The Remnant Will Never Forget
The Remnant devotes this section of our exclusively to testimonies by those who lived through the revolution of the Second Vatican Council.
This page is reserved for those who saw what happened, or heard what happened from those who did, and who truly understand how Catholic families were blown apart. Visitors who have personal reflections, or memories of traditionalists pioneers, or reminicences of the revolution are encouraged to tell their stories and share their pictures here. . . so that we will never forget.
RTV Covers Vatican Sex Abuse Summit in Rome
Remnant TV was in Rome this past week covering the Vatican’s clerical sexual abuse summit on the “protection of minors”. It seemed a dismal assignment, to be sure, but the reason it was necessary for The Remnant to be in the Eternal City was so we could throw in with our traditional Catholic allies in Rome who’d organized an act of formal resistance to the Vatican sham summit.
Going in, we all knew that the ultimate goal of the summit was to establish child abuse—not rampant homosexuality in the priesthood—as the main cause of a crisis in the Catholic Church which now rivals that of the Protestant Revolt. (Remnant TV coverage of this event as well as the Vatican summit itself, can be found on The Remnant’s YouTube channel, and for your convenience is laid out below:View items...
Have you subscribed to The Remnant’s print edition yet? We come out every two weeks, and each issue includes the very latest Remnant Cartoon!View items...
CIC On-Demand is still available! Watch it HERE
From Catholic Family News Editor, Matt Gaspers:
Fatima and the Post-Vatican II Church: Where Do We Go from Here?
Just two weeks after returning home from the Angelus Press Conference in Kansas City, I made my way to Weirton, West Virginia, a city of around 20,000 people located in the northern tip of the state, for what proved to be another exceptional “rendezvous with serious Catholics,” as the Catholic Identity Conference (Oct. 27-29, 2017) was so appropriately advertised. The Remnant editor Michael Matt, who helps organize the conference each year and serves as emcee throughout the weekend, graciously invited me to attend and represent Catholic Family News in place of our dearly departed friend, John Vennari (requiescat in pace), to whom Michael paid heartfelt tribute during the conference (many thanks, as well, to Eric Frankovitch, Director of the Catholic Identity Project, for his annual organizing efforts and hospitality).
This annual rendezvous of serious Catholics in a “Holiday Inn catacomb,” as Michael jokingly characterized it, is unique among Traditionalist conferences in that it seeks to gather in one venue as many representatives as possible of the “loose federation of warring tribes” (as John Vennari used to say) which constitutes the worldwide Traditional Catholic movement. This year’s conference certainly accomplished that goal, hosting under one roof an impressive assembly: two bishops, one Roman and one Eastern rite; priests from the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), and Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICRSS), as well as diocesan clergy and several religious sisters; and, of course, a large crowd of lay faithful, including a significant number of young people.
No Rose-Colored Glasses
Hosting such a broad spectrum of speakers and attendees is indeed a bold initiative, one that some mistakenly interpret as “Trad Ecumenism.” Michael Matt, however, clearly articulated that such is not the case during his welcoming address on Friday evening. He strongly emphasized that:
“this Catholic Identity Conference is not about some phony ecumenical effort among Traditionalists, where, at the end of the weekend, we’re all going to have a big group hug and say, ‘Oh, you know, nothing matters. The most important thing is unity,’ and we can just go on from there. That’s not what this is about. That’s not what the Catholic Identity Conference is. Our beloved Church, in her human element, is suffering through the worst crisis in history and, tonight, we are going to begin a three-day process to discuss how we are going to survive this crisis. … The organizers of this conference are aware of the strategic differences that have come between us – all of us – and various groups of priests, in particular, over the past 25 years…and those differences are not insignificant. We are not up here pretending that we can sweep them all under the rug in one fell swoop. But we all face this dilemma, this dilemma of what to do when rightful ecclesial authority becomes disoriented, as ours most certainly has.”
Such was the true nature and intent of the conference, as evidenced by the content of the excellent talks, some of which we shall now survey.
