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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pope Francis: A Cure for Neo-Catholitis (Welcome Back, Brothers!)

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Pope Francis with Sweden's Lutheran 'Archbishop' Antje Jackelan. The Pope referred to her as "my esteemed sister" Pope Francis with Sweden's Lutheran 'Archbishop' Antje Jackelan. The Pope referred to her as "my esteemed sister"
The Remnant’s Urgent Appeal to Pope Francis to Either Change Course or Renounce the Petrine Office has been translated into 11 languages, including Italian, Spanish, French, Romanian, Russian, German, Croatian, Slovak, Dutch, Portuguese and Korean, with a couple more on the way. Nearly all of these are spontaneous efforts (unsolicited by The Remnant) by faithful Catholics all over the world who have had enough.

The Urgent Appeal has been read by well over 100,000 people (that we know of) and picked up by websites in all four hemispheres. Word of it reached newspapers everywhere after the Associated Press quoted it rather favorably in an article by Nicole Winfield.


It was officially signed by The Remnant stable of writers only, but thousands of Catholics have since added their names to the online English version. We have not yet tallied up the additional signatories from around the world, so those who would still like to sign on to it can do so here.

The response to our Urgent Appeal has made it quite clear to us that Pope Francis’s regime of novelty is far less popular with practicing, faithful Catholics than the glowing homages in Rolling Stone magazine, Newsweek, and Time Magazine would suggest. In fact, it would seem that the Catholic world—or what’s left of it, at any rate—is finally beginning to wake up, thanks in large measure to the regime of Pope Francis.

There was a time when the debate between so-called Traditional Catholics and their Neo-Catholic counterparts may have appeared to revolve around unresolved issues, where a degree of uncertainty about trajectory was perhaps understandable. After all, the clerical sex scandal had not yet knocked a hole in the hull of the barque of Peter at the waterline; the image of the homosexual pedophile had not yet been superimposed over the Catholic priesthood; widespread church closings were still a few years off; so-called gay ‘marriage’ was not the law of the land in America and Catholic Ireland as it is now; multi-million dollar lawsuits had not yet been filed against nearly every major diocese in the US; we had a rock star for a pope and the whole world seemed enamored with the “renewed” Catholic Church.

What’s the problem with these ‘rad trads’? How many times I heard this, growing up back in the halcyon days of “renewal”, when only students of history (read: traditionalists) were scanning the horizon for signs of the advancing hordes of anti-Christians that today dominate our lives. It may have been the best of times on the face of things but the old traditionalists were convinced it was the worst of times and that a spiritual reign of terror was imminent.

They were right, of course, but it’s a lot easier to recognize the monumental crisis in the here and now of this bizarre pontificate of Pope Francis. And only an imbecile would fail to connect the dots between The Pope Francis Show and the 50-year regime of novelty of Vatican II and the New Mass that paved its way. The aggiornamento of yesterday has turned into the apostasy of today, and even children can understand that the ‘spirt of Vatican II’ made the pontificate of Francis an inevitable reality.  

The latest Bizarro stunt comes to us in the form of a Vatican announcement that Pope Francis will travel to Sweden in October for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the Protestant Revolt

Yes, that’s right—the Protestant revolt, when a Catholic priest named Father Martin Luther decided that the Christian Church had been wrong for 1500 years; that Aquinas, Augustine and every Church father and saint back to Peter was mistaken about the theology of the papacy; that it was time to tear up the Bible to fit Father Luther’s Sola Scriptura theories; that it was time to deny the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and, by the way, time for Father Luther to find himself a cute young thing to marry— an ex-nun by the name of Sister Katie von Bora.

The true Antichrist—said Martin Luther—is sitting in the temple of God and is reigning in Rome, that empurpled Babylon …. This from a guy who by his own admission, was infused (while on his toilet, no less) with the knowledge that the Church was the great Whore of Babylon, that four of her seven Sacraments were abominations, as were her priesthood, celibacy, papacy and monastic life.

On his toilet, Martin Luther also discovered that Faith alone will suffice, and that “all you need is love”.

The situation was so evil, so heretical, so immoral, so demonic, that the great St. Thomas More—a fierce opponent of Luther’s— came to consider the marriage of Father Martin Luther to Sister Katharina von Bora to be a diabolical union that in fact spawned the Antichrist—the Protestant Religion. 

