Interesting lament from Michael Matt at Remnant TV

While I would not describe myself as a traditionalist, I do find the arguments of traditionalists like Michael Matt interesting and challenging.

In this segment from Remnant TV, Michael Matt talks about the growing persecution of Christians in the world, and takes aim at the abandonment of the doctrine of Christ the King in our understanding of moral law.  As someone who is interested in religious freedom,  I can see the pitfalls of moral and religious relativism on one hand and theocracy on the other.   While I do not know if I fully understand or accept the traditionalist criticism of the Vatican II document on religious freedom, I want to understand it.  I would put myself in the camp right now of trying to understand the Second Vatican Council in the light of what the Catholic Church has always taught.  We have the Magisterium of the Communion of the Saints as well as that of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

 

I do not agree  the Second Vatican Council is the problem, though I would agree  an interpretation of Vatican II by progressive elements in the Church did wreak havoc.  However, I do not believe there  is  a pre-Vatican II “golden age” that can be restored.

While I believe in lex orandi, lex credendi and lex vivendi, I do not think restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass by a top down fiat from the Holy Father would turn things around.  Most people do not know Latin and, without an encounter with Christ, would be unwilling to learn it or invest in a missal to follow it in the service.

That said, I am glad that many young people are now attracted to this Mass  (and to our Ordinariate Divine Worship, which to me represents what the liturgy in the vernacular should look like.)

Matt talks about finding allies  where persecution is growing.  I believe there are many allies in the Protestant world as well, who may not understand much about good liturgy but who have encountered Jesus Christ and who have determined to make Him Lord over their lives—they intuitively know Christ the King and that there is an objective moral order even if they lack the philosophical and theological foundations to fully express it.

Thus it is incumbent on those who have the fullness of the Catholic faith to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit so that the doctrines of the Church are made attractive to those allies who would most benefit from exposure to them.

 

 

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3 Responses to Interesting lament from Michael Matt at Remnant TV

  1. Most people didn’t understand Latin at the time of the Reformation – Protestant or English. Only the educated and high born families provided higher education. The masses received little instruction in Latin.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matthew,

      You wrote: Most people didn’t understand Latin at the time of the Reformation – Protestant or English. Only the educated and high born families provided higher education. The masses received little instruction in Latin.

      Yes. Indeed, that’s exactly why, back in the middle ages, the laity began praying private devotions, such as the rosary, during mass rather than participating in the mass itself in the Roman Rite. And it’s also why it became necessary to ring bells to alert the members of the congregation, who simply were not paying attention to the mass, to the elevation of the host and the chalice.

      But backing up a step, that reality also explains the initial development of the rosary. The monastic orders prayed the psalms in the divine office, and the laity wanted to imitate this pious practice — but they could not read the psalms in order to pray them. Thus, they began saying a “Hail Mary” for each of the 150 psalms, later broken into fifteen decades of a full rosary and attached to the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of a traditional full rosary. But I’m not even sure where this stands now, with the promulgation of the luminous mysteries by Pope John Paul II a couple decades ago. Is a full rosary now twenty decades rather than fifteen?

      Of course, those of us who are literate have no excuse for not returning to the original practice of praying the divine office, which is the liturgy of the church, rather than the pious devotion developed as a substitute.

      Norm.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: In this segment from Remnant TV, Michael Matt talks about the growing persecution of Christians in the world, and takes aim at the abandonment of the doctrine of Christ the King in our understanding of moral law. As someone who is interested in religious freedom, I can see the pitfalls of moral and religious relativism on one hand and theocracy on the other.

    The problem of morality rooted in any religion, Christian or otherwise, actually goes much deeper than this.

    >> 1. Those who do not ascribe to a particular religion are not going to accept or follow its moral precepts.

    >> 2. And those who do follow a particular religion while also ascribing to the ideal of freedom in a pluralistic society will not vote based on precepts that they perceive to be rooted in their religion, on the basis that it would be wrong to impose their religious beliefs on others.

    This situation leads to practical rejection of morality as a foundation for law and equitable government and thus a society that has no moral underpinnings whatsoever. Such a society will never be just.

    Fortunately, the magisterium of the Catholic Church has long recognized this situation and thus has been very careful to distinguish between moral doctrine, discernible by reason alone with no reference whatsoever to divine revelation, and theological doctrine, which depends upon divine revelation. This distinction even finds explicit affirmation in the dogmatic constitution Pastor aeturnus promulgated by the First Vatican Council, which defines the dogma commonly called “papal infallibility” thus (boldface added).

    9. Therefore… we teach and define as divinely revealed dogmathat when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra; that is, when,in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, hedefines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held bythe whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistancepromised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which thedivine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrineconcerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions are ofthemselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.

    The key here is that moral doctrine that’s inherent in nature and discernible by reason alone, commonly called Natural Law, is universally applicable to everybody without reference to religious beliefs or lack thereof. Thus, it does not suffer from the aforementioned objections and rejections.

    It is tragic that many members of the Catholic Church are not conscious of this distinction, and thus act in the public forum in a manner that is not consistent with universal moral principles.

    You continued: I would put myself in the camp right now of trying to understand the Second Vatican Council in the light of what the Catholic Church has always taught. We have the Magisterium of the Communion of the Saints as well as that of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.

    It is imperative to remember that the magisterium is the only authentic interpreter and mediator of tradition. Thus, one cannot legitimately claim to be upholding tradition when acting in a manner that’s contrary to the directives of the magisterium or teaching doctrine that’s contrary to what the magisterium teaches.

    Norm.

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