On the Unchanging Truth of the Catholic Faith
Mr. Matt’s welcoming address also served as an introduction for His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C., auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, who presented the first lecture of the weekend. Bishop Schneider, a humble but firm critic of Amoris Laetitia known for his defense of the four Cardinals’ famous dubia,addressed the conference – “this clandestine Church,” he said with endearment – on what he described as “the crisis of the Faith in the world today.” His talk, entitled “On the Unchanging Truth of the Catholic Faith,” began by focusing on how the current crisis is fundamentally different than previous doctrinal crises in the sense that past errors typically opposed a single truth of the Faith. Arianism, for example, specifically denied the divinity of Christ. In our times, however, there is a universal attack on revealed truth, in general, and even on reason itself.
The remedy for this crisis, he explained, is to remain firmly rooted in the perennial Magisterium of the Church, particularly as enunciated during the roughly 100 years prior to the Second Vatican Council. He went on to quote at length from three magisterial documents of that time period: (1) Vatican I’s Dogmatic Constitution Dei Filius (On the Catholic Faith, 1870), (2) Pope St. Pius X’s inaugural encyclical E Supremi (On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, 1903), and (3) Pope Pius XII’s inaugural encyclical Summi Pontificatus (On the Unity of Human Society, 1939).
Vatican I’s Dei Filius, of course, contains this crucial passage:
“Therefore, let there be growth and abundant progress in understanding, knowledge, and wisdom, in each and all, in individuals and in the whole Church, at all times and in the progress of ages, but only within the proper limits, in the same dogma, the same sense and the same judgment [eodem sensu eademque sententia].”
In other words, truth is immutable; our understanding of it can and should grow, but this growth never involves an “evolution” or “mutation” of dogma into something contrary to that which the Church has already defined. Bishop Schneider emphasized this point by quoting Dei Filius (his rendering):
“For the doctrine of the Faith which God has revealed is put forward, not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated. Hence, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy Mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext of a more profound understanding.”
The false notion of truth “evolving” into something different is the essence of Modernism, the “synthesis of all heresies,” which itself evolved from the errors of naturalism and rationalism condemned by Vatican I. Pope St. Pius X spent a majority of his pontificate battling the Modernist heresy, which by his time had seeped into the clerical ranks. The underlying cause of Modernism is a rejection of the supremacy of God and His revealed truth. As St. Pius X declared and Bishop Schneider quoted:
“Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and God!”
Pius XII, in turn, addressed many of the same themes in Summi Pontificatus, as cited by Bishop Schneider:
“The present age, Venerable Brethren, by adding new errors to the doctrinal aberrations of the past, has pushed these to extremes which lead inevitably to a drift towards chaos. Before all else, it is certain that the radical and ultimate cause of the evils which We deplore in modern society is the denial and rejection of a universal norm of morality as well for individual and social life as for international relations; We mean the disregard, so common nowadays, and the forgetfulness of the natural law itself, which has its foundation in God, Almighty Creator and Father of all, supreme and absolute Lawgiver, all-wise and just Judge of human actions.”
Several times, His Excellency emphasized how timely the magisterial statements he quoted truly are for the present day, as are “some striking affirmations” of Archbishop Fulton Sheen “which confirm perfectly the prophetic voice of the supreme Magisterium.” He was referring to a radio sermon delivered in 1947 by then- Monsignor Sheen entitled “Signs of Our Times.” In that sermon, the future archbishop spoke in detail about the devil, the anti-Christ, and the counter-Church which the devil will establish as “a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the Mystical Body of Christ.” Interestingly, it was during this portion of his lecture that Bishop Schneider referred to Amoris Laetitia, a “wrong interpretation” of which he said “leads to this consequence, ultimately, to say good is evil and evil is good.”
Bishop Schneider concluded his talk by exhorting all present, in the words of St. Pius X (whom he said deserves to be called “the Great”), to remain always vigilant against the wiles of the devil and to speak out against his false prophets “who call evil good and good evil.”
100 Years Since Fatima; 50 Years of The Remnant
In addition to uniting the “warring tribes” of Traditionalists, the Catholic Identity Conference also seeks to foster, as its name implies, a strong Catholic identity. For younger attendees, in particular, this requires a review of our roots, as it is written: “Remember the days of old, think upon every generation: ask thy father, and he will declare to thee: thy elders and they will tell thee” (Deut. 32:7). This was the theme of Michael Matt’s talk, “100 Years Since Fatima; 50 Years of The Remnant,” during which he recounted for us the history of the Traditionalist movement and his family’s involvement therein.
