Above is a clip from a video put out by Michael Matt from Remnant Newspaper in which he denounces the Amazon Synod and as you can see from this clip, he completely renounces and rejects Pope Francis, actually demanding that Pope Francis "get the hell out of our church."
The above video is an active act of schism according to Canon Law 751:
Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.
Neither Michael Matt nor any other person on earth has the authority to push the Pope out of the Catholic Church. The Church is founded on the Pope. Jesus Christ said specifically to Peter, and to Peter alone:
And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Mat. 16:18-19Pushing the pope out of the Church is like destroying the foundation of a building in order to make it stronger. The only result you will get is the complete destruction of the building.
Peter is the earthly foundation of the Catholic Church. If a Catholic separates himself from Peter, he is no longer a part of the Catholic Church. If you do not recognize Peter as the earthly head of the Church, then you are not Catholic. If you're not with Peter, you're not with the Church. Where Peter is, there is the Church.
To quote St. Cyprian:
How can anyone think he keeps the faith, if he breaks the unity of the Church? The blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same sacrament of unity: “There is one body and one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God? ” [Eph. 4:4] Do they who fight and resist the Church believe that they are in the Church?And from St. Jerome:
I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness [Pope Damasus I], that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevailsMany rad trads try to get around this problem of rejecting the Pope by claiming Pope Francis is not legitimate. Michael Matt can't use this pathetic excuse for his actions. He doesn't make even a pretense that he doesn't recognize Pope Francis as the legitimate Vicar of Christ. Matt actually calls Pope Francis by the title, "Holy Father" as he denounces him.
From the video:
We say to you, Holy Father . . . for God's sake, pack up your pagan goodies, and you and your globalist pals, get the literal hell out of our church. Because we've had enough.By standing in open defiance and opposition to the Vicar of Christ, Michael Matt, and anyone who stands with him, is in a state of schism and automatic excommunication according to both Canon Law and Matthew 16:18-19. If Michael Matt and his "pals" do not repent, they will be damned to the fires of hell for all eternity.
It is that serious.
If these people represent true Christians, I am converting to Buddhism right now. Fortunately, I know they are not Christian because Christ told us that his disciples would love one another and that is how the world would be able to identify his true followers. The only identifying sign these people have in common is hate.
However, the purpose of this post is not to discuss this particular video. Matt gives us nothing that we haven't heard hundreds and thousands of times before, and I have debunked most of that in previous posts.
However, I do want to delve into one of the topics in this video, that being Matt's grand idea to "Unite the Clans". Matt wants to bring together all the many different warring factions of right wing Catholic radicals to do battle with their common enemy, the modernists, personified by Pope Francis.
What, you say?! You mean these radicals aren't all one big friendly group? No, my friend, not by a long shot.
The radical right wing groups have all rejected the central authority of the Catholic Church and thus they have suffered the same fate as the Protestants when they rejected the authority of the pope and broke from the Church. The radical right wing of the Church, like the Protestants before them, have split and divided into their own little sects, and they stand in opposition not just to the pope, but to each other.
Michael Matt's family is a perfect example of traditionalist against traditionalist. Matt is descended from the people who founded The Wanderer Newspaper. His father and uncle were both staunch traditionalists and followers of Archbishop Lefebvre, who is famous for his disobedience to Pope St. John Paul II and subsequent excommunication from the Church. When Lefebvre disobeyed Pope John Paul, II, Matt's uncle and father were in total disagreement regarding support of Lefebvre. One sided with the archbishop and the other rejected him.
The disagreement between brothers caused a huge split in the Matt family. This bitter division continues to this day and, as Matt says, will no doubt continue for many, many years to come. Sadly, the split did not change the Matt family in regard to their fierce opposition to the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo Mass. Both sides still identify as staunch traditionalists.
In video from about a month ago entitled, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Unite the SSPX & FSSP Clans, Matt went into an in depth discussion of just what he means by "Unite the Clans". After giving a long history of how the clans came to be so separate from each other, Matt finally gets into what it means to actually unite the clans, starting at about 18 minutes into the video.
