Hyperbolic Traditionalists

September 1, 2013 | 231 comments

After Catholic Answers Live aired, on August 12, its second two-hour program devoted to “radical Traditionalism,” a priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a religious society that celebrates Mass exclusively in the Extraordinary Form, wrote to us:

“Thank you for your fidelity in addressing this issue despite false accusations from some of ‘attacking’ traditional Catholicism. I thought your distinctions were clear between ‘radical Traditionalists’ and those in full communion with the Church.”

This priest had no problem understanding the program, which, like a May 31 program on the same subject, featured Tim Staples and Patrick Coffin. He understood the distinction drawn between fringe groups of “radical Traditionalists” and the much larger body of regular Traditionalists.

The same can’t be said for Michael Matt and Christopher Ferrara. Matt is the editor of, and Ferrara is a writer for, The Remnant, a fortnightly newspaper that some consider to be the chief Traditionalist publication in the U.S. The day after the August 12 program aired, Matt and Ferrara uploaded to the Remnant-TV website a video castigating Catholic Answers.

“The Church is in the state of absolute chaos,” said Ferrara, leaning into the camera, “and here they are wasting radio time.” Wasting radio time? Ferrara didn't mention that out of 1,600 airtime hours broadcast by Catholic Answers Live since the show’s debut, only these four hours have been devoted to the topic of radical Traditionalism: that’s one quarter of one percent. Is that too much for an issue about which we get many questions?

We have devoted far more program hours to the New Age movement, but we get far fewer questions about New Age beliefs and practices than we do about radical Traditionalism. Where has Ferrara voiced concern that we are "wasting radio time" on the New Age movement--or on the many other topics that we've devoted more than four airtime hours to?

More problematic than Ferrara’s arithmetic is his language: “The Church is in the state of absolute chaos.” The word “chaos” is hyperbolic; the adjective “absolute” raise the hyperbole to its highest possible degree. The phrase “absolute chaos” suggests that the Church everywhere outside Ferrara’s immediate sphere is as bad off as it possibly can be and is ready to expire.

That may be his view, and it may be Michael Matt’s, but it is not the view held by the large majority of Catholics, whether Traditionalist or non-Traditionalist. Most Catholics acknowledge serious abuses within the Church but also acknowledge extensive good. Judging from their choice of words, Matt and Ferrara seem to see almost nothing good. How could they, if the Church is in "absolute chaos"? (If they do see much good in the Church, then why do they so cavalierly use loaded terms like "absolute chaos"?)

In the video Matt complained that the term “radical Traditionalism” shouldn’t be used at all because it was coined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a leftwing organization that, despite its name, does nothing to alleviate poverty but delights in discovering “hate groups.” (Matt's implication seemed to be that Catholic Answers is sympathetic to, or even in cahoots with, SPLC--else why mention SPLC at all?)

In 2006 SPLC produced a report on what it called the “Radical Traditionalist Catholic, Anti-Semitic Movement.” A dozen organizations and many individuals were mentioned. Some truly qualified as anti-Semitic; most didn't. One of the organizations listed was The Remnant. Thus Matt’s animus toward the term “radical Traditionalism.” But the term didn’t originate with SPLC. It was in use years before that group used it. A term doesn’t lose its value just because a scurrilous organization uses it in the title of a report.

The fact is that there are radical Traditionalists, people who can be distinguished from run-of-the-mill Traditionalists by their beliefs, actions, and attitudes. The two Catholic Answers Live programs discussed such folks—among them, for example, sedevacantists, those who reject Vatican II, and those who say the vernacular Mass isn't really a Mass at all.

In their video Matt and Ferrara complained about an unnamed blogger who had been cited by Philip Lawler at his own blog. They said the unnamed blogger unfairly characterized Traditionalism. “We don’t reject Vatican II!” said Matt. But then the blogger didn’t claim that Matt and his associates did.

The blogger was Taylor Marshall, and his blog post appeared on July 30. He listed nine attributes that he thought distinguished radical Traditionalists from regular Traditionalists. I don’t agree with everything on his list. He said, for example, that a sign of radical Traditionalism is “the denial of the charismatic gifts and the charismatic movement.” I think this is incorrect. One can find Catholics all across the spectrum who deny not so much the existence of charismatic gifts but the utility or prudence of the charismatic movement.

But Marshall did identify things that commonly are found among radical Traditionalists: “the denial of the Jewish holocaust,” “the outright denial of Vatican II as a valid council,” “disdain for Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis,” and “the belief that Latin Mass Catholics are ‘A Team’ and Novus Ordo Catholics are ‘B Team.’”

Those attributes don’t amount to a definition of radical Traditionalism, but they are useful indicators. The irony in all this was that Marshall was writing about Pope Francis putting a restriction on the celebration of the Latin Mass by the Franciscans of the Immaculate—a Traditionalist group of which Marshall is an associate member! In other words, Marshall is a Traditionalist himself.

Maybe this is why Matt and Ferrara didn't name Marshall, not wanting their viewers to look up his blog and see that they were claiming, loopily, that a Traditionalist was writing against his own position.

Michael Matt’s imprecision in saying that (an unnamed) Taylor Marshall claimed that Traditionalists such as Matt “reject Vatican II” is indicative of the looseness with which he and Ferrara have been writing and speaking about the two Catholic Answers Live programs. (The Remnant ran no fewer than three front-page articles against the programs.) Matt and Ferrara shoehorn their opponents into taking positions that they don't in fact take and into saying things they don't in fact say.

In their video Matt insisted that “the whole Traditionalist position is being attacked by neo-Catholics,” among whom he includes the staff of Catholic Answers. To him and to Ferrara, “neo-Catholics” either are oblivious to the multitudinous ills in the Church or are knowingly complicit in them. They go along to get along, don’t want to upset bishops by complaining about the hierarchy in public, and are cowed into silence out of fear of losing episcopal patronage or protection. They lack the gumption displayed by those associated with The Remnant.