Thomas More used the Greek term “anarchos” to describe Luther’s role in destroying Christendom. According to Peter Ackroyd’s The Life of Thomas More, the great martyr wrote that the “whole great change of European consciousness in the sixteenth century was due to the hatred that the Protestants bear to all good order and the great hunger they have to make [everything] disordered.”

St. Thomas More regarded Lutherans as “daemonun satellites” (“agents of demons”) who had to be stopped before they brought civilized society to ruin.

And yet this same Lutheran Revolt that fractured Christendom, prompted the emergency convocation of the Council of Trent, and was condemned by popes and saints at that time and ever since will now be happily commemorated by Pope Francis.

He’s even taken it upon his humble self to apologize to the Lutherans for the terrible treatment they received from fundamentalist Catholics who, living in the dark ages of faith, had not yet walked into the light of ecumenical babble and diabolical dialogue.

And so, on October 31, 2016 Pope Francis will travel to the Swedish city of Lund where, according to Vatican Radio, a one-day event will include a common worship service in Lund cathedral based on a Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” led by Pope Francis and Lutheran World Federation President Bishop Younan.

What are we witnessing here, if not the initial stages of a Vatican exoneration of  heresy and the rehabilitation of Protestant heretics, including Martin Luther who famously said of the papacy: “If I am prompted to say: ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ I must perforce add: ‘cursed, damned, destroyed must be the papacy.’”

And of the venerable Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, it was Martin Luther who said: “I declare that all the brothels…all the manslaughters, murders, thefts and adulteries have wrought less abomination than the popish Mass.”

St. Martin Luther, here we come. Welcome to the new and improved Catholic Church of Vatican II.

I find it difficult to believe that this radically anti-Catholic event will not indict the regime of novelty in the minds of many who do not self-identity as “traditionalists” but who rightly wonder how and why this can possibly be Catholic. Short answer: It’s not Catholic, unless you hold that it has now become a "rad trad" position to defend the Church's infallible teachings on the inerrancy of Scripture, the necessity of works, the Real Presence, and the theology of the papacy.

Clearly, the Church is under assault from within, and honest neo-Catholics will have to admit it. They’re as sick and tired of this rot as we are, only resisting it is all new to them. Weary of defending the indefensible and playing the part of enabler to the anti-Christians who have commandeered the bridge, I predict this will be the last straw for many of them.

After all, Neo-Catholics are not faithless apostates. They still pray their beads; they go to Mass, albeit more akin to a Protestant service than anything their fathers would have recognized as Catholic. But they are pro-life, pro-family, and count themselves among the most faithful Catholics in the world. So it’s not surprising—given the auto-demolition of the Catholic Church from Rome to wherever you are sitting right now—that a high percentage of them are ready to abandon misplaced optimism and join the ranks of the Traditionalists (read: CATHOLICS!).

So let’s facilitate this by lovingly attempting to convince our Neo-Catholic brothers that we're all in this together and that the dangerously ill-defined new evangelization, the trivialized New Mass, out-of-control ecumenical dialogue, and the entire demonic spirit of Vatican II are not of God.  

Let’s encourage them to overcome SCS (Self-loathing Catholic Syndrome), which aggressively targets traditional cells, composed of faithful Catholics who are only defending that which every practicing Catholic in the world believed just 50 years ago.

How did this universal apostasy come about? Vatican II, the New Mass and the total abandonment of Catholic Tradition had nothing to do with it? Puh-leeeze!

How many practicing Catholics before 1962 rejected the Church’s teaching on marriage, contraception, homosexuality and the sanctity of life? Statistically speaking, none! And today? Forget about it!

As was noted at the outset of this article, there was a time when all of this may have seemed academic but that time has passed. Hindsight is 20/20 and the Neo-Catholic game of Let’s Pretend has played itself out. As the man used to sing on Monday nights, Turn out the lights. The party’s over.

We see it every day now — more and more young families flocking to the Latin Mass, the home-schooling movement exploding, up-and-coming young writers and bloggers not suffering from Neo-Catholitis, standing up and speaking out; even some bishops and cardinals shaking their heads and admitting that something has gone very wrong—all of which provides stirring testament to action of God’s good grace among us and the fact that His Church will never die.

The success of The Remnant’s Open Letter to Pope Francis indicates that many former Neo-Catholics have had enough, thanks be to God, and are coming back to sacred Tradition.

Welcome back, brothers! We’re proud to have you down here in the trenches. Now let’s take our Church back.

Viva Cristo Rey

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Last modified on Thursday, January 28, 2016
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.