A Prescription Against
Written by I. Shawn McElhinney

Researched: February 1998-September 1999

Material Originally Written: November 1999-May 2000

First edition released: June 6, 2000

Author's Preface to the Third Edition:

Though modifications and updates were made from time to time - particularly in minor revisions released on 9/15/00, 9/08/01, and 11/05/01 - the only print revision previously released that differed substantially from the original was a second edition which was worked on in late December of 2000 and released on the 28th of that month. The second edition was significantly shorter in overall length, better detailed, noticeably better formatted, and with tighter arguments on several key points. All of this produced a much greater focus overall than the original version had. In large part this was because the revisions were not done concurrent with writing four other essays as the original version was.

I consciously sought in the second edition to expunge the original triumphalistic tone which permeated the first version as well as make a more precise clarification of a few terms - particularly the manner whereby I used the term "traditionalist". (To address certain presumptions of my use of terminology which were unfortunately misunderstood.) My outlook on a few ancillary points which trouble those of a "traditionalist" mindset also underwent some changes which were reflected in that edition as well. As significantly improved as the second edition was, I realized a few months after releasing it that my use of fewer (and longer) urls was a mistake. Many people emailed me who in thanking me for the work nonetheless pointed out the lengthy urls made it hard to read from a screen. (To say nothing about printing the urls out.) Nonetheless, circumstances did not allow for me to tend to correcting those project weaknesses for a long time. (Other essays needed to be written and several family crises over the course of a couple of years did not enable it to be tended to.) Also, what was originally going to be a touch up revision ended up being so substantial that it warranted being re-released as a new third edition. That brings us to the sixteen url third edition that you now have before you.

In putting out this third edition, I trust that those predisposed to be critical will actually read the work this time before deciding to pass judgment on its merits. I note this here because a few attempted critiques of the original version were clearly written by people who had not bothered to read the work first - and who probably did not bother with the even stronger and more cohesive second edition either. While perhaps not being as substantial as the second revision was, this third version of the work is nonetheless a very noticeable improvement in many areas over its predecessor. Among the areas of improvement to the third version include (i) a much shorter section layout for easier screen reading and/or printing (ii) a significant recasting of several url arguments - particularly the mass urls where I was able to utilize a side by side macro liturgy contrast in this version. Also, a few theological terms were more precisely applied than previously - including a couple which were outlined for the first time. Beyond that, (iii) several additional sources were utilized to fine-tune a few of the arguments and draw them out in greater detail and (iv) a couple of arguments that were to a degree conspicuously passed over in the previous addition were dealt with this time - including a couple of canon law clarifications, referencing Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei directly (in the context of the religious liberty question), and directly addressing Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Mortalium Animos (in the context of the ecumenism question). Finally, (v) I sought meticulously to expunge all triumphalistic tone in this version.

Other modifications were made as well - including any adjustments to my view on ancillary issues in the light of two additional years of reflection on these subjects which were applicable. Nonetheless, the bottom line really is that what is written here will probably not convince those whom Bill Grossklas refers to as  "blinder wearing die-hard" types. Such people generally have ignorance in direct proportion to their disinterest in the truth if it does not present itself in a matter which is to their liking. And of these kinds of people, no arguments are sufficient to sway them for they do not want to hear the truth. However, for those who do, this work can be of assistance in two ways (i) in learning the truth about this insidious charade and (ii) for helping others of good-will who have been snared by it to be set free as only the truth really can.

So in summary, I hope this edition proves to be a more serviceable version than the second one was - both for the casual reader as well as those to whom the work was originally intended for: people of good-will who have fallen for the deceptive lies of "traditionalism". In short, those who strive to place Truth over and above their own personal opinions and scruples and are not afraid to "enter the dark night and be purged" (cf. Dark Night of the Soul) of their errors and misunderstandings.

I. Shawn McElhinney
26 January 2003
Feast of Sts. Timothy and Titus

Preface Addendum:

I found in revising this work in December and January that more than half the links I supplied in the last edition were broken. And though they were all repaired - with new links to the same sources supplied - the recent breakdown of my Vatican II documents link less than two months after releasing the third version provides the opportunity to make an appeal to the readers of this work. I did not have the services of an outside editor for this version - and the spell checker was not without its occasional problems. I would ask therefore that if anyone sees a glitch - either in spelling or in a defunct link - please let me know so they can be fixed as soon as I can get to them. After a while it all blends together when editing and I may have overlooked some minor glitches. Assistance in that endeavour - and also in the maintenance of the treatise's live links - would be greatly appreciated.

17 March 2003
Feast of St. Patrick



Foreword - by 'Matt1618'



Modern Parallels to Ancient Dissidents


'Traditionalist' Errors Syllabus Part I - On Tradition
Tradition/Living Magisterium


'Traditionalist' Errors Syllabus Part II - On the Mass

A Macro Look at the Two Rites of Mass


A Micro Look at the Pauline Mass (Part I)


A Micro Look at the Pauline Mass (Part II)


Vatican II and its Authority (Part I)


Vatican II and its Authority (Part II)


Some Errors and Deceptions of Disingenuous 'Traditionalists'


'Traditionalism' and its Status Under Canon Law

URL 10

'Traditionalist' Errors Interpreting Vatican II (Part I)

URL 11

'Traditionalist' Errors Interpreting Vatican II (Part II)

URL 12

Some Parallels Between 'Traditionalism' and Jansenism

URL 13

More Parallels Between 'Traditionalists' and Jansenists

URL 14

A Refutation of Sedevacantism

Protocols and Paranoia

Summary of Treatise

The Meaning of Being Catholic

URL 15

Appendix A. In The Line of Fire
Appendix B. Fr. John Rizzo's Letter
Appendix C. Fr. Gary Campbell's Letter

URL 16

Appendix D. Excerpts from the Forgotten Vatican I Relatio
Appendix E. Dr. Art Sippo on Ecumenism
Appendix F. Writings