In fact, people labeled “neo-Catholics” are simply orthodox Catholics who don’t share The Remnant’s unrelenting (and often skewed and uncharitable) grousing about the Church and about Catholics who don’t toe that publication’s party line and who don't follow its stylebook. In the minds of The Remnant folks, you can't be a traditional Catholic unless you use their rhetoric, focus on their issues, and share their priorities.

Let me end with a small amusement.

In their video Matt and Ferrara complained about the neologism “radical Traditionalism,” saying that it was misleading and unfair, that it painted with too broad a brush, that it lacked precision. Yet throughout their video they labeled their opponents with the even vaguer (and newer) “neo-Catholics,” a term that Ferrara admits he first popularized in a 2002 book.

 


Karl Keating is founder and president of Catholic Answers, the country’s largest apologetics and evangelization organization. He is the author of five books, including Catholicism and Fundamentalism and What Catholics Really Believe.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#201  Brennan Doherty - Beaverton, Oregon

Karl Keating (post 187):

"Well, some women in the charismatic movement do (or used to--I haven't dropped by a charismatic event in some years) wear frumpy dresses; ditto for some women in Traditionalist circles. I haven't seen such attire at San Diego's FSSP parish, though; I suspect it's more common in breakaway chapels.

My problem with such attire isn't that it's modest but that it's unattractive, and women don't have to dress unattractively to dress modestly."

Well, as someone who considers himself a traditionalist I do have to say I agree wholeheartedly with the last sentence of this quote (I have no indult parish near me, so I can't vouch for how the women dress at them).

I say this because it seems as if in Catholic countries, (or at least countries with a history of Catholicism), fashion is rather important. Think France or Italy (and I wouldn't be surprised if something similar could be said for South American countries as well--I imagine their women dress in rather colorful attire).

The drab type of clothing I associate more with a Protestant Calvinistic heritage such as the original Puritans who seemed to dress colorlessly on purpose, which was probably consistent with an anti-sacramental view of the world.

So yes, modesty and style can work well together.

September 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm PST
#202  Nathan Trapuzzano - INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana

Mr. Keating said (post 192): "It's quite possible that Pius X's take on the Ordinary Form would be quite different from what you would suspect ... As far as "mainstream Catholic media" "bemoan[ing] the scandal inside the Church," it depends on what you identify as a scandal."

My comment was specifically about a "typical celebration of the OF Mass", not the OF Mass per se. I stand by that.

As for the "which scandal?" bit, I noticed you did not address the only scandal that I specifically brought up, namely, Cardinal Dolan and the baby-killer-in-chief.

September 9, 2013 at 4:07 am PST
#203  Diane Korzeniewski - Warren, Michigan

I just want to let everyone know how much I appreciate this thoughtful discussion.

As passionate as it may be, I also appreciate how most are staying on the high road.

I would like to see something in the future to include not just Karl, Pete, and Chris, but new generation traditionalists like Kevin.

September 9, 2013 at 5:02 am PST
#204  Lawrence Wayne - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Karl Keating(post 191):

Assuming all you say about Fr. Martin is true, it still doesn't explain why he would call a guy he never heard of(me) out of the blue to give advice(which was very sound and Catholic by any orthodox Catholic's measure of what is sound and Catholic), and then cultivate a friendship that didn't benefit him in any way whatsoever. I believe that the man had charity and compassion. I've met other people who have experienced the same thing regarding Malachi. Whatever one thinks of the man, his writing, or his opinions, he did seem to harbor genuine warmth for his fellow men. And, as St. James says, "charity covers a multitude of sins".

September 9, 2013 at 7:51 am PST
#205  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Lawrence Wayne: (post 204):

I didn't write anything against Malachi Martin as a man, about whether he was charitable or compassionate or warm. What I said is the he couldn't be trusted to represent his actual status at the Vatican--that is, that he wrote as though he had insider information that he in fact could not have had.

September 9, 2013 at 9:11 am PST
#206  Matthew Jenkins - Lakeville, Minnesota

Shawn McElhinney,

Thank you for the reply. My readings in defense of DH have generally consisted of Likoudis, Most, and Harrison.

Sorry, but it looks like I'm going to have to add your name to the list. Yes, I consider Mirari Vos, Quanta Cura, Immortale Dei, Libertas, Vehementer Nos, and Quas Primas, to be authoritative magisterial teaching. There is nothing I have ever seen that dictates otherwise. When popes, in their magisterial teaching, use terms like 'monstrous doctrines', 'errors', 'evil', 'pernicious', and 'obligations to Christ', they are not stating anything that can be construed as prudential judgments. This entire claim to prudential judgment smacks of an ongoing effort to relativize and ultimately delegitimize classical Church teaching in order to replace it with what is clearly a dalliance with modernist liberal political thinking.

I'm struck by the continued reference you make to DH being about civil teaching, and that this is somehow ground-breaking - leave aside for the moment Pacem in Terra that was issued two years earlier. How do the 1800s pronouncements NOT deal with civil authority? They certainly seem to.

I'll leave you with this quote:
“If there is only one true religion, and if its posssession is the most important good in life, for states as well as individuals, then the public profession, protection, and promotion of this religion and the legal prohibition of all direct assaults upon it, become one of the most obvious and fundamental duties of the state.”

That's from Msgr. John Ryan's book "Catholic Principles and Politics". That was written in the middle of the 20th century, and it is quite clear, firm, objective, and absolutist. Not something to contextualize, deconstruct, or churn through the reductionist mill.

Are you saying he got it wrong? He speaks in line with the tradition of the ages. How did all these folks get it so wrong for so long?

September 9, 2013 at 10:34 am PST
#207  Lawrence Wayne - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

To Karl Keating(205),

Understood. I personally just have a hard time reconciling the man I knew with someone who so many are basically calling a liar. Fr. Paul Marx said that he knew people in the Vatican who believed Martin was credible. Knowing so many people over the years, I still think he might have had good connections with insiders. But he's gone now, so it's a moot point I suppose.

