Skip to comments.Another Diocesan Priest Rejects Novus Ordo
Posted on 01/25/2005 2:58:28 PM PST by csbyrnes84
Father Paul Sretenovic, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, who was ordained to the priesthood in 2002, has abandoned the Novus Ordo in order to embrace Catholic Tradition without compromise. Father Sretenovic (pronounced Stre-ten-o-vich) informed his ordinary, the Most Reverend John Myers, the Archbishop of Newark, of his decision in a letter mailed to his Excellencys home address on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Wednesday, December 28, 2004:
Your Excellency: I am writing to inform you of my decision to leave the Archdiocese of Newark. It is a decision that is eighteen months in the making, and it has finally come to a head. This archdiocese, while retaining some very good priests, is, like every other diocese in the Catholic Church today, plagued by the heresy of modernism in many different forms. I recently attended a Monday afternoon of Reflection at Southmont with the Opus Dei priests and listened as one of them said that we are not looking to return to Christendom. To me, that said it all. It is not just about the Latin Mass. It is something much, much deeper, and it is the basis of my decision. Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Quas Primas, said that Jesus Christ is not only the Lord of every individual, but also of every human society. The Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX, #77, in particular, exposes the error of separation of Church and State, a doctrine now upheld by the Vatican as the ideal, using both the Second Vatican Councils Declaration on Religious Liberty, which could very easily have been called the Declaration of Religious Liberty (reference to our Declaration of Independence intended), as well as individual decisions from the Vatican to accelerate such a separation in what were otherwise thoroughly Catholic countries, such as, among others, Colombia, 98% Catholic. The orientation of the Church is now very much in line with the principles of the French Revolution, namely liberty, fraternity, and equality. Hence, the mainstay catchwords from the Councilreligious liberty, ecumenism, and collegiality. That is not a coincidence, and it is evil. The Liturgy is just one of the many lambs to be slaughtered along the way towards a Christian Democracy, which, to the dismay and shock of many in the Church, will lead directly to the worldwide takeover of Atheistic Communism, warned of indirectly by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, and communicated by Sr. Lucia to the Catholic historian William Thomas Walsh in 1946. Russia has still not been consecrated, and she continues to spread her errors until one day, it will be too late. In the meantime, I choose to exercise my priesthood in the way intended by Almighty God, teaching sound doctrine and leading the flock by holiness of life, as St. Paul exhorted St. Timothy in his pastoral epistle.
In the situation in which I am now, and basically in any Novus Ordo parish anywhere in the world, let alone this particular Archdiocese, I always have to watch my back and I always, at each and every Mass that I offer, have to compromise. Whether it is in the bad wording or bland prayers of the Sacramentary, or in the distribution of Communion in the hand, or in the virtually mandatory use of Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, there is always something there to remind me, as the song goes, and it stops now. I pray to God and to Our Blessed Mother that you obtain the grace necessary to perceive the gravity of the present situation and to act accordingly. I include my email address below for further correspondence. I know this is a shock, but for me, even the FSSP would be a compromise. Havent we all done enough of that?! As people were looking East this Advent season, Our Lady was leading me to, go West. In Christ the King, Fr. Paul Branko Sretenovic.
In an e-mail to this writer sent on January 9, 2005, Father Sretenovic explained the sequence of events after this point:
To give you the backdrop of my correspondence with the Archbishop, he said that parts of what I wrote, without specifying, were inaccurate and unfair. I responded through the Vicar General for the time-being that what I wrote was not inaccurate and unfair. I then asked the question as to whether the Archbishop would say that Cardinal Ratzinger was either of the two, specifying the terms, when he wrote that through the Council, the Church had come to terms with the principles of 1789. I left it at that and will write the Archbishop directly within the week.
Father Sretenovic had determined quite clearly that he could no longer make any further compromises with a Mass that did not give God the full honor and glory that are His due and a pastoral approach to the problems of the world that was premised upon a rejection of a defined teaching of the Catholic Church, the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ, and an actual embrace of the errors of Modernity and Modernism.
Father Sretenovic did indeed head west, leaving Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church in Maywood, New Jersey, on Thursday, December 29, 2004, the Feast of Saint Thomas a Becket, to drive out to Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California, joining Father Patrick J. Perez and Father Lawrence C. Smith in the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass and the totality of the Catholic Faith in all of its integrity to Catholics in one of the most liturgically revolutionary places in the whole Church, the Metropolitan Province of Los Angeles, California. Father Sretenovic distributed Holy Communion to the faithful at Our Lady Help of Christians on the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday, January 9, 2005, saying, I have never before felt like I did in my first Traditional giving of the Eucharist, or however you want to put it. It was awesome and I felt like a priest in a way that I haven't before. The formula is much better, not to mention the signing of the Cross, and the use of the paten for the Sacred Particles, AND the posture of the people with open mouths, heads tilted upwards like chicks eagerly welcoming their mother with the food that she is providing for them. [He offered his first Traditional Latin Mass there on Sunday, January 16, 2005.]
