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Forging Peter’s Chains

(While Scourging Christ's Church)


Michael J. Matt

Editor, The Remnant

(Posted 04/26/10 While attempting to survive the current arctic winter once hailed as the New Springtime of Vatican II, there is a nagging temptation to quip through chattering teeth —Yep, we told you so!  It’s not the right attitude, of course, but perhaps understandable. After all, Traditional Catholics spent over four decades in virtual exile at the hands of their modernist-appeasing coreligionists who rigorously defended the indefensible—the very regime of novelty responsible for the Church’s current auto-demolition.

Clearly, Modernism’s chickens have come home to roost, exactly as the “schismatics”—e.g., Walter Matt, Michael Davies, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre—predicted they would. And lest there be any doubt in anyone’s mind, the majority of the New Springtime’s fundamentally emasculated clergy are no match for belligerents of any sort—even chickens.  

Far too many of them pounded their ecclesial swords into flatware for fancy ecumenical dinner parties long ago. They laid their crowns at the feet of their enemies, and excised from their lexicons any dogmatic words that might offend the infidel. They protestantized their liturgy, stripped exorcisms from their Sacraments, and began behaving as if Hell and demons no longer exist.  The joke was on them, however, since the playing field they so expertly leveled has since been overrun by demons that not only exist but are hell-bent on taking over Christendom and lynching churchmen of every stripe.

With empty scabbards and heads uncrowned, our princes can scarcely command obedience from aging priests and nuns much less crusaders for whose noble legacy they’ve been apologizing ad nauseam for decades. Open dialogue paved the way for open season on all things Catholic, including popes, and there are few Catholics left standing who are willing or able to defend the holy city or the hollow men inside.

Shell-shocked sheep can only wince at the effeminate posturing of all too many of their shepherds in the face of the snarling wolf pack Modernism set loose: “Let’s embrace our diversity. We apologize for our history, our dogmas and our dogmatism, and we invite our dialogue partners to join us in the search for truth and...blah, blah, blah!”

Nobody’s listening. Nobody cares—at least not until Catholic Tradition, bound and gagged, raises her bloodied head and attempts to speak. Then the wolves in the media and across the dialogue tables begin howling and frothing at the mouth. They still believe what all too many Catholics do not: That the Church is a divine institution and Tradition is her fortress. Traditional Catholicism—glory of angels and terror of demons—is, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters to friend or foe of Christ’s Bride.

So even when the old Faith appears burnt at the stake of secularism, the “enlightened ones” like Dawkins and Hitchens still find themselves crawling around on hands and knees, pounding Christendom’s ashes with clenched fists, terrified that at any moment Mother Church will rise from her own charred remains. In their eagerness to find closure where Deicide is concerned, they exhibit a better understanding of the divine component of Christ's Church than most “renewed” Catholics ever possessed. The Church will indeed rise again because she is the Mystical Body of Christ. Even demons know that much!

Pioneers of Traditionalism used to remark that God will not be mocked for long. They were right, of course, and are being proven so every day now. In a matter of months we have seen the mighty Spirit of Vatican II fundamentally exposed, the canonization of John Paul ‘the Great’ stall, the Traditional Mass come storming back, and the Holy Father obviously deliberating over when to leap from the leaky lifeboat of progressivism back onto the barge of holy Tradition.

Michael Davies used to say that the New Mass would simply consume itself over time, having nothing inherent apart from novelty to sustain it . That doesn’t seem so far fetched any more, especially since our Modernist friends, having grown as passé as hippies, their liturgy as stale as a bowl of Digger Stew, seem to have run out of new ideas.

This point was made recently in Dr. Robert Moynihan’s excellent report on the historic traditional Mass at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. In an article entitled “Solemn Latin Mass in Washington stirs change in Catholic liturgy,” the editor of Inside the Vatican writes:

But at least one Vatican official I talked to, also in the past month, told me he believes the future is solely and exclusively in a return to the old rite.  "The old rite is our past, and it will be our future," he told me. "The new Mass is a passing phase. In 50 years, that will be entirely clear."

