There is an old political axiom that has apparently been totally lost on the people in charge of the Synod: how something looks is often more important than what it is. In our times, the question asked most often by smart political advisors is "How does this look?" Optics, and how to avoid other people manipulating it for you, is particularly now in the age of Twitter at the heart of modern political life, but also seems to be one thing the Vatican simply can't grasp.
But what outsiders need to remember is that this is a very common problem in Italian politics in general. For centuries, Italian rulers have just done whatever they wanted, and whoever didn't like it could just go jump. The Italian national characteristic most abhorred by the other races is certainly their arrogance and total disinterest in anyone who does not seem immediately useful. Anyone who has ever taken a walk in Rome and had to stop and specifically ask the Romans crowded around the outside of the coffee bar to please move over the three inches required to pass on the sidewalk - and received the cold, blank Roman stare in response - will be familiar. They will often simply treat other people as though they are not there, and will pretend to be surprised when a person magically appears out of nowhere asking them to get out of the way.
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.
Let’s just pass on from all the debate on what Francis intends and face up to this, and ask some questions about what the concrete effects this change will have on the Church. I am not a prophet and I don’t have any occult scrying device. No crystal ball is needed when one has the basics of the Faith and logic. Let’s see what we come up with.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of St. Pius X’s death, I am re-printing an article originally written by the Rev. Simon FitzSimons and published in The American Catholic Quarterly Review in 1908. Over a century later, Rev. FitzSimons’ brilliant insight into the driving forces behind this heresy as well as its remedy are needed more than ever. Writing shortly after Pascendi was published Rev. FitzSimons is able to give us a unique “fly on the wall” perspective of a Catholic living at that time. In this fourth installment, Rev. FitzSimons exposes the fallacies behind the Modernist quest and explains why it is doomed to failure. Without further ado, I give you the Rev. SimonFitzSimons…Chris Jackson
“…they seem to forget that it has not been the Church's custom to remodel her beliefs to suit the epoch or to adapt them to the changing follies of the times; nay, that, on the contrary, her proudest boast is that she has remained unchanged in the midst of a constantly changing world; indeed, that her immutability is bound up in and inseparable from her indestructible vitality. They seem to overlook the important fact that if you change the essence of a religion, you have no longer the same religion, but a new one, and that when you expunge from a creed all that is vital you may indeed make a new creed, but you have the old one no longer.” Rev. Simon FitzSimons
The other day, a bishop in Algeria, the former head of the Dominican Order in France, Bishop Jean-Paul Vesco, on the website of the weekly magazine La Vie, made defense of the Kasper plan, to “pardon” those who have left their marriage, taken a civil “divorce” and entered into a second adulterous connection. The Catholic world is in turmoil over the possibility that this apparently common practice in Germany will be allowed formally throughout the world, and some powerful voices thunder against it, with the Pope, except for a few brief words of warm praise in the beginning, still silent.
Now we have the “pardon” instead of forgiveness of sins, covering instead of deleting them. Obviously, for the simple reason that repentance is difficult, too difficult for ordinary people.
(Penned by the son of the famous British novelist, Evelyn Waugh, Reprinted from The Remnant, July 31, 1977)
"If Paul VI excommunicates the Archbishop he will effectively be announcing that he has set up a new Church in rivalry to the old one."
After all the saber rattling and threats to excommunicate Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, leader of the traditionalist faction within the Catholic Church, a curious silence has descended on the Vatican.
Nobody has brought out the traditional bell, book and candle. No comment has been made of any sort.
The Archbishop’s next move was to celebrate Mass before a crowd of 4,000 in the casino at Nice in the South of France – perhaps he’ll turn up at the Lyceum Ballroom one day.
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.”
Editor’s Note: This personal remembrance of a great man is something I wrote 10 years ago, days after the death of my friend, Michael Davies, on September 25, 2004. We’re posting it here, unedited from how it first appeared, so obviously some of the dates and chronology mentioned herein are dated by one decade. Younger readers may wonder about the title of this article. For over 30 years Michael Davies wrote a bi-weekly column for The Remnant called, simply, “A Letter from London.” May he rest in peace. MJM
Thirty-three years ago this past June, Michael Davies submitted his first article for publication in these columns. I was five years old at the time. I don’t remember when he wasn’t a vital part of The Remnant family.
For well over three decades his “Letter from London” came in month after month and year after year, keeping thousands of post-Vatican II Catholics informed and encouraged during three of the most turbulent decades in the history of the Church.
American Diocesan Priest Interviewed on Effects of TLM, Summorum Pontificum
It would seem quite fitting for the Third Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome to field three senior Cardinals as main celebrants of the three extraordinary rite pontificals scheduled for late October: H.E. George Pell in the traditional parish church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini on Friday, October 24th; H.E. Raymond L. Burke on Saturday, October 25th in St. Peter’s Basilica; and H.E. Walter Brandmüller on Sunday, October 26th, in the Benedictine community in Norcia on the feast of Christ the King, October’s last Sunday in the Tridentine calendar.
The unprecedented development on the occasion of this third traditional pilgrimage is the fact that the religious services will be ushered in H.E. George Cardinal Pell, generally regarded as the highest-ranking prelate in the Vatican after his appointment in February 2014 as the first Cardinal-Prefect of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy to oversee the Vatican finances. But the former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney is also known for his sensitivity in favour of the traditional liturgy, which he himself celebrates from time to time.
The other day, while the rest of the Catholic world was reeling at the abrupt dismissal of Cardinal Burke from his curial office, Elizabeth Scalia, Queen of the Rose Tinted Patheos Bubble, in an apparent attempt at the gold for team Pollyanna, has given us an excellent and admittedly very attractive version of events.
I so much enjoyed the happy picture woven of Cardinal Burke moving to Malta to work hand in hand with the knights to ... uh ... better Catholic health care... or something.
Let have her own words:
The Modernist Quest to “Save” the Church
(Read Part I here & Part II here)
“To the modernist there was but one remedy—the old faith must be remodeled. Catholicity must be reconstructed on a new basis… Indeed, adaptationists would seem to be the proper term to apply to them in this view of their work; for all their efforts would seem to lie in the direction of an adaptation of the Church's organism, its machinery, its discipline, its supernatural influences and effects to modern conditions as they regard them. They would apply its supernatural powers naturally. They would retain all the light and heat of the sun with all its marvelous effects, while discarding the sun itself.”
- Rev. Simon FitzSimons -
But there was more even than the work of exemplifying the workings of a great natural principle in this skillful manipulation. There was the task of saving the Church. For the first time in her history - in the opinion of the modernist - the indestructible Church stood in actual danger of total destruction, and the modernist alone seemed to comprehend the danger. These men, wiser than their generation, with a keenness of perception greater than that of their fellow-men, realized the awful peril of the situation. They beheld - or seemed to behold - science (modem science), with all its inventions, discoveries, incontrovertible facts and marvels of every kind, to say nothing whatever of its numberless hypotheses and theories, rushing with irresistible force against the Catholic Church.