Father Sretenovic, who was born on January 8, 1974, found his way to Our Lady Help of Christians within three months of meeting Father Perez at Father Nicholas Gruners Fatima conference in Glendale, California, at the end of September, 2004. Father Perezs mother, Mrs. Margaret Perez, saw Father Sretenovic and told him that he had to meet her son, making sure that the two of them sat down for dinner after Father Perezs talk at the conference. Father Sretenovic was impressed with Father Perezs knowledge of the Faith and of the development of the Mass. Mr. John Vennari, the editor of Catholic Family News, also spoke to Father Sretenovic about the crisis in the Church and of the necessity of fleeing from the Novus Ordo structures. Seeds were being planted.
Father Sretenovic contacted this writer in early December of 2004, and a luncheon meeting was arranged in Wayne, New Jersey, following a First Friday Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Pequannock, New Jersey, on December 3, 2004. This writer and his wife, to put it charitably, pummeled Father Sretenovic, asking him bluntly as to how long he could continue to give out Communion in the hand and continue to offer a Mass that less fully communicates the truths of the Catholic Faith and does not render God the full honor and glory that are His due. Father Sretenovic listened, particularly to Mrs. Droleskeys heartfelt plea to give Our Lord and His flock unfettered access to the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Father Sretenovic promised to contact Fathers Perez and Smith. He also wrote fairly immediately to Father Stephen P. Zigrang, whose association with the Society of Saint Pius X prompted the soon-to-be promoted Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, the Most Reverend Joseph Fiorenza, a protégé of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, to suspend him for an association with a schismatic group that, among other things, denied the enduring validity of the Old Covenant God made with the people of Israel.
Father Sretenovic carefully weighed his options, keeping in close contact with Father Lawrence C. Smith, who left the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, on September 8, 2003. Father Sretenovic also had contact with priests in the Society of Saint Pius X, determining ultimately that it would be best for him to be with Fathers Perez and Smith in California. Father was most intent on placing himself in a situation where the gaps in his preparation for priestly ordination could be closed and he could concentrate on his own personal sanctification while offering Catholics the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. He arrived at his decision after a great deal of reflection and a bit of indecision, coming to the conclusion in the final analysis that he needed to make a clean break from the diocesan structure sooner rather than later, understanding that the faithful have a right in perpetuity to the Traditional Latin Mass, which can never be subject justly to any limitations or conditions by any bishop, including the Pope himself. Father Smith was most instrumental in helping Father Sretenovic to come to this decision, saying that it was his call that put me over the edge. Within 20 minutes after my conversation with him, I was writing my letter to Archbishop Myers.
Father Sretenovic was not heedless of the fact that his own ordinary, Archbishop Myers, though not a traditionalist himself, has been sympathetic to priests desirous of offering the Traditional Latin Mass. Father Sretenovic also understood, however, that the embrace of Tradition, while it starts with the Mass, involves quite fundamentally an embrace of the totality of the Catholic Faith without any taint of corruption by the novelties and errors of the past forty to forty-seven years. Father Sretenovic also knows that ordinaries come and go, a point demonstrated quite graphically when Bishop John Myers of Peoria, Illinois, was elevated to the archbishopric of Newark. Although Bishop Myers had granted permission to Father Michael Driscoll, the pastor of Saint Marys Church in Rock Island, Illinois, to offer the Traditional Latin Mass on a daily basis, that permission was revoked by Myerss successor, Bishop Michael Jenky, who demoted Father Driscoll to the post of an assistant hospital chaplain at Saint Francis Hospital in Peoria. Father Sretenovic, understanding, as eight cardinals noted in a finding sent to Pope John Paul II in 1986, the binding nature of the Traditional Latin Mass can never be abrogated, did not want to subject himself to the vagaries of episcopal arbitrariness. He realized that he needed the stability offered by the Traditional Latin Mass for his own sanctificationand that the people have the absolute right to safe harbor found therein.
The story of Father Paul Sretenovic continues, therefore, a remarkable display of courage on the part of diocesan priests who have been willing to forsake all of their canonical safety and human respect in order to embrace Tradition without compromise. Men such as Fathers Sretenovic and Zigrang and Smith were ordained after the implementation of the liturgical revolution had begun. Father Zigrang was ordained in 1977. Father Smith was ordained in 1997. Father Sretenovic was ordained in 2002. Although there have been priests (such as Father Stephen Somerville) who were ordained in the Traditional rite and have returned thereto, the embrace of Tradition by priests who are relatively young (in the case of Father Zigrang) or very young (in the case of Fathers Smith and Sretenovic) is particularly galling to the liturgical revolutionaries, men and women who brook no opposition and who protest with great vehemence the glories of the liturgical renewal. How can it be, they ask themselves, that men who have been immersed in their handiwork all of their lives can become counter-revolutionaries and reject all of their enlightened schemes and programs?
