Home > Tag Archives: Michael Matt

Tag Archives: Michael Matt

September 23rd, 2016

Papal ‘Green Light’ for Adultery?

Your Holiness:
The following narrative, written in our desperation as lowly members of the laity, is what we must call an accusation concerning your pontificate, which has been a calamity for the Church in proportion to which it delights the powers of this world. The culminating event that impelled us to take this step was the revelation of your ‘confidential’ letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires authorizing them, solely on the basis of your own views as expressed in Amoris Laetitia, to admit certain public adulterers in ‘second marriages’ to the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion without any firm purpose of amending their lives by ceasing their adulterous sexual relations.

You have thus defied the very words of Our Lord Himself condemning divorce and ‘remarriage’ as adultery per se without exception, the admonition of Saint Paul on the divine penalty for unworthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament, the teaching of your two immediate predecessors in line with the bimillenial moral doctrine and Eucharistic discipline of the Church rooted in divine revelation, the Code of Canon Law and all of Tradition.

You have already provoked a fracturing of the Church’s universal discipline, with some bishops maintaining it despite Amoris Laetitia while others, including those in Buenos Aires, are announcing a change based solely on the authority of your scandalous ‘apostolic exhortation’. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of the Church.

Yet, almost without exception, the conservative members of the hierarchy observe a politic silence while the liberals exult publicly over their triumph thanks to you. Almost no one in the hierarchy stands in opposition to your reckless disregard of sound doctrine and practice, even though many murmur privately against your depredations. Thus, as it was during the Arian crisis, it falls to the laity to defend the Faith in the midst of a near-universal defection from duty on the part of the hierarchs.

Of course we are nothing in the scheme of things, and yet as baptized lay members of the Mystical Body we are endowed with the God-given right and the correlative duty, enshrined in Church law (cf. CIC can. 212), to communicate with you and with our fellow Catholics concerning the acute crisis your governance of the Church has provoked amidst an already chronic state of ecclesial crisis following the Second Vatican Council.

Private entreaties having proven utterly useless, as we note below, we have published this document to discharge our burden of conscience in the face of the grave harm you have inflicted, and threaten to inflict, upon souls and the ecclesial commonwealth, and to exhort our fellow Catholics to stand in principled opposition to your continuing abuse of the papal office, particularly where it concerns the Church’s infallible teaching against adultery and profanation of the Holy Eucharist.

In making the decision to publish this document we were guided by the teaching of the Angelic Doctor on a matter of natural justice in the Church:

‘It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Galatians 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.”’ [Summa Theologiae, II-II, Q. 33, Art 4]

We have been guided as well by the teaching of Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, regarding licit resistance to a wayward Roman Pontiff:

‘Therefore, just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so it is lawful to resist him invading souls or disturbing a state, and much more if he should endeavor to destroy the Church. I say, it is lawful to resist him, by not doing what he commands, and by blocking him, lest he should carry out his will…’ [ De Controversiis on the Roman Pontiff, Bk. 2, Ch. 29].

Catholics the world over, and not just ‘traditionalists’, are convinced that the situation Bellarmine envisioned hypothetically is today a reality. That conviction is the motive for this document.

May God be the judge of the rectitude of our intentions.

Christopher A. Ferrara, Lead Columnist, The Remnant

Michael J. Matt, Editor, The Remnant

John Vennari, Editor, Catholic Family News

July 29th, 2016

Trumping Hillary

The American Presidential election is becoming more intriguing by the day.  US voters  must  choose between  the unspeakable Hillary Clinton, who wants to ride roughshod over what remains of Christian civilisation, and Donald Trump who’s generally regarded on this side of the Atlantic as a dangerous nut-job. Some choice!

Here is an exchange between Michael Matt, editor of the Trad Catholic newspaper The Remnant, and his columnist Christopher Ferrara, a distinguished Catholic lawyer. It lasts around half an hour, but it’s well worth watching. It helped clarify my thinking on this crucial election, and  I believe it will do the same for you.

 

 

These exchanges between Matt and Ferrara are invariably challenging and stimulating. They usually appear weekly, and can be found by googling Remnant TV.

