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Remnant video on the Synod October 24, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, SOD, the return.

The video below was posted yesterday.  I agree with the sentiments expressed almost in toto, although I do hold out the possibly forlorn hope that the opposition that developed towards the end of the first portion of the Synod may coalesce into something significant.  As it is, for now, it seems Pope Francis ably sidestepped that opposition and went ahead and had the disastrous paragraphs included in the final report, anyway, if in a different section and with a bit of discussion regarding the “controversy” they caused.

I can’t say I know for certain what happened at the Synod – was it everything going just about totally according to modernist revolutionary plans, who figured in advance there would be some opposition and just moved the ball as far forward as they could?  Or was the “revolt,” such as it was, a sign of serious setback?  I know opinions vary even among some of the best, most orthodox/traditional Catholics out there.

Michael Matt and Chris Ferrara below seem to veer predominately on the side of the Synod being almost an unalloyed victory for Pope Francis and the modernist cabal associated with him.  Some of the language below (a quite small amount) gets a bit harsh and goes beyond what I would typically endorse, but there is so much good commentary it merits airing.  I pray Ferrara and Matt (and D) and others are not right, but I fear they are.  If they are……Lord have mercy, I have no idea what the Church looks like in a year, but it will not be good:

If criticism of the Holy Father means falling out of full communion with him, then we have an increasing number of prelates doing so. Fortunately, that is not now nor has it ever been the case.



1. JTC - October 24, 2014

Since “out of communion” seems to be subject to mushy definitions, how about introducing some precision able to more objectively evaluated:

“Not being in communion with the Church means, AT LEAST, that one is part of and within the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church.”

This definition allows one to be critical of a whole variety of things uttered or done by any member of the hierarchy of the Church, including the Pope but, because the person making the criticism is part of and submissive to the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church, he is, regardless of “criticism,” in communion with the Church.

But this definition leaves out the SSPX, none of whom are part of or submissive to the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church.

“Communion” with the Church and the Pope is a concept that is too soft and euphemistic to be useful anymore. It can mean almost anything, and it does mean whatever someone wants it to mean in most cases. So you get the weirdness of “communion with the Church” that too often translates to “communion with the Faith” but leaves out of the conversation whether someone is part of the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church. The Independent Catholic Church of North America can claim with defensible arguments that they are Catholic because of X, Y and Z, and also point to their baptism which does, indeed, make them “in communion with Christ” in SOME meaningful sense. So, also, the SSPX are Catholic in belief and practice but for the small detail that they are not part of the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church.

Matt, Ferrara, The Remnant and Catholic Family News are enemies of the Church hiding behind loyalty to the Faith. Part of the divinely revealed Truth, the Deposit of Faith, is the visible reality and hierarchical structure of the Church. By giving “aid and comfort” to those who believe one can be Catholic without being part of that hierarchical structure they sin against the unity of the Church. That makes them enemies with whom no faithful Catholic can “join forces.” They are, in fact, “enemies within” waging war against the Church Herself by elevating the Faith above and somehow apart from the Church.

Vitriolic criticism of the Pope, such as The Remnant and Catholic Family News engage, can be contrasted with the kind of criticism offered by Patrick Archbold and many others who, though critical of the Pope, criticize in a way that doesn’t bleed over into hatred of the Church Herself as we experience Her today. You can’t say you are loyal to the Church, and the Pope, and engage in rhetoric that contains the kind of angry, hateful, resentful vocabulary found in the columns found on The Remnant and Catholic Family News.

The Remnant and Catholic Family News do contain much that is helpful and educational for Catholics but, like Playboy and their articles, one is also exposed to points of view that encourage people to separate themselves from the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church (ALL articles which support the SSPX fall in that category, plus those which question the legitimacy of recent canonizations, question the legitimacy of Pope Francis himself, etc.).

For a Catholic, these publications should be considered “occasions of sin” in the same way that one would judge fairly obvious secular publications today. You can’t read The Remnant and Catholic Family News without risking exposure to their “naughty pictures” of Catholicism.

