Full text of all statements below
Introduction to Press Conference
My name is Michael Matt. I am a cradle Catholic, educated in Catholic schools from first grade through university. I am also father of seven children, all practicing Catholics.
I have attended diocesan-approved Traditional Latin Masses for the past 30 years.
I am a Catholic newspaper publisher, and I come from a long line of Catholic newspaper publishers.
For 150 years, my family has been in the Catholic press apostolate, defending the Church against aggressors on all sides.
Our family’s newspaper, The Wanderer, is the oldest Catholic weekly in the country.
And The Remnant is oldest traditional Catholic newspaper in the world.
For his work in the American Catholic Press, my grandfather was made a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope Pius XI.
When I say I am a faithful Catholic, then, I am speaking for myself, my father, my grandfather, and my great-grandfather—Catholic men of the press who devoted their lives to the defense of the Church.
And I would like to introduce this press conference with full disclosure: the language in the press release that has caused some consternation in the press is mine and mine alone. And I do not retract any of it.
If the members of the press who attacked this conference based solely on our press release, and attacked Bishop Zubik and attacked the Church of the Most Precious Blood, which have nothing to do with this conference; if they are sincerely concerned for our souls, if we are guilty of the mortal sin of schism—might I suggest that these so-called reporters and journalists ask the more pertinent question: Why have the faithful Catholics at the Catholic Identity Conference found themselves in this ridiculous position of having to resist our own Church?
Do they think we enjoy this? As members of the press, why are they not asking the more pressing question of how did it come to be that lay Catholics, catechized and raised in Catholic schools, are nevertheless scandalized by their own shepherds?
We do not enjoy being in this position. We have not created the scandal, and members of the Catholic press know it full well—and yet they pretend to be baffled by our resistance.
The question that should be asked is: why have the Catholic shepherds not felt an obligation before God to address the cause of scandal among the sheep?
We are not theologians. We are moms and dads, simple Catholics, who have never missed Mass on Sunday, who were educated in Catholic schools, and who today do not recognize our own Church.
Why are we being blamed for being scandalized by our shepherds?
Over the course of the next hour, the three of us will be speaking for our own respective organizations, and I would like to thank the Catholic Identity Conference for having the courage to allow this press conference to take place despite the controversy in the press during the run up to this conference.
The Catholic Identity Conference has not backed down, and neither will we.
We speak for ourselves, and not for any other speakers at this conference. But each of us believes the Catholic Church has reached a crisis unprecedented in history, and we present our articles of resistance as lay Catholics who have no intention of leaving the Church but who feel obligated in conscience and before God to raise these objections for the good of our Church in crisis.
In this moment of synodality, when the Vatican is engaging in a listening campaign across the world, we wish to make it clear that nobody in the Vatican seems interested in listening to us.
No one asked our priests for their input, for example, before the decision was made to severely restrict the Latin Mass to which we are all attached and which has provided spiritual sustenance for our children all their lives.
If the Bishops truly wish to listen to us, as faithful Catholics who have not departed one iota from the apostolic tradition, then we have no other recourse than to acknowledge their callous disregard for us and to resist their campaign to cancel our rightful liturgical aspirations in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI’s moto proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The use of the term “resist” is taken directly from Holy Scripture, Galatians 2:11, wherein St. Paul resisted Peter to his face because he was blameworthy.
But St. Paul did not hate Peter, nor did he deny Peter’s petrine office. St. Paul was not committing a schismatic act, and neither are we.
We resist Francis honorably to his face and in charity, as loyal sons of the Church resist an abusive father.
We neither judge nor condemn him, and we place our filial resistance in the context of the teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, who in his On the Sovereign Pontiff writes the following:
“Therefore, just as it would be lawful to resist a Pontiff invading a body, so is it 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.”
You have heard this first half of the famous Bellarmine quote, but the rest of it reads as follows: “Still, it is not lawful to judge or punish or even depose him, because he is nothing other than a superior.…”
Ladies and gentlemen, we do not judge the pope. We would not seek to depose him even if we had it within our power to do so.
But, yes, before God and history we resist his agenda on the grounds that it harms the Church of Jesus Christ, a fact we believe to be demonstrably obvious as the following interventions will make clear.
Eric Frankovitch presents our first article of resistance.
The second is by John-Henry Westen of LifeSite News
And I will close it out on behalf of The Remnant Newspaper.
Intervention 1: Eric Frankovitch | Catholic Identity Conference Director
As president of the CIC, I am here to defend the right of faithful Catholics to resist Pope Francis’s unjust order to severely restrict access to the Latin Mass worldwide. We respectfully raise this objection on the grounds that there is a false premise at the heart of the Holy Father’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes and in his accompanying letter.
Pope Francis claims to be “saddened that the use of the Roman Missal of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council itself”—and that as a result of this alleged “rejection” of the New Mass, the Latin Mass must be severely restricted in the name of protecting unity within the Catholic community worldwide.
However, the facts tell a different story: While traditional Catholics remain in the Church, subject to the Roman Pontiff and obedient to the Church’s laws and precepts, the vast majority of non-traditional Catholics have abandoned the practice of the Faith altogether. A recent survey in the United States, for example, found that just 17 million out of 73 million registered Catholics attend obligatory Mass on Sundays and holy days.… that is, 80 percent of all American registered Catholics have already rejected the reformed liturgy of Vatican II.
The fact that Francis has nevertheless determined to restrict the Latin Mass and in effect punish those Catholics who have remained faithful, suggests a discriminatory bias on his part against Tradition itself.
Furthermore, we invite the press to take note of the fact that the vast majority of so-called “Traditional Catholics” today attend Latin Masses celebrated by diocesan Catholic priests who also offer the New Mass. Therefore, far from disrupting unity within the Church, a substantial majority of Traditional Catholics—in cooperation with their diocesan pastors and under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum—provide one of the most unique examples of unity, mutual liturgical enrichment, and bridge-building in the Catholic Church today.
To summarize: In accordance with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, Traditional Catholics have remained faithful to Catholic praxis by remaining in the Church, while 80% of mainstream Catholics who attended the New Mass have since rejected that Mass out of hand by abandoning it all together.
We believe that Pope Francis’s prejudicial bias against the rightful liturgical aspirations of Traditional Catholics constitutes a violation of natural justice that rises to the level of religious discrimination against Traditional Catholics.
We loyal sons and daughters of the Church nevertheless pray for Pope Francis by name at every Traditional Latin Mass without fail, even though we feel dutybound in conscience to publicly resist his unjust actions against the Traditional Latin Mass specifically and against Catholic Tradition in general.
Intervention 2: John-Henry Westen | LifeSiteNews Founder, Editor
This short litany of Francis is why I believe faithful Catholics have a duty before God to resist the attempt to undermine defined dogma on the moral questions.
From the very first moment of this pontificate there was scandal. On the balcony with Pope Francis, with that tiny number of the College of Cardinals selected by the new pope to accompany him onto the balcony at his proclamation, was none other than Cardinal Danneels—the cardinal known to be dissident on abortion, having encouraged the king of Belgium to sign a pro-abortion law. He supported gay marriage and wore the rainbow stole, and, if that isn’t bad enough, he is the only cardinal caught on tape encouraging a victim of pedophilic incestuous sexual abuse not to report the abuse to authorities.
On day three the Pope praised the heretic Cardinal Walter Kasper for doing theology on the knees.
He banished Cardinals Burke, Sarah and Mueller. He banished the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the order of priests who were responsible for offering more traditional Latin masses than any other order apart from the Fraternity of St. Peter.
He publicly praised Italy’s leading abortionist Emma Bonino and met with her so much that this former illegal abortionist turned politician and champion of abortion now speaks at Catholic churches.
He endorsed the UN Sustainable Development Goals, of which #3.7 promotes abortion via the UN code words of “universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services.”
In 2015, he invited a “transgender” couple to the Vatican and called the two females, one of whom had mutilated herself to appear as a man, “married” and happy. He referred to the mutilated woman as “He that was her but is he.”
Under Francis, the Church did a 180-degree about-face on population control. Whereas JPII called on the pro-life movement to fight depopulation at the United Nations, Francis has made the biggest population control advocates like Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Erlich and Ban-Ki Moon speakers at the Vatican itself.
On July 16, 2016, he called cohabitation real marriage and said that it had the grace of real marriage—when referring to some in Northern Argentina who he felt were monogamous in their sexual relations.
He committed idolatry with the Pachamama scandal and continued it in Canada with the native shaman invoking one of the four directions to open “the sacred circle of spirits” while the pope and attending cardinals all participated in the pagan ceremony with eyes closed and hands placed reverently over their hearts.
Pope Francis was asked about “avoiding pregnancy” in areas at risk of Zika virus transmission. He noted that contraception was not an absolute evil. Asked for clarification, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis was approving use of contraceptives and condoms in grave cases.
And in case that wasn’t clear enough, the Pope has now permitted the so-called Pontifical Academy for Life to openly suggest a change to the Church’s perennial teaching against contraception.
But oh, one might say these are not official documents of the Church—they do not therefore constitute anything magisterial, they can be ignored. Well not so fast.
First there was Amoris Laetitia. And even when some tried to do mental gymnastics to interpret the document in an orthodox fashion, Francis made the heretical interpretation (allowing for communion for remarried divorcees) the official interpretation.
Then, in a little-known passage in his 2018 exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, Francis teaches the opposite of what Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI taught regarding the pre-eminence of abortion as an issue of moral concern. Speaking of immigration and abortion: “Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions.” The Pope added: “That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian.” He criticized those who “relativize” these issues “as if there are other more important matters, or the only thing that counts is one particular ethical issue or cause that they themselves defend.”
And in the latest apostolic letter Desiderio Desideravi, which addressed Holy Communion, the Pope said that all that was needed for the reception of Holy Communion is faith. The document was released on June 29—the very day on which the most pro-abortion politician in US history, the so-called Catholic Nancy Pelosi, came to the Vatican and visited with Pope Francis and received Communion at a papal mass. This must be seen against the background of Pelosi’s bishop publicly issuing a decree noting that she must be denied Holy Communion, after a decade of trying to convince her to amend her ways. The Pope openly bashed Pelosi’s archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, as “lacking a pastoral nature.”
Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland, Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Dutch Bishop Robert Mutsaerts, and Texas retired-Bishop René Gracida have issued a condemnation of the apostolic letter, citing it as “contradicting the faith” and quoting the Council of Trent, which calls the notion put forward by Francis in his letter “heresy.”
Shall we not join with these heroic bishops and the many learned priests, religious and laity who have begun to resist Pope Francis? If we care about the faith, about our children, and about Francis’s own soul, we must.
Intervention 3 – Michael Matt | The Remnant Newspaper Editor
I present this article of resistance based on Pope Francis’s well-known participation in the Globalist project of world governance, based on a Christophobic new political order.
The fact that Francis has lent the moral authority of the Catholic Church to the Globalist project is not a conspiracy theory. He has publicly partnered with Globalist entities on multiple fronts, despite their well-documented promotion of so-called “reproductive rights,” contraception, and abortion to lower the earth’s population and “save the earth” from a “planetary crisis.”
Take, for example, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, who apart from co-authoring the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations is also an outspoken proponent of contraception.
Francis appointed Sachs to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as special advisor to the Holy See, despite Sachs’s public support for the campaign to lower the world’s population through contraception—a top priority of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well.
Speaking at a Vatican workshop on the Global Education Pact hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on February 6–7, 2020, Sachs announced that potential funding partners for Pope Francis’s May 2020 Global Education Pact to create a “new humanism” include Bill Gates, whose foundation is one of the most powerful promoters of contraception in the world today.
Given the Church’s moral theology against any use of artificial contraception at all, this is a scandal.
In addition, Pope Francis blessed and approved the worldwide Covid lockdown, which has caused incalculable damage to people and nations all over the world and led to an economic crisis that put millions out of work, closed nearly every Church in the world, left elderly to die in nursing homes without access to their priests and last rites, set children years behind in school due to school closures, and subjected the entire world to an essentially mandatory vaccination campaign.
The lockdown was promoted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, the Vatican, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum—the latter having since come under intense criticism for its stated plan to use the COVID pandemic to reset the world in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution of WEF founder Klaus Schwab—a man who advocates a new global governance, transhumanism, the fusion of our digital and genetic identity, population control, under-the-skin surveillance, the digital ID framework, and the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance—the so-called ESGs. N
Pope Francis has sent his personal greetings to the annual WEF meeting in Davos, Switzerland, every year since 2014, and in 2020 Francis sent Cardinal Peter Turkson to personally deliver his papal blessing on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the WEF.
Francis has endorsed key elements of the WEF Great Reset as well – ranging from calling upon the world to eat less meat, drive electric cars, reduce air conditioning use, etc., all in the name of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations by the year 2030—which also promote contraception, as John-Henry Westen just noted.
The Vatican under Francis has become a proponent of global vaccination as well, with Pope Francis asserting that it was a matter of Christian charity to force even children who are in no statistical threat of COVID to be vaccinated.
Francis has frequently joined his voice to that of Joe Biden, Bill Gates, George Soros, and Klaus Schwab in asserting that the Climate Emergency is an existential crisis and thus the greatest threat to humanity in the world today—this even as the Catholic Church falls into unprecedented collapse and scandal worldwide.
The diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, for example, has become the latest to announce massive parish reduction and church closings here in the post-COVID period.
Madison will be closing 70 of its 102 churches, since only 32,000 Catholics out of 138,000 registered Catholics in the Madison Diocese attend mass on Sunday.
This is a widespread phenomenon all throughout the America and Europe.
And yet Francis says climate change is the greatest threat we face.
In France, Hakim El Karoui, President Emmanuel Macron’s advisor on Islam, announced that Islam is now the most practiced religion in Catholic France.
Only 20 new churches were built in France over the past decade, while one new mosque is set up in France every 15 days. Meanwhile arson against Catholic churches in France has left the Church in France literally burning.
And yet Francis says climate change is the greatest threat we face.
His encyclical Laudato Si on climate change has been vigorously promoted by pro-gay marriage advocate Bono, population control expert Jeffrey Sachs, Greta Thunberg (with whom Francis met and whom he personally encouraged to “keep up your great work”), and UN secretaries Ban Ki-moon and now Antonio Guterres as the spiritual charter of the environmental movement—a movement which is beginning to influence politicians and corporations to lock down the world once again in the name of going green and saving the planet.
Furthermore, the Amazon Synod of 2019 made it clear that Francis has adopted the inclusion and equity model of Klaus Schwab—a ruse to tear down the old order built by European Christians in the name of Christ, Holy Christendom, whom they label as racists, and to build back better according to an inclusive New Order in the name of human fraternity.
I was in Rome during that Synod; it was not just traditional Catholics who resisted Francis and the unfolding globalist agenda.
Cardinals Burke and Brandmuller sent letters to the College of Cardinals warning of apostasy and heresy at the Amazon Synod.
Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider issued an eight-page declaration warning against six “serious theological errors and heresies” in the working document of the Synod.
But the situation has only gotten worse since then.
Two weeks ago in Kazakhstan, Pope Francis joined ecumenical and political leaders in signing a document stating that “pluralism and differences in religions…are expressions of the wisdom of God’s will in creation”—thus conveying the impression that the Holy Father has canceled the Church’s dogmatic teaching that she is the sole means of salvation.
After Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis informed the world that the God of Surprises wants a brotherhood of religions—this in contradiction to the Divine Commission of Christ Himself, who ordered the successors of the apostles to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—but very much in line with the Globalist agenda to equalize all religions, to criminalize religious supremacism, and to set up some sort of one-world religion.
As part of the Globalist push for that one-world religion, in Lund, Sweden, Francis met with Lutherans pretending to be bishops in a cathedral stolen from Mother Church and prayed with them in commemoration of the Protestant Revolt, which tore Christendom in half.
How is this not in direct contradiction to the teachings of Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, which condemned such pan-Christian gatherings?
As we see it, unless and until these and so many other questions are answered, we have no choice but to remain faithful to the traditional teaching of the Church as reiterated by the constant teaching authority of the magisterium.
As far as Pope Francis is concerned, we are rigid and fanatical and pharisaical for practicing the faith of our fathers as it was handed down to us.
But if this is true, then so too were some 260 of Francis’s own predecessors rigid, fanatical, and pharisaical.
We pray for Francis every day, but we are also bound in conscience, before the dread judgment seat of God Himself, to resist Francis, his novel teachings, and his public alliance with those who deny the very existence of Christ the King—those who would lock down the world in the name of climate change, close the churches, and enslave humanity in a global super state.
This is not me theorizing. This is exactly what Francis’s friends in Davos have been broadcasting to the world for 50 years, but especially since 2020.
The true friends of the pope are neither revolutionaries nor innovators: they are traditionalists.
We beg the Holy Father to listen to the cries of his scattered sheep and become shepherd to them once again.
But until that happens, we, his most loyal subjects, have no alternative but to resist him to the face for the sake the Church and the salvation of the souls, including that of Pope Francis himself.