Christopher A. Ferrara
Introduction: The War versus the Battle
In analyzing the outcome of that massive fraud called the Synod on the Family, it will not do to look at the Synod in isolation as a battle between opposing forces, applying a victory-defeat binary to each side’s position. The context of the synodal battle is the war on Tradition over the past fifty years, waged by a neo-Modernist army whose conquering march through the open gates of Vatican II has laid waste to vast stretches of the landscape of the Faith, forcing traditional Catholics to fall back into fortified defensive enclaves or to act as resistance fighters at the risk of detection, capture and execution—the fate of many tradition-minded priests and even bishops in occupied territory.
Therefore, before we ask how the Synod went, we must ask how the war is going.
." -Benedict XVI
Updated Version: This article was updated today, 10/12/15, in order to reflect additions that were made for the print edition of The Remnant. The two versions are now exactly the same. MJM
Editor’s Note: The following article is quite lengthy. But like Chris Ferrara’s other more lengthy contributions to this journal, it “reads short” while providing a clear and comprehensive overview of a complex situation. Francis’s Blitzkrieg “reform” of the annulment process is a turning point in Church and world history that deserves the thorough treatment it receives here.
An Urgent Appeal from Chris Ferrara
Mike Matt did not want me to write this letter. He hates this kind of thing. But I insisted upon it. The people who know and love The Remnant need to come its aid now, because The Remnant is fighting for its life.
I have proudly served as The Remnant’s lead columnist for some thirteen years. It has been an honor and a privilege to contribute to the legacy of a venerable Catholic journal that has been telling its readers the truth about the crisis in the Church from the moment the crisis began almost fifty years ago.
“Well, here’s another nice mess you've gotten me into.” -Oliver Hardy to Stan Laurel
In article “Who’s on First?” I opined that in his letter of September 1, 2015, which declares that “those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach… priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins,” Pope Francis has exhibited a “freewheeling approach to the Petrine office” akin to “someone wildly firing a shotgun who manages to hit a clay pigeon.” Where the SSPX is concerned, the Pope happens to be on target for the final outcome that justice dictates: the complete and unconditional regularization of the SSPX without any further nonsense about establishing a “full communion” no other Catholics on earth are required to demonstrate.
Some points on yesterday’s bombshell letter from Pope Francis validating SSPX confessions:
o First we were told the SSPX bishops were excommunicated and in schism, and their priests suspended and in schism.
o Then were told the bishops were no longer excommunicated, but still in schism—or kind of in schism—while the priests were suspended and in schism, or kind of.
o Then we were told that neither the bishops nor the priests were in schism, but only “lacking full communion,” with “no canonical mission in the Church.” The priests, however, are still suspended.
Michael Voris and CMTV have repeatedly been embarrassed by Voris’s video denunciations of egregious episcopal misdeeds, such as washing the feet of women on Maundy Thursday, which are then committed by Francis. This development has left Voris literally speechless because he adheres to the neo-Catholic principle of papal positivism: whatever the Pope says or does is immune from criticism simply because it is a Pope who has said or done it. The result is that the rational grounds for Voris’s endless bishop-bashing are effectively self-negated, rendering his entire critique of the “Church of Nice” gratuitous and rhetorically dishonest.
Mark Shea’s online broadcast on the sting videotapes of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human body parts is a prime example of what his brand of neo-Catholic punditry is all about: the smug assurance that he is more nuanced than thou, more thoughtful than thou, more reasonable than thou, and thus more deeply Catholic than thou. As usual, however, Shea is simply more obnoxious than thou.
In vocal tones that echo his smarmy blog posts, Shea inveighs against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) for employing assumed names in order to gain access to the inner sanctum of Planned Parenthood, where CMP investigators engaged PP representatives in grisly conversations about their harvesting and pricing of the internal organs of butchered babies.
You know what? I get it. I really do get the outrage over a Minnesota dentist’s $50,000 vanity kill of Cecil the Lion. With elaborate measures in place for his protection, the dentist finished Cecil off with a rifle after ineptly wounding him with a compound bow, which left the animal bleeding for days as the intrepid hunter and his professional guides tracked it down. Then he hacked off the beast’s head so he could take it home and mount it in his study.
A fair fight, if you please! A man-versus-beast, put-your-life-on-the line, kill-or-be-killed sort of encounter with the wild. That is what we imagine big game hunting to be: an extreme sport for those who crave killing a beast that at least has a realistic chance of killing them (the mortally sinful nature of such daredevil sports aside). Or, more nobly, the defense of people against a predator on the loose in a human community. But not this mode of hunting: an elaborate Disney World-style thrill ride, the illusion of danger in a cocoon of safety with a moneyed vulgarian’s ultimate souvenir waiting at the end. Lured into the open with tasty bait, Cecil, a celebrity lion used to friendly relations with humans in the Zimbabwean wildlife preserve from which he was lured, walked cooperatively into the hands of his killers.