Editor’s note: After a 6-year seminary course at Mundelein, a Conciliar seminary in Chicago, Michael Oswalt was ordained with the new rite of ordination. Although he adhered to traditional Catholic thinking in the seminary, his eyes were really opened to the effects of Modernism on the parish level, when he received his first assignment. By the grace of God, obtained especially through his daily Rosary and total consecration to Jesus through Mary, Michael became convinced that the new Conciliar Church is not truly the Catholic Church. The final ray of light came when his superior one day asked him: “Do you want to be a member of the pre-Vatican II Church or the post-Vatican II Church?” Michael knew he could no longer remain in the Conciliar Church. The following is the letter he sent to all priests in the diocese, in March, 2009, regarding the reasons he abandoned the Novus Ordo. He is now studying to be properly ordained to the priesthood with the traditional rites of the Church.
Dear fellow clergy of the Diocese of Rockford:
I have decided to leave the Diocese of Rockford for the reason that I have come to the conclusion that the changes enacted by Vatican II are not compatible with Roman Catholicism.
No one denies that Vatican II imposed deep and vast changes upon the Catholic Church. But all change is either accidental or substantial. If the changes wrought by Vatican II are merely accidental, then there could be no justification in mounting opposition to them, even if one found them to be distasteful. On the other hand, if these changes are substantial, then the changes of Vatican II represent nothing less than the establishment of a new religion which differs essentially from Roman Catholicism. In such a case it would be the duty of every Catholic, and especially priests, to resist these changes and strive to dispel them from Catholic buildings and institutions, as Catholics have striven in the past to drive out Arianism, Nestorianism, Protestantism and the many other heresies which have attempted to overtake the Roman Catholic Church.
For many years I have studied the differences between pre-Vatican II Catholicism and the post-Vatican II religion. These differences appeared to me to be profound. But in all cases I strove as best I could to give the benefit of the doubt to those who were promulgating these changes. In many cases I was driven to denial, that is, to a blinding of myself to facts which I knew in my heart were true, but which I could not face as true.
No one denies, furthermore, that the Faith which was believed and practiced up to the Second Vatican Council was Roman Catholicism, that is, the religion and Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, which we believe to be the one, true Church outside of which there is no salvation. All must concede, therefore, that in order that the post-Vatican II religion qualify as truly Roman Catholic, it must conform substantially in all things with the pre-Vatican II Faith and practice. In other words, in order to legitimately and truthfully claim that we are Roman Catholic priests, it is necessary that there be a substantial continuity between the pre-Vatican II Faith and the post-Vatican II changes. If this substantial continuity is broken, then we as priests lose our link to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Roman Catholic Church, to every true Roman Pontiff who ever sat on the throne of Peter, to all of the saints of heaven, indeed to every Catholic who has preceded us in the Faith. We lose our claim to apostolicity, to unity of faith, to catholicity, and to sanctity. Indeed it would be difficult to think of anything more false, more absurd, more useless, nay more dangerous, than a priest who claims to be Catholic, but who has lost continuity with the sacred tradition of Roman Catholicism.
It remains for me, therefore, to prove this claim of discontinuity between present and past, a claim which for some may seem outlandish, but for other some a truth which lies deeply buried in their minds, and weighs heavily on their hearts. The evidence for the position which I am taking is indeed vast. It would require a book of many volumes to do justice to the evidence which must be presented. But I will present these convincing facts and arguments in a condensed manner, and invite at the same time all who may be interested to further reading in various books, web sites, and periodicals.
I will present the evidence in the following manner:
I will then summarize by pointing out that in the three essential elements of any religion, namely in doctrine, worship, and discipline, Vatican II and its subsequent changes have effected a substantial change of the Catholic Faith. From thence I will draw all of the logical conclusions, both speculative and practical.
The heresies contained in Vatican II. There are four principal heresies contained in this Council.
The first is that of ecumenism, found in the document Redintegratio Unitatis, which teaches that non-Catholic religions are means of salvation. This heretical doctrine was later emphasized in John Paul II’s Catechesi Tradendæ. This assertion is directly contrary to the doctrine that outside the Church there is no salvation, which Pope Pius IX called “a most well-known Catholic dogma.” Both the notion and the practices of ecumenism were condemned by Pope Pius XI in the encyclical Mortalium Animos of 1928.