Anyway, continue the conversation, people. It's one of the most interesting(and, for the most part, charitable) discussions on these issues I've seen on the internet for a long time.

September 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm PST
#208  Christopher Ferrara - Richmond, Virginia

To Diane Korzeniewski - #203

I'm ready, willing and able.

September 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm PST
#209  Christopher Ferrara - Richmond, Virginia

To Jonathan Liem - Singapore, #96
and to Karl

Jonathan, thanks for the enumeration of just a few of the signs of doctrinal and liturgical decay you have experienced, signs which are now so numerous that "silent apostasy," as John Paul II called it, is the only way to describe the situation.

The time is long past to stop straining at the traditionalist gnat while swallowing the Novus Ordo camel. "As we know," said Pope Benedict in his address to the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, "in vast areas of the earth faith risks being extinguished, *like a flame that is no longer fed.* We are facing *a profound crisis of faith,* a loss of the religious sense that constitutes the greatest challenge to the Church today."

There is no such crisis of faith in the traditional Latin Mass communities that are slowly multiplying around the world and are attracting more and more young people, yearning for substance.

The crisis, rather, is found entirely in those "vast areas" of the Church that have been subjected to a disastrous attempt to innovate her in virtually every department---beginning with a new liturgy that has clearly collapsed as Pope Benedict admitted when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. If the faith survives here, it is in spite of, not because of, the imaginary conciliar "renewal."

That is the self-evident truth in the matter, and until we all recognize it and steer together a course back toward Tradition, the crisis cannot be ended.

With that, I will depart this discussion and leave the last word to others.

God bless you all.

September 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm PST
#210  Pete Vere - Sault Ste Marie, Ontario

Chris (#208):

It probably got lost in the discussion, but I proposed Ottawa for a GREC-like gathering.

The city is ideal given that there are two university convention centers, the FSSP's flagship parish, a SSPX parish, the largest Catholic ecclesiastical library outside of Europe and several good restaurants and Irish pubs all within walking distance of each other. Additionally, as Canada's capital, it is easy to catch an international flight.

Also, keeping in mind that Canada is officially bilingual, the city is the capital for French-English translation - meaning that it would be relatively inexpensive to hire some good translators if some of the major players of the traditionalist movement in France were invited.

Karl (199):

Sadly, I did not harvest a bear this year, so my freezer remains empty for another couple weeks when a sheep I bought from a local farmer is taken to the slaughterhouse. Moose season is not for another couple months, but I am not likely to make it out this year.

Which reminds me, hunting a 1,500 pound bull moose through frozen swamp and dense under-bush is an activity unto itself. One does not use tree stands. Rather, one generally hunts moose as part of a team, in which good communication and contact is very important.

We use to have a ritual among the team prior to the hunt that involved cooking up and sharing a stew made from all sorts of small creatures we harvested in the woods. But after the whole geo-centrism debate (which reminds me, most of my hunting buds are fans of your show), we changed the ritual to visiting the local inexpensive Chinese buffet and sharing a big plate of fried rice on which each pours some soya sauce.

Which reminds me, sitting in a tree stand is always a good opportunity to catch up on Catholic reading. I don't know if you recall my glowing review of Jason's "If you really loved me," but that was read either from a tree stand or from a fishing boat.

September 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm PST
#211  Richard Chonak - Stoneham, Massachusetts

In regard to clothing "styles that were worn by Our Lady", Scripture doesn't describe our Lady's attire -- well, except for her lovely set of sun and moon in Rev. 12. But it is possible that DM Ferra is thinking of Our Lady's image in a case of private revelation.

One principle regarding legitimate private revelations is that belief in them is not necessary for salvation. That is, they are not part of the deposit of faith which all believers must hold, because they are post-apostolic events.

And since Catholics are not required to believe in them, they cannot be used as a basis for settling disputed questions, even about clothing styles.

September 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm PST
#212  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Richard Chonak (post 211):

Your post reminds me that, in private revelations, Our Lady generally has appeared clothed in a manner appropriate for the local culture. In the Far East, for example, she will be seen as wearing Oriental or Asian attire, not the attire of the ancient Holy Land.

September 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm PST
#213  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Pete Vere (post 208):

From the wording of your penultimate paragraph, I gather that your allusion is to a particular acquaintance of ours and to a visit he made to San Diego in 1993.

If that is so, I should inform you that pouring soy sauce onto fried rice, when in a Chinese restaurant, is of no matter. The Chinese who may observe you won't care.

The faux pas is to pour soy sauce into a bowl of steamed rice at a Japanese restaurant. Japanese just don't do that. (Unless they go to a Chinese restaurant, Japanese don't eat fried rice; steamed rice is their staple.)

September 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm PST
#214  Terrye Newkirk - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Pete, I vividly recall the "boogeyman" image of Karl you mention. I was, as I said, working at Catholic Answers when I first began assisting at TLM. I was active on several email groups, including the CIN traditionalist list. That group eventually migrated to Egroups, then Yahoo! My affiliation with CA was enough to get me banished, as it was apparently assumed I was a mole gathering info for Karl. ;-) Even after I was living as a hermit nun at Clear Creek, there were some who continued to regard me with suspicion because of my past employment at CA.

September 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm PST
#215  Pete Vere - Sault Ste Marie, Ontario

Karl (213) and Terrye (214):

LOL! I still get a laugh out of the whole soya sauce incident. What made it funny for me though (and I'm to work, so I must defer sharing my recollection until I get home this evening) is that it was the one allegation against you and Catholic Answers that I continued to believe for years - even after I had realized the other allegations against you were bunk, and you and I were reconciled (thanks again, Terrye, for all you did to encourage me to reconcile with Karl!)

September 10, 2013 at 4:24 am PST
#216  Diane Korzeniewski - Warren, Michigan

If you guys meet in Ottawa, please record it and offer it online or something.

I've learned a lot from the discussion. The less polemical points made here, were the most informative. Some good points were lost when people tried to score points on "cuteness" or just couldn't moderate their tongues.

