Why Traditionalism is Marginalized

Exhibit A:  When somebody says, “Holocaust Denial is Bad” that is a hugely controversial opinion in one subculture of the Church and one subculture only.

Exhibit B: When somebody calls the person saying that a “kike“, it is only one subculture in the Church that provides us with people ready to worry, not that Holocaust Denialism is bad and calling people “kikes” for saying that is bad, but that the person who called Holocaust Denial bad has celebrated Seder meals with her family as a way of honoring her Jewish heritage.  And when you point out that she celebrated them, not as a way of denying Jesus is savior, or rejecting the sacraments, or trying to claim superiority to brother and sister Christians or to seek salvation through the rites of Moses, it’s not good enough, even when the Church says it is okay.

The USCCB document God’s Mercy Endures Forever states the following:

It is becoming familiar in many parishes and Catholic homes to participate in a Passover Seder during Holy Week. This practice can have educational and spiritual value (GMEF 28).

Nope.  Not good enough.  The Irish can celebrate their heritage on St. Paddy’s Day and Italians celebrate Columbus Day.  But when a Jew does something to honor her heritage, well there’s just something about Those People, you know? It “feels” wrong and it’s “politically correct” to defend her from a Combox Inquisitor. Clearly, the Jewish Christian is the real danger.  Not *really* Catholic if you catch my drift.

Exhibit C:  In only one subculture of the Church is it even conceivable that it is necessary to actually have an interview in order to clarify that you do not have Jew blood and that you are not somehow implicated in some sort of Jewish agenda since your readership is really deeply concerned and suspicious about that.

Exhibit D:  In short, it is only in one subculture of the Church on planet earth that you can find people fretting about the Jewish ethnicity of a Catholic or seriously proposing, as a huge moral dilemma, whether it is worse for a Jewish Christian to hold a little Seder as a salute to her Jewish heritage, or to murder six million people.

Attention Traditionalists.  Cease looking for the source of your troubles in some conspiracy against you external to your ranks.  This sort of stuff is the number one reason Traditionalism is marginalized.

  • Paulus Magnus

    You know, I honestly don’t think that constantly jumping up and publicly screaming “UNCLEAN UNLEAN!” every time a nutjob who also happens to be a traditionalist shows up is the most productive or effective thing to be done with them. In fact, I’m fairly sure that Christ said that if they refuse to listen to correction, to simply have nothing more to do with them rather than post every couple of days about how you just hate these folks and goshdarnit the Trads are so bad for not having forcibly banned from the internet everyone who holds Bad Belief™ while also preferring the traditional Mass.

    And if that’s not what you think, then perhaps you should consider more how it comes across, especially when constantly repeated as you’ve been doing of late.

    • Mark Shea

      Message received. Who am I gonna believe? You or my own two eyes. The problem is always with people pointing out the bleeding obvious. Traditionalists demand pity. It’s always everybody else’s fault.

      • Paulus Magnus

        Mark, if I’m not mistaken, you don’t have *any* involvement with the traditionalist community, so I’d not reference your personal experience of random nutjobs on the internet as being evidence of anything at all.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes, I do. I have real life Traditionalist friends. However, on the Internet we are not talking about random nutjobs. We are talking about a long-standing, pervasive and common experience that goes far beyond my personal experience. Also, your “No True Scotsman” excuse-making is also extremely common and long-standing.

          • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

            1. “Some of my best friends are Traditionalists,” is also a long-standing, extremely common excuse.

            2. Online experience does not mean real experience.

            3. Traditionalists are not, proportionally, online with the rest of the population. They are largely composed of large families, with parents and kids having too much to do to really spend any time online. They are not professionals. Part of the reason the traditionalists I know attend the Old Form is because they want their kids brought up right, not because they have an axe to grind.

            It would be a comparable thing to say that women are all pro-choice, based on the evidence of the loud, politically active women like Clinton and Sibelius and Pelosi. But this is false, because of the same kind of sampling bias.

            • Mark Shea

              1. I was told I know no Traditionalists. I refuted that.
              2. No True Scotsman.
              3. So what. Outside the Bubble of Traditionalism, the fact remains that it is very common that encounter with Traddery online is encounter with scary, paranoid anti-semites. If Trads care about evangelizing people scandalized by such encounters they will oppose the scary crazies. If they want to continue being marginalized they will carry on with approaches like yours.

              Your Pelosi analogy breaks down due to the very simple fact that Catholics who care about evangelism, when confronted with the spectacle of Pelosi make clear to outsiders that Pelosi is a bad Catholic, while Traditionalists confronted with the spectacle of nutjob Jew-haters, often whine that everybody is mean to them and they should stop noticing the Jew nutjobs and be quiet.

              • Pete Vere

                Mark:

                One thing to keep in mind is that with the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict, who welcomed traditionalists into the Church’s mainstream, this is no longer the old days where trads primarily argued their case online because they had little other venues or resources to do so.

                Today, very little trad “evangelism” takes place on-line–at least from the indult/EF side of things. (It’s not evangelism in the true sense of the word since most who come into the EF/Indult are already practicing Catholics, often quite devout.) It takes place one-on-one at homeschooling groups, pro-life meetings, Theology on Tap sessions, while volunteering at the local soup kitchen, or while sitting in the bleachers watching the basketball game or the Christmas concert at the local Catholic school.

                So for the more part people today don’t check out the indult because of an argument they read on-line or the old lady down the street passed them back-issues of some traddy publication. In fact, other than the FSSP’s monthly newsletter I stopped subscribing to traddy publications several years ago. Rather, they check out the indult/EF because a parent of one of their kids’ teammates happens recently began attending the indult/EF and Mass in Latin sounds kinda interesting. Or–I kid you not–because the parish Knights of Columbus council serves a very good brunch after High Mass.

                We still get the occasional refugee from the SSPX or local indy chapel who are sick of all the infighting, moral jansenism and crazy conspiracy theories. But they are a lot fewer than in the old days. They also often don’t stick around for long, at least not like in the old days just after the split when the two were still pretty much branches of the same movement. Today, former SSPX’ers and independents will often “dry out” for six months to a year in the local EF chapel before making their way to the Novus Ordo. The reason being they find they simply cannot relate to the “normal” culture in today’s EF chapels, as well as the lack of common reference points outside of the Tridentine litugy and certain popular devotions. So they find it easier to simply start fresh with the Novus Ordo rather than assist at a Church-approved TLM where the majority of attendees are indistinguishable culturally and theologically from the average orthodox Novus Ordo adherent.

          • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

            What would be nice is if a popular-level writer would spend some time in a deep investigative study of traditionalism and traditionalists, living among them and learning the rhythms of their life. Then we would have some truer and fairer criticism of where the real problems lie. There are problems, but there are not substantially problems where you think they are.

            Maybe it could be a man with a penchant for clever turns of phrase, and thoughtful analysis — at least, when not writing on his blog.

            • Mark Shea

              I have no desire to do that, and far less desire to do that than ever after last week. If you care about Traditionalism it’s up to you to make it attractive, not up to me to care about something I have very little reason to care about.

              • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

                (I’ve already repudiated anti-Semitism multiple times, so I don’t know what else I can do on that front. This is a different tack, deliberately.)

                What would make it attractive? I have some suggestions.

                Do you appreciate a rich dynamism in parish life, coupled with congregational hymnody which, when tapped, shakes the rafters? What if these things were all bound by a common dedication to liturgical beauty in every aspect, right down to how nearly all the children of the age of reason are either choristers or in the altar guild? And what of faithfulness to the Holy Father and complete, coordinated submission to the teachings of the Church, or at least the urgent belief that they have these things, and the uncompromised stress on their importance?

                I’m sure you do find these things attractive, which is why I say these things. Whole bands of large families, whose children are attentive to their vocations and passionate about their faith — imagine Marc Barnes with a homeschool education and a passion for Tenebrae.

                These are not things which are traditionalist by definition. There may be many regular parishes which might have these things as a features. My point is that somehow the commonness of these things among, say, the FSSP parishes distinguish them. Taken in concert, theirs is an almost monotonous vibrancy.

                This last question is not rhetorical: Thinking deeply, what really would attract you to traditionalism? What kind of thing do you care about?

                • Mark Shea

                  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.

                  • Pete Vere

                    Ubi:

                    I understand completely where Mark is coming from, given that I was part of the dinosaur generation of indult (now EF) generation of traditionalist who still remembers the old days when we were essentially one movement and one culture divided into those who subjected themselves to Rome and those who rejected Rome. In fact, I fought many of the old battles that Mark fought, often keeping contact behind-the-scenes with allies like Mark who were outside of the traditionalist movement. We have a number of shared battle-scars from those days.

                    I cannot speak for Mark, but for me personally, bearing many battle scars from the old days, I have sometimes found it difficult to adjust to the new culture among today’s generation of EF trad–one that, with the exception of the TLM, is pretty much indistinguishable at the parish level from that of the average conservative Novus Ordo parish. I am even having to adapt to new expressions, given that indult is out and EF is in when describing the TLM. Then there’s the fact that few people at our local indult (just caught myself in the editing, I mean EF) know who Archbishop Lefebvre is. Only a small handful from the old days would recognize the names Michael Davies or Bishop Williamson. And even this handful, being older and not internet savvy, draw a blank when one mentions Michael Voris to them (as I did up until a few months ago when I came across a reference to him on Mark’s blog).