You CAN criticize the Pope but, because “the Pope is different,” one must be VERY careful that, in doing so, one doesn’t lead people away from the Church into “real” or “practical” sedevacantism. The Pope represents the Church in a way that bishops and priests do not. You can criticize bishops against a “horizon” of love for the Church. You can’t criticize the Pope without risking a blurring of that “horizon” because the Pope represents and symbolizes the unity of the Church in a way that bishops and priests do not.

Tantumblogo - October 24, 2014

Oh goodness……..no one likes my humor.

steve - October 25, 2014

JTC stated that reading the Remnant and/or Catholic Family News constitutes “occasions of sin”.

During the past 50 or so years, Pope, Cardinals and bishops have prayed and worshiped with non-Catholics…even inside non-Catholic churches.

Voodoo witch-doctors have been invited to Catholic-sponsored “interfaith” events where they have prayed to strange gods as Popes, Cardinals and bishops have stood/sat nearby.

A Catholic is free, for example, to attend an Episcopal Church liturgy, presided over by a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual “marriage”, pro-artificial birth control priestess.

None of the above constitutes “occasions of sin,” according to the Church’s ecumenical/”interfaith” teachings.

But reading the Remnant and/or Catholic Family News constitutes “occasions of sin”, according to JTC.


Baseballmom - October 25, 2014

The one I fear will lead my kids away from the Church is THIS POPE. Like the gentleman in the video said… I too feel as though I must “hide things” that this pope has said from my younger kids (my older ones are smart… He won’t harm them) AND from my non-Catholic husband for whom I have been praying (for his conversion) for some 40 years…

2. Elizabeth - October 24, 2014

@JTC: Whew, I don’t even know where to begin to address your comments. I think I’ll just address this one: “For a Catholic, these publications should be considered “occasions of sin” in the same way that one would judge fairly obvious secular publications today. You can’t read The Remnant and Catholic Family News without risking exposure to their “naughty pictures” of Catholicism.” Really? Reading The Remnant as I do, every 2 weeks, is leading me into sin? That’s certainly news to me. I wait anxiously for my paper in my mailbox! It’s my lifeline, so to speak, my connection to traditional Catholics out there since I know none in my daily life. It’s well written, caring and inspiring work they do. I’ll leave the rest of what you had to say…alone…other than to say that I disagree with almost everything you said. To each his own, I guess.

3. Cristero - October 24, 2014

You are right, Elizabeth. Where to begin? Just exactly how many instances can you find in there of personal opinion somehow purveyed as infallible doctrine?

“You CAN criticize the Pope, but…yada, yada.” Where did that come from and just what does all that convoluted opinion really mean?

So that is someone’s opinion. Super. Congratulations and best wishes.

4. Jay Boyd - October 25, 2014

Bravo, JTC. I agree. Cristero, I don’t see where JTC is claiming to be announcing infallible doctrine. What are com boxes besides opinion? YOURS is certainly expressed, and quite condescendingly at that. Elizabeth…it is often news to us when someone tells us a behavior we are engaging in is sin. Sin is pretty sneaky that way.

Cristero - October 26, 2014

Hi Jay,

Thanks for your comments. I’d like to respond.

First of all, if I was being condescending I sincerely apologize. I’m not sure that was my intent, but it matters not. If I came across like that I am sorry. No doubt I could have expressed myself in a more charitable fashion. Thank you for pointing that out.

Secondly, it is quite possible that I don’t understand what blogs are all about. This is actually the only one I subscribe to or very occasionally contribute to. But I am honestly taken aback by what you say. Do you seriously mean that all “com boxes” (first time I heard that term) are nothing but so much opinion? I’m just not sure that that is the way it is supposed to be. And if that is the way it is supposed to be, let the moderator tell us, because in that case I sincerely am not interested in exchanges of opinions. A little opinion is fine, interspersed with some real hard objective stuff. I get to hear all the opinion I need without spending time on blogs.

Finally, and related to the above paragraph, I do think that your comment about com boxes being nothing but opinion applies quite well to the comments of JTC. In fact, that was what I was trying to say in my comments that you rightly critiqued. JTCs “com box” contains ten paragraphs. I just went over them again, as I have done quite a few times, and to be perfectly honest, in those ten paragraphs I suppose there might be a statement or two that under duress could be interpreted as objective. As you have said, it is so much opinion. And that is what I was originally trying to say, although you may have said it far better than I.

