A Letter from Rome. . .
ON EARTHQUAKES and PLAGUES
When the earth quakes, man rediscovers the fragility of earthly things and lifts his eyes from earth to Heaven.
Roberto de Mattei
WHEN NATURAL CATASTROPHES occur, like an earthquake or an epidemic, there is a tendency to refuse considering its imponderable character, always trying to figure out who is responsible behind the scenes, denying the idea that something could happen that is beyond man’s control. But only God guides and controls history, not man.
At the onset, a definition of terms is in order. For the purposes of discussion, operant atheists are defined as people, whilst not actually denying or questioning the existence of God, nonetheless, function in their general activities as if there is no God or Higher Authority to which an account of personal behaviour (or lack thereof), either public or private, must be given. Moral consciousness in these people is, effectively, non-existent.
One might say that the actions of these operant atheists are not immoral but amoral. Effectively, they have the same moral convictions as the ancient Spartans, for whom the only crime was “getting caught.” Expediency rules supreme. Operant atheists, therefore, deny justice of any sort (including natural justice) in favour of the “rule of law.”
The recent farcical reaction to COVID-19 is a case in point. Amidst any current operant atheist political milieu, life and death are considered to be the sole and exclusive province of medical practitioners and their cohorts of biological researchers. A short historical overview is appropriate here.
Like the Mandelbrot and Julia sets in mathematics, the structures of which, upon closer and closer inspection, replicate and re-replicate, ultimately disappearing into an ever deepening void of repetition, so too research into cell structures at the most advanced microscopic levels revealed, by the mid-twentieth century, more and more mind-boggling complexity. For all practical purposes, strict cellular observational research had reached an inevitable limit.
Fuelled, arguably, by a widespread operant atheism permeating socio-political life in general, the priority in cellular research interest then suddenly and dramatically shifted from cellular investigation (observation of microbe characteristics, behaviour, life cycles, etc.) to cellular manipulation (cloning, IVF, stem cells, DNA alteration or genetic engineering, etc.), at which time ideology—political, economic, or otherwise—entered, for better or for worse, into what had been previously a reasonably neutral, unbiased, and laudable scientific picture.
The nobility of the strictly objective pursuit of biological knowledge via cellular observation for the betterment of human life was, unfortunately, and ultimately to its own detriment, sullied by the introduction of the baser, crasser motivations of biological knowledge acquisition via cellular manipulation for maximization of economic and/or political profit.
A degrading “expediency” precedent in biological research was set—which precedent was supported by ever increasing political and/or economic “exigencies”. Humanity and its biological enhancement was effectively “placed on hold” in preference for a more technologically efficient, expeditiously determined pursuit of what might be most accurately termed biological “creature comforts”. Depravity entered biological science.
Fast forward (or scroll down, if you so prefer) to the most recent circumstances prevailing in our technologized, “worldwide-webbed” society. The now all-too-familiar COVID-19 has entered the picture. Nature has quite inconveniently and most insensitively thrown a monkey wrench into the meticulously contrived bio-technological works, or some type of research lab “mistake” has inadvertently and most unfortunately occurred (after all, to err is human), much to our collective dismay. A media circus has ensued. All hell has politically broken loose. The operant atheist politicos themselves must now find a suitably “expeditious” solution to a biological research “mis-prioritizing”, which was, at the onset, expeditiously conceived and subsequently fanatically pursued with all the fleckless financial vigour of a bullish run on Wall Street.
All organisms, micro and macro, follow a life cycle which ultimately culminates in death. From the point of view of a biological researcher, death is a nuisance, literally. The biological researcher wishes to see the life cycle of the micro organism play out in a “living, surviving” macro organism, so as to have a complete picture of cause and effect, and thereby by to acquire some type of practical, useful knowledge. The life cycle of the micro organism, however, naturally takes time to occur. It cannot take place at the click of a mouse button or at the swipe of a cell phone—or at the consistent broaching of a biological topic by an inquiring journalist, whose questions are insistently directed towards a helplessly befuddled medical “guru”. There are no “scoops” in biological research. By and large it is a slow and methodical process—dictated, essentially, by nature itself—requiring careful, meticulous study and rigorous scholarly evaluation.
So what, in the meantime, are those clueless operant atheists who are in positions of political power doing? They are becoming imperious, increasingly more “expedient’, more draconian, more wittingly or unwittingly barbaric in their violations of natural justice, more increasingly unwise in their public decisions or proclamations, despite their best presumed nobly humane (or possibly out rightly ignobly inhumane) intentions.
People in politically enslaved populations are more stringently and tyrannically controlled. The rights of people in free populations are ignored and trampled upon.
The world then helplessly and anxiously awaits, with baited breath, for the emergence of some type of hoped-for “solution” to a fabricated catastrophe—a catastrophe of the operant atheists’ own depraved biological, political, and economic making.
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In our era, as in all previous and future eras, the Wisdom of the Ages has and must always prevail over “expediency” or the “profit motive”. After all, “absolute power corrupts absolutely” and “the desire of money is the root of all evil.” The thousands of years of Judeo-Christian tradition on which our Western (and, arguably, the entire world’s) civilization is based must be preserved, fostered, cultivated, protected, and, above all, practised by citizens and their elected representatives or governors of all countries which venture to even call themselves “civilized”. The alternative is amorality and chaos on the grossest possible scale. A word of warning to all aspiring operant atheist politicos: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”
Sweet Heart of Mary, Be Our Salvation
New from RTV. . .
Today we pay homage to St. Anselm of Canterbury--the great Benedictine monk who was born in Lombardy and died in Kent, England. The great philosopher and theologian served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 - 1109.
The brilliance of Saint Anselm's thinking and writing about the nature of faith and of God has intrigued and influenced scholars since the Middle Ages. His highly respected work, Monologium, rationalizes proof of God's existence. His Proslogium, advances the idea that God exists according to the human notion of a perfect being in whom nothing is lacking. Since they were first written, both works have been studied and praised by many of the world's greatest theologians and philosophers.
New From Remnant TV (Portuguese Subtitles)
Good news! If you are infected with COVID19, a new report says you have a 98% chance of recovering from it. Why is the mainstream media not reporting the good news?
In this Special Edition of ‘From the Editor’s Desk’, Michael Matt asks the question we all want answered: Yes the virus is deadly, but won’t euthanizing the U.S. economy be even deadlier?
The Remnant's Lives of the Saints...
THE LOMBARDY REGION of Italy is today the site of great devastation and death by the coronavirus. This area has a long Catholic heritage. The Lombards were fierce barbarians who invaded the region of Italy after the fall of the Roman Empire. They, as other invaders, were converted to the Catholic Faith.
St. Cecilia has a connection with both Italy and the Lombards. St. Cecilia was a Second Century virgin and martyr. She is also the patron of church music. Her representations in church art often give no hint of the fact that she lived and died in the turbulent times of the bloody Roman persecution, and even her church in the Trastevere section of Rome and her tomb were subject to disruption. It is because of this that she is a saint that we can turn to in the dangers, turbulence and uncertainty of today.
If we hope to continue to enjoy our freedoms, this insidious papacy must be exposed and stopped.
Here’s an instructive exercise for Catholics. This word cloud will demonstrate the theological heft and ideological agenda of Jorge Bergoglio, which frankly mimics Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller beach book Eat, Pray, and Love.
Plug in Bergoglio’s hollow ramblings into a word cloud generator, and VOILA, up pops visual representations of his lightweight linguistics. The larger the font, the more often he repeats the word. The word cloud below appears to be trite New Age platitudes, resembling former presidential candidate, Marianne Williamson.
It appears justice is finally served in the kangaroo court. The High Court of Australia overturned Cardinal Pell's sexual assault conviction and has ordered that he be released from prison.
Cardinal Pell was accused of sexual abuse on December 11, 2018 and has been in prison since February 2019. His appeal to the Victorian High court was dismissed in August of last year, at which time he took his appeal to the High Court (the equivalent of the Supreme Court in the U.S.). He denied all charges, which came from the unsubstantiated testimony of a single person.
At the time of publication, Rome, which threw Cardinal Pell under the bus so fast and furiously, has nothing to say about his acquittal.
The coronavirus crisis—to whatever extent real or exaggerated—seems, as with all crises, to be bringing out the best and the worst in people.
Unfortunately, with a few exceptions like Bishop Strickland, it seems to be bringing out the worst in our bishops. The Catholic world is moving day by day into a growing sacramental blackout that includes not only suspension of public Masses and Holy Communion, but also suspension of baptisms, confessions, and—most appallingly, given the dangers faced by the elderly and the sick—extreme unction. (In these circumstances, calling it “anointing of the sick” would seem almost quaint; if people on death’s door, in extremis, no longer count as candidates, a fortiori the gravely ill don’t make the cut, either.)
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Papal States, which occurred on September 20, 1870, with the military invasion of Rome by the Italian army. Pius IX (1846-1878) did not condescend to this violence and ordered an armed resistance that was limited to the first shedding of blood. The Papal Zouaves were the primary troops engaged in this resistance that was supposed to demonstrate that the pope yielded only when faced with a preponderance of enemy forces. Thus there concluded an epic that had lasted ten years, that may be called “The Ninth Crusade” after the eight celebrated medieval Crusades.
Long-time followers of the liturgical scene may recognize the name of Andrea Grillo, a liturgy professor at Sant’Anselmo in Rome, seedbed of much evil in the realm of the cultus divinus. The two new decrees from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith—Cum Sanctissima (which makes possible the offering of Mass in honor of more recently canonized saints like St. Padre Pio or St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, not to mention countless other devotees of the traditional Latin Mass) and Quo Magis (which adds to the 1962 Missale Romanum seven new Prefaces based on older liturgical texts)—has got him and his confreres up in arms.
In an amusingly self-pitying two-page protest letter, signed (as of March 30) by 134 liturgists, Grillo wrings his hands about how the 1962 missal is now being treated as—horror of horrors!—a living reality in the Church, parallel to the new Mass desired by The Council. For the author, it is nothing less than two churches, two faiths, two Catholicisms. One must admire the clarity and honesty with which he admits that there is no possible reconciliation between the two leges orandi and their leges credendi:
The greatest distortion of the initial intentions of the motu proprio [Summorum Pontificum] can be seen today in those diocesan seminaries where it is expected that the future ministers will be trained at the same time in two different rites: the conciliar rite and the one that denies it… [The CDF] seems to ignore, precisely on the dogmatic level, a grave conflict between the lex orandi and the lex credendi, since it is inevitable that a dual, conflictual ritual form will lead to a significant division in the faith; it seems to underestimate the disruptive effect this “exception” will have on the ecclesial level, by immunizing a part of the community from the “school of prayer” that the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform have providentially given to the common ecclesial journey.
Fr. Anthony Ruff, presiding archon of the progressivist blog “PrayTell,” concurs with Grillo’s basic claim:
The problem with these [CDF] decrees, of course, is that they treat the rite which the Second Vatican Council made obsolete—with its decision that it be superseded by a reformed rite—as if it is still living and developing.... I hope that at some point Church officials at all levels will address the question of whether Summorum Pontificum is in any sense compatible with Sacrosanctum Concilium. It is not. Once this is recognized, it will be necessary to begin the exceedingly difficult work of winding it down and gradually bringing all the faithful around to the ecclesiology and liturgical-sacramental theology of the Second Vatican Council. This will likely take generations. Our shepherds will need a wise and generous spirit, great sensitivity, and patience.
Oddly enough, the progressives already had generations in which to inaugurate and consolidate their Brave New World, but in spite of every papal and episcopal muscle being exercised continuously for the past fifty years to promote their program and to marginalize, if not stomp out, the minority opposition, the results are in: the movement for restoring Catholic tradition is not vanishing but growing, as the fine work of Paix Liturgique once more demonstrates in their “2019 Status Report on the Situation of the Traditional Mass in the World.“ The author of the report, Christian Marquant, concludes on an optimistic note:
Last year we said that after our many survey polls conducted in the whole world, it was possible, if one weights the results of these surveys (the answers in favor of the traditional Mass are probably, for a certain number of Catholics, a sort of “protest vote” against the form of religion the clergy has been imposing on them), to think that at least 10% of Catholics on the planet, i.e., 130 million laymen, wished to live their Catholic faith within the traditional liturgy of the Latin Church. This percentage is more plausible if one takes into account that, in a country like France, the statistical floor of Catholics who always attend the traditional Mass, irrespective of accessibility, is 6%.
The same applies to priests as to the laity. Our claims were founded not on statistics but on opinion polls, although the consensus among sociologists is that they are, when all is said and done, a very good indication. It turns out that our most recent survey polls, which were conducted in 2019 in Korea and in the USA, give even higher results than the survey polls we had conducted for Europe and Latin America. We can therefore at least say that last year’s estimate has been reinforced: over 130 million Catholics in the world aspire to live their Catholicism according to the traditional liturgy.
I have a pretty serene outlook for the future, actually, despite the difficulties that opponents of liturgical peace tirelessly cause their traditional brethren. This liturgical peace is the first condition of true peace in the Church. People often worry that what one pope—Benedict XVI—has done, another may undo. I’ll first point out that the motu proprio of Benedict XVI and the texts before it merely legitimized a situation that had come into being through the will of traditional laymen. And it is clear today that the usus antiquior and all that comes with it and all that it undergirds, especially as far as concerns the teaching of the catechism, can no longer be buried or set aside. The Tridentine liturgical family henceforth constitutes an unavoidable group within the Catholic universe, today and tomorrow.
Let us return now to El Grillo, who claims: “It no longer makes sense to enact decrees to ‘reform’ a rite that is closed in the historical past, inert and crystallized, lifeless and without vigor. There can be no resuscitation for it.”
In light of decades of attending the Latin Mass myself, traveling widely for speaking engagements, reading avidly, and taking seriously the statistics, I have three reactions to these desperate claims.
My definitive response, however, may be found in the form of eight limericks.