Tag Archives: Church Crisis

Responding to Adam…

In late December, I began an animated video series that features the attempts of a Novus Ordo pastor to reindoctrinate a group of Traditional Catholics in the wake of the Motu Proprio from Rome. The cartoon follows Father Timmy of “Saint Silly’s” parish as he attempts to show the Trads (whose church has been shut down and taped off) how good things are in the post-Vatican II Church.

The videos have been very successful (by Catholic Cyber-Militia standards, anyways; but then again the bar is pretty low). They’ve drawn way more viewers and comments than our videos normally do. The comments are, by and large, positive. There have been a few negative comments worth pondering as well. One was from a guy who didn’t like the robot voices I used to animate the cartoon. Gotta say I agree with him. Real human voice actors are always better!

And there were several more serious comments, the most thoughtful of which were from a viewer named Adam. They are thought-provoking, and my thoughts have been provoked, else this whole tedious blog post wouldn’t have been written. But I digress…

Some of Adam’s comments included the following:

Wow. And Trads wonder why Pope Francis thinks they are uncharitable…… This whole video is disgusting. This won’t heal the rift in our Church. When the motu proprio was released, so many Trads suggested that the best way to deal with it was with extreme charity and love, and to prove the Holy Father wrong in his reading of Traditional Catholics. I’m seeing none of that here…..You’re just reinforcing what people already think Trads are like…. Sarcastic, holier than though, rigid, prideful, and uncharitable. That’s all I see here.

And Adam certainly has a point with some of his points.  When this motu proprio crisis first broke last July, I added my feeble voice to the Trad online maelstrom of responses, warning that “now is not the time for nastiness.”  I expect I followed my own advice in a less than perfect manner.  And yet, the bosses in Rome can’t expect us to not fight back.  Many are fighting back eloquently, citing the words of men like Pope St. Pius V to point out the ridiculousness of Traditionis Custodes, and highlighting all the inconsistencies of that mean-spirited motu proprio.  I really have nothing of any significant intellectual value to add to those arguments, but I did want to respond.  I chose the path of humor (or at least my odd interpretation of humor) and started making some videos like the one below (the video he responded to is linked at the bottom of this article). 

Adam was sincere in his criticism, and here is my response:

Thank you, Adam, for your comments!  They’re most welcome here, and I do want to respond to some of the points you made. 

I never imagined the video as a tool for healing the “rift in the Church.”  And indeed, there’s no denying that a rift exists; it’s a big one.  The rift, however, is entirely of the Modernists’ making.  They were the ones that went absolutely ape in their wild interpretations of the Vatican II documents.  So much damage was done in the name of that so-called “spirit of Vatican II.”  A rift was inevitable, and one can argue that a rift was exactly what men like Bugnini (the chief architect of the New Mass) had in mind.  Even Pope Francis himself seems to confirm the existence of the rift in the words he uses in his motu proprio and the accompanying cover letter.  This silly little video of mine was not designed to heal the rift; its intent was to use humor to point out the rift’s very existence.  I think most of the video’s viewers already knew of the rift, but you see some comments indicating that more than a few Catholics only became aware of this crisis over the course of the past few years.

You point out that when this motu proprio first hit us, many Traditional Catholics advised a mild response.  If we respond with love, kindness, and charity, we’ll prove the Pope wrong.  That’s a bit naïve.  Pope Francis knew exactly what he was doing when he issued Traditiones Custodes.  He was declaring an open war of extermination on people like me and many of the Catholics who watched this video.  It is erroneous to assume that the motu proprio was simply a reaction to Trads being nasty on social media, as some claim.  His hostility to Tradition goes back years.  He never misses an opportunity to attack Trads.  You yourself have used his favorite insult:  “rigid.”  He thinks adhering to the teachings of the Church which date back to the time of the Apostles, believing what has always been believed, is somehow bad.  To Francis, “rigid” in the most damning of accusations.  For us, “rigid” is a badge of honor.  (As a side note, another word Francis has used to describe us is “coprophagia.” Very merciful description, that…)

Traditional Catholics are seeing none of the mercy extended by Francis to just about every group imaginable.  No “accompaniment” for us.  No “going to the peripheries” to conduct “dialogue” with us.  Instead of dialogue/mercy/etc., we are assaulted with cruel and vindictive order to cease worshipping in the manner in which Catholics have worshipped for well over a thousand years, with instructions for immediate execution of the same.  As Bishop Athanasius Schneider put it, “My initial impression was of a shepherd who instead of having the smell of his sheep, is angrily beating them with a stick.”

No, the Pope isn’t merely destroying 1500+ years of worship because guys like me make fun of the post-Vatican II Church and all its odd novelties.  This was part of his agenda for a very long time.  There is a very large faction in the Church hierarchy (the majority, one suspects) who see the Traditional Latin Mass as a threat to their agenda.  That’s the real issue we’re dealing with here.

