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Dear fellow friends of The Remnant,

Greetings once again from Fr. Jonathan Romanoski, FSSP, in Guadalajara, México. I would like to give you an update on our apostolate down here in the land of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas.

We moved two years ago from the Church of St. Peter where we had been for four years, to an historic church in the center of town dedicated to the oldest Marian title in all of Christendom - Our Lady of the Pillar. The oldest church indeed as it was begun by Our Lady herself during her lifetime around the year AD 40 when she visited the apostle St. James who was sent to evangelize the land of what is now Spain.

Arriving at Zaragoza, St. James had made but few converts and was tempted by sadness to despair when Our Lady appeared to him, descending from the clouds upon a pillar, which she left planted there, asking him to build a shrine in her honor, which she promised would remain till the end of time and which would be the source of grace for the conversion of that land which was to become a great nation.

In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Welcome to the Traditional Latin Rite Mass by which the Roman Catholic Church had worshipped Almighty God for centuries prior to Vatican Council II.

It is an ancient maxim of the Church that how we worship is how we believe. In Latin, that is called lex orandi, lex credendiThe law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays...” That is why, for centuries, the Church resisted changing one iota of the Sacred Liturgy for fear that it would change our Catholic beliefs. In the wake of Vatican II, radical changes to the Mass have taken place, which resulted in a New Order of Mass (the “Novus Ordo”). We will now review just a few of these changes, that will be noticeable to you, and see how they may have impacted our Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith; which was preserved intact for centuries by the Traditional Latin Mass.

Editor’s Note: There has been a tendency among some recent critics of The Remnant to confuse our editorial concern over the troubling pontificate of Pope Francis with expressions of indignation over mere personal effrontery. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we note the fact that the Holy Father, for example, appears to be “scolding” traditional Catholics on something of a regular basis, we are not particularly concerned about his less-than-favorable opinion of us as individuals. We are a remnant, after all, whose stock-in-trade is opinion which tends to struggle against the current.  

An attack on traditionalists by the Holy Father does, however, suggest an attack on Tradition itself, on 2000 years of liturgical heritage and the established moral order of Holy Mother Church—the defense of which, no matter how inadequate, is what makes a Catholic a traditionalist.

What is so troubling for many of us is this idea that if Pope Francis is correct in administering these scoldings of Tradition, and if he is right in attempting to establish a new orientation for the Church and the papacy, then it would seem to stand to reason that the Church historically and traditionally was wrong or at least seriously mistaken in both her praxis and teaching for a very long time. By his own admission, Francis is trying to move the Church out of the darkness of her old ways and into the light of modernity.  For nearly 2000 years of Church history, no pope ever spoke of such an idea other than to condemn it as patently false. 

 At 6:00 PM Rome time this evening (March 7, 2015), Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass of commemoration of the first vernacular Mass of Pope Paul VI.

The celebration took place at the Church of All Saints, Via Appia Nuova--the very same church where, fifty years ago today, Pope Paul VI offered a prototype of the New Mass in the vernacular. His homily aptly began with, “Today we inaugurate the new form of liturgy in all the parishes and churches of the world.”

It was March 7, 1965, a date which will live in infamy. 
There is a commemorative plaque on the wall at the Church of All Saints, which reads:

“At this place His Holiness Paul VI, as the liturgical reform decreed by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council was beginning, was pleased to celebrate in this church the first Mass in Italian, amid the excited exultation of an entire people.”

But one reason the plaque now rests so high above the table/altar is because it was vandalized several times by members of the “entire people”, many of whom were infuriated by Bugnini’s attempted destruction of the Roman Rite over which Pope Paul VI dutifully presided. It was necessary, finally, to put the plaque out of the reach of faithful who couldn’t resist the urge to spit at it as they passed by, some even attempting to physically deface it. 

Everybody’s favorite whipping boy these days, the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), is evidently not in schism after all—at least according to a recent EWTN report featuring a Vatican bishop (Mons. Juan Ignacio Arrieta, of the Pont. Council for Legislative Texts) admitting what The Remnant has maintained for two decades—that the SSPX is not in schism. “We can say that the problem with the SSPX is only a problem of trust,” said Arrieta, “because they are people who pray, people who believe the same things we believe in…they have their heart in Rome. I can assure you of that since I know them well.”

EWTN reported this? Yes, and kudos to them for having the courage to say what needs to be said about a difficult and most complex question.

Scripture relates about Satan the following: “Now the serpent (Satan) was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord had made…But the Serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she gave some to her husband…Then the eyes of both were opened and they realized they were naked.”