Whatever the case may be, one thing is certain: The Church finds herself at historic crossroads at this moment. Contrary to media claims, Pope Benedict is not yet a traditionalist per se (though the yapping media jackals seem to be backing him rapidly into that corner), but serious Catholics know full well that the attempted lynching of our Holy Father is part of a global initiative to criminalize the traditional Catholicism he now represents, at least in the eyes of a world that understands few of the distinctions involved.

The extent to which Pope Benedict has ushered Tradition back into the Church is far too much for those secularist jackals that believed it dead and buried back in 1965. Whether Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum is the chief problem, or his lifting of the excommunications of the bishops of the SSPX, or his corrected translation of the all-important ‘pro multis’, or his ongoing talks with traditionalists in the Vatican—the driving motivation behind the global attack on Benedict seems to be fear—fear in the hearts of the Church’s adversaries that Tradition might rise again, that the Church really is of divine origin and that she can never actually be destroyed. Thus Catholic-bashing has become all the rage again with the current attack on the Holy Father being but the tip of an iceberg of militant anti-Catholicism.

Patrick J. Buchanan’s April 5 column on, Anti-Catholicism and the Times, speaks to the rise of what we might call neo-Know-nothings:

“Anti-Catholicism,” said writer Peter Viereck, “is the anti-Semitism of the intellectual.” It is “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people,” said Arthur Schlesinger Sr.

If there was any doubt that hatred of and hostility toward the Catholic Church persists, it was removed by the mob that has arisen howling “Resign!” at Pope Benedict XVI. To American Catholics, the story of pedophile priests engaged in criminal abuse of children, of pervert priests seducing boys, is unfortunately all too familiar. That some bishops covered up for pedophiles and seducers and enabled corrupt clergy to continue to prey on boys was equally disgraceful. But to American Catholics, this is an old story. The priests have been defrocked, some sent to prison, like John Geoghan, who was strangled in his cell. Bishops have been removed. “Zero tolerance” has been policy for a decade.

Pope Benedict came to America to apologize for what these men did. And no one has been more aggressive in rooting out what he calls the “filth” in the church. And as the recent scandals have hit Ireland and Germany, why the attack on the pope here in America?

Answer: The New York Times is conducting a vendetta against this traditionalist pope in news stories, editorials and columns…

As the Catholic League’s Bill Donahue relates, 80 percent of the victims of priestly abuse have been males and “most of the molesters gays.”

And as the Times’ Richard Berke blurted to the Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association 10 years ago, often, “three-quarters of the people deciding what’s on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals.”

Is there perhaps a conflict of interest at The New York Times, when covering a traditionalist Catholic pope?

The media firestorm against Peter is clearly an attack on the moral authority of Christ’s Church—a point which the Society of St. Pius X recently developed on its official website in a column entitled “Behind the Denunciation of the Pedophile Priest Scandal”:

Every day the press serves up new revelations intended to show the guilty silence of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, with regard to these crimes.

Why? Because those who are leading this campaign have not yet reached their goal: to discredit the Church as a whole in order to bring about the abolition of clerical celibacy.

The simplistic reasoning which they want to impose on public opinion in order to achieve the abrogation of consecrated celibacy can be summarized in this way: Catholic priests are pedophiles because they are celibate. Or in more sensational terms: clerical celibacy is a crime, because it is responsible for the criminal actions of the pedophile priests which the Church has tried to hush up. The pope himself is therefore an accomplice because he intends to keep the Catholic clergy in this crime-provoking celibacy.

Indeed, what we are witnessing is the attempted criminalization of Catholicism—the secularists know it, traditionalists have long known it, and maybe—just maybe—our  shepherds are beginning to take note of it too now that the wolves they spent five decades trying to appease have initiated a veritable feeding frenzy on the “civilization of love”.

In April of this year, even Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, began to drop the politically correct jargon that’s done such an incalculable disservice to the Church’s moral authority since Vatican II. During a news conference in Chile the Cardinal drew down the outrage of the masses with a statement of the perfectly obvious: “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have demonstrated that there is no relation between celibacy and pedophilia. But many others have demonstrated, I have been told recently, that there is a relation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That is true. That is the problem.”

Who knows—maybe all the Christophobic Catholic-bashing will have a silver lining. Maybe some of our diabolically disoriented shepherds will take heed of it and finally stir themselves from a half-century slumber. For that intention and for the inspiration and protection of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, let us pray to the Lord.

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Thanks for the unapologetic Catholic point of view.  What a refreshing read, and I happen to be an Anglican (for the time being). LT


There was a recent story in the media in which the Pope was quoted as saying the Church is a "sinner Church" (Windsor Star, April 24, 2010. But how can the Church be a sinner when it is a divine institution founded by our Lord for the salvation of sinners? What did the Pope mean by this unfortunate phrase? ...Curtis Simpson
The Mass at DC reminds me of the battle at Helms Deep in LOTR. 
After many valiant losses and what looks like a sure defeat of what is good and right by the dark forces of Mordor, on the fifth day the combatants looked to the East to see the small group of the riders of Rohan and the light of Gandolf the White descend on the enemy to win the day.
The SNAPsters thought they had the historic celebration of the TLM and all of the symbolism of the Papal Mass on the ropes by bringing down the celebrant. On the fifth day we looked to the West and found a small relatively unheard of diocese in Tulsa with His Excellency Bp. Slattery the Purple freshly back from Europe and jet lagged like no other. He swept into DC to give us the Mass of the Ages and a thundering homily that shook the dissenters and Springtimers to the core.
Both of these scenarios were major victories for what is good and right.  As in the fictional conflict we must realize that the war is far from over and we must remain vigilant, but the timing of these victories could not have been better to shore up the faithful, and encourage us to charge forward as church militant to destroy the "diabolically disorientated", both inside the church and out...Jay P [email protected]

I really liked your story especially some characterizations of behavior in our church at present.  What drives me absolutely crazy about the New York Times is their monumental hypocrisy and their lies. If you repeat a lie often enough becomes truth for them and for the public. Reason is non-existent in their slander. Never mind they are the ones who push homosexual anything as normal as a matter of normalcy. Besides, who has called them to be the arbiters in European affairs? Don't they have enough criminal behavior to report on in the US? Why don't they take up the real story of the over 3200 women raped in the army in 2009 alone? And that's just reported cases. Why don't they investigate the more than 20,000 human trafficking cases just in the US every single year? Obviously they are not the least interested in justice or correction of wrongs or Christian morality. There is an altogether different agenda behind them which is identical to propaganda minster Goebbels's attack on the Vatican back in 1938 Hitler Germany. They used the identical accusations with an identical agenda. Heil Hitler, New York Times! Identical twins of fascism. Just remember their end. So will yours be....Bruno Mueller


I think you give this Pope too much credit. He's as confused as the rest of the hierarchy since Vatican II and doesn't know what to do. I pray for him, but he seems to be flailing about in the dark...Cyril Lynch


Michael Matt's excellent article puts into proper perspective the current crisis in the Church and the disastrous aftermath of the Second Vatican Council.   The liberal, modernist architects of Vatican II and their cunning, scheming predecessors lurking in the shadows, almost accomplished what they intended--the destruction of the Holy, Roman Catholic Church.  However, their many successes do not, and cannot, amount to a total victory.  Just as Our Lord confounded his enemies by rising from the dead, so will our Church rise up again.  All Catholics, whether they know it or not, are deeply indebted to those faithful Catholics who adhered to and fought for Tradition, while remaining faithful to the Papacy.  Among them, we must include publications like The Remnant which consistently and persistently enlighten and give encouragement to "Traditionalist", a term never needed before the Second Vatican Council. The battle rages on.  Pray for Our Holy Father and Our Church!...C. Bagnoli


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