Tag Archives: False Shepherds

What do you do when they kick you out of your own parish?

There is no getting around the fact that the Pope intended Traditionis Custodes to bring about the immediate suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), and it doesn’t take much guesswork to conclude that his long term goal is the complete elimination of the TLM from the face of the earth. This pontificate has made masterful use of evasive and vague wording on almost every controversial statement or decision, so much so that the new phrase “weaponized ambiguity” has come into common use.

There is nothing, however, about Traditionis Custodes which is the least bit ambiguous. He wants us gone, and the sooner the better.

In diocese after diocese across the world, faithful (and yes, loyal) Catholics are being told to get the hell out and to take their accursed Latin Mass with them. Pastors of diocesan parishes which offer a TLM in addition to their standard Novus Ordo fare have been put on notice: “Kick ’em out. Now! And if we ever catch you sneaking around to say a pre-Vatican II mass, we’ll kick you out as well.”

Thankfully, not every bishop has rolled over. Although many are complying with the diktat from Rome, there are bishops who are showing some form of resistance to this vindictive set of orders. Some are invoking Canon 87 and refusing to change a thing, while others–perhaps because they’re 100% on board with the Papal Pogrom or because they’re simply scared–are executing the plan as ordered. Masses are being suppressed, Traditional Catholics are being told to hit the road.

There are some bishops who fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Although they’re intent on carrying out Papal orders, they do have a sense of obligation to their flocks who have become the objects of the Vatican’s ire. These are the bishops who are attempting to ease the “transition” in some fashion. Oh, they are forcing the TLM out of the parishes, sure enough, but they’re doing so in a way to assist with some sort of “soft landing” for the hapless Traddies who will now be searching for some alternate venue where they can still attend the Mass of the Ages.

In my particular situation, I am a member of the local FSSP parish which has (as of late August 2021, anyway), not yet been actively targeted for elimination. I also help out at a Novus Ordo parish which has been offering the TLM for many years. Traditionis Custodes has clobbered that parish pretty hard, as you might imagine. The good news is that our local Ordinary has been helpful in facilitating our search for a new home. For that we are truly grateful, while at the same time being more than a little disappointed that he didn’t invoke Canon 87.

Trying to set up a new venue for a renegade TLM in short order is not an easy thing. There are challenges aplenty, as this video describes…

Here’s your handy guide for setting up your very own TLM “Community.” Finding a 21st Century Catacomb in six easy steps! (or not…)

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..

Three reasons why bishops won’t excommunicate pro-death Catholic politicians

Meme shows Archbishop Becket asking why Cuomo hasn't been excommunicated. Cardinal Dolan tells Cuomo not to worry, because he's convinced everyone that excommunication "isn't a thing" anymore.

Editor’s Note:  This article was originally published in early 2019.  With the 30 Dec 2020 news from Argentina, it’s just as timely as ever. 

Sorry, Your Eminence.  Despite your best efforts to downplay the scandal, excommunication very much remains “a thing!!”   It is considered a harsh remedy for the salvation of a soul in desperate danger of damnation, but it is still very much a tool which a caring shepherd can use in a situation like this.

Notwithstanding our silly little meme which opens this article, why haven’t our bishops acted to excommunicate notable (and notorious) Catholic politicians who actively support infanticide and abortion?  Here are three reasons.  You might find Reason #1 hard to take, but please consider it.

Reason #1:  “It’s not ‘pastoral.'”

“Pastoral” is one of those handy post-Vatican II buzzwords that can mean pretty much just about anything the priest, bishop, or trendy theologian using the word wants it to mean.  In its most common use, “pastoral” appears to mean “we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.”  If you pair this word up with the equally-potent term “mercy,” you have a powerful incantation which permits you remain inactive, even if public figures in your diocese are actively defying Church teachings, committing egregious mortal sins, and encouraging everyone around them to do likewise.

“We must show mercy.  We must be pastoral.”  That’s number one on on our hit parade.  Upon further considerations, that really isn’t a reason, so much as it’s an excuse.

Mercy is absolutely essential to our salvation, there’s no debating that point.  What is conveniently overlooked by so many of our modern theologians, prelates, and celebrity priests is the fact that mercy as a concept is meaningless if it does not remain paired with the concept of justice.  A person who sins (that’s all of us) will be subject to the Divine Justice unless they are saved by the Divine Mercy.  Mercy manifests itself through the sacrament of Reconciliation:  you acknowledge your sins in the confessional, you show true sorrow and perform penance, and you are once more under the protection of Mercy because you’re once more in a state of sanctifying Grace.

