“I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”
Over the past several weeks we have watched, stunned, as Pope Francis conducts little short of a public jeremiad against Catholics he deems insufficiently in tune with Vatican II’s “dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today”—whatever that means—which he insists is “absolutely irreversible” even as the destruction from the failed conciliar aggiornamento continues to mount.
“The Syllabus in complete form is already in La Civiltà Cattolica in 1850. It is nothing other than the codification, the unconditional approval, the supreme papal sanction of those principles and doctrines that, already at the time of the definition of the Immaculate Conception, that periodical had assumed the task of promoting, and which for years and years it tenaciously supported.” (A. Dioscordi, “La rivoluzione italiana e la Civiltà Cattolica”, Atti del XXXII congresso del Risorgimento italiano, Rome, 1956, p. 94.)
The Catholic world has been shaken by the recent interview with Pope Francis appearing in the Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica [Italian for Catholic Civilization, it is a periodical published since 1850 without interruptions by the Jesuits in Rome. It is among the oldest of Catholic Italian periodicals and is directly revised by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See before being published.] Having done my doctoral dissertation on the first twenty years of that periodical’s history, I thought it might be interesting to Remnant readers to know that they can find in its original articles—and, in fact, in its very reason for existence—all the grounds necessary for a faithful critique of the pope’s words. For La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in 1850 precisely to combat the obvious Church weakness and surrender to willfulness that were the inevitable by-product of the kind of “open” approach to “diverse” modern men that the Holy Father is now once again promoting. Perhaps recalling this life-giving lesson from the journal’s past may inspire second thoughts tempering the truly deadening effect of the words found in its current pages.
The Consequences of an Off-the-Cuff Papacy
Let me say it at the very outset: no Pope should make it a habit to offer his spontaneous reflections to the world. This is so because the world is not the Church’s friend but rather her perennial adversary. And by “the world” I mean, of course, the powers and principalities that dominate the human scene when the grace of God is rejected. This is why Paul VI lamented, as the Second Vatican Council’s vaunted “opening to the world” had already begun to cause endless calamity, that “the opening to the world became a veritable invasion of the Church by worldly thinking. We have perhaps been too weak and imprudent.” (Speech of November 23, 1973). Indeed, the very mission of Our Saviour was, as He Himself declared (John 16:33), to “overcome the world,” not to be “open” to it.
The Bizarre Case of Catholic Answers Live vs. “Radical Traditionalists”
On May 31st, Catholic Answers Live radio host Patrick Coffin and apologist Tim Staples launched a two-hour attack on “radical traditionalism” which I responded to here. Apparently, the overall response to the show was not favorable. In a July 12th blog post entitled “Meet the Mad-Trads” host Patrick Coffin described the reaction as follows:
We found ourselves on the business end of a nasty backlash. Of all the hot-button issues we’ve tackled head-on with me behind the mic (start the list with abortion, sexual sin, feminism, and homosexuality) no previous topic generated the kind of vitriol from (some) listeners. 
Dr. Ron Paul chats with Fr. Gruner, seated next to His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Joseph III Younan, the Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, who flew in from Syria for the Fatima Center's Path to Peace Conference
NIAGARA, Sept. 8 -- Despite a Southern Poverty Law Center attempt to derail the Fatima Center's "Path to Peace Conference" in Niagara Falls this week, the event went off without a hitch, and, in fact, attendance numbers exceeded the organizers' expectations.
Hello! My name is Tom and I am not a Traditionalist. It's August 31, 2013. My eyes are red and puffy. I have been crying on and off since the end of our family rosary last night. From what I can tell, I will be crying some more in the near future. But the story I have to tell is not a sad one, or at least, it shouldn't be, although for me, my wife, and my 10 children, it is definitely a bitter sweet one.
Putting Catholic Answers back into the spotlight, apologists Tim Staples and Patrick Coffin hosted again the topic of “Radical Traditionalism” during the evening of August 12th. For all intents and purposes, this re-run was damage control, as back in May, the two hosts managed (during their previous same-titled show) to offend every type of Catholic who attends the traditional Mass, whether out of preference or doctrinal conviction.
Although raised Catholic I spent the majority of my high school and college days supporting women’s rights and defending the pro-choice movement. Then I met my husband. On one of our first dates we drove down to Chicago from Milwaukee to shop, eat, and attend mass at the Cathedral.
Somehow the topic of abortion came up and I very clearly stated my opinion of how it is the woman’s right to choose. My future husband looked at me, a bit surprised but obviously angry. My stomach swirled and I glanced out at Lake Michigan behind his frustrated glare. Not only did I fear our short-lived relationship had already ended, but I was trapped in the car with him and we were almost to Chicago. I didn’t think I could face a severely awkward two-hour drive back.
Over the past fifty years we have witnessed a new and surprising vernacular liturgy (concocted under the supervision of a suspected Mason who was suddenly sacked and sent off to Iran by a horrified Paul VI); a new and surprising “collegiality”; a new and surprising “ecumenism”; a new and surprising “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue; and even a new and surprising approval of altar girls. The result has been a less than surprising collapse of faith and discipline in the Church. Yet, after a half-century of disorienting novelty in the Church, Dr. Jeff Mirus informs us that we have not had enough in the new and surprising department. We must allow the “Holy Spirit” to move us in still more “new and surprising ways.”
ROME, March 12, 2013, www.RemnantNewspaper.com – The waiting time is drawing to a close. This afternoon, the cardinals will have their first ballot. Starting last Wednesday, the cardinals agreed that their discussions will be continued under greater secrecy. This means that we are left to examine the evidence and facts we already know to piece together, if not the outcome of the conclave, then at least the issues looming in the minds of the cardinal electors.
On that day it was announced that the press conferences organised at the Pontifical North American College, up the hill from St. Peter’s, where US cardinals were giving politely evasive and non-specific non-information to US and British journalists, had been cancelled. It came out that the reason was that some Italian cardinals, whose interpretation of the oath of secrecy was a little more, shall we say, flexible, were giving Italian journalists what amounted to transcripts of the meetings.
And there we have in a nutshell a hint as to how the Vatican administration works at the highest levels: chaotically, with no very strong connections to reality.