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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From the “People of God”, Libera Nos, Domine!

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St. Pius X St. Pius X

"Any attempt to make the ‘Church learning’ (discens) and the ‘Church teaching’ (docens) collaborate in such a way that it only remains for the Church docens to sanction the opinions of the Church discens is categorically reprobated and condemned." …Pope St. Pius X

Near the end of his pontificate Pope John Paul II famously decried the massive “silent apostasy on the part of people who live as if God does not exist." It was one of the late Pontiff’s more prescient observations, coupled as it was with poignant warnings against what he called "widespread and growing religious agnosticism" and the "profound moral and legal relativism" of the "culture of death". But apostasy does not exist in a vacuum. People, not things, are apostates. More specifically, Catholics are apostates for only they can renounce the Catholic Faith. Only they can abandon the Catholic religion and thus become, by definition, apostates. John Paul was thus lamenting the horrific reality that millions of Catholics have become apostates.


Ironically, it is those same ubiquitous apostates that the Vatican now reverentially refers to as the “People of God” to whom the Church must listen carefully if she is ever to convey the “Gospel message” in a “meaningful way”. Personally, I’ve grown weary of the “People of God” posing as Catholics and thus perverting the very meaning of the word. I long for the day when Mother Church will tell the “People of God” to either grow up or go the hell, presumably still the ultimate destination for apostates.

Perhaps then the Church could get back to doing what Christ founded her to do: Inform the peoples of the world what we must do to save our immortal souls, convert all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Holy Trinity. But, alas, this is evidently too much to expect from a “progressive” Catholic Church.

For “progressives” the “People of God”, not God Himself, have the answers. The “People of God” are coddled, praised and asked for input via Vatican surveys so that they might inform the witless Catholic Church what she must do in order to become relevant to the apostates. (Is there anything left in this brave new world of ours that is NOT demonically inverted, reversed and upside-down?)

The “People of God”, not unlike the “American People” where U.S. politicians are concerned, provide ground cover for Vatican politicians to do whatever they want. After all, the ‘People of God’ have spoken and the post-conciliar Vatican seems hell-bent on a democratic makeover for the Catholic Church.

So now we’re all bracing for the Synod on the Family next month, cringing as the Vatican solemnly informs us that under Pope Francis’ guidance, a survey of the “People of God” has aided in finding “new ways” for the Church to address the “pastoral challenges” of the day—like what to do with all those pesky divorced and remarried “People of God” who demand to live in adultery but also want to commit a little sacrilege come Sunday morning. As Chris Ferrara observed recently on Remnant TV, “addressing pastoral challenges” is Modernist doublespeak for: “How can we get around doctrine?”

In any case, the whole pre-Synod “survey” of the “People of God” is like something straight out of the funny papers. Even the preparatory document itself, Instrumentum Laboris, admits that the survey reveals that the “People of God” have essentially departed from the Church of God, rejecting the moral authority of the Church, not even bothering with Vatican II anymore (Vatican what?), and in general telling the Church exactly where she can go.

And whose fault is that? Well, surely not the guys currently conducting the stupid survey. After all, they’re addressing the crisis at hand; they’re even attempting to estimate the extent of the devastation their own failed policies caused in the first place. So, obviously, they’re part of the solution. What’s needed, even more obviously, is “even more of the same,” and the Vatican is preparing to bring it on.

We need still more Vatican II!

You were under the impression that VVII Day (Victory of Vatican II) had already been declared some five decades ago. Right? You thought we were already living in the “new springtime” of Vatican II.  Correct? Well, apparently not. According to Instrumentum Laboris, the “People of God” never actually got that memo, and so what’s needed now is even more of the same ecclesiastical Silly Putty on which the “People of God” have been gagging for the past half century--thus the "silent" apostasy.

Abundantly obvious to everyone except the ageing ecclesiastical hippies currently running the Vatican, the “People of God” have been put into a spiritual coma, with the vast majority now incapable of assenting to the Church’s most basic moral teachings, much less her hard doctrine. But, never fear—the Vatican has a plan. It’s time for a survey. We exterminated their faith, bulldozed their churches, wrecked their families and even sodomized lots of their kids. The least we can do is ask them how we can do more.

We’re from the Vatican and we’re here to help!

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Instrumentum Laboris (or is it Laborious) is chock full of references to “the responses” from the “People of God” that Pope Francis and his team are threatening to address next month at the Synod on the Family:

“Some responses note the importance of identifying elements from local cultures which can be of assistance in understanding Gospel values…”

“A vast majority of responses highlight the growing conflict between the values on marriage and the family as proposed by the Church and the globally diversified social and cultural situations.”

“The responses are also in agreement on the underlying reasons for the difficulty in accepting Church teaching, namely, the pervasive and invasive new technologies; the influence of the mass media…”

“Many responses voiced a need to find new ways to communicate the Church's teachings on marriage and family, which depends greatly on the vitality of the particular Church, its traditions and the effective resources at its disposal.”

“Above all, some recognize the need of forming pastoral workers to communicate the Christian message in a culturally appropriate manner.”