As our way of worship is systematically exterminated before our very eyes, we are told that we MUST return to the Novus Ordo Mass as a sign of unity.  As you might be able to tell from these videos, there’s more than a little evidence that something’s a bit “off” with the New Mass.  These abuses are not universal; the more extreme ones are less common now than they were for decades.  Other abuses, such as the ill-advised practice of receiving Communion in the hand, however, are widespread.  As are the insipid homilies, the ambiguous doctrinal teachings, the general lack of reverence.  If they truly want us to return to the Novus Ordo Mass, they had better get hot in addressing the flaws, errors, abuses and bad practices which make it the way it is. 

That being said, I know many good priests who are Novus Ordo priests and even more good people who are Novus Ordo parishioners.  I wish them nothing but the best, and I hope that their rite can be reformed to the point where the types of things we see at our fictional “Saint Sillys” can rapidly become a thing of the past.  But the fact remains that our Pontiff has declared open war on Tradition—not just the Mass, but Tradition itself.  By his cruel diktats, he has made it clear that he wants us wiped from the face of the Earth.  He is wrong.  He is in error.  He will be resisted.  May our good Lord grant Pope Francis the gift of true conversion, and may he yet become the sort of man God truly intends him to be. 

Thanks again, Adam, for your comments.  I hope you continue to tune in.

And here’s the video in question: 

Novus Ordo: The Unique Expression!

Traditional Catholics! This video will help you appreciate the importance of the Motu Proprio. After viewing, you will understand why your traditional Latin Mass must be eliminated. If not, then you are ordered to watch the video again. We want you to return to the New Church. The Novus Ordo Church. It’s the spirit of Vatican II. All are welcome. You must return, or else. Set this video on continual repeat and watch it as many times as necessary until you are fully indoctrinated. Our Red Chinese Patriotic Church bishops recommend that you watch this video after 48 to 72 hours of sleep deprivation. This will increase the efficacy of your re-education session. We look forward to seeing you at the Novus Ordo Mass!

What’s It Gonna Be?

The war of extermination against Traditional Catholicism is relentless. At some point, everyone’s going to be forced to choose a side. Will you side with the heterodox extremists who have captured the hierarchy and are now openly flirting with apostasy, or will you side with those teachings and beliefs which have always been the Church’s true heritage since the times of the Apostles?

Hank Igitur is off wandering in the woods as he ponders this. Not only does he wander, but his thoughts do as well. We hope a nice ranger finds him and leads him back to his RV before he gets eaten by a raccoon or something…

Waging War on Traditional Catholics

Peter Kwasniewski has written a book titled From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’ War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio TRADITIONES CUSTODES on the Latin Mass. It’s a compilation of essays and articles from a number of authors.

If you are a traditional Catholic, it’s must reading.

If you’re not a traditional Catholic, but have heard there’s some sort of trouble brewing between Pope Francis and traditional Catholics, the book From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’ War gives you some eye-opening insight on just how dangerous Francis’ actions are to the Faith of our Fathers.

You can order the book from Angelico Press, or from a variety of other online sources.

Excerpts from Kwasniewski’s book…

Traditional Catholics: Welcome to your New Parish!

You Traditional Catholics must be reindoctrinated. Your Latin Mass is illegal and divisive, therefore it will be eliminated. As an alternative to sending you forced re-education camps, this kinder/gentler approach allows you to be reindoctrinated in an entertaining online course. You are on the honor system; no certificates are required! Simply contact your Diocesan Office and inform them as you complete each training session.

COURSE TITLE: TRADITIONES CUSTODES 101 (TC-101)

LESSON 1: WELCOME TO YOUR NEW PARISH! LESSON

OVERVIEW: Father Timmy introduces a group of newly orphaned Trads to their new Novus Ordo parish, St. Sillies. This lesson emphasizes the importance of having fun at Mass and opening yourself up to the “Spirit of Vatican II” through the magic of liturgical dance!

Time to get re-educated! Don’t worry, Traditional Catholics. Soon you will learn to LOVE the New Mass. Or else…

Of Toxic Traddies and Sinking Ships…

The repercussions of  Traditionis Custodes continue to resonate throughout the Catholic world.

Thankfully, not all of the bishops have responded with swift draconian enthusiasm to this new diktat. Many prelates are taking a cautious wait & see approach, while others have openly assured worried Catholics in their dioceses that nothing will change. One bishop in particular has gone so far as telling his priests in effect “if you want to start saying the TLM, drop me an email and I’ll run it up the chain of command.” More shepherds like him, please!