The second heresy is that concerning the unity of the Church, namely that the Church of Christ is not exclusively identified with the Catholic Church, but merely subsists in it. This heretical doctrine is contained principally in Lumen Gentium, and its heretical meaning is confirmed in statements of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, in the 1992 Statement concerning Church and Communion, and in the Ecumenical Directory. It is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church, contained principally in Satis Cognitum of Pope Leo XIII, Mortalium Animos of Pope Pius XI, Mystici Corporis of Pope Pius XII, and in the condemnations of the “Branch Theory” made by the Holy Office under Pope Pius IX.
The third heresy is that of religious liberty, in Dignitatis Humanæ, which nearly word for word asserts the very doctrine which was condemned by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, by Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura, and by Pope Leo XIII in Libertas Præstantissimum. The teaching of Vatican II on religious liberty also contradicts the royalty of Jesus Christ in society as expressed in Quas Primas of Pope Pius XI, and the constant attitude and practice of the Church with regard to civil society.
The fourth heresy is that of collegiality which alters the monarchical constitution of the Catholic Church, with which she was endowed by the Divine Savior. The doctrine of Vatican II, confirmed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states that the subject (the possessor) of the supreme authority of the Church is the college of bishops together with the pope, is contrary to the defined doctrine of the Council of Florence and of Vatican I.
The heresy taught in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, and the sinful practices sanctioned by it. The 1983 Code of Canon Law contains the heresy of Vatican II concerning the unity of the Church, contained in Lumen Gentium.1 It also permits sacrilege to the Blessed Sacrament, by approving of its reception by non-Catholics, which is a mortal sin, and permits communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics, which is also a mortal sin. In addition, the Ecumenical Directory of 1993 permits ecumenical practices which have always been taught by the Church to be mortally sinful.
How the 1969 New Mass is false and non-Catholic worship, as it is a liturgical expression of the heresies of Vatican II.
The heteropraxis of the Vatican II religion — that is, the confirmation of the heretical nature of Vatican II by the common observances and practices of the Vatican II religion, whether officially sanctioned and practiced by its hierarchy, or merely approved by silence on a universal level. That Vatican II did indeed inject a new and false religion into the institutions of the Catholic Church can been seen from the years of abominable practices. These include:
How the sacraments have been altered substantially, leading in many cases to either invalidity or doubt of validity. Episcopal consecration was rendered invalid in the Latin rite by the introduction of the 1968 rite of the ordination of bishops. Although it purports to be using a form which is derived from the Eastern rites, in fact what was taken from these rites was not the essential form of episcopal consecration, but instead the ceremony for the installation of patriarchs, who were already consecrated. The 1968 rite of consecration fails to mention the grace of the episcopal dignity as the fullness of the priesthood.
There is no need to mention the enormity of this problem, that since 1968 the validity of bishops in the Latin rite has been gradually snuffed out, and with it the validity of the priests whom they attempt to ordain. Apart from every other consideration of Vatican II and its effects, this is by far the worst. In turn, it has invalidated or promises to invalidate every other sacrament except Baptism and Matrimony.
The validity, furthermore, of the Mass has been compromised by the intention of the rite, which is expressed in the General Instruction. In this document, the words of consecration, formerly set apart from the rest of the text and in bold type, are now referred to as the “institution narrative.” But if a priest, even validly ordained, says these words as merely an institution narrative, he does not consecrate, owing to lack of proper intention, the Body and Blood of Christ. Indeed, these very words, “institution narrative,” in referring to the sacred declaration of the priest, “This is My Body,” effecting Transubstantiation, are proof positive of the Protestant character of the New Mass.
The validity of the consecration of the wine is rendered doubtful by the false translation of pro multis as for all. Anyone with a fundamental knowledge of the original Greek knows that this is a mistranslation of these most sacred words, indeed a blasphemous distortion of the actual words of Christ. Because it is possible that these words are required for validity, the consecration of the wine at the New Mass is made doubtful, since this mistranslation could constitute a substantial alteration of the essential form.