                    In contrast, everyone was pretty excited when Pope Francis was elected, despite the sadness we felt over Pope Benedict’s retirement. Additionally, I would say that about three-quarters of the parish watches EWTN or Salt and Light and speak positively of the various Catholics appearing on its programming. Among the educated and professional set, most have read at least one book written by Cardinal Ratzinger (prior to his being elected Pope) and Hans urs von Balthasar. And three of the main organizers are affiliated in some capacity with Opus Dei, so I assume they are familiar with the spiritual works of St. Josemaria Escriva and Fr. Francis Fernandez. All in all, typical of an orthodox Novus Ordo parish, except with the liturgy in Latin.

                  • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

                    Mark: I have some priests for you to meet.

  • Mark R

    Traditionalism is not Tradition. I know the source would be unacceptable to some, but Alexander Schmemann called tradition a series of generative links with the past. One sees self-conscious affectation among the Traditionalists who are instead otherwise focused than on handing down the faith.
    Do any of the Traditionalists realise that a lot of pre-Vatican II Catholics died in the Holocaust also? (Every Polish Catholic family had a least one member die in a death camp — in the case of Polish Jews, whole families died.)

    • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com The Ubiquitous

      Affectation is the shallowest end of traditionalism, and some traditionalists are at first affected by it. But then there’s the whole point of the immersive parishes — it is in a traditionalist FSSP parish that a traditionalists can forget for once that he is a traditionalist! That is why such things are so important, and bring a traditionalist community such joy!

      By the way, second-generation traditionalists are not often susceptible to this, which shows how strongly trads are interested in passing on the sense of the faith.

    • Pete Vere

      I would believe that most SSPX’ers and many of the older indult generation of traditionalists are aware that Catholics also died in the Holocaust. Especially given the fact that one of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps was Rene Lefebvre, the father of Archbishop Lefebvre, who had been captured by Nazis as part of the French resistance. The younger indult generation is less likely to know this since this year will mark the 25th anniversary of the split from the SSPX to remain within the Church, meaning Lefebvre is not part of their collective conscience.

      Part of the reason I think there is a such a non-response from today’s indult/EF traditionalists is that what takes place on the internet among certain followers of Bishop Williamson who are now being purged from the SSPX does not correspond to the day-to-day life in a traditional indult/EF chapel. In fact, I cannot think of a single EF chapel where the popular reaction to someone spouting anti-semitism or holocaust denial would differ from that of your average Novus Ordo parish.

      I admit I use to encounter these types of poisonous views among followers of Bishop Williamson when I was still SSPX. In fact, in the mid 90′s I tried to alert SSPX authorities to it after personally hearing Williamson deny the extent of the Holocaust during a confirmation sermon. They blew me off and it is one of the major reasons I abandoned the SSPX for the Indult about 20 years ago.

      Since then, I have very seldom encountered this type of thinking in the Indult. Not in any of the local TLM chapels or mass centers, and on those rare occasions where I encountered it elsewhere, the issue was dealt with quickly by the community and individual pushing these opinions shunned. Subsequently, they would usually find their way to the local “independent” traditionalist community for a time until they got booted out of there.

      That being said, wasn’t Bob Sungenis frequenting the Novus Ordo and co-hosting a show on EWTN when he began to go down this road?

  • Jon W

    I think all Mark Shea is asking is for sane traditionalists to understand that it’s their responsibility to play Whack-a-Mole with anti-Semitism in their midst for the foreseeable future, just like it’s Catholic Conservatives’ responsibility to play Whack-a-Mole with jingoists and war-mongers, and Catholic Democrats’ responsibility to play Whack-a-Mole with pro-aborts and social libertarians.

    • http://sanctaecclesia.com David Y

      Ditto. Couldn’t have said it any better.

      • Pete Vere

        Okay, this makes much more sense as a criticism in my opinion, and is similar to one I have frequently used with SSPX friends who complain to me that Williamson does not represent the SSPX as a whole–especially now that he has been expelled from the SSPX by Bishop Fellay. “Well, you guys consecrated him a bishop despite warnings from our side, and you guys protected him all those years.”

        The response of Indult/EF trads is that anti-semitism is not in our midst. At least no more than in the average Novus Ordo parish. We split from them 25 years ago to remain within the bosom of the Church (or rather they split from the Church). That’s what 1988 was about. There is now a whole generation in our chapels who grew up under the spiritual influence of Popes John Paul II and Benedict, rather than Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishops Fellay and Williamson.

        Additionally, in the last ten years, our chapels have been swamped with Catholics – particularly young families – making their way in from the Novus Ordo. They have no institutional knowledge or experience of the old days when the split between us and the SSPX was still fluid and what happened on side was observed, influenced and reacted to by the other. The average attendee at today’s EF chapel is much more likely to read the diocesan newspaper in my experience than Latin Mass Magazine. Including yours truly.

    • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

      just like it’s Catholic Conservatives’ responsibility to play Whack-a-Mole with jingoists and war-mongers

      No it’s not because ‘jingoist’ and ‘war-monger’ are nonsense terms in the American political context and such people do not exist outside your imagination.

      • Jon W

        Whack!

        Whack!

        Whack!

        *eyeroll*

  • J. Christopher Pryor

    Amen, Mark! Exhibit B is dead on.

  • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

    As somebody who has been dealing with this issue for my entire life, I can confidently say you’re not helping Mark. You’re not even entirely accurate in your description of the problem which means that you’re letting other people off the hook who don’t really give a hoot about the latin mass at all. Points off for Gryffindor.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. We must always focus on Traditionalist feelings of self-pity whenever Traditionalists make a self-destructive spectacle of themselves.

      • Longinus

        Yes. We must always dismiss anything less than total and complete agreement with everything you say about traditionalists as “self-pity.”

        • Mark Shea

          No. You must always dismiss as self-pity the thought “Poor me! Everyone picks on Traditionalists” when that is the very first response to somebody who says “Holocaust denial is bad” and is rewarded with being called a “kike”.

          • Longinus

            I agree with all of your actual points; however, you can’t seem to avoid language that makes it sound as if you’ve got a grudge against Traditionalists, like, “LOOK AT ALL THESE TERRIBLE ANTI-SEMITIC RADTRADS, TRADITIONALISM IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU FIND THESE JERKS not all Traditionalists are like this SUCH EVIL IS ONLY FOUND IN ONLINE TRADDERY AND TRADITIONALISTS AREN’T DOING ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT IT ARGH I’M SO RIGHTEOUS.” Okay, an exaggeration, clearly, but still, you sometimes come across as someone who’s just disgruntled because your favorite hymn got dissed by some RadTrad, EVEN THOUGH THAT’S NOT THE CASE. It’s your language and attitude we have a problem with, not your points. Try a less savage style for once; it’ll lend balance to your arguments, which are already excellent. You do your part, we’ll do ours, and maybe then even more folks will realize that we’re actually right.

            • Mark Shea

              I have no grudge against Traditionalists. I have frank and open enmity to Holocaust denial and Jew-hatred because they are a stain on the Church’s honor. Insofar as Traditionalists (or anybody else) indulges them, I oppose them. Secondarily, I am opposed to Traditionalists who meet the challenge of anti-semitism with self-pity instead of opposition to anti-semitism.

              • Longinus

                Never said you did, brother. Just said your language sometimes sounds as if you do. I agree with you about all of that, I’m just asking you to be a bit less overblown in your rhetoric. I’d be far more likely to share and promote your articles on these matters if you weren’t so enthused about phrases like “Traddery” and “Urine and Vinegar Wing”; same goes for all the capitalized nicknames you use for things like the LGBT lobby. That kind of language isn’t going to help convince people; it only alienates them, whether it’s meant to or not. Doesn’t mean removing passion for the argument, just means expressing it in a reasonable and inviting way. Calm, rational arguments are what is called for–otherwise, however correct our arguments are, we sound no better than Fox News or MSNBC.

      • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

        Mark, you have entirely missed the point. I am eastern rite, something that might have come up in past conversation a time or two between us. I have shared churches with people who have spent time in prison for being stone cold iron guard fascists. Don’t give me a line that anti-semitism and kike talk is only to be found in the Church amongst rad trads. You’re being ignorant. Cut it out.

        Oh, and depending on who’s doing the counting, I’m also a jew. At least I’ve met some very earnest people from Chabad who are convinced I am and I personally have no doubt whatsoever that I’d be in the camps if Holocaust:TNG were to ever come into reality because, well, that’s just how the master race merchants count such things.

        So congratulations Mark, you’ve managed to tick me off on the subject more than iron guardists pitching a Corneliu Zelea Codreanu event to be held in the church social hall and really, that takes some doing. Maybe it’s that it’s tax day and I’m having a bad year. Maybe it’s the blood in Boston. Maybe I’m not being charitable enough. I don’t know. I’ll pray on it tonight. But one thing is certain. The Church is bigger than you are aware of and rot attacks it from more directions than you are guarding against. This is not a good thing.

