The Worst Crime

Recently it was reported that a priest in Minneapolis, who is a member of the Priestly Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, was excommunicated and his parish permanently closed.

The priest’s name is Rev. Vaughan Treco. He was accused of the “rejection of the magisterial authority of an Ecumenical Council and a series of popes.”

The “crime” that the priest “committed” was to criticize Vatican II. He gave a sermon in November of 2018.

In his sermon the priest contrasted the spirit of Vatican II with the spirit of Catholicism, saying that whereas the first is in favor of embracing the world, the second is set in opposition to the world.

In saying this, the priest was absolutely right. By the “world” should be understood not the creation which God made, or human beings in general, but instead the ensemble of persons, customs, culture, laws, and institutions which set the enjoyment of wealth, power, and pleasure as the ultimate goal in life, at the same time rejecting the life of heaven as the ultimate goal of mankind. It is exactly what St. Augustine called the City of Man, which is opposed diametrically to the City of God. The Catholic Church is the City of God, having its sights set irrevocably upon the next world, and at the same time considering this world to be of no value. This City of God, of which Christ is the King, and the City of Man of which the devil is the Prince, are engaged in a perpetual spiritual warfare. Consequently, the Church can never compromise with the world; it can only convert it.

Father Treco said: “The Catholic Church exists to bring all men and every nation under the Kingship of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Universe, but friends: In the face of our Lord’s clear teaching regarding the mission of the Church, the Conciliar Popes, the Successors of Peter have — in a way — repeated Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus Christ.”

He accused Paul VI of wrongdoing in seeing the United Nations as the provider of world peace, contrasting this view to what Pope Pius XI taught in his encyclical Ubi Arcano of 1922, in which he said that the only remedy for human conflict is the peace of Christ. Fr. Treco criticized Paul VI for his laxity in disciplining Catholic bishops, theologians, and seminary professors who were deviating from Catholic doctrine. He summed them up in this way: “men who denied the divinity of Christ; men who denied the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ; men who denied the unique saving power of Jesus Christ, and the daily re-presentation of this sacrifice, made once for all on the Cross of Calvary, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; men who denied the divine origin of the Church; men who denied the apostolic succession of the episcopacy, and men who denied the necessity of the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ.” The priest further decried the concessions that the post-Vatican II “popes” made to non-Catholic religions in the form of ecumenical gestures. He pointed out that since the Council, previously condemned errors and heresies have been permitted to run rampant, and have even been promoted by professors of Catholic theology and philosophy, theologians, priests, bishops, and cardinals.

All of these accusations are absolutely true, and are not in the slightest way exaggerated. It is refreshing to hear them said by someone who is in the Novus Ordo establishment.

He went on to point out that, in the wake of the Council, 80,000 nuns forsook their vows and 32,000 priests left the priesthood.

He denounced the permission to give Holy Communion to persons living in adultery, recently promulgated by Bergoglio in Amoris Lætitia. Then he declared: “The current epidemic of fornication, adultery and the acceptance of homosexuality as a moral good among the faithful and of the clergy . . . and the current scourge of homosexual predation among the priests and bishops of the Catholic Church are the foreseeable and inevitable fruit of the conciliar popes’ decision to respect, honor and approve the aspirations of modern man so-called; and to declare, pursue and defend the exaltation of man in the temples of God.”

These words are at once concise and accurate. I could not have said it better myself. This priest certainly understands Vatican II, and apparently sees Vatican II as the root of the problem, which is key to understanding the current disaster in the Catholic Church. So many focus only on the errors and outrageous statements of Bergoglio as the problem, as if John Paul II and Benedict XVI were free from the taint of Modernism.

What is interesting is that the first question posed to him by the “authorities” was whether or not he was a sedevacantist. They immediately understood that these accusations necessarily lead to that conclusion. But the priest made it clear that he was not a sedevacantist. Fr. Treco said: “I was asked if I believed that the Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis were legitimate popes. Quite honestly, I was taken completely off-guard by the question. It seemed to be quite unrelated to anything that had been said in the meeting thus far, and I was surprised because the question was completely unrelated to the substance of my homily.”

Although Fr. Treco made it clear that he was not a sedevacantist, and that he recognized Vatican II as legitimately convened, and even said, “I will recant anything that was wrong to state as I remain faithful to the Church and magisterium,” Bishop Lopes of Minneapolis excommunicated him for schism, saying: “Your published denial of magisterial authority of the Second Vatican Council and your assertion that the Council itself and a series of Popes are in error constitutes a public act of schism.”

Lessons to be learned. The first lesson is that there is no liberty for those who deny liberty. This was one of the axioms of the French Revolution. Here we could say, There is no Vatican II for those who deny Vatican II. In other words, for those who even dare to criticize Vatican II, there is no dialoguing, no sensitivity, no openness, no pluralism, no “accompaniment,” no “discernment,” in a word no wishy-washy, mushy, sleazy, nebulous, murky, or hazy approach to truth, so typical of Vatican II theology, but instead nothing but stern rigidity, so typical of pre-Vatican II Catholicism. No freedom of thought, but only swift excommunication. The difference is that the Catholic Church uses this very stern rigidity with regard to heresy and error, which rightfully deserve such treatment. The Modernists, on the other hand, use it only when the Golden Calf of Vatican II is blasphemed.

The second lesson is that the Modernist hierarchy understood immediately that to criticize the “magisterium” of Vatican II and of the subsequent “popes” leads logically to sedevacantism. Why is this so? Because they understand that it is impossible to reconcile the assistance of Christ to His Church and the rejection of the magisterium. In other words, if you need to sift the magisterium for what is Catholic, you are implicitly denying the assistance of Christ to His Church. If you say, however, that the magisterium does not enjoy the assistance of Christ, then you are implicitly saying that the person who claims to be the pope is not in fact the pope, since, if he were, he would have this assistance.