Here at this tiny internet backwater called Catholic Cyber-Militia, activity has picked up. One video published on my YouTube channel has exploded (and by “exploded” I mean that it’s received over 1500 views in the last 48 hours. Most Catholic YouTubers can get that many views in the first five minutes after posting, but for our rinky-dink outfit, 1.5k views in a year would be above-average!). In the finest click bait tradition, the video was titled “Why I No Longer Attend My Latin Mass Parish Weekly.” Instead of revealing something profound and shocking, the punch line is that so many new people are attending our FSSP parish each week that I decided to give up my seat for others, opting instead to attend a wonderful TLM offered by a diocesan parish church. And, being a former Navy man, I had to obtusely couch the whole thing in terms of a famous incident in WW2 where a chaplain on a sinking cruiser gave his lifejacket to a sailor, telling him “Take it lad. You need it more than I do.” There’s a link to said video below.

Given the events of the last week, I suppose the search engines were working overtime to scrape up anything relating to the Traditional Latin Mass, so this video from Jan 2020 must have bubbled to the top of some peoples’ searches. We’ve been getting an uptick of views along with some very interesting comments.

One of the comments was a thoughtful post written by a viewer who pointed out some very real problem areas when it comes not to the TLM per se, but rather those who attend it. Among his comments, “The TLM appears to be on a theological, liturgical and, all too often, political war footing. They not only prefer not to participate in the NO, but condemn it, sometimes in the harshest terms.”

He has a point, and it’s a point worth considering. The YouTube comments section isn’t the best place to compose a lengthy essay, but because I’m inherently lazy, I decided to cut & paste my reply and include it here:

We’ve all experienced the “Toxic Traddie,” whether on line or in person.  Being overly-pugilistic is not helpful to our cause.  I’m no psychobabbler, but I think that some of the over-aggressiveness comes from having had to assume a defensive posture for so many decades.  They were actively trying to suppress the TLM in the ’70’s and early 80’s, and the efforts of local bishops to force everyone adhering to the Mass of the Ages underground were, in retrospect, perceived as the first wave of prosecution.  We’ve been treated as 2nd class citizens for so very long.

Much of our criticisms of the new Mass is the seemingly never-ending stream of “innovations” that we see getting applied at the parish & diocesan levels. It seems more like experimentation than innovation, and in the first few years of Novus Ordo mass attendance following my conversion from Evangelical Protestantism, it seemed as if most of the experiments were failing.  In no particular order, the felt banners, cheezy hootenanny music, liturgical dancing, balloons, slide shows, the increasingly Protestant-looking interior architecture…all of this led me to wonder why we were trying so hard–and failing–to be like a polyglot mixture of a dozen non-Catholic churches. 

Those criticisms can be viewed as simply a matter of preference, and I get that.  What seems stunningly sublime to Joe can seem in hideously bad taste to Jill.  But when I considered how our Lord was treated in the many NO masses I attended, that got me concerned.  The casual approach to meeting God Himself in the Eucharist was widespread.  Being told not to kneel, having kneelers removed to enforce the no-kneeling policy, the hit-or-miss approach to confession, the insistence that the priest was no different than us; he just happened to be up on the podium.  All of the lay people traipsing up and down to perform this or that little function were just essential as Father’s activities.  I got the sense that the priest as “Alter Christus” was being deliberately abandoned.  If the “presider” is nothing more than a layman who happens to know more about theology than I do, then why did I quit being a Baptist?  Brother Quincy at my old Baptist church could run rings around the typical NO homily, the music was far more uplifting and theologically cogent, and the congregation wasn’t simply “phoning in;” they were hanging on every word being preached from the pulpit.

As I discovered more about the twenty centuries of Catholic theology and tradition to which I was now heir, the cognitive dissonance between what I was reading and what I was seeing every Sunday was more than troubling. 

I became a CCD teacher and was told that I was emphasizing the “old stuff” too much.  I joined the Parish Council in an attempt to influence the liturgical experimentation in our particular church, hoping to nudge it back a little towards a traditional stance.  I was verbally encouraged by the deacon to look for another parish.

Then I discovered the Latin Mass.  To those familiar with that Mass, no explanation regarding the incredible contrasts is required.  To those who have no idea how it is different or why so many of us see it as the future of the Church, well I ask you to go and see for yourself!

Although Rome has not yet made the Traditional Latin Mass outright illegal (at least, not as of late July 2021), they have taken dramatic steps to check its spread and begin rolling it back into a shrinking number of “Trad ghettoes.”  Go and see for yourself.  See how mean and toxic the Traddies are.  See how the clueless they appear because everything’s being said in some dead language.  See how divisive they are because the theology they adhere to can–at times–seem almost unrecognizable when compared to what you might experience in your home NO parish. 

Do I think the Novus Ordo Mass is invalid?  No, I do not.  Do I believe that Christ is truly present on the altar at the moment of consecration?  Yes, I do.  Do I think that Christ’s Real Presence is maintained in the tabernacle?  Absolutely!  It’s just that in many NO churches, the tabernacle has been removed from its due place of honor behind the high altar.  (“Jesus? Sure!  Down the hall to the left, right past the rest rooms.”)