He began by describing some of the fathers of the Traditionalist movement, men like Michael Davies, Hamish Fraser, William Marra, Walter Matt, and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. “These men,” he stressed, “were not about liturgical preferences. They were not about fighting for the Mass they like. It was about so much more than that.” For these brave men, it was all about holding fast to Tradition, not to their personal opinions. As Michael summed up, “They were in it to win it, and they were in it for the right reasons.”
After detailing a bit about the rift in the Matt family caused by Vatican II – specifically, between his father, Walter Matt, and uncle, Alphonse Matt (Walter’s brother) – Michael mentioned Dietrich von Hildebrand, a staunch opponent of the New Mass and other post-conciliar novelties. He quoted Dr. von Hildebrand’s position as expressed in a 1970 letter to Alphonse Matt, then-editor of The Wanderer:
“You assume that the new ordo missae and especially the rubrics constitute for me merely a personally painful change by replacing something very beautiful and perfect with something less beautiful and less perfect. But unfortunately, it is my conviction that the new ordo missae is the greatest pastoral mistake and that its consequences for the Church may be disastrous.
I agree, however, completely with you that it is a grave problem, whether one should criticize it publicly or only intra muros [“within the walls”]. Concerning this problem every one must follow his conscience. But I frankly cannot understand that you do not only abstain from a public criticism of the new ordo missae but make the ‘Wanderer’ an instrument for propagating and praising the new ordo.”
Thus wrote the man whom Pius XII called “the 20th century doctor of the Church,” much to the chagrin of certain “conservative” (Vatican II-friendly) Catholics.
Turning his attention to some practical takeaways from the history he shared, Michael emphasized the importance of families being animated by a spirit of crusade. In other words, it is not enough for parents to simply take their children to the traditional Latin Mass on Sundays and allow the world to influence them the rest of the week. No, we must constantly fight to protect our kids from the world’s contagion on all fronts and make our homes domestic churches in which Christ the King lives and reigns. This is the only way our children will keep the Faith.
In closing, Michael made an impassioned appeal for all Traditionalists to defend the true Mass while also reaching out with humility and charity to Tradition-minded Novus Ordo Catholics, especially priests. If they are open to Tradition and heading in our direction, we should be welcoming them, not condemning them. I sincerely hope this appeal was taken to heart and will be put into practice.
Read the rest at CFN HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: You can watch the entire conference right now via on-demand video! Click HERE to purchase your ticket.
This novena is called the St. Andrew novena because it is begun on the feast of St. Andrew, on November 30. It is also referred to as the Christmas Anticipation Novena since it is intended to assist us in meditating on the true meaning of Christmas. This novena is meant to be prayed from November 30th to December 24th. (See end of article for the prayers)
St. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee, a fisherman by trade, and a former disciple of John the Baptist. He introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus, saying, "We have found the Messiah." Overshadowed henceforth by his brother, Andrew nevertheless appears again in the Gospels introducing souls to Christ. After Pentecost, Andrew took up the apostolate on a much wider scale, and is said to have been martyred at Patras in southern Greece on a cross which was in the form of an "X". This type of cross has long been known as "St. Andrew's cross."
When Andrew was led to the place of martyrdom, on beholding the cross from a distance he cried out: "O good Cross, so long desired and now set up for my longing soul, I, confident and rejoicing, come to you; exultingly receive me, a disciple of Him who hung on you." Forthwith he was nailed to the cross. For two days he hung there alive, unceasingly proclaiming the doctrine of Christ until he passed on to Him whose likeness in death he had so vehemently desired.
Patron of: Achaia; Amalfi, Italy; Anglers; Burgundy; diocese of Constantinople; fish mongers; fishermen; those with gout; Greece; Germany; maidens; old maids; Patras, Greece; Russia; Scotland; singers; sore throats; University of Patras; women who wish to become mothers.
Symbols: Fish; Saint Andrew's cross; Cross saltire (X-shaped); V or Y shaped cross; two fishes; tall cross and book; vertical spear; primitive fish hook; fisherman's net.
Often Portrayed As: Man bound to a cross; man preaching from a cross; preacher holding fish.
Things to Do:
Today's feast traditionally marks the end of the Church year and beginning of Advent. Advent always begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, with this day being the last possible day of the old Liturgical Year. Christmas is right around the corner. An old saying reflected this:
St. Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days
before Christmas begins.
Because weddings were not allowed during Advent and Christmas and Andrew is the patron of unmarried maidens, many countries have marriage-related superstitions connected to this day. See Patron Saints Index for a few traditions.
