Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist
In his October 9, 2021 address to open the Synod, Francis put the Church and world on notice that he intended to change the Church, invoking the pseudo-Catholic inspiration of Yves Congar:
“Father Congar, of blessed memory, once said: ‘There is no need to create another Church, but to create a different Church.’ That is the challenge. For a ‘different Church,’ a Church open to the newness that God wants to suggest, let us with greater fervour and frequency invoke the Holy Spirit and humbly listen to him, journeying together as he, the source of communion and mission, desires: with docility and courage.”
Suppose you are a faithful Catholic in 1948 and you read the following passage from the book Bishop Fulton Sheen had recently written, Communism and the Conscience of the West:
“The third temptation in which Satan asked Christ to adore him and all the kingdoms of the world would be His, will become the temptation to have a new religion without a Cross, a liturgy without a world to come, a religion to destroy a religion, or a politics which is a religion — one that renders unto Caesar even the things that are God’s. . . . Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. He will set up a counterchurch which will be the ape of the Church, because he, the Devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the Antichrist that will in all externals resemble the Mystical Body of Christ.”
In the final talk of the 2021 Catholic Identity Conference, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò delivered what is perhaps the most absolutely vital message for Catholics today:
“Our duty in this historical moment is to fight the good fight in order to acquire those merits before God that may lead Him to shorten the time of tribulation . . . the outcome of the battle is most certain and inexorable but the duration of the persecution depends on us . . . it depends on our testimony of faith and of courageous defense of truth.”
Prior to Francis’s release of Traditionis Custodes, many traditional Catholics never had to think seriously about whether they accepted what Benedict XVI and Francis described as “the binding character of the Second Vatican Council.” Such faithful Catholics could attend the Tridentine Mass, learn the Faith from traditional catechisms and the writings of the saints, and have devout and fruitful lives without ever hearing of Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, or Nostra Aetate, let alone knowing their contents.
One of Remnant TV’s recent videos featured Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. discussing his forthcoming book, The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. The entire discussion warrants attention but one of his main points focused on a dilemma that is especially important to faithful Catholics: what do you do when an apparent authority demands that you act in a way that conflicts with your conscience and common sense?
Faithful Catholics have penned mountains of books and articles describing the infiltration of the Catholic Church leading up to Vatican II and the seemingly unlimited anti-Catholic fruits that have followed. As the picture of treachery and incompetence becomes clearer, more Catholics have (properly) started to evaluate Vatican II in light of tradition instead of evaluating the Church’s pre-Vatican II history entirely in light of the Council. Unfortunately, the picture is still as complex as it is unpleasant. For better or worse, though, we can get a surprisingly accurate glimpse of the crisis with a simple examination of the evolving use of the phrase “men of good will.”
Two councils, over four hundred years apart, set forth profoundly different interpretations of the role of Jesus Christ’s earthly mission. Can you identify the two councils based on the passages below?
“Whereby it came to pass that the heavenly Father, ‘the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,’ when that ‘blessed fullness of time’ was come sent to men Christ Jesus, His Son, who had been announced and promised, both before the Law and at the time of the Law to many holy Fathers, that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law, and the ‘Gentiles, who did not follow after justice, might attain to justice,’ and that all men ‘might receive the adoption of sons.’ ‘Him God has proposed as a propitiator through faith in His blood, for our sins,’ and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world. But although Christ died for all, yet not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His passion is communicated. For, as indeed men would not be born unjust, if they were not born through propagation of the seed of Adam, since by that propagation they contract through him, in conception, injustice as their own, so unless they were born again in Christ, they never would be justified, since in that new birth through the merit of His passion, the grace, whereby they are made just, is bestowed upon them.”
Pope Boniface VIII’s 1302 Bull, Unam Sanctum, sets forth one of the greatest sources of consternation for faithful Catholics today:
“Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
In ordinary times — when the pope promotes and defends Catholicism, or at least refrains from attacking it — this truth presents no problem for Catholics. For better or worse, we have a different situation today, as summarized by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò:
Think back to the summer of 2019, when we had never heard of Francis’s Pachamama. If at that time someone had predicted all that we have experienced since the false idol’s October 2019 appearance in the Vatican — Covid-19 medical tyranny, BLM/Antifa riots, mass censorship of Christians and conservatives, Biden/Harris, The Great Reset, Traditionis Custodes, etc. — what would we have thought? If we had first considered the post-Pachamama world as a hypothetical future dystopia instead of discovering it piecemeal through disorienting experience, would we have realized that God must be permitting it all to call us back to Him? And if an angel of God had announced that we could avert these trials if we immediately began to live saintly lives, would we have resolved to do so?
As several astute Catholics have observed, Francis’s Traditionis Custodes has abruptly ended the “hermeneutic of continuity” campaign of confusion aimed at convincing the world that, despite all appearances, the reforms of Vatican II were in continuity with the timeless Catholic religion. As the letter accompanying Traditions Custodes made clear, one must choose between the beliefs and practices that Catholics held for nearly two thousand years or those that flow from Vatican II. If they are the same, why must one choose between them?