In an apparent case of weaponizing the clerical sex abuse scandal, Church Militant posted an article yesterday suggesting that the "renegade" Society of Saint Pius X is well on its way to becoming a safe haven for clerical sexual predators fleeing the long arm of the Novus Ordo.
As the following response makes abundantly clear, the SSPX does not need us to defend them against this scurrilous charge -- a charge which, by the way, plays nicely into the hands of Christophobic outfits such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which has long been on a witch hunt against all traditionalists, including the SSPX.
If the largest fraternity of traditionalist priests in the world can be successfully smeared by CM as a hotbed of sexual predators, well obviously the SPLC’s job is done here.
By the way, as Editor of The Remnant I regret to say that the author of the Church Militant hit piece, James Baresel, has occasionally appeared in these pages as a guest columnist. It goes without saying that unless and until Mr. Baresel publicly apologizes for this broad-brush calumny leveled against the SSPX, his byline will never again appear in The Remnant. MJM
Press Release Concerning Church Militant Article Regarding the SSPX
Released by the SSPX US District Headquarters on July 24, 2019
On July 23, 2019, Church Militant published an article entitled "Is the SSPX Sheltering a Sexual Predator?" by James Baresel. This misleading and slanderous report deserves clarification. Both charity and justice should be hallmarks of any Catholic.
The main accusation centers around Fr. James McLucas, a diocesan priest who occasionally helps the Society of Saint Pius X. While not a member of the SSPX, Fr. McLucas was named in the August 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report. Even though the information in the report was inaccurate, it has not stopped secular and Catholic outfits from labeling him a "sexual predator." (For more on the broader question, please see: https://catholicherald.co.uk/magazine/the-trouble-with-lists-of-credibly-accused-priests/) As no civil or canonical proceedings have ever found Fr. McLucas guilty, nor has he ever been charged with any crime, these accusations are profoundly defamatory.
Fr. McLucas’ lawyer issued the following statement in 2018 when the recent accusations were first made:
While Father McLucas was not charged with any crime, the shocking and horrible accusations in the report - without published evidence, without trial, and without due process of law - will nevertheless blacken his reputation and destroy him in his profession.
Less than two weeks ago, Church Militant, quoting Pope Francis, used similar terms to defend Father Perrone against the Archdiocese of Detroit:
The right to defense: the principle of natural and canon law of presumption of innocence must also be safeguarded until the guilt of the accused is proven. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the lists of the accused being published, even by the dioceses, before the preliminary investigation and the definitive condemnation. (https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/msgr-bugarins-ignorance-damaged-fr-perrones-reputation)
The Role of Church Militant
In both situations, Church Militant assumes the place of a judge that only civil or religious authorities are entitled to.
Furthermore, Church Militant displays a double standard. Fr. Perrone and Fr. McLucas are both accused. Church Militant defends the one and attacks the other. They play the advocate for Fr. Perrone and the prosecutor for Fr. McLucas. The same principles they enunciate and hold sacred to defend Fr. Perrone, they trample on when it comes to Fr. McLucas.
Speaking of Church Militant’s methodology, we must draw attention to this sentence: "SSPX priest Nicholas Stamos informed me by phone on July 18 that McLucas is still participating in the organization's work."
Fr. Nicholas Stamos wishes to make clear: he has never heard of, nor spoken to, the author of this article. He had one call from earlier in the summer, who apparently falsely said he was an old friend of Fr. McLucas, and that he wished to get in contact. Fr. Stamos directed him to a priory that Fr. McLucas sometimes visits. Neither Fr. Stamos nor anyone at the latter priory ever heard from Church Militant. Is this Catholic journalism?
Protection of All
The Society of Saint Pius X is committed to protecting all minors and vulnerable adults and to cooperate fully with civil and ecclesiastical authorities. In addition, we committed to both helping victims as well as those that are accused. We do not unduly assume the role of judge and leave any investigation to the proper authorities.
From our internal policy on these matters:
Our commitment includes the protection of children (i.e. minors), and vulnerable adults from harm, and the protection of workers from false allegations...We provide individual care and counsel both for the abuse victim and his/her family...The accused is to be treated with dignity and respect. Clergy will seek opportunity to provide individual care and counsel both for the accused and his/her family until the investigation is completed.
Why the SSPX Exists
We stress that the Society of St. Pius X was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to form and help Catholic priests. As our Statutes state, the central charism of the SSPX is the Catholic priesthood:
[The Society’s activities] include all the works necessary for the formation of priests and whatever pertains thereto, whether the candidates be destined to be members of the Society or not…
The second purpose of the Society is to assist priests in their sanctification by providing them with opportunities for retreats and recollections. The Society’s houses could be headquarters for priestly associations, for third orders, for periodicals and magazines dedicated to the sanctification of priests…
The Society will willingly come to the assistance of aged, infirm, and even unfaithful priests.