The revolutionaries can protest all they want. The plain fact of the matter is that there are a number of priests across the nation who may be following the examples of Fathers Zigrang, Smith and Sretenovic. More than a handful of priests are on the fence as this is being written. Some are waiting for Rome to come to their rescue by means of an Apostolic Administration. Some are afraid of what will happen to their sheep should they simply leave their diocesan assignments. Others are simply afraid to pray for the graces to muster up the courage to stop participating in sacrileges such as the distribution of Communion in the hand. From the vantage point of one who travels great distances across the nation to get his family to the daily offering of the Traditional Latin Mass, it is time for our shepherds to give us our due, the Immemorial Mass of Tradition, understanding that Our Lady will take care of their temporal needs and that the rectitude of their actions will be understood fully only on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead.
Indeed, the witness given by Fathers Zigrang, Smith and Sretenovic, as well as the witness given by the bishops and the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X, to the necessity of proclaiming the fullness of the Catholic Faith without compromise and without any dilution serves as an inspiration to the sheep who are seeking safety and security in the midst of doctrinal and liturgical instability and turmoil within the diocesan structures. They are willing to be calumniated, even by fellow traditionalists who have anointed themselves to be in the august and pristine "mainstream," in order to bear a witness to the authentic Tradition of the Church without any compromise at all. No loss of human respect and no amount of name-calling or sloganeering will ever deter them from giving their sheep the fullness of the Catholic Faith.
At least some of the sheep will respond when their shepherds put themselves on the line to give them what is their due, namely, the Traditional Latin Mass. Hundreds upon hundreds of people, for example, have found their way to Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Garden Grove, California. Most of these people have never heard of The Remnant, Catholic Family News, or Christ or Chaos. They've never heard of Christ the King College and most of them probably think that GIRM Warfare has something to do with bacteriology. They're just Catholics who understand that the first law of the Church is the salvation of souls and that they do not have to sit idly by and be subjected to the rot of conciliar novelties in the context of what pretends to pass for the Church's liturgy and catechesis. These good souls are fed up with what is going on in their local dioceses and parishes and they simply want the fullness of the Catholic Faith to be made manifest to them during Holy Mass and in the life of their parish. The same is true of the fifteen families who have found their way from Saint Andrew's Church in Channelview, Texas, to Queen of Angels Church in Dickinson, Texas (and Saint Michael the Archangel Chapel in Spring, Texas), following after their inimitable pastor, Father Zigrang. The sheep want Christ and His truth to be made manifest to them without novelty or dilution. This is nothing other than one of their baptismal birthrights as Catholics.
Father Paul Sretenovic finds himself some 3,000 miles away from his parents, who are residents of New Jersey. He has gone this distance to serve sheep without compromise. He is in need of our prayers. More of his brother priests need to follow his example of humility and fidelity, to say nothing of his courage. As a son of Our Lady, Father Sretenovic has entrusted himself entirely to her Immaculate Heart. He knows that she will take good care of him as he acts in the person of her Divine Son as a sacerdos. Father Sretenovic delivered his first sermon at Our Lady Help of Christians on Sunday, January 16, 2004, stating that he had come to realize that the devil has essentially used the hierarchy of the Church to communicate the belief that one can eat from all of the trees in the "garden" today (Judaism, Islam, the New Age Movement, Wicca, Modernism) except the tree of Tradition, from which it is forbidden to eat. He said that the Novus Ordo Missae breeds lukewarmness, crediting Father Paul Kramers The Devils Final Battle and this writers G.I.R.M. Warfare with helping him to see how he was stuck in this lukewarmness himself. His sermon resonated with the 700 parishioners in attendance at the three Masses offered at Our Lady Help of Christians.
Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for Father Sretenovic. Pray for all traditionally-minded priests to follow his example of pure love for Tradition without fear of the canonical and/or temporal consequences. Pray for us sheep, that we might make the sacrifices necessary to help our shepherds feed us with the pure milk of Tradition.
You have it backwards newbie.
Another person under 45 discovers Catholicism.
Another priest returns to Tradition..
The novus ordo contains substance over style? That's a new one on me. Let's see, altar girls, liturgical dancers, colored banners over the altar, old ladies with big old wooden crosses on necklaces giving out communion in casual clothes....
Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Quas Primas, said that Jesus Christ is not only the Lord of every individual, but also of every human society. The Syllabus of Errors of Blessed Pius IX, #77, in particular, exposes the error of separation of Church and State, a doctrine now upheld by the Vatican as the ideal, using both the Second Vatican Councils Declaration on Religious Liberty, which could very easily have been called the Declaration of Religious Liberty (reference to our Declaration of Independence intended), as well as individual decisions from the Vatican to accelerate such a separation in what were otherwise thoroughly Catholic countries, such as, among others, Colombia, 98% Catholic. The orientation of the Church is now very much in line with the principles of the French Revolution, namely liberty, fraternity, and equality. Hence, the mainstay catchwords from the Councilreligious liberty, ecumenism, and collegiality. That is not a coincidence, and it is evil. The Liturgy is just one of the many lambs to be slaughtered along the way towards a Christian Democracy, which, to the dismay and shock of many in the Church, will lead directly to the worldwide takeover of Atheistic Communism [...]
Right to the point. It is heartening to know someone can see through the fog.
Separation of church and state is wholly foreign to Catholicism. Nor is it mandated by our constitution. It is time the Church spoke about it before it is driven to the catacombs.
He obviously couldn't take it anymore and with good advice and counsel went where he could practice his Faith the way he knew was right. Our prayers in support of him....
Right -- it's not like Christ founded the Church on the rock of Peter and his successors or anything, or that there is any legitimate hierarchy or magisterium or authority in the Church. It's all ME, ME, ME -- what I say is Catholic is right, forget the magisterium and the deposit of faith. After all, Luther and Calvin said we have the right to private judgment.
This is absolute nonsense. The Vatican does not hold up separation of Church and State as an ideal. In fact, the new Catholic Catechism vigorously reaffirmed the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ and cited Quas Primas and Immortale Dei.
2105 The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is "the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ."30 By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live."31 The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church.32 Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies.33
30 DH 1 § 3.
31 AA 13 § 1.
32 Cf. DH 1.
33 Cf. AA 13; Leo XIII, Immortale Dei 3,17; Pius XI, Quas primas 8,20.
I choose to exercise my priesthood in the way intended by Almighty God
What is the way intended by Almighty God?
But their profession of fidelity to the Vicar of Christ is vain in those who, in fact, do not cease to violate the authority of their Bishops. For "by far the most august part of the Church consists of the Bishops, (as Our Predecessor Leo XIII of holy memory wrote in his letter of December 17, 1888, to the Archbishop), inasmuch as this part by divine right teaches and rules men; hence, whoever resists them or pertinaciously refuses obedience to them puts himself apart from the Church. . . On the other hand, to pass judgment upon or to rebuke the acts of Bishops does not at all belong to private individuals -- that comes within the province only of those higher than they in authority and especially of the Sovereign Pontiff, for to him Christ entrusted the charge of feeding not only His lambs, but His sheep throughout the world. At most, it is allowed in matters of grave complaint to refer the whole case to the Roman Pontiff, and this with prudence and moderation as zeal for the common good requires, not clamorously or abusively, for in this way dissensions and hostilities are bred, or certainly increased." (St. Pius X, Tribus Circiter 9)
Pray for this specifically, every day. Target these people. In your morning offerings, make the specific request that in addition to all else, that the offering of your day may bring one more priest, one more bishop, even one more cardinal out of the heresy of the new theology. Ask for it specifically: that they be purged of all traces of the synthesis of all heresies.
Ask Our Lady to grab them by the ear, rip them out of harm's way, and set them on fire for the defense and protection of Holy Mother Church, for the salvation of souls and the conversion of sinners.
Want a real New Springtime? It's up to you, right now.
Do something useful for a change.
That was a 'useful' response.
What about bishops who violate the authority of the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ?
Is John Myers included therein?
"By constantly evangelizing men..."
We don't do that anymore. Nice lip service text... too bad the actions aren't there to back it up.
"...the Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live."
Christian spirit? This ambiguous word can mean just about anything anyone wants it to. We've got spirit. Yes, we do. We've got spirit, how 'bout you? Rah rah rah hurray the new springtime blah blah blah, etc., and stuff. Why not use some other word. Dogma? Doctrine? Anything.
"The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good."
"It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church."
There's that goofy subsistence theory again. It'll be a fine day when some future pontiff drives a stake through the heart of that heresy.
"Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies."
Weak. I like how it states it as if it's actually a fact, that indeed, right now, the Church is actively engaged in showing "forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies".
Fact is, it isn't right now. It's losing what little influence it had left.
You believe this is an upholding of the social Kingship of Christ? This is mealymouthed lip service, too afraid to speak raw truth to a world that is soaked in the heterodox, anti-Catholic principles of modern democratic societal structure.
No, this isn't anything close to a reaffirmation of the Catholic doctrine that the aims of the state and the aims of the Church are to be in complete alignment, with the former governing the temporal affairs of men, while subservient to the latter, which governs the eternal and final end of man.
You know what that means. That means society needs to be Catholic. Like it was before liberal principles ripped Her from Her right and honor.
Try the above. Then, go back and try the "useful" one.
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