Pro-life leaders pledge fidelity to Catholic teaching; won’t follow erring pastors
“If there is any conflict between the words and acts of any member of the hierarchy, even the pope, and the doctrine that the Church has always taught we will remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church,” says a “pledge of fidelity” released by thirty-seven pro-life and -family leaders around the world today.
The leaders, whose organizations represent millions of Catholics, published the “pledge of fidelity to the authentic teaching of the Church” at the website fidelitypledge.com.
The pledge expresses the position of pro-life leaders at this time, when their work is being harmed and hampered by statements and actions from certain Church leaders – Pope Francis included — that contradict Catholic teaching. By doing so the signatories seek to fulfil their responsibilities to those whom they have pledged to protect, in particular unborn children and those made especially vulnerable by the breakdown of the family.
The pro-life leaders highlight numerous statements and actions which have had a particularly damaging impact on their work for the protection of unborn children and the family in recent years. Issues included in the list of damaging statements under protest include contraception, homosexuality, divorce, sex-education and more.
The pledge lists in abbreviated form various principles of traditional Catholic teaching on issues on life, marriage and family which the leaders vow never to abandon.
Read the Pledge and see Signatures below:
Pledge of fidelity to the authentic teaching of the Church by pro-life and pro-family leaders
The number of innocent children killed by abortion during the last century is greater than that of all the human beings who have died in all the wars in recorded history. The last fifty years have witnessed a continual escalation in attacks on the structure of the family as designed and willed by God, which provides the best environment for human flourishing, and, especially, for the education and formation of children. Divorce, contraception, acceptance of homosexual acts and unions, and the spread of “gender ideology” have all done immeasurable damage to the family, and its most vulnerable members.
Over the last fifty years the pro-life and pro-family movement has grown in both size and scope in order to confront these grave evils, which threaten both the temporal and eternal good of mankind. Our movement comprises men and women of good will from a wide variety of religious backgrounds. We are brought together in our defence of the family, and of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters, through obedience to the natural law, which is written on all our hearts (cf. Rm 2:15). However, throughout this last half century the pro-life and pro-family movement has relied in a particular way on the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church, which affirms the moral law with the greatest clarity.
It is therefore with great sorrow that during recent years we have witnessed doctrinal and moral clarity, on issues relating to the protection of human life and the family, increasingly being replaced by ambiguity, and even by doctrines directly contrary to the teaching of Christ and the precepts of the natural law.
A Filial Appeal, delivered to Pope Francis in September 2015, was signed by around 900,000 people from all over the world and a “Declaration of fidelity to the unchangeable teaching of the Church on matrimony” was presented in 2016. On 19 September 2016 four cardinals submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking for the clarification of certain points of doctrine in the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. In June 2017, the cardinals made public their request for an audience, which had been presented to the Pope by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on 25 April 2017, but which, like the dubia, had received no response. On 23 September 2017 a Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis was issued by 62 Catholic theologians and academics “on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions” of Pope Francis. By 4 November 2017, 250 theologians, priests, professors and scholars of all nationalities had pledged their support to the Correctio. The disorder within the Church is increasing, as witnessed by a letter recently sent to Pope Francis by a prominent theologian, which, the author stated, was prompted by “turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused.” 1
As Catholic pro-life and pro-family leaders, we are obliged to highlight numerous additional statements and actions, which have had a particularly damaging impact on our work for the protection of unborn children and the family in recent years. Representative examples include:
- statements and actions which contradict the Church’s teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraceptive acts 2;
- statements and actions which contradict the Church’s teaching on the nature of marriage and the intrinsic evil of sexual acts outside the union of marriage 3;
- the approval of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which effectively call for member states to achieve universal access to abortion, contraception and sex education by 2030 4;
- the approach adopted towards sex education, particularly in chapter 7 of Amoris Laetitiaand in The Meeting Point programme produced by the Pontifical Council for the Family 5.
As leaders within the pro-life and pro-family movement, or leaders of lay movements concerned with the defence and diffusion of Catholic moral and social teaching, we have witnessed first-hand the harm and confusion caused by such teaching and actions. In order to fulfil our responsibilities to those whom we have pledged to protect, in particular unborn children and those made especially vulnerable by the breakdown of the family, we must provide clarity on our position on these issues. We must also provide leadership to those within our movement who look to us for guidance and advice.
