|Ann Barnhardt, All-American Schismatic.|
(Image source: westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com.)
For almost fifty years, The Remnant has been the leading voice of Catholic traditionalism in America. Founded by Walter Matt, who left The Wanderer after a dispute with his co-founder brother Alphonse, it now publishes under the guidance of Matt’s son Michael. Over the last few years, especially after the election of Pope Francis, the tone of The Remnant’s articles have become increasingly shrill, denouncing “neo-Catholics” (i.e., anyone not identifiably traditionalist) and “Bergoglio” with a regularity verging on monomania.
A “Bastion of Orthodoxy” Calls For Schism
The venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote, “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.” A radical traditionalist (that is, the most extreme kind of traditionalist) differs in that, being in love with what he thinks the Church used to be, he hates what he thinks the Church has become in the wake of Vatican II. At its worst, it approaches anti-Catholic Protestantism from the right.
Wryly comments theologian John Médaille, “One would hope that a publication that claims to be a bastion of orthodoxy would not be a place to find a call for schism.” But that’s what happened: in a featured article written by Ann Barnhardt, The Remnant has called for an “Imperfect Ecumenical Council” to depose and anathematize Pope Francis as a heretic.[*] Furthermore, the call goes out to “those bishops remaining who still hold the Catholic faith” — implying, of course, that many if not most Catholic bishops don’t hold the faith, at least as Barnhardt and The Remnant define it.