Faithful Answers and the Inquisitors’ Anti-Charism of Discernment

As the internet continues to facilitate the fractaling of the Catholic Church, what happens over time is that smaller and smaller enclaves of specialized groups find more and more petty things to get upset about and declare other Catholics “not really Catholic”.

So, for instance, witness the fate of poor Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, and all the good people at Catholic Answers, who have striven with might and main to faithfully defend and bear witness to the Faith for 20 odd years. As their reward for countless hours of tireless service, what do they get? A kick in the teeth. Take it away, Harvey Dent!

And so some guy named Chad Arneson decides they are Impure Enemies of the Faith and sets up something called Faithful Answers (get it, CA isn’t “faithful” and is in fact riddled with “dens of modernist misinformation<"). So they are hailed as a “More Traditional Alternative to Catholic Answers”/a> by a fanboy and Arneson does not correct that assessment in the slightest.

What’s ironic is how deeply Protestant this sort of Truly True Purely Pure stuff is. Instead of the Catholic model, which sees other apostolates as different expressions of the Catholic Faith and which work together to build up the body of Christ, Arneson’s group of angry Traditionalists treats CA (and EWTN, and, frankly, almost every Catholic in the world) as rivals and enemies and, thereby, re-enacts the worst of Protestant fissiparousness. They are, of course, aided and abetted by such sites as Angelqueen and Pewsitter, who likewise regard almost the entirety of the Catholic Church’s members as enemies of the Faith except for themselves and a few like-minded Catholics. Indeed, it’s a problem that tends to plague that subculture of Catholics whose gravest concern is kicking out other Catholics deemed to be impure.

Yr Obdt. Svt., naturally, failed to make the grade long ago and has indeed scandalously declared that I not only refuse to kick out any Catholic a bishop has not kicked out, but I am loathe to tell even the most heretical or immoral Christian that they cannot call themselves “Christian”. I know from personal experience that Jesus takes us where he finds us and does not wait around until our knowledge and morals are perfect before showing us his grace. The apostles learned the same thing when some guy who was “not one of us” was doing exorcisms in Jesus’ name. They wanted Jesus to stop him. Jesus said, “He who is not against you is for you.” Lots of impure and incorrect people are, if they but knew it. for the Church. But outfits like “Faithful Answers” can’t even accept organizations like Catholic Answers that are *obviously* for the Church. Not pure enough.

Me: I think C.S. Lewis’s advice is sound here. Rather than perpetually squinting at others and yearning to keep as many people from contact with Christ as possible, I think the proper question is, “If I, being what I am, can consider myself a Christian and a Catholic, why can’t the people that I run into on the Web — including those Catholics I think desperately wrong about something and even those who don’t want to associate with the grubby-handed hoi polloi like me at the contemptible Paul VI Mass?” So while Pewsitter and Angelqueen and Faithful Answers may have concluded that me and my ilk (that is, 99% of the Church) are a blight and a plague on the Purely Pure Church and need to be purged, I think them members of the Body of Christ who are, to be sure, massively wrong on a number of things, but still my brothers and sisters in Christ. They may kick me and folks like Catholics Answers out. But I’m not kicking out Angelqueen, Pewsitters and Faithful Answers and similar self-appointed inquisitors. I’m not even kicking Nancy Pelosi out. That’s her bishop’s job, not mine.

And that’s the crowning irony: those who believe themselves charged by God with cleansing the Church of the Impure seem to consistently demonstrate just about the worst anti-charism of discernment on the planet. So with unerring instinct for making exactly the wrong choices in defending Pure Truly True Catholic Faith, not from actual enemies of the Faith, but from other faithful Catholics, Faithful Answers manages to bring on board as their superstar quarterback none other than “Dr.” Robert Sungenis, whose “degree” is from Calamus University, an unaccredited boxtop diploma mill in the Republic of Vanatu that took seriously as his “dissertation” the quackery that later became Galileo Was Wrong (an impassioned defense of geocentrism and a non-rotational earth). That would be embarrassing enough, but Sungenis is, far more poisonously, the author of such stuff as:

A) Sungenis: “the figure of six million Jews dying under Hitler’s regime is even admitted by informed Jews to be mere propaganda.” (link)

B) Sungenis: “95% of the Jews today still despise Jesus Christ.” [link]

D) Sungenis: “As we have noted in previous articles, it is no secret to the well-informed that it is the goal of world politics and finance, which is run in large part by wealthy Jews behind the scenes, to secure the Middle East for Israel.” [link]

E) Sungenis: “Other Catholic organizations are also becoming fronts for Zionism. Catholic Answers in San Diego and the Eternal World Television Network seem to be the two mainstays. They are enamored with Jewish converts, but do very little to censor the erroneous theology being propagated by them.” [link]

F) Sungenis: “In fact, the concentration camps and genocide instigated by the Jewish communists in Russia against Christians and other groups dwarf those against the Jews in Nazi Germany. Hitler was merely modeling what was already practiced in Russia, a fact ignored by such Jewish authors as Daniel Goldhagen. Contrasted to the dozens of concentration camps in Hilter’s regime, the Russian Jews had thousands of such camps…but evidence of these camps have been systematically destroyed and their existence denied by the Jewish controlled media in Russia and the United States.” [link]

G) Sungenis: “A telltale sign in the movie industry of the shift in mores was demonstrated no better than in the Walt Disney Corporation. Founder Walter Disney was well-known in the 50s and 60s for wholesome family entertainment. Interestingly enough, Walt had a policy of not hiring Jewish people.” [link]

H) Sungenis: “Often the Zionist agenda of Hollywood’s elite subtly but effectively misdirects the public. Stephen Speilberg is one such example. While inoculating movie-goers with fantasy films such as Jurassic Park, E. T., Jaws and War of the Worlds, at the same time Spielberg promotes his own political sympathies, such as the four-hour long Shindler’s List, which, among other things, depicts scenes of Jewish people jammed in cattle cars. Spielberg would never consider making a film of his ancestors from Russia packing millions of Christians and Muslims in the same cattle cars which were sent by Jewish communists to the Gulag, where most were raped, tortured and killed. The “Holocaust” is all we are allowed to see by the Jewish-controlled media.” [link]

I) Sungenis: “We also know through the exhaustive effort of Michael Collins Piper’s new 738- page book, Final Judgment, how Bronfman (note: a Jew) is implicated in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The story begins when Kennedy refused to capitulate to Israel’s demand for nuclear weapons, and you can probably guess the rest of the story.” [link]

J) Sungenis: “Today we get deviant sexual advice from such Jewish matrons as Dr. Ruth Westheimer, and questionable behavioral advice from Dr. Laura Schlesinger, Ann Landers (formerly Esther Friedman Lederer) and her sister Abigail van Buren (Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips).” [link]

K) Below, note the manner in which Bob at least affirms his belief that it is likely FDR was effectively a Zionist agent who purposely allowed Pearl Harbor to occur (from his 2002 article and a subsequent article in response to Bill Cork): [link , link]

1) (Sungenis): “President Roosevelt had a part in (the Zionist conspiracy) himself. Being of Jewish ancestry, he was sympathetic to their cause….”

2) (Sungenis): “To him (Bill Cork) it doesn’t matter whether Roosevelt was hiding his possible Zionist ties or whether he had a hand in Pearl Harbor.”

4) (Sungenis): “It wasn’t until he was cornered by a reporter from the Detroit Jewish Chronicle that Roosevelt could not deny it any longer. And why is that important? Because if Mr. Roosevelt would conceal the possible Zionist influences in his life from those voting for him, then he might also conceal other things.”

M) Sungenis: “Christianity is certainly not inherently violent, but unfortunately, Judaism tends to be, because real Judaism considers all non-Jews goyim that are less than animals, and this precipitates a loathing and violence against non-Jews.” From Question #8, January 2006

P) Sungenis: “The Jews…do intend to rule the world. And now the problem is that they want to rule the Catholic Church, too.” From Question #47, November 2006

Q) Sungenis: “Are the Protocols (of the Elders of Zion) forged? I don’t know. What I do know is that there is a lot of reason to believe that there are certain people, yes, the Jews, who would like us all to believe that they are forged.” Article, p. 16

S) Sungenis: “You know, the thing about Bill Clinton was, you know, he tried to secure this peace accord between Israel and the Arabs and wasn’t successful with that, and he did some other things that the Jews didn’t like, because he got some power under him and he thought he could, you know, do whatever he wanted and then they, you know, they sent Monica Lewinski in there after him, you know, and brought him down.” Radio interview with RBN: Segment 1, Segment 2, Segment 3

T) Sungenis Radio Interview:

Caller:

To take this slightly away from religion, or, mostly away from religion for a little bit, I think the whole thing can best be explained by Benjamin Franklin’s statement to the Continental Congress in 1789, when he warned them, “Gentleman, if you let them in, in 200 years your children – your descendants, they will be in the fields as slaves, while the ones you let in” – and we know who they’re talking about – “will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands.”

That was Benjamin Franklin’s statement, and I think it explains the whole thing. Because the man knew, he was a student of history – and he wasn’t the only one – but he was a student of history who knew – he knew what they’d done in Europe, and all the countries in Europe that they’d been kicked out of, over and over again, because it’s the same game plan for these people, no matter where they are, where they go, it’s always the same game plan – has been for 2,000 years.

Bob:

Yeah, as a matter of fact, just to add to what you’re saying – we’ve been quoting Benjamin Ginzberg a lot on this program, and here’s what he says,along those same lines – he says, “to make matters worse, Jews often, secretly or not so secretly, conceive themselves to be morally and intellectually superior to their neighbors. Indeed, Jews are extremely successful outsiders who sometimes have the temerity to rub it in.”

That comes from *The Fatal Embrace*, page Roman numeral nine. Now, and on the other side of this coin, you know, we’ve got to be very cautious, because these are human beings too. Jews are human beings, and God loves them just like He loves you and I —

Caller:

According to the Talmud, they are the *only* human beings. The rest of us are cattle.

Bob:

Well, yeah, and that’s where the problem comes in. Caller:

Absolutely, so that’s exactly what you’re saying, but in a different way.

Bob:

Right, right, and what I find in, especially today, is this idea that has been resurgent since after World War II, and that is that the Jews are the Chosen People – that this somehow has come to the fore again, that all of a sudden, 2,000 years has gone by and God has resurrected them as the Chosen People above everybody else – and this is where institutions like EWTN, or the liberal Catholics, or the Zionists, or the Evangelical Protestants, or whatever – this is all what they’re feeding off of, that the Jews are the Chosen People and now we have to restore them to their rightful place – and it’s causing a lot of problems, because once you do that, you’re gonna push other people out of the way!

(Use same links to radio interview in item “Q”, directly above)

Also, as Sungenis has done with fraudulent quotes (attributed to Albert Einstein, Roy Schoeman and others), his “caller” attributed a fraudulent quote to Benjamin Franklin which Bob accepted without question.

U) Sungenis: “James Petras gives us the full blown story that you won’t hear on ABC News, CNN or in the Washington Post, dominated as they are by the Jewish-owned media conglomerates.”

“The Jews are godless and getting more ungodly with each passing day.” Article, page 1

V) From: Adventures in Blogland:

1) Sungenis: “I am merely doing the same thing Jesus did when he confronted the sins of the Jews…Unfortunately, the Jews haven’t changed in our day. They are still the same godless racists they were in Jesus’ day. Few of them have repented of their sins.” (page 10)

2) Sungenis: “The nation of Israel has control of AMDOCS, the central telephone operation in the United States. It’s one way the Mossad spies on American citizens, including you and those you talk to.” (page 30)

3) Sungenis: “Do I need to say more? I have the whole history of Catholicism behind me, and these Fathers, Doctors, Saints and the God-Man himself said much worse things about the Jews than I ever have. What is really happening today folks is that we have been taken over by Jewish propaganda, and there are a few Catholic/Jewish ideologues…Many of them are paid handsomely by Zionist groups to say whatever they can to silence people like me. They are bent on promoting the godless state of Israel for some pie-in-the-sky dream they have, even against their own Catholic religion (at least that’s the religion they claim to have), and they will smear anyone who gets in their way. The Jews have done this for centuries against good people, and it continues today.” (page 19)

From: Adventures in Blogland

W) Sungenis:

“the Jewish element has so infected our Catholic Church today that they have turned Catholics into Jewish apologists. The infection of Judaism and Zionism has become the number one enemy for us.” From Question #33, March 2007

Y) Sungenis:

“The whole tenor of the New Testament is that God is finally rejecting the Jews (except for a remnant)…God is giving up on the Jews. In the language of John 6:44, God is no longer going to draw them to Jesus. In fact, God will become active in keeping them in unbelief by blinding them to the truth (Romans 11:8). That is the kind of God we have; a very dynamic God…and the Jews will die in their unbelief.” Second Rebuttal to Dr. James R. White

Z) Sungenis:

“How is it that the Jews have garnered such a market on suffering that Bishop Rhoades finds it necessary to pay homage to them? Is it because they own the mortgages on the Catholic buildings erected in his and other dioceses?”

