The Gospel found in the Traditional Latin Mass for the Wednesday of the third week of Lent includes this excoriation from Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Pharisees: Then came to Him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: “Why do Thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.” But He answering, said to them: “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said: ‘Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death.’ But you say: ‘Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.’ And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition (mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram.)”—Mt 15:1-6.
Here, the Latin word propter (the Greek word διὰ) can be roughly translated as in exchange for. Jesus is telling the Pharisees of His day that they take the commandments of God (mandatum Dei or in Greek τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ—literally the Word of God) and replace it “in exchange for your traditions.” Christ is speaking of the Pharisees’ new traditions, not God’s old traditions.
Usually it is the Protestants who say that Catholics have added man-made traditions in place of the Sacred Scriptures. But Protestants are quite easy to disprove, for we Catholics can show them that all our traditions, devotions, liturgies, apologetics, doctrines and even disciplines are at least in seminal form in the Bible. (Protestants don’t even own full Bibles with all 73 books, so they really don’t have any authority to even claim their collapsing pillar of Sola Scriptura.)
So, today I want to again discuss the difference between modernist Catholicism and traditional Catholicism in the light of the above Gospel. Notice that in Mt 21:6, Jesus accuses the Pharisees, “You have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.” Again, the Latin for those last few words is mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram. So, when do the Commandments of God (mandatum Dei) go back to? They go back to what was written on Adam’s heart (6,000 BC) and then on Abraham’s heart (2000BC.) Only because of the hardness of their hearts did the commandments of God get written on stone tablets for Moses’ people (1350 BC.) So, at the very latest, those ten mandatum Dei go back to 1350 BC. At the very, very latest.
Jesus then shows that the modern Pharisees of his day have found a new loophole around the fourth commandment called “Corban” where the hypocritical religious leaders of his day have found a way to make more money while pretending to take care of their poor biological parents. We won’t get deep into “Corban” here, but see Mark 7:11. How old is the New Testament’s Pharisees’ loophole of “Corban”? I don’t know. But I don’t see it anywhere in the Old Testament. Therefore, it’s pretty safe to say that Jesus is tackling a newfangled theological idea of the first century employed by the Jewish religious leaders exclusively for self-promotion, not theological soundness.
Notice that the religious leaders of Jesus’ day created new traditions to get around old commandments of God. Who does this sound like in the 21st century? Conservative Catholics trying to get their families to heaven? Or the modernist Catholic hierarchy in chanceries and Rome using loopholes to sink unchangeable doctrine and liturgy?
All of this continues to disprove the American silly modern-movies that Jesus was the hippy who got rid of old rules. I mean, the Pharisees were mean and Christ was loving. They get that much correct. But the theology presented to us in this Protestant culture is all wrong. All you have to do is read the New Testament to see that Jesus was first living that Abrahamic Judaism of trust and then a Mosaic Judaism of the Commandments and then He fulfilled the entire law as its Messiah without overturning any of the Commandments. Christ said so: Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.—Mt 5:17
And most importantly on top of all of this, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is also God-the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity who was crucified on a Roman Cross because of those Pharisees. And as God, He then raised Himself on the Third Day. Jesus is fully-man and fully-God. Therefore, He can never contradict His own commandments or even His own true traditions. But the Pharisees of his day came up with new traditions and new loopholes for self-serving purposes. We must remember they were bad Jews, not good Jews. In fact, they didn’t even follow the canon-law of their day. (For example, in Judaism, no one was allowed to be tried as a criminal at night. But this is exactly what the Pharisees did to Christ in order to rapidly precipitate His execution. See Matthew 26:55.)
Granted, the Pharisees’ selfish games (like Corban) in the 1st century happened to be popularity-based and finance-based, while most of the modernist Catholic hierarchy loopholes are liturgy-based sexual-based. Why? Because of 1) Popularity. and 2) To ratify their consciences on the sixth commandment so they need not confess their sins. I believe that if Christ walked the earth today, He would probably say directly to us clergy: “You have made void the commandment of God for your tradition (mandatum Dei propter traditionem vestram.)”—Mt 15:1-6. That is, you may occasionally appear to manipulate canon-law, but you can never overturn My own classic doctrines and perennial liturgy.
It’s all further proof that Jesus was the traditionalist focused on Divine Revelation, while the Pharisees were the newfangled modernists focused on “canon-law” (so to speak) in order to manipulate the good people of their day. And just like the Sanhedrin who began a false-trial against Jesus during the night against their own canon-law, so also the enemies of tradition today frequently transgress both Divine Revelation and canon-law. Today, modernists may hide behind legalistic loopholes to abolish old Catholic worship and commandments, but in the end the enemies of God always transgress both God and His laws.
There will be few forthcoming blogs and podcasts and videos this Spring for three reasons: 1) I am assisting my mother in what seems to be her last days on earth. 2) I was locked out of my YouTube channel for thought-crimes against the left. 3) My pro-life trial from three years ago in New Jersey is delayed until April or May 2023… All of these things seem to have piled up in a way that is far outside my control at this point.