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Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Soldier’s Christmas Story

Written by
Walter Matt, Libya, World War II (1943) Walter Matt, Libya, World War II (1943)

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

Introduction

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.

Who is this man, and why do they still hate him nearly a quarter-century after his death? Who is this man, and why do they still hate him nearly a quarter-century after his death?

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.

For nearly two years now Pope Francis has conducted a para-Magisterium in the form of interviews given to left wing, anti-Catholic newspapers. The most notorious of these (“There is no Catholic God…” etc.) was given to the militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari and published in La Repubblica.

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.
In what is being hailed as a major victory for the ecumenical movment, Bishop Zubik, in emulation of Pope Francis, is now free to attend Bishop Fellay’s Latin Mass at the newly acquired St. James Chapel in Pittsburgh, bow before the Superior General of the SSPX, and ask his Episcopal blessing. 

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…
Col. Daniel Anrig, Dismissed Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard Col. Daniel Anrig, Dismissed Commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard

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.

In the autumn of 1990, I was assigned to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See as Counselor to the U.S. Ambassador, the late Thomas Melady. It was one of the newer positions in our diplomatic service, for formal diplomatic relations between the U. S. and The Holy See had been established only six years earlier during the Reagan Administration. The assignment proved to be my most memorable, for it provided an insider's view not only of the workings within the Vatican, but the interior of Vatican City as well. How many people know, or would imagine, that there is a heliport within the Vatican?

Behold the mysterious existential sorrows of the artist Behold the mysterious existential sorrows of the artist

 This is not how I am.  I have become comfortably numb.   – Pink Floyd     

Editor’s Note: I am happy to introduce our newest columnist, the eldest son of longtime Remnant columnist, Dr. John Rao, and a current freshman at Catholic University of America. Welcome aboard, Nicholas!  MJM 

I was anything but on guard against culture shock as I entered my sophomore year of high school and my first experience of studying alongside fellow Traditionalists in a classroom setting. Granted, they were virtual classrooms where I communicated online with my teachers and peers, but most of us enjoyed a lively rapport, the limitations of the medium notwithstanding.

It was a great experience overall, yet from the first I was disturbed by the artistic, and especially the musical, inclinations of my classmates. I distinctly remember one exchange in the context of which a classmate sent me a link to a song she liked. I don’t remember the name either of the song or the band, and Gmail searches for that link have, alas, proven futile, so I’ll have to rely on my memory…

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Can the Church Depose an Heretical Pope?

Written by
Excommunicated by the Second Council of Constantinople, 553 Excommunicated by the Second Council of Constantinople, 553

 

“Indeed the Church has the right to separate herself from an heretical pope according to divine law. Consequently it has the right, by the same divine law, to use all means of themselves necessary for such separation…”

- John of St. Thomas

“The Church must render a judgment before the pope loses his office. Private judgment of the laity in this matter does not suffice.”

- Robert J. Siscoe

A recent article by Fr. James V. Schall S.J., which was re-posted as “the article of the week” on the popular Traditional Catholic website Rorate Caeli, has caused quite stir in some quarters. In the short article, which is titled On Heretical Popes, Fr. Schall briefly discusses the claims of heresy leveled against the post-Conciliar Popes, especially Pope Francis, and raises the question of whether a pope can fall into heresy, and, if so, how the Church would go about deposing him. The article was written in a very moderate tone, but the issues addressed were evidently too much for the extreme Left and their newly discovered Ultramontanism.

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