Sungenis:

“It’s time for people to wake up and stop being corralled by the Jewish slave masters.”

From: Our Response to Shea

AA) From: Radio Interview on Republic Broadcasting Network

Sungenis: “every place that [the Jews] have beeen throughout history, they have been excised. Because they do the same thing every time they go in there, they try to take over places that they go to! And every time they do, people get wise to it, just we’re doing now, and they get themselves in trouble. And then they wonder why they’re so persecuted, and vagabonds across the face of the earth for the last 2,000 years – well this is why!”

BB) Sungenis: “it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that six million Jews were killed in Nazi internment camps.” (October, 2009)

DD) Sungenis: “The documented records of the International Red Cross show that there were less than a few hundred thousand Jews who died in Nazi camps, and that most of those were from disease.” (October, 2009)

(Click here to see a refutation of this claim often made by Holocaust deniers and “revisionists”. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross itself, this is not what these records “show.”)

EE) Sungenis: “I suggest you read the unsanitized accounts of what really happened [in the Holocaust]. When the Jews and Jewish sympathizers start showing proof that the Nazis killed 6 million Jews by gassing them, instead of jailing people for even bringing up the question, then you you can talk about Nazis and I’ll listen.” (Note how Sungenis here describes the “revisionist” version of the Holocaust as “unsanitized accounts of what really happened.”)

GG) Sungenis: “I suggest you stop blaming it on the nation who excised [the Jews] and start looking at what the Jewish people do to get themselves excised.”

HH) Sungenis: “As for Germany’s relationship with the Jews, well, the Germans treated the Jews very nicely when the Jews were excised out of Russia and migrated to Germany. Then the Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal from someone else.”

Yes.  You read that last link right.  The Holocaust was that reprehensible period when the Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal from someone else.

Now these links are from Sungenis’ old Catholic Apologetics International site, which he was ordered by his bishop to rename since his bishop said he could not use the name “Catholic”.  He (eventually) complied, renaming it “Bellarmine Theological Forum”.  But he kept all the crazy Jew-hating stuff and kept adding to it with valuable news links like:

Jim Stone shows Israel Behind Fukashima Disaster
The European Jewish Union Exonerating Everything Jewish
Jewish Child Molesters
Mossad Involvement in 9/11
Jewry’s push for War with Iran
Jewish Atzmon Says Merah Was a Mossad False Flag Agent
and, last but not least, E. Michael Jones: Who is the World’s Real Enemy? (Guess who?)
(For a full catalog of Sungenis’ vast corpus of crazy statements about the Jews, go here.)

Now Sungenis has been properly admonished multiple times over the years by all sorts of people close to him.  And while he has sometimes hidden or deleted an occasional crazy remark he has never repented and continues merrily on with his crazy Jew-hatred.  An entire website, put together by former colleagues appalled at his descent into this evil nuttiness and documenting it in exhausting detail, has been around for years.

And Chad Arneson, founder of so-called “Faithful Answers” is well aware of it.  How do I know?  Because his Doxa Communications now hosts Robert Sungenis’ website, including his yet-to-be-moved section on “Jewish Issues” which Sungenis has cleverly labeled “Uncategorized”. [Note: Arneson, full of wounded outrage, demands that I apologize since I initially worded the previous sentence unclearly and unwary minds might suppose that he has authored some of the content on Sungenis'. That was not my intention. Sungenis creates the content. Therefore, let the world know that I apologize: Arneson does not, of course, control or author the content on Sungenis' site. His company just makes money off it by hosting Sungenis' site. And he recommends Sungenis to untutored and unwary people as a reliable source of Catholic teaching on Faithful Ansswers.]

Now Arneson claims that “Faithful Answers” does not deny the Second Vatican Council and the teaching of the Church.  He defies anybody to find any problems in Sungenis’ teaching.  Apparently, he is unaware of Nostra Aetate, which says:

Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.

That would include by “Dr.” Sungenis, whom Chad Arneson promotes as “one of the best apologists we have”. You know, the guy who says the Holocaust was that reprehensible period when the Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal from someone else, the guy who says Jews are “godless racists” who want to take over the world and who view all Gentiles as “animals”.

“Faithful Answers” is a manifestation of the ongoing devolution of reactionary Catholicism into a sort of auto-immune disease at work in the body of Christ. Ironically, the ranks of this subculture are often filled by converts longing for an imaginary Golden Age, not by Catholics who actually have a living memory of life before the Council. A relatively new convert comes into the Church as a fundamentalist reacting strongly to his Protestant background and imagining he has finally found the Pure Church.  Then, to his horror, he discovers he has not found the Pure Church, but merely Christ’s Church: “an institute”, as Belloc described it well before the Council, “run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight.”  The fundamentalist, aghast at what he sees, then learns the exact wrong lesson: that what the Church needs is his reactionary fundamentalism, not that he needs to abandon his reactionary fundamentalism and learn to think like a Catholic and accept human weakness with mercy and pity.  He clings to his biblical fundamentalism about Genesis. He holds fast to the notion of a Church of simple saints beseiged by smarty pants intellectuals and scientists and their atheistic philosophy. He solves the problem of the Church’s corruption by believing in shadowy conspiracies that one man and his Bible (and Catechism) can resist. He is convinced he cannot trust the Magisterium except when it speaks long ago, just as a Fundamentalist believes he cannot trust any Christian leader but the dead writers of the New Testament (and himself, of course). He then finds a few like-minded people who have Read a Thing or Two and sets about saving the Church from all the unwashed slobs he invariably describes as “Catholics”.

Result: the reactionary fundamentalist networks with other reactionary fundamentalists in the vain attempt to make the Church a home for some cocktail of kooky reactionary fundamentalist theories centering on, in this case, six day creationism, geocentrism, moon landings faked by (Jewish) Stanley Kubrick, and Jews tunnelling under our houses.  And any failure to accept this is painted as compromised heterodoxy and organizations like Catholic Answers get vilified as “modernist” by the young turk with no sense of discernment and a huge sense of messianic self-importance in his mission to save the Church, not from actual enemies, but from 99.9999% of its members.

Memo to all Protestant converts attempting to remake the Church in your image and likeness: you cannot build a life on protest. The Church is enormously resistent to the attempt to make it into your final Protestant sect and will not comply with your demand to use it as a tool for telling off your last sect and saying, “Ha! I’ve outgrown you!” The Church seems to be stubbornly and divinely instituted to be, in this world, a collection of screwups, oddballs, factory rejects, wimps, failures and slackers. The lesson to be learned from that is not, “I thank you, O Lord, that I am not like other men” but “I am no better than anybody else in this hospital for sinners and it is a miracle of grace that I get to be part of this noble company of the saints when I am so unworthy.” For you, of course, are not the Anointed One chosen by God to fix the Church. You are one of the screwups, oddballs, factory rejects, wimps, failures and slackers. Your first and last mission is to show a little gratitude (the Greek word is “eucharist”) and not imagine that God has declared you the instrument of his wrath to clean out the Church of all those you deem to be unworthy of the grace of God.

  • Trek

    Not to be a chronological order Nazi, but you skipped “X”.

    Pun intended.

    • Procopius

      Don’t worry. Mark just got a better ordinal number deal somewhere else

      • chezami

        Er, English major here. Is there some math humor here I’m not getting?

        • Stu

          I thought English Majors didn’t even “get” Math. :)

          • Beadgirl

            There you go stereotyping again :)

        • Newp Ort

          Perhaps this will clear it up? But they say it’s not funny if you have to have it explained to you.

          • Newp Ort

            OK that didn’t transfer well. I’ll just leave this here instead.

    • Beadgirl

      He also missed L, and missed no. 3 under K. I didn’t notice X was missing, because by then I was skimming — it was far too depressing to read all of Sungenis’s crazy.

  • vox borealis

    As the internet continues to facilitate the fractaling of the Catholic Church

    I wonder if there is any more fractaling of the faith now because of the interwebs (which does allow in theory for greater communication between isolated groups and individuals, and for the easier dissemination of Church teaching) than there was in the before times, when the laity (and for that matter priests) had far less information at their disposal, and each diocese—even each parish—could function even more as a largely autonomous entity.

    That’s her bishop’s job, not mine.

    I wonder, too, if the bishops had done their job better, the laity would have greater faith and trust in them, and be less willing to appoint themselves the makers-of-decisions. Of course, everyone could have done their job better, bishops, priests, sisters, nuns and without doubt the laity.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I wonder if there is any more fractaling of the faith now because of the
      interwebs…

      The interwebs do plenty to improve communication and disseminate information, but it has absolutely fractalized the Church even further. Because it’s so easy to pick and choose who you read and who you associate with, camps are drawn very quickly on the ‘web.

      When you had dioceses and parishes more isolated, sure they didn’t have as much information at their disposal, but you had to get along with the guy next door, because that’s all you had. Now you can just say, “Forget him, I’m going to go browse the Ultra-Specific Obsession That I Have Forum.”

      • vox borealis

        You’re probably right, overall. Still, I wonder—that Ultra-Specific Obsession groups even existed in the first place, already before the interwebs brought them together or pitted them against each other, only points to the reality that the Church was already fractalized. Plus, it was fractalized already ways supported by the official channels: there were, for example, a wide range of ethnic parishes, often within view of each other, each serving a specific ethno-cultural subset of the Church. Already when I was kid.long before the internet, some parishes were know to be “liberal,” others “traditional.” When one traveled, there was wide, wide variation in parish life from one part of the country to the other. People were already church shopping to find the niche community that best fit them. Or, they did what my father did when the “changes” came in the 1960s…he simply left the church. Trust me, he found plenty of fellow travellers who decried that everything had gone to pot. Lastly, the post-VII emphasis on collegiality and local governance, expressed most fully in the rise in prominence of national bishops conferences, all but guaranteed that the Church would break down along national lines. Moreover, the ideal of localization was used to justify further fractalization (“that’s not the way we do it *here*…”). (And no, this is not a critique of VII…let’s not go down that rabbit hole.)

        I guess the internet has allowed these various splinter groups to communicate with each other and perhaps to make more noise. But I’m still not convinced the bulkanization wasn’t already well in place, long before Al Gore armed them with the information superhighway..

        • Andy, Bad Person

          I’d agree with that. Divisions certainly existed before the Internet, but now they’re enabled better and turned up to 11.

          Also, the extra-fringe groups get far better representation with the internet. How many 9-11 Truthers would you be able to find in the average parish or town? Extend your network worldwide, and suddenly the crazies have someone to bounce their ideas to and amplify them.

    • Marthe Lépine

      Could you explain to me, please, who actually has the authority to decide how well the bishops are doing their job? It seems that there are a lot of such judges in some parts of the laity, but who has decided that they were qualified to do it?

      • vox borealis

        I’m pretty certain the Church is open on the matter of who can judge how well a bishop is doing. Amrk Shea occasionally makes such judgments, when he criticizes bishops for acting poorly with respect to the sex abuse scandal, or when he praises them for having strong spines. One is, I think, well within the bounds of reason to look at objective factors (number of vocations, catholic schools closed or opened, works of charity performed, etc) in trying to come up with an evaluation.

        At the same time, I think ceding the “right” to judge how well bishops a re doing—claiming that no one except, perhaps, other bishops have the authority, which is what your comment implies—is potentially very dangerous.

      • Salkind

        In the past ages of the Church, the laity were allowed to say that their Bishop didn’t do their job. They were even allowed to say that their Bishop was a heretic. So, for instance, when Nestorious denied that Our Lady was the Theotokos(God Bearer), a layman stood up in Church and declared him a heretic. Then the faithful Catholics of that diocese raised a stink and said “We have no Bishop!” because they believe Nestorious deposed himself by his heresy. And then the First Council of Ephesus was convened, and the rest is history. Today, of course, if a Catholic makes a mild criticism of his local Bishop, people like Mr. Shea call them disobedient, “rad Trads” and schismatic.