But, overall, this is how Catholics should disagree with one another - with some level of calm and reasoning. You guys have the ability to influence how other Catholics talk about these things by how you carry yourselves, not just here, but outside of here - publicly, and privately.

My prayers to you all.

Pete - I really hope someone can translate that 6 volume work on DH into English. When you think about the volumes of works written on the Blessed Virgin Mary, just in the last 50 years, it could all fill a library. That 6 volumes were written on one subject, to answer many questions people had -- no, that is not excessive, imho. I don't know how one can critique a work without having read it.

September 11, 2013 at 5:27 am PST
#217  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

#196 Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Staff

I quote:
"You paint so broadly that you paint falsely. There are 17,000 parishes in the U.S. You suggest that in all of them the "hard teachings" are not taught and, worse, that all these parishes "specialize in all forms of sacrilege."

It's talk like this the makes people think Traditionalists aren't qualified to be part of the discussion. That's unfair to the large majority of Traditionalists, of course, but it's an understandable reaction since what you say is gross nonsense and betrays a lack of knowledge of the wider Church on your part."

Mr. Keating, I truly wonder why you are not willing to admit what is so painfully obvious, and heartbreakingly so?

You have tried to dismiss me and make me look foolish with a belittling characterization, tossing me aside as one "not qualified to be part of the discussion".

Well, I will quote from individuals you find more credible who have already said what I have only repeated; and these remarks have already been quoted earlier by Christopher Ferrara:

"continuing process of decay," (Cardinal Ratzinger) "collapse of the liturgy," (Cardinal Ratzinger), "silent apostasy" (Pope John Paul II), and "so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy trivialized" (Pope Benedict XVI)

Mr. Keating, why do you continue to ignore the candid, transparent observations by such individuals whom, I presume, you hold in esteem, and pretend it's not happening?

As to the sacrileges I refer to, I think the fact that at least 50% of all Catholic women in the 17,000 parishes you refer to, who are now practicing artificial birth control and who regularly go to Holy Communion while in complete resistance to Catholic moral teaching; the countless "occasional" Catholics who continue to present themselves for Holy Communion while never once going to Confession for years at a time; the Catholics who put Obama into office while continuing to frequent Holy Communion as we are now confronted with the HHS Mandate and Obamacare these Catholics made possible with their votes; the manner in which the Eucharist is carelessly handled without regard for all the fragments falling to the floor and being trampled upon after receiving Holy Communion, (I have collected discarded hosts from the floors of Novus Ordo Churches following Mass) etc. etc. etc.

All of these examples of sacrileges are taking place in ALL of the 17,000 Novus Ordo parishes to which you refer. And it is rare to find a priest with the courage to raise his voice against them.

The sacrileges are not, however, taking place in the Traditional Mass communities. There are Confession lines before every single Mass; families have 6, 7, 8 and 12 children, vocations spring forth in very high numbers, and so forth.

The Novus Ordo ship is sinking. It cannot renew itself, and scarcely produces any religious vocations to the priesthood and religious life to keep its convents and seminaries from closing.

Only the Traditional-minded orders and seminaries are drawing a disproportionately high percentage of vocations.

Vocations are from God, and God knows where to lead souls. It is not into the Modernist wasteland of the Novus Ordo at large.

September 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm PST
#218  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

#195 Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Staff

I quote:
"And the clothing worn by the Fatima seers? I never have mentioned what they wore either.

Why are you imagining that I've said anything about their clothing or Our Lady's? How do you come up with such stuff?"

Mr. Keating, perhaps my wording of that sentence confused you.

I was indicating that the "Amish" styles you seemed to find it necessary to comment upon happen ALSO to be the very same styles that the seers of Fatima wore in scarcely more than a single lifetime ago, as well as being similar to the manner in which Our Lady chose to appear when coming to us from Heaven.

And Our Lady deemed the question of fashions to be of such serious import that She thought it necessary to mention to the seers that future styles would offend God, and besought the faithful not to "follow fashions".

Honestly, Mr. Keating. If I were you, given the unspeakable crisis in this world and in the Church, and the reality that these Traditional communities -- virtually alone -- have established bulwarks against the disintegration of the Faith among their congregations, I would be truly embarrassed to waste time on such inanities.

As for the "hyperbolic" characterization you have so smugly applied to Traditionalists, it would seem that the dire warnings of Fatima are insufficient to raise in you any similar degree of alarm.

Perhaps it would seem that Our Lady was "hyperbolic" in warning that:
- "entire nations will be annihilated",
- "the good will be martyred",
- in showing the 3 tenderly young children a terrifying vision of hell with souls screaming in terror and being tormented by demons whose bodies were like glowing coals,
- in predicting the loss of the dogma of the Faith by inference (given the "part" of Her sentence that was shared explicitly) when She said "In Portugal the dogma of faith will always be preserved, etc....",
- showing the seers a vision of a city in ruins with the dead corpses of religious scattered about the landscape;
- showing the seers a vision of Angels endeavoring to strike the earth with fire as they cried "Penance, Penance, Penance!", and they would have brought devastation upon mankind if not for the intervention of Our Lady.

All these seems rather "hyperbolic", no?

If after having read the accounts of the apparitions of Fatima with a keenly sympathetic heart, I don't know how anyone is not moved to alarm, especially when one also considers that all the unspeakable horrors of World War II were only a consequence of our not having sufficiently responded to that message.

I don't consider Traditionalists "hyperbolic". I consider them realists who are raising an alarm completely consistent with the pleas and prophecies of Our Lady of Fatima, and the wrenching observations of recent Popes who have decried the damage to the Faith now widely evident within the Church.

When the enemy is within the gates, one raises the alarm; one doesn't continue to optimistically comment on what has managed to escape devastation for the time being.

September 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm PST
#219  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

I would also like to comment on Traditional priests who earlier had to leave the regular diocesan seminaries because of rampant homosexuality, or because they were hounded and vilified because of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or for their personal piety in praying the Rosary, and such things as spending time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and more.