For this reason, we wish to make clear our unchanging adherence to the fundamental moral positions outlined below:
- there exist certain acts which are intrinsically evil and which it is always forbidden to commit 6;
- the direct killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral; consequently, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are intrinsically evil acts 7;
- marriage is the exclusive and indissoluble union of one man and one woman; all sexual acts outside of marriage, including in all forms of non-marital union, are intrinsically evil and gravely injurious to individuals and to society 8;
- adultery is a grave sin, and those who live in adultery cannot be admitted to the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, until such time as they repent and amend their lives 9;
- parents are the primary educators of their children, and the provision of sex education must be undertaken by parents or, in certain circumstances, “in educational centres chosen and controlled by them”10;
- the separation of the procreative and unitive ends of the sexual act by contraceptive methods is intrinsically evil and has devastating consequences for the family, for society and for the Church 11;
- methods of artificial reproduction are gravely immoral as they separate procreation from the sexual act and, in the great majority of cases, lead directly to the destruction of human life in its earliest stages 12;
- there are only two sexes, male and female, each of which possesses the complementary characteristics and differences that are proper to them 13;
- homosexual acts are intrinsically evil, and no form of union between persons of the same sex can be approved in any way 14.
As Catholic pro-life and pro-family leaders we must remain faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has entrusted the deposit of faith to his Church. We “are obliged to yield to God the revealer full submission of intellect and will by faith.”15 We fully assent to all those things “which are contained in the word of God as found in Scripture and Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church as matters to be believed as divinely revealed, whether by her solemn judgment or in her ordinary and universal magisterium.”16
We pledge our full obedience to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the legitimate exercise of its authority. However, nothing will ever persuade us, or compel us, to abandon or contradict any article of the Catholic faith or any truth definitively established. If there is any conflict between the words and acts of any member of the hierarchy, even the pope, and the doctrine that the Church has always taught, we will remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church. If we were to depart from the Catholic faith, we would depart from Jesus Christ, to Whom we wish to be united for all eternity.
We, the undersigned, pledge that we will continue to teach and propagate the above moral principles, and every other authentic teaching of the Catholic Church, and will never, for any reason, depart from them.
12th December, 2017
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- “Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy explains his critical letter to Pope Francis”, Catholic World Report, 1 November 2017, http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/11/01/fr-thomas-g-weinandy-explains-his-critical-letter-to-pope-francis/.
- “On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape. Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned. On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.” “Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Mexico to Rome”, Catholic News Agency, 18 February 2016, https://www.catholicnewsag ency.com/news/full-text-of-pope-francis-in-flight-interview-from-mexico-to-rome-85821. Fr Federic Lombardi, the Holy See’s spokesman, Fr Lombardi, confirmed the meaning of the pope’s words the following day: “Allora il contraccettivo o il preservativo, in casi di particolare emergenza e gravità, possono anche essere oggetto di un discernimento di coscienza serio. Questo dice il Papa.” “P. Lombardi commenta i temi affrontati dal Papa con i giornalisti”, Radio Vaticana,19 February 2016, https://goo.gl/88XpWd. Translation: “The contraceptive or condom, in particular cases of emergency or gravity, could be the object of discernment in a serious case of conscience. This is what the Pope said.”
- “In the Argentine countryside, in the Northeastern region, there is a superstition: that couples have a child, they live together. In the countryside this happens. Then, when the child must go to school, they have a civil marriage. And then, as grandparents, they have a religious marriage. It is a superstition, because they say that having a religious wedding straight away scares the husband! We must also fight against these superstitions. Yet really, I say that I have seen a great deal of fidelity in these cohabiting couples, a great deal of fidelity; and I am certain that this is a true marriage, they have the grace of matrimony, precisely because of the fidelity that they have. But there are local superstitions.” “Address of His Holiness Pope Francis at the opening of the pastoral congress of the Diocese of Rome”, 16 June 2016, https://goo.gl/cLLo2q. During this congress Pope Francis also claimed that “a great majority” of Catholic marriages are invalid. The transcript was later altered, at the request of the pope, to read “a part”. Fr Lombardi commented: “When it’s a matter of topics of a certain importance, the revised text is always submitted to the pope himself. This is what happened in this case, thus the published text was expressly approved by the pope.” “Updated: Most Marriages Today Are Invalid, Pope Francis Suggests”, National Catholic Register, 17 June 2016.
