Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions and Common Objections
Question 1: What is meant by the term “Novus Ordo”?
Answer: The term “Novus Ordo” is Latin and literally means “new order.” The term as it is used here on this web site and among traditional Catholics in general comes from the phrase “novus Ordo Missae,” literally, “new order of the Mass,” which “Pope” Paul VI used in a draft of the 1969 document Missale Romanum, a supposed “Apostolic Constitution” in which he imposed what he claimed was a reform of the liturgical rite of the Roman Catholic Mass (see more information about this here). Paul VI used the term “novus Ordo Missae” also in a speech on April 28, 1969, at the creation of 35 new “cardinals” while discussing the “liturgical reform” of the new Missal he was introducing. This “new order of the Mass,” a term perhaps more pregnant with meaning than he then realized, gradually came to be known as the “Novus Ordo Mass,” or simply the “New Mass.” Since then, true Catholics who have kept the Faith handed down to us unadulterated from Pope St. Peter until Pope Pius XII (who died in 1958), have come to label the entire new religion this “Mass” expresses as “Novus Ordo,” and hence we refer to it as the “Novus Ordo Religion” and their establishment in the Vatican as the “Novus Ordo Church.” This web site monitors this strange new church, and hence is called “Novus Ordo Watch.” To sum up: The term “Novus Ordo” is Latin and means “new order.” It was used first by Paul VI to refer to his strange new order of Mass, but has since been used to refer to anything that has to do with this New Mass and the entire new faith which accompanies it. So, for instance, people who adhere to the changes since the so-called Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II for short (1962-65), are often referred to as “Novus Ordo Catholics” or simply “Novus Ordos.” This is not meant to be demeaning but simply to clarify what type of people we are referring to. Many Novus Ordos are in good faith, while many are not. If you are new to this whole issue, you may wish to have a look at our “Start Here” page.
Question 2: Why do you put the word “Pope” in quotes when referring to John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis?
Answer: Because there is more or less sufficient evidence that none of these claimants to the papal throne were/are in fact true Catholic Popes. This is most manifestly evident in the cases of Paul VI (1963-78), John Paul II (1978-2005), Benedict XVI (2005-2013) and Francis I (since 2013), and less so in the cases of John XXIII (1958-63) and John Paul I (1978). While this page is not the place to demonstrate that these men were not Catholics but heretics or even apostates, we occasionally link to articles demonstrating this at our Novus Ordo Wire blog, which also lists many news stories that demonstrate over and over again that these “Popes” were/are not true Popes but usurpers, Anti-Popes, who did not / do not hold the Catholic Faith but hate(d) and destroy(ed) it.
Question 3: Why do you often (but not always) put the words “Father” and “Bishop” in quotes when referring to priests and bishops of the Vatican II Church?
Because all the clergy of the Vatican II Church that received their putative ordinations in the 1968 rite of “Pope” Paul VI must be considered invalid. This is because the rite of priestly ordination was changed such that its validity is doubtful (which means it must be treated as invalid in practice), and the rite of episcopal consecration was changed such that it is definitely and without doubt invalid. This problem affects all those ordained in the 1968 rite itself (which is still used by the Vatican II Church today) or those ordained in the traditional rite but by a “bishop” who himself was ordained in the 1968 Novus Ordo rite. The evidence and the arguments concerning this issue are presented here and here.
Question 4: Why are you so sarcastic in many of your comments on this web site? You seem to be very uncharitable and even resort to ridicule to make your points.
Answer: Since a false notion of charity is very prevalent today, thanks in part to the influence of Freemasonry on our society, this question is a common one. We employ various rhetorical devices and styles to drive home very important, serious points and problems. It’s not wise to always just be “nice” in one’s speech, as Holy Scripture counsels: “…if the speech be always nicely framed, it will not be grateful to the readers” (2 Mach 15:40). Oftentimes we will use irony or satire to point out a sad, painful, and serious truth. This is not meant to suggest that what has happened to the Catholic Church is laughable. After all, it is Christ’s Church they are offending, Christ’s Truth they are mocking and trampling upon, Christ’s Sacrifice and Sacraments they are profaning. This is no laughing matter. However, sometimes satire and irony are a good rhetorical means to convey these serious and difficult truths. In a way, such rhetorical devices can be used to point out that what is being passed off as a “Great Renewal” in the Catholic Faith today is nothing but a sick and cruel joke. The Novus Ordo Church has gone so far that it cannot be taken seriously in its attempts to claim being the Roman Catholic Church founded by the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have published a more detailed defense of our use of polemics in the following two posts: “Is Novus Ordo Watch just full of ‘Venom’ and ‘Bitter Zeal’?” and: “True vs. False Charity: Who’s the Hater now?”
Question 5: What is the purpose of this web site?
Answer: The primary purpose of this web site is to inform and educate. We wish to compare and contrast the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith with the new religion instituted after the supposed election of Cardinal Angelo Roncalli as “Pope” John XXIII in 1958 and his disastrous Second Vatican Council (aka “Vatican II”, held from 1962-65). We are confident that our web site provides sufficient documentation, esp. at our continually-updated Novus Ordo Wire blog, to prove that since the death of the last known Pope, Pius XII (1939-58), the apparent Catholic establishment in the Vatican has been run by anti-Catholic infiltrators who have done everything in their power to destroy the Catholic Faith and cause scandal and impiety among the faithful, all under the guise of a “Great Renewal” of the Faith and ad nauseam references to a supposed “New Springtime” of Catholicism. The truth, however, is the exact opposite. This web site is dedicated to pointing out that truth.