We have here the Head of Satan, with its fangs of hatred of God and man, stripping Adam and Eve and the whole human race of the wedding garment of Sanctifying Grace and leaving us all in the nakedness of sin, in the death of the soul, in the nothingness of damnation as enemies of God.

During what I have called the Benedictine Respite, the traditionalist movement achieved a long overdue measure of justice from the Roman Pontiff. Benedict XVI liberated the Latin Mass from its forty-year-long false imprisonment, lifted the always dubious “excommunications” of the four bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), and ordered critical corrections to defects in the vernacular translations of the Novus Ordo Missae that traditionalists had long protested—first and foremost what Msgr. Klaus Gamber (with the future Pope’s approval) rightly called the “truly scandalous” alteration of Our Lord’s words during the first Mass from “for many” to “for all.”

It was Pope Benedict himself who noted with dismay the furious resentment he had provoked within the Church merely by doing justice to the SSPX. As he wrote in his letter to the world’s bishops explaining why he had lifted the excommunications:

“But I have weighed you, says God, and I have not found you wanting.
O people who invented the cathedral, I have not found you wanting in the faith.
O people who invented the crusade, I have not found you wanting in charity.
As for hope, it might be better not to mention that, because they have taken all of it.”   ~Charles Péguy, God and France, (1912)

Would the brilliant French poet, Charles Pierre Péguy, still compose these imaginings uttered by God about France? How would the poetry of the devout Péguy capture the Catholic faith in post-modern France? Surely, Péguy would notice the empty cathedrals, the greying congregation, and the apathy of baptized, but lapsed Catholics and the grim reality of Catholicism supplanted by secularism.

Will the terrorist massacres of Charlie Hebdo bring France back to its knees?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Je Suis Catholique


Pope Francis’ homily for the latest consistory of cardinals meeting in Rome this week is being called a re-statement of his programme for his pontificate. Fr. Thomas Rosica, his English language spokesman, wrote on Twitter: “More than anything I’ve heard from (the pope) today’s homily is his mission statement.”

Let us assume for a moment that the pope knows the implications of what he is saying, and that the people closest to him are telling the truth when they say, repeatedly, that the things that are happening are happening at his behest, and examine what this “mission statement” has to say to the Church.

Francis is clearly signaling, again, his intentions for the Synod and the future envisioned at it by the Kasper faction. The question of Communion for the divorced and remarried is never named, but the terms describing the issue are unmistakable. And they are wholly on the side of the Kasperites, adhering without an iota of divergence from the basic presumption in Kasper’s proposal: that the law of God must be overturned or ignored for the sake of extending the mercy of God. A contradiction that is totally incompatible with all of Catholic theology, with logic and natural reason.

At first consideration, one might not think of "On the Waterfront" as a promising movie to portray Catholic values. The director, Elia Kazan, was of Greek heritage and born in Istanbul (old Constantinople) of Greek Orthodox parents in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.  Kazan turned his back on his faith as an adult. The producer, Sam Spiegel, was a Jew born in the later years of the Austria-Hungarian Empire in what is now southern Poland.  Screenwriter Budd Schulberg was Jewish-American, the son of a Hollywood producer.

The film’s musical score was written by Leonard Bernstein, a Jew who would become infamous for his notorious left-wing political views.  The film’s lead actor, Marlon Brando, was an irreligious method actor who would be conspicuous for his decadent life-style.  How did this non-Catholic group of individuals construct a film that was not only extraordinary in its power but Catholic in its values?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Father Corridan’s Waterfront


(Rome) In the month of January the traditional Roman calendar offers us two closely inter-related feast days: January 10th as the Feast of the Sacred Family and January 23rd as the Feast of the Espousal of the Virgin Mary with St Joseph. Although never on the general Calendar, the latter was kept by many religious orders, especially those with a particular devotion to the Virgin Mary, and on many local calendars.

In anticipation of the second feast at a later date, on Saturday, January 10th, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass at the in the Extraordinary Form at the Faldstool in the ancient splendid Basilica di San Nicola in Carcere at 11.00 am. The Mass was celebrated ad orientem, in respect to the altar, but versus populum, due to the particular altar position of this ancient Basilica centrally located near the Teatro Marcello in Rome and built into a pre-existing temple in the ancient Greek zone. Where there were fora for oil and vegetables and, most notably, once the ferocity of the pagans sacrificed to idols, today a large number of faithful attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to contemplate with tenderness and love Jesus who gives himself every day in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the species of the Eucharist.