I have these testimonies firsthand from many, many good Traditional priests who had to leave Novus Ordo seminaries and finally join FSSP, or some entered SSPX or became independent priests years back.

Wonderful diocesan priests who are the soul of orthodoxy were put "out to pasture" so to speak, or penalized and persecuted because they did not go along with the Modernist agenda.

These heartbroken priests had to turn to Traditional orders, seminaries and faith communities to live their faith in its integrity and without compromise.

I know so many priests to whom this has happened that I have lost *****. They are UNDOUBTEDLY among the most highly educated, devout and dedicated priests I know.

I know of one tragic young man who entered the seminary in Californis and was so scandalized and later corrupted by the homosexuality which he found there that he finally left the seminary and ultimately led a homosexual lifestyle.

He recently died of AIDS, and I ask your prayers for his poor soul.

The priests and seminaries I am referring to are not from a single diocese, but from dioceses on both coasts and throughout the *****ry.

So many, many priests punished for being all that they should be, priests after Our Lord's own Heart. These good, holy priests are vilified, and the villains are kept in their positions within the dioceses and parishes.

How can this not be called "chaos", "silent apostasy" and more, when seminaries devour and destroy their own vocations, so to speak?

What is going on here? There is a "diabolical disorientation" within the Church, as Sister Lucia of Fatima summed it up. And this is an assessment made by a seer who had many exchanges with Christ and His Blessed Mother about the crises of our times.

How can anything anyone would say about this -- Traditionalist or not -- be characterized with the derogatory term "hyperbolic"?

I attempted to contact some years back the local Novus Ordo Religious Ed office in my town with the view of possibly helping with catechetical instruction.

Upon speaking to the person in charge, I was told that Adam and Eve are simply legends, and so many other things that I realized any attempt to work within their guidelines would amount to not teaching the Catholic Faith at all!

Their First Communion catechisms did not even mention the Real Presence! I finally had to give up.

How could one not see that the Novus Ordo Church is in dire straits, "silent apostasy", as Pope John Paul II characterized it?

Why not give Tradition and those faithful who are preserving it as they received it down through the centuries the thanks and credit they are due, rather than belittling and caricaturing them?

September 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm PST
#220  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

The comment load process replaced words with *****

The first one is: I have lost *****

The second is: throughout the *****ry

September 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm PST
#221  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

DM Ferra (post 219):

There is no such thing as "the Novus Ordo Church." The term "Novus Ordo" is used properly only as an indicator of the revised form of the liturgy, as instituted originally under Pope Paul VI. The term is not properly applied to the Church itself.

You refer to "the local Novus Ordo Religious Ed office." You should have written, "the local diocese's Religious Ed office" or "the local Church's Religious Ed office."

When you use "Novus Ordo" to refer to the Church, you create a mental divide between the "real" Church (the segment you identify with) and the Church to which the entire hierarchy and virtually all the world's Catholics belong, the so-called "Novus Ordo Church." The implication is that "the Novus Ordo Church" somehow is illegitimate.

You may not intend to convey that, but that's what your phrasing conveys. You should change your phrasing.

September 13, 2013 at 10:00 am PST
#222  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

Karl Keating (#221)

QUOTE:
"When you use "Novus Ordo" to refer to the Church, you create a mental divide between the "real" Church (the segment you identify with) and the Church to which the entire hierarchy and virtually all the world's Catholics belong, the so-called "Novus Ordo Church." The implication is that "the Novus Ordo Church" somehow is illegitimate."

Yes, you are quite right, Mr. Keating. We are all the same Catholic Church and the term Novus Ordo refers to the new rite of the Mass instituted under Pope Paul VI. I should be more precise instead of making assumptions that everyone understands my intent.

However, while I have been a Traditionalist for 35 years, I have never once felt I was the "real" Church, while the Novus Ordo was not. Nor have I ever questioned -- or even been tempted to question -- the validity of the Mass, not once.

In fact, since we do not live near our traditional parish which we attend on Sundays, I normally attend daily Mass in Novus Ordo parishes, and I also belonged to a Third Order within a Novus Ordo parish for 25 of those 35 years as a Traditionalist.

I have absolutely no animosity toward those who attend the Novus Ordo Mass, and -- in fact -- I respect them just as highly as I do Traditionalists. Each one is a soul precious to God, seeking to find Him by the best means they know how.

However, my concerns are with all the troubling developments I see within these parishes, among the faithful themselves, the administration of the Sacraments, and the pervasive absence of catechesis, often despite the good will of many of the faithful who attend the Novus Ordo.

I myself find that the Novus Ordo Mass has a deleterious effect on me and I must consciously guard myself against the laxity which I see at that Mass as concerns the Blessed Sacrament, where I often see it handled by lay people going to and from the Tabernacle, receiving Holy Communion in track suits, shorts, etc., and treating the Blessed Sacrament as a "thing" instead of a "Person"; as well as the Protestant tenor of the Mass which seems to drain the supernatural from the liturgy, along with priests who use the Mass as an opportunity to provide comedic relief for those who attend, or rebuke those who kneel for Holy Communion (which happened to a dear friend of ours); and the faithful who stand around the church laughing and talking loudly after Mass as though one were in an auditorium.

And these are among the most conservative Novus Ordo parishes I have seen in the country.

When I attend the Tridentine Mass, it is profoundly formative, and I leave the Mass clearly better for it.

The form of Mass itself governs and informs the behaviors of those who attend. No one talks after Mass, or if they do, it is in whispers. Everyone goes to Holy Communion in a spirit of profound recollection and if you were to look at the entire congregation after they received Holy Communion, virtually everyone has their heads bowed in profound prayer and thanksgiving.

The decorum of the priests themselves is a sermon in self-possession and piety at Holy Mass. At these masses, one is plunged into a sense of the eternal, of the sacral and the majesty of God -- even at a daily low Mass.

The form of the Tridentine Mass is such that it communicates things divine to the soul almost effortlessly.

