"Save Yourself from this Perverse Generation"
An Open Letter in Defense of the Catholic Faith from
Father Nicholas Gruner and Thousands of Catholics
On Ash Wednesday, February 28, 1990, a full-page advertisement appeared in the New York Times calling for "reform and renewal" in the Catholic Church. Paid for by a consortium of radical activist groups, this self-styled "Pastoral Letter" proposed revolutionary changes that strike at the very heart of the Catholic Faith and practice. While generally couched in vague and ambiguous language, various proposals in that ad (including the openly heretical request for the priestly ordination of women) clearly constitute a sweeping rejection of the Roman Catholic Faith and practices, which have been consistently held by the faithful for the last 2000 years.
When we read between the lines, its clear that, if adopted, these "reforms" in that ad would result in a church unrecognizable and alien to most Catholics. Neither Roman nor Catholic, this "renewed" church would more resemble a social action league or political committee than the House of the Living God and Mystical Body of Christ. And in fact, the church proposed in that ad bears an eerie likeness to the highly-politicized "Peoples Churches" set-up by the Marxist regimes in China and Nicaragua.
At a time when the Church is already losing millions of its members (nearly 10,000 a day in Latin America alone!), there can be little doubt that the enactment of these changes would produce incalculable discord and division among the faithful, leading inevitably to even more disunity, schism and even apostasy.
These extreme and radical proposals do not represent the will of Jesus Christ or the desires of the vast majority of Catholics, who remain steadfast and loyal to Sacred Scripture, Catholic Tradition and the teachings of Christs Church. We know that in order to be saved we must believe in our heart and confess openly our Catholic Faith. To the extent we are able, we must publicly defend the Faith against those who attack it.
In this "Open Letter", we seek to reaffirm all our cherished traditions and values which are inspired by the Gospel. We publicly proclaim our unfailing allegiance to Our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore to the Catholic Faith as it has been handed down to us from the Apostles.
Here is our statement:
|"STAND FAST AND HOLD THE TRADITIONS WHICH YOU HAVE LEARNED, WHETHER BY WORD, OR BY OUR EPISTLE." (II Thessalonians 2:14)|
The 25 years following the 2nd Vatican Council have seen a monumental upheaval in the Catholic Church. In North America, many of our most beloved traditions and customs have been virtually eradicated by misguided zealots who have made a mockery out of the carefully considered documents approved by the Council Fathers. In the name of "reform" and "renewal", every kind of abuse has been sanctioned, from "clown Masses" to the teaching of outright heresy in our schools.
The result has been a mounting crisis that has shaken the faith of countless Catholics. Millions have fled the Church in disgust and confusion while others barely manage to hold on to their faith at all. When we look at the falling rates in Mass attendance, Confessions, vocations, parochial school enrollments, etc., its clear that the Church is today in the midst of a decline thats unprecedented in its history!
There is a way out of this crisis. A way rooted in Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition and which has been expressed in the lives of our own parents and grandparents. By restoring "all things in Christ" and turning away, as Our Lord bids us, from wordly models, we can truly renew our Church and secure our salvation by living and practicing our Catholic Faith according to the example and teaching of Our Lord, Our Lady and countless saints and holy persons.
We believe that the Divine Deposit of Catholic Faith and our holy traditions, values and practices must be protected and preserved (including a male, celibate priesthood). We reject any demands for so-called "reforms" that have as their object the abandonment of the traditions and customs that have kept us strong and united as Christs faithful for nearly 2,000 years.
We believe that, above all, our Sacred Liturgy must be protected and even restored as the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council intended and that further irresponsible liturgical experimentation must stop.
We affirm that every Catholic should have the right and opportunity at his or her own parish to attend the Holy Mass given to the faithful "for all time" by Pope Saint Pius V and the Council of Trent (the "Tridentine" Mass).
|"THOU ART PETER; AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH, AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT." (Matthew 16:18)|
Like the Protestant reformers of the 16th century, many of those seeking "reforms" in the Church today reserve their worst criticism for the Pope and hierarchy, seeking to subvert their legitimate authority to teach, rule and sanctify the faithful in Gods Name. These unjust and low attacks have only one purpose: To undermine loyalty to the Holy Father and to weaken the faith of millions.
Concerning this tendency, Father Kenneth Baker, S.J., editor of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, wrote: "We are witnessing the rejection of the hierarchical Church founded by Jesus Christ to be replaced by a Protestant American Church separated from Rome."
We prayerfully support and encourage our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II in the exercise of his sacred magisterium and in all his apostolic efforts to preserve and protect our sacred Catholic Faith.
We call for bishops and clergy to be true shepherds to the faithful, according to the mind of Christ, and not according to the world, steadfastly remaining loyal as Our Lord commands, defending our holy Faith, the Church and the Pope. We urge all Catholics to pray for Gods Grace for the clergy to keep ever more faithful to Jesus, Mary and the Church.
|"BE YOU THEREFORE PERFECT, AS ALSO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT." (Matthew 5:48)|
Today, it often seems as if our whole society has lost its spiritual and moral footing. We are surrounded by violence, pornography, ethnic hatred and soaring rates of drug addiction, alcoholism and divorce. But really, what can we expect in a society where abortion is legal and school prayer outlawed? Clearly, our priorities are upside-down and inside-out.
Our salvation rests in keeping Gods Commandments and avoiding mortal sin, but Christ commands His Church and its ministers to do more by calling each of us to true perfection and sanctity. Through its doctrinal and moral teachings, the Church encourages us to become the very best person each of us can be. Its moral codes are the foundations of our civilization and the surest safeguard we can have in a chaotic and uncertain world.
