Buddhists and Christians, we see the Buddha and Jesus as Great Healers.” 

This is a blatant, egregious falsehood, since the man known as the Buddha did not acknowledge God, cannot be called anything other than a false prophet, and therefore cannot be a true “healer.”

Such a statement is also a great offense to God, because even if the Buddha was a true prophet, the claim reduces Christ to the level of a prophet, without proclaiming that He is God Himself.

Will such efforts to “unite” with other religions lead to an attempt by the Church hierarchy to expand the scope of “intercommunion” (shared reception of Holy Communion), even with members of non-Christian religions?

Already, Francis has endorsed the German Bishops’ Conference green-lighting of reception of Holy Communion by Protestant spouses and has told a Lutheran woman regarding the question of whether she can receive Holy Communion in a Catholic church, “Speak with the Lord and move forward. I won’t say anything more.” 

It appears that Francis remains unopposed to efforts towards “intercommunion,” and even wishes that such aspirations shape the trajectory of the Synod on Synodality. One of his chosen non-bishop voting delegates for the October Synod, Cynthia Bailey Manns, is a contributor to the heretical bimonthly journal Ecumenical Trends, which advocates “shared communion” with Protestants.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has pointed out that “Intercommunion is not possible, absolutely, objectively… because the Communion is the sacramental representation of the communion in the Faith.”

Indeed, lack of communion in the Catholic Faith remains a considerable obstacle to “intercommunion” in the Eucharist, not just objectively speaking but in the eyes of a majority of people. Is completely removing this “barrier” to total “intercommunion” possible by removing the very reality of the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ?

While the hierarchy’s denial of Transubstantiation via “ecumenism” may not yet appear imminent or even likely to some, the film Catholics shows that the eradication of the Latin Mass dovetails with ecumenical efforts towards total “unity” of religions, because, as noted above, the Latin Mass safeguards the Sacrifice of the Mass and transubstantiation. 

Thus, our current hierarchy’s hatred of and apparent desire to extinguish the Latin Mass, as well as its repudiation of Catholic doctrine, contain the seeds of the denial of the Eucharist and of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In fact, a bona fide hatred of the Latin Mass shows a hatred of the Sacrifice of the Mass itself, because the TLM actually witnesses to and harmonizes with the reality of the Sacrifice of the Mass, whereas the whole of prayers and gestures of the Novus Ordo obscures it.

The denial of the Eucharist is doubly likely because the hierarchy have clearly signaled that they reject the true Faith, not due to “inculpable ignorance” but in a willful clinging to error. This formal heresy – if not full-blown apostasy – is a grave sin and results in ipso facto excommunication because it entails a rejection of Christ Himself.

It is only a matter of time before the hierarchy that rejects Christ makes manifest its rejection of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The abomination of desolation 

Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist. — Our Lady of La Salette [1]

The faithful may debate whether the film Catholics, taken together with current events, serve as omens of the denial of the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However, the weightest warning that the Mass will be publicly abolished comes from Scripture itself.

Both the Book of Daniel and Christ Jesus (referencing Daniel), speak of an “abomination of desolation” tied up with the cessation of a public “daily sacrifice.” 

… They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. (Daniel 11:31)

Douay Rheims’ commentary notes:

Some understand this of the profanation of the temple by the crimes of the Jews, and by the bloody faction of the zealots. Others of the bringing in thither the ensigns and standard of the pagan Romans. Others… distinguish three different times of desolation: viz., that under Antiochus; that when the temple was destroyed by the Romans; and the last near the end of the world under Antichrist. To all which, as they suppose, this prophecy may have a relation.

Christ Jesus spoke of the fulfillment of this prophecy as taking place after His incarnation: When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand. Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15-16)

While the destruction of Jerusalem may be interpreted to fulfill this prophecy, we can know that it is not its complete fulfillment. This is ultimately because at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Old Testament had already been superseded by Christ’s new covenant. 

As Catholics understand, the daily sacrifice of lambs upon the altar of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem derive their value and meaning from their fulfillment by the Sacrifice of Christ, the Messiah, renewed daily in an unbloody manner in the Holy Mass. 

We have reason to believe, then, that the “abomination that makes desolate” finds its fullest meaning in a future cessation of the daily sacrifice of Christ on the altars of Catholic churches.

This was also foretold in the prophecies of holy visionaries. Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, who bore the wounds of the stigmata, had visions of a future time during which the Church would be in a drastically weakened state, culminating in the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

“For when the Blood of Christ is no longer offered on the Altars of our churches, then the blood of men will have to be spilled on the asphalt of our streets,” wrote Emmerich. 

That the current Church hierarchy is working towards the realization of an anti-Church devoid of the Real Presence of Christ is also supported by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s prophecy regarding a future anti-church. Francis and his allies are already echoing predictions by Sheen, who foretold regarding this anti-church: 

It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. There will be a mystical body of the antichrist, which will resemble in all its externals the Mystical Body of Christ.

Sheen also noted, “Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, [the antichrist] will deceive even the elect.”

How will we know when the Sacrifice of the Mass has been publicly abolished? Ceasing Transubstantiation requires that the Mass’ words of consecration be changed, something that theologian and exorcist Father Chad Ripperger recently noted even the Pope does not have the authority to do, whether or not he attempts it.

Fr. Ripperger makes clear, in an interview with Dr. Taylor Marshall about his recently published book The Limits of Papal Authority on the Liturgy, that “the pope, because of divine positive law, he does not have the authority to change the words of consecration to something other than what they were as Christ initiated them.” Neither does he have the authority to promulgate a rite without other elements of the Mass that originate from the apostles, such as a proper offertory, according to Fr. Ripperger.

We may take some consolation in knowing that the abomination of desolation will be relatively short-lived, according to Scripture. 

And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end. (Daniel 9:27)

The prophecy of the Book of Daniel is generally interpreted to mean that the antichrist will establish a “treaty” with Israel for a period of seven years (a “week”), and that halfway through this time, the abomination of desolation will take place. 

The period that follows is said to last about 3 1/2 years: “And from the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a 1,290.” (Daniel 12:11)

As for what comes after, Christ foretold the following:

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. (Matthew 24:29-30)

As frightening as such a future may seem, it should not disturb our peace of soul, because Christ has assured us that his Church, as His Body on earth, can never be destroyed, even if it may appear to be. 

The founding publisher of OnePeterFive, Steve Skojec, has astutely observed that “the only reason Christ promised that the ‘gates of hell will not prevail’ against the Church is because He knew full well that they would appear to do precisely that. He wanted us to remember those words at the very moment when it would seem all but certain that His promises were empty, and that all was truly lost.”

“The Church may go into hiding. The Church may seem for a time to disappear. So we remember His promise. And we hold fast, whatever comes.”


[1] Johannes Maria Höcht, Die Große Botschaft von La Salette [The Great Message of La Salette], Stein am Rhein 2004 (8th ed.), p. 161.