Polemics

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In Perspective
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Alphonse J. Matt, Jr.

Published in The Wanderer, June 22, 2000

Since the end of the Second Vatican Council and the subsequence promulgation by PopePaul VI of the new rite of the Mass, there has been a growing division among those Catholics generally known as "orthodox" or "traditionalist."

The Wanderer itself suffered from the divisions and upheavals following the Council. In 1967 editor Walter Matt left the newspaper over a dispute about the meaning of Vatican II. He saw it not so much as a reform and a renewal of the Church but as a revolution that threatened to undermine the Church herself (in that year Walter Matt founded The Remnant). His brother, Alphonse J. Matt Sr. (the present writer’s father), took over the reins at The Wanderer and reminded its readers that the real intent of the council was a renewed evangelization of the world for Christ and a personal renewal of every individual Catholic.

For The Wanderer, the council was not a rejection or an abandonment of Tradition, but a development of that Tradition, safeguarded for 2,000 years by the Holy Spirit, to better enable the Church to bring the Gospel to all men.

Those "traditionalists" who view the council as a break with Tradition – who blame the council’s teaching itself, not the subversion of, and departure from that teaching, by modernists and progressivists – are becoming increasingly hostile to the See of Peter and its present occupant.

The late Archbishop Marcel Lefèbvre, who broke with the Holy See in 1988 over the issue of appointing bishop successors from his Society of St. Pius X, tends to be the hero of these traditionalists Catholics.

This past April, an angry, aggressive statement authored by Atila Sinke Guimarães, a former member of the Brazil-based TFP (Tradition, Family, Property), titled We Resist You to the Face was published in The Remnant, Catholic Family News, and other traditionalist organs.

The statement was signed by Mr. Guimarães and Marian Horvat, both members of Tradition in Action, Inc., Michael Matt, editor of The Remnant, and John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News.

We Resist You … is described by the signatories as "a public Statement of Catholic Resistance" (in which) "lay Catholic journalists respectfully suspend obedience to the Pope and remain inside Holy Mother Church."

A brochure promoting the statement declares: "We Resist You to the Face analyzes the consequences of the adaptation of the Church to the modern world, and the consequences of ecumenism, as applied since the Council – including by the present Pontiff. The authors declare themselves is a state of resistance 'relative to the teachings of Vatican Council II, Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, and to your teachings [of John Paul II] that are objectively opposed to the prior ordinary and extraordinary Papal Magisterium'."

One can conclude after a careful reading of We Resist You… that its authors and supporters are on a schismatic trajectory that can only have tragic consequences.

We have asked Stephen Hand, no stranger to traditionalists, to examine We Resist You…, its premises and its conclusions in order to provide some guidance and counsel to those traditionalist Catholics who are troubled and confused by current developments within the Church and the kinds of analysis of such by the likes of We Resist You…

The result of his effort is: "Traditionalists," Tradition, and Private Judgment. Two important addenda are included: Pope Paul VI’s Credo of the People of God and Cardinal Ratzinger’s remarks in 1988 to the Bishops of Chile regarding the Lefebvre schism.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln has graciously provided a preface to the work.

We recommend this commentary to every Catholic who seeks a better understanding of the controversies which continue to spread fear, doubt, and confusion within the Church. It will prove to be an effective instrument to strengthen one’s faith.


Continued


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Articles in the Polemic

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  "All Catholics Should be Traditionalists"
Mr. A. Matt, Jr.

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  "Quicksand"
Mr. Atila S. Guimarães

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  "Two Sides at the Same Table"
Dr. Marian Horvat

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes  "The Campaign Against We Resist You to the Face:
My Response to Alphonse Matt"

by Mr. Michael Matt


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