5. Dismas - October 25, 2014


Obviously this would only be for someone with the time and inclination to do so, but it could be a useful exercise if only in more closely examining what on its face might appear, to the casual reader, to be a brief essay based upon solid Catholic teaching.

So for this exercise, we can more closely dissect the paragraphs written by JTC above. I’ll not do that here. I’ll leave that to anyone who has that sort of interest. I will, however, suggest some details.

1.In order to understand where the author is going, it is necessary in the second paragraph to simply remove the word “not” at the very beginning. That was nothing more than the same sort of typographical error all of us make all the time, especially in this unfortunate “lightning-fast” medium of electronic communication. And anyone who has written much knows that we are our own worst proofreaders. Now, if, for some reason, I am incorrect in my reading of this, I am confident the author will bring that to my attention.

2. Passing from this point we quickly notice that the author has suggested a proposition and then defined a concept – that of “being in communion with the Church.” It is laudable that he does so, because this is an elementary rule of argumentation (not synonymous with “arguing”) – that all sides agree with the definition of the terms of the proposition at hand before proceeding. It is a waste of everyone’s time to discuss a proposal when everyone does not agree as to what the proposal actually means. So from here we may decide if we agree with the author’s definition of “being in communion with the Church.” If we do not, we are stuck right here.

3. There are numerous good sources that describe the logical fallacies. Any of us who is interested can peruse one of those sources to see if the definition offered and its application qualify under any of the logical fallacies.

4. Apart from any logical fallacies that might be present, we immediately see that we are faced with yet another obstacle. Typically, definitions of terms are worded in ways that themselves do not require definition. Such is not the case here, because we are now presented, as a definition, a concept which is as confusing as the concept being defined. And for confirmation of this, we may simply accept what the author tells us, that ““Communion with the Church and the Pope is a concept that is too soft and euphemistic to be useful anymore. It can mean almost anything, and it does mean whatever someone wants it to mean in most cases.”

Most of us would wholeheartedly agree, I presume. We may note that this does not prevent the author from proposing to tell us what “Communion with the Church and the Pope” means. And we may ask ourselves, “Exactly who or what group is responsible for making ‘Communion with the Church’ such a difficult thing to discern?” Is it somehow those who have refused to accept innovation that came up with the ideas of “full Communion” (which suggests another type of Communion, perhaps to suggest that any religion is in some sort of Communion), “imperfect reconciliation”, or any of the other “soft and mushy” descriptions (to borrow JTC’s observation)?

If I were forced to argue the point and had my choice, I would quickly opt for the side that it was not the “traditionalists” who muddied this water, but the modernists themselves, for other reasons. That would be the easier side to defend, I think.

At any rate, perhaps we can agree with the author that in today’s Church, figuring out who is in Communion and who is not is, in some cases, challenging.

5. There would be another way to get a clue as to who is in Communion and who might not be, and that would be to turn to statements made by members of the “divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church” through the years. Unfortunately, there is nothing that solid there in the case of some groups and there are statements all over the place. Someone can construct a credible argument to support a few conflicting propositions here and, as JTC correctly says, “It can mean almost anything, and it does mean whatever someone wants it to mean in most cases.” Presumably, that would include JTC.

Whew. All of this and we still cannot come down hard on whether certain groups – OK, let us say the name – the SSPX is or is not in Communion with the Catholic Church, especially if we accept what the members of the “divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church” have told us through the years – that something such as “partial Communion” exists.

There is a lot more to consider. For instance, if a group is “not in Communion” that once was in Communion, may I propose that such a group is schismatic? If one accepts that, then at least one must consider (if not regard it as incontrovertible proof) that schismatic groups make clear that they have no desire of any sort of Communion with the “divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church”. This would be difficult to pin on the SSPX, what with their tendency to run to Rome when the pope calls, pray for the pope at all masses, offer Mass in Roman basilicas, etc., etc.

No – let us not immediately turn our nose up at that last paragraph, dismissing it as “worn-out defense of the SSPX.” It is not a worn-out defense, it is a defense. Otherwise we have to define, “worn-out”, and who wants to go there? Moreover, it is not offered or intended to be incontrovertible proof of actual Communion, “partial” or otherwise, on the part of the SSPX. It is one observation in this world of “mushy definitions” where “Communion with the Church and the Pope is a concept that is too soft and euphemistic to be useful anymore.” And where “it can mean almost anything, and it does mean whatever someone wants it to mean in most cases.”

