On Friday, October 4, Voice of the Family hosted a roundtable discussion in Rome under the title “Our Church – Reformed or Deformed?” Even though it is being hailed by some persons of a more “traditionalist” (aka Catholic) bent, traditionalism (if you will allow) was far from being well-represented at the event.
This should come as little surprise given the conference’s title alone as the Holy Roman Catholic Church – presumably the society that conference organizers had in mind – is not Our Church, it is the Lord’s Church.
The discussion featured eight “lay Catholic leaders from around the world,” each of whom were invited to read aloud from a prepared statement expressing their concerns about the upcoming Synod, after which they fielded questions posed by a moderator.
LifeSite News has published links to the prepared remarks.
About the Synod, John Henry Weston said:
It is expected to be the most severe calamity for the faith the Church has ever known and let’s pray that it won’t turn out as dire as it threatens.
Professor Roberto de Mattei chose to speak of the Synod’s effect in the present, saying:
There are, at this moment, two religions within the Catholic Church. The first is the traditional Catholicism … The second, until a few months ago without a name, now has a name: it is the Amazonian religion…
Neither man’s alarmism, however, exceeded that of Michael Matt, whom one may have expected, in vain, to speak up on behalf of Catholic tradition. He declared:
This is a scary moment. If this synod goes as predicted by several cardinals, this is the biggest news story in the history of the world with the exception of the crucifixion of God. Nothing is bigger than the Bride of Christ raising, hoisting the flag of surrender. If this happens, this is a huge story.
The most severe calamity… There are now two religions operating under the Catholic name… The biggest news story ever!
It’s as if these men were cryogenically frozen in 1958 and brought back to room temperature just last week!
The Second Vatican Council, which absolutely hoisted the flag of surrender, received precious little attention throughout the entirety of the nearly three-hour event. This, in spite of the fact that the Bergoglian ecclesiology as presented in the Instrumentum Laboris for the upcoming Synod is nothing more than the Council’s ecclesiology made clearer.
At this, we’ll take a closer look at some of the more noteworthy statements made by the “lay leaders” on the panel, pontifications that end up revealing much more about the speakers than the crisis in the Church.
Taylor Marshall was perhaps the boldest of the lot, relatively anyway. He spoke of “a slow and patient plan” on the part of the Church’s enemies to “quietly place one of their own into the papal shoes … to establish a Satanic revolution with the pope as puppet.”
Wink. Nod. Get it?
Clearly, Bergoglio is just such a puppet. Ah, but one doesn’t just come right out and say such things plainly; not, in any case, if that person places a high priority on realizing an increase in personal popularity.
By contrast, Jorge Bergoglio was publicly identified in this space as a man “under the influence of the demonic who does the Evil One’s bidding” years ago. Today, even a well-catechized adolescent (not that there are many) can see as much.
Marshall went on to tiptoe his way right up to the very edge of tradition, saying:
Most [Catholics] agree that the Second Vatican Council, the Novus Ordo Mass and the pontificate of Paul VI brought monumental confusion to the Catholic Church.
He made it a point, however, to clarify that the Council isn’t exactly the problem, asking rhetorically:
But does the fall of the first domino begin in 1962 with the opening of the Second Vatican Council?
The right answer is of course it does. Look, if we wish to be technical about it, the first domino fell with Lucifer’s rebellion. Moving forward in time, however, the Devil’s minions among men have been plying their nefarious craft in seeking the destruction of the Church from the very day of her founding.
More recently, Freemasons and Communists set their sights on the Church’s undoing, while those properly known as “Modernists” began operating in her shadows. Indeed, it is true that these specific threats took shape well before the dawn of the second millennium.
What changed in 1962, however, is that these enemies of Christ were no longer held at bay by the one man upon whom that primary duty rests, the pope.
Rather, they were invited not only to come out of the shadows, but to take on leadership roles at the Second Vatican Council. This, my friends, is precisely where the first shots were fired, properly speaking, in the Satanic revolution that Marshall mentioned.
Everything preceding Vatican II was simply a matter of plotting and planning on the part of rebels who dreamed of a day when they would recreate the Church in their own image and likeness. But alas, being built as she is by Christ on the solid foundation of the papacy, this Church is one in which, as St. Cyprian said, “faithlessness cannot gain access.” As such, their diabolical revolutionary aspirations remained but a chimera.
And then came the Council…
Even so, it’s evidently rather important to Taylor Marshall to avoid placing too much blame on Vatican II (as if this is even possible). He’s apparently clever enough to know that demonizing the Council is one of the fastest ways to lose conservative support, perhaps even faster than declaring Bergoglio a tool of the Devil.
Taylor Marshall isn’t the only member of the panel who was ever so careful to refrain from delivering any categorical condemnations of the Council.
Enter Mr. Michael Matt.
Before commenting on the Council, the publisher of “America’s oldest traditional Catholic newspaper” offered this gem:
These days we hear much about the New Evangelization, and no doubt much good has come from that effort.
Really? I’d be very interested in hearing Michael Matt describe in some detail the “much good” that has come from the New Evangelization, a program designed to indoctrinate the unsuspecting with the conciliar faith, not the Catholic faith.
But you see, this is where things get a little fuzzy for Mr. Matt. Readers may recall the following announcement recently made in the Remnant:
Michael calls for yet another hashtag. This time it’s #ToHellWithVaticanII … Not necessarily to hell with all 16 documents, which nobody reads anyway.
As I wrote at the time, it is unclear which of the sixteen Council documents he considers to be authentic expressions of Catholic tradition, if indeed that’s the measuring stick he is proposing to use.
