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Previews of the New Papacy

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Book-review on Previews of the New Papacy
by Atila S. Guimarães & Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D., (Los Angeles: TIA, 2000), 503 pp.

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Several publications have run tiresome debates that rival the famous condundrum “how many angels can stand on the head of a pin?” Is the Novus Ordo worship service valid or not valid? Is it “intrinsically” invalid or just practically invalid? Does the omission of the ut in the Ordinal invalidate the Novus Ordo ordination rite? And on it goes.

Not that the subtleties of theological debate are pointless, but in these times one longs for the intellect of an Aquinas or Bonaventure to conduct them. No, what is tiresome about these debates is that the evidence of the eyes proves the point beyond any doubt: the New Order is something different from Roman Catholicism. It is not that the New Order is lacking a Ciceronian quality of Latin or some theological or liturgical nicety. It isn’t even in the same genus, let alone species as Roman Catholicism.

While all the sycophantic adults admired the regalia of the emperor prancing down the street, it was the little boy in Hans Christian Andersen’s tale who had enough innocence and lack of guile to say: “The emperor has no clothes!”

This seems to be the common-sense premise that the authors of Previews of the New Papacy start from: a picture is worth a thousand words. And here they are. All those pictures that you thought you would never see.

The Pope, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of St. Peter, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God, awash in a sea of semi-nudity, engaging in paganistic dance, abandoning the unmistakable symbols of the Papacy, schmoozing, often in a religious context, with heretics, schismatics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hinduists, and yes, even Voodoists.

Practically 500 photographs with a little explanatory text, for the photographs need little explanation. They speak for themselves.

Nor is there is any secret about any of this. On the contrary, the Vatican takes pride in it. The sources for the photographs are Vatican press material, and both religious and secular newspapers and magazines. It’s just that it hits you between the eyes when you see it all collected together. “The objective of this book,” write the authors, “is to show the Catholic, by means of photos, the unusual actions and attitudes taken by the Papacy from Vatican II until our days. The conduct of the last four Popes should be, in our judgment, a matter of concern for the faithful.”

The authors conclude that “everything seems to indicate that many guidelines of the announced reform of the Papacy are already being applied: .... a liberalization of morals, an adaptation to the principles of the modern world, the abandonment of the centuries-old symbols of the papal monarchy, and an openness to the errors of the false religions.”

Moreover, they conclude: “It seems that a new conception of the Papacy could soon be solemnly declared official. This could represent an imprisonment of Peter.” And with the connivance of the current occupant of the chair, for was it not he who in his 1995 Encyclical Ut Unum Sint talked about changing the face of the papacy?

If you have any doubts about what the New Order stands for, view these 500 photographs, and you will have to agree with the authors that if the New Order has its way, the papacy in a short time will be gone, along with the true Catholic Mass, Sacraments, and Faith. That is why the remnant of traditional Catholics must continue zealously their good fight under the banner of the Lamb.

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Previews of the New Papacy

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