        • chezami

          Bullshit. You can and do bitch about your bishop all the time. You do almost nothing else. The problem is, you typically don’t seem to know what you are talking about or have the sense God gave a goose as you obsess over stupid trivia like head coverings while turning a blind eye to somebody thinks the Holocaust was when the Jews turned on the Germans cuz they got a better deal from somebody else. As long as Trads are that morally retarded and socially maladroit, I could not possibly care less what you think is important.

          • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

            On behalf of all the other faithful who are socially maladroit and struggle with that, I’d say worry more about the morally retarded part.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why reactionary hypertrads like this are always so obsessed with Teh Joos.

    • Newp Ort

      Maybe you should be asking what they’ve done to draw such attention from conspiracy traditionalist nut bags.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Because, as an answer to “What’s wrong with the world?”, “J0000000000s” rolls off the tongue far more easily than “I am”.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Similarly, I can’t fathom how anyone could believe that Jews want to take over the world, and have supposedly been trying to do so for centuries (see the Protocols).

      Just look at the demographics of the world religions: Christianity is the largest at approx. 2.1 billion adherents. Islam has about 1.5 billion and is sometimes listed in second place (though some estimate that Buddhists may outnumber Muslims overall).

      So how many adherents does Judaism have? 14 million. Yep, that’s all. To put that in perspective, there are about twice as many Sikhs (28 million) in the world as observant Jews.

      Gee, I would expect a religion that is hell-bent on world domination to have quite a few more adherents than that. Especially if they have been conspiratorially working toward that goal for many centuries now.

      But how have they (allegedly) been working toward world domination? Have they been evangelizing, making massive converts as Christianity has? Nope, Judaism doesn’t evangelize. Okay, so have they been conquering nation after nation for the Jewish faith, as Muslims have done for Islam? Um, no, they haven’t done that either. So how in the heck do they expect to *take over the world* (cue Pinky and the Brain theme song)?

      Well maybe, just maybe, they don’t.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Maybe they’re just being grown in underground labs, hiding their true numbers until the order is given to strike.

        • Rosemarie

          +J.M.J+

          >>>Maybe they’re just being grown in underground labs, hiding their true numbers until the order is given to strike.

          Riiight. That must be it. /sarc :-)

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          Maybe they’re just really BAD at trying to take over the world. :) Honestly, the whole, “Jews controlling everything” conspiracy theory never made any sense to me at all.

        • Newp Ort

          Come on Andy, they’re not LITERALLY underground. There’s SECRET Jews. 2.4 billion, at least. Include the billions of gentiles under Jew control and we’re in deep shit.

        • meunke

          Remember, according to Obi-Wan, JOOOOOOOOOS always travel in single file to hide their numbers.

    • Ralphster

      Looks like everyone is having a swell time poking fun at us Trads. But a few facts are in order as well.

      I am a convert to Catholicism [fully traditional] from a Jewish background. Yes, Jews have been terribly mistreated and persecuted. And, yes, Catholics should not have an inordinate obsession with Jews.

      Having said that, don’t be so quick to exonerate Jews of all wrongdoing, as though small numbers or a religion that doesn’t evangelize somehow proves innocence. Significant numbers of Jews have engaged in genuine wrongdoing, from Bolshevism, to Stalinism, to Zionism, as well as disproportionately high numbers in the vanguard of the fight against a Culture of Life and Family in the contemporary US. Not to mention the deChristianization of the West in general during the past 200 years.

      And not to mention the mindless Nostra Aetateization of the faith to the point where there any number of prelates and clerics saying, in effect, that Jews are not to be evangelized.

      Yes, there are sound Catholic grounds to be deeply troubled and disturbed by certain actions that have been and are being undertaken by certain Jews.

      • chezami

        Nobody’s saying Jews are without sin. What I am saying is that Sungenis’ disgraceful and disgusting apologias for the slaughter of millions should be repudiated, not embraced by Trad buffoons as the work of “one of our best apologists.”

        • Stu

          Who here is embracing Sungenis?

          As a so-called “trad” I wrongly dismissed his crazy views as part of a what I thought was his sedevacantism. He is considered “off the reservation” by most people. In fact, the link you provided above for the “Dallas Traditionalists” has similar sentiments in the commbox.

          Tighten the focus for all of us.

          • chezami

            He is considered “one of the best apologists” by Faithful Answers, the subject of this post. And Faithful Answers is being feted by Pewsitter and Angelqueen and will no doubt promoted as the “Orthodox” alternative to Catholic Answers by lots of other discernment-free idiots all over St. Blogs. You are not among them. But this post is not about you. It’s about the self-proclaimed judge, jury and executioner of CA’s fidelity at Fainthful Answers and his brain-dead anointing of an apologist for mass murder as “one of our best apologists.” I’m sick of the massive lack of discernment.

            • Stu

              “But this post is not about you.”

              We agree. It’s about “Faithful Answers” and we also agree that their use of Sungensis speaks poorly of them. But in the commbox, when you start to decry “Traditionalists” in a general sense, well then you are talking about me. I think bringing some focus to your fires would be helpful. It would be like me finding something stupid in the National Catholic Reporter (or Commonweal, America or The Tablet) and simply referring to “Novus Ordo Catholics” in making my point.

              You certainly can bomb a Volkswagen Bug on a city street using a MOAB, but in doing so you will almost certainly do some collateral damage.

              • chezami

                Fair enough. I simply get sick of running into this everytime Traditionalism appears on the radar.

      • Newp Ort

        Using Sungenis to whip trads is unfair. As Ralph demonstrates, the average trad is only moderately anti-Semitic.

        • Ralphster

          Nothing I’ve said is bigoted against Jews collectively. Anti-Semitism is just an increasingly meaningless term that is all too often used to tar those one disagrees with and/or shut down discussion of topics that certain Jews would rather not have discussed.

          • chezami

            I think it’s safe to say that when somebody says the Holocaust was that period in history when the Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal, that person is a Jew-hating idiot.

          • Newp Ort

            Wow, that’s great….I’m not sure if your comment is satire or just plain crazy but I’m laughing either way.

            It’s not fair to call me anti-semitic! I’m not bigoted against all Jews! Just the ones responsible for the world’s ills!

            • Ralphster

              Wow is right. How about we take the subject matter seriously instead of you casually throwing around charges and accusations because you feel like it? Give me an exact precise definition of anti-Semitism, show me exactly how I match it, and let’s have a systematic nuts-and-bolts discussion about it. We’ll see how well your ramshackle accusations hold up after I’m finished with them.

              • Newp Ort

                You want a definition? Look in the mirror dickhead. I’m not gonna debate nuts and bolts with a bigot. If you wanna be deeply troubled by the actions of certain Jews, go right ahead. Or face your own prejudices and try to change and whether you change is on your head. Argument isn’t going to change your irrationality. Maybe you oughta pray on it.

                Besides, my Jew handler just tapped me on the shoulder and said he’d rather I not discuss this.

                • susan

                  Newp, I see you are a good student of Mr. Shea’s technique…..(Mark, you’ve taught this one well the fine art of controlled persuasion.)

                  • Newp Ort

                    Susan, go take a flying f__k at a rolling donut.
                    ;)

                • Ralphster

                  So no definition of anti-Semitism, no backing up of serious accusations, not even common courtesy devoid of vulgarity. This is your enfeebled idea of being a Catholic? I’m sure any Jewish handler you may have is a comparative paragon of virtue by comparison.

                  • chezami

                    “Jewish handler”? Look! Another nasty Traddy for the ban file. buhbye!

      • Andy, Bad Person

        And not to mention the mindless Nostra Aetateization of the faith

        Wait, huh? Is embracing the Magisterial teaching in Nostra Aetate problematic?

      • Andy, Bad Person

        And nowhere have I poked fun at “us Trads”; just, as I said, reactionary hyper-trads. If you consider yourself in that group, then as my mother always said, “If the shoe fits…”

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        >>>Having said that, don’t be so quick to exonerate Jews of all wrongdoing, as though small numbers or a religion that doesn’t evangelize somehow proves innocence.

        I wasn’t exonerating anyone from wrongdoing. I was pointing out the strangeness of the claim that such a small ethnic/religious group which refuses to evangelize or spread its religion by the sword has been working for many hundreds of years on a master plan to take over the world.

        Yes, I know some Jews have done bad things because they’re human like the rest of us and we’re all sinners. Some Gentiles have done bad things as well, including stuff like Bolshevism, Stalinism, Nazisim, etc. I’m not exonerating anyone of that; that wasn’t the point of my earlier post.

      • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

        There is a difference between noting the disproportionate weight that jewish members had Romania’s first communist government and being a bit upset about that and making excuses for the Iron Guard pogroms of Romanian jews. Sungenis might be aiming at the former in tone but he seems to be hitting the latter state.

        My major beef with the SSPX is not that they are rad trads but that they are not traditionalists at all. You can most easily spot it in their treatment of eastern catholics. SSPX are nostalgics who reject the Church’s repentance of its occasional injustice to the sons of the East. Too many claimed trads are actually nostalgics.

        • susamn

          TMLutas, funny how you willingly accept the Latin Church’s injustices against the ‘sons of the East’, but never any mention of the massacre of the Latins by those sons. We all have stuff to apologize for, but not everyone does.

          You are guilty of the same things you rage against Sungenis for, only with a different group….”The Traaaaaads”.

          • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

            The “Traaaaads” as you put it, generally have my sympathies actually but not when they’re aggressive and revisionist fake trads as the SSPX is. Tradition is about fidelity to a concept, one that we all should make a serious effort at committing to. It’s not a date which we should slavishly hold to because the Church has never had a golden age where perfection was attained.

            The Vatican II call for the East to be more faithful to Tradition *should* have traditionalist support. It’s a convenient sorting device to separate the fake trads from the real ones. Fake trads are against a restoration of traditional approaches and practice, real trads will welcome it and take the opportunity to wonder why this should only apply to the East.

            As for the massacre of the Latins by the sons of the East, I’m trying to figure out what you mean by it. Instead of my guessing and speculating, could you tell me?

            • Ralphster

              Not sure how Eastern Catholics got involved in this discussion, TMLutas. And not sure which repentances SSPX refuses to affirm. Given all the hazy,novel repentenaces of the past 20 years, it might be hard to fault SSPX if they’re a bit skeptical here.

              • http://chicagoboyz.net/ TMLutas

                Go read Orientalium Ecclesiarium and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a document filled with calls for restoring and holding fast to tradition. It too comes out of Vatican II. So why does SSPX not only reject the document but actively support the resistance to it in the form of the Priestly Society of St Josaphat?

                Traditionalists should support calls to restore tradition. The SSPX finds of some calls for tradition to be beyond its comfort zone, thus, they are not legitimate trads.

  • Dave G.

    “As the internet continues to facilitate the fractaling of the Catholic Church, what happens over time is that smaller and smaller enclaves of specialized groups find more and more petty things to get upset about and declare other Catholics “not really Catholic”.”

    Yeah. I’d say in quite a few cases that’s a pretty accurate assessment.

  • Sally Wilkins

    Thank you, Mark. I was not aware of how far into nuthood the “Dr.” had roamed.

  • contrarian

    “As the internet continues to facilitate the fractaling of the Catholic Church, what happens over time is that smaller and smaller enclaves of specialized groups find more and more petty things to get upset about and declare other Catholics “not really Catholic”.”

    Catholic Answers recently devoted a two-hour show on the danger of ‘Radical Traditionalists’.
    Talk about petty things to get upset about.

    http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2013-0615-crenshaw-catholic-answers-radical-trad.htm

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      It’s not petty when you have groups of Protestants who claim to be Catholic working from within to subvert the legitimate authority of the Church, or groups like SSPX who lead faithful Catholics astray.

      • contrarian

        Got it.

        “It’s not petty and fractaling when WE do it. It’s only petty and fractaling when YOU do it. We’re the good guys! Don’t you see?”

        Look. I don’t care if you want to use rhetoric (‘you’re just a bunch of protestants!) and do some boxing. This the internet, the home of rhetoric and argument. Just don’t pull the ‘why are you picking on us poor simple laymen? you’re sooo mean and divisive!’ routine.

        • Lucas Hennessey™

          BOOM. Roasted. +1 contrarian.

          • chezami

            Yesssss! Another Catholic bayonetted by the Purely Pure! So much easier to attack other Catholics then to do works of mercy or evangelize or defend the faith from actual enemies. Booyah! JoAnne Wahlund, fellow Catholic, is dispatched!

