Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Life in a Traditional Catholic Seminary: "The Clerical Tonsure"
[A general view of the essential difference between the Traditional Roman Catholic Clergy and the New "Catholic" Clergy of the New “Catholic" Order (the Novus Ordo) - inaugurated at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) - of which the Crucified is the crucial test and point of departure. The reason for our "great reversal". Excerpted from a letter of our confrere who received this sacred rite.]
Tonsure, from the Latin "tonsura", denotes the cutting of the hair as well as the shaven crown worn by religious clerics as a distinctive mark of their state( cf. Numbers 8.5-22). By this traditional sacred rite – which is the prerequisite for the reception of Orders – a layman, a monk, or a friar who aspires to the Eternal Priesthood of Our Lord, according to the order of Melchisedech, is received into the clerical state.
The word cleric is derived from the Greek "kleros" which means “portion” or “inheritance”. The choice of the term is suggested by the words of God addressed to the tribe of Levi, by which the clerics were typified: You shall possess nothing in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and inheritance in the midst of the children of Israel (Numbers 18.20, DRV). St. Jerome, commenting on the passage, thus interprets the word cleric: “They are called clerics, because they are the portion of the Lord and because the Lord is their portion” (Ep. ad Nep.). The Ritual comments: “The Lord has chosen the clerics for His special service, and they have freely accepted the choice. In order to give themselves with wholehearted and undivided attention to the service of God, they renounce the pursuit of secular vocations.”
As the choice portion of the Lord set apart for His divine service, clerics ought to be manifestly marked, like all things devoted solely for the service of God, to make known before all their sacred consecration and their inviolability. And it seems to me that there is no better way to do this than by the shedding of their hair, for this reason: just as the lamb was shed of its hair before it was offered as oblation and finally immolated on the altar of Old, so the clerics of the Holy Roman Catholic Church are marked, and have always been marked, thus since their lot is none other than the fate of the Lamb of God who was offered and immolated on the Cross in Calvary and to Whom they freely choose to dedicate their whole life. By the sacred rite of tonsure, the Holy Church, under the infallible guidance of the Spirit of Truth Who teaches her all things (Jn 14.26), deeply impresses on the young Levite – as he shall ascend later as priest, though not anymore the steps leading to the altar of Old but now leading to what this OT altar only prefigured: the altar of the Eternal High Priest and Victim – his most blessed portion which is that of the Crucified. The life of a Roman Catholic cleric is the life of the Eternal High Priest the summit of which is His oblation and immolation on the Cross, the Cross which in turn is the sure mark and seal of his very identity with Whom he shall be commissioned to preach: Christ Crucified (1 Cor 1.23).
At this point, it is well to remark that he who passes through this door of the traditional Roman Catholic Rite of Clerical Tonsure to the summit of the Cross of the Eternal Priesthood of Our Lord recognizes clearly that his life can never be identified with or likened to that life according to the doctrine and ministry of the Protestant clergy and also of those who enter the New “Catholic Priesthood” as it was conceived in the Second Vatican Council. And this difference is our conformity to Christ Crucified (cf., 2 Cor 3.18), Who alone is explicitly professed by the Church in the Traditional Latin Mass, and our future divine mission of forming the Crucified in souls (cf., Gal 4.19).
It might be objected that this truth is not totally repudiated in the New “Catholic Order”, and that it is still affirmed. But this is the trick. We are not deceived by something that is evidently or manifestly evil which of course requires no more proof or demonstration of it. We are deceived because as the Word of God warns us: Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light (2 Cor 11.14). Yes, Christ Crucified is still affirmed and preached but no longer by all, always, and everywhere; only by a few of good will. However even this good will of the rare few in the Novus Ordo is not enough since the most pleasing acceptability of the ministry of a Roman Catholic priest before God does not depend on his good will but on the merits of Jesus Christ Crucified Whom he must resemble and Whose ancient priesthood he must partake. These Novus Ordo priests of good will still miss the standard set by Our Lord of which we learn from the Book of the Apocalypse in His rebukes and warnings to the higher authorities of His Church tolerating within the ranks of the clergy evil doers and open heretics, schismatics, and apostates: I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst bear them that are evil, and thou hast tried them, who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars... I know thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith... But I have against thee a few things: because thou hast left thy first charity... because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam... also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites (2.2,4,13,14,15). The suppression of this sacred rite of clerical tonsure, together with the traditional minor orders and even the major order of the subdiaconate, in the New "Catholic" Order only clearly points to the huge discrepancy or rather inconsistency between the reality of what the institution formally (that is, in principle) denies in its New Rite and what it projects to the faithful. Those then who struggle to hold to the truth yet at the same time tries to stick to this New "Order" of "Catholic" Life - in which the same truth is actually denied or rather passed over in silence and never formally affirmed - for the sake of 'official' "legitimacy", they are either not really true to the fundamental Roman Catholic principles they claim to steadfastly profess or to the diametrically opposed principles which constitute the foundation of the New "Catholic" Order.
