Editor’s Note: Just hours before going to press with our Christmas issue this week, I received an email from a war veteran and Remnant reader who had served 13 years in the U.S. Army, including Vietnam in 1971 and 72. His name is Bob Baker and he wanted to know if I’d be interested in printing his story of a Christmas Eve Midnight Mass he’d attended in the middle of the Vietnam War. After reading it, I immediately set to work making the necessary layout adjustments needed to feature this beautiful and inspiring story here in our Christmas issue. Mr. Baker’s account reminds us anew that no matter how many wars tear apart the cities of the world, in the end those that love the Child of Bethlehem will survive so long as we continue to believe and so long as we never lose hope. A merry Christmas to all and a happy and holy New Year to all the friends and allies of The Remnant. Keep the old Faith. MJM
It didn’t do any good to complain and it wasn’t as if there was much else to do. Though I’d been in-country for almost four months, I still had less time there than most, so the job was mine – I had complete charge of our small compound for Christmas Eve, 1971 in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam.
Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis
As the enemies of Christ our King continue to carry on old Herod’s mad assault on all that is innocent and Christlike in our world, even Christmas itself, it must surely remain a source of vexation for them to realize that despite the best efforts of their global anti-Christian war machine, a little Child continues to conquer them century after century. For 2,000 years they’ve been at it, and yet even today He reigns throughout the world in the hearts of the countless millions who still believe in the real meaning of Christmas. The old Faith will never die and Herod’s legions will go on busying themselves terrorizing children but always and forever ultimately failing in their campaign to destroy one, tiny Baby.
In my article Nuns on the Bus, Vatican II and the Decline of Women Religious; (Nov. 30 -Dec. 15) I mentioned that in mid-December, the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life would issue a summary of its findings regarding a Vatican inquiry into various aspects of "Women Religious" throughout the United States. I was skeptical about what the report would eventually say, and I wrote: "But will the Vatican....fess up to their responsibility as shepherds to their flocks? If what I suspect will be the tenor and tone of the press conference on the 16th, I doubt it." Was my pessimistic prophecy accurate?
"To the Church’s present flourishing condition, Pope Pius XII contributed enormously, and in all likelihood he will rank in history as one of the greatest of the Popes."...New York Daily News, 1958
In his Christmas message of 1944, Pope Pius XII lamented the fact that “for the sixth time, the Christmas dawn breaks again on battlefields spreading ever wider, on graveyards where are gathered the remains of victims in ever-increasing numbers… Even the little lamp is out in many majestic temples, in many modest chapels, where before the tabernacle it had shared the watches of the Divine Guest over a world asleep. What desolation! What contrast! Can there then be still hope for mankind?”
These words written in the midst of World War II should resonate anew with Catholics in 2014. For though there are good reasons to maintain that the situation in the world is markedly worse now than it was then, it would be the height of folly to underestimate the malaise that prevailed in large sections of the world during that horrific war. Yet, even so, the Catholic Church, shepherded by a strong Roman Pontiff, held despondency at bay and helped lift entire nations from the depths of despair. And so she will again.
Editor’s Note: The following was first published in The Remnant many years ago. We’re publishing it again now in memory of the founding editor of The Remnant, Walter L. Matt, who went to his eternal reward in 2002. The article was written by the present writer when he was much younger, and it is essentially a retelling of the true story my father used to tell his nine children about an experience one Christmas Eve during World War II. Please remember him in your prayers. MJM
The story I am about to tell is most assuredly a true one. It is a story told to me by a war veteran of the Second World War, and he assures me that this story is not an invention. This old soldier is very much in earnest, and, although it is my pen that puts these words before you now, it is his voice that spoke the words to me. And his words are true. I write the story for you exactly the way I heard him tell it—first when I was a boy, and once again, not long before he passed away.
Editor’s Note: It was an honor for me to present the following paper at the Angelus Press Conference in Kansas City back in October. Our hope and prayer in publishing it here at Christmastime is that it might help inspire traditional Catholics from the various camps to recognize the urgent need for all of us to unite against the real enemy -- those who hate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please God, let is be so. MJM
Your Excellency, Reverend Fathers, dear sisters and brothers in Christ: It is an honor for me to be with you today. As a life-long fan of the SSPX’s flagship magazine, The Angelus, I’m delighted to be here.
When I was young the names of your founding editors, Pulvermacher and Buldoc, were household words, and I’m proud to say that, since those long ago days, The Remnant and the Angelus have remained allies throughout the post-conciliar days of darkness.
In preparation for my talk, in fact, I came across a letter dated September 25, 1975 and addressed to my father, which I’d like to share with you this morning:
I recently came across an article entitled, “I Don't Get Anything Out Of Mass.” The article was posted a month ago at Catholic365.com, a conservative oriented and “mainstream” Catholic website. Since then, the article has amassed nearly 33,000 Facebook shares.
The article attempts to respond to the primary reason modern Catholics give for not attending Mass, which is: “I don’t get anything out of it.” While the goal of the article is admirable and the intent of the author is no doubt sincere, the response he gives is a shocking indicator of what passes for “orthodox” Catholic belief in this country.
The same interview was also posted on the Vatican website as one of the Pope’s speeches, removed from the site, posted again in multiple language versions and then removed again. Defying all efforts by neo-Catholic apologists to explain away the many appalling statements Scalfari attributed to Francis, the Pope has had the interview republished definitively in book form by the Vatican publishing house, along with other interviews and conversations with journalists, Scalfari included.
On November 28th, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the following:
Twice in recent weeks, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued notices warning Catholics against taking part in worship services by two groups that claim to be Catholic but that the diocese says are not…
One is affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, which rejects the modernizing changes of the Second Vatican Council and whose late founder was excommunicated. The other is affiliated with the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which disputes the Vatican’s insistence that only men can be priests…
As readers of The Remnant may recall, while in Rome last summer I wrote an article which focused on the traditions and history of the Swiss Guard, and centered around the "giuramento," or swearing in, ceremony of the new Guardsmen. Few, if any, who have come in contact with the Guardsmen are not impressed with their courtesy, their military discipline, and their devotion to the Church.
Along with these very distinctive young men, I had the good fortune of attending a press conference in which the Commander of the Swiss Guard, Colonel Daniel Anrig, impressed the gaggle of reporters by his polished responses to their questions in German, French and Italian, the three national languages of Switzerland. I wrote that each Commander serves at the behest of the pontiff for five years, and then it is usually pro-forma that if he chooses to extend another five years, that wish is granted.
For the sake of maintaining the neo-Catholic position in defense of the ever-expanding post-conciliar regime of novelty, John Paul must decrease so that Francis may increase.
In The Great Façade (2002)—soon to be republished in a second edition with new chapters covering the past twelve years of the “regime of novelty”—I refuted the accusation of neo-Catholic polemicists that traditionalists are improperly “pitting one Pope against another” when they note the obvious: that the Popes since Vatican II have been saying and doing things every one of their predecessors, including even John XXIII, would have considered unthinkable.
In the neo-Catholic view of our situation this plain fact is inadmissible, for whatever the Pope or his delegates in the Holy See pronounce or approve is, for them, ispso facto consistent with both apostolic and ecclesiastical tradition.