- “I am gratified that in September 2015 the nations of the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, and that, in December 2015, they approved the Paris Agreement on climate change.” “Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the celebration of the world day of prayer for the care of creation”, 1 September 2016, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/pont-messages/2016/documents/papa-francesco_20160901_messaggio-giornata-cura-creato.html. Further details about the Holy See’s support for the SDGS, and the manner in which the SDGs call for abortion, contraception and sex education see: “The impact of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on children and the family, and their endorsement by the Holy See”, Voice of the Family, http://voiceofthefamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Impact-of-the-United-Nations-Sustainable-Development-Goals22-2-17.pdf.
- “The Meeting Point: project for affective and sexual formation”, Pontifical Council for the Family, http://www.educazioneaffettiva.org/?lang=en
- Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, 6 August 1993, No. 52. Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 25 March 1995, No. 67.
- Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, No. 57
- Canons and Decrees of the Twenty Fourth Session of the Council of Trent, Promulgated 11 November 1563; Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum Divinae, 10 February 1880; Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, 31 December 1930.
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 22 November 1981, No. 84; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of the Faithful who are Divorced and Remarried, 4 September 1994; Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of the Faithful who are Divorced and Remarried, 24 June 2000.
- Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, 31 December 1929; Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio; Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 8 December 1995.
- Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii; Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae,25 July 1968.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Donum Vitae, 22 February 1987; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dignitatis Personae, 8 September 2008
- Pope Benedict XVI, Christmas Address to the Roman Curia, 21 December 2012
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1 October 1986; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, 3 June 2003.
- First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Ch. 3.1.
- Ibid, Ch. 3.8.
Signatories to the “Pledge of Fidelity” to the authentic teaching of the Church
Bernard Antony, President of Chrétienté-Solidarité (France)
Dame Colleen Bayer, DSG, Founding Director of Family Life International NZ (New Zealand)
Judie Brown, President of American Life League (United States)
Patrick Buckley, Director of European Life Network (Ireland)
Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Quebec Vie (Canada)
Giorgio Celsi, President of Associazione "Ora et Labora in Difesa della Vita" (Italy)
Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, MD, Ioan Barbus Foundation (Romania)
Greg Clovis, Director of Family Life International UK (United Kingdom)
Rev. Linus F. Clovis, Spiritual Director of Family Life International St Lucia (St Lucia)
Virginia Coda Nunziante, President of Associazione Famiglia Domani (Italy)
Modesto Fernandez, President of Droit de Naître (France)
Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Director of the Institute for Marital Healing (United States)
Mathias von Gersdorff, Director of Aktion Kinder in Gefahr (Germany)
Corrado Gnerre, Guida Nazionale, Il Cammino dei Tre Sentieri (Italy)
Doug Grane, Chief Executive of Serviam (United States)
Michael Hichborn, President of the Lepanto Institute (United States)
Jason Jones, Founder of I am Whole Life, Founder of Movie to Movement (United States)
John Lacken, Founder of Legio Sanctae Familiae, Secretary of the Lumen Fidei Institute (Ireland)
François Legrier, President of Mouvement Catholique des Familles (France)
Vittorio Lodolo D'Oria, President of Famiglie Numerose Cattoliche (Italy)
Samuele Maniscalco, Director of Generazione Voglio Vivere (Italy)
Christine de Marcellus Vollmer, President of Asociacion Provida de Venezuela (PROVIVE), President of Alianza Latinoamericana para la Familia (ALAFA), President of Alive to the World, Education in Integrity (Venezuala)
Roberto de Mattei, President of Fondazione Lepanto (Italy)
Jean-Pierre Maugendre, President of Renaissance Catholique (France)
Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family (United States)
Anthony Murphy, Director of Catholic Voice (Ireland)
Marisa Orecchia, President of Federvita Piemonte (Italy)
Philippe Piloquet, President of SOS Tout-petits (France)
Philippe Schepens M.D., Secretary-General of the World Federation of Doctors Who
Respect Human Life (Belgium)
John Smeaton, Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (United Kingdom)
Molly Smith, President of Bringing America Back to Life, Executive Director of Cleveland Right to Life (United States)
Guillaume de Thieulloy, Director, Le Salon Beige (France)
Yves Tillard, President of Action Familiale et Scolaire (France)
Dr Thomas Ward, President of the National Association of Catholic Families (United Kingdom)
John-Henry Westen, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LifeSiteNews (Canada)
Mercedes Arzú Wilson, Founder and President of Family of the Americas Foundation (Nicaragua)
Diego Zoia, Director of SOS Ragazzi (Italy)
See the pledge and the signatories here: fidelitypledge.com
Pope Francis has said that the Lord's Prayer should be changed, arguing that the translation used in many parts of the world, including the Italian and English versions, go against the teachings of the Church and Bible.