 

July 11th, 2016

Gay Zombies Strike a Blow for Sanity

I’m just back from a  symposium in Gardone, Northern Italy, where we learned much about  Martin Luther’s Revolt—I refuse to call it a Reformation—and why it  was such a runaway success. One reason was Luther’s remarkable propaganda skills: a master manipulator, he pioneered the use of the media to crucify Catholic Christendom, employing  pamphlets, woodcuts, and even music to get his message across.  Some of the woodcuts were particularly obscene; for instance, one portrays demons sitting on a privy,  defecating monks.

Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper expressed a certain degree of admiration for Luther’s media skills, and suggested that  disenfranchised Catholics could learn quite a lot from him. In particular, we could make judicious use of some of his techniques, but this time  against the Church’s enemies, imparting  the truth instead of lies and employing ridicule where necessary.

I must confess I thought this to be a tall order.  True, we have a very powerful instrument at our disposal—the world wide web. But how could we  effectively expose, for example, the all-powerful militant sodomite  lobby and help to negate some of their mendacious propaganda??

But today I opened the LifeSite News site and found out how this has already been done, quite brilliantly, in Canada, by some Christians—presumably  Evangelical Protestants, who would be in some sense heirs of Luther. It’s rather ironic, really.

Here’s the LifeSite News  report by Pete Baklinski, slightly edited:

 

Featured Image

                                                           Christians dressed as ‘Gay Zombies’

Half-a-dozen Christians led by activist Bill Whatcott paid the $100 fee to parade organizers to register “Gay Zombies Cannabis Consumers Association” so that they could move more easily along the parade route to deliver their message.

The group said their goal in participating in the event was twofold: First, to be a prophetic and unambiguous witness against the unfettered celebration of homosexuality, and second, to offer people caught up in the same-sex lifestyle a way out through a call to repent and to turn to Jesus Christ to be saved.

“Our delivery was a bit creative,” said Whatcott to LifeSiteNews, “but, we wanted to give people this message because it is truthful.”

Image
 Bill Whatcott handing out information about same-sex activity.

Whatcott said that as a street preacher in other Pride parades he seldom handed out more than a few dozen pamphlets. But this time, dressed as gay zombies, he and his crew managed to hand out thousands of pamphlets.

“I asked them if they wanted ‘Zombie safe sex.’ Everyone loved it. But if you try to give out a Gospel pamphlet, they swear at you and throw slushies on your forehead. But, give them some wackadoddle thing that looks like a condom, and they really can’t grab it fast enough. I had three thousand out in 20 minutes. He described the handout as “pretty direct hitting stuff” that was also “charitable” because it offers people caught up in the same-sex lifestyle a “way out.”

[Links to pamphets can be found on Whatcott’s blog. [WARNING, GRAPHIC]

The pamphlet shows graphic images of diseases associated with same-sex behaviours, including anal warts and AIDS. It states:

Natural law is clear, homosexuality is incompatible with human nature. Disease, death and confusion are the sad and sordid realities of the homosexual lifestyle. The ‘Gay Zombies’ are concerned about the spiritual, psychological and physical welfare of all potential homosexual pride attendees, so we want to give you this accurate information and encourage you to abstain from  homosexuality. The rejection of true marriage is also in direct opposition to God’s law and it is our duty to warn you that those who choose to rebel against the God who created them, do so to their eternal peril. For those reading this Gospel package we also want to let you know there is a God who loves you, and who is real, and who has made a way for you to come to Him.

Whatcott said that same-sex attracted people need to know the medical facts about the practices they engage in. “We don’t feel that this message should be closeted and that we should be bullied into silence.”

In 2013 the Supreme Court of Canada found Whatcott guilty of “hate speech” against homosexuals for pamphlets in which he warned that “children will pay the price in disease, death, abuse and ultimately eternal judgment if we do not say no to the sodomite desire to socialize your children into accepting something that is clearly wrong.”

I hope to do several more blogposts on the Gardone symposium in the coming days.

 

 

May 31st , 2016

Traddery and Trumpery

There has been quite a rumpus recently in Traditional and Conservative Catholic circles about an article in the American Trad newspaper The Remnant by Ann Barnhardt,   describing  Pope Francis as “personally responsible for the most loss of human souls to eternal damnation, above Luther, above Mohammed, above Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), above Paul VI Montini”.

Well, I think most readers, even those most critical of the present pontificate,  would agree that such language is more than a little over the top. And Miss Barnhardt goes on to insist that the Pope  must be “deposed and anathematised for being a heretic” by  what she describes as “those bishops remaining who still hold the Catholic Faith”, called together in an “imperfect Ecumenical Council”.

Whoa! In the first place she can’t possibly know how many—if any—souls have been lost because of the Holy Father’s admittedly destructive polices and heterodox utterances. In the second place, it is not our business as lay people to advocate what would amount to a schism.

All the same, I can’t go along with John Médaille, (a theology teacher, a retired businessman and a Distributist more or less on the lines of Belloc and Chesterton) who bitterly attacks The Remnant‘s editor Michael Matt for carrying Miss Barnhardt’s piece at all. He insists that Mr Matt is just trying to  increase his circulation by appealing to the worst passions of his audience and saying the most outrageous things—thus becoming “the Donald Trump of Catholic Traditionalism”.

Now, every editor wants to increase his circulation. But I’ve met Michael Matt on several occasions, and I’m sure his motives are worthier than that. I think he felt that Ann Barnhardt’s voice was one that should be heard, and I think—despite the  hysterical tone of the piece—that he was probably right. You can read John Médaille’s critique on www.ethikapolitica. org. In the appropriate  combox on that site you will find dozens of entries arguing for and against Mr Matt’s decision to carry the article. Mr Médaille concludes:

And who can fail to note the irony that on the eve of the five-hundredth anniversary of Luther’s famous 95 Theses that split the Church apart, some Traditionalists, with their own theses, want to do the same? And to make the irony complete, they seem to want a council to overrule the Pope, which sounds a lot like the conciliarism they pretend to oppose.

Christopher Ferrara, distinguished pro-life lawyer and Remnant columnist retorts:

And who can fail to note the irony that Francis is going to Sweden next year to commemorate the 500th anniversary of that same “Reformation”, including participation in a joint liturgy with faux Lutheran “bishops” who condone abortion, contraception, divorce, the “ordination” of women and practicing homosexuals, and who would be viewed as worthy of the flames by Luther himself? Surely we Catholics have not lost the capacity to recognize this kind of thing as simply insane. There is more to the Remnant‘s position than the rhetoric and tone of one column.

And in a separate comment,  Mr Ferrara says: “No Pope in Church history has received the world’s praise like this Pope. That is a very bad sign, as Our Lord himself made clear.”

In another comment, one Stephen Hand notes:

Just weeks before the Irish same sex referendum in which Ireland was lost to the Catholic Church for the first time since St. Patrick, Francis appointed the notorious gay advocate, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, as Consultor to the Vatican’s Peace and Justice Commission. What a sly signal to the Irish in that critical hour. And that appointment also illustrated that Francis, unlike JPII and BXVI has been driving a sly wedge between Church praxis (works of mercy) and traditional Catholic doctrine. The former must ever be the “fruit” of orthodoxy, sound doctrine, never a substitute for it.

I would agree with John Médaille that no matter how bad things get, schism is never the answer. Perhaps our best course  would be to heed the advice of Cardinal Raymond Burke:

I think of so many faithful who express to me their profound concerns for the Church in the present time, when there seems to be so much confusion about fundamental dogmatic and moral truths. In responding to their concerns, I urge them to deepen their understanding of the constant teaching and discipline of the Church and to make their voices heard, so that the shepherds of the flock may understand the urgent need to announce again with clarity and courage the truths of the faith and to apply again with charity and firmness the discipline needed to safeguard the same truths.

Both Mr Matt and Mr Médaille were at last year’s symposium of the Roman Forum in Gardone on the Italian lakes. I hope they’ll both be there again.