  • Debra

    I have, fortunately, not ever run into this attitude in my EF Mass community. If any of them feel that way, they have kept it quiet. Perhaps it is because most of them are like me. They just wanted the EF Mass back and they worked to make it happen. We came from other parishes in the local area, not SSPX or sedevacantist groups. We don’t see ourselves as separate from the rest of the Church in any way. Like you, though, I have seen it all over the Internet. It is incredibly disturbing. I suppose by the holocaust denial rationale heroes of our faith like St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Edith Stein are mere myths?

    • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

      That’s the big thing. For most traditionalists it isn’t the issue. It still impacts us, and we along with all other Catholics gotta take care of these things. But good to make that distinction.

      That being said, I guess I just cringe whenever it is said “if you hang out amongst traditionalists, you will encounter anti-semitism”…. and then you cite as an example of that an individual who has been out of the Church for two decades, and currently leads a “resistance” of an online discussion group to that same schismatic group he used to be a part of. Your average catholic can be forgiven for that kind of mistake. Educated Catholics should (and in some cases do) know better. It isn’t “self-pity.” It’s called reporting things honestly.

      If all that’s too much, handy little guide:

      1.) Loyal Catholics who attend Latin Masses in full communion with the Bishop of Rome = relevant
      2.) Schismatic bishops and latin mass attendees who attend anywhere not in full communion with the bishop of rome = a grievous error to even speak their name on equal footing with faithful Catholics.

      Anti-Semitism is wrong. anyone says it, no matter what language their liturgy is in (a common fact is America’s biggest Catholic Anti-Semite really doesn’t like the Latin Mass), you tell them they are wrong, you demonstrate why it is wrong, and you tell people you know to have nothing to do with those ideas. And preferably talk to their (and your pastors) to get them to take this stuff seriously.

  • Debra

    In all honestly, Jon, that is somewhat an unreasonable expectation. While I can speak up and say to someone I think they’re a lunatic and should rethink their reasoning, I can’t make anyone change their ways anymore than Biden’s bishop has succeeded in getting him to desist from publicly receiving the Holy Eucharist at a papal Mass or proclaiming himself of better understanding of Catholic teachings on abortion and birth control than the Magisterium on national tv. In fact, I’m doing well when I succeed in controlling my own tendencies to sin. These folks have the same access to electronics stores and Internet service as the rest of us, and there is no effective means to silence them.

    • Jon W

      But I don’t think it is. I come from a “Conservative” community (mostly Republicans and conservative American Catholics), and one of the ways we have to police ourselves is to indulge in a gentle eyeroll and an awkward silence whenever someone gets a little too enthusiastic about American military adventures or opinionated about the way immigrants are bringing down the country.

      And part of that process means not getting too bent out of shape when Commonweal-types gleefully point out how unChristian the Tom Clancy Wing of American Catholicism can sound when we start getting all misty-eyed about Marines and F-16s. It’s the same kind of thing: accepting that the pathology is there, acknowledging that the critics have a point, and pledging to do what you can to eliminate it.

  • Debra

    ??? What would you suggest that we who want to enjoy the old traditions do in response then? Should we interview people on their way into Mass to make sure they don’t harbor these feelings and demand they leave if they do? I don’t recall anyone insisting on such at any parish regarding the droves of American Catholics that think they should be free to ignore similarly important teachings such as those on abortion or living together as husband and wife unmarried. We don’t even subject people to such scrutiny when they present for Communion. (And mind you, I am not suggesting we should, as such things belong between them, God, and the confessional so long as they don’t insist on making themselves a public spectacle and source of extreme scandal.) Is there some magic formula for extricating those who are just plain wrong from our pews and the Internet? I am just not seeing high success rates at that anywhere in the Church. I can do what I am doing–disclaim this line of thinking as evil. And to be perfectly honest, I came to where I am in an EF Mass group not so much seeking to be or calling myself a traditionalist, but because I was a) curious, not having grown up with it and b) tired of trying to pray and center myself on the worship liturgy unfolding before me while seeing women and girls arrive at Mass in all manner of scanty attire and being assaulted by loud rock music. Perhaps the problem is actually that I am not really a traditionalist at all and just happened to like the peaceful refuge I discovered.

    • Paul Williams

      With the caveat that I have not been following this ongoing debate closely and may have missed out on the specifics, I am also curious as to the practical applications of this purging effort and what it looks like. I have never been approached by anyone in before/during/after a Latin Mass about Holocaust Denial, and am pretty sure that if it did actually happen, I’d tell them they are insane – or at least have more than just an eye roll to volley their way. Maybe other people have different parishes or acquaintances, but for me at least, this exposure to this type of stuff is in anonymous internet comment boxes (which aren’t always the dwelling place of high-brow debate). If I do come across a comment from someone questioning the Final Solution who also calls himself “traditionalist” (assuming E Michael Jones-types who don’t care about the EF don’t count), would something along the lines of: “You sir, are a sick twisted individual who is a disgrace to Catholics and Traditionalists everywhere and I want nothing to do with you and the nonsense you spew” be sufficient? A little roadmap or attack plan for this “sane traditionalist” would be helpful in furthering the cause to marginalize the bad apples. Thanks!

      • Mark Shea

        Something like that. Though as a good rule of thumb, it’s best to address the idea, not the person. But yeah, smacking down anti-semitism and Holocaust denial should be a no-brainer.

        • Paul Williams

          It probably goes without saying that such individuals may continue their crusade of vileness regardless of my admonitions, but is the idea that they will be so surrounded/overwhelmed with objections, that they will more clearly stand out as the kooks, rather than risk there being perceived an aura of silent assent? My past approach has been to ignore crazies of all stripes (don’t feed the trolls and all) rather than engage them, but I can see how this may backfire, or provide some sort of legitimacy to them by letting them dominate comment threads. What a strange time we live in where anonymous (or pseudo-anonymous) blog comments can be the engine to drive trends of thought. Like Peter Vere said in one of the links above, maybe these people are too marginalized or cowardly in their own parishes, so they need to take to the internet to beat their chests. Sounds like we need a new awareness and way of handling such people/thoughts/ideas to prevent them from having real (not just virtual) harmful effects. Or maybe it’s not that new, and I’m a little late to the party.

          • Mark Shea

            Of course they will continue the vileness, just as Catholics for a Free Choice will. The point is not to persuade Jew-hating nutjobs to become sane, but to demonstrate to non-Catholics the Jew-hating nutjobbery is not Catholic and is not tolerated, excused or apologized for in the Church.

            Not complicated.

    • Mark Shea

      Debra: I think what Simcha said was pretty sensible: condemn this stuff when it rears its head just as you would condemn Catholics for a Free Choice when they turn up to spew lies.

  • Ed the Roman

    One thing is that just as not all Muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are Muslims, not all Trad Catholics are anti-semites, but almost all anti-semitic Catholics are Trads.

    A higher frequency of polite disagreement is what I recommend.

    • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

      but almost all anti-semitic Catholics are Trads.

      I take it you have never encountered a peace-and-justice type in a lather about Israel.

      • Mark Shea

        Opposing certain Israeli policies is not necessarily “anti-semitic”. Defending or denying the systematic mass murder of six million Jews for the sole crime of being Jews *is* absolutely and necessarily anti-semitic.

        • Charlotte

          Anti-Semitism on the loony left generally takes the form of “just” criticizing Israel. Personally, I’ve yet to find this brand of anti-Semitism among Catholics. In Catholic circles, I’ve never encountered anti-Semitism outside traditionalist circles.

          • Pete Vere

            Mark, as I wrote above, I believe that Sungenis was Novus Ordo and co-hosting a show on EWTN when you and I confronted him initially. I admit that was nearly ten years ago and I do not recall all of the details, however, I don’t believe Sungenis got involved with the TLM until after Novus Ordo conservatives and Indult trads had largely rejected him over his views concerning the Jews.

            • http://socrates58.blogspot.com Dave Armstrong

              But with Sungenis the problem (I’ve always thought) is insufficient conversion from a fundamentalist sort of Protestantism. He carried the faults of that school (particularly a wooden, uninformed hermeneutics and inability to distinguish different scriptural genres) into Catholicism with him.

              That’s why he went radtrad eventually, because there is a lot of overlap between his fundamentalism and current radtradism (above all in his geocentrism and young earthism).

        • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

          Mark Shea:

          1. There are people who have an affinity for crank historiography. Some are taken in by books by Gary Allen, others by Philip Corso, others by James Fetzer. A variant of that is people who fancy the ‘official story’ about the 2d World War is a con by the powers that be. I would wager most of these people do resent the Jews. Consider Joseph Sobran (“I am not a holocaust denier; I am a holocaust stipulator.”). However, antagonism to the Jews intersects with a phenomenon which can and does thrive in the absence of any such antagonism.

          Charlotte:
          2a. I cannot figure where you have been. I have been a subscriber to The Latin Mass and never saw one word about the Jews or Israel. You did once see the odd utterance in The Remnant or in Catholic Family News (publication which I have not read for a number of years), but these were (as far as I can recall) rather remote from the material interests of the contemporary Jewish population. Nathan Permutter once said he never bothered about what he called ‘religious conceits’ and what you saw in Catholic Family News I think would have qualified as that. As for The Remnant what you saw was just…odd (mistaking Judy Garland and her sisters for Jews).