- Beginning today the Christmas Anticipatory Prayer, also known as the "Novena to St. Andrew" (Hail and Blessed be the hour...) is prayed every day until Christmas.
- View some of the art depictions: Gallery of Images of Andrew.
- Remember to pray for fishermen and all who make their livelihood by the sea.
- Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, and Romania. The flag of Scotland (and the Union Flag and the arms and Flag of Nova Scotia) feature a saltire (X-shaped cross) in commemoration of the shape of St. Andrew's cross.
- Read more about St. Andrew from Butler's Lives of the Saints. Also read about Andrew from The Golden Legend.
Foods connected with this feast: St. Andrew was a fisherman, so fish dishes and biblical themes would reign supreme. Women for Faith and Family have reprinted Evelyn Vitz's suggested "Biblical Dinner" menu. But there are other foods connected with this day:
- Scotland: St. Andrew is the patron of Scotland. Scones, haggis, sheepshead and fish dishes are traditional. The scones are called "wigs", although their shape is rectangular.
- England: St Andrew is a patron of lace-makers. On his feast, sometimes known as "Tander", areas such as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire celebrate by feasting, drinking elderberry wine, sports and serving a special cake called the Tandra Cake, particularly in Bedfordshire. It has a bread dough base to which lard, sugar, currants, lemon peel and eggs are added. This is also a day for squirrel hunting in England, so Brunswick Stew would be another dish on the table in England.
- Slovakian Countries: Halushky (pasta dish) is cooked. Unmarried girls place slips of paper with names of single young men into the dish.
St. Andrew’s Novena Prayer:
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires.
(Mention your intentions here)
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.
Traditionally, this prayer is prayed 15 times each day for the duration of the Novena.
St. Andrew, pray for us!
The following is a slightly adapted version of the talk given by Chorbishop Spinosa at the Catholic Identity Conference 2017
Today’s world speaks of three monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. We hear it in the secular news and in religious discussions as well. My question is: “Are they true religions?”
The Last Word…
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, in Syracuse, NY, desecrated while transformed into a mosque. (Well played, Vatican II)
A few weeks ago America experienced a horrific mass shooting at a music concert by a radical Islamist; a few days ago we suffered through another horrific shooting, this time at a Baptist church by an avowed atheist. Both were acts of terrorism and both should be categorized as hate crimes; but they will not be, because Moslems and Atheists are both protected species whereas country music rednecks and main stream Christians count for little or nothing in the estimation of this diabolically disoriented world.
In the wake of the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, Hollywood's dark and nasty underbelly is finally beginning to show. From down in the catacombs Michael Matt talks pop culture, pointing out how early Traditional Catholics were just as concerned about the rock 'n' roll and Hollywood-driven Sexual Revolution as they were the liturgical revolution of Vatican II. Pope Pius XI issued an encyclical warning against the motion picture industry way back in 1939. Were Catholics of the past just paranoid, or have post-Vatican II Catholics of today simply lost the ability to recognize evil when we see it? Now we have prominent cardinals in Rome eulogizing gender-benders such as David Bowie, while Neo-Catholics hope and pray that AC/I DC guitarist Malcolm Young is now "playing before the throne of God."
This just in from SSPX.org:
On November 12, 2017, the day after the feast of St. Martin, patron saint of the archdiocese of Utrecht, Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, reconciled the church of St. Willibrord.
The church is situated in the historic center of the city of Utrecht, and 600 faithful from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany were present. The ceremony began with the rite of reconciliation that the Roman Pontifical prescribes for restoring a sacred building to Catholic worship after it has been used for secular purposes. The bishop first blessed the “Gregorian water”, a mixture of water, wine, salt, and ashes, then sprinkled the interior walls and the ground in the form of a cross, in order to purify the church of its profane defilements.