In any case, during last Friday’s event, Michael Matt made it perfectly plain that he doesn’t actually have a traditional view of the Second Vatican Council. He said:
The Church over the past fifty years has moved away from this idea [the Great Commission], citing as its authority the Second Vatican Council—the spirit of which more or less reneged on the Catholic Church’s own claim to be the sole means of salvation.
Folks, these are not off-the-cuff comments, hastily made without forethought; they come from Michael Matt’s prepared – evidently, carefully prepared – statement!
Here we have a man whom the gullible consider to be a traditionalist “leader,” and he will only go so far in his assessment of the Council as to criticize the spirit of Vatican II, one of the most common, and laughable, of neo-conservative shibboleths.
Yes, I know, I can expect to receive (again) emails and messages chastising me for being mean to poor Mike, but those who feel compelled to defend his Low-T approach to evangelism (if you will allow) evidently haven’t considered the grave harm that is being done to innocent seekers of truth who mistakenly consider him a reliable spokesman for Catholic tradition.
Be that as it may, this “spirit of Vatican II” rubbish is nothing new for Michael Matt. In his interview of Cardinal Raymond Burke in 2017, readers may recall that he asked concerning Amoris Laetitia:
I’m wondering, is there any concern in your mind that what we’re seeing now is in fact a following of some sort of continuum of that spirit of Vatican II that has less to do with Francis and more to do with a new orientation of the Catholic Church altogether.
At the time, I acknowledged, in fairness, that I had no idea how much time Michael had to prepare for the interview, or whether or not this question was asked spontaneously.
Today, no such questions exist.
Matt even went so far as to claim that “the spirit” of the Council “more or less reneged on the Catholic Church’s own claim to be the sole means of salvation.”
One wonders if he has even read the conciliar text. If so, he apparently missed this lie:
For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them [the schismatic and the heretical communities] as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. (NA 3)
Get that? The non-Catholic communities are being declared as efficacious means of salvation. There’s no “more or less” about it, and this according not to some vaguely defined “spirit” as Michael Matt claims, but rather the conciliar text itself.
Matt went on to say:
And if there are many other roads to salvation, the Catholic missionary mandate of old is not only pointless but offensive to the Church’s dialogue partners.
Indeed, and the Council plainly stated that there are many roads to salvation; at least as many as there are Protestant communities!
Later in his prepared statement he asked rhetorically:
At the Pan-Amazon Synod will we see the Church [sic] abandon that Divine Commission to convert and baptize all nations? … We shall have to wait and see.
Wait and see? Seriously? Vatican II already abandoned that Commission, on behalf of the conciliar church that was born via its “New Pentecost,” that is.
So why is Michael Matt so reluctant to say so? Why did he make it a point to say that “much good has come” from the indoctrination program launched by the conciliar “saint” John Paul the Great Ecumenist, the so-called New Evangelization?
There are but two possibilities: Either Michael Matt genuinely does not believe that the New Evangelization and its progenitor, the Second Vatican Council, is dangerous and therefore condemnable, in toto, for what it actually teaches, or he is unwilling to speak the truth plainly, deliberately taking steps to avoid paying the price for doing so.
Based on comments offered during Friday’s Q&A, apparently, it’s the latter. He said:
There are several things to consider when it comes to resistance. Number one is your audience. Make sure when we resist that we understand who our audience is, because if they’re unprepared for our harsh language, or our accurate language about what’s happening to Mother Church, we run the risk of running them right out of the Church. So, we need to be very careful in the language that we use.
In this, Michael Matt sounds an awful lot like LGBT warriors Cardinal Joseph Tobin and Bishop Robert McElroy, each of whom criticized the Church’s language in addressing homosexual activity as being overly harsh and disenfranchising.
So, Michael Matt’s number one concern is his audience, but exactly who is that audience?
Surely, he realizes that “www” stands for World Wide Web. He must know that the conference he just took part in and, in fact, everything he has ever posted online, whether it be for the Remnant or some other endeavor, is such that it’s readily available to pretty much everyone and anyone who might bother to watch, listen, or read.
In other words, Michael Matt understands very well who his audience is; he knows that it’s global, and he isn’t about to use harsh or even accurate language that just might invite the risk of seeing his audience diminish.
Run people out of the Church? Who is he kidding?
The dyed-in-the-wool liberal – setting aside the fact that many are already out of the Church – couldn’t possibly care less what Michael Matt has to say. Likewise, the highly committed Santo Subito neo-con, who even if he does occasionally tune-in is more apt to dig in his heels and argue than run away from the conciliar church he calls home.
But you know what, “Faith cometh by hearing” (Romans 10:17), and there’s a chance that by hearing the unadulterated truth, spoken from the lips of intrepid defenders of the Faith who, unlike Michael Matt, are willing to shoulder the cost of doing so, with the aid of God’s grace, men like these just might be brought to tradition. I know. I was one of them.
Telling these poor souls that the New Evangelization has done “much good,” and the “spirit” of the Council is the real bogyman, will do absolutely nothing but confirm them in their error. I know this too.
All of that said, true soldiers for Christ and defenders of Catholic tradition must occasionally use harsh language. Why? Because Our Lord, His Church and His Blessed Mother and ours are being denigrated. If we love them, we owe it to them!
We must also use accurate language, always and everywhere, even if that means creating for ourselves an obligation to explain it in some detail, that it might be well understood.
Why? Because the truth matters, and it’s far more than just a bit of information to be spun and peddled for profit; it’s Our Blessed Lord who laid down His life for all and desires that all should know Him, that He may to draw all men to Himself.
Of the eight people on the “Our Church” panel, one in particular stands out for portraying himself not only as a “lay leader” but as a leading voice for Catholic tradition.
Now, you know better.