The modern ministry commissioned to those who enter the New “Catholic” priesthood is to preach Vatican II’s New “Catholic” Orientation that will make the flock accept and enter, without any shocking disturbance to their Catholic conscience, into a New “Catholic Order” which is aligned with the New World Order (allergic to the traditional Catholic program of sovereign dominion of Christ as King not only of hearts, of families, but also of nations as prophesied in the Book of Psalms, 21.29; 144.13), in which the Crucified is not to hold anymore its sole dominating and therefore most prominent place of primacy at the sanctuary – for the fad is to see rather a Resurrected Christ on the Cross (the case in the chapel of our OCD Novitiate House). Satan’s dealings with us is not so much as to induce us to exclude God totally from our lives as to allot to God a place not due Him: a place other than that of primacy of His complete and total dominion which the Crucified returns to His Father and which He gives us for our example. Pope John Paul II affirmed, though not in a solemn manner as to engage papal infallibility, this new salvific horizon for the Novus Ordo surmounted by a resurrected Christ other than what the Roman Catholic world had known throughout the ages past until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965): “The fact that Christ ‘was raised the third day’ constitutes the final sign of the messianic mission, a sign that perfects the entire revelation of merciful love... In fact, Christ... has revealed in His resurrection the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people” ('Dives in Misericordia,' Nov. 30, 1980, n.8). In the New “Catholic Order”, the Cross of Christ in Calvary is no longer "the final sign of the messianic mission;" It has ceased to be the revelation of “the fullness” of God’s “merciful love.” The Traditional Roman Catholic clergy thunders with St. Paul: But we preach Christ Crucified! (1 Cor 1.23) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema (Gal 1.8).
This New Image of the “Catholic Cross” is explained unequivocally by the New “Catholic” Orientation which Pope Paul VI revealingly told the Novus Ordo seminarians of the Lombard College in Rome on June 29, 1972: “We preach ecumenism*.” And what this Vatican II "Ecumenism" entails? The dominating Cross of Christ in Calvary is not relevant to the modern world since it speaks of an imposed absolute one-way road that leads to the Truth and the Good, aside from the fact that it speaks of a “cruel” God Who passes or allows to pass on to an innocent enormous sufferings and torments and Who threatens with eternal damnation those who would refuse to embrace the Crucified and His Cross [cf., our post "The Ultimate Delusion of Vatican II 'Catholicism'"]. To meet this mentality of a world which chooses to put itself under the sway of a spirit other than the Spirit of the Crucified, it is incumbent then for this New “Catholic Order ” with its New Orientation to “re-create” a new image more agreeable to the enemies of the Cross yet less shocking for the Catholic conscience: a cross, yes though still there (for to take it away completely would reveal the true color of the innovators) but on which a victorious resurrected “Christ” surmounts it; yet, even then this must not dominate the New world-wide religious horizon: it is only one of the legitimate signs of salvation since everybody, anyways, calls on, adores, and worships one and the same “god”. It is only understandable why the Traditional Latin Mass (also the other Traditional Sacraments) and the whole of the ancient Roman Catholic Order founded on it had to be illegally suppressed and, even after the Summorum Pontificum of our Holy Father, must be opposed still.
* Vatican is preaching "ecumenism" as if it were a Catholic doctrine that must be held by all the faithful under pain of eternal damnation. Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Ut Unum Sint, revealed what this projected doctrine of "ecumenism" is: "[a] movement [which] really began within the Churches and Ecclesial Communities of the Reform" (65). Ecumenism is not a Catholic doctrine but a Protestant movement with this devastating effect: Pope John Paul II even called the Protestant sects as "Churches" as if Our Lord built on Peter "churches"; no, the Catholic Church can never be of equal footing with the "Bible-only" sectarians.
At a Traditional Roman Catholic Seminary (non-Sedevacantist, cf. our posts "On the Sedevacantist Position: A Reply (I) & (II), and non-'Conservatist' - that is, those under the Ecclesia Dei Commission), one is safe from any of the inevitable illusions sooner or later will confront those who place themselves in the service and ministry of Vatican II’s New “Catholic Order”. For here, the Ritual and all the Liturgical Books; the High Altar in the Sanctuary; and, the Catholic dogmatic teachings and spiritual doctrines being professed- based on the Sacred Scriptures, the constant teachings of the Chair of St. Peter, and on the doctrines of the Doctors of the Church especially of St. Thomas Aquinas - all consistently and precisely speak of and point to the Crucified Christ as the only one reality Who must figure in His Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and in the world through His Mystical Body, which, like its Head, Jesus Christ Crucified, is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Deo gratias!