In his sermon, Bishop Fellay reminded the faithful that the artistic beauty of this place of worship is a reflection of the divine beauty, of which the Christian soul is also an image. He went on to point out that this sacred building has now been restored to the traditional liturgy for which it was built and that “has never been abrogated”, as pope emeritus Benedict XVI declared in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on July 7, 2007, although certain members of the hierarchy claimed it had been. The ceremony continued with a Pontifical High Mass celebrated from the faldstool, directed by the seminarians of Zaitzkofen, and enhanced by the magnificent sounds of the sumptuous organ and the baroque pieces that were sung most excellently and professionally. Read the rest HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: Can there be doubt in anyone's mind that the Novus Ordo is on life support? It's in critical condition from within, as doctrinal organ shutdown and a ridiculously trivialized liturgy mean precious few mainstream Catholics even bother going to Mass anymore (do you blame them?), much less leave their hard earned dollars in the collection baskets. At this rate, the entire experiment in novelty will be over and done with in a generation or two.
At the same time, traditional Catholicism and the Traditional Latin Mass are making a comeback never before thought possible, unless and until the great Modernist facade comes crashing down first. Well the great facade is doing just that, thanks be to God.
In this Fiftieth Anniversary year of The Remnant newspaper, let's take a moment to recall the way things used to be.
Here's a bit of "ancient" video I happened upon recently in preparation for last month's Catholic Identity Conference, where I was to deliver a talk on the history of the Traditional Catholic movement (available HERE in on-demand video, by the way).
This video takes us back to the early days of the Traditional Catholic counterrevolution—to my boyhood home—where my mother and father had set up a catacomb chapel of sorts, centered around an old altar they'd rescued from a “totally groovy” Novus parish that was chucking all the old statues, nixing the altars and bulldozing the sanctuaries. So my father rescued what he could and installed it in our basement.
That catacomb altar served as an outpost for the early "men in black"—priests from all over the world who refused to go along with the Revolution, and who are now revered pioneers of the early Traditional Catholic resistance.
Here's a glimpse of what it looked like, keeping in mind that some fairly well known figures frequented this catacomb chapel. Remnant founder, Walter L. Matt, is the old gent at the front, and old-timers will also recognize a young Michael Davies and several other early traditionalist Remnant writers receiving Holy Communion; yours truly, by the way, is serving Father John Emerson’s (ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre) Mass.
We've come a long way indeed. Now the Society of St. Pius X is erecting massive seminaries (including the largest built in the U.S. since the Council) and rescuing historic and monumental churches from dumpsters of Vatican II on both sides of the Atlantic.
God is good. Congratulations to the SSPX---may God bless and Mary keep them all, and may we never forget the sacrifices of the early traditionalists--men and women, priests and laity (and two bishops)--who literally gave up everything in defense of the Traditional Latin Mass. They were Traditionalists before Tradition was cool, God bless them!
“Implacable, immutable, irreplaceable”, alliterate fans of the late Malcolm Young of AC/DC. In the wake of his death, tribute after glowing tribute are surfacing on the web:
From TheGuardian.com: The “driving force” behind rock band AC/DC, Malcolm Young, has died, aged 64.
Young devised many of the band’s best-known guitar riffs, marking out tracks such as Back in Black, Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long and establishing them as one of the biggest rock acts of all time. Read The Guardian’s full tribute HERE
The Rolling Stones: "As rhythm guitarist for the legendary rock band, Malcolm Young served as an indispensable foil to Angus Young's arena-stuffing riffs."
Kiss' Paul Stanley: "The driving engine of AC/DC has died. A tragic end for a sometimes unsung icon. One of the true greats. RIP."
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt: "Malcolm was the essential rhythm guitarist of the world’s greatest working class Hard Rock band. An irreplaceable loss."
REMNANT COMMENT: On the Facebook page of a prominent neo-Catholic college, I happened to catch the following: "As we approach our weekly celebration of the Paschal Feast, please keep in your prayers the repose of the soul of Malcolm Young, one of two guitar players from AC/DC, who died today. Malcom's contribution to his art and the evolution of music, especially Rock, was monumental and undeniable. We can only hope that he is now playing before the Throne of God, or awaiting his turn in Purgatory. RIP, Malcolm Young. The world is now without a great conduit of thunder."
He's just a kid, and I don't mean to beat up on him. But this strikes me as an almost amusing (in its absurdity) indicator of the diabolical disorientation that affects us all. That a bright, young Catholic fellow from one of the most Catholic colleges left in this country would actually hope this guy is playing before the Throne of God:
That’s right, folks, you heard it here first: Heaven, according to the Neo-Catholic best and brightest, is now going to be populated by the very cultural marauders their own grandparents believed were ushers of the Antichrist.
My apologies for that bit of video, by the way, but I’m beginning to suspect we're among the very few on the face of the earth who still see anything amiss here. Everyone else sees only fun-loving rockers having a good time. And if you want to be taken seriously as a priest or Catholic commentator, say nothing about the legions of degenerates molting behind the screens to which your kids are addicted. What do you want to be, the Church Lady?!
Young neo-Catholics may be praying that we'll all be greeted at the pearly gates by Malcolm Young rather than St. Peter, or that the celestial hymn of angels may be drowned out by screaming AC/DC riffs for all eternity—but some of us are left to wonder why old Malcolm wouldn’t be riding that "highway to hell" he celebrated so famously in life. After all these years of devil’s horns, satanic salutes, drugs, sex and anthems to satanic license, he actually had no free will at all in the end? God’s just going to whisk him off to heaven anyway?
If degenerates who spend their lives promoting sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll can, at the end of the day, float merrily up to the happy place, then what's the point of the Church? The Sacraments? Everything for which we Catholics claim to be ready to die rather than deny? What's the point of any of it?
Malcolm Young was indeed a "conduit of thunder" whose wretched lifestyle and diabolical music negatively impacted entire generations of kids. But nobody cares about that anymore. Nobody’s burning records these days. We’re Vatican II Catholics, and we’ve grown up. You just wait for the Pope’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, to come out with a glowing eulogy for Malcolm Young as they did for gender-bender rocker David Bowie. That’ll be awesome, dude!
And won’t The Remnant’s “hateful extremism” look silly then!
The dumbed-down theology and liturgy of Vatican II have evidently taken us all the way down the rabbit hole—to the place where unrepentant public adulterers receive Communion, unrepentant AC/DC rockers are numbered among the Communion of Saints, and faithful Catholics are no longer in full Communion with Rome.
Is it any wonder the old Latin Mass is all but outlawed on most of these Neo-Catholic college campuses, by the way? It's entirely too Catholic, it makes way too much sense, and it's got not place for AC/DC in heaven and public adulterers at the Communion rails.
Yes, sure, pray for poor Malcolm Young. You never know…miracles can happen. And here's another point of view that, where the Neo-Catholics are concerned, might as well have been presented in Greek:
The USCCB finally finds its spine to speak out forcefully against.... tax cuts.
USCCB.org: House Tax Reform Bill “Unacceptable” As Written, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen
November 9, 2017
WASHINGTON—In a letter of November 9, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio called for amendments to the current draft of the House of Representatives tax reform bill "for the sake of families" and "for those struggling on the peripheries of society who have a claim on our national conscience."
"Doubling the standard deduction will help some of those in poverty to avoid tax liability, and this is a positive good contained in the bill," wrote the Bishops of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. "However, as written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy. This is simply unconscionable."
Bishop Dewane is the Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Cantú chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Bishop Murry heads the Committee on Catholic Education.
…The bishop-chairmen highlighted positive provisions in the areas of education and modest increases to child tax credits, but stressed that the bill places "new and unreasonable burdens on families," and must be changed. Read the rest HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: …
New from Remnant TV...
Down in the catacombs, Michael Matt looks at the startling ramifications of the official Vatican stamp commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. The stamp includes the same Crucifixion scene that appears on the facade of the Lutheran Cathedral in Lund, Sweden—the work of a Protestant artist that substitutes the image of Our Lady at the foot of the Cross with that of arch-heretic Martin Luther. Why would Francis honor a 350-pound degenerate ex-priest who ran off with a Cistercian nun of 26 years? Luther, the excommunicated heretic St. Thomas More called an "agent of the Antichrist”!
This just in from National Catholic Register: Cardinal Burke Addresses the 'Dubia' One Year After Their Publication
In wishing to honor two recently deceased cardinals, the American cardinal makes a final plea to the Holy Father for clarity, saying the “grave” situation is “continually worsening” and that it is “urgent” the Pope “confirm his brothers in the faith.”
One year to the day since the dubia were made public, Cardinal Raymond Burke has made a final plea to the Holy Father to clarify key aspects of his moral teaching, saying the gravity of the situation is “continually worsening.”
In a Nov. 14 interview with the Register, Cardinal Burke said he was turning again “to the Holy Father and to the whole Church” to emphasize “how urgent it is that, in exercising the ministry he has received from the Lord, the Pope should confirm his brothers in the faith with a clear expression of the teaching regarding both Christian morality and the meaning of the Church’s sacramental practice.”