            • Lucas Hennessey™

              BOOM. Roasted. +1 chezami.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          All heresy is worth combating, whether it comes from outside the Church or within.

    • chezami

      Quit whining.

      • contrarian

        Good argument.

        • chezami

          What is gratuitously asserted can be gratuitously denied. Radical Traditionalists are as much in error as any other sect that despises the Church and it is their task to answer such sects, big or small. Tough shit if that bothers you.

          • contrarian

            Indeed. Catholic Answers, not liking those who criticize VII, are certainly in their right to criticize those who criticize VII. Those who criticize VII are then in their right to criticize Catholic Answers for criticizing those who criticize VII. Argument is really fun that way.

            The point here is that we can’t get all hot and bothered by argument.

            It’s not whining to defend yourself, nor is it whining to point out the places where those criticizing your view are wrong.

  • johnnyc

    To get back to the beginning of your post. Doesn’t CAL bring some of this on themselves. They have shows dedicated to traditionalists and prompt them to call in and then talk over each other. They have a sub forum for traditionalists that seems to get overly moderated. So based on the last trad show I won’t be listening. I’ll just wait for the shows dedicated to the danger that liberals and modernists pose to the Church They should be coming soon, right? Right? I mean doesn’t that element contribute to the ‘fractaling’ of the Church?

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      “They have shows dedicated to traditionalists and prompt them to call in and then talk over each other.”

      Uh, no. Have you ever listened to an ep of CAL other than the one you mention? They’re all like that. Most callers are polite, but occasionally you get the belligerent ones who don’t want the host or guest to get a word in edgewise, so the host/guest are forced to “talk over them” in order to make their points and keep the show moving.

      As for the shows dedicated to the danger that liberals and modernists pose to the Church, they are ALL THE TIME. One (recurring) example: http://www.catholic.com/radio/shows/the-new-age-deception-8640

      Among many, many others.

      I’ve been listening to CAL since around 2007 or so. I don’t think you’ve listened more than once or twice. Why not give it a shot? The archives are available. Listen to nearly every show from 2007 to present and then come back and tell us your opinion.

      • johnnyc

        I’ve been listening for quite awhile. They have shows dedicated for non – Catholics. I am talking about a show dedicated to Catholics that want the Church to have women priests, allow gay marriage, etc. The national catholic reporter types. Maybe I missed it but I have not heard any show advertised in that way as in the trad shows. If your going to call out one end of the spectrum, why not the other?

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          Obviously you haven’t been listening, otherwise you’d know that the topic is discussed on nearly every single show. Hardly a day goes by when there’s not a caller asking what he or she should do about Fr. So-and-so at X Parish who preached a homily about the glories of contraception or the need for women’s ordination. The CAL staff answer is always orthodox and solid: “This is wrong, this is why it’s wrong, you should charitably talk to your priest and, if that gets you nowhere, talk to the bishop.”

          • johnnyc

            I can equally say that there are traditional callers quite frequently so why the need to have a show specifically aimed at ‘mad trads’? Find me the show that is advertised specifically for liberals and/or ‘mad modernists’ to call in? As I mentioned before…why call out one end of the spectrum and not the other.

            • JoAnna Wahlund

              Because, as the SSPX and “Faithful Answers” has plainly showed, there are a lot of people being led astray by the “rad trads.”

              As for the shows specifically aimed at liberals and modernists, try every single one about a controversial topic… abortion, women’s ordination, etc. Each show explains the Church’s authentic teaching on those subjects and invites liberal or modernist callers to call in and debate.

    • chezami

      Be serious. They constantly deal with modernist errors. Why is is that Traditionalist are so often self-absorbed whiners who believe the whole world revolves around and picks one them?

      • Stu

        In fairness Mark, for about 40 years until SP, they were “picked on” and ostracized. It will take some time to work out the “siege mentality” that many of them have been living under.

        • chezami

          Boy, if they feel that sorry for themselves, imagine how survivors of Auschwitz must feel when they defend the work of a guy who says the Holocaust was when the Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal. Not interested in the self-pity narrative when guys like Faithful Answers promote that filth.

          • Stu

            Whoaaa….Apples and Oranges.

            Who is “they” and let’s not over generalize. Again, as someone who actually would be characterized as a “traditionalist” I don’t know anyone at my EF parish, which I attend regularly, who defends Sungenis, his views or even knows who he is. In fact, from my question above I think most in my circle who do know him think he is a sedevacantist like I did.

            You asked about why some traditionalist feel “picked on.”

            I answered that question and that question only and my answer is true.

            • chezami

              I’m not addressing anybody in your parish. I’m addressing the arrogant Inquisitors at Faithful Answers and the people who are defending their assault on the fidelty of CA.

              • Stu

                And I responded to this question, “Why is is that Traditionalist are so often self-absorbed whiners who believe the whole world revolves around and picks one them?” which didn’t have anything to do with Faithful Answers.

                • vox borealis

                  And I responded to this question,…

                  It’s futile, Stu. This is one topic where Mark Shea simply will not give ground. It always starts with a critique of some individual or group of trads, but it doesn’t take long before generalizing rhetoric comes out (“Why is it that Traditionalists are so often…”). And when this is pointed out, or if you try to answer the general question, you are accused of “whining” or defending the individual who was initially critiqued. I’ve given up responding long ago. There are reasons, some justified and some not, why many trads do have a bunker mentality. Mark Shea is not, apparently, interested in them. So be it.

          • vox borealis

            Godwin’s Law Alert!!

            • Newp Ort

              It’s not Godwin’s law if the holocaust (and it’s deniers) is part of the subject matter being discussed.

              BTW, I love the part where Sungenis says Hitler was only doing what the Russians had done.

              Is there an anti-Godwin’s law among anti-semites that the longer the thread the higher the likelihood someone will comment that Hitler wasn’t so bad a guy?

              • vox borealis

                Is there an anti-Godwin’s law among anti-semites that the longer the thread the higher the likelihood someone will comment that Hitler wasn’t so bad a guy?

                No idea..I’m not interested in Sungenis at all, and I’m certainly not defending him. I just thought it was a cheap rhetorical ploy on the part of Mark Shea to bring up the Holocaust at *that* particular juncture. He asked why trads tend to be “whiners” who think the world is out to get them. Stu responded to that point specifically, saying that for four decades trads were essentially picked on and ostracized. Mark Shea responds “Holocaust!!!” It was an unfair response to that particular comment in its context. Mind you, Stu wasn’t it seems to me, trying to defed Sungenis either. He was just responding to Shea’s broad generalization about “trads” who are all self-pitying whiners. You know, the kind of generalizing commentary that he apologized for several weeks ago.

                • chezami

                  No. It was a perfectly fair response. Another Trad group exercises spectacularly bad judgment by throwing in their lot with an apologist for mass murder and when I point it out, I get a sob story about Trads instead of a frank admission that this kind of stupidity deserves to be kicked down the stairs. I’ve lost patience with “But you have to understand how they’ve suffered” when the Trad group is in the midst of lionizing a Jew-hating moron who tries to make excuses for the slaughter of millions.

                  • Stu

                    Which “Trad Group?” Faithful Answers? Is the everyone who identified as a “Trad?” Sungenis is a loon. Associating with him is looney.

                    Regardless of that, it doesn’t change the fact that prior to the MP (and still in some areas) those identified as traditionalists are marginalized for doing nothing more that valuing tradition. It’s a fact. I’ve seen it. Does it excuse bad behavior or erroneous viewpoints on other issues? No. But to just dismiss it does no good.

                  • vox borealis

                    OK, I see what you’re saying, Mark. But *you* asked the question, and Stu provided an answer. You didn’t get the “sob story” from Stu until you took the conversation from the specific case to the general.

          • Gerard

            Oops! I guess that means no more G.K. Chesterton. Read Chesterton’s essay “The Judaism of Hitler.”

      • johnnyc

        Because there are shows dedicated for them? Hey all you mad trads call in and tell us why your mad. Shouldn’t we expect soon….hey all you mad modernists call in tell us why the Church is wrong on marriage, abortion, etc. We specifically want to hear from you nuns on the bus!

        • chezami

          The fathomless self-pity of the Traditionalist. Yeah, it’s all about you. Catholic Answer is the real enemy.

          • contrarian

            I don’t know if they are the enemy. I think the point here is that they can be fairly criticized for having a few shows on traditionalism that were argumentatively flawed and heavy on psychoanalysis and rhetoric.

            • chezami

              I don’t know if they are the enemy.

              Whereas I know they are not the enemy. And that is exactly what is the problem with Inquisitorial Traddery. It can’t even figure out that CA is not the enemy, but it feel itself anointed by God go around impuging the fidelity of obviously faithful Catholics, all while whining in perpetual self-pity.

              • contrarian

                Ok, revision:

                They are not the enemy. They are the good guys. They do some good stuff.

                They are just sometimes wrong. As in the case of their recent show on ‘Radical’ traditionalism.

                I’ll be back later to respond. I have to go wash all of this oil off my head. :)

              • Gerard

                Stop the whining yourself. The problem is with you. You don’t admit or recognize when Catholic Answers flubs it big time. Listening to Coffin play kissy face over Andrew Greeley was disgusting.

          • Salkind

            Can I ask a question: what the bleep is your problem? There are several million people in this world who don’t see the situation in the Church exactly as you do. You are not the center of the world, Mr. Shea. Last time I looked at the Vatican website, you weren’t appointed arbiter of all that is Catholic. Get over yourself.

            • chezami

              My problem is that Trads like you are too stupid to see that anti-semitism and apologetics for mass murder is bad.

    • Stu

      I love CAL. I listened to the show in question. Did they “miss” on a few things? Sure. Did they get some things right? Absolutely. And I thought the dialogue with Father Cekada at the end was very good and an example of good discourse.

      Bottom line to me is that the intent of the show was worthy and attempted in good faith.

      • contrarian

        Stu,

        Good points here, but I disagree on the Cekada point. They didn’t let Cekada get two words in edgewise. They kept on cutting him off and changing the topic on him. It was a bit grating to listen to.

        • Lucas Hennessey™

          Even if they let Fr. Cekada talk, he’s not an accurate representation of a Traditional Catholic (I hate that term). It was a caricature of Traditon at best.

          • Stu

            He called in on his own. The fact that they engaged him and had a good conversation was a positive.

        • Stu

          They did the best with the time they had. It was at least a respectful dialogue.

        • Newp Ort

          If you think that’s grating, you oughta hear the racket coming outta the parmesan processing plant across the street from my apartment. I can barely hear myself think.

          • Andy, Bad Person

            On the other hand, hey, parmesan.

  • Andy

    As much as I find the “crazies” spewing their comments publicly, I find the idea that they keep them private more frightening. It is much easier to refute or deny that which is seen, then to constantly deal with the rumors. However, I am becoming somewhat scared for the Catholic Church. It seems as if the laity are splintering into mini-churches each with its own brand of Catholic, and this splintering makes it so much easier for Catholics to leave the church, for potential converts to say no thanks.
    I agree with VB below – if the bishops had done their jobs better, if the priests and nuns had done their jobs better – in confronting issues instead of ignoring, or succumbing to them we would be be in a better place. If the laity had asked hard questions and demanded answers instead of accepting milk-toast we would be in a bette place. I would add that if all had actually looked and continued to look at the gospels and saw in each other Christ we would be in a better place.

  • Stu

    Question…
    I thought Sungenis was sedevacantist? Anyone?

    • contrarian

      Is he really? I know that in one of his debates you youtube, he takes the anti-sede position (I remember it, because it’s the only debate I’ve watched of him where he loses).

      Perhaps he’s changed his position, though.

      • contrarian

        *on* youtube.

    • chezami

      Nope. Not so far.

      • Stu

        Roger. Thanks for clearing that up.

        NOTE: BY ASKING THAT, I WAS NOT IMPLYING IT FOR CERTAIN. I THOUGHT IT TO BE THE CASE AND WAS MISTAKEN.

        • contrarian

          You’re not allowed to do that on the internet. You can’t ask honest questions! You have to KNOW EVERYTHING!

          • chezami

            No. You just need to know enough not to promote an anti-semitic loon who advocates geocentrism and another quack who promotes young earth creationism while setting yourself up as judge, jury and executioner of the fidelity of good people like Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin. Comprende? Stop with the self-pity already.

            • contrarian

              ?
              I was just responding to the comment about asking questions. It was a general comment, in jest.

              (Yeesh!)