          2b. I am sorry, but I have been tangling online for six or seven years with people who given both to invocations of Catholic Social Teaching (TM) and then go on whinges about Israel. Everyone has their niche causes, and most are readily explained by proximity. That is to be expected and not pathological. It is someone’s responsibility to tackle proximate problems of modest dimension. I will offer you this: when you see masses of people making noise about the same niche cause and they are not proximate thereto, that cause is standing in for something else. When I was a college student many years ago, there was a period around 1984 or 1985 when quite a mass of politically active people suddenly elected to strike poses about South Africa. Tropical and Southern Africa was and is an unhappy place, by and large, impoverished and ill-governed and shot through with ethnic conflicts. Manifestations of that in South Africa had some peculiar features, but it is seriously doubtful they were in magnitude any worse than in a half-dozen other places in Tropical Africa. You did not have people marching around with signs in front of the rathskellar protesting the bloody mess Milton Obote had made of Uganda; they were protesting the Group Areas Act.

          All of which brings us to Israel. There is not much you can do other than make some incremental adjustments. Neither the political class nor the bulk of the populace on the West Bank or in Gaza is interested in any kind of permanent settlement with their Jewish neighbors. I used to have access to a database called Polling the Nations which included a mass of public opinion surveys done of the West Bank and Gaza over the period running from 2003 to 2008. They make depressing reading, and are not at all incongruent with the infrequent election results in those two territories.

          Mark Shea can chatter about ‘criticizing certain Israeli policies’, but almost none of the critics have any kind of granular knowledge of the costs and benefits to be had from doing one thing or another on a day to day basis. The criticism is valueless. Now, the peace and justice types I communicate with have no solutions whatsoever. They are just striking attitudes. What is the point of that? There is a world of hurt out there and the friction between Arab and Jew on the West Bank or in Gaza just does not count for much in context and it is largely self-inflicted in any case. Of course, if you do not give a rip about the physical, economic, or civic and political well being of Israel, you can strike attitudes. Do not call such people ‘anti-semites’ though. It upsets Mark Shea.

          • Mark Shea

            No. It doesn’t “upset” Mark Shea. I’m perfectly aware that some people disguise their anti-semitism with “I’m just questioning Israeli policy.” However, I’m also aware that some people disguise their utterly unquestioning pro-Israeli jingoism and faith in the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel with hair-trigger accusations of anti-semitism. However, *nobody* can offer defenses or excuses for mass murder of Jews and avoid the charge of anti-semitism.

            • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

              The Atlantic Monthly (as I recall) published a report on a conference of holocaust skeptics around about 1999. The reporter found a great many rank-and-file cranks, not Jew-haters but suckers. Erich von Daniken made some good coin off such people.

              I’m also aware that some people disguise their utterly unquestioning pro-Israeli jingoism and faith in the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel

              Who?

              • Mark Shea

                Oh, here’s a little sample: http://www.mark-shea.com/tradmen.html

                • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

                  Doesn’t cut it.

                  • Mark Shea

                    Right. Because all critics of any Israel are really anti-semites.

                    • http://wwrtc.blogspot.com Art Deco

                      No, because the phrase “utterly unquestioning pro-Israeli jingoism and faith in the Immaculate Conception of the State of Israel” does not describe Mr. Potemra’s views and you know it. Fraud.

                    • Mark Shea

                      Oh, see now you’ve gone and done it. Calling me a fraud is your ticket to the ban file. Bye!

    • Nathan

      This is a very silly argument. It’s just as true that while not all Catholics who attend the ordinary form are not pro-abortion, all pro-abortion Catholics attend the OF or that while not all Catholics who attend the ordinary form are not pro same sex “marriage,” all Catholics who are pro same sex “marriage” attend the OF. Examples can be multiplied. What does any of it prove? Nothing aside from what we all (should) already know, that the tares shall grow up with the wheat until the last day (cf Matt 13:24-30). God Bless.

      • Mark Shea

        That’s true. And when a Catholic supports abortion or same sex marriage, I oppose them. When a Catholic supports anti-semitism, I oppose that too. I don’t complain about being picked on and indulge in self-pity.

  • vox borealis

    This is such crap. MArk Shea constantly points out the flaws of Traditionalist, painting with broad brush what is obviously a lunatic fringe. Cripes, I’ve been involved with traditionalists for more than a decade, and I have never seen any greater amount of, say, antisemitism among them than among the folks I talk to in the sacristy of the novus ordo parish I regularly attend. But I wouldn’t go around claiming all “novus ordo” Catholics are antisemitic, or the like.

    Then when Shea is called on this, he either claims he is not talking about “all” traditionalists, ven though his rhetoric elides the two, or he claims that it’s the only the traditionalists he’s exposed to—which means combox nutters and the folks at Rotae Caeli. But then when challenged to go outside his limited experience, he expresses no interest in doing so. Fair enough, except when he follows that up by stereotyping an entire group, yet again.

    Lastly, I know this will not be popular, and will result in me being called a holocaust denier or a self-pitying fool, or whatever: traditionalists *do* have a point inasmuch as they have been marginalized for forty to fifty years, and NOT because they are all holocaust deniers or whatever. I have experience first hand the kind of bureaucratic obstacles thrown up to get even the smallest traditionalist initiatives off the ground, obstacles that come from the chancery. I have been told first hand by parish priests that he “doesn’t want THAT in my parish” and that he preferred the traditionalist movement be ghettoized in a few sparse locations. Moreover, the association of traditionalists with antisemitism or clericalism or whatever other bugaboo opponents want to use only serves the ends of those who wish to isolate the traditionalists movement.

    It’s basically a no win situation. Sure, I can decry loony trads. And then what? The chancery is still going to associate the FSSP (canonically legit) with SSPX and sedevacantists. Of course even bringing this up is going to get Shea to accuse me of self pity. So, I can be called a holocaust denier, implicitly, and then called self-pitying when I complain about it. A commenter above wrote, “it’s their responsibility to play Whack-a-Mole with anti-Semitism in their midst for the foreseeable future…”

    Huh? *I* am now responsible for the loonies at Rorate Caeli? It’s my job to prove to those living inside the bubble that most traditionalists (at least those I’ve met) are sane? What kind of perverse identity politics is this? Isn’t that some sort of guilty-until-proven-innocent?

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. You are filled with self-pity and you are just serving to prove my point. You should stop doing that.

      • Sam Schmitt

        I get it – accuse someone of self-pity and any objection or defense is just more proof of the accusation!

        I’m still not sure exactly what would satisfy Mark at this point, but I guess that just means I’m wallowing in my own self-pity without even realizing it.

        • Mark Shea

          It’s not complicated. When somebody says “Holocaust Denial is bad” and somebody else calls them a “kike” for doing so, let your first thought be not, “Everybody is so mean to me and my fellow Traditionalists. O the humanity!” but “Yes. Holocaust denial is bad and that jerk who insulted Simcha is a stain on the honor of the Church”.

          • vox borealis

            That’s not my first thought. Rather, I was responding to the title of your post, which implicitly makes all traditionalists into holocaust deniers and antisemitic loons. It’s your headline. Own it.

            For the record, I agree, calling someone a kike is bad. Denying the Holocaust is bad. I’m not sure that justifies some broadside on traditionalism.

            • Mark Shea

              No. It doesn’t. It states the fact that lots of people have encounters with Traditionalism that repel and scare them off and people like you respond by blaming those who are repelled and scared off, not those in Traditionalism who are repellent and scary.

          • Pete Vere

            Mark:

            I think the issue here is that most EF/Indult trads don’t fly the traditionalist banner when responding to anti-semitism. They fly the Catholic banner. It’s a big change from twenty years ago when we and the SSPX parted ways. But I think it is a positive change. It means that EF trads today give more weight to their identity as Catholics than their identity as part of a traditionalist movement.

            What is also means, however, is that unlike some of the old dinosaurs within the movement like myself who recall the old days, and still bear the battle scars from them, most EF traddies will look at you funny when you say this is traditionalist issue. They have never been SSPX, so they have never experienced there. Nor have they been around as long as you and I have, so they have never experienced it in the EF either.

        • ivan_the_mad

          Like vox borealis who insists on ignoring what Shea has repeatedly written to differentiate the sane and healthy trads from those of the lunatic fringe, you insist on ignoring what he has repeatedly written (indeed, in this very thread) that would satisfy him. This insistent ignorance does not inspire confidence.

          • vox borealis

            But Shea doen’t really differentiate between the “sane” traditionalists and the lunatics at all. He talks about Traditionalism with one stroke, and only when pressed he differentiates. Meanwhile, the burden is put on the “sane traditionalists” to repudiate the lunatics, as if that is our job. Is it the job of every black man to repudiate crimes committed by blacks? What sort of logic is that.

            What I object to is NOT that lunatic traditionalists are made fun of. I object to the not so subtle implication that traditionalists by and large are antisemitic, etc., and that *this* is the reason for the marginalization of traditionalism (which justifies Shea, et al’s marginalization of traditionalists!).

            It’s clever and effective rhetoric, I’ll give him that.

            For the record, I do not deny the Holocaust, and I think fringy trads are nuts.