In His earthly ministry, Jesus showed true pastoral care and mercy towards His lost sheep by living among them, sharing meals with them, and calling them to repentance.  When He was dining with publicans and sinners, he wasn’t “accompanying them on their journey.”  While he was eating with them, He wasn’t affirming their present lifestyle; he was calling them out of it.  And in his preaching, Jesus made it abundantly clear what would happen to their souls if they failed to turn away from sin; if they failed to repent and follow Him.

He reminded them of the reality of hell, and of the horrifying consequences of dying in a state of mortal sin.  He offered them a way out of this eternal damnation which they had earned, if only they repented and accepted His gift of salvation through the Cross.  Now that’s being pastoral!

That’s what excommunication does:  it points out–in no uncertain terms–the state of danger a person’s soul is in as a result of mortal sin and calls that person to repentance.  And not only the person who is the object of this public call to repentance…an excommunication serves as an exhortation for all of us to repent, confess our sins, and to avoid the types of sins which have produced this grave set of circumstances for the public figure who is the object of this harsh remedy.

Bishops and cardinals:  you want to be pastoral?  Then call your people away from sin through whatever means necessary–including excommunication–in order that they may benefit from Christ’s divine Mercy!

Reason #2:  They don’t want to upset the applecart.

These bishops have a pretty good racket going.  They’re respected (well, maybe not so much these days), they’re considered pillars of the community, and they perceive themselves as being beloved of their people.  If they’re a big-city bishop, they’re probably rubbing elbows with the rich and famous.  They’re accepted by the local glitterati, and just might be considered a major celebrity in their own right.  They’re like the unpopular kid in school who suddenly finds themselves accepted by and hanging out with all the kids in the highest rung of the social ladder…jocks, cheerleaders…heck, they might even get chosen to have a big role in Homecoming!

And, equally important, there are those financial considerations.  Dioceses and archdioceses are big money operations.  Many of them receive government money to engage in social and charitable work.  These are not insignificant sums.  Initiating a God-vs.-Caesar type of conflict by excommunicating a very powerful politician could have some very serious financial implications.

And that’s unfortunate.  The role of a bishop is first and foremost to defend his sheep and do everything they can to help them get to Heaven.  When their excellencies and eminences look into the mirror each morning, they’re supposed to see shepherd willing to lay down his life for the sake of his sheep staring back at them.  Instead, too many of these men instead see the CEO of a charitable NGO (non-governmental organization) with obligations to “the bottom line”…and that vision informs all their actions.

Yes, there are certainly going to be consequences to a public excommunication.  Reason #2 means you’re more concerned with the temporal consequences than you are with the eternal ones.

Reason #3:  Moral cowardice and/or lack of supernatural faith.

Lacking the guts to do the right thing and call a Catholic politician who is endangering their own soul (and countless souls around them) to Judgement and everlasting fire…what can that be called other than cowardice?  This ties in with Reason #2 to a great extent; something as profound as a public excommunication is going to have consequences.  If the fears of earthly retaliation (social, political, economic) are strong enough, the prelate fails to act…even if he knows in his heart he is doing the wrong thing; knows in his heart that souls are in danger but he simply can’t muster the courage to do the hard thing…the right thing.

Pray for these men.  They are like the Apostles who dearly loved Jesus, but fled in terror from Gethsemane when confronted with the specter of temporal suffering which would arise from remaining at their Savior’s side.  They love their Lord, and may yet find their backbones.  Pray for them, support them, and encourage them to do the right thing.

And the other component of reason number one is a most terrifying theory:  what if these men simply don’t believe that it matters?

Has their faith been deadened to the point where they really don’t believe in the consequences of personal sin?  What if “mercy trumps all” dominates their mind to the point where they completely disregard justice?  Have they convinced themselves that there truly is “a reasonable expectation that all people go to heaven,” and–that aside from Hitler and people who throw plastics into the ocean–nobody will merit everlasting punishment?  It almost seems as if some of them are acting that way.

Pray for these men as well.

And, by all means, pray for the souls of those who promote, procure and perform abortions, as well as for those who support or assist them.  They–along with us–are being called to accept God’s eternal Mercy, but if they reject the gift of the Cross, what happens then?  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3)

Your Excellencies and Eminences, listen to Hank Igitur in this video.  He’ll explain it to you…

We “don’t worship Jesus” at Mass?!?

I get excited when I see a bishop brandishing a Louisville Slugger.  I’m hoping that he’s going to smash a couple of those Pachamama statues, but alas, that’s rarely the case these days.  It’s more likely that he’s going to take a swing at Catholic dogma instead.

Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville made waves on social media the last week of November 2019 by making some outlandish statements on Twitter regarding the worship of Jesus during Mass.  As of the time of this posting, you can’t find those direct quotes on Twitter (they’ve been taken down, it seems), but as they say, “The Internet is forever.”

Here they are for your consideration:

Stika Twitter

OK, so there’s that.  Odd.

Very odd.

