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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.

Cdl. Pell Cdl. Pell

 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. 

+ Peter Christensen + Peter Christensen

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.

GrilloIn 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.

  1. To say that the classical Roman rite “cannot be resuscitated” is frightfully humorous, since it is obviously alive and well, to judge from the ever-growing number of clergy and laity in 88 countries around the world who avail themselves of it week after week, even daily, and have done so, in some cases, over a span of decades. As a professor at a Catholic college, I frequently taught students who grew up with nothing else, who feel no discontentment with it, and who seek nothing else for their future family, religious, or priestly life.
  2. The classical Roman rite has been celebrated uninterruptedly by some portion of the clergy ever since the Second Vatican Council. In other words, the Novus Ordo Missae never enjoyed complete unanimity of usage; the old Mass never ceased to be current and alive, in the hands and hearts of Catholics who loved their tradition and would accept no substitute. Those who know and love the traditional Latin Mass believe that it needs no “reform”—except the restoration of the old Holy Week that Pius XII butchered in the 1950s. It is therefore empty rhetoric to hurl at it epithets like “inert,” “crystallized,” “lifeless,” which more accurately describe the theories of the 1960s on which the Novus Ordo was based, as they now look to us half a century later.
  3. If a rite used by anywhere from 1–6% of Catholics around the world is felt to be so threatening to the other 94–99%, that should tell us something about the insecurity of the ones who feel threatened. They evidently do not think their reformed liturgy can stand up in a boxing match and win. It must be shored up in the same way as it was created: by papal and episcopal muscle.

My definitive response, however, may be found in the form of eight limericks.

On this the Feast of her Annunciation, may the Madonna intercede for us to end the scourge in Italy and throughout the world!

Swathed in ultramarine and crowned with roses, Gwyneth's Madonna is inspired by the work of the Italian Baroque painter Sassoferrato.


New from Remnant TV...

THE PARKING LOT MASS: Priest Outsmarts #COVID-19

In this RTV Short, we report on how one ingenious Catholic priest has found a way to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass without violating federal or state separation guidelines designed to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

As a 30-year US military chaplain, Father knows something about the importance of following the rules during a pandemic.

He also knows how important God and Faith are to those fighting for survival.  

It is our hope that more Catholic priests will find a way to safely keep the consolation of Holy Mother Church available to their flocks even out here on the battlefield of this pandemic.

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Editor's Note: In the latest episode of From The Editor’s Desk, I attempt to point out that this crisis, as unsettling as it is, has also managed to put the lie to the entire Modernist revolution in the Catholic Church—a revolution which has left the Church utterly defenseless against moral evil, spiritual evil and now even temporal sickness, panic and fear.

In this beautiful video letter to us all, Bishop Athanasius Schneider explains how it is quite possible to stay close to God and the Church during times of trouble. His Excellency grew up under Soviet tyranny and so quite obviously knows of what he speaks. He also knows how to survive and keep the Faith, and it is for this reason that I’m so happy to offer this hopeful video message (below, along with the complete transcript) to Remnant readers at this particular moment of uncertainty.

AT A TIME when churches are rapidly closing their doors, public masses are being canceled and even sacraments such as confession and last rites are becoming more difficult to find, Planned Parenthood is busier than ever.

Planned Parenthood assured the public Thursday that they are doing everything they can to limit the effects of COVID-19 on its clinics.

He kept his church open, now he found a way to bring Mass to those of his flock who can attend.

Without violating regulations imposed by the Church or the state, this diocesan priest has discovered a way to maintain the consolation of Holy Mother Church during this time of crisis.

There will be a Tridentine Mass offered at 10:00 am on Sunday on the Saint Augustine campus.

The Mass will be on the north lawn adjacent to the parking lot, visible to the faithful.

The faithful are asked to remain in or around their vehicles for the Mass itself.

Immediately following the final blessing and Gospel, Holy Communion will be distributed to the faithful who wish to receive.

As a consolation to the larger Catholic community around the world, these traditional Latin Masses and their sermons will appear on the Remnant website every Sunday until the crisis ends.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the Mass WILL NOT BE CANCELLED, and that the graces won by this Mass will be available to our families, diocese and country, regardless of who is present.


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2020 VOD Access