Traditionalism is not about cultural preferences; it is about the pursuit of a rite worthy of the worship of God and a rite capable of forming our souls in the proper dispositions toward Him and for the fruitful reception of the Sacraments.

September 13, 2013 at 6:09 pm PST
#223  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

One final example of how great the LOSS OF FAITH in the Real Presence and the mysteries of the Holy Mass is in most "Novus Ordo" parishes, and then I will quietly slip away.

Such examples serve to show that the alarm of Traditionalists is by no means unwarranted.

One day I was praying before the Tabernacle (which of course was relegated to the side of the church) in the local parish in my community shortly before the Saturday evening Mass was to begin.

The woman sacristan -- that is, the person charged with preparing for Mass -- was getting things ready for the evening Mass.

I heard her preparing things because the Sacristy door was open.

Just as I knelt there directly in front of the Tabernacle, just feet away, she came out from the Sacristy carrying a ciborium which she had just filled with new, UN-consecrated hosts.

She very matter-of-factly opened the tabernacle (of course without any sign of reverence or genuflection) and very neatly placed this ciborium with unconsecrated hosts into the Tabernacle with the other sacred vessels and returned to the Sacristy.

She had no idea either of the fact that the hosts in the Tabernacle are "different" (hopefully) from new ones because they have become the Body and Blood of Christ, and/or that this takes place at the Mass, and ciboria with new hosts should be placed on the altar for the Consecration which will change them into the Body and Blood of Christ.

This is the woman charged with matters liturgical in preparing for Mass....a Catholic woman who has no idea what is going on.

I was stunned. I noted there was a priest present in the back of the church and -- risking that he might consider me to be interfering -- I explained to him what the woman had just done.

He raced to the Sacristy and I could hear him remonstrating her. He then removed the ciborium from the Tabernacle.

HOW MANY TIMES, I suddenly began to wonder, has this happened there and in other parishes....?!

So I mentioned this to a priest I know at our traditional parish -- he being previously of the Novus Ordo before finding it necessary to leave his diocese and join FSSP.

He indicated that while he was in the Novus Ordo parish, he noticed that he never had to consecrate new hosts, and just assumed the pastor was doing it.

But alas! He later learned that was not the case. He also found that the sacristan was doing the same thing as this woman had done.

The sacristan was simply refilling ciboria with new, unconsecrated hosts and placing it in the tabernacle before each Mass.

How many months and/or years were the faithful at Mass receiving hosts that had never been consecrated?

How many parishes is this happening in?

It is aptly termed "absolute chaos" when one cannot go to the Novus Ordo Mass and know for certain that the host they receive from the tabernacle has even been consecrated; and when those responsible for such things do not even know the hosts SHOULD be consecrated by the priest at Mass AND that the consecrated hosts uniquely become the Body and Blood of Christ.

Appearances of quasi-order within some parishes simply mask the near-demolition of faith in many Catholic souls.

September 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm PST
#224  Jacob Flaherty - Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Karl Keating (221)

It's a little disappointing that you didn't get at the heart of what Ms. Ferra was talking about in 219, 222 and 223. To read her whole article and then point out that she shouldn't use the term 'Novus Ordo parish' neglects a large portion of what was otherwise a very thoughtful number of reflections.

I grew up in a parish that, on the top of the weekly bulletin wrote Church of **********, A Vatican II Parish. So it seems that some actually WANT to be known in the way you rebuked Ms. Ferra for describing.

Anyway, in this parish, we did some things really well, some things completely made up, and other things very poorly. I know of a very, very few people in the parish who have kept the Faith. (I was very involved in my parish - was in the choir for fifteen years (from fifth grade past college), lectured, played the organ, helped serve soup suppers, turkey dinners, coached the junior high baseball team for seven years, directed three junior high musicals, etc...) The level of return we're getting on the investment is nearly a trickle. The school closed a few years back, the church has combined with another parish and will be gone in three or less years. Almost all of the people I associated with, (both my peers and those quite a bit older than me) have left the practice of the Faith.

Painfully, my sister just this past weekend "married" her "girlfriend". Neither of my brothers, my mom, dad, or I attended. Almost all of our Catholic cousins, aunts, uncles, my grandma, childhood friends, adults in the parish I trusted back then, attended. They took pictures with the "brides", put them on facebook, berated me on my wall for not going, telling me how much a bigot and a fundamentalist I've been, etc... I said I was trying to be faithful.

Karl, the way things are going, people aren't getting fed with the very essence of our Faith and I'm sick of it. I'm not some guy who has any familiarity with the nicknames the different sides give each other. I know that a very easy temptation for traditionalists is to angrily cast down anyone who doesn't agree with them. The truth must be presented lovingly!

If a Novus Ordo Mass is said as the rubrics indicate without any of the innovations that have seemingly sprung up from the dirt, I have no issue. My real issue is the way it's said in the majority of places in the west.

To that I concur with someone when they wrote about straining the gnat of traditionalism while swallowing the camel of the routine experience of the Novus Ordo Mass. How about Catholic Answers doing workshops or talks on how to get this majority of U.S. parishes back into liturgical union with the way the rite should be celebrated? The real problem isn't New Age-ism or Free Masonry. The real problem is Unbelief stemming from a way of worshipping that suggests that God is our chummy buddy who couldn't care less how or what we do. This kind of worshipping is killing off my peers (I'm 31 years old) and is stripping their children of a chance to grow up enlivened by the Faith. How then will they achieve or even seek the purpose of life - to know, love, and serve God in this life so as to be happy with Him forever in the next?

September 19, 2013 at 11:35 am PST
#225  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

I continue to ponder the exchanges that have taken place in this thread and the typical traditionalist caricatures that have been thrown about, instead of congratulating traditionalists for having done a fine job of preserving the faith and sacred worship of God, when the Novus Ordo parishes are places of ongoing sacriligious Communions, empty confessionals, emptying pews and a virtual total wash-out as far as Catholics who live the faith with integrity goes, as also attested to by Mr. Flaherty (#224).