But the Vatican II religion has abandoned the very idea of the necessity of matter and form, in any case, since John Paul II approved as valid “Masses” of the Assyrian church, a schismatic sect which descends from the Nestorians, in whose “Masses” there are no words of consecration. Such an approval abandons the Church’s universal teaching and practice concerning the validity of the sacraments, and is therefore heretical.
Other alterations have cast doubt upon the Sacraments of Extreme Unction, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.
The heresies which are publicly professed by Benedict XVI and other members of the Vatican II hierarchy. Benedict XVI teaches the following heresies, among others:
This list could be much longer, but space does not permit us to elaborate further. (If anyone wishes to see references and quotations which substantiate these accusations of heresy, he may obtain them by requesting them from me).
How the four marks of the Catholic Church cannot be found in the new religion of Vatican II. The four marks of the Church, found in the Nicene Creed, are the essential characteristics of the true Church of Christ, by which it is distinguishable from false sects. But these four marks — one, holy, catholic, and apostolic — are missing from the Vatican II religion.
The new religion is not holy because of (1) its public profession and promulgation of heresy with regard to both faith and morals; (2) its false and evil disciplines; (3) the grave sins against the First Commandment which it condones and promotes in the name of ecumenism.
The new religion is not one, because the unity of faith has been completely destroyed in it. It has lost its unity of faith with the previous ages of the Church, since it has broken away from the ancient doctrines. It has, furthermore no unity of faith within itself. Indeed every doctrinal aberration is permitted. The only doctrinal sin after Vatican II is to adhere to the Catholic Faith as the one, true Faith.
The new religion is not catholic, or universal, since without unity of doctrine, without consistency with the past, catholicity is impossible. For catholicity is nothing else than to be one thing, i.e., one faith, one discipline, and one worship, applied to all places and times in the world. But I have already pointed out the break with the past in so many ways, as well as the interior doctrinal, disciplinary, and liturgical chaos which currently exists in the new religion. There is, therefore, no mark of catholicity.
Finally, there is no apostolicity. The Vatican II religion has dissolved the bonds of unity with the apostles in doctrine, worship and discipline. It has broken the line of apostolic succession by the invalid consecration of bishops. It has altered the Apostolic constitution of the Catholic Church by altering the notion and role of the Roman Pontiff.
In short, the new religion is nothing but a non-Catholic sect, just one of so many which have risen up in the past two thousand years in an attempt to alter the Church of Christ.
For this reason, after much prayer and reflection, I have decided to leave this religion which is alien to the Catholic Faith as it has been always known and practiced, and cherished by my Catholic ancestors. I want to die in the same faith as they did, and not in Modernism. I want to be a true Catholic priest, and say a valid and Catholic Mass, which sanctified souls so efficaciously for centuries, and built up the Church to the magnificent structure which it was in 1958, when Pope Pius XII passed away.
Since that fateful day of his passing, the Catholic Church has gone into a tailspin of decline, immorality, and misfortune. It has been reduced, miserably, to a small number of faithful who have undertaken to resist the onslaught of Modernism, so forcefully condemned by Saint Pius X. May God grant me the grace to live in the true and holy Catholic priesthood, and to die in the sacred Faith of our ancestors.
— Rev. Fr. Michael Oswalt
1The heretical notion of the Church is seen in Canons 825 and 844, where there is a distinction made of catholic [sic] members of Christ’s faithful versus Christ’s faithful (christifideles catholici vs. christifideles, the latter being used most often). Careful reading of this Code reveals very astute wording of the canons in such a fashion that no one could strictly identify Christ’s faithful with the members of the body of the Catholic Church. Rather it becomes very clear that Eastern schismatics and Protestants are considered to be members of “Christ’s faithful” and members of the Church, since they are baptized, and “constituted the people of God.” No mention is made of impeding the effect of baptism through adhering to heretical or schismatic sects, the public profession of heresy, or by exclusion by competent ecclesiastical authority. Instead, mere baptism makes you a part of the People of God, Christ’s faithful, the Church.
2This definition was quickly changed in the second edition, owing to its heretical nature.
3This too was later corrected because of its obvious heretical content.
Rev. Fr. Michael Oswalt
Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI