The December 31st issue of The Remnant Newspaper shipped last week.
This is big. The rules even after Vatican Council II and the Novus Ordo always maintained that the offices of lector and acolyte were to be filled by males. The conciliar church then allowed the functions of these offices (not the offices themselves) to be filled by females. They did not allow females to fill the offices themselves as it never would have been accepted at the time. These offices are what replaced some of the functions of minor orders in the Pre-VCII Church and were always considered part of the priesthood and allowed step by step to those on their way to priesthood. This is yet another example of the conciliar Church making exceptions to assure the faithful the “rules” are still in place and then later dispensing with the “rules” all together.
In short this act violates over a thousand years of Tradition and Catholic teaching and is an overt power play to lay the foundation for women’s ordination. If you recall, the women deaconess issue is again up for “study” at the order of Francis as he did not like the results of the previous two studies which found its an impossibility. This allowing of women into the offices of lector and acolyte are most assuredly a stealth step to lay the groundwork for women deacons and beyond. For one of the arguments against women deacons is that the offices of acolyte and lector were limited to men only throughout the history of the Church.
-- PUBLICATION NOTICE --
Included: Michael Matt explains why The Remnant has chosen Pope Francis as The Remnant's 2020 Man of the Year!
The December 31st issue of The Remnant Newspaper shipped last week.
I met him only once, in the Chartres Cathedral back in the late 1990s. Most amusingly at the time, he asked me how the Minnesota North Stars were doing as, aside from being a holy priest, he was also a big hockey fan.
A long time before that, Father's book "Pastor Out in the Cold" had become part of my coming of age as a Traditional Catholic. The autobiographical work details Father’s struggle to defend the Traditional Latin Mass in the turbulent days after the close of the Council—a holy cause for which Father Normandin sacrificed everything, even his pension.
By the early 1970s, he'd became an outcast from his diocese of Montreal, thus the “pastor out in the cold”, which set the precedent for many heroic priests that we recognized, even as children, as the spiritual sons of the great underground priests of the past, such as Saints Edmund Campion and Miquel Pro.
He was one of the first post-conciliar priests to put Christ, His Mass and the holy priesthood ahead of the guitars, felt banners and Modernist madness that plagued that era. Throughout the 1970s, Father Normandin was a travelling priest who brought the old Mass, sacraments and catechism to traditional Catholic families like mine at a time when there was nothing else.
The SSPX credits Father Normandin with having laid the foundations for most of the Canadian traditional Latin Mass chapels now served by the Society of St. Pius X.
In justice for all he did for the holy cause of Tradition back before "Tradition was cool", we owe it to Father Normandin to pray for the repose of his soul and to beg God to welcome His good and faithful servant into paradise without delay.
Tu es sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech.
Father Yves Normandin, RIP.
Editor's Note: I am pleased to report some good news here at the end of a year marked by bad.
My decision some months ago to try to help a victim of clerical sexual abuse was not an easy one. I had neither personal experience with the victim nor firsthand knowledge of the facts in the case. And since The Remnant is not an investigative journal, I had to weigh the potential for a good outcome against the certainty of scandalizing the faithful by publicizing the alleged sins of a priest.
In posting Erica Kauffman's heartbreaking video, The Remnant had no desire to indict or discredit the Society of St. Pius X—an organization which for thirty years we have defended against the accusation of schism. And I am happy to report that at least one prominent SSPX priest obviously appreciated my motives for posting Miss Kauffman's story, which is evidently why he reached out to her.
In the course of the following reply to Miss Kauffman, Father Niklaus Pfluger, SSPX, provides corroboration of Miss Kauffman’s testimony, and thus also and inadvertently justifies my initial decision to post Miss Kauffman's video. If what she claims is true (and I have notarized documents indicating it is), then a great injustice has been perpetrated against her and a rogue priest is still on the loose.
The reality is that while most priests are good men there are not a few that have fallen, not just in the Novus Ordo but also inside the enclaves of Tradition. We have never denied this even if I have long been wary of making common cause with certain overzealous whistleblowers who often seem to delight in exposing the sins of traditional Catholic priests.
Nobody here at The Remnant expects perfection from the SSPX or any other priestly fraternity—traditional or otherwise. We are all human and as St. Thomas More put it, on occasion a “bitch gets over the wall.” The important thing is to own it when it happens and throw the dog back over the wall as quickly as possible.
To do as Father Pfluger has done in this case, and reach out to a victim—even when it would have been so much easier to remain silent and hope said victim goes away—only speaks to the integrity of this good priest, which is why I would add my voice to his in petitioning the current leadership of the Society of St. Pius X to reach out in similar fashion to Miss Kauffman, to investigate the whereabouts of her alleged abuser, and to either publicly clear his name (if there are extenuating circumstances that somehow mitigate his guilt) or take the necessary disciplinary action against him.
To that end, I am happy to offer these columns to the SSPX administrators, should they choose to publicize the measures taken to see justice finally done so that all parties concerned can move on, so that future potential victims can be protected and so that further scandal can be happily avoided. MJM
The Letter from Fr. Pfluger to Miss Kauffman
Dear Miss Erika Kauffmann:
Thanks a lot for your call getting your phone-number.
Sorry, I wasn’t here in the last days, that’s the reason why I didn’t contact you earlier.
Yes, I read Michael Matt’s article in The Remnant, and then I asked him for your e-mail address.
Up until July 2018, I was Bishop Bernard Fellay’s First Assistant and Vicar General of the Society St. Pius X. Now, I’m living in Switzerland without any responsibility. But in 1997, I had to accompany Bishop Fellay for a very long trip in the US-District, almost four weeks. At that time, I was still rector in the SSPX-Seminary in Germany.
When watching your video, I remembered our visit at the Armada Priory in Michigan, in December 1997, that was Ember Friday, I guess December 19th. You say you met Bishop Fellay in January of 1998, but probably that was in December 1997.
Anyway, I didn’t understand English enough at that time, and the Bishop asked me to assist the second part of his meeting with a lady that now I guess was you. I do not remember the details, but at that time I had the impression Bishop Fellay was convinced of your painful report…
Now, in 2020, I wanted simply to express my profound compassion with you and also my shame. I’m blushed to listen now to your horrible story and “experience” with a priest. And I would beg pardon for such a pain the Society did.
Of course, I’m not anymore in the Society high-direction, and my words are nothing and not important. But I would say how profoundly sorry I am for all that priest of the Society did to you. Your testimony is a cry to the whole Church and the Society. We can’t turn back or re-write the history. But we suffer with you and I hope those responsible in the Society will take your cry for help seriously.
I’m a little bit surprised to hear that Fr. Wegner wasn’t helping you. I knew him as a serious Superior, taking care for all the victims. Unfortunately, he had to leave the US-District, and he is now in Austria. I hope you will find the new Superior to be willing to listen to you.
Like you said in the video, and like your e-mail address expresses – juxta crucem! – the one help and medicine for such pains we can and we will find in the most holy Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May He bless you always, and may Our Lady protect you.
I wish you a grace-filled season of Advent and Peace and Joy in the Eternal Mercy.
P. Niklaus Pfluger
The following is President Donald Trump's full proclamation, issued on December 28, 2020, the Feast Day of St. Thomas Becket. God bless our President!
Today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170. Thomas Becket was a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop, and a lion of religious liberty.
Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America’s first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, “the Church will attain liberty and peace.”
The son of a London sheriff and once described as “a low‑born clerk” by the King who had him killed, Thomas Becket rose to become the leader of the church in England. When the crown attempted to encroach upon the affairs of the house of God through the Constitutions of Clarendon, Thomas refused to sign the offending document. When the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this “poor and humble” priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded “God is the supreme ruler, above Kings” and “we ought to obey God rather than men.”