And as I pondered this, I thought of how so many say that traditionalists can be so "uncharitable", that the truth has to be said "nicely", and on and on and on....

Well, at 21 years of age, I was brought back the Catholic Faith by a "traditionalist" priest who verbally slapped me in the face and rebuked me for the way I was dressing, and then further rebuked me for other things I was doing that "everyone else" was doing and which I hadn't even thought about as being wrong.

This "traditionalist" priest rattled me to the core of my being, made me THINK and CONVERTED me to the life-long fervent practice of the holy Catholic Faith. He was anything but sweet and gushy. He verbally rebuked me and stunned me into waking up.

THAT'S LOVE....I myself have never seen a Novus Ordo priest do that; and if such exists, he is rare indeed. Who knows where I would be today if not for that priest's intervention in my life.

And then I thought more about it, and realized that Christ was angry enough to take a whip and drive out the money changers from the temple, THROWING OVER THEIR TABLES AND REBUKING THEM FIERCELY because they had made His Father's house of place of iniquity.

Christ called St. Peter a "satan" when Peter wished to act from too human motives.

Christ uttered the "Woes", and railed against the Pharisees, who placed their comfort and prestige above a living faith. He condemned them for false teachings and for being "blind guides" leading others into the pit.

And yet we see that EVERYWHERE in the Novus Ordo parishes of the Catholic Church today: blind guides leading others into the pit because they will not shed the blinding light of truth into their souls....No, they are too "gun-shy" for that, as confessed Cardinal Dolan when asked about the serving up of hard moral teachings to the faithful.

What think you would Christ say about blind guides leading the blind today in the Catholic Church; about what has been done to His Father's House when the Eucharist is trampled upon?

As mentioned above, one day I picked up a partially consumed host from A PILE OF GARBAGE THE JANITOR WAS SWEEPING UP!

What think you Christ would say about the Eucharistic Ministers on birth control pills (which are an abortifacient) who distribute Holy Communion to the faithful. Or about the decanters of Precious Blood that are unceremoniously dumped out in sacristies because the priests consecrate so much wine for Communion under both species and then do not want to consume it afterwards (as if we do not receive both the Body and Blood of Christ in the Host); or the ciboriums left filled with consecrated particles and just carried about mindlessly and left aside to purify sometime later on a sacristy shelf. I have first-hand accounts of all of this.

Yes, what think you Christ would say to the priests who are silent, silent, silent about birth control with their congregations, who joke at Mass and feel compelled to entertain those in attendance at the holy mysteries; about all the huggy kissy handshakes and waving just as we stand before the altar on which rests the immolated Body and Blood of Christ -- the eternal re-presentation of Calvary; the laughing and joking in the aisles after Mass?

Seriously, which one of the respondents on this blog has not seen comedy relief time and again at the Novus Ordo masses?

What would Christ say in the face of all this if He resorted to using a whip on the money changers because they defiled the temple of God......?

Well, I will quote Pope St. Pius X. He answered that question when some misguided soul begged him to "go soft" on the Modernists.

Pope St. Pius X replied "Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists...see how he (God) treated the Philistines, the sowers of error, the wolves in sheep's clothing, the traitors in the temple. He scourged them with whips."

That is how Traditionalists have felt for decades in seeing the churches of God defiled. They saw this coming 40 years ago and it ate away at them, heart and soul. They have been mocked and caricatured, when they should have been heeded. Had they been so, Christ would have been less offended, less abused and more universally revered in the Sacrament of His love. Had they been so, there might be more than a dying faith in the souls of so many Catholics today.

September 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm PST
#226  Mark Roland - King City, California

****

September 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm PST
#227  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

I want to share some comments I have just come across made in response to a video available on YouTube consisting of excerpts from the Papal Mass for World Youth Day on July 28, 2013, earlier this year.

This is further proof of the "absolute chaos" in the Novus Ordo rite.

Holy Communion was distributed largely using plastic cups; many present were in bathing suits; and directly before and after receiving Holy Communion, many of those present jumped into the ocean to frolic in the waves in a semi-nude condition.

Several comments on this spectacle serve to show how many souls have found in necessary to seek refuge and sanity in the Traditional Rite in order to preserve their faith, and how exposure to the Novus Ordo rite undermines it.

Notice from these comments how it was the *Traditionalist* youths who still have enough "sensus Catholicus" to be afflicted by the spectacle at this Mass. Unfortunately, it may also have had the effect of damaging their faith.

* "When I sought baptism into Holy Mother Church (as an adult) in 1998, I kept asking "when does the Catholic part start?". I kept asking that problem for years, until I finally, by the grace of God, was introduced to the True Mass of All Ages, as well to Her Doctrines that lived (and still live on, under eclipse), for nearly 20 centuries. Beware of the wolves in "sheep" clothing. Especially what is coming from Rome. Our Lady of LaSalette was right on."

* "As a Protestant convert, this made me cringe. Seems the Church is rushing into Protestantism while every Protestant is really crying out for the Holy Church."

* "I was there that day. There was much suffering that day. Especially for the traditional youth that went. It was sad that there was so little reverence. People in skimpy bikinis playing in the beach, then going still barely clad to receive Jesus from a Lady "communion minister" in their hands. There are so many other instances that I can state, but I think it's more important to focus on prayer."

* "I feel so bad for the Traditional Youth who said they were there expecting to enjoy the Papal audience and have their Catholic Faith renewed perhaps? The experience left them both disappointed and confused, it sounds like. Personally, how can it even be considered SAFE with that huge number of people? It can't be! And whose bright idea was it to have Mass with the Pope on the Brazilian Beach? Next time maybe Vegas? So Sad."

* "More prayer is needed. Much more prayer is needed."