            • Mark Shea

              I have never said or implied that Traditionalists are by and large anti-semitic. What I have said is that Traditionalism is marginalized because instead of confronting this stuff in its midst, people like you reliably respond by feeling sorry for yourself. As long as that continues to happen, it will continue to be marginalized. No sane person outside Traditionalism will look at the stuff linked in my Exhibits and find Traditionalism attractive. Sorry, but that’s reality no matter how much self-pity and resentment you fling at me for stating that obvious fact.

            • ivan_the_mad

              “But Shea doen’t really differentiate between the ‘sane’ traditionalists and the lunatics at all.” That’s horseshit. If you’re lying, please be aware that such things are easily checked on the internets. If you’re ignorant, please be aware that such things are easily checked on the internet. To wit:

              “When that happens, you suddenly find that a group who constitute a tiny, sullen percentage of people in real life suddenly dominate conversations in great excess of their numbers and suck all the oxygen out of the room with their anger, paranoia and supremely un-self-aware tantrums. And so we find that bitter SuperTrads (what one sane and healthy Traditionalist calls the ‘Urine and Vinegar Wing’) occupy a vastly bigger amount of time and space on the Internet than they do in real life since normal Trads are busy with, you know, Life and Happiness and Being Normal while these guys continue to cling to rage about their obsessions.”

              “Again and again, I am told that anti-semitism is a fringe phenomenon in Traditional circles. And at the parish level, I have no doubt this is true. Hence my reference to ‘sane and healthy Traditionalists.’”

              It’s crystal clear that he considers these people a minority of Traditionalists, “a tiny, sullen percentage of people in real life”, a “fringe phenomenon”, but that they’re disproportionately vocal on the internet. Thanks for trying to turn it into a conspiracy of meanness against trads. You’re totally not proving his point or anything. And that’s just the first sentence of your reply comment answered.

  • vox borealis

    The Irish can celebrate their heritage on St. Paddy’s Day and Italians celebrate Columbus Day.

    This is a bit of lazy reasoning. I am not sure St. Patrick’s Day (which at least nominally honors a Christian saint) or Columbus Day (a purely secular holiday) parallel the Seder Meal, which marks the celebration of a Jewish religious holiday that is not celebrated by the Catholic Church. Yes, the USCCB (which has no theological authority in any case, outside of some disciplinary leeway granted by Rome) says it’s OK, but I’m not sure I agree with the bishops on this one. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter a whole lot, but I don’t think it is off table to question the wisdom if celebrating a ritual of another faith. Lastly, I am pretty certain I have heard priests—regular old novus ordo priests, not wicked, self-pitying, holocaust denier priests—decry especially how St. Patrick’s day in North America has lost its religious meaning and has become basically a celebration of ethnic tribalism.

    I get the analogy being made…it’s made poorly, however.

    • Mark Shea

      Sure, you can ask questions about it. But when you pick a thread where what is being discussed is calling the Jewish Christian a “kike” for saying “Holocaust Denial is bad” that… says something about you. As does your choice to ignore all that and continue pressing the case for the prosecution here. When you hit bottom, don’t keep digging.

      • vox borealis

        I picked this thread because it is one of several in a row on the topic where all traditionalists are painted with the same broad brush. I reject your broad brush. I reject the demand that somehow all self-styled traditionalists somehow answer for other traditionalists who are lunatics, just as I would never ask you or anyone else to answer for lunatic “novus ordo” Catholics.

        I’ve not hit bottom, nor do I keep digging, because I reject the entire structure that you propose. I reject your baiting. I reject your stereotyping. I reject your entire line of argument, which is clever rhetoric here but little more. I reject your Not Speaking Out Enough Approach toward traditionalism, wherein, as far as I see it, traditionalists must perform some sort of public, ritual penance for the since of others, and still no matter what they say or do, it will never be enough. It’s the exact same rhetorical technique used to attack Pope Francis for Not Speaking Out Enough in his (non-)role in the ugly politics of his home country.

        • Mark Shea

          I picked this thread because it is one of several in a row on the topic where all traditionalists are painted with the same broad brush.

          False. It’s not all about you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

          • mndad

            Is it really so surprising that the fraction within our religion that deliberately back projects is most heavily inflicted by anti Semitism?
            Well it is not exactly a secret that anti Semitism has deep roots within our religion – in my mind the “we know the truth they do not” attitude that informed widespread anti-Semitism and contributed to the Holocaust is still very much at the heart of protestant and “noveaux” catholic apologetics.
            In the past it lead to extensive anti-Semitism and preconditioned otherwise fine pious Catholics to keep their mouth shut -chances are this sort of attitude will continue to lead to no good in an increasingly complex world. I view it not as a laughing matter that the Fr. Z’s of this world have no problem insulting pious sisters working in the trances of our society while boasting about the guns they own and the fancy fast cars they would love to drive. Nothing good will come of it.
            In many ways I can respect the Rorate Caelis of this world more since they seem at least not in it for the $$ as oppose to cultleaders like Fr.Z or Voris traveling the world on the followers dime.

  • http://mudpiemagnet.hubpages.com mudpiemagnet

    The issue for me is the display of tolerance that invariably rears its ugly head every time some wingnut in the “radtrad” contingent waxes weirdo…
    Another thing I can’t understand, to be honest, is why everyone is hellbent in this discussion on proving that they have “never, ever seen this attitude crop up except on the internet.” I’m not even a trad, though I do occasionally attend EF in the Roman Rite- and have encountered a very carefully worded anti-semitism a-la “wink, wink- nudge, nudge”- frequently there, as well as misogyny and all manner of heterodoxy- beauty of the liturgy notwithstanding. Is my experience so unique? Well, maybe it is, but- like it or not, there is some kind of problem inherent in “traditionalism,” that seems to lend itself to wacky thinking. Not the least of which is the fact that these people refer to themselves first as “traditionalists” and, only after that distinction has been carefully made, as “Catholics.” I don’t get it. Why so superior, trads?

    • Paul Williams

      Speaking for myself only, I prefer to refer to myself as a “Catholic”, but also realize that there is a fair amount of variance between my beliefs/practices and those of Nancy Pelosi & Joe Biden who also call themselves “Catholic”. In which case, a more specific qualifier can be helpful. Also, since “traditionalism” and “traditionalist” were used in the title and conclusion of this blog post (respectively), I think it is at least an accepted enough descriptor by our host in these discussions.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Pretty much. Traditionalist is short-hand for an affinity and devotion to the EF. Some people layer on other meanings as it suits them, but that’s the baseline.

    • Mark Shea

      Agreed. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that somebody can spend any time at all dealing with Traditionalism on line, much less for years, and never encounter anti-semitism. I don’t buy it. It is *everywhere* in online Traddery.

  • http://www.parafool.com victor

    Attention Traditionalists. Cease looking for the source of your troubles in some conspiracy against you external to your ranks. This sort of stuff is the number one reason Traditionalism is marginalized.

    I appreciate the effort. It’s not just the Traddle-rousers, but painting in broad strokes, certain intellectual frameworks seem to attract more than their fair share of jerks. And no matter now hard you plead with them to stop being jerks for the good of the movement, given that intellectual framework, it’s not really going to be in their nature to be anything else.

    • Mark Shea

      True. The denuciations are not for the sake of changing jerks tiny minds. They are for the sake of people looking at the Church and saying, “Is that kind of filthy really tolerated there?” The Trad subculture’s loud and clear response last week was “Yes. And the real issue is the danger posed by letting Those People into the Church.”

  • TJR

    As someone who has friends who are trads and radtrads, I will yell from the highest mountain that anti-Semitism is BAD.
    But, having christian seders violates the 1st Commandment.
    http://youtu.be/HBOWKu-08S8
    Been there, done that. Don’t wanna do it no mas!

    • Mark Shea

      Having a Christian Seder *may* under certain circumstances violate the first commandment. I may also be offensive to Jews if done at a parish. But there is nothing wrong with a Jewish Christian holding a Seder in private in honor their heritage, as long as it does not deny Christ or the sacraments.

      • GM

        Mark, here’s your response to me at the linked post dealing with Seder Meals Exhibit B:

        “Simcha Fisher does not deny Jesus before men. Indeed, she professes him very admirably. So the rest of your Star Chamber bushwah is null and void.”

        First, my opinion. You moderate comments to death. And by behaving that way skew the meaning of not a few of your readers comments. I imagine this happens quite often so you can muddle any clarity.

        Second, “So the rest of your Star Chamber bushwah is null and void.” does not excuse you from truth seeking. Crying BS is the weapon of sophists. Showing why its bushwah takes argumentation.

        Third, Simcha is an example of a Catholic that is of Jewish decent. Some prefer Catholic before Jewish to emphasize the truth of the Gospel. No Jew or Gentile.

        Fourth, to distance yourself emotionally try this:

        A) Participating in Seder Meals is
        False Worship to the True God.

        B) False Worship to the True God is superstition.

        C) Practicing Superstition is a Violation of the 1st Commandment.

        D) Therefore, any Catholic that participates in Seder Meals violates the 1st Commandment.

        God Bless Simcha may she persevere to the end and receive her Crown. She is simply an example of a Catholic practicing Seder Meals. It could be you or any of your readers.
        According to your advice Catholic Gentiles can participate too!