Because Thomas would not assent to rendering the church subservient to the state, he was forced to forfeit all his property and flee his own country. Years later, after the intervention of the Pope, Becket was allowed to return — and continued to resist the King’s oppressive interferences into the life of the church. Finally, the King had enough of Thomas Becket’s stalwart defense of religious faith and reportedly exclaimed in consternation: “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”
The King’s knights responded and rode to Canterbury Cathedral to deliver Thomas Becket an ultimatum: give in to the King’s demands or die. Thomas’s reply echoes around the world and across the ages. His last words on this earth were these: “For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.” Dressed in holy robes, Thomas was cut down where he stood inside the walls of his own church.
Thomas Becket’s martyrdom changed the course of history. It eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the Church across the West. In England, Becket’s murder led to the Magna Carta’s declaration 45 years later that: “[T]he English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired.”
When the Archbishop refused to allow the King to interfere in the affairs of the Church, Thomas Becket stood at the intersection of church and state. That stand, after centuries of state-sponsored religious oppression and religious wars throughout Europe, eventually led to the establishment of religious liberty in the New World. It is because of great men like Thomas Becket that the first American President George Washington could proclaim more than 600 years later that, in the United States, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship” and that “it is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.”
Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty. It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs.
As Americans, we were first united by our belief that “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” and that defending liberty is more important than life itself. If we are to continue to be the land of the free, no government official, no governor, no bureaucrat, no judge, and no legislator must be allowed to decree what is orthodox in matters of religion or to require religious believers to violate their consciences. No right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions. As I declared in Krasiński Square in Warsaw, Poland on July 6, 2017, the people of America and the people of the world still cry out: “We want God.”
On this day, we celebrate and revere Thomas Becket’s courageous stand for religious liberty and we reaffirm our call to end religious persecution worldwide. In my historic address to the United Nations last year, I made clear that America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts. I also stated that global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life, reflecting the belief held by the United States and many other countries that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God. Earlier this year, I signed an Executive Order to prioritize religious freedom as a core dimension of United States foreign policy. We have directed every Ambassador — and the over 13,000 United States Foreign Service officers and specialists — in more than 195 countries to promote, defend, and support religious freedom as a central pillar of American diplomacy.
We pray for religious believers everywhere who suffer persecution for their faith. We especially pray for their brave and inspiring shepherds — like Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu — who are tireless witnesses to hope.
To honor Thomas Becket’s memory, the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected. The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty.
A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith cannot endure — because justice, goodness, and peace cannot prevail without the grace of God.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 29, 2020, as the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket. I invite the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches and customary places of meeting with appropriate ceremonies in commemoration of the life and legacy of Thomas Becket.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
DONALD J. TRUMP
American religiosity has been in decline for more than a generation and with the added fear of COVID-19, many Christian leaders have deserted their flocks.
Welcome to Christmas 2020, where the biggest crisis is not a virus but a lack of faith. Church leaders have conceded to government diktats in this era of COVID-19 in a doleful attempt to brand themselves as benevolent.
Nation Re-Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
In honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, an Italian priest based in Ireland named Fr. Giacomo Ballini led a procession through Dublin city centre where he performed prayers of exorcism over the Dáil (Parliament) and Taoiseach’s (Prime Minister) Office. In an act of public religious devotion rarely seen in Ireland for many years, hundreds gathered before the Irish Government Buildings to join Fr. Ballini as he said the prayers of exorcism, to pray the Rosary and to consecrate Ireland and its people to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loans held by the federal government is something “President-elect” Joe Biden is apparently considering cancelling; at least up to $50,000 for each borrower by executive order.
United States Supreme Court Hands Down Religious Rights Victory for New Jersey Priest and Rabbi
Thomas More Society Applauds Order Against Governor Murphy’s COVID Prompted Discrimination
(December 15, 2020 – Washington, DC) Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down what attorneys from the Thomas More Society are calling “a huge victory for religious freedom.” The case, pitting a New Jersey Catholic priest and Orthodox Jewish rabbi against Governor Philip Murphy’s COVID-19-related executive orders restricting houses of worship to 25% of capacity while secular businesses and schools are at 100% capacity.