On Sept. 19 last year, Cardinal Burke, along with Cardinal Walter Brandmüller and recently deceased Cardinals Joachim Meisner and Carlo Caffarra, signed the dubia to the Pope. They made the initiative public on Nov. 14, 2016, when it became clear the Holy Father would not respond.
Aimed at clarifying disputed passages of Chapter 8 of his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the five-question dubia — an ancient and customary practice aimed at clarifying areas of doctrine — sought to ascertain, among other matters, whether previous Church teaching forbidding civilly “remarried” divorcees engaging in sexual relations to receive the sacraments remained in force.
Since Amoris Laetitia was published in April 2016, some bishops’ conferences, drawing on the exhortation, have said certain civilly-remarried divorcees can now receive the sacraments depending on their personal circumstances, while other bishops, basing their position on the Church’s perennial teaching, say they cannot.
“The concern was and is to determine precisely what the Pope wanted to teach as Successor of Peter,” Cardinal Burke said.
“Far from diminishing the importance of our questions,” the current situation only makes them “still more pressing,” he added.
He also made it clear in this fresh interview that he intends to honor the two deceased cardinals by underlining the position of the dubia signatories and by giving a summary of the situation.
Edward Pentin: Your Eminence, at what stage are we since you, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller and the two recently deceased cardinals, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, made the dubia public a year ago this week?
Cardinal Burke: One year after the publication of the dubia on Amoris Laetitia, which have not received any response from the Holy Father, we observe an increasing confusion about the ways of interpreting the apostolic exhortation. Hence our concern for the Church’s situation and for her mission in the world becomes ever more urgent. I, of course, remain in regular communication with Cardinal Walter Brandmüller regarding these gravest of matters. Both of us remain in profound union with the two late Cardinals Joachim Meisner and Carlo Caffarra, who have passed away in the course of the last months. Thus I once again present the gravity of the situation, which is continually worsening.
Much has been said about the dangers of the ambiguous nature of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, stressing that it is open to much interpretation. Why is clarity so important?
Clarity in teaching does not imply any rigidity, which would impede people from walking on the Gospel path, but, on the contrary, clarity provides the light necessary for accompanying families on the way of Christian discipleship. It is obscurity that keeps us from seeing the path and that hinders the evangelizing action of the Church. As Jesus says, “Night comes, when no one can work” (John 9:4).
Could you explain more about the current situation in light of the dubia?
The current situation, far from diminishing the importance of the dubia or questions, makes them still more pressing. It is not at all, as some have suggested, a matter of an “affected ignorance,” which poses doubts only because it is unwilling to accept a given teaching. Rather, the concern was and is to determine precisely what the Pope wanted to teach as Successor of Peter. Thus the questions arise from the recognition of the Petrine office that Pope Francis has received from the Lord for the purpose of confirming his brothers in the faith. The magisterium is God’s gift to the Church to provide clarity on issues that regard the deposit of the faith. By their very nature, affirmations that lack this clarity cannot be qualified expressions of the magisterium.
Why is it so dangerous, in your view, for there to be differing interpretations of Amoris Laetitia, particularly over the pastoral approach of those living in irregular unions, and specifically over civilly-remarried divorcees not living in continence and receiving Holy Communion?
It is evident that some of Amoris Laetitia’s indications regarding essential aspects of the faith and of the practice of the Christian life have received various interpretations that are divergent and at times incompatible with each other. This incontestable fact confirms that these indications are ambivalent, permitting a variety of readings, many of which are in contrast to Catholic doctrine. The questions we cardinals have raised thus regard what exactly the Holy Father has taught and how his teaching harmonizes with the deposit of the faith, given that the magisterium “is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit; it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed” (Vatican Council II, dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum, 10).
Hasn’t the Pope made clear where he stands through his letter to Argentine bishops, in which he said there is “no other interpretation” than the guidelines those bishops issued — guidelines that left open the possibility of some sexually active unmarried couples receiving the Holy Eucharist?