        Would you be guilty of scandal if “A” above is true? Jesus said something along the line of having a huge stone chained around the neck of the scandalizer and drowned in the sea
        if he/she lead His child astray.

        Dismissing people offering you feedback with “bushwah” is a low standard of engaging ideas. As your readers can see you trade in broad brushing.

        Are you trying to evangelize through this apostolate of yours? Today any one of us reading may die! Then Judgment, Hell or Heaven.

        In the EF communities they seem to get the Real Presence Dogma of Holy Mother Church. Your Irish/Italian/Jewish/Seder analogy as someone told you is poorly made.

        Shouldn’t you defend what matters to Catholics the most? What only our priests can do–confect the Eucharist and feed us His Body! We cannot get to heaven without the priest.

        Bashing EF communities like the FSSP with your vague terms comes off divisive. It’s like you’re warning people to stay away from them. The homily you dismiss as “opinion” is something the Church needs to hear! It serves as evidence against your vulgar broad brushing of certain parts of His Body.

  • The True Will

    But…. but…. but….wasn’t I just reading one of my “friends” complaining that Christian seders are offensive to JEWS? (I guess the people at Central Synagogue here didn’t get the memo.)

    People can’t even agree on WHY something is Bad?

  • Charlotte

    I think it’s the previously stated theory that some traditionalists are in fact socially awkward (if my personal experience can be given any credit), as well as knowing that anti Jew thought is not exactly a PC topic, so they spew this rhetoric on the internet from the anonymity of their computer. Either way, I’m pretty sure real human beings are sitting at those computers, and there seems to be a reasonably large contingent of them. In that sense, I agree that trads can’t exactly root them out of Latin mass parishes. However, why they tolerate this stuff in the Remnant paper, etc., is beyond me. Maybe not in the articles, but check out the paid ads. It’s a veritable festival of ant semitism and other conspiracy theories. Many trad blogs follow suit, with trad readers tolerating creepy rhetoric because they simultaneously want to be supportive of “minority” traditionalist voices. The lesson: just because it’s published by or written by a trad doesn’t mean it’s good, holy, or right. But for some reason the now largely irrelevant persecution history of trads seems to mean we have to tolerate anything so as to make sure the Latin mass continues to get exposure. I say the exposure isn’t worth it if this…and other accompanying conspiracy theories and vile hatred of the new pope spewed all over the place is the vehicle by which we advertise. You couldnt pay me to go to a Latin mass right now, beauty of it aside.

  • Nathan

    Antisemitism is not why traditionalism is marginalized. Schismatic groups, most especially the SSPX and sedevacantists, and those who see themselves as “more Catholic than the Pope” (Rorate Caeli) are the reason traditionalism is marginalized. Sadly, the odor of heresy and schism hangs around the EF Mass. It shouldn’t. There needs to be a deeper appreciation of the qualitative difference between FSSP and SSPX, but the impression is out there. Crazy antisemites don’t help, but the real reason goes a bit deeper. Ironically, Archbishop Lefrebvre is probably the worst thing to happen to the Latin Mass. And I say all this as one who vastly prefers the old rite and who is confident the future belongs to the EF (or, more precisely, to an OF that looks more like the EF than today’s OF) . God Bless.

    • Longinus

      Excellent points. It’s almost impossible for me to reconcile the images of the SSPX and the Sedevacantists with the deeply-rooted opposition I see among my fellow EF attendees to even the barest hint of heresy, and it’s extremely saddening. Vatican II just wasn’t handled properly by anyone, and we ended up with a large hippie-ish section of the Church, fought against by a small but radically traditionalist schismatic movement, and huge amounts of disillusioned Catholics leaving the Church entirely. With the new translation we’re finally seeing the steps toward unifying everyone again under a well-regulated liturgy, and hopefully someday a return to Latin as the Church’s own (if adopted) language worldwide; and that’s not even mentioning the improving relationship with the Orthodox Church!

  • Ryan Ellis

    I think we all know why this whole line of reasoning got started: liturgy-first Catholics (both traddies and ROTRers) started making legitimate complaints about liturgical choices made by Pope Francis. This was intolerable to the ultramontane mindset of the Patheos crowd, so they resorted to an Alinsky tactic: the broad-brush smear syllogism. It goes like this:

    –some combox nut liturgy types who go to a TLM are anti-Semites
    –liturgy types are complaining about the Pope’s liturgy choices
    –liturgy types are either anti-Semites, or haven’t sufficiently made acts of reparation for the fact that others are

    This is all about a crackdown on dissent, plain and simple. It’s the Weigel-New Evangelization crowd vs. the liturgy first crowd.

    Don’t believe me? Here’s the test: name me one factual item Rorate has been proved wrong on since Francis was elected. Several times, ringing denunciations have come from the Patheos crowd, the clearly shell-shocked Fr. Z, et al. And each time, Rorate was proved correct. I say that with no glee, since I’ve been shouted down as insufficiently traddie more than once over there. But they have the facts on their side, as opposed to the ultramontane happy talk of their opponents.

    • Mark Shea

      Amazing.

      Yes. It’s all about a shadowy conspiracy against you. You are the victim here. Everybody is always thinking of ways to attack Traditionalism and the EF out of sheer spite. The whole “Holocaust Denial is bad” thing is just a cover.

      It really does make me wonder if guys like you are deliberately trying to make Traditionalism look awful.

      • Ryan Ellis

        All I know is that the Holocaust denial thing came clean out of nowhere, just at about the maximum moment that the liturgy-first Catholics were making some headway on their points. Even the AP wrote about how the foot-washing was done contrary to the GIRM.

        The fact that it came from Patheos only makes sense. It’s a bright, shiny object to distract people from the substantive points being made on liturgy. As someone who works in politics, this is completely obvious to me. Nixon’s flak called it the “non-denial denial.”

        • Mark Shea

          No. It came out of Gonzalez’s stupid attempts to deny and minimize the fact that millions of Jews were systematically murdered in the Holocaust. Every word you say only makes Traditionalism look more and more ugly and paranoid. You should really just stop now.

    • Jon W

      There’s such a thing as “liturgy-first” Catholics? Would they consider that an accurate label for themselves?

      • Ryan Ellis

        The term is my own. I prefer it to “traddie” because “traddie” implies a TLM-only Catholic. I mostly go to Novus Ordos, but I’m very much in agreement with the Rorate crowd about matters liturgical (most of the time), even if they consider me too liberal to be one of them.

        So the term “liturgy first Catholic” is both meant to unify traddies and ROTRers, as well as to distinguish us from our “New Evangelization” Catholic brethren.

        • Andy

          To be honest Ryan I am offended – to suggest that one group is more “liturgy-first” than another is shameful. I would suggest you really spend some time considering what the liturgy – it is our way of commemorating and honoring the sacrifice fo Christ – is there anything we can do to go beyond what He did? I doubt ti – does God really care if teh Pope washed the feet of women or prefers a simpler liturgy – I doubt it. the effort of the liturgy first crowd to say that others who do not agree with them are not worthy is disgusting.

          • Jon W

            I pretty much agree with this up to the “does God really care?” comment. That’s kind of a subtle way of begging the question. If it involves good, Christ-focused worship rather than slip-shod, narcissistic, liturgical playing, then God really does care. He may not care as much as Ryan wants him to; he may have other priorities for Christians’ energy; but he does care, and it’s worth the (charitable) argument.

          • Ryan Ellis

            “Liturgy first” simply means that these are Catholics who have the liturgy as the alpha and omega of Catholic life, not that they are the only ones who care about liturgy.

            Similarly, liturgy firsters care about proclaiming the gospel, service, etc. It’s just not what gets us out of bed in the morning. We think that if you save the liturgy, you save the world. We’re Fr Z Catholics and Rorate Catholics, as opposed to Fr. Barron/Mark Shea/George Weigel Catholics.

            Nothing wrong with a little diversity of emphasis within orthodoxy.

            • Mark Shea

              No. You are Catholics who are responding to apologetics for and denial of cold-bloo0ded mass murder by positing ridiculous conspiracy theories. You should stop that.

              • Ryan Ellis

                I have yet to see any real evidence of Holocaust denial which isnt the result of a Google translator mistake. Can you point me to something of note?

                • Mark Shea

                  Sure: http://maryvictrix.com/2013/04/12/rorate-caeli-and-marcelo-gonzalez-dig-themselves-in-deeper/ As is the custom with Holocaust Denialists, Gonzalez says “Jews died”–somehow or other but carefully avoids acknowledging that they were the target of a systematic campaign of mass murder. The subtext is “Lots of people die in wars. Jews are such whiners.”

                  • Ryan Ellis

                    And I should care who this person is…why? This guy’s my responsibility?

                    • Mark Shea

                      A bad Catholic is the responsibility of every good Catholic. If you care about the Church’s witness, you make clear that a bad Catholic does not speak for the Church when he says or does something bad.

        • Mark Shea

          Yes, it’s obvious you don’t know the first thing about evangelization or attempting to speak to those outside the Traditionalist hothouse.

          • Ryan Ellis

            Like Fr Z, I know that the key to Catholic evangelization is good liturgy.