Faithful to her mission, rather than condemning and casting the first stone, the Society comes to the help of priests to restore their priesthood and sanctify themselves.
To Church Militant: we ask you retract this scandalous article. It is easy to contact us. If you are more concerned with the truth than clicks, you can still make reparation. We simply ask that you apply the same principles to your article about Fr. McLucas that you do to your articles about Fr. Perrone. In the meantime, for your readers--whatever they think of the SSPX--we hope this clarification shows which side maintains journalistic integrity, and more importantly, Catholic charity and justice.
US District Headquarters - July 24, 2019
New from Remnant TV...
Michael Matt prays before the statue which wept 101 times. (Photo: Walter Matt)
Michael J. Matt visits the shrine of Our Lady at Akita in Japan. There he discovers an apparent conspiracy to silence and cover up the apparitions of Our Lady to Sister Agnes Sasagawa back in 1973.
After an 11-year investigation, Bishop John Shorjiro Ito (Nilgata, Japan) approved the miracles that had happened at Akita as well as the messages given to Sr. Agnes, expressing his firm conviction that the message was essentially Our Lady's attempt to deliver the same message she'd delivered at Fatima which, according Bishop Ito, had been largely ignored.
The Family Research Council recently blew the whistle on a frightening new campaign promoted by the SPLC.
“Through its Teaching Tolerance campaign, the SPLC is dead set on putting a pro-LGBT, anti-biblical curriculum in every single K-12 public school in America. This effort seeks to ostracize parental organizations as "hate groups" if they dare object. [Parents in Minnesota have already been sued for attempting to halt this campaign.]
The campaign includes a toolkit for ‘gender spectrum’ and encourages teachers in public school to host ‘gender neutral day’ which encourages students to cross-dress ... as early as third grade. [Over 60 genders—each with their own pronoun!—are covered, though how that’s possible to even conceptionalize is beyond the limits of my imagination.]
In addition, the SPLC's campaign also includes a savvy ‘Best Practices’ handbook that helps teachers and administrators create an LGBT-inclusive school climate.
It instructs leaders to ‘use gender inclusive language’ and attend events with same-sex dates. This so-called ‘inclusive’ curriculum seeks to stigmatize those of us who exclude our children because of our Christian faith.”
REMNANT COMMENT: It doesn’t stop with school children, although these are our gravest concern. The SPLC has further initiatives set to target colleges and the media with its gender-confused rot.
If they make LGBT activists out of 11-year-olds, then I hope they’ll also make activists out of what’s left of Christian America—God fearing men, women, and parents unafraid to speak out against this outrageous campaign to make our children as sexually confused and preoccupied with their private parts as the folks at the SPLC apparently are.
I remember when kids were preoccupied with baseball, ice cream and playing house. I remember a society that protected its little ones and took steps to preserve the innocence of childhood.
And now this:
We evidently want our kids to be a sick as we are. Why? Because the innocence of a child reminds us of God and everything true, good and beautiful He created. And we hate those reminders of the what we once were, now that we've burned it all on the sacrificial altar to the unholy trinity of Me, Myself and I.
New From Remnant TV. . .
As part of the RTV documentary "Hidden Catholics," Michael J. Matt interviews one of three or four traditional Catholic priests in Japan -- Father Thomas Onada, a Japanese convert who is now a priest of the SSPX.
Every week, Father visits the small traditional Catholic remnant on an Asian circuit that includes Osaka and Tokyo, thus serving the Church as missionary priest to the 'hidden Catholics' of Japan who have kept the old Faith in a place dominated by Buddhists and Shintoists.
Cardinal Müller adds his critique to the growing number of clerical voices cautioning against the Sham-is-on Synod, citing some of its lines as “scandalous” and “thoughtless” “false teachings”.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has presented an analysis of the Instrumentum Laboris (the working document) of the Amazon Synod. Among his objections and criticisms are the following:
“[The drafting committee] includes a disproportionately large number of mostly German-speaking Europeans. This group is immune to serious objections.”
New From Remnant TV...
Michael Matt teams up with the Oken Rekishi Kenkyukai in Tokyo for a weekend conference on the principles of the French Revolution and how they impact our world still today, 230 years later.
Michael's talk (simultaneously translated into Japanese) answers the questions: what can Catholics today learn from the French Vendeans who resisted the French Revolution to become the original Traditional Catholics?
What can the remnant of Catholic believers around the world today learn from the "first responders" against the New World Order in the Vendee as well as from “Hidden Christians” of Japan who kept the faith for over 250 years — without the mass and without priests?
New from Remnant TV...
Reporting from Tokyo, Michael J. Matt comments on cultures largely untouched by Christianity and how they differ from, say, Europe.