He starts with this:
What would it look like to unite the clans? Especially now that we've got Pope Francis who has made everything really tragically clear as far as what the modernists have in mind for the Church. But how do we unite? How is it possible to unite the clans? There are a lot of differences, a lot of water under the bridge, a lot of hard feelings, a lot of bad blood.Hard feelings? Bad blood? Hmmm. Doesn't sound like the identifying sign of love that Christ said his followers would have.
Matt then plays a clip from Mel Gibson's movie, "Braveheart" in which he talks about uniting the clans. William Wallace is unable to unite the clans on his own, and so he goes to Robert the Bruce and begs him to unite the clans: "Now is our chance. Now. If we join, we can win. If we win, we'll have what none of us have ever had before: a country of our own. Unite us. Unite the clans."
In our case, the old faith itself is Robert the Bruce. The old faith, that's what we appeal to. The faith can unite the clans if we can just get out of the way. And what's the point of uniting the clans. This is important. I'm the first to not want to be the Pollyanna guy where you just overlook your differences in order to get along. That's nonsense. That's false and phony ecumenism. That's not what we're talking about tonight. I'm not looking for the great big ecumenical group hug.Jesus Christ told us that love would unite his followers, guided by the Holy Spirit in the Church founded upon Peter. But for Michael Matt, love is not even a part of the picture. In fact, he is not expecting any of the "clans" to actually forget about their differences. Matt calls that "false and phony ecumenicism."
Matt believes that the traditional clans' shared intellectual acceptance of the "Old Faith", i.e. anything pre Vatican II, is the key to uniting the clans.
And why should the "clans" unite in the first place? Why go through the hassle of putting aside all of their differences and forging a bond? Matt tells us:
The clans can only unite for one purpose and in one place. And that's the battlefield, to fight a common enemy trying to crush everything that all the clans hold sacred.I can't find any verses in Scripture that say that fighting our enemies will be the great unifying factor among the followers of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, I find just the opposite. We are not to fight our enemies but to love them, not bearing any hate for them whatsoever:
Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against any of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:21 And we have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.Matt continues:
Do you understand? Modernists have always had one agenda, where all of us are concerned, where all of the clans, so to speak, are concerned, the clans of Catholic tradition. And that is to divide and conquer, to polarize us, to keep us apart because they know that if we ever get over ourselves long enough to figure it out, that what unites us is everything they spent centuries trying to destroy. What unites us terrifies them because it is stronger than anything they know.Mike first tells us that the traditionalist clans are severely divided and now at the same time he is says that they are actually united through their common belief in the "old faith" and are only divided because of "modernists". C'mon Mike. Who are you kidding? You have already admitted that traditionalists have not needed any outside help to create division among themselves. They themselves are the cause of the polarization among each other. They don't need "modernists" to help in any way.
Matt then gives us other unifying factors:
What unites us is our common belief [intellectual acceptance] in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, what unites us is Jesus Christ His Only Son our Lord, What unites us is the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. The stuff that unites Catholics for 2000 years. We're all committed, in addition to that, we're all committed to the old Latin Mass, to the Catholic restoration, to defending to the death the Queenship of Mary and the Kingship of Christ. Compared to all that, my friends, is stuff and nonsense It is nothing.Matt has basically said the Apostles Creed here, and certainly as a Catholic I cannot argue with that. However, once again, Matt says that intellectual assent to Catholic belief is the unifying force among the clans.
But if just believing these dogmas (along with the TLM, of course) alone was really able to unite the clans, then why are the traditionalists so fragmented? Why haven't they been able to unite up to this point?
Matt, like most radical traditionalists, is showing a very superficial understanding of Christianity. Matt believes that if we just do all the right actions and say all the right words, that makes us "Faithful Catholics." The Pharisees did and said all the right things in the time of Christ, and Our Lord called them whitened sepulchers. True Christianity is so much more than our physical actions and words.
To be a true Christian involves much, much more than intellectual assent to Christ's teachings. A true follower of Jesus Christ dies to himself and allows Our Lord to change his heart, soul and mind. As St. Paul wrote in II Cor 5:17, we literally become a new creation. It is this re-creation of our very selves that leads to the right words and actions. It is only then that our outward actions have true meaning.
