The current situation with Fisher More College is the new handle on the radical traditionalist axe. As though an indisputable fact, it is being compared with the restrictions placed on the use of the Extraordinary Form of the Liturgy within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The story goes that whatever the problems might have been in these institutions there simply can be no legitimate reasons, or motivations of pastoral charity, that would justify a moratorium on the use of the old Missal. But I believe a more apt comparison is to be drawn between the way in which the two situations have been used for propaganda purposes by these traditionalists.
In both cases there has been a leaking of documentation to Internet blogger/journalists, whose credentials show them to be, not just advocates for the full implementation of Summorum Pontificum, but also mouthpieces for the extreme side of traditionalism (end of the reform of the reform, the horror of Pope Francis, the impossibility of a hermeneutic of continuity, etc.). Likewise, in both cases there has been a great deal of prejudicial conjecture, placing the worst possible interpretation on the decisions made by the Church. In the case of the FI, the problem has been fire-bombed with conspiracy theory and the wholesale destruction of reputations. It needs to be clear that is has been the traditionalist sources that have made a public spectacle of these ecclesiastical problems. If any reputations have been damaged on either side, it has been due to the fact that they chose to fight this problem out in the public square. Continue reading →
Following up on my previousposts concerning Church Militant TV, I want to point out several important developments.
First, Louie Verrecchio has fired back at Michael Voris regarding his manifesto that CMTV will not publicly criticize the Holy Father. It is interesting. I completely disagree with Verrecchio’s rad trad Protestantism but I think he making the same point that I do in my previous posts.
Next, take a look at the comment section beginning here with a the discussion that has ensued between Terry Carrol, Executive Producer of CMTV, Christine Niles, who seems to have some loose association with CMTV, and myself (look for commenters Christine Niles, person111, and Terry Carrol).
I have been saying for a long time that this is the postconciliar moment, and that Bishop Fellay’s agenda to change the terms of the discussion regarding Vatican II has largely succeeded. Now CMTV is scrambling at the edge of the brink and trying to walk the edge.
Michael Voris has interviewed Pat Archbold about his piece that I commented on here. I have to say that Archbold is completely genuine and motivated by love for the Church. He is clearly moved by deep concern.
Both Archbold and Voris admit that the proposal for Pope Francis to regularize the SSPX without an agreement might be naive, but they believe that there is a greater good to be achieved that is worth the risk, because the marginalization of traditionalists, perceived or real, may end very badly and be irreversible.
The following is a reply to David Llewellyn Dodds who has been very generous in his comments on my previous Tolkien post. This reply fits here and if you are interested you can follow the flow of thought in comment section of the previous post.
In Letter 155 Tolkien takes the traditional distinction between magia (wisdom) and goeteia (sorcery) and for the purposes of his tale distinguishes between magia that has actual effect (machine, technology) and geoteia that is artistic (enchantment). Both forms can be used for good or ill depending on intention. Tolkien is more suspicious of the machine, though he in no way discounts that art can be used to deceive. Continue reading →
On 16 February, the author of this article sent the Pope Emeritus a letter with some specific questions regarding these interpretations. A response came two days later. “There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry,” Ratzinger wrote in his letter of reply. The only condition for the validity of my resignation is the complete freedom of my decision. Speculations regarding its validity are simply absurd.” Those closest to Ratzinger had been aware of the possibility of his resignation for a long time and he himself confirmed it in a book-length interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald (“Light of the World”, 2010): “If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” . . .
In the letter he sent to us, the Pope Emeritus answered some questions regarding his decision to keep his papal name and continue dressing in white. “I continue to wear the white cassock and kept the name Benedict for purely practical reasons. At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available. In any case, I wear the white cassock in a visibly different way to how the Pope wears it. This is another case of completely unfounded speculations being made,” he wrote.
Next stop on our conspiracy tour: ”Pope Emeritus Benedict kidnapped and replaced by an impostor,” or “Lets see the letter. It was forged and Pope Emeritus Benedict has been silenced.” Watch for it.
Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report has published another “open letter” to the Holy Father, like the one he published about my community. This time it is an appeal to regularize the SSPX without requiring from them any agreement whatsoever. His post was up on The National Catholic Register website, but the editors there removed it. (In my estimation, a wise choice.) He has now posted it on his own blog.
Archbold argues that the generosity extended by Pope Francis recently to a group of charismatic Protestants ought also to be extended to a group of Catholics who hold no doctrinal errors. I do not understand this logic, since while Pope Francis encouraged unity he did not invite these Protestants into full communion or suggest that they enjoyed it. (My bad. See comments: 1, 2) Continue reading →
More evidence of the wedge being driven between the Benedictine and Franciscan pontificates can be seen in the recent disclaimer/clarification of Michael Voris in which he refuses to publically criticize Pope Francis. In itself this is only a small example of the difficulty, but it is also another instance of a mounting problem manifesting itself at various levels: doctrinal, liturgical, pastoral. Voris knows he is on the cutting edge of the problem.
You might legitimately ask why I think his refusal to publically criticize Pope Francis is a problem. I don’t. But Voris does find himself to be part of the wedge between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, and in my estimation he has not really got himself out of it. Let me explain. Continue reading →
The Catholic culture war continues to heat up. John Allen from The Boston Globe has recently noted the that there is a possible “right wing” backlash to the Franciscan pontificate that will pit a majority of “Francis Catholics” against “Benedict Catholics.” I believe he is right, though I would say that the backlash is well underway,
As evidence of this Allen points to the February 12 article of Antonio Socci in the Italian paper Libero, in which he suggests that Benedict’s resignation was very possibly invalid, and that therefore he is still pope. Socci is not even considered a traditionalist, though he has been critical of Pope Francis on various scores. Read the article of Allen. Continue reading →