              • chezami

                Okay. I couldn’t see what you were respond to. My apologies.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Ironically, the ranks of this subculture are often filled by converts
    longing for an imaginary Golden Age, not by Catholics who actually have a
    living memory of life before the Council.

    I know I’ve told this story before, but I think it bears repeating, if only because I avoided a trip down Reactionary Road. I had a great pastor once, ordained a decade before V2 (so plenty of memory of life before the council!), who told two EFs and two OFs every Sunday. One day, I told him something, I forget what exactly, but to the effect that the old form of the rite is superior to the new form. He rebuked me soundly and without hesitation. He told me that there were plenty of liturgical abuses before the council, and plenty of problems in the Church, prior to VII. He told me that the EF did not provide special graces absent in the OF, and that the presumption of one form as superior to another was both arrogant and ignorant – did I really think that I knew better than the Church?

    At the time, the rebuke seemed harsh to my ears. But after a few weeks of reflection, I realized it for what it was – the love of a pastor for the Church, the Mass, and his flock. I will always be grateful for the strong arm that pushed me back towards orthodoxy with the Church and docility to its Magisterium.

    But I can sympathize with this sort of thing to a degree, because I nearly went that way. But it is emphatically not The Way.

    • Beadgirl

      After first reading about the hullabaloo over the EF and OF on the interwebs, I asked my very devout, daily-Mass-going mom about the Latin Mass, which she remembers from her youth and young-adulthood. She didn’t like it at all; she found it off-putting and cold, and does not want to see a return to it. (She’s fine with it being available to those who do want it.)

      All too often in debates about which form of the Mass to use, some advocates for the Latin Mass unwittingly (and wittingly) imply that older Catholics and truly devout Catholics more easily recognize its superiority. But that’s really not true. Instead, I think it shows that *both* versions are good, because each one is capable of bringing someone closer to God.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        I once asked my devout Catholic grandmother – who prayed three decades of the Rosary every morning and night as well as many other devotions – whether she preferred the way Mass is now (this was during the 1980s) or how it was for most of her life before VII. She thought for a few seconds and said she preferred the new way.

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          Yes, all four of my grandparents–including my maternal grandfather who converted from Presbyterianism–preferred the post-V II mass for the same reasons. They could connect better with the Mass. My grandparents all embraced the Charismatic movement within the Church as well, which I don’t think would have happened at all pre-V II.

          I think, as Dave says, people choosing the extraordinary form of the Mass now are rather like those who choose to homeschool. They are making a conscious effort and choice to do something different, a choice that is obvious to their children and the world. They wouldn’t make the choice to do something out of the ordinary if they they were indifferent about their faith. What does not automatically follow is that anyone who chooses or prefers the OF, or public schools their children, is intrinsically less faithful.
          Some extreme Traditionalists seem to think they have free rein to say anything nasty they wish about other Catholics and it’s just peachy. I’ve seen extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion called ‘vultures’ and ‘ring wraithes’, and the stretching out of hands to pray over or bless someone called ‘heil Hitler hands’ and ‘nazi salutes’. It is very alienating.

          • Dave

            About extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, I think that Catholic Answers and the rad Trads are in agreement that the American usage of habitually using EM’s is not in accord with Church regulations. But, of course, CA would not call them “vultures”, etc.

            • Rebecca Fuentes

              I actually agree with that too. However, explaining the teaching is much more effective than name calling. In most parishes, the priest has asked people to serve as EMoHCs and lectors, etc. As far as any of these people know, they are helping out, serving their church, and many of them are very devoted. If a member of the congregation is so uncomfortable with the use of EmoHC in their parish, they really need to go speak with the priest, not revile the people trying to serve.

      • Dave

        I don’t think it’s really about whether the Mass is in Latin, per se. I think it’s about the fact that, in this particular historical situation, those who offer the Mass in Latin, and who attend the Latin Mass, are more likely to be devout and reverent in their Catholic Faith (groups like the FSSP seem to be a great example – of course, some other enclaves of the Trads require one to be wary of the fringe elements that Mark is describing) That said, there is certainly not any intrinsic advantage to one or the other. Personally, I feel that the best of both worlds would be a Mass in English with all the smells and bells of the Latin Mass.

        It’s sad because it’s really a false dichotomy. I consider myself to be both a Traditionalist and a Charismatic. In this regard, I think I’m probably in a very small minority. People seem to think that those terms are opposed to each other somehow.

        • chezami

          Or just more prideful, arrogant, judgmental and self-satisfied. Any Catholic who goes around announcing himself “more devout and reverent” than the herd is already in spiritual trouble. Why, they might arrogantly start some apostolate called “Faithful Answers” just to telegraph that they have appointed themselves judge, jury, and executioner of the fidelity of good servants of Christ like Karl Keating and the staff of Catholic Answers.

          • Dave

            Mark, I don’t dispute that some Traditionalists are “more prideful, arrogant, judgmental and self-satisfied” (see my edited post) You should know what I’m talking about, though. In the 1990′s when I came to the Seattle area, it literally required extended research to find a Catholic parish that was faithful to the Magisterium, and wasn’t basically a Protestant church in disguise (the “we believe this, but not THAT” mentality). While I’m sure it’s quite a bit better now, I’m guessing that such parishes are still the minority. You don’t have that problem in Latin Mass communities (although you have a different problem, which you described.)

          • contrarian

            Yeah, I dunno. I consider myself to be a pretty crappy Catholic; but for purely argumentative reasons, I’m persuaded by many of the traditionalist positions. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I wish that certain traditionalist positions were wrong. But I think they have the arguments on their side.

            I gotta imagine that some of the folks who are involved with Faithful Answers are of the same mentality.

            IN other words, I them saying this:
            “IF you claim to be Catholic (whether or not you ARE Catholic, and whether or not you are a particularly devout or ‘good’ Catholic), you should know that the Church teaches X (or at least, has historically taught X) and not Y. Catholic Answers seems to suggest Y. We’re going to argue that it’s X.”

            I guess I don’t see the folks at Faithful Answers (having now visited and perused their site for a bit) to be trying to ‘out-devout’ the folks at Catholic Answers. Instead, I think they have some intellectual and apologetical quibbles with them regarding what Catholicism actually is.
            Perhaps they are wrong about everything. But if they are, it’s for reasons having to do with where the arguments lead, and has very little to do (or nothing to do?) with personal piety.

            P.S. They seem to have some interesting folks, including Ryan Grant of D-Review! Cool!~

          • Gerard

            Complaining about that and defending a bunch of laymen claiming for themselves the right to call their answer “Catholic” when a lot of them are sheer opinion is rich.

            That’s like the old “Petersnet” rating system site a few years ago. Some family in their garage set themselves up as self appointed judge jury and executioner of any Catholic that didn’t meet their standards. They eventually changed their name to Catholic Culture.

          • Salkind

            Physician, heal thyself. If you want to see some pride and arrogance, look in the mirror.

      • vox borealis

        Interesting. I had many members of my family actually leave the church—or perhaps more accurately, simply stop going—because they were appalled by the “new mass.” I have some older colleagues who feel the same way, though their faith is apparently stronger so they never stopped attending. My guess is that one could find plenty of anecdotes on both sides of the issue. One fact that is not in dispute: Catholics attend mass regularly at a stunningly lower rate than in the god old days. The reasons, of course, are debatable.

      • JoFro

        Your mum sounds like my mum – devout Catholic who remembers the old form and didn’t like it. My dad is just the opposite – he loved the old form and wishes it were back – not that he stopped going to church though because of the new form

    • Lucas Hennessey™

      For the record, Fr. Z has posted communications from the CDF clarifying some questions regarding the implementation of Summorum Pontificum – and a “stable group” of the faithful IS permitted to believe that the TLM is more efficacious for the salvation of souls than the Novus Ordo.

      Objectively speaking, you CAN say that one is better than the other. Just ask how many exorcists use the new rite of exorcism? Zero. The demons laugh at it.

      Just because Christ is present doesn’t mean that it’s equally as efficacious. There are such things as black masses where Christ is abused & desecrated.

      • ivan_the_mad

        The CDF said people can have opinions? Shocking. Next thing you know, they’ll permit people to believe the OF the most efficacious, or the rosary the most efficacious sacramental, or the least. My pastor was not speaking to my opinion, but to my assertion of objective reality.

        I’m certainly laughing at your ridiculous categorical about all exorcists everywhere. Denied.

        There is no comparison between either of the “two usages of the one Roman rite” (BXVI) and the black mass. Get a grip.

      • chezami

        “You can believe” and “Objectively speaking, one is better than the other” are two different propositions. You can believe the moon is made of green cheese if you like. The Church will not stop you. That does not mean your opinion is thereby established as objective fact. And anecdotal evidence based on what demons allegedly laugh at is… sketchy. Love the linkage of the Paul VI rite with black masses. You stay classy.

      • Mariana Baca

        I’ve heard about black masses that stole hosts pre-VII,too (dry tongue, or put a thin lining to prevent it from dissolving until you get to your pew) , I’m not sure what it has to do with efficacy or with mass type? Seems like neither is more or less prone to abuse.

        • Stu

          He was making an argument from the extreme to make a point. He is not saying that the OF is more prone to having the Eucharist stolen. He is not saying the OF is like a Black Mass. He is not comparing either Mass to a Black Mass.

          He is demonstrating that God being present does not equate into all Masses being equal in their efficaciousness. For instance, an illicit Mass is certainly valid but it goes against Church law and ostensibly would not please God though He would certainly honor it with His presences.

        • Lucas Hennessey™

          “Seems like neither is more or less prone to abuse.”

          I’m wondering if you wrote that with a straight face.

    • Stu

      I’m comfortable in saying the EF is superior. Doesn’t make me a better Catholic but for practical reasons, I think the EF is indeed superior because it leaves less wiggle room for silliness to come into the Mass. And you might say that because I am a “weaker Catholic” that I need those boundaries. So be it.

      Regardless, Christ condescends to appear on the altar during either Mass.

      • ivan_the_mad

        And I think you are quite welcome to that. But I did not preface my remark to my pastor with “I think …”, or something else that would indicate it to be my opinion or personal belief. I stated it as objective reality, and he rebuked me because it is not something that the Church teaches. This is dangerous because, as Belloc reminds us in The Great Heresies, a heresy can consist as easily of the denial of a truth as the assertion of a falsehood. Or as another good priest I knew put it, “to presume the teaching authority of the Church is the very definition of heresy”. N.B. – No implicit accusation here, just an attempt at explaining why I react strongly against the attempt to objectively assert the superiority of a usage of the rite.

        • Stu

          Point noted. I think we are making some fine distinctions here.

          But that does not leave out the possibility that one could be objectively superior to the other. And I think one is free to believe just that without being scolded. I think the danger comes in how one uses that belief or looks at others with differing viewpoint within the realm of acceptable thought.

      • Dan C

        I would avoid saying you were a weaker Catholic for that.

        I cannot really do silent meditation well. I need the structure of the Liturgy of the Hours and the Rosary to direct my mind.

  • Newp Ort

    Sungenis is a plant. Nutcases like him are spread all over the internet by their Jew handlers just to make you think that questioning the Jew agenda is only for nutcases. They control the internet like all other media.

    The internet. Its a series of Jews.

  • BTP

    Eh. I poked around the site. Don’t see what all the fuss is about. Shea is pretty typically over-reacting, it seems to me. For example, the link at the top pretty clearly shows that the stie considers the CA *forums* to be “dens of modernist misinformation,” whatever that means for apologist like Akin, who can say?

    Anyhow. In what must seem like a tedious repeat of tu quoque, pots and kettles, straws and rafters, etc., doesn’t it seem that a group of faithful Catholics are allowed to build a site where they point out their disagreements with others? I admit I have missed the part where they say people who don’t think just like them aren’t real Catholics.

    Don’t get me wrong. The Sungenis thing is weird and unhelpful. But Shea’s response seems quite unhinged.

  • John_QPublic

    It is very interesting that Mark Shea needs to pull his information off old web archives to attack Robert Sungenis. Even as Sungenis has curtailed and even stopped talking about the jews, bitter antagonists like Mark Shea always need a new (old?) sensational story to keep his readers entertained; thus resorting to searching through old archived material to attack Robert Sungenis. Truly pathetic and sad.

    • chezami

      Mark Wyatt: Why not use your real name? Afraid people will notice that you have been Bob’s tireless defender for years? Or merely that they will notice the burying his long history of anti-semitic nuttery and hiding it is not the same thing as repudiating and repenting of it? And yeah, you’re gone.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      Hi John/Mark – can you please show me were Sungenis has publicly recanted, repented, and apologized for his hatred of the Jews? Your criticism is only valid if he has done so.