As Europe and America prepare to banish Christ from their borders, what can we learn from countries such as Japan that never embraced Him? Since Catholicism is, according to its critics, responsible for all the evil in the world, is this a good thing for Japan? Do the Catholic-bashing revisionists have a point?
Well, it’s happening. We all thought literal hell would break loose with the Sham-is-on Synod, but Pope Wants-A-Mess Francis apparently couldn’t wait that long.
On Monday Pope Francis appointed 23 new members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which is one of nine congregations within the Roman Curia. Among his appointees are six women religious superior generals and one head of a women’s secular institute.
Notre Dame in flames last April was the first time many people in America really became aware of anti-Catholic feelings in Europe. While Notre Dame was reportedly an accident, it still raised cause for concern and brought much needed awareness to the plight of Europe’s treasured Christian heritage.
Notre Dame caught fire, coincidentally, during a rise of arson activity and vandalism among many churches throughout France. These activities have been steadily increasing throughout 2018 and 2019 but have been largely uncovered by mainstream media sources.
From a RealClearInvestigations.com report yesterday:
LAVAUR, France – Late one night a few months ago, two teenage boys crept into the massive 13th century Cathedral of Saint-Alain in Lavaur, a postcard town in southwest France. There, they set fire to an altar, turned a crucifix upside down, threw another one into the nearby Agout River, and deformed a statue of Jesus into what the town's mayor called “a grotesque pose.”
Townspeople were shocked that two local boys could commit an act of such gratuitous vandalism against, of all things, their town's most historic and treasured site, a towering, massive, Gothic structure that has stood at the center of Lavaur's collective life for 700 years.
But there is nothing at all unusual about an attack on a Christian religious site these days in France, or, for that matter, elsewhere in Europe. The French police recorded 129 thefts and 877 acts of vandalism at Catholic sites – mostly churches and cemeteries – in 2018, and there has been no respite this year. The Conference of French Bishops reported 228 “violent anti-Christian acts” in France in the first three months of 2019 alone, taking place in every region of the country – 45 here in the southwest.
In all, according to the French Ministry of the Interior (which counted 875 anti-Christian incidents in 2018, slightly less than the tally by the police), the attacks on Christian sites quadrupled between 2008 and 2019. This has stirred a deep alarm among many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, worried that a powerful hostility to Catholicism – what they call “Christianophobia” – is sweeping their country.
“This kind of thing causes real consternation,” Henri Lemoigne, the mayor of a town on the English Channel, told a Catholic magazine after someone broke into the tabernacle of the local church and scattered its contents on the floor, evidently in search of something to steal. “People feel that their values are under attack, even their very beings.”
The article also reminds us of the trail of bodies on the rise, most notably the murder of 84-year-old priest, Jacques Hamel, by two men proclaiming allegiance to the Islamic State. His story made international news, as did the killing of 12 journalists at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and the massacre of 130 people at the Bataclan Theater in Paris in 2015, but what of the string of attacks following these grave events, perpetrated by Muslim extremists? Crickets.
REMNANT COMMENT: Hey Anderson Cooper, what gives? Did you miss this one, guy?
Given this dramatic rise in Christophobia throughout the world, isn't it odd that the mainstream media, along with their little helpers and enablers--Leftist watchdog groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League--spend so much time shouting "fire" in crowded theaters over the alleged rise in 'Christian hate groups'?
Leaving the fact that a 'Christian hate group' is a contradiction in terms, since hate violates the founding principles of Christianity, why is there so little concern for the dramatic rise in documented, photographed, reported and ACTUAL hate crimes against Christians and Christian symbols going on all over the world?
And when will the mainstream media be held responsible for, in fact, helping to foment hate against Christians?
Christianity’s great law is twofold: Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. Christianity simply cannot be reconciled with any call -- real or imagined -- to hate.
Our religion rejects the very idea of an eye for eye and a tooth for tooth, advocating instead to "turn the other cheek," as Christ commanded His followers to do.
Tell me, where's the Christian call for jihad against non-Christians? When's the last time a Pope put out a call for Catholics to get busy hating on non-Catholics? Isolated nutjobs claiming to be Christian don't cut it. Where's an official representative of Christianity calling for hate and violence against anyone, anywhere?
So, what gives? Could it be that such shoddy journalism and investigative reporting is, in fact, intentional...part of an orchestrated conspiracy to criminalize Christianity itself, since it is antithetical to the libertine madness of secularism and its Tower of New World Order Babble?
Whatever the case may be, the blood of Christians is flowing again all over the world.
So when, one wonders, will society get serious about confronting this growing threat to the lives of Christians? When will Christophobia become a thing? How long will the systemic anti-Catholic media bias be tolerated in America and Europe?
Notre Dame de Paris already went up in smoke. What's next, St. Peter's? When's enough enough?