In the centuries-old recited prayer, followers of the Christian Faith call on God to "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
Speaking to Italian broadcasters on December 7, Francis argued this was incorrect, saying, "It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation."
To think that the Messiah's instruction to mankind on how to pray—as penned by the evangelists as the infallible Word of God and as followed for 2000 years by all the saints and members of Christ—is now incorrect. By this latest stunt, it is the pope who is leading us into temptation.
Francis purports to criticize the English and Italian translations of the Our Father, when he knows very well that it is the original manuscript he is criticizing. The original text from the Lord's Prayer, as taken from the Latin Vulgate, reads, "et ne inducas nos in temptationem sed libera nos a malo," which translated is, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:13)
Hence this is not a translation issue, but a scriptural issue. The English translations of the Our Father as recited today are correct, because they are taken from the Vulgate, which is the official version of Holy Scripture—the source from which all authentic translations must directly or indirectly be taken.
Even so, Francis thinks that the Our Father should be changed, and during his interview with the TV2000 channel, he even said he has approved a modified version in France.
Christ's instruction should be simple enough to understand. When we say, "lead us not into temptation," we're simply asking God to help us choose right from wrong, good from bad, God from Satan. It is God, our leader, who leads this enterprise, therefore we ask him to "lead us" thus. A seven-year-old CCD student can understand this perfectly, yet the leader of the world's Catholics can't seem to get it!
Thomas A. Kempis would tell him, "Consider thy motives." Francis is apparently upset over the idea of being led away from temptation, since he is led by the temptation of globalism and change. The Bible threatens him to give up his change, so instead of humbly admitting that scripture is correct, he judges that it is incorrect, in the same way he has denied the miracle of the loaves and has judged that evangelization is "solemn nonsense." http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-gives-new-interview
Nay, the mission of the Church is to convert all peoples to the Catholic Faith. God in his mercy wants us all to know that this world is not our common home, but rather a quagmire of temptation, and that our true home is in Heaven with God and the saints who said the unrevised Our Father.
Therefore, as children of God who obey the Father's commands, we take the Father's hand and ask him to lead us not into temptation, but away from all evil, because if we chase after temptation—especially the temptation to change the Bible and the doctrines of the Faith—God will let go of our hand, and in His permissive will, He will allow us not only to fall into temptation, but into the very fires of Hell. And by the way, Papa, condemnation is forever.
Christ warns of the dire consequences of changing but one word of Holy Scripture. He says to St. John in the Apocalypse, "If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in this book." (Apoc. 22:18)
Let us therefore reverence the words of Christ in the Gospel, remembering that all scripture is "inspired of God." (2 Timothy 3:16) "Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents." (1 Cor. 10:9)
Join hundreds of faithful from around the country for a Pontifical High Mass offered by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke on Sunday, December 10th, at the beautiful Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Mass will begin at 9:30am in the Shrine Church and many pilgrims are expected so please arrive early for seating! Local overnight accommodations are available, contact the Shrine for more information.
Shrine or Our Lady of Guadalupe, 5250 Justin Rd. La Crosse, Wisconsin. (877) 799-4059. www.guadalupeshrine.org
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.