Tag Archives: motu proprio

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!

Communion in the Hand: It’s Grand!

Traditional Catholics MUST be reeducated, reindoctrinated, reprogrammed. The new Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes thus decrees, and we thus obey. In order to bring all you rigid nasty Trads into the glorious 21st Century, we offer you the new animated video series, Traditionis Custodes-101. TC-101 is the online learning experience which will help you find your way back to the Novus Ordo Mass. Complete all the videos in this course, receive your certificate, and you can avoid the long lines at the forced reeducation camps!

In Lesson Two, you’ll learn all about how we do the Sacrament of Reconciliation (what they used to call “Confession.” That icky term has, happily, been eliminated). You’ll also learn why receiving Communion in the hand is a superior form of piety. Let’s join Father Timmy of St. Silly’s parish as he shows some selfishly rigid Trads how to do it the Right Way, the Vatican II Way!

Belated Year’s End Musings

Yeah, 2021’s on the books now as one of the worst years ever for Catholics, and we can pretty much bet on the fact that 2022 won’t much better. The attacks on 2,000 years of Tradition just keep on coming. Hank Igitur, the Traditional Roamin’ Catholics, offers these observations. They’re not profound, but at least they’re tedious…

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…

Latin Mass in Exile: An Update

Traditional Catholics in San Diego have been kicked out of their home Novus Ordo parishes. Where we ended up was a pleasant surprise to us all.

Of course, the wounds inflicted by basic cruelty and injustice of the Motu Proprio itself remain. Regardless, San Diego TLM Catholics are grateful to Bp. McElroy for allowing us to settle at this new venue which we’ve informally dubbed “Our Lady of the Periphery.”

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..

Now is NOT the Time for Nastiness

Thunderstorm with lightning striking in and around Vatican.

If you are of a traditional mindset, you are likely to find yourself dismayed and angered by this latest news from Rome. Our Holy Father’s latest motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, which has placed new restrictions on the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is most certainly a source of consternation and dismay, and, yes…anger.

It should certainly not be a surprise, however. We knew it was coming. All of the sniper fire coming from the Holy See regarding “rigid” Traditional Catholics pretty much telegraphed their hostility towards us.

Nobody is quite sure to react. I’m writing this Friday evening, 16 July, and we’re still waiting for all the dust and debris to settle. The FSSP is taking a cautious wait & see approach in their Statement Regarding Traditionis Custodes.

Caution on our part is called for as well.

Now is not the time for nastiness. If we take to social media ranting and railing against the injustice of it all, and begin trading insult-for-insult with others Catholic netizens who think this latest news is just marvelous, well we simply play into the hands of the Modernists, don’t we? “See? SEE? We told you those toxic Traddies were a hateful bunch. Just look atall the venom they’re spewing on social media!”

We have many Catholic brethren who are fence-sitters when it comes to this controversy. They haven’t been paying attention. They’re content and comfortable with their Novus Ordo parish; they might be aware that some of their friends “prefer” the Latin Mass (in much the same way that somebody might “prefer” a Whopper to a Big Mac), but they really don’t have a clue as to what’s at stake. They will have progressive/Modernist friends (maybe even their pastor) who will tell them that Trads are a schismatic cult. They’re modern day Pharisees, only nastier. If we react with outrage, jabbing our fingers wildly this way and that as we point out the heretics among us, what kind of an impression do you think that will make on your non-Trad friends?

That doesn’t mean we have to sidestep the issue. Certainly not! What I would suggest to you, however, is that we take a calm and rational approach when we explain the situation to our friends. It won’t be easy to do in the 90 seconds you might have at the office water cooler, but if you stop and think it over, I bet that you can come up with a succinct and reasonable explanation regarding the situation at hand. They’re called “elevator speeches,” because you have them more or less preplanned and rehearsed in your mind, allowing you to make your points in the time it takes the elevator car to go from the lobby to the second floor.

Keep your cool. Keep your rationality. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your faith.

#MassOfTheAges