All of this and we are still not past the definition of “Communion with the Church.” That, in and of itself, says volumes. But we must move on. Few hardy souls have read this far.

Moving past the unagreed-upon definition of “Communion” the rest can be pretty quick. Construct a table with two headings: “Doctrinally-based teachings of the Holy Catholic Church” and “This good person’s personal viewpoints”.

From there, proceed to dissect the essay and look carefully for each contention. Then place that contention in either column and observe your finished product.

If I may presume, I would say that it appears that the author offers three propositions:

A. The SSPX is not in Communion with the Holy Catholic Church.

B. Anyone who supports the SSPX in any fashion becomes an enemy of the Holy Catholic Church and what they say or write should be avoided at the risk of one’s eternal salvation.

C. One is allowed to be critical, even of the Pope, if that person or group “is part of and submissive to the divinely ordered hierarchical structure of the Church.”
It must be admitted that the third proposition surprises a bit, but it is proposed and there it stands. Let us first decide whether, in defending this third proposition, any argument in its favor falls into one or the other of the categories proposed, i.e. “Doctrinally-based teaching of the Holy Catholic Church” or “This good person’s personal viewpoints.” Or perhaps the better question would be whether or not any evidence at all was offered for this proposition or whether it is a precept, however legitimate, proposed de novo by the author. Whatever the case may be, let the astute reader discern.

But there it is. Criticism of the Pope is acceptable, if only under the conditions proposed by JTC. Further development of this particular topic would certainly be germane, but we will refrain from doing so only in the interest of respect for the poor reader who has suffered through all of this so far. It is likely that readers are perfectly capable of teasing out the various qualifications, questions and conclusions that can be drawn from this surprising admission.

Let me add that I am exceedingly willing (as if I had a choice) to respect the author’s right to believe these three things. Let me even go so far as to say that, in the end, he might even be correct.

But the question remains as to whether he presents us with any evidence to support any of his conclusions, keeping in mind that personal viewpoint does not qualify as evidence. Let the reader be the judge, perhaps using the table you have constructed as a tool.

We remember also that a second elementary rule of argumentation is that the burden of proof rests upon the person suggesting the proposition. Again, let the reader be the judge as to whether or not the evidence offered supports these propositions.

With all humility intended, in this confused world of modernism and rejection of Scholasticism, we remain one of those persons who regards much of this, beyond just the definition of “Communion with the Church”, as vague and undefined terminology, which “can mean almost anything, and…does mean whatever someone wants it to mean in most cases.”

Elizabeth - October 25, 2014

Bravo. I totally wimped out on even trying to address JTCs post but you, sir, certainly rose to the occasion. Smiles all around and thanks for that.

One tiny note that may or may not really matter in the grand argument but just for the record, JTC, The Remnant is not an SSPX newspaper. In fact, the Editor, Michael Matt, doesn’t even attend an SSPX chapel, although not because he feels he shouldn’t, but because he has easy access to an FSSP apostolate chapel.

SSPX-haters (or -fearers) tend to lump The Remnant onboard all things SSPX but they’re not related at all, for what it’s worth. It doesn’t matter a whit to me, of course, as I have absolutely nothing against the SSPX; in fact, I am supremely thankful for all of them and Bishop Fellay in particular. There, I’m done now 🙂

6. steve - October 25, 2014


The Remnant features points of view that encourage people to separate themselves from the Church?

That is interesting as the Remnant is brought to us by “full communion” Catholics.

Why haven’t the Remnant folks separated themselves from the Church?

After all, as you insisted, the Remnant has offered various viewpoints that have encouraged folks to depart Holy Mother Church.

Funny as to how the Remnant’s own folks have remained in “full communion” with the Church.

7. steve - October 25, 2014

Excuse me…JTC…why did you hijack this thread, which pertains to the Remnant video, to focus attention upon the SSPX and Catholic Family News?

This thread is entitled “Remnant video on the Synod.”

How did “Remnant video on the Synod” become “Attack on the SSPX and Catholic Family News”?

Just asking.

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