Contrary to what some have claimed, we cannot consider the Pope’s letter to the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires, written shortly before receiving the dubia and containing comments on the bishops’ pastoral guidelines, an adequate response to the questions posed. On the one hand, these guidelines can be interpreted in different ways; on the other, it is not clear that this letter is a magisterial text, in which the Pope intended to speak to the universal Church as the Successor of Peter. The fact that the letter first became known because it had been leaked to the press — and was only later made public by the Holy See — raises a reasonable doubt about the Holy Father’s intention to direct it to the universal Church. In addition, it would turn out to be quite astonishing — and contrary to Pope Francis’ explicitly formulated desire to leave the concrete application of Amoris Laetitia to the bishops of each country (Amoris Laetitia, 3) — that now he should impose on the universal Church what are only the concrete directives of a particular region. And shouldn’t the different dispositions promulgated by various bishops in their dioceses from Philadelphia to Malta then all be considered invalid? A teaching that is not sufficiently determined with respect to its authority and its effective content cannot cast into doubt the clarity of the Church’s constant teaching, which, in any case, remains always normative.
Are you also concerned that, by some bishops’ conferences allowing certain remarried divorcees living more uxorio (having sexual relations) to receive Holy Communion without a firm purpose of amendment, they are contradicting previous papal teaching, in particular Pope St. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio?
Yes, the dubia or questions remain open. Those who assert that the discipline taught by Familiaris Consortio, 84 has changed contradict each other when it comes to explaining the reasons and the consequences. Some go as far as to say that the divorced in a new union, who continue to live more uxorio, do not find themselves in an objective state of mortal sin (citing in support Amoris Laetitia, 303); others deny this interpretation (citing in support Amoris Laetitia, 305), yet completely leave it up to the judgment of conscience to determine the criteria of access to the sacraments. It seems that the goal of the interpreters is to arrive, in whatever way, at a change in discipline, while the reasons they adduce to this end are of no importance, nor do they show any concern about how much they put into danger essential matters of the deposit of faith.
What tangible effect has this mix of interpretations had?
This hermeneutical confusion has already produced a sad result. In fact, the ambiguity regarding a concrete point of the pastoral care of the family has led some to propose a paradigm shift regarding the Church’s entire moral practice, the foundations of which have been authoritatively taught by St. John Paul II in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor.
Indeed, a process has been put into motion that is subversive of essential parts of the Tradition. Concerning Christian morality, some claim that absolute moral norms need to be relativized and that a subjective, self-referential conscience needs to be given a — ultimately equivocal — primacy in matters touching morals. What is at stake, therefore, is in no way secondary to the kerygma or basic Gospel message. We are speaking about whether or not a person’s encounter with Christ can, by the grace of God, give form to the path of the Christian life so that it may be in harmony with the Creator’s wise design. To understand how far-reaching these proposed changes are, it is enough to think of what would happen if this reasoning were to be applied to other cases, such as that of a medical doctor performing abortions, of a politician belonging to a ring of corruption, of a suffering person deciding to make a request for assisted suicide ...
Some have said the most pernicious effect of all of this is that it represents an attack on the sacraments as well as the Church’s moral teaching. How is this so?
Over and above the moral debate, the sense of the ecclesial sacramental practice is increasingly eroding in the Church, especially when it comes to the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. The decisive criterion for admission to the sacraments has always been the coherence of a person’s way of life with the teachings of Jesus. If instead the decisive criterion were now to become the absence of a person’s subjective culpability — as some interpreters of Amoris Laetitia have suggested — would this not change the very nature of the sacraments? In fact, the sacraments are not private encounters with God, nor are they means of social integration into a community. Rather, they are visible and effective signs of our incorporation into Christ and his Church, in and by which the Church publicly professes and actuates her faith. Thus, by turning a person’s subjective diminished culpability or lack of culpability into the decisive criterion for the admission to the sacraments, one would endanger the very regula fidei, the rule of faith, which the sacraments proclaim and actuate not only by words, but also by visible gestures. How could the Church continue to be the universal sacrament of salvation if the meaning of the sacraments were to be emptied of its content?
Despite you and many others, including more than 250 academics and priests who have signed a filial correction, clearly having very serious misgivings about the effects of these passages inAmoris Laetitia, and because you have so far received no response from the Holy Father, are you here making a final plea to him?
Yes, for these grave reasons, one year after rendering public the dubia, I again turn to the Holy Father and to the whole Church, emphasizing how urgent it is that, in exercising the ministry he has received from the Lord, the Pope should confirm his brothers in the faith with a clear expression of the teaching regarding both Christian morality and the meaning of the Church’s sacramental practice.