So you just stumbled upon this web site and are wondering what in the world this is all about? Then this page is for you!
What’s going on? Why this odd web site?
To make a long story short: What is today known as Roman Catholicism is in fact not the Roman Catholicism of the past. You can verify this for yourself just by looking at Church history, and virtually all disinterested historians will confirm this. The big rupture occurred at the Second Vatican Council, a gathering of all Catholic bishops called in 1959 by the newly-elected “Pope John XXIII”. It was held from 1962 until 1965 in Vatican City. John XXIII died in 1963, and his successor, “Pope Paul VI”, continued and concluded the council, making it legally effective for the entire church.
The long-term effect of the council has been a complete revolution in Catholicism, one that has been most visible in the changes in Catholic worship, specifically in the Holy Catholic Mass, which went from being a solemn, dignified, and otherworldly rite of Sacrifice being offered to the Most Holy Trinity in the sacred Latin tongue by a priest facing God and therefore having his back to the congregation, to being a pedestrian service in which the priest is reduced to the status of a mere presider over a meal, often acting even as an entertainer, reading dull prayers in English while facing the people. Lots of lay participation in the sanctuary contributes to an already-desacralized service. The results have been catastrophic: exceptionally low Mass attendance, an unprecedented crisis in vocations to the priesthood, and a “Catholic” populace ignorant of some of the most basic tenets of Catholicism.
But the “New Mass” or Novus Ordo Missae, as it is called, is merely one visible symptom of the fundamental problem, which is that the religion you see today as “Roman Catholicism” is not the Catholic religion of ages past but is basically the religion of the Second Vatican Council, usually abbreviated as “Vatican II” (the First Vatican Council, or Vatican I, had taken place from 1869-70 under Pope Pius IX). A great many ideas today promoted as Roman Catholicism, are actually rooted only in Vatican II and were not known or accepted before — and that’s a pretty long “before”, around 1,900 years. Things like ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, interfaith prayer services, opposition to the death penalty, religious freedom as an ideal for every society, an exaggerated emphasis on human dignity, declaring all war to be evil (even just war) — all these are examples of Vatican II ideas, not Catholic ideas.
Now here’s the rub: According to perennial Catholic teaching, it is not possible for the Catholic Church to undergo a substantial change. Her teachings cannot change in essence; she cannot contradict or abandon what she taught before; she cannot offer a “new religion” to her followers.
In response to the phenomenon of the Vatican II revolution, there are three essential lines of thought that have been proposed as “solutions” to understanding the situation. This is not now the place or time to critique or justify any of them. For now, we just want to describe them:
- (1) despite appearances, nothing has really substantially changed, and any interpretation of Vatican II that arrives at the conclusion that there has been a substantial change must be incorrect;
- (2) we must oppose (resist) these substantial changes and stick to the traditional, age-old teaching instead and ignore the Vatican II novelties while recognizing, however, that the authorities in the Vatican are legitimate and genuine Roman Catholic authorities — we just cannot agree with them on these points;
- (3) because it is impossible for the Catholic Church to change substantially, and because Vatican II constitutes such an impossible substantial change, it is necessary to conclude that the authority which gave us Vatican II is not in fact the legitimate Catholic authority; that is to say, the “Popes” who gave us Vatican II are not true Popes, nor are their successors, who have implemented and expanded this new religion that has its roots in the council. In fact, the entire religion that now occupies the Vatican and the official structures of the Catholic Church throughout the world is false — it is not the Catholic religion at all, and its putative authorities are not Catholics but heretical usurpers.
The first line of thought described above is often termed (not necessarily correctly) “conservative Catholic”, “orthodox Catholic”, “Novus Ordo”, “conservative Novus Ordo”, or “indult”. Prominent organizations and individuals which can be said to promote or be associated with this position would include Catholic Answers, EWTN, Fraternity of St. Peter, Institute of Christ the King, Franciscan University of Steubenville, National Catholic Register, The Wanderer, Latin Mass Magazine, Church Militant, Vericast, Fr. Kenneth Baker, Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, Karl Keating, Scott Hahn, Michael Voris, Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, Steve Kellmeyer, Dave Armstrong, Mark Shea, and many others.
The second line of thought described above is often termed (not necessarily correctly) “traditionalist”, “traditional”, “resistance”, “recognize-and-resist” (“R&R”), or “SSPX”. Proponents of this position include the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), Tradition In Action, The Remnant, Catholic Family News, Fatima Network, TRADITIO, TradCatKnight, Bp. Bernard Fellay, Bp. Richard Williamson, Rev. Paul Kramer, Rev. Nicholas Gruner, John Vennari, Eric Sammons, Michael Matt, Christopher Ferrara, Kennedy Hall, Timothy Flanders, Taylor Marshall, Eric Gajewski, and many more. Here at Novus Ordo Watch we like to refer to this position as “recognize-and-resist”, “neo-traditionalist”, “pseudo-traditionalist”, or “semi-traditionalist”.
The third line of thought is the one we espouse at Novus Ordo Watch, and it is a theological position known as “Sedevacantism”, from the Latin sede vacante, “the chair being empty”, referring to the Chair of St. Peter that is occupied by the Pope — when there is a legitimate Pope reigning. Sedevacantism is by far the least popular position, the “black sheep” no one wants to be “tainted” with. Besides Novus Ordo Watch, other groups or individuals who promote or share this position include True Restoration, the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI), Istituto Mater Boni Consilii, Sodalitium, AKA Catholic, Bp. Geert Stuyver, Bp. Donald Sanborn, Bp. Mark Pivarunas, Bp. Clarence Kelly, Fr. Anthony Cekada, Fr. Michael Oswalt, Fr. William Jenkins, John Daly, Thomas Droleskey, Stephen Heiner, John Lane, Louie Verrecchio, Mario Derksen, Griff Ruby, Steve Speray, and others.
As for the term “Novus Ordo”, in its most general application it simply refers to the new, pseudo-Catholic religion of Vatican II described above.
The main purpose of this web site, then, is two-fold: It is to demonstrate how the first two lines of thought are false and how only the third one corresponds to reality; and it is to monitor what the false “Catholic” authorities in the official Catholic structures are up to and demonstrate how what they teach and promote is at odds with the authentic, genuine, traditional Catholicism of the ages. For this reason, our web site is called “Novus Ordo Watch”.
For More Information
If you are interested in more information about these issues, simply use the convenient menu options at the top of the page to navigate the wealth of information available at our web site. Alternatively, you can use the search box at the top right of the page or use one of the categories or tags listed in the side bar.
Our most popular page, by the way, is the Novus Ordo Wire blog — it provides a great way to stay up to date on the shenanigans of the Vatican II Church and how they are contradicted and refuted by genuine traditional Catholicism. If you like listening to podcasts, you will enjoy our TRADCAST program, which is a great mix of information, education, and humorous entertainment — entirely free of charge. Also, be sure to check out our “Now What?” page, which answers most questions people have about what can be done by each individual Catholic right now in response to the crazy situation we find ourselves in.
To learn more about Novus Ordo Watch and how you can help restore true, traditional Catholicism, please peruse our site thoroughly and be sure to visit our About Us and Frequently-Asked Questions pages. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and subscribe to our Novus Ordo Wire RSS feed.
To be clear: We adhere fully to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church from her founding in 33 A.D. by the Blessed Lord Jesus Christ through the death of the last known Pope, Pius XII, on October 9, 1958. We are Roman Catholics.
May your visit to this site be a blessed and fruitful one. God bless you.
His Holiness Pope Pius XII
The last known true Pope of the Catholic Church
reigned March 2, 1939 – October 9, 1958
By Joachim Specht (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons