Christopher A. Ferrara
A reply to Karl Keating’s latest attempt to discredit The Remnant, with an explanation of certain basic literary devices
Karl Keating has been paying a lot of attention to The Remnant of late. A lot of attention. Far too much, I would say. His attention has become so minuscule that one would think he is daily parsing its pages, even line by line, in search of a “gotcha” he can publish as evidence that one must not take seriously a traditional Catholic journal of forty years’ standing he is obviously taking quite seriously indeed. What is to account for Keating’s fixation on this newspaper? I have a suggestion. It has to do with what one can only call The Situation with Pope Francis, which is becoming stranger and more alarming by the day. Let me explain.
By The Situation I mean, first and foremost, the unprecedented debacle of a “Synod on the Family” that was shaping up as a frontal attack on the family as expressed in the Synod’s disgraceful midterm report, which the Synod ultimately rejected root and branch, but only after the “revolt” of the conservative Synod Fathers who refused to be railroaded by Francis and his handpicked Synod controllers. Cardinal Burke has rightly noted that there is “a very serious responsibility to try to correct as quickly and as effectively as possible the scandal caused by the midterm report.” In reply, Francis has said in essence: nothing doing. He has ordered the midterm report to be published and distributed to the world’s bishops in preparation for Synod II, as if Synod I had not rejected it completely.
It has come to my attention that a number of Remnant readers have inquired of Church Militant TV (CMTV) concerning Michael Voris’ mysterious refusal to make any reference whatsoever to the Pope in his endless criticism of priests, bishops, and cardinals who are only following the Pope’s example, including those who participated in the recent Synod on the Family.
The gist of these readers’ concern in the context of the Synod can be stated thus: “Don’t we have a Pope in the Catholic Church? What happened to him during all the raging controversy over events in Rome, including CMTV’s two-week-long coverage of the Synod? I thought the Pope was at the Synod, presiding over it! I did see one CMTV video about the Pope’s role in the Synod, but it was deleted the very next day. It was something about how Cardinal Burke said the Pope’s silence over the Modernist agitation at the Synod had ‘harmed the Church’ and that a statement by the Pope affirming Catholic doctrine and discipline was ‘long overdue.’ And then someone named Voris spent some eight minutes for having mentioned what Cardinal Burke said about the Pope, stating that he had gone to confession because he had made the ‘mistake’ of reporting what the Cardinal said. Gee whiz. What is up with these people?”
Cardinal Mueller on Secret Synod's Relatio: "Undignified, shameful, completely wrong."
Cardinal Burke on the Relatio: “Clearly, the response to the document in the discussion which immediately followed its presentation manifested that a great number of the Synod Fathers found it objectionable. The document lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium. In a matter on which the Church has a very rich and clear teaching, it gives the impression of inventing a totally new, what one Synod Father called ‘revolutionary’, teaching on marriage and the family. It invokes repeatedly and in a confused manner principles which are not defined, for example, the law of graduality.”
Mark Shea on the Relatio: "Hysterical Reactionaries like Christopher Ferrara in my email box are calling it a “catastrophe” ... So what’s all the hysteria about? Well, to put it simply, it’s a sort of whirlwind of media theological illiteracy and Reactionary panic, all generated by the completely non-volatile mixture of Catholicism, politics and sex being tackled by #Synod14. Easy peasy… And again, I ask, what is the problem here?…. [A] draft that makes some decent points in surprisingly accessible language."
As if we didn’t know it before, today we learned why the Secret Synod was conducted in secret, with the faithful not being permitted to see the texts of the participants’ addresses or even to know which bishop or cardinal was advancing which position. The Secret Synod was conducted in secret because evil advances in shadows.
Many others, and not just traditionalists, have already expressed outrage over the disastrous “Relatio post disceptationem,” which appeared on the Vatican website today, October 13. This is the anniversary of Pope Leo’s vision of Satan’s attack on the Church (leading to his composition of the Leonine prayer suddenly abandoned after Vatican II), the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, and the derailing of the Second Vatican Council by Cardinal Liénart’s violation of the procedural rules in seizing the microphone in order to demand new drafting committees for the conciliar documents.
WARNING: Mordant Commentary. Reader Discretion Advised.
A shockingly blunt title indeed. But as entirely predictable events unfold in the New Synod Hall—wherein, we are told, all things will be made new—why should we bother with nuance? After all, we have a Pope who is no friend of nuance and whose intentions could not have been more crudely expressed over the past eighteen months of astonishing insults and denigration of practically all the elements of apostolic and ecclesiastical tradition. Francis has clearly been preparing for this moment since the day of his election, if not before, and now it has arrived in all its inglorious splendor.
Let us call this Synod what it is: a secretive, manipulated, progressive-dominated cabal, led by septuagenarian and octogenarian diehards of the conciliar “renewal,” who are rushing to finish their “work”—so rudely interrupted by Pope Benedict—lest death release the Church from their clutches before they are quite done.
There is more that needs to be said about Jimmy Akin’s contorted attempt to demonstrate the complete orthodoxy of Pope Francis’s discussion of the “parable” of the loaves and fishes feeding the multitude.
It is not that the Pope’s words concerning the miracle on different occasions deserve further discussion in themselves, for Francis has made a plenitude of similarly dubious pronouncements, and we can make too much of one in particular as opposed to the general neo-Modernist tenor of his informal homilies, addresses and interviews, none of which are (or could be) part of the authentic and binding papal Magisterium.
What merits further consideration, however, are Akin’s efforts as representative of the ongoing neo-Catholic project of finding a way to conceal all signs that the unparalleled crisis in the Church today—whose existence they deny or minimize at every turn—emanates from acts and omissions of the Roman Pontiff, the dicasteries of the Holy See, and the upper hierarchy.
Someone named Michelle Arnold, a Catholic Answers Staff Apologist, contacted The Remnant today to advise that she wrote the piece at JimmyAkin.com under Jimmy Akin’s byline from which I quoted yesterday. Here is the title and headline of the piece as it appears on Akin’s website:
Overcoming Temptations To RadTradism
by Jimmy Akin
According to Arnold, however, “my original byline was lost and Jimmy's inserted” when the JimmyAkin.com was “globally upgraded.” Arnold suggests that “perhaps you might have called or emailed Jimmy to ask if the blog post [from 2006] still represented his opinion, and found out that he did not write it.”
Jimmy Akin is a “Senior Apologist” at Catholic Answers. A big part of the job of a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers is marginalizing and ostracizing “radical traditionalist” Catholics so that everyone will remain content with the decrepit ecclesial status quo in which Catholic Answers is deeply invested, and without which it would cease to exist in a matter of weeks.
For example, there are those famous radio shows by Catholic Answers apologists devoted entirely to the dire threat of “radical traditionalism.” Then there is the crucial advice Akin renders to Catholics who may be afflicted by what he calls “temptations to RadTradism.”
A caution to the reader: What follows is a very harsh assessment of the current pontificate. I felt compelled to write it, but no one is compelled to read it. I am nothing and nobody in the great scheme of things, although I am privileged to contribute to the record of a venerable traditional Catholic journal that will surely have its place in the history of these times. I have no illusions that my little lamentations will have any effect on the Pope, for whom I pray each day, or on events in the Church. But at least I, at least The Remnant, at least traditionalists in general will be able say one day, concerning what was done to the Bride of Christ, “Not us. Not us.”
Here is an inescapable truth that ought to trouble every Catholic: Francis is the first Pope in the history of the Church to be universally lauded by “the rulers of the world of this darkness… the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Eph. 6:12) Even Barack Obama, a veritable forerunner of the Antichrist, is “hugely impressed” by Francis. There is no need to demonstrate yet again the copious outpouring of the world’s unprecedented praise for a Roman Pontiff. The world’s love affair with Francis has woven itself into the very Zeitgeist, as any Internet search for the terms “Pope Francis” and “revolution” will reveal. “Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets.”
Another day. Another off-the-cuff remark by Pope Francis. Another rhetorical blunder that undermines sound teaching.
Last week, in his general audience address, the Pope rightly reminded the faithful of the spiritual work of mercy of visiting the imprisoned only to make yet another mess of things with yet another of his impetuous departures from prepared texts. To quote from the Italian original on the Vatican website (translation mine, there being no official English translation), the Pope said this about those who are in prison:
But each of us is capable… Listen well to this: each of us is capable of doing the same thing as that man or that woman in prison. We all have the capacity to sin and do the same, to make a mistake in life. He [the one in prison] is no worse than you or me! Mercy overcomes every wall, every barrier, and brings us to look always for the face of the man, the person. And it is mercy that changes hearts and lives, that can regenerate a person and allow him to integrate himself in a new way in society.