True Christianity is not just doing and saying all the right things. True Christianity is about being the right person, which can only happen through the power and working of the Holy Spirit. Michael Matt and the rest of the traditionalists really don't understand this concept at all. They live on a very superficial level, and then wonder why there are so many divisions among them.
St. Paul instructs us in the letter to the Colossians that just having beliefs in common does not lead to unity. Only love builds unity. Col 3:12-14:
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.As Michael Matt has made very clear in this video, contrary to the above admonition from St. Paul, the radical traditionalists hold on to their grudges as if these grudges were life itself.
Matt then goes on to state that he does not expect the "clans" to ever "get along". They will actually still be at war with one another even as they fight their "common enemy":
So the clans, friends, they must unite in battle. But that's not to say we're going to get along. That's not the point. Getting along, jaded and scarred, we may meet on this field that I'm talking about and say to one another, "You're still a bastard, but let's drive these ruddy modernists and pedophiles out of our Church."Who among us would like to belong to a group of people who call each other "bastards"? But Michael Matt is convinced this is the only winning strategy:
Can you imagine if we could get over ourselves to the point where we would say that? We would become the terror of modernists if we could do that. We could change history, and that's exactly what we're going to do. That's exactly what we must at least try to do.Matt emphasizes the point that the "clans" are never going to be truly united in mind and heart. He makes this astonishing statement:
Forget about liking each other. That may never happen. This is not kindergarten. This is the real world.The real world? Yes, Mike, it is the real world without a true conversion of heart. It is not the "real world" of a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Matt again goes back to pointing to intellectual beliefs as the true bond of unity:
Here's the thing, friends. With scapulars around our necks, with rosaries in our hands, the faith of our fathers in our hearts, we are a band of Catholic brothers whether we like each other or not. So let's start behaving that way.Matt seems to be stating that they can be united even while still hating one another. News flash, Mike: this is not Christian.
Matt then tells us that the laity have to fight this battle on their own He informs us that the laity cannot expect their priests to be on the battlefield with them because, according to Matt, priests are not and never have been "crusaders".
I am not intimately familiar with the history and specifics of the crusades, but yes, I would believe that no priests participated in them because it is never a priest's job to go out and kill people. The crusades are not a part of Church history of which anyone is particularly proud. Violence and bloodshed in the name of Jesus Christ, the King of Peace, just doesn't seem right. But of course, Michael Matt has no problem with it.
By the way, on a practical level. Our priests - priests have never been crusaders. Priests have never led crusades. They hear the confessions of the crusaders. They provide spiritual armor for the crusaders. But they are not the crusaders. So we the laity need to do this on our own.Matt here is actually advocating for the laity to go off on their own without any spiritual guidance. He tells the people not to even speak to the priests about their actions in the "crusade":
So here's a little hint, how this is going to work practically speaking. If you're in the SSPX, please, do not go ask Father if it is okay for you to attend the FSSP. You know what he is going to say. And if you're in the FSSP, give Father a break. Don't ask him if it's okay for you to frequent the other side, play for the other team. You know what he is going to say. Don't put him on the spot like that. We all need to put our big boy pants on and think for ourselves here. Enough with this clericalism. Father, is it okay if I breathe?I would be very, very suspicious of anyone who is advocating resistance to the hierarchy of the Church and then to do so without any spiritual guidance. That is hardly clericalism.
Matt then discusses the very real and insurmountable divisions between the clans and tells his listeners that they must accept this division for the sake of defeating their "enemies":
We've all gone through a sort of ecclesiastical version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, right? There's plenty of hurt, plenty of betrayal, plenty of bad blood to go around for all of us. Again, time to grow up a little bit. We're all human and that's not going to change any time soon, I hope. But we're not talking about our feelings. . . . If you don't like me because I'm from the other clan, I don't care about that either. Fine, I'm not asking you to like me. I'm asking you to stand with me and fight.
I'm seeing if there's any possible way that we can stand together and fight against people who really really do hate everything about us. If one clan can't get along with the other clan, just for the sake of the front, the united front against the demons. don't attack the other clan, just go quiet. Just stay quiet. They're not trying to do anything more than serve Christ, bring back the Latin Mass, raise little kids, teach them their Catechism. That's all they're doing. So you don't like them. You think they're too compromised, they're too rigid or whatever. Just leave them alone. They're on our side of the battlefield.Matt says don't worry about the divisions among the "clans", but it is very important to note that division is most emphatically NOT a fruit of the Holy Spirit. I think we should be very worried about that.