      • Gerard

        I’ve been looking through some of the links provided and I haven’t seen Sungenis say anything at all like he hates Jews? Quite the opposite. So, you want him to apologize for your perceptions? In one of the links posted he says we’re supposed to love jews. Is he supposed to renounce that?

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          uh…. did you read any of the above quotes posted by Mark? They’re all about how Jews are awful, evil people bent on controlling the world, and how the Jews deserved the Holocaust for turning against the Germans. You don’t consider that hate?

  • Marsaili

    I can’t see anything about Faithful Answers that would indicate that it’s about being an inquisitional approach to the Catholic faith. Given that some venues only provide a simplified version of Catholicism which might appeal to Protestants and other non-Catholics, Faithful Answers doesn’t whitewash anything. It’s provides a proper understanding of the Catholic faith.

    • chezami

      Do you even listen to yourself?

      • Salkind

        It’s pretty obvious that YOU don’t listen to yourself. Or even think about what articles you write before you post them. Thanks for giving Christians and Catholics another opportunity to fight, hurl epithets and have feelings of rancor, Mr. Shea. Well done good and faithful servant!

        • chezami

          A Holocaust is supposed to be a *happy* occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      Catholic Answers provides a proper understanding of the Catholic faith. It’s largely thanks to their tracts that I converted from Protestantism to Catholicism.

      • Salkind

        Karl Keating’s book Catholicism and Fundamentalism was a great personal help to me, and CA has put out some excellent materials. But that doesn’t excuse Mark Shea’s bullying.

  • An Aaron, not The Aaron

    Folks like “‘Faithful’ Answers” and the SSPX are a greater threat to the souls of faithful Catholics than the “Spirit of Vatican II” types, in my opinion. Those who are swayed by the uneducated arguments of the columnists at NCReporter aren’t typically going to be inclined to accept the Church and her teachings anyway (not that we shouldn’t continue to try to educate them – their souls are just as important as yours or mine). However, rad trad groups wrap their heresy in faithful sounding piety and, although they speak the same devilish language of disobedience as their lefty counterparts, they can influence those who would otherwise be inclined to be faithful to the Church. They are a slow poison subtly slipped into the Church in contrast to the happy hammer wielded by modernists.

    Mark, thanks for going into depth on these folks. I saw their website the other day and was equally disgusted by the arrogance on parade.

    • Salkind

      Faithful Answers reaches a few hundred souls at most(maybe more in the future). The SSPX has a few million adherents. But the bad catechesis, irreverent liturgies and poor teaching are experienced by millions of people on a daily basis, all under the auspices of official dioceses and parishes. You are very wrong, Aaron.

      • chezami

        Great. So let’s attack Catholic Answers and exalt an anti-semite to deal with the problem. That’ll fix ti.

        • Salkind

          Who started this? You did, with your article digging up statements made by an individual years ago. You picked a fight, and now you’re deflecting the blame to those you attacked. I’ve enjoyed some of your writings in the past, but you are completely in the wrong here, and need to admit it. Until you do I’ll never give another dime to Catholic Answers, or any apostolate you’re associated with.

      • An Aaron, not The Aaron

        I’m talking about dissent and heresy, not bad music and lame homilies. You do know there is a difference don’t you?

  • Latin Crusader

    I think Mark Shea should show us which stances Faithful Answers has taken that are at odds with Holy Tradition. I suspect he will have a hard time doing so.

    The truth is hard to swallow folks, but it’s the truth nonethelss. Do the Keatings, Sheas, and Atkins of the world give us the full, whole truth of Catholic thought and tradition? When was the last time any one of them gave a spirited explanation and defense of Pope Gregory XVI’s admonitions in Mirari Vos against the separation of Church and state and the ‘shameless lovers of liberty’? After all, there is no expiration date on the encyclical. How about Pope Leo XIII in Satis Cognitum? Or the Roman Catechism of Trent, which tells us that all non-Catholic churches “must necessarily, because guided by the spirit of the devil, be sunk in the most
    pernicious errors, both doctrinal and moral.”

    Faithful Answers commendably reminds us that the faith has normative content from all ages, and doesn’t consist merely of lip service to Scripture and the Apostles, rounded out by nothing more than mindless chattering as to how allegedly great Second Vatican and Pope John Paul II are.

    • Stu

      I would suspect that none of the current content is questionable at all. I take issue with the name of the organization. It’s all about “what the other guy supposedly isn’t.”

    • Mariana Baca

      What are you talking about? Mark Shea frequently posts about the dangers of political philosophies (even mostly correct ones) falling into error when separated from a core of religion and morality and make digs at libertarians when they fall into those errors. He didn’t name Pope Gregory but he didn’t need to.

      All Catholic apologists point out the doctrinal and moral errors present in many Protestant Churches (why would they bother having apologetic sites if they didn’t?)

      As of Satis Cognitum, maybe exclusionary Catholic groups need to be reminded that it is under the authority of the Pope that we are united and it is through the Church that all graces a mediated, not under/through a particular mass or spirituality?

      Can’t comment on the content of Faithful Catholics, since it requires a login to read.

      • Stu

        Faithful Answers doesn’t seem to require a login for me.

    • chezami

      Thanks for making my point. The greatest enemies Traditionalism has is Traditionalists like you pal. Treating fellow Catholics like vermin who have crashed your private party is but one of the fetching social skills that make certain Traddery will always be the domain of the socially maladroit and proud. If you are too dumb to see that trying to make excuses for the murder of six million people is not in accord witht Holy Tradition, your movement deserves to die.

      • Lucas Clover Alcolea

        Yes, because you are displaying such great social skills….

      • Salkind

        Mr. Shea, where in the Traditionalist movement do you see people making excuses for the murder of six million people? Being against Zionism is not the same thing as condoning Hitler. I’ve been to SSPX Masses, FSSP Masses, diocesan Indult Masses, and many traditional Catholic conferences over the course of my life. I never once heard an anti-semitic sermon,speech or statement made at any of these events. If you have a problem with Mr. Sungenis and what he said seven years ago, take it up with him. Don’t tar the whole movement and say “it deserves to die” because of what a few individuals have said(and I haven’t seen anyone condone Hitlerism or it’s evils, no matter how anti-zionist they may be). Oh, and just for a little historical clarification: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s father was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp, and Marcel and his brothers worked for the French resistance at great personal cost to themselves and their loved ones. But don’t let those facts get in the way of your diatribe, Your Sanctimoniousness.

        • chezami

          If you are too stupid to grasp that describing the Holocaust as the period when Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal from somebody else is Jew-hatred, then there is nothing I can do to enlighten you. Goodbye.

    • Mariana Baca

      “I think Mark Shea should show us which stances Faithful Answers has taken that are at odds with Holy Tradition.”

      I’m not mark shea, but… Ok, read two randomly (not so randomly, but I had no outside input) selected articles.

      First one I read was on the “salvation project.” I don’t think it is well written, either in the sense of basic communication or in the sense of evangelism or theology. I will mention two points. Firstly, it is basically an outline of jargon words, many of which carry very different meanings to a Protestant, or even a lay man off the street in goodwill. If you know the meaning of the words the article provides no information that would convince or educate you. If you don’t, the article will seem as nonsense, or even outright heretical. Secondly, it treats deathbed conversions as blase… even commonplace, instead of placing them in reverence as a miracle of God’s saving grace. How can we go from a tradition that wrote “Brideshead Revisited” to treating deathbed conversions in a throwaway sentence about grace? :(

      The second article was longer, so I skimmed it. It was under Liturgy, one which mass was more efficacious and gave more merit. It had many sections on different things that gave merit, such as the holiness of the priest, obedience to the hierarchy, decor and aesthetics, etc. Then it came to the conclusion that, well, it is possible some OF masses give more merit, but most don’t. So, given the order of mass of the OF is more streamlined, it must be less meritorious. Ok, this is a summary of the argument. But the questions we must ask ourselves: are we so holy and free of sin that minute differences of “efficacy” even matter? And if so, would not our holiness in our hearts and earnestness of our prayers matter more (or even, plain going to mass more often)? Mass is *always* efficacious if valid and licit. Not to mention: low mass is more “streamlined” than the standard Sunday OF, music, vestments, chalices and decor varies greatly in all masses, OF or EF, and form does nothing to increase the holiness of the minister or congregation. It is not outright heretical, but I think there are grave errors in this sort of article being one of the first in that website.

      You asked, I answered. Both these articles contained content which I find at odds with Holy Tradition. Deathbed conversions are miracles; not to be treated as expected, throwaway means of conversion and salvation. The Order of Mass is set by the Church Hierarchy, and all valid forms of the mass are efficacious and meritorious — debating which is “more” meritorious is petty.

    • Daniel Burns

      The problem with your post, Mr. Crusader, is that the magisterium has pronounced on all the issues you mentioned since then. Orthodox Catholicism calls this “development of Doctrine.” There are no expiration dates on encyclicals but one encyclical is seldom the last magisterial word. To be a good Catholic is to be obedient to the CURRENT magisterium. Obedience to the current magisterium implies properly formed obedience to a past magisterium and guarantees obedience to any future magisterium. The Church’s doctrine develops over time, and thank God.

      • Re_Actor

        Can someone clear up what “development of doctrine” means in this context? Because it does seem as if Catholic doctrine is not monolithic, not all of the same infallible type and of equal authority.

        When it comes to the core dogmas — unchanging divinely revealed truths — I am told the Holy Ghost protects the Church from error in her dogmatic definitions. Dogma can ‘develop’ only in the limited sense that subsequent pronouncements of the Magisterium can clarify or draw out the implications of earlier pronouncements, but there can be no contradictions. If the Church were to unambiguously contradict herself in matters of dogma, then clearly we would have a problem. If, for example, a pope made an ex cathedra declaration that God wasn’t a Trinity after all, then we would either have to conclude that Catholicism was false or that the pope in question didn’t actually possess true papal authority, ie that he was an antipope. Very good.

        When it comes to theological speculations, I am told these are of varying weight. As I understand it, a unanimous opinion of the Church Fathers is regarded as infallible even if it hasn’t been formally defined as dogma. The opinion of a post-patristic theologian of exceptional sanctity and intellect (eg St Thomas) is accorded considerable weight, but is not infallible. The utterance of a modern liberal ideologue (like Hans Kung) is a private opinion of zero authority.

        I guess Limbo is a good example of this second class of doctrine. It is a theological opinion hallowed by tradition, but it is not binding on Catholics and never was. As we know, ecclesiastical authorities have lately distanced themselves from it, but this distancing itself is a non-binding theological opinion. Catholics are still free to believe in Limbo. Am I right?

        Next we have what may be termed ‘prudential’ decisions and positions taken by the Church authorities with regard to social issues and developments – eg warfare, slavery, torture, usury, the rights of non-Catholics, censorship, forms of political government, etc. These have changed over time — quite radically so in recent decades. But what exactly does it mean to say there has been ‘development’ here? I ask because it seems to have bearing on the degree of assent Catholics are required to give such teachings.

        Are we saying official Church teaching about these matters was simply wrong in the past? But in that case, what guarantee do we have that the Church is not simply wrong now? If I am permitted to believe that the ecclesiastical authorities were horribly mistaken about, say, the separation of Church and state, am I equally permitted to believe they got it right then and are horribly wrong now? Why not?

        Or are we saying (along with some pre-Vatican II theologians) that ‘prudential’ decisions are in fact infallibly protected from error? Infallible here does not mean irreformable — but it does mean such prudential decisions were absolutely right given the circumstances of the times; if they change, it is because circumstances have changed and require a different approach (perhaps even an opposite approach), which is nevertheless absolutely right given the new circumstances. Absolute obedience to the Magisterium is thus required in both cases.

        But if this is what we are saying, we are implicitly conceding that current teaching could change again in accordance with changed circumstances. In which case, Messrs Shea, Keating, Akin et al would find themselves obliged to defend the latest condemnation of democracy or religious freedom against the disobedient liberal reactionaries of the day!

