Why Those Who Publicly Attack Bishops Are Wrong

There is reason to be ambivalent about Michael Voris’ resolution not to publically criticize the Holy Father.  Mark Shea has shown good example for having been quick and firm in his commendation of Voris.  I certainly could have been more gracious in the matter, especially considering that Voris has refused to back down in the face of the reactionary backlash. But even Mark Shea, as gracious as he is, acknowledges the same defect that I have found necessary to emphasize, namely, that Voris’ “gospel of anger” has created the reactionary “Frankenstein” that now wishes to eat him.  In my estimation this is because his argument for his silence about the Holy Father is on shaky ground.

Voris has worked hard to distinguish between his jihad against the bishops and his reverent silence concerning the Pope. He says the Pope is different, but to my mind does not really show how. And his reactionary friends along side of whom he used to fight have now pointed their weapons at him. Still, I do commend him sincerely for having drawn this line, and I do not want this post to be perceived as fundamentally polemical.  Voris is sincerely trying to work his way through the quagmire of modern Church life and it is not easy. Continue reading

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What the Fisher More Situation Teaches Us

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

Church Militant TV Weighs In

Following up on my previous posts 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 ideology/propaganda [see] 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.

More on Patrick Archbold and Michael Voris

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.

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In the Eye of the Vortex

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

Pope Francis Lighting the Way Forward

And this is the judgment: Because the light is come into the world and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.  For every one that doth evil hateth the light and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest: because they are done in God.

—John 3:19-21

Pope Francis has been shining a light on issues of conscience and preaching the faith in his daily homilies and applying the Word of God to the lives of his hearers.  In a particular he continues to return to the them of docility to the Holy Spirit and discerning the way through the modern world, avoiding the extremes and staying on the path of reform and renewal. Continue reading

The Cost of Making War

Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain an end of the war.

—Our Lady of Fatima, September 13, 1917

In her spiritual commentary on these words of Our Lady of Fatima, Sr. Lucia dos Santos, the eldest of the three seers at Fatima, states that war can only be brought to an end by prayer and sacrifice. Of, course the “war” Our Lady is speaking of is the First World War. However, Sr. Lucia’s ties the praying of the Rosary to the end of all war. Her reflection about “the end of the war” is a long disquisition on the existence of evil spirits and our combat with them.  Salvation is a matter of spiritual combat.  Its weapons and tactics are not those of this world.  The prayer of the Rosary is, so to speak, the weapon of choice in the conflict at which our souls are at stake.

The Church Militant is the term used to identify the life of Christ’s followers on earth.  It is a general term that situates us between heaven (the Church Triumphant) and purgatory (the Church Suffering) in a state of crisis and combat.  St. Paul’s exhortation to put on the armor of God urges us to act like we are at war, to be aware of the “enmity” that exists between God and Satan and how that conflict is played out in our souls and in the history of men. St. Paul is clear about distinguishing this war from general human conflict:

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph 6:12). Continue reading

Church Hipster TV

There is a good article by a traditionally minded layman about the problems with Michael Voris.  His inclination it to be sympathetic with Voris’ purpose and the substance of his ideas.  The gentlman’s problem is with Voris’ methods and lack of charity.

I would go a step further and say, that while he does not say it outright, he provides evidence in Voris’ own words of the kind of sectarianism that has concerned me for some time.

Here is Voris’ description of the “Church of Nice” which identifies, according to him, every parish in the world except the traditionalist ones:

the saccharine syrupy hand holding ultra-feminized altar girl protestant hymn singing social justice priest facing with his back to God staring at the people staring back at him Church – in short practically every parish in the western world.

And here is Voris’ description of the “Church of the New Hipster” (my term):

Traditional Catholicism is all the rage .. at least in England.  But that is the case all over the western world. It’s avant-garde .. trendy .. almost like a hipster to actually bow before God and receive His Body and Blood on your tongue.  It’s fashion forward for priests to be in cassocks and nuns in habits. Oh My. Imagine the shock all and horror bouncing off the walls of the Church of Nice. Unable to hold or inspire their own flagging parishes .. where are these other “nut job” Catholics coming from. Continue reading

Caught in the Vortex of His Own Making

Michael Voris twirls his pencil at the beginning of each of his vortex videos as a visual aid to his tagline: “where lies and falsehoods are trapped and exposed.”  One might argue that he should point the pencil downward instead of upward as a visualization of perhaps a more accurate tagline:  “where I stir the pot everyday in the Cathlolic blogosphere.”  But actually, I am okay with the vortex metaphor.  Vortices tend to suck all that surrounds them into themselves and create a great deal of destruction.

We all know that the blogosphere can be a pretty toxic environment.  It is easy to depersonalize others or even to depersonalize oneself in the isolation of the virtual world. Professional communicators as a species are particularly susceptible to the love of hearing their own voices, of being clever and eloquent and of getting one up on an adversary.  I have done it many times.  The internet provides endless opportunities to indulge oneself.

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The Spirit of Summorum Pontificum

In this essay I continue to register my thoughts on traditionalism and liturgy, specifically with a discussion of the expressed motives for Pope Benedict’s promulgation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.  After this post I plan to take up where I left off with my “Traditionalist Sleight of Hand” essay.

The current biformity of the Roman rite, established formally by the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, is a reality that has existed and has been spoken about as such by Joseph Ratzinger for many years.  He has said numerous times that the old form, that is, the Extraordinary Form, was never abrogated.  However, the Motu Proprio establishes by way of “universal law” this biformal liturgical discipline, presumably, attempting to stabilize, at least for now, this condition as the liturgical status quo:  two forms, one ordinary, the other extraordinary.  The motives for this have been variously interpreted, and it seems to me that something parallel but antithetical to what happened in regard to the interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council has happened in respect to the text of Summorum Pontifcum.   I hope to make this clear as well as suggest a sound alternative. Continue reading