Another Dear Dan Letter From CMTV's Terry Carroll Defending The Heresies Of Pope Francis The Heretic!
Your distinction is entirely academic. Yes, it does allow for making distinctions in academic discussions but, practically, it's impossible to make such distinctions in real life. There is no "experience" of the papacy, only "experience" of its occupant, which is always a man. The Pope IS the papacy IN PRACTICE. Only people with a "dog in the hunt" or "skin in the game" and needing to justify their disobedience make the kind of distinction you are proposing.
Only this past weekend, Cardinal Pell said "The church is not built on the rock of Peter's faith, but on Peter himself, despite his faults and failings."
You say "You can criticize the holder of the office and in doing so defend the Church" is also not defensible because of the inseparability of the holder of the office and the office itself. One CAN, however, criticize NOT the holder but various words and actions OF the holder. The words and actions OF the holder are, indeed, "papal," but when you attack the holder you attack the papacy and you attack the Church. When you criticize "words" and "deeds" and "prudential decisions," you are separating those words, deed and decisions from the Church Herself and holding them up for analysis without blurring your analysis with the Church Herself. THAT is an important distinction that you, and The Remnant, miss. The Remnant hasn't found a way, or doesn't want to find a way, to critique various words/deeds/decisions of Pope Francis without, at the same time, smearing and demeaning Pope Francis himself. They violate, routinely, any pretense of understanding all this as a 4th commandment issue.
"So, to defend the man in the office who attacks the Church and the papacy is to be complicit in the attack on the Church." We defend the man who holds the office since this man happens to be the Vicar of Christ. We do NOT defend his every word/deed/decision. We just respond to all this in a way that allows one to continue to maintain filial devotion and affection for the Pope AND his Office. I don't know how anyone can come away from typical commentary in The Remnant and not feel hatred for the Pope. Since the Pope is a man, and that man is Pope Francis, this hatred of the Pope is almost impossible to separate from hatred for Pope Francis the man. We are not, therefore, complicit in the attack on the Church because we DO attack the words/deeds/decisions of those who seek to destroy Her. We do not attack the Holy Father, we do attack the disturbing consequences of his words/deeds/decisions, but we do all this against a clear "horizon" of love for the Church of which Pope Francis is Christ's Vicar.
"So, the silence of CMTV and the attacks against defenders of the Church like the Remnant and CFN is to attack the Church."
CMTV is NOT silent. And The Remnant and Catholic Family News are NOT "defenders of the Church" because they give aid and comfort to explicit enemies of the unity of the Church. You can't claim to be a "defender of the Church" when you encourage and facilitate those who abandon Her. We are all engaged in fighting "the enemies within" but, in a real sense, The Remnant and Catholic Family News can be counted among those enemies because they encourage a rendering of the Body of Christ. You can't watch The Vortex for any length of time and say that CMTV is "silent." We aren't even silent about the Pope! From our published "statement"
Most Catholics are not even aware of the many disconcerting words and deeds of Pope Francis and his predecessors. …
We at ChurchMilitant.TV are as aware as anyone of what could be judged the "nakedness" of Pope Francis and his predecessors. We choose not to tell others about it. We are not ultramontanists who believe that if the Pope burps during Mass that it becomes a new rubric for the liturgy. The Pope is both Vicar of Christ and a human being who, in the normal course of a day, can say things that are doctrinally ambiguous, occasionally even erroneous. The Pope is protected from error in matters of faith and morals in very precise and defined circumstances, and interviews with journalists, remarks during general audiences and homilies during his morning Mass are not among them. The Pope is the protector and guardian of the Deposit of Faith which came from Jesus and His Apostles. Dogma does not change, although articulation of Dogma can become clearer as the fruit of centuries of contemplation on the Truths of the Faith.
No good is served by giving people the impression that the Pope is not Catholic, even if it can be alleged that there is reason to believe that he is not.
We ARE aware of "the many disconcerting words and deeds of Pope Francis and his predecessors." We are NOT silent. We judge the "strategy" of The Remnant and Catholic Family News to be harmful and destructive to the unity of the Church, the best example of this being their support and encouragement of a group judged to have committed a "schismatic" act and without canonical status or legitimate ministry. All their clergy are suspended a divinis. How can one claim to be Catholic and support this?
If you are still reading this far, I invite you to consider the commonly used analogy whereby the Church is understood as a ship, or a boat:
What image corresponds to the situation of the Church in our time? The answer is the story in Mark 4:35-41, the story of Jesus calming the storm. We are told that
It began to blow a gale, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But [Jesus] was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, "Master, do you not care? We are going down!" And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Quiet now! Be calm!" And the wind dropped and all was calm again. Then he said to them, "Why are you so frightened? How its that you have no faith?" They were filled with awe and said to one another, "Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.
All of the Church Fathers are unanimous in saying that the boat is the Church and that the boat is going to be tossed about by storms, which is to say, campaigns orchestrated to destroy the Church.
St. Hilary of Poitiers writes that Christ "bids us to be within the Church, and to be in peril until such time as returning in His splendor He shall give salvation to all the people...Meanwhile the disciples are tossed by the wind and the waves; struggling against all the storms of this world, raised by the opposition of the unclean spirit."
St. Augustine tells us to "Think of the boat as the Church, and the stormy sea as this world. . . . For when any of a wicked will and of great power, proclaims a persecution against the Church, then it is that a mighty wave rises against the boat of Christ." We are to remain in that storm-tossed boat until, "when the night is nearly ended, He shall come, in the end of the world, when the night of iniquity is past, to judge the quick and the dead."
When Christ finally does come, according to St. Hilary, he will
find His Church wearied, and tossed by the spirit of the Anti-Christ, and by the troubles of this world. And because by long experience of Anti-Christ they will be troubled at every novelty of trial, they shall have fear even at the approach of the Lord, suspecting deceitful appearances. But the good Lord banishes their fear saying, It is I; and by proof of His presence takes away their dread of impending shipwreck.
From the perspective of the faithful who have to endure these storms, it always seems as if Jesus is asleep, which is to say, unconcerned with their plight.
This is, of course, not the case. God is always with his Church, even when it appears that he is not. Jumping ship means instant death. Because God can calm any storm, the real issue is not the magnitude of the storm, but rather as Jesus points out, the magnitude of our faith.
The SSPX have jumped overboard in response to the situation of the Church. The Remnant and Catholic Family News have jumped overboard with them, and they have all taken with them all the treasure they have looted from the suffering Mystical Body of Christ.
I will conclude here with our most current and complete response to the question "Why don't you criticize the Pope, and why do you criticize The Remnant and Catholic Family News and their writers?" If you don't find all the answers you seek from us in what I will copy below, we don't have any more answers. Michael Matt once concluded an email discussion with us with the words: "Please don’t feel obliged to defend your “manifesto” via another lengthy email to me. Truthfully, I didn’t even read it since I’d already read it—decades ago." It's pretty tough to fight alongside people who won't even listen to what you have to say and dismiss everything in advance. So, whether you have read this far or not ...
God bless you.