      • flyingtoupee

        Yes, it develops so much so that the Magisterium can say 2+2=4 in the past, but now it can say 2+2=5, and we must obey because that’s the current Magisterial teaching. Horse feathers. Blessed John Henry Newman explains that development of doctrine never contradicts past doctrine, but more fully explains it and clarifies it. There is no way that the pre-Vatican II Magisterial teachings on ecumenism and Religious Liberty can be seen as clarifications of past teachings. They flat out contradict each other. I don’t envy the Pope who will finally have to clarify how this could have happened, but let’s just say that it’s very imprudent to say that “the gods of the pagans are devils” for nearly 2,000 years, and then to pretend that this teaching(which is found in Scripture) is no longer applicable. I’ll take the Scriptural teaching, along with the 2,000 year witness of the Popes, the Saints(including Augustine and Thomas) and the traditional catechisms, over the non infallible directives of a failed pastoral Council.

        • chezami

          Pope Toupee locuta est. Causa finita est.

          • RNOAKTREE

            Interesting discussion. Would help if we didn’t attack one another. I see things a little differently. As a convert to Catholicism – I chose Eastern Catholicism precisely because of the issues under present discussion. Seems that many of the changes since Vatican two mirrored the changes instituted by the reformers precisely with the intention of undermining belief in central Catholic doctrines. Practices such as Communion in the hand, Mass facing the people, mass in the vernacular (with bad translations), and lack of outward displays of adoration (such as kneeling for communion) all were initiated by Archbishop Cramner in Protestant England with the purpose of blurring the theology of the REAL Presence, the Magisterial Priesthood, the sacrificial nature of the Mass. The fact that present authority allows these things does not mean that things are for the good of the faithful. Such decisions are not protected by the Holy Spirit. Was the mis-translation of the words of the consecration – “for you and for all” protected. Yet when I asked my parish priest about this during my initial conversion – he defended it vehemently – as did Catholic answers when I wrote them asking for explanation.

            Indeed it seems clear that the present practices have contributed to the opposite effect. Out Lord said “By their fruits Ye shall know them”. What have the fruits of these changes been? 70,000 priests have left the priesthood since the changes – unprecedented in the history of the Church. Not to mention the millions of Catholics who have left faith. (There are many books written on the subject – Michael Davies Cramner’s Godly order comes to mind). Certainly Toupee has reason to grieve. Certainly we = as Catholics can question why for example a pastoral council (Vatican 2) teaches something on religious liberty that seems on it’s face to be opposite of what Pius lx taught in the Syllabus of Errors. Even Pope Benedict acknowledged this (he called it a counter Syllabus) without reconciling the difference for those of us who long to live and die as faithful Catholics..

            As a lay person it is unlikely that we will understand every subtle nuance of these theological issues. For me it seems that the safest course is to practice and believe as Catholics have always believed. Can’t go wrong there.

            • RNOAKTREE

              This brings to mind a question I had asked in another part of the thread. Namely – can legitimate authority act in an illegitimate way? Since the above practices were condemned by the Pope at the time of the Reformation, and have likewise been spoken against, many times by various Popes over time – the answer to that question seems without doubt – a resounding YES.

              The issues discussed are disciplinary but this does not alter their importance. Many Popes have discussed the issue of Ecclesiastical tradition upholding and supporting the Apostolic tradition. I cannot help but think that when one alters the Ecclesiastic tradition – the Apostolic tradition is psychologically undermined.

              When sacred things – such as our Eucharistic Lord – are treated in a common way (communion in the hand, no outward displays of adoration, lay people distributing communion) then the doctrine is undermined. These prudential decisions by legitimate authority – surely do not carry the protection of the Holy Spirit like the dogmatic decisions of a Church Council. Indeed the imposition of a new liturgy in the western Church – though done under the authority of Pope Paul – were not mandated by the council itself – and has no precedent in Church history.

              My orthodox friends have asked me why the Catholics have so many Canons to choose from in the western liturgy. They view the canon as part of the Apostolic Tradition – so the concept of “many canons” is foreign to their sense of the faith. This innovation to me seems on its face – a barrier to unity..

        • Matthew Kennel

          You’re misunderstanding Newman. One of Newman’s notes on whether developments are authentic or not has to do with whether or not a development lasts. Authentic developments last, non-authentic developments don’t last. For example, for hundreds of years, you could only receive the Sacrament of Penance once after baptism. Then, in came the Irish penitentials, with their repetition of that Sacrament. And guess which one was lasting? The restriction of Penance to a once and done thing, a restriction which was almost certainly post-Apostolic, didn’t last, even though it was around for hundreds of years. It was the repetition of the Sacrament that lasted. Similarly, it’s entirely possible that some pre-VII papal statements which were not themselves dogmatically defined may have been the beginnings of inauthentic developments, which were later corrected by the post VII magisterium.

          • Salkind

            Matthew, I would say that the case you bring up doesn’t apply here. You’re talking about discipline, not dogma or teaching. The dogma underlying the discipline is that the Church has the authority to remit our sins. How this is done is up to the Church. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit did guide the Church to accept frequent auricular confession because as time went on, the faith and morals of Catholics became weaker, and we need frequent confession. But the underlying principle has always been the same-the Church has the authority to forgive sins. Now, in the cases of Religious Liberty and Ecumenism, we are dealing with teachings that go back to the very Scriptures themselves. Scripture itself teaches us that “the gods of the pagans are devils”. Scripture tells us to remain unstained with the spirit of the world. Thus, when the great Popes and theologians of nearly 20 centuries(not just the immediate pre VII Popes) say that communion with non Catholic and non Christian religions is wrong, they are merely reaffirming the Deposit of Faith, in this case made very plain in Scripture, and then made even more explicit by great theologians like Augustine, Aquinas and all of the Fathers, both East and West. Also, we have to consider that the expert advisers at VII such as Fr. John Courtney Murray had a clear agenda: to make the Catholic Church’s teaching on these matters resemble the American Constitution. Murray, by the way, was an adviser to the Kennedy family, and wrote JFK’s famous speech on how his Catholicism wouldn’t influence his decisions as President. Read two books: Vatican II and Religious Liberty by Michael Davies, and Religious Liberty and Contraception by Fr. Brian Harrison. Both books have slightly different perspectives, but both prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the pre VII teachings on these subjects are Magisterial, part of the Ordinary Magisterium, and thus are still binding in conscience on Catholics today. There is so much to say on these subjects, but a message forum like this isn’t conducive to long posts, and I’ve rambled long enough.

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      Uhhh…. I’d say contempt and hatred for Jewish people is at odds with Holy Tradition.

      • Salkind

        So would I. But I’d say contempt for the traditions that nourished the faithful for nearly 2,000 years is also at odds with the ethos of what it means to be a Catholic.

        • chezami

          True. So let punish and denigrate the work of Catholic Answers and exalt an anti-semite, promote geocentrism and young earth creationist fundamentalism straight out of American Protestantism. That will fix it.

    • Dan C

      They have quite the article on women and head coverings.
      So…what is the problem with this? The problem is to assert someone is in sin falsely. Women today not wearing head coverings to Mass are not showing irreverence or are these women impious. The wise and just man would avoid such claims. These folks already indicate that they are condemnatory without cause.

      • flyingtoupee

        If the article on women’s head covering says that a woman sins in not wearing one, I would disagree, simply because one must have full knowledge that something is wrong for it to be sinful. But if you’re complaining about Faithful Answers pointing out that women should cover their heads in Church, they are simply saying what the Church has taught from its foundation. You have heard of a guy named St. Paul, and are familiar with his first letter to the Corinthians I hope.

        • chezami

          So glad you are here to correct the bishops.

          • flyingtoupee

            Yes, because the Catholic faith is nothing more than what the Bishops of today decide what it is. Never mind St. Paul, never mind 2,000 years of tradition. Cardinal’s Mahoney, Dolan et al have more say than 2,000 years of tradition. By the way, it’s still customary for women to wear a head covering when they meet the Pope in private audience. I guess the Vicar of Christ is more important than Christ Himself in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

            • chezami

              Whereas, of course, the Catholic faith is actually what Pope Flyingtoupee decides it is. One man and his Catechism against a faithless Magisterium! You tell ‘em Herr Doktor Luther!

              • Salkind

                Great answer, Mark. Took real insight and courage. But why do women still cover their head when they greet the Pope, but not when they receive Holy Communion? And did the practice stop because of some legitimate development, or simply as another adaptation to the spirit of the world? Inquiring minds would like to know. But I’ll probably be called Jean Calvin simply for bringing it up.

                • chezami

                  I could not possibly care less about his entirely trivial issue. The bishops permit both practices. The custom in Rome is different. Why do you care? What spend so much time straining at gnats while swallowing the camel of a Catholic apostolate that exalts somebody who makes excuses for mass murder?

    • Dan C

      They have a teaching on usury by Hillaire Belloc which I find to be desirous from my own point of view (all interest is usury). It is not in line with current Catholic teaching.
      My own pet views are not Catholic teaching, either.

      • flyingtoupee

        So you’re saying that the teachings of Gregory XVI, Leo XIII, and the Catechism of the Council of Trent are someone’s “pet views”? So I guess the current teaching of the Church is the “pet view” of the current Pope, and in 10 years or so when another Pope is elected, we can adopt his “pet views”. No wonder Protestants think Catholics don’t think for themselves.
        Oh, and if personal pet views are now allowed, I think I’ll adapt as mine all of those from the pre-conciliar Popes, Councils and Catechisms. Can’t hurt, right?

        • chezami

          So much Traddery is just fundamentalism with a Catechism instead of a Bible.

  • Molly Alley

    what i keep hearing is that the church is so big and all inclusive that she can’t include people who talk about the need for continuity with the pre-V2 church.
    what am i missing?

    • chezami

      The Church is in continuity with the pre-V2 Church. Only Radical Trads deny that it is.

      • Stu

        That’s not entirely true. There are a bunch of “Spirit of Vatican II” types that believe the same though they welcome the break of continuity.

        It’s an odd unification of extremes.

      • Molly Alley

        Are they are denying continuity by saying the old rituals, practices, and beliefs are still valid? Or is it because they are not agreeing to things that the V2 documents didn’t say? I still don’t see what the problem is.

        • chezami

          You don’t see a problem with an apostolate that calls a man who blames the victims of mass murder for the slaughter inflicted on them “one of the best apologists we have”? That doesn’t set off even the tiniest alaram bell? You don’t think an apostolate bent on wedding Truly True Catholic Faith to crank ideas about geocentrism, a non-rotating earth, and a universe that is 6000 years old (give or take a few thousand) is not even worth treating with just the teensiest bit of skepticism? I repeat, it’s only the Radical Traditionalists who clam that there is a radical discontinuity between the pre and post conciliar Church. The Church herself teaches, as she always has, that she is indefectible.

      • vox borealis

        The Church is in continuity with the pre-V2 Church. Only Radical Trads deny that it is.

        Not true. The “lefties” see discontinuity as well: that the Church was essentially reborn in 1965 and everything that went before is medieval superstition that we’ve outgrown. Pope Benedict’s talk of the hermeneutic of continuity was aimed most assuredly at both rad trads and nu-church types.

        • chezami

          Fair enough. But in the readership of *this* blog, nobody is doing that from the left.

  • Dan C

    There have been Church factions since my before childhood.

    My father, in the first class of deacons in our diocese, ordained in 1976, for obvious reasons, knew where the local SSPX chapel was, knew who the sedevacantist groups were, and knew in his parish who thought him the heretic. In the bad old days, though, data moved more slowly and folks had to physically show up for events to tattle on reputed liturgical abuses.

    Priest gossip circles existed in the 1970′s about who was gay and who was not. Which priest was one of the bishops’ “girlfriends, and which priest was not, etc.

    Two things I think differ, and one can see this from, for example, the Ron Paul/Lew Rockwell connections, is that the circulation of data was modest and largely of fringe groups. (And these guys are fringe). Lots of the data was printed and circulated for years in newsletters of groups (like the near “militia-speak” of the early 1990′s NRA) before someone with a more sober eye would say “hey, this is secessionism”, that extremist viewpoints weren’t as publically aired or flagged at people at barbecues and parties, so that the Lew Rockwell newsletter subscriber didn’t quite broadcast his views as often. Catholic Worker/anarchist groups operated with similar systems of newsletters, magazines (and only a few like “Z” would get a more substantive following).
    Fringe media or media that published an individual or small group of individual’s viewpoints were largely newsletters, although one should not dismiss the role of short wave radio for some of the militia/right wing excesses of the 1980′s and early 1990′s. Distribution of these newsletters was by meeting, street corners, by attending another affinity groups meeting and through carefully guarded mailing lists.
    Tech savvy folks did engage text-based bulletin boards in the late 1980′s or early 1990′s, but it was more likely that those bulletin boards were transmitting what some avid REM fan interpreted as the lyrics to songs from Radio Free Europe. Internet use was largely a youth hobbyist role.