Blah, blah, blah! God help us. Here’s a thought: The Vatican could simply re-issue the old Syllabuses both by Pius IX and St. Pius X, and then proclaim to the “People of God” that anyone refusing to abide by these is no longer Catholic and thus faces everlasting damnation. Period. Have a nice day!

My father was asking for this in the pages of The Remnant forty years ago, and we’re still asking for it today. That is the point of our Stop the Synod petition, in fact, which, humanly speaking, is obviously a hopeless proposition. As we see it, however, someone, somewhere must make public provocations like this if for no other reason than to set the historical record straight—that not every Catholic in the post-Vatican II era was a card carrying member of the Silent Apostasy.

By the way, Pope St. Pius X agrees that any attempt to make the “Church learning” (discens) and the “Church teaching” (docens) “collaborate in such a way that it only remains for the Church docens to sanction the opinions of the Church discens” “is likewise categorically reprobated and condemned. My father pointed this out back in 1972. Nobody was listening then and nobody is listening now, but that doesn’t change the truth of the matter, nor does it mitigate the sheer insanity of the new orientation of the Catholic Church in the modern world.

From more “meaningful ways” to address the “pastoral challenges” effecting the “People of God”, libera nos Domine! MJM

On This and That

By Walter L. Matt

Reprinted from The Remnant, July 15, 1972

Taking measured and consistent issue with modern-day “ecumenists”, inter-faith “equalizers” and “democratizers” generally, is, in my opinion, the duty of all Catholics concerned with the preservation of the Faith as we have always known it and practiced it.

The “ecclesia docens” (or official TEACHING CHURCH) on the one hand, and the “ecclesia discens” (or ordinary body of the Faithful who are obliged to accept and submit to the infallible teaching of the Magisterium), is a point which is being increasingly ignored or brushed aside as no longer relevant or even valid for the supposedly “more matured” “People of God” in this mad era of the “evolution of dogma” and the canceling out of sacred Tradition.

For the Modernists and assorted “progressivists” in our midst, what matters now is that the “people of God” – i.e., both the teaching Church as well as the rank-and-file Faithful – should be amalgamated, so to speak, into “a kind of common mind”, as Pius X so aptly expressed it, to which “the ecclesiastical magisterium must be subordinate – and therefore take democratic forms.” (Encyc., Pascendi, Pius X Sept. 8, 1907)

This, in fact, is what we have come to, as Pius X feared we might. With the ongoing trend towards “democratization” and “equalization” within the Church of Jesus Christ, the Authority not only of Peter but of Christ Himself has been drastically reduced, if not dethroned. And yet, the self-same destructive revolt and upheaval, chiefly unleashed by “theologians” and other supposedly responsible leaders within the Church itself, not only continues unabated, but is all too universally encouraged and allowed to continue even today!

How can this be, the people wonder. Why do so many of our Bishops remain silent in the face of such dread betrayal, in the face of spiraling efforts to reconcile the Church and her most precious traditions and teachings with the world, the flesh, and the devil?

The truth is, as Fr. Battista Mondin warned in the L'Osservatore della Domenica only a few weeks ago, that the Church in America is destined for extinction in the very near future if the present liberalist-modernist trend continues. In his words, it will be “torn apart from top to bottom by a tremendous earthquake” of desertion and disaffection unless the “people of God” wake up.

The truth is, as was emphatically proclaimed by Pope St. Pius X on July 3, 1907, that any attempt to reconcile the Church with so-called modern “science” and “civilization” by “transforming it into a non-dogmatic Christianity” or “a broad and liberal Protestantism”, is categorically reprobated and condemned. The truth is, moreover, that any attempt to make the “Church learning” (discens) and the “Church teaching” (docens) “collaborate in such a way that it only remains for the Church docens to sanction the opinions of the Church discens” “is likewise categorically reprobated and condemned. (See Syllabus Condemning the Errors of the Modernists,” Pius X, July 3, 1907)

And yet, the self-same attempts to “democratize” the Church continue today as before, as does the kindred endeavors (in Pius X's words) to transform the Church into a non-dogmatic Christianity or “a broad and liberal Protestantism.”

In the circumstances, it appears to me that Fr. Paul Crane is quite right when he declares: “What false charity is this that allows these wretched little men and women first to wreck from within, as a prelude to stalking arrogantly and the final snubbing out of the priesthood or religious life, or, indeed, the Church itself? Why are they left around so long, unrebuked, to infect the Faithful with their errors?”

Fr. Crane pleads for Pope and bishops to guard the faith and condemn error fearlessly, rebuking those guilty of it, and, if necessary, excommunicating them, putting them outside the body of the Faithful so that they should no longer continue to scandalize and infect the members with their heresy and double-talk.

I second his earnest plea. And if it be true, as Cardinal Wright recently put it, that a new “Syllabus of Errors” would be impractical, inasmuch as this might require a veritable “Encyclopedia Britannica,” I’m all for the Holy See simply re-issuing the old Syllabuses both by Pius IX and St. Pius X, and then proclaiming to the Faithful that anyone refusing to abide by these and honoring these is out and is no longer to be regarded as a faithful Catholic. Period!









Last modified on Thursday, September 4, 2014
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.