We call upon the clergy and faithful to defend all Catholic doctrines and the traditional moral teachings of the Church, including the God-given right to life of the unborn, the inviolability of marriage and the intrinsic evil of artificial contraception.
We emphatically entreat all Catholics to affirm the Churchs ancient and unchanging condemnation of abortion which the Fathers of Vatican II called "an unspeakable crime" and which even now engulfs our nation in the blood of millions of innocents.
|"BEHOLD THE HANDMAID OF THE LORD, BE IT DONE UNTO ME ACCORDING TO THY WORD." (Luke 1:38)|
The Blessed Virgin Mary is both Gods Mother and ours. She is the most ideal human person and perfect model, a "Second Eve" Whose faith and humility have made our redemption through Christ possible. It is through Her, that God gives all graces to men and women alike. And Her role in the Plan of Salvation is both unique and uniquely powerful. She is truly the "Gate of Heaven" and the "Cause of our Joy", and it is through Her help, intercession and protection that we achieve true holiness.
The appearance of Our Lady at Fatima (see box at bottom) remains among the most significant events of the 20th century. And indeed, the Message, prophecies and miracles She gave us there are perhaps the most splendid confirmation of the Catholic Faith ever made since the Resurrection. As the Church sinks deeper into conflict and crisis, Our Ladys Fatima words of hope and warning are more timely and important than ever.
We acknowledge the supremely important role of Mary, the Mother of God and Mediatrix of all Graces, Who with the help of St. Joseph, Her Most Chaste Spouse, has been entrusted by Jesus Christ with safeguarding the sanctity and unity of the Catholic Church.
We urge the Pope, bishops, clergy and all the faithful to embrace the solemn requests for prayer, penance and consecration that Our Lady of Fatima asked for and which are the only wellspring for true renewal in the Church and lasting peace in the world.
We call upon the Holy Father in union with the worlds bishops to very soon consecrate specifically Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the solemn, public manner Our Lady of Fatima commanded, because by the Fatima prophecies we know it is only by this act of obedience in time that the otherwise certain annihilation of nations can be avoided.
We respectfully implore the Holy Father to publicly reveal to the world the full text of the Third part of Our Lady of Fatimas Secret (as She asked be done in 1960) and to release Sister Lucy of Fatima from the order of silence under which she alone has suffered for more than 30 years.
|"NOW I BESEECH YOU, BRETHREN, TO MARK THEM WHO MAKE DISSENTIONS AND OFFENSES CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YOU HAVE LEARNED, AND AVOID THEM." (Romans 16:17)|
Todays "reformers" are masters at using popular catch-phrases and sugary clichés to disguise their radical extremist agenda. Unfortunately for them, their actions speak louder than their vague words. When men like Charles Curran and Matthew Fox (both of whom have been censured by the Church for their unorthodox teachings) call for "open dialogue", "Christian unity" and "academic freedom", all faithful Catholics have good reason to be concerned.
Under whatever pretext, "reforms" that threaten the fundamental unity of the Church or permit heresy and error to be freely taught are a vicious slap in the face of the millions whove laid down their lives to defend and protect the Catholic Faith and uphold the sacredness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The great legacy of the Catholic Faith must be protected from those who would "reform" the Church out of existence!
We call upon the leadership of the Church to defend the integrity and holiness of the Faith and to resist demands which call for the surrender of our unique Catholic heritage for the sake of supposed "Christian unity" or for the sake of ethnic or cultural diversity ("inculturation").
FATHER NICHOLAS GRUNER
We reject those demands made in the name of "academic freedom" and "open dialogue" which attempt to make lawful and encourage the teaching of heresy, un-Catholic doctrines and immoral sex education in our schools, seminaries and universities.
The Catholic Church today faces the most serious threat to its unity in history. Confusion and crisis are widespread and growing. Years of abuses in the name of "reform" have led millions to lose their faith. Many people complain that they no longer know what to believe anymore. For 25 years, radical extremists have forced one disastrous change after another on the Church. Their voices have always been the loudest while millions of good Catholics have kept quiet out of a mistaken sense of obedience and loyalty.
The Second Vatican Council made it clear that every Catholic has the right to be heard by the Holy Father and hierarchy (Constitution on the Church, par. 37; Code of Canon Law 212). Its time for us -- faithful, believing Catholics -- to stand up and be counted! Its time to say "NO!" to depleted treasuries and parish closings. "NO!" to profane liturgies and half-baked theologies. "NO!" to "reforms" that expose our sacraments to grave sacrilege and "NO!" to reforms that reject our Catholic Tradition and moral code. We can return to the great Catholic traditions of penance, prayer and sacrifice. We can have dignified liturgies and beautiful Masses again. We can celebrate as a community, worshipping and praying together under the guidance of holy priests and bishops. We can stand for what is noblest, purest and best. We can, as Our Lord commands us, transform the world, bringing peace and justice to all.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DEFEND YOUR FAITH
This "Open Letter" appears in major newspapers across North America through the prayers and sacrifices of thousands of people (Names sent upon request). Rich and poor, young and old, each believes that defending our holy Catholic Faith is among the most important duties any of us has in these days of conflict and crisis in the Church.
Every Catholic has a stake in the outcome of this great struggle to preserve and protect our Holy Catholic Faith, our Sacred Traditions and our Divine Liturgy. And each one of us can make a tremendous difference! Your prayers and efforts to bring this "Open Letter" to the attention of your family, friends and neighbors can begin the process of healing and unifying the Church in Christ. By fulfilling exactly Our Lady of Fatimas requests, all faithful Catholics will be comforted, encouraged and supported as they uphold and advance Our Holy Catholic Faith and all those outside the Church will be drawn and converted to the true Church of Jesus Christ.