And certainly heterodox.  Why would a bishop even say such a thing?  Is he one of those post-Vatican II “the Mass isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a community meal” kind of guys?  Did he simply misspeak?

Anyone can make a mistake on Twitter, especially with that darned talk-to-text feature!  (Who hasn’t gotten themselves into trouble using that on a smart phone?!)

But we also have this:

Stika Adore Jesus

Whaaaaaat?!

As a bit of a rebuttal to the good Bishop (whom we should all pray for), please consider this short video:

 

 

Probably a good time to redouble our prayers to St. Michael…

If you’ve been paying attention (and if you’re one of the dozens of readers here at CatholicCyber-Militia.com, we know you have been!), you know that our beloved Church is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.  With the Amazon Synod howling at the gates, there’s no better time to ask once more for You Know Who to defend us in battle!

Swing and a Miss! (Actually, he didn’t even take a swing…)

By CCM Guest Contributor Ivan Opinion

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” [Jeremiah 1:5]

Coincidence… I think not. Today is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Across the Catholic Church in America, our lectionary prescribed for our First Reading, passages from the First Chapter of Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. Our lectionary is set years in advance so today’s first reading was not a ‘reaction’ to recent events.Jeremiah 1-5

Consider the outright assault on the pre-born over the last two weeks. First, New York’s Catholic Governor Cuomo signed into law the most egregious law yet in our nation promoting abortion to the point of infanticide. Then Virginia’s legislature attempted to follow suit; and now Rhode Island’s Catholic Governor, Gina Raimondo is promoting a Bill that would mirror that signed by Andrew Cuomo in NY. And still, our prelates remain largely silent, and we wonder why our collective morality is all but vanished on the issue of abortion.

Today’s reading from Jeremiah presented the perfect opportunity to preach on the holocaust of innocents. It could not have been more perfect, it was tantamount to permitting Babe Ruth to come to the plate and hit from a five-year-old’s tee. He would’ve crushed it.

While our pastor did preach in reference to Jeremiah, he took a completely different angle. I kept waiting for him to make the connection, but he spoke not a word about the sanctity of life relative to life in the womb. I’ve no doubt that had he crushed it like Babe Ruth and hit one out of the park in reminding the flock of the sacredness of life, our local ordinary would have crushed our pastor doubly hard. Sadly, our pastor did not want to upset the apple cart and instead chose to remain silent and allow the flock to continue in ignorance. In light of what Governors Cuomo and Raimondo are pushing, no one should presume Catholics inherently know to protect the pre-born. It simply isn’t preached in most parishes.

Too many of our priests cower in fear of complicit bishops while hoping they do not come eye-to-eye with God on this day to face His judgment. Perhaps they think, tomorrow; yes tomorrow, that is when I’ll teach the hard truths. How far must we fall, before they understand their spinelessness has resulted in a society wrought in moral decay. It is an abrogation of responsibility of such enormity that it exacerbates the crisis in the Church to a point I did not think possible. When Christ ordained the Apostles, His instruction was clear, He did not say to them, only tell the people what they desire to hear, don’t say anything that may upset them.

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words, go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” [excerpts from Matthew, Chapter 10]

It’s All About the Hats!

 

CCM Contributor Doug Kelchner

President Trump has done more to defend religious liberty and defend the pre-born than any President in modern history. Sadly, too many Catholic prelates reveal their true loyalties when instead of embracing the American President and helping to shape his presidency, they condemn him and dismiss him out of hand. Sure they’ll tell you he is vulgar and had past transgressions; they gladly “throw the baby out with the bath water.” Yes, these are the same men, men who wear miters, who will cover and defend true predators like McCarrick while simultaneously embracing pro-abort CINO politicians such as Cuomo, Pelosi, Durbin and Gillibrand, to name a few.

Isn’t it interesting… we have prelates, supposed shepherds of the Catholic Church, Bishop Foys comes to mind, eager to throw mere children under the bus, demanding their heads roll with absolutely no understanding of the situation on the ground or facts surrounding the Covington Boys incident on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; meanwhile… sitting comfortably in a friary in Victoria, Kansas, is an 88-year-old archbishop who’d been abusing little boys and seminarians for decades… AND, he still retains his priestly faculties. To make matters worse, in November at the urging of Cardinal Cupich a majority of US Bishops voted to not press Rome on the issue of former Cdl. McCarrick. Among the very few true shepherds there is pack of hellish wolves and they are devouring the faithful.  It is way past time to hold ground, the time for purging and actual restoration is upon us.

A miter does not make you a saint and a MAGA hat does not make you a sinner. A man who possesses both a miter and a MAGA hat (even if figuratively), now there’s a man that merits your attention. And if you are privileged to know of such a man, DO NOT make the grave mistake of revealing his name, you’ll have painted an indelible target on him.

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