Christ is truly present in the Novus Ordo, but His Presence is often obscured to some degree by many of the trappings, procedures, and rubrics which emphasize horizontality (people-centered) rather than verticality (lifting our eyes toward Heaven). 

Are there pockets in Traddiedom which believe that Vatican II was so completely off the rails that the NO is invalid?  Yes.  We have a spectrum of people in just the same way that Noviedom does.  I must remind myself not to judge what I know to be a faithful, orthodox Novus Ordo parish, painting it with the same brush as the crazy Novus Ordo parish down the street, resplendent with balloons, giant puppets, a praise band jazz combo, liturgical dancing girls and heterodox preaching.  I’ve experienced all those things first-hand (well, not those giant puppets), and even as I was cringing in my pew I should have reminded myself that this wasn’t the entire post-V2 Church.  I tried to remind myself of that, but perhaps too often I failed to take my own advice.

For anyone out there who has been flame-sprayed by a Toxic Traddie on line, I apologize…particularly if I was the guy holding the flame thrower.  In the spirit of Christian Brotherhood, I would ask my mainstream Novus Ordo friends to reconsider the small but growing community of Traditional Catholics and ask yourselves two questions: 

What is it that you actually know about us?

 Does it seem fair or just that we are being targeted for extinction by our own hierarchy?

The video that tied sinking ships and the TLM together in a rather round-about fashion…

Now, back to the tangential issue of “click bait.” This article’s very title is a tad bit guilty of this. Are “toxic traddies” making things worse or better? It’s a problem, and I urge my fellow Trads to dial down the rhetoric a bit. Let’s continue to make our case forcefully, but with more charity.

Is there a “sinking ship” in all this? Yes, I think there’s a ship that is taking on water and needs to right itself before capsizing, but it might not be the ship you think…

See below for more on the hotbutton “Toxic Traddie” issue..

End the year with a Te Deum

Editor’s Note: To all my friends and readers here at CatholicCyber-Militia.com (all dozen of you!), it is my prayer that AD 2020–as rough and disastrous as it was–was, in God’s often unknowable Providence, a source of spiritual growth and rich blessing for you and yours.  That being said, I expect there are few people (perhaps outside Beijing and Davos) who are sad to see it go.

2021 is likely to be fraught with more dangers, uncertainty, and persecutions.  The Children of Darkness, as Abp. Viganò has so aptly labeled them, will continual their triumphal march to destruction, hell-bent (literally) as many of the Children of Light with them as possible.  Our task remains the same:  to remain true to the King of Kings until His return in glory.  

2020 is almost done.  Despite all the evil which we’ve seen run rampant, our God and King is still firmly upon His Throne.  We need to celebrate that critical and eternal fact!  You might want to consider ending the year with an extra prayer (if not several).  Might I recommend to you the Te Deum?

The Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because if its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century). It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days. The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year. (CatholicCulture.org)

Below you’ll find the prayer, along with videos offering chanted forms of the prayer in both English and Latin.

Prayer:

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.

Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.

All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,

All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!

Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.

The glorious choir of the Apostles,

The wonderful company of Prophets,

The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.

Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:

The Father of infinite Majesty;

Thy adorable, true and only Son;

Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!

Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.

When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,

Thou didst not disdain the Virgin’s womb.

Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.

We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.

We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.

Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!

R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.

R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.

R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.

R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.

Prayer Source: Thesaurus Precum Latinarum

The SSPX Slugfest

Right around Easter Sunday 2020, Catholic social media erupted into chatter (often quite contentious) over the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).  A well-known Catholic online personality, Dr. Taylor Marshall, reported that he had attended Easter Sunday Mass with his family at a SSPX chapel near his home.  This brought an immediate reaction from Michael Voris at Church Militant, Timothy Gordon, and other prominent Catholic online commentators.  For a week we saw a raging battle swinging to and fro over the legitimacy of SSPX.  Then, Church Militant released a mini-documentary reporting on alleged serious cases of sexual abuse from SSPX priests and subsequent attempts at coverup on the part of the parent organization.  Whether or not these allegations have substance is not yet clear at the time this article’s posting, but the firefights now raging in response to the Church Militant’s SSPX video are intense and brutal.

Hank Igitur (an obscure yet non-prominent Catholic online commentator in his own right) offers the following observations:

Readers wishing to better understand both sides of this heartbreaking story are encouraged to visit the following sites:

Church Militant‘s short documentary describing the abuse allegations.

SSPX.org statement on the Church Militant article here.

Regardless of the outcome, or where the truth lies between the Church Militant and SSPX positions regarding these allegations, one thing seems pretty certain:  the devil is laughing at us.

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