This just in from the Associated Press’s Nicole Winfield: “VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis entered his 80th year on Thursday amid hopes among his critics that it will be his last — at least as pope.
“While Francis remains enormously popular among most rank-and-file Catholics, a small but vocal group of conservatives who have never much cared for his radical agenda have grown increasingly strident in criticizing the pope now that there is little doubt left about his priorities.
“They have taken aim at the just-concluded synod on family issues, where the divisive issue of Communion for the civilly remarried took center stage. They have raised alarm at Francis' call for a more decentralized church and his loosening of the Vatican's marriage annulment process. They have winced at his environmental alarmism, wondered what's in store for Catholic orthodoxy in this Holy Year of Mercy and blasted as sacrilege the recent screening of nature shots on St. Peter's Basilica.
The Remnant, a small, traditionalist U.S. newspaper, last week penned an open letter begging Francis to change course or resign, arguing that his papacy was "causing grave harm to the church." READ FULL STORY HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: Here at The Remnant we do a fair amount of complaining about Christophobic media bias in the mainstream press. This story, however, reminds us that we should perhaps do more to highlight the exceptions. The AP’s Nicole Winfield is one such exception, having over the years covered traditional Catholic issues and initiatives with balance and journalistic integrity. This report on the growing opposition to Pope Francis among conservative Catholics on both sides of the Atlantic—in the midst of a fawning media love affair with Francis—is yet another case in point.
The success of The Remnant's Open Letter to Pope Francis, by way, has little to do the number of signatures appended to it. We asked for not one single signature outside of the Remnant's stable of writers before we posted it. We approached no one else because we were not looking for a coalition. In the December 8, 2015 issue of The Remnant, we officially launched this Open Letter sans a request for additional signatures. It was a simple statement of public resistance from The Remnant.
We’re very pleased if our online visitors want to sign our letter, of course, and we encourage everyone to do the same. But first and foremost this is an open letter, the purpose of which is to draw attention to the fact that Francis is becoming a perceived threat to Christianity among serious, practicing and devout Catholics. Our Open Letter was translated into 10 languages in the first week, by the way, with the promise of additional translations coming in almost every day. Only one of these translations was actually commissioned by us. The rest were spontaneous offerings from allies all around the world. It's "the remnant" in action against an exceedingly problematic pontificate.
Still, I don't expect Francis to take note of anything other than Francis, and he certainly won’t be shaken by our humble efforts. But that’s not the point. This act of open and public protest is for the historical record too, which in the present we hope will assist Catholics in not being deceived and in coming to a greater understanding of what has happened to our Church under this most obvious modernist infiltration.
We also hope and pray that our Open Letter will ultimately play some small part in encouraging bishops and even cardinals to publicly resist Francis to his face even as Paul resisted Peter to his, whether Francis has become senile or is malicious or is just incompetent—we don’t know and it doesn’t matter. Members of the hierarchy must ultimately take the reins and oppose his increasingly bizarre agenda, which promises to get much worse over the coming year.
The 17th century Jesuit Doctor of the Church, St. Robert Bellarmine, in his work De Romano Pontifice leaves no doubt about this:
"Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed."
Pope Francis must be resisted by proper ecclesial authority for his own good, the good of souls and in principled defense of the human element of Christ’s Church. The Catholic faithful have a sacred duty before God to raise their voices in respectful protest. To that end, we ask our readers to please share a link to today's blog post with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, contact lists and family members.
In the meantime, please pray for Pope Francis, keep the old Faith and stand with us against the Modernist invasion of our Church for as long as it takes. Viva Cristo Rey.
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll)and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.