The high court granted the writ of certiorari before judgment on appeal in the Third Circuit and vacated the original judgment of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denying an injunction against the restrictions to Reverend Kevin Robinson and Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler who preside over small houses of worship in the state.
The case will now be sent back to the District Court where it will be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s recent (November 30, 2020) decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, which held that houses of worship cannot be treated more harshly than functionally comparable secular entities such as schools, warehouses, factories and large stores.
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Christopher Ferrara addressed the core of the case.
This is one of dozens of lawsuits across the country pitting houses of worship, their leaders, and congregants against gubernatorial abuse of power,” explained Ferrara. “This order shows that the Supreme Court is truly interested in ensuring churches get equal treatment with secular activities, even if the Governor Murphy’s edicts are not nearly as ‘severe’ as New York's 10- and 25-person limits on houses of worship in Governor Cuomo’s “Red Zone” or California’s total ban on indoor worship in Governor Newsom’s “Purple Tier.”
Under Murphy’s executive orders in New Jersey, houses of worship are limited to 25% capacity, while Costco, Walmart, factories, schools, and other venues, all get better treatment. What is particularly significant in this case is that the high court is not only recognizing the error of outright bans or virtual bans on houses of worship which were at issue in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo in New York and Harvest Rock v. Newsom in California, but also acknowledges the disparately applied capacity percentage limits also violate the Free Exercise clause.
Ferrara added “We are getting a very clear message from the United States Supreme Court that government cannot set up any rules that apply to places of worship, or worship activities, but not to other, comparable secular activities. This is the very crux of religious discrimination and a blatant abuse of the United States Constitution and its Amendments.”
Also significant is that the Court granted certiorari and vacated the District Court’s refusal to grant an injunction from New Jersey’s “mask mandate.” As the petition to the Supreme Court argued: “[U]nder New Jersey’s mask mandate, parties of eight (or family parties of unlimited size) can eat, drink and be merry sans masks while facing each other across narrow or round tables, without social distancing, all the while expelling particles of virus at each other—for hours on end, if the owner permits. Yet worshippers cannot sit in pews—facing in the same direction and separated by six feet from each other—for even one hour, once a week, without the mandated face covering. They [are allowed to] partake of Holy Communion or “the Kiddush cup” only “momentarily” without the state-imposed mask, but diners can tuck into multicourse dinners and imbibe wine for as long as they please while maskless. In what world is this disparate treatment of religion versus dining constitutionally permissible?”
Read the December 15, 2020, United States Supreme Court Order granting the writ of certiorari before judgement and vacating the October 2 order of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and remanding it to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/NJ-Order-order-to-vacate.jpg].
Read the Thomas More Society’s Emergency Application to Justice Alito for an Injunction Pending Appellate Review, filed with the United States Supreme Court in Rev. Kevin Robinson and Rabbi Yisrael A. Knopfler v. Philip D. Murphy, Governor of the State of New Jersey, et. al, on November 19, 2020, here [https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Robinson-et-al.-v.-Murphy-et-al.-Emerg.-App.-for-IPA-to-Justice-Alito-11-19-2020.pdf] along with the Reply in Support of the application here https://www.thomasmoresociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/SCOTUS-Reply-NJ.pdf
#SaveChristmas Rally Press Release
Date: December 12, 2020
Location: Capitol Mall, St. Paul, Minnesota
Last month, Governor Tim Walz informed Minnesotans that he would be regulating how and with whom they could “legally” celebrate Thanksgiving in their own homes.
Dear Christian Patriots:
Last month, Governor Tim Walz informed us that he would be regulating how and with whom we could “legally” celebrate Thanksgiving in our own homes.
Simply put, this is unconstitutional.