Richard John Santorum is a board member of the new initiative at Cathio.com. The former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania is a devout Catholic and father of seven children.
Cathio provides Catholic organizations with a payments platform that aligns with Catholic values and provides tools to increase donations and connect with both local and global Catholic communities.
Since Cathio has been the victim of negative press in mainstream, leftist news outlets, they reached out to The Remnant for our help in setting the record straight.
Michael J. Matt Interviews Senator Santorum
MJM: Thanks very much, Senator Santorum, for taking the time to answer a few questions about this new project that could, as I see it, change the way the Church and various Christian action groups do business online and move their money. Can you tell our readers how this initiative got started?
Santorum: One of Cathio's co-founders, Ryan Thomas, spent many years working in Catholic news and media. What he saw, and what we've all begun to see, is the increasingly hostile nature in which tech platforms have begun to censor the Catholic Church because of our stances on issues like life and marriage. A few years ago, we saw Facebook censor Catholic content, remove our pages and limit our reach. Recently this has begun to happen with Pinterest and even Google. It's only a matter of time before financial institutions are pressured to do the same. Cathio aims to provide Catholics and Catholic institutions an option to move money with a company that shares their values and protects their interests.
MJM: This has garnered some negative mainstream pushback, which has led even to some attacks against you personally. What’s behind this antipathy to what seems to be a perfectly reasonable venture in a free market economy?
Unfortunately, there are elements of the new media, that have a knee-jerk negative reaction to any activity that I am engaged in because of the positions I have taken throughout my career which are consistent with our Catholic faith.
MJM: I think many Christian groups are ready to make changes in how they manage e-commerce but they need to know that the technical alternatives will actually work. Dwolla comes to mind. As an alternative to PayPal, it just doesn’t cut it. Technically speaking, can your group’s alternative actually compete with PayPal, for example?
Cathio is being designed with a deep understanding of both domestic and international regulations and the latest technology. Using blockchain to secure data and an advanced data model we have the ability to provide services to support the needs of the Church to move money quickly, cost effectively and across borders.
MJM: And what about online security? Consumer confidence is so important now.
Consumer confidence has been shaken by a number of systemic and process issues with some major industry providers. When there are multitudes of layers comprised of older and newer technologies, the complexity increases and chances for security vulnerabilities compound.
One of the advantages Cathio provides by building from the latest technologies is security at all levels. Cathio is deploying the latest security at the user level, at our integration points and data storage. The Cathio team started using blockchain and other advanced technologies to address these issues over eighteen months ago. JP Morgan recently validated this approach by using similar technology for high value transactions.
MJM: Christian groups have been rightly concerned about unfair treatment from service providers whose philosophy and politics are, let’s face it, antithetical to ours. If this venture is successful, what steps would you take to make Christians see the necessity of establishing the pro-Christian alternative.
What we are establishing is a safe place for people of faith to be able to efficiently and securely transact business without being persecuted for their beliefs.
We've also begun conversations with dozens of Catholic organizations, all of which - to date - understand the value Cathio will be offering and are ready to jump to the Cathio platform. So, the community understands the existential risk, they see the signs of the times, it's just been an issue that up until this point, there's been no other payment solution that meets their needs.
MJM: The far-Left Southern Poverty Law Center has been providing advisors for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc., ostensibly in order to help them identify and block “hate groups”. Given their track record and agenda, do you think it would be possible to keep them off your back?
We fully anticipate the SPLC to be critical of anything related to a biblical worldview. Cathio's blessed to count on a Board of Directors with extensive knowledge and experience in the political world as well as with religious liberty issues. From the early negative press we've received, we know more is coming, but we're prepared to respond and protect this platform to serve the Church.
MJM: What about Internet Service Providers themselves? Do you foresee a time when Christian groups will be so vilified that even just hosting Christian, pro-life, pro-family sites will become problematic, if not outright illegal?
There are a lot of smart, young Christians working on a variety of tech solutions right now, and we've had the opportunity since the launching of Cathio to be in contact with some of them. I hope that Cathio will inspire others to put the talents and gifts in service of the Church to respond to all of the needs we have.
MJM: Will this be something for everyone, or just larger online businesses?
Cathio will be rolling out in phases. First, we are working on the larger donor development side, offering tools and a platform to facilitate money movement. Next, we plan to expand to offer the platform for everyday Catholics to donate to parishes and non-profits through desktop and app integrations that will eventually allow Cathio to allow international transfers to support the Church's charitable works across the globe.
MJM: What can our readers do to help promote this project?
I'd say there are a few things: first, pray for the team that we continue to be faithful to our mission and use our gifts to be able to respond faithfully to what's being asked of us. On a practical level, you can go to the website and sign-up for our newsletter where we'll keep you up-to-date on our rollouts and maybe even be able to participate in some of our beta testing and pilot programs.