* "There were certainly plenty of ego-trippers. Plenty of illicit un-liturgical behaviours. Plenty of profanity. The Cardinals and a pope were looking on and giving credibility to it all. We can also see that bikinis are now acceptable at the Novos Ordo ritual. Vatican Conciliar II liberal modernism has replaced orthodoxy and Sacred Tradition. It is worthy of any modern techno concert - rock stars, loud music, a swaying audience, some hysteria and a well-oiled publicity bandwagon."

* "This is so sad, the saddest thing is I work with young people within Novus Ordo set in my diocese and I try at least to get them to see reverence within this Mass, yet its feels that all my hard work has been done through taking them to World Youth Day. Seriously WYD is damaging to young people souls, it really is a Catholic Woodstock. We need Pope Francis to bring some order to this mess!"

* "O' how Our Lord Jesus Christ must be weeping.:"

* "Absolutely shocking! May God help us all."

September 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm PST
#228  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

More evidence of the "absolute chaos" in the Catholic Church within the Novus Ordo rite.

Today I received a letter from "The Latin Mass" Magazine, which is an apostolate of Keep the Faith, a Traditionalist apostolate.

The letter opens with the following heartbreaking, disturbing plea from a seminarian in a diocesan seminary:

********
"I am in my first year at the seminary and I do pray that I will be able to survive. With a sad heart I have come to realize that if I am to have a good Catholic formation, I need to seek OUTSIDE THE SEMINARY....Keep The Faith will be one of the ways that this can be possible."

********

This seminarian is one of countless seminarians who cannot even find the Catholic Faith being taught in its integrity in diocesan seminaries.

They have to look outside these seminaries for solid Catholic teaching.

Not only that, they have to HIDE their own orthodoxy in order to make it to Ordination. NOTE: I did not say they were "traditionalists", but simply orthodox in their Catholic beliefs. They are, in fact, seeking to be ordained to celebrate the Novus Ordo, but will never be admitted to Ordination if they show any aversion to Modernism.

This is a fact I have learned firsthand from priests who made it through the diocesan seminaries ONLY by hiding the fact that they were not modernists and that they held positions thoroughly consistent with the Catholic Faith of the ages, but which are inimical to modernism -- i.e. simple, unadulterated Catholicism.

This poor seminarian whose plea is quoted above is obviously so distraught about what he is finding in this diocesan seminary, that he doesn't even know if he will "be able to survive", and that he will need to seek "a good Catholic formation...OUTSIDE THE SEMINARY".

This is an example of what I mentioned above: Catholic seminaries devouring and destroying their BEST priestly vocations!!

Then, there is a great lament about the lack of vocations!! There are none because so many good ones are destroyed, and God will not continue to bless such seminaries with more vocations.

Whereas, the traditional seminaries have no lack of vocations. I will quote approximate numbers recently shared with me.

The FSSP seminary had roughly *250* applications for only 80 seats available in the seminary. They had to turn away 2/3's of the applicants for lack of space (!).

Yes, there is "absolute chaos" in the Catholic Church's Novus Ordo rite. Only in the Traditional communities can one find sanity, consistent orthodoxy and a safe harbor in which to live out ones Catholic faith with the support of good, holy and fervent priests who immolate themselves for souls and the glory of God.

September 27, 2013 at 11:08 am PST
#229  Pegon Zellschmidt - Covington, Louisiana

#179 Ben Lopez

You write "e.g.. they've had inserts in the bulletin and admonishment about appropriate attire for Holy Mass, etc.."
Would "they" be the laity? Has your priest "obsessed" over abortion, contraception or for that matter appropriate attire from the pulpit?
You write "I thought the liturgical experience was very beautiful. However, I'll never forget the highly uncomfortable feeling I had when we left that day…"
What caused you to go from a beautiful liturgical experience to leaving with a highly uncomfortable feeling? Frankly, I've arrived at the exact feeling sans the beautiful liturgical experience in Novus Ordo parishes.
One such experience, before we were 'allowed' a TLM and as I was trying my best to get back to the Church after 35 years, was when Mass started and in walked the priest with his altar boys from the rear of the church. As he passed I couldn't help but notice how he carried himself, nodding and smiling from side to side. I thought for sure he was going to hand me a campaign button. His Alb? looked like he had just pulled up to the curb outside the church and pulled it out of the trunk of his car. This priest didn't seem to be "obsessed with abortion, homosexuality and contraception" as his homily was about 'My Excellent Adventure to the Grand Tetons of Wyoming' with his 'friend?'. Mother Gaia on parade.
The TLM brought me back to the Church; 165 miles round trip each Sunday. In 1984, John Paul ii called for "a wide and generous application". They definitely got the "wide" down pat.

September 29, 2013 at 9:32 am PST
#230  Pegon Zellschmidt - Covington, Louisiana

'...Franciscans of the Immaculate—a Traditionalist group of which Marshall is an associate member! In other words, Marshall is a Traditionalist himself.'

'The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have grown rapidly, and became especially prominent in traditionalist circles. But the group has also been torn by internal disputes-- including disputes over liturgical practices.'

One would think you would have been up to speed, Karl.

February 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm PST
#231  DM Ferra - Washington, New Jersey

QUOTE FROM NEWS RELEASE:

"Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church."

"Rome (kath.net / KNA) Ignorance of Catholic doctrine among bishops and theologians is in the opinion of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller (photo), the main reason for the current "chaos" in the Church. Given the internal Church debate on marriage and family the "unadulterated Catholic doctrine" is in danger, said the German cardinal and ecclesiastical historian of the Italian newspaper "Il Foglio" (Thursday).

"Under bishops, preachers, catechists and "especially among moral theology professors", there is  often prevails an absence or lack of  clarity about the doctrine, complained Brandmüller. Adding to the resulting confusion are bishops who claim that the Catholic moral teaching is not up to date."

ttp://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2014/03/cardinal-brandmuller-complains-of-chaos.html?m=1

For the record, I guess Cardinal Brandmuller needs to be classified as a hyperbolic traditionalist.

It was reported today that he, too, is complaining of the "chaos" in the Catholic Church.

March 29, 2014 at 5:02 pm PST

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