            • Mark Shea

              Then why am I repelled by what you are selling? I know. Don’t tell me. It’s because I’m not a truly true Catholic.

              • Ryan Ellis

                Of course you’re a “true Catholic” (whatever that means). You just have a different emphasis within orthodoxy than I do. You’re into apologetics, I’m into liturgy. Why do you have to hate me for that?

                • Mark Shea

                  I don’t hate you. And I’m glad you do not regard me as an inferior pseudo-Catholic.

                  • Ryan Ellis

                    I would never call a person who has devoted their life to apologetics anything other than a brother in the Church. I just wish you felt the same way about people who put liturgy ahead of even theology/catechetics.

                    • Mark Shea

                      I do call you a brother in Christ.

            • Marthe Lépine

              That sounds so strange to me… Good liturgy as the key to evangelization? I would have thought that it would rather have been things like “see how they love each other” or other some such sign given by a lived Catholic faith… When the OF was adopted in Canada, I was just over 20 years old, and what I first of all saw in the change was that finally the liturgy was understandable to ordinary people who had no idea what the mass was about and just knelt, or stood, or sat on cue while reciting their rosary. I do not know what it was like in the US, but in Quebec there had been a tendency to discourage lay people from reading the Bible on their own (although my parents did not agree and the Bible was permanently “living” on the coffee table), and when those people were at mass, the readings were in some ancient incomprehensible language – unless one was college educated, and mumbled by a priest with his back to the people. So, apart from grade school Catechism classes, a large number of people were quite ignorant of their faith, and it could have been a rather valid cause of the decrease of Catholicism in my area while I was in my 20′s and 30′s.

  • Charlotte

    Facts without love, charity, or reasonableness about fellow Catholics equals any number of four letter words that I’m not supposed to say out loud here. It’s always about being right with the trad crowd. Do not underestimate what a turn off that is.

    • Ryan Ellis

      What would you suggest we liturgy-firsters do when we see the Pope violating a rubric, or (less seriously) moving away from a traditional practice restored by Benedict?

      Because we’re apparently not allowed to say anything without getting smeared as Holocaust deniers, or patted on the head like you just did, Charlotte.

      • Mark Shea

        In case you hadn’t noticed, this thread is not about Traditionalists and their liturgical obsessions (which they are welcome to obsess over, though I personally could not care less). It’s about the Traditionalist habit of indulging in self-pity and conspiracy theories when confronted with the spectacle of Holocaust Deniers in their midst. And every word you say only illustrates my point.

        • Ryan Ellis

          My point is that the Holocaust-denier canard is a direct result of the liturgical points being made. They are a diversionary tactic worthy of an Alinsky community organizer.

          • Mark Shea

            No. The Holocaust Denier canard is a direct result of Gonzalez denying the Holocaust. And your paranoid conspiracy theorizing is a living illustration of everything that’s wrong with the Traditionalist response of paranoid self-pity.

            • Ryan Ellis

              Paranoid conspiracy theorizing? You mean like the theory that there is a vast anti-Semitic conspiracy within traditional Catholicism?

              Or are you engaging in self-pity, Mark? It’s hard to keep up.

              • Mark Shea

                I don’t say there is a vast anti-semitic conspiracy in Traddery.

                You do realize, don’t you, that you simply continue to illustrate everything I’m saying. Quit while you’re behind.

                • Ryan Ellis

                  I’m just trying to figure out how to point out when there’s a problem with papal liturgies without having to first explain why someone I’ve never met and don’t know just might be a Holocaust denier. Not what I signed up for.

                  Mark, you seem to have a great deal of hatred in your heart for those of us who think liturgy is the most important thing.

                  Incidentally, I’m a reform of the reform guy. I go to a Novus Ordo Mass every single Sunday at my parish. I only go to about a dozen TLMs a year, during the week.

                  I also happen to have legitimate concerns about this Pope and where he is taking liturgy. These concerns are shared by many. Not by you, but that’s ok. It’s fine to have a difference of opinion, but you seem to not be willing to tolerate any but your own.

                  So whatever broad brush you want to paint me with, I’d appreciate it if you’d stop.

                  • Mark Shea

                    Point away. I don’t care about your liturgical obsessions. I have nothing to say about them one way or another. What I *care* about is that it is massively controversial in Traditionalist circles when somebody says, “Holocaust denial is bad.” You, for instance, take such a statement as part of a plot against you, not as elementary human morality. I don’t care where you go to Mass. I have no issues with the EF vs. the OF.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      Well, thanks for finally clearing that up! Maybe if you’d already repeated yourself ad infinitum regarding this, it’d be clearer to some … oh wait.

                  • Marthe Lépine

                    I just cannot understand this obsession with liturgy. When I go to mass on Sunday, it is to worship and give glory to god together with my parish community. I am concentrating too much on the content of the prayers and readings to be worried about exterior matters such as details of liturgy, kind of hymns chosen and other such things. As long as the Consecration is valid and the Eucharist is distributed, the rest does not matter that much… I just go and assume that people in charge of liturgy do the best they can under the circumstances they are in, and that they love the Lord so much that they give of their time and efforts to organize the way He is worshipped. Same thing with the choir.

      • Jon W

        I would suggest you stop being ultra-montanist and try following the rubrics you got as best you can without breaking into a sweat every time the pope does something you don’t approve of. And if other people subsequently try and justify their own disregard of the rubrics by appeal to what the pope does, tell them the same. Unless it’s your priest or your bishop, in which case you write a very charitable complaint letter and then drop it.

  • Jon W

    Notice this Muslim from Egypt and this Iranian expressing regret for the Boston Marathon bombings. Those two obviously had absolutely nothing to do with this horrible crime, but typical terrorists come from their neck of the woods and you can tell that people especially appreciate the thoughts and prayers when they come from there.

    The comment repliers and up-voters weren’t blaming these guys or even all (or any, yet) Muslims for the crimes, yet they recognize that expressions of regret and goodwill from terrorism’s “hometown” are especially meaningful, important, and useful for spreading peace and goodwill.

  • Charlotte

    Ryan, that sounds a lot like a conspiracy theory to me. Mark and all the other neo con writers got together and decided that decent liturgy is something to be opposed and so cooked up all kinds of traddy blogs that trend anti Jew to cover up their evil plot to advance the cause of clown masses. Heck, they probably made up traddy sounding monikers and wrote all those “the holocaust really was much smaller and insignificant” comments over at Rorate Caeli. Yeah, that’s it.

    • Mark Shea

      Pass the matzoh, comrade. Our cell meeting to have Obama statues placed in all sanctuaries is on skype tomorrow at 8 AM sharp.

      • Ryan Ellis

        Well, Mark, you did ban me from your Facebook page for daring to point out that there’s a difference between the New Evangelization crowd and the liturgy first crowd (the horrors!)

        So it’s hardly a leap to think that you’ve deliberately stoked the flames of a red herring (mixed metaphor alert) as a diversionary tactic. After all, you seem to want to talk about anything BUT the valid liturgical concerns we have.

        • Mark Shea

          I don’t care about your liturgical concerns. Don’t. Care. What I care about is fruits of the Spirit. As is so often the case, the fruits of what you call “Traditionalism” consist of looney conspiracy theories in defense of a denier of mass murder. That makes me so massively not care about your Traditionalism you can’t even believe it. So go away.

          • A C

            Mark Shea, As an Italian, Columbus Day is for all Catholic ethnicities. The Knights for Columbus were mostly for Irish immigrants in the beginning; in a short time, of course, they moved into other immigrant communities as well. PLEASE stop with the Witchhunt. Most (98.5%) of Traditionalist Catholics are NOT Anti-Jew Holocaust deniers. To disagree with the policy of the State of Israel is NOT the same as Holocaust denial. (Those who equate the 2 are as deluded & crazy as those who deny the Holocaust.)

          • Ryan Ellis

            Who are you even talking about? How am I defending anyone? Did you get mugged outside of a TLM or something, Mark? Why do you hate me and others just because we’re liturgy guys?

            • Mark Shea

              Sigh.

              • http://socrates58.blogspot.com Dave Armstrong

                How do you maintain your sanity, Mark? LOL

                • Mark Shea

                  I just keep reminding myself how much I hate Traditionalism and Traditionalists and how much joy I get from attacking all of them without exception for no other reason than sheer mindless spite and that makes me feel better. I also hate puppies.

                  • http://socrates58.blogspot.com Dave Armstrong

                    [smacking head] Duh!!! I shoulda figgered that out!

  • Mark (not Mark Shea)

    Mark,

    Speaking of traditionalism, it looks like your buddies at OR are taking their traditionalism back more than 2,000 years:

    http://occamsrazormag.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/the-ancient-greeks-romans-beauty-and-human-biodiversity/

    ..

  • Pammy R

    I am sad to see these conflicts going on right now. In January, when our NO parish built a round church with the sanctuary in the middle, like an arena, I went once. I can’t do it. It’s not a Catholic Church. I don’t care what they tell me. I dabbled in protestantism once, and that is what I saw there. I came back to be Catholic, full bore. I drive to another NO parish in a nearby town, though my huz won’t give up. The new church is within site of our house. When my PSR commitment ends I will be available to go to the EF parish further up the road, though my husband and children have no interest in it. I can’t do the NO and the clap trap any more. I just can’t.

