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Stop Criticizing Pius XII, I Can’t Bear It...




Note from the Editor: Given that Dr. Carol Byrne has to sacrifice the time reserved to write her important articles in the series on the Dialogue Mass in order to answer questions & objections, I warn our readers that, for the benefit of all who are waiting for the next articles, from now on I will no longer forward to her any other questions or objections.

The readers may send them to TIA, but I shall keep them in my files, waiting until she finishes her current series. Then, I shall send them to her so she can decide which ones to respond - either privately or posted on our website. In the meantime, I recommend that our readers who have questions or objections should carefully read her previous articles, which likely will answer their doubts with the careful documentation Dr. Byrne normally provides. A.S.G.


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Rambling Accusations to Cover for a Weak Pope


Dear TIA,

I wish to thank Dr. Byrne for responding to my letter in What People are Commenting (Oct.8). However, I have one grave concern regarding Dr. Byrne's conclusions: Pius XII is blamed as "the Pope who put the match to the powder train" that resulted in the aftermath of Vatican II and, according to Dr. Byrne, "hindsight" is what gives Catholics the inclination to see this. My question is: Are the supporting documentation and conclusions tainted by a hindsight bias, or is there solid proof that the Vatican II revolution would not have happened when it did, had Pius XII satisfied Dr. Byrne's standards?

The metaphors that Dr. Byrne uses: the fault lines, tectonic shifts, and the tsunami wave, are highly deceptive. Pius XII's pontificate was fatally undermined by the secret societies long before he was born. It did not start during his pontificate. Even Pope Pius X could not eradicate the problem but only drove it underground where it continued to spread. By Pius XII's pontificate, it was exponentially worse, or we could say that the tsunami wave had already reached the shores of the Church. Dr. Byrne's reconstruction of history, by oversimplifying the problem and pretending to have the answer, is leading to a false theoretical outcome, making Pius XII the scapegoat for the Vatican II revolution.

Moving forward to the present, if there's one thing we should have learned with the Synod from hell unfolding before our very eyes, it's that the Modernists will stop at nothing to get what they want. They do not play by the rules, nor care about precedents, and they'll go as far as demolishing Sacred Scripture to get the job done. In light of this, I'd like to suggest that we leave Pius XII to God's judgment and concentrate on the present.

     Sincerely,

     T.C.

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Dr. Byrne responds:


Dear Mrs. T.C.,

It is evident from our correspondence that we have divergent views on Pope Pius XII. Would it not have been more appropriate – and charitable – if you had stated your opinions without accusing me of bias, pretense and deception simply because we do not agree? The problem is that your accusations do not rest on specifics that can be answered.

You have obviously borrowed the term “hindsight bias” from the parlance of modern psychology and applied it indiscriminately to me. My intention was not to “diss” Pius XII. If you had read all the articles in my series, you would have seen that I do give him credit where it is due, one example being his superb teaching on the Mass and the role of the priest.

I find it curious that in some traditional circles Catholics react with horror and outrage at any criticism of Pius XII and that the whole subject has become, as it were, radioactively off limits. But I adhere to the principle “if the zucchetto fits, wear it.” And if you had read all the articles, you would have found what you are now demanding: “solid proof” of a direct link between the liturgical reforms of Pius XII and those of Paul VI (here & here). I have provided references to official documents of the Holy See in Pius XII’s time (here, here, here & here) and also to other historical sources from the 1950s onwards, which provide the required evidence (here, here & here)

In fact, it was Paul VI himself who showed the seamless nature of this link when he promulgated the New Mass on April 3, 1969:

“It was felt necessary to revise and enrich the formulae of the Roman Missal. The first stage of such a reform was the work of Our Predecessor Pius XII with the reform of the Easter Vigil and the rites of Holy Week, which constituted the first step in the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the contemporary way of thinking.”

You mentioned the role of secret societies in undermining the pontificate of Pius XII. I agree with you there. But it is hardly to the credit of Pius XII that the Liturgical Commission he established in 1948 was conducted in complete secrecy and headed by Bugnini, a man who, on his own admission, was considered by Paul VI to be a Freemason.

As for Pope Pius X’s campaign against Modernism, he took active measures against offenders and had a considerable measure of success, whereas Pius XII greatly accelerated Modernist tendencies already in course.

By the way, I think that, while avoiding the trap of, ahem, bias, we should not dismiss the vantage of hindsight in providing a clear perspective for the present and the future: like the ancient Romans building their straight roads, if we are to move forward intelligently we must have a clear view of where we have been.

I cannot expect to be popular when revealing unpleasant truths which some people would rather keep hidden. Fortunately, however, not everyone has dismissed the conclusions of my research as mere conjecture; some have been kind enough to express their appreciation for it. (here, here, here, here & here) And this brings to mind the maxim of the Latin writer Terentianus Maurus: Pro captu lectoris, habent sua fata libelli. The fate of authors, like that of their writings, depends upon the capacity of their readers.

     Yours sincerely,

     Dr. Carol Byrne

Posted October 22, 2015

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