Matt then goes on to explain why the clans should not pursue their grievances against one another. Is it to promote and preserve love among one another, to bring REAL unity as described in Scripture? Nope. The clans need to turn their hatred of one another outwards to hate their enemy who wants to destroy them:
And why should we leave them alone? Because our mortal enemy, friends, they do not recognize the differences between the clans that we all think are so crucially important and obvious. They're only obvious to us. They're only important to us. To the enemy, we're all cockroaches. We all need to be exterminated. We're all haters. They want us all silenced. They want the followers of Christ to cease to breathe. Don't you understand?Well, yes, Mike, you are all haters. You are saying in this video that the motivating factor in the unity of the "clans" is hatred of a common enemy. Are we suppose to just ignore that?
I find it unbelievably laughable that Matt says his enemies want to destroy him, when we have video after video of Michael Matt, including this one, promoting the destruction of the "modernists" in the Church, most especially Pope Francis. As we just saw, Matt even calls it a "crusade":
So focus on them. Not on me, not on the other clan. The other clan is not your enemy. We're all fellow soldiers of Jesus Christ, sons of God, heirs of heaven, united in the Cross of Jesus Christ. So friends, let's get over ourselves. We can do this. We can really unite the clans if we just get out of our own way.
So there it is. Michael Matt clearly and emphatically admits that the traditionalists not only hate their enemies, but they hate each other. Matt is not telling the clans that they need to repent of this hate and learn to love not just each other but all men. He is telling them they just need to turn that hate toward the common enemy,
That is truly messed up, and not even close to Christian.
So what happens if Matt can unite the clans and they can defeat the evil modernists in the Catholic Church and drive them out, including and most especially Pope Francis? What will the clans have then?
First of all, they will no longer have their common enemy to unite them. They will go back to hating one another and the wars between them will start all over. They will have completely destroyed the papacy which will of course destroy the Catholic Church because there will no longer be a central authority guided and protected by the Holy Spirit.
As stated earlier, pushing the pope out of the Catholic Church is like destroying the foundation to save the building. It is total lunacy. With the Pope gone, there will be no one to ordain bishops. With the bishops gone, there will be no one to ordain priests. With the priests gone, there will be no one to administer the Sacraments or celebrate the Mass. We will have no one to absolve our sins.
In a nutshell, if the clans win in driving out the hierarchy of the Church - SATAN WINS! He will have prevailed over the Church and made Christ a liar, nullifying Christ's death on the cross. We will all be doomed to eternal damnation.
We are not fighting against flesh and blood. Those on the radical right are tools of a far more sinister force. Those who oppose and are intent on destroying Pope Francis are the pawns of evil spirits whose real intent is destroying the Bride of Christ.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
One thing we almost never hear from the radical right wing is call for prayers for Pope Francis or any of the other hierarchy in the Church whom they consider to be enemies. The reason is painfully obvious. These people are not about love because the one they follow is not about love. They don't care about souls because the one they follow wants only to destroy souls. The radical right is convinced of their own righteousness. They have a preconceived image of what the Church should be in their heads, and they don't care who or what they have to destroy to achieve that goal.
I understand these people because I was once a part of this group. I once believed just as they did. And I truly thought I was serving God, so I am sure many of these right wing radicals also believe they are serving God.
However, I was wrong, and so are they.
Jesus Christ said that his disciples would be known by their love for one another. The radical right are known only for their hate and disunity with the rest of the Church. They self identify as "Faithful Catholics", a sign of their self righteousness and disdain for everyone else.
Unlike the radical right wing catholics who wish only to destroy their enemies, I do pray for their souls. I truly pray that Michael Matt, Michael Voris, Father John Zuhlsdorf, Raymond Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider, Taylor Marshall, et al., along with their many thousands and thousands of adherents, will find true repentance and become true followers of Christ.
I repeat as I already written have many times, may God have mercy on their souls.