    I do not disbelieve in the Holocaust. I have never encountered anti-semitism in person or on line from the trad crowd. I thought that was mostly SSPX, out of communion right now. In fact, Rosamond Moss, a well-known Jewish convert has been well-received by traditionalists in the major city nearby.

  • http://tinyurl.com/estquodest Pauli

    In response to some here who say “Mark, you are not helping,” I don’t know if he’s helping or not. But the exhibits are generally accurate about some traditionalists, possibly even many. It just like talking about the blacks in the projects and suddenly someone thinks you’re being racist for generalizing. Then you run into blacks that talk about the “those people in the projects.” Generalizing? Yeah, but still accurate, and not at all bigoted.

    Mark might be generalizing about the Trads, but like many generalizations, the points are useful. I long for more Latin Masses as a real implementation of Benedict’s wishes because it would wrest control of it from the Trads and would speed up their demise and dissolution as a group with any influence.

  • TJR

    Who put the bees in the bonnets of the bloggers and told them to gin up this agitprop about trad anti-semitism. When Williamson walked into the trap a few years back, you could understand the hysteria. But how did this subject become newsworthy this time?

    • Ryan Ellis

      Good question. Scroll up for my theory.

    • Mark Shea

      Because Rorate Coeli chose to declare a Holocaust Denier a cherished friend. Not complicated.

      • ivan_the_mad

        You are a sad, obsessed little man who scrupulously avoids what the shepherds of the Church have said on the matter, despite having it quoted to you.

        • GM

          How about reading Mark Shea’s hyperlinked exhibits and follow the topic. Please do not go on about feelings as Mark Shea does. I posted a chronology of exhibits for your convenience. Read, listen to the homilies and decide–Seder Meals are NOT part of the Faith and Catholics have no obligation to participate in them.

          First listen to the homily Linked to above. I think TJR posted a YouTube link. Then share your expertise and tell us if Mark Shea ripped that quote “what the shepherds of the Church have said on the matter” completely out of context!

          Red Alert, Mark Shea “quotes” a miniscule USCCB piece that is followed immediately followed by the “shepherds” warning Catholics that they are not allowed to “baptize” Seders with NT readings or the like before of after these meals!

          Why? Umm distortion! Liturgical Abuse! It’s called Sacrilege. Violation of the First Commandment. Big no-no. You should not share in the scandal. The sin of respecting man is closely related to this topic–be careful.

          • ivan_the_mad

            A miniscule USCCB piece? Compared to that, your authority to declaim on the matter doesn’t exist. Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur – I gratuitously deny your gratuitous bullshit. Feel free to find some magisterial teaching on the matter that addresses this specifically. The USCCB statement is the closest we’ve come to that thus far. Until then, I’m going to call your bullshit what it is: calumny.

        • GM

          Help Mark Shea label that priest that denounced the participation in Seder Meals because of 1st Commandment Violation. Is that a healthy trad priest? Is that a lunatic traddery one? Did that same priest recommend Dawn Eden’s book to a healthy trad community? Is a traddery priest like this suppose to recommend a Catholic Jewish author’s book to the flock and also denounce Seder Meals being practiced by Catholic Jews?

          Mark Shea’s broad brushing is divisive. The world needs priests like this–the Church needs priests like this so Catholics will get off their rears and evangelize with truth. That priest’s trumpet blast is clear and meaningful. The professional Catholic is muddled and distorted.

  • http://mudpiemagnet.hubpages.com mudpiemagnet

    “In January, when our NO parish built a round church with the sanctuary in the middle, like an arena, I went once. I can’t do it. It’s not a Catholic Church. I don’t care what they tell me.”

    Ok, Pammy- I’ll admit to being in agreement with you in the emotional sense. But where I draw the line is when you say “it’s not Catholic.” I’m assuming that the priest offering Mass at the liturgically annoying round church, still holds the apostolic succession? According to Fr. Robinson of Holy Family in Toronto- “as long as the priest has the intention of acting with the Church, it is a case of Ex opere operato.” Well, I paraphrase, because I was there to hear him say it. I truly sympathize with your dislike of the NO, and in particular, in the kind of church you describe- but to take it a step further and say that it “isn’t Catholic” seems a bit Martin Luther-ish to me…

  • A C

    Mark Shea, As an Italian, Columbus Day is for all Catholic ethnicities. The Knights for Columbus were mostly for Irish immigrants in the beginning; in a short time, of course, they moved into other immigrant communities as well. PLEASE stop with the Witchhunt. Most (98.5%) of Traditionalist Catholics are NOT Anti-Jew Holocaust deniers. To disagree with the policy of the State of Israel is NOT the same as Holocaust denial. (Those who equate the 2 are as deluded & crazy as those who deny the Holocaust.) You’re so against Anti-Semitism, why not condemn the State of Israel for its mistreatment against their non-Jewish Palestinian neighbors who are by definition also Semites. You’re starting to sound like those “let’s blindly support everything the State & Military of Israel d0 to bring about an Apocalyptic end-of-the-world War” Evangelical/Fundamentalists types. The Promised Messiah (for both Jews & Gentiles) has already been revealed & the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem (as Jesus prophesized) has been destroyed & replaced with our bodies that become the Temples of the Holy Spirit during Baptism & Eucharist of Christ. The State of Israel is technically a Zionist (not necessarily a Jewish) experiment. Mark Shea, Not supporting the State of Israel/Zionism does NOT equal Anti-Jew or Holocaust denial. And please don’t imply I’m calling for the killing of Jews in the State of Israel. (I’m NOT, never will.) I just don’t support their military & think the creation of the state was a Zionist mistake that only created more instability in the region (aka more wars). Now, I’ll play your card, & demand of you: why are you so anti-Palestinian!? Why haven’t you condemned Anti-Palestinian actions by the State of israel in your blog?! See how tiring it can get? And if you quote me, please quote me in entirety to keep context.

    • Mark Shea

      Please go back and read what I wrote. You have badly misread me.

    • erik

      Are you serious? Have you read through this blog to see how often Mark is critical of actions taken by Israel?

      And to Mark I would add, this is a pointless argument, these are fundamentalists of the worst kind. Already on this topic I have heard a Church with bad architecture declared not to be really a “Catholic Church”. Arguing with these people is pointless. They are like protestant fundamentalists who will not accept, no matter how you word it or explain it, that the doctrine of Mary’s divine maternity does not mean she is the source of the Trinity. No matter how you word it, or how you justify your statements, all they can see is a conspiracy against the Latin mass, because that is the sum total of their world view. “Why do you bring up the murder of 6 million people, I mean it’s not like the Nazis had female Eucharistic ministers?” Nothing said in this space has made the traditionalists seem anything less than paranoid, despite all there protestations to the contrary. It is actually painful to read this thread, it is like people speaking different languages yelling at each other. I think it is time to drop this issue for now, before you get accused of being in the pocket of the Masons and the Bilderbergs, and before readers like me are driven entirely insane.

      • Ryan Ellis

        Maybe you’d be more sympathetic if you were called a Holocaust denier because of the Mass you went to. And I go to a Novus Ordo that just happens to be done well!

        • Mark Shea

          Stop lying. Nobody called you a Holocaust denier, much less a Holocaust deniery because of the Mass you go to. And nobody said “Traditionalists are all Holocaust Deniers” except self-pitying Traditionalists putting words in the mouths of critics of Holocaust Denial.

          • Ryan Ellis

            “Why Traditionalism Is Marginalized” is a pretty broad indictment of a lot of people.

            By your logic, I should force you to account for Cardinal Mahoney or other bad actors. I don’t, because he isn’t representative of anything but himself. You have no obligation to first separate yourself from him in order to maintain the priority you have within orthodoxy, or the points you’re making about this or that issue.

            Nor am I required to answer for some nut who flies off on a blog with an Our Lady of Traddies picture as a background image, or whatever. Points I might make on liturgy stand on their own.

            • Mark Shea

              No, Ryan. It’s not. Only your incredibly thin skin and self-pity makes it seem like a “broad indictment”.

              Think. How many bishops and priests have actually been guilty of pedophilia? Not all that many. And yet, the fact remains that the scandalous behavior of this small group of people is shocking. And when Catholics respond to shock and dismay at pedophiles by saying, “You are only faking being shocked and dismayed because you are part of a conspiracy and your *real* agenda is to attack the Extraordinary Form. Why are you so mean to me?:” normal people are only repelled by such a self-involved answer from deep within a subculture that apparently has no capacity to relate to the suffering of normal people.

              Exactly the same thing obtains when the common sense proposition “Mass murder of Jews is bad” is met by butthurt whining about how mean people who say this are being to Rorate Coeli just because they call a Holocaust Denier a “cherished friend”.

              It’s not all about you.

  • Charlotte

    Maybe it’s just me, but this guy who keeps going on about liturgy-first Catholics seems pretty off to me, and it sounds like liturgy worship. I thought as Catholics we are supposed to be Christ-first or Eucharist-first, or maybe even sacraments-first. How about love-first?

  • Marthe Lépine

    Charlotte, you just said what I wanted to express so much better than I could! And with much fewer words. Thank you, this helps me a lot and perfectly summarizes the view we have in common.


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