Novus Ordo Watch embraces the position known as “Sedevacantism” and has been in operation since late 2002. It is visited by many Catholic traditionalists throughout the world, but our primary target audience is dear souls in the Novus Ordo Church who are realizing that something is woefully wrong and amiss but lack sufficient information to see the whole picture.
In 2005, the historic contribution and significance of Novus Ordo Watch (novusordowatch.org) was recognized by the United States Library of Congress. In fact, in April of 2005, Novus Ordo Watch was acknowledged by the United States Library of Congress as a “historic collection of Internet materials related to the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of a new Pope.”
Question 6: You sound and act like Protestants. You disobey the Church, you find your own excuses for doing so, and you reject the Pope and his teachings. You’re nothing but Protestants!
Answer: This answer will have two parts. First, let us assume this were true (only for the sake of argument). Let us assume that, yes, we are just Protestants in reverse, we’re Martin Luther to the other extreme. So what? The Vatican II Church does not have a problem with that. In fact, Vatican II even says (see Vatican II’s Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 3) that as Protestants, we at Novus Ordo Watch “are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church” and — note well! — we “have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation” because “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using [us] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.” There you have it! Lighten up already! We are very honored to be Protestants, since even God Himself makes use of us to save souls! In fact, when we baptize someone, we are using a liturgical action that “must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation,” so stop complaining about us being Protestants. You should be proud that we are Protestants! We expect you to give us episcopal rings and pectoral crosses, sign theological agreements with us, hold joint vesper services with us, and, when one of us passes to eternity, we expect you to imitate Benedict XVI and declare him to have been a “faithful servant” and to have “attained eternal joy”!
Now to the second answer. Let’s be serious here. Does Novus Ordo Watch assist at or promote an invalid Protestant-modernist worship service? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch sign theological agreements with Protestant heretics? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch say that the Holy Ghost uses Protestant sects as means of salvation? No. Does anyone at Novus Ordo Watch act as though Protestants had an apostolic mandate to preach the Gospel or make society a better place? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch give away Catholic symbols such as episcopal rings or pectoral crosses and hand them to Protestant laymen dressed up as clergy? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch invite Protestant clergy to have joint ecumenical worship services and even allow for the building of joint Catholic-Protestant churches, as John Paul II’s Directory on Ecumenism says (nos. 137-140)? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch help any heretic celebrate his false worship “worthily” by lending him whatever may be necessary for it, as John Paul II said his bishops may do (no. 137)? No. Does Novus Ordo Watch deny, compromise, or equivocate on any doctrine, esp. as taught by the Council of Trent against the Protestants? No.
The Novus Ordo Church does all that. Novus Ordo Watch doesn’t. And yet we are the Protestants? No, we are not Protestant. The Novus Ordo Church is a neo-Protestant church. It is not the Catholic Church, and that is why we have nothing to do with it.
Finally, the claim that we sedevacantists engage in “private judgment” to determine who the Pope is, and this makes us like Protestants, is refuted here.
Question 7: But the Church had bad Popes in the past as well! That doesn’t mean they weren’t Popes, and people didn’t just abandon them and say they weren’t real Popes.
That is correct but beside the point, because we are not talking about bad Popes but about non-Catholic “Popes”. The point is not that Francis and his infamous predecessors have sinned against morals but against the Faith. But sins against the Faith (such as heresy or apostasy), if they are public, make one a non-Catholic and thus unable to hold office in the Catholic Church. We have explained this at length, with documentation, in the following post: “The Bad Popes Argument”.
Question 8: But Vatican I teaches that there will be “perpetual successors” to St. Peter, and therefore you cannot say there is no Pope. Besides, our Lord promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, and if there hasn’t been a valid Pope since 1958 (Pius XII), then the gates of hell have clearly prevailed.
Actually, the First Vatican Council does not teach that there will always be a Pope. The council could not possibly teach such a thing because this is obviously false, since there is always a period of no Pope (a so-called “interregnum”) after one Pope dies and before a new one is elected, and in Church history this period has sometimes lasted even for years. What Vatican I truly teaches is this: “Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema” (Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus). The key phrase is “in the primacy”. The council is teaching that the primacy that was conferred upon St. Peter is retained in all his valid successors perpetually. In other words, for as long as there is a valid Pope, this Pope will enjoy the same primacy that St. Peter had received from our Lord — there will never be a Pope who will be a successor to St. Peter but not also have the same primacy, and this is guaranteed in perpetuity. That is what the council is teaching; it has nothing to do with how long of an interregnum the Church can endure. We explain this in greater detail in this post.
As far as the accusation that Sedevacantism would mean that the gates of hell have prevailed against the Church, which Christ our Lord promised would never happen (see Mt 16:18), nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the opposite is true: Only if the Vatican II “popes” are invalid can we affirm that the gates of hell have not prevailed. This is easy to see once we understand what the Church teaches is meant by the gates of hell prevailing. We have put all the evidence together in this detailed article, and we also have a brief video that explains the essentials.
Question 9: Let’s say you are right about all this, that the Modernists have taken over and usurped the Chair of St. Peter and that the Vatican institution is a heretical sect, no longer the Catholic Church of the ages. Then what? What do we do now? Where is this going, and how is it going to be resolved?
Answer: We have posted a lengthy article on this with helpful guidance and direction. Please click here.
This list of Questions & Answers will be expanded in the future