    While this was the secular realm, Catholicism was no different from SSPX to Catholic Workers to those who received newsletters from the arch-conservative priest urging followers to report any “bad-thought” to the bishop. These mechanisms have always been around. The OSV vs. the NCReporter Catholics.

    Now the numbers of people who follow any one faction in the Church tend to be greater, due to data transmission possibilities and the data produced (largely the same stuff over and over again) is in vast quantity. Second, as most folks know about “satisfaction surveys,” the satisfied and happy are the least likely to produce data. In short, only those with axes to grind or a battle to be fought are out producing data. When Amy Welborn did her “What did you see and hear” stuff on Sunday masses about 10 years ago, one saw a disproportionate number of complaints, a sampling suggesting horrors. Few who followed this blog and even a smaller number who would ever write a comment would acknowledge any pleasure with the “Gather” songbook, yet most parishes buy them and parishioners sing “One Bread, One Body” more loudly than “Ave Maria.” Complaints will be the routine and really the entire motivation and fuel for the data produced.

    The move in conflict is not really fragmentation, at least not the theoretical models. Most conflicts end up with two poles of opinion, two alliances battling one another. I do not expect the future to be more fragmentation in Catholic circles, but more united fronts, although the alliances may be more unusual than originally predicted. I expect to see Catholic Workers and EWTN in opposition to the Acton and NCReporter and SSPX folks, with some major personnel defections on the way.

    • chezami

      I think this is pretty sound. The main contribution of the interwebz is that it allows people who hitherto lacked the sociial skills to make an impact on their parish and who remained isolated like the social maladroits they are to suddenly skip all that, stay in their mom’s basements and network on line with like minded social maladroits all over the world. The good news is that, being social maladroits, they tend to create ghettos like Angelqueen and only ocassionally venture out among normals to write stuff like Latin Crusader’s bill of indictment. The bad news is, they still do real harm to new Catholics by sucking them into the black hole of bitterness that is online Traddery and it sundry nuclei of malcontents in Traddie watering holes around St. Blogs. Faithful Answers is shaping up to be another one of these, bayoneing the faithful, spinning conspiracies, creating cults of personality around quacks, bitching about the Council and the bishops, and helping to do more harm than good.

      • Dan C

        “The main contribution of the interwebz is that it allows people who hitherto lacked the sociial skills to make an impact on their parish and who remained isolated like the social maladroits they are to suddenly skip all that, stay in their mom’s basements and network on line with like minded social maladroits all over the world.”

        Exactly. The lefty anarchist folks with poor social skills had to meet each other (which they occasionally did) and then room together on the side of the city with cheap enough rents, and then fail to shower as a group. Now they can individually stink up their parents’ basements.

        The “maladroit” of the right always had a few more social skills in the beginning (like bathing) but it didn’t take long before they were tattling to a bishop about someone’s perceived failure to genuflect deeply enough during meditation or at a shrine. Their “Krazy” came out, but was a bit more hidden, until you went to Mass with them. Or led a Rosary. No matter what, I always did something to offend.

        There is a real chance that instead of offering a diversity of opinion possibilities, the phenomenon of “echo chamber” to which the masses voluntarily submit, will be the likelihood. We see that on the left about disagreements on equity (with simple and sloganeering dominating discussions) and on the right I see this with varied judgments (for example, the meme that advocating for government supported anything is a violation of stealing or covetousness, etc, with little thought in this expression).

      • Lucas Clover Alcolea

        As opposed to what exactly? ‘Indulgences don’t exist anymore Vatican 2 did away with that… purgatory doesn’t exist anymore Vatican 2 did away with that’ or ‘May St John the Baptist Bless Islam’ (JP2) or maybe no ones in hell (JP2) or I’m so glad there are so many people still in the Jewish synagogue in Rome i.e. rejecting Christ (Benedict XVI). Yeah sorry, all of the above is anathema to saints and popes of all time before the mid 20th century and its certainly not Catholic,

  • Richard Conlan

    They also have an apologist who majored in theology at Stuebenville U and studied with the Holy Apostles (whose stated mission is to promote Vatican II). Perhaps they will turn out to be more even-handed than your usual screed. One would hope.

    • chezami

      One hopes. But when they come right out of the gate with a sneering insinuation that they are Really Truly True Purely Pure alternative to the modernist Catholic Answers and pick a Jew-hater who promotes geocentrism and a six day creationist crank as captains urging Catholics to die on those hills, I don’t hold out a lot of hope. Maybe wiser heads will prevail. But the stunning lack of discernment so far does not fill me with a sense of promise.

  • Lucas Clover Alcolea

    The worse written load of drivel I have read for ages, from start to finish it is full of nothing but disinformation and exaggeration, as if all traditionalists were like Sungenis or as if all Sungenis was about was one particular issue.

    • chezami

      Yeah. Just because he says the Holocaust was when Jews turned on the Germans because they got a better deal and poopoohs mass murder doesn’t mean he’s not nice to his dog Blondi. What a narrow-minded complaint!

      • Lucas Clover Alcolea

        Do me a favour and actually read what I said:

        a) not all traditionalists are like Sungenis
        b) the fact he may or may not say absurd things does not make his points invalid, this may be hard for some who are used to facile arguing to grasp. If, for example, a not very nice person said 1+1 =2, that does not mean its not two and if a person was racist it wouldn’t stop them from making valid points in other matters.

        • chezami

          True. An awful lot are like you, which is why your subculture will always be a vanishingly small minority.

          • Lucas Clover Alcolea

            Lol, its good to see that conservative catholics are willing to be charitable to anyone, even non catholics, pray with them etc… but not these mean nasty traditionalists, honestly its pathetic and childish. Grow up.

            • chezami

              Dude. It’s not complicated. Stop talking as though sanctity ends with you. Stop talking as though the rest of the Church are the unwashed enemy. And for the love of Pete, stop pitying yourself while you do it. You;’re a Catholic in good standing as far as I’m concerned. But you sure as hell don’t know how to win friends and influence people. You’re your own worst enemy.

              • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                Self-pity? No, having a wry smile while others mud sling, yes.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          Do you know the concept of “credibility”? Why should I bother to listen to anyone who claims that the Holocaust was justified?

          • Stu

            If you encountered a known holocaust denier one night on a dark road going in the opposite direction and she said, “Be careful, there is a big hole in the road from where I just passed,” would you dismiss the warning outright because the person had wacky views on the holocaust?

            Sungenis can be quite sound on aspects of apologetics all while being daffy on the holocaust and geocentrism. The latter would not discount his views on the former but it would make me question his overall company (and it does).

            • JoAnna Wahlund

              I don’t know. He’d probably claim that the hole was put there by the Jews to entrap hapless Gentiles, which would cause me not to trust him.

            • Rachel

              The problem is that he loses credibility in all areas due to his crazy beliefs about the Holocaust and geocentrism because if he’s wrong on those things then what else is he wrong on?

              • Stu

                Though that is a bit of a logical fallacy, after all having some wacky beliefs about geocentrism doesn’t mean your critique of Calvinism is wrong, I don’t disagree with you at all in terms of the overall effect.

                So the question is when does someone’s very questionable beliefs on a topic overshadow the rest of his body of work on other subjects? I think it depends. And in the case of Sungenis, I think his presence in apologetics should be avoided to say the least.

                • Rachel

                  I agree. I identify as a trad but I admit to shying away from lot of the rhetoric in recent years due to some loud mouths who have a tendency to spoil the pot so to speak (Sungenis, some of the SSPX, etc). Granted, trads have been marginalized, etc for many years but the more that we cling to that, the worse off it will be for us. At least, any hint of antisemitism and Holocaust denial should be avoided at all costs. It does make trads look worse and admittedly, some old books, etc do espouse racist and anti-semetic ideas and should be avoid. Its true that those ideas were popular during the first half of the 20th century but there is no reason for them to be espoused now, especially when they have been debunked ie. the protocols, etc. My family is Jewish. Honestly, none of them are trying to take over the world. I think some trads portray the Jews are a bunch of Pinky and the Brains, trying to hatch crazy schemes to take over the world. This is also why I can’t go for conspiracy theories (especially since I am a history student).

          • Lucas Clover Alcolea

            I don’t believe that was his claim, I was merely pointing out that it doesn’t follow that because someone might have bad ideas they are wrong. Also its typical for someone to pick up the craziest person in a group and claim everyone is like that, that’s rubbish and mark shea and anyone who spent more than 5 mins honestly looking on Google would know that.

            • JoAnna Wahlund

              Mark was talking about one crazy person – Sungenis And yes, based on the information provided, he did indeed justify the Holocaust. “The Jews turned on the Germans,” according to him.

              • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                Uh no, he bashed the whole website and then went on to bash trads.

                • JoAnna Wahlund

                  Oh really? Can you quote the portion of Mark’s post where he said “All trads are evil just like Sungenis” or similar?

                  He didn’t bash the site itself, but rather the impetus for creating the site (that is, the idea that Catholic Answers is nothing more than an den of modernist heresy unfaithful to the Church and Magesterium).

                  • chezami

                    I’m willing to say I bash the whole site. If the people running it are foolish enough to sell Sungenis is one of their stars, I’m willing to say they are peddling a juicy worm with a big hook in it.

                    • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                      And you demonstrate what? The facility of those who like Mark Shea and Catholic answers? ‘You’re stupid, you’re mean, I hate you, blah blah blah…’ Honestly what are you, two years old? You can’t even engage in a lowbrow intellectual debate without having a temper tantrum and insulting people, if you think that’s going to attract people you are deeply mistaken.

                  • Carly Keating

                    “Catholic Answers is nothing more than an den of modernist heresy unfaithful to the Church and Magesterium (sic)” = Spot on babe!

                    • chezami

                      I would sincerely like to thank you Curry, flyingtoupee, and the various other bigots and buffoons for showing up and illustrating everything I say about the repellent face that Traddery makes online and the way in which Traddery’s worst enemies are not liberals or “neo-Catholics” (whatever the hell that means), but Trad’s. I would not touch the culture you represent with a barge pole. Your faith is ugly, bitter, and inhuman. Go away.

                    • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                      Have you ever been to a traditional mass? Ever tried to actually remove these prejudiced filled ‘Trads are evil and bitter’ glasses of yours and actually look up information on the matter? I suspect not because all I see on here is your Pharisaical hypocrisy about trads being bitter and hate filled when the only hatred and bitterness I see is from conservative Catholics who seem mentally incapable of actual debate but must instead insult everyone who disagrees with them and then throw their toys out of the pram by blocking them. Grow up.

                    • chezami

                      Yes. I’ve been to Latin Mass. It’s not the Latin Mass I object. It the culture of Traddery I reject because it celebrates anti-semitism and bathes in self-pity, like you. You strain at gnats and swallow camels of mass murder.

                    • Stu

                      Mark, easy with the “blue on blue” fires.

                      You are overgeneralizing again.

                  • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                    Oh please, the implication runs through and through the whole article from start to finish, does he mention Fr Chad Ripperger ? Nope, anyone else contributing to the site? Nope. He picks the easiest target, has a temper tantrum about him and then denigrates the whole site and trads in general. What I find most ironic is that he complains about converts to the Church bringing their baggage with him, when it’s quite clear that that’s exactly what Mark Shea et all do as well. They go from one extreme ‘I am the supreme authority on everything’ i.e. protestant to the next ‘the pope is the supreme authority on everything’.

                    • chezami

                      I don’t know anything about Fr. Chad. Does it not occur to you that if my purpose was simply to bash, I would find fault with everything? Meanwhile, youjr argument boils down to “It’s just *one* turd in the punchbowl! Everyone always picks on us! Wah!”

                    • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                      No and frankly if you are that chilidish you are not mature enough to be commenting here let along moderating.

  • Renee Mulhare

    These people realize that Christ’s human nature was Jewish, that His Mother was Jewish, that the first Christians were mostly Jewish, and that our first Pope and the first bishops were all Jewish as well, don’t they??

    • Newp Ort

      See, they try to take over everything!

  • priest’s wife

    I love Catholic Answers!

  • Adeodatus

    “Catholic Answers” is great at forbidding discussion of (i.e. helping cover up) the clerical sex abuse scandal, at covering for prelates who are outright heretics, and convincing people to help fund abortion by donating to ‘Catholic’ abortion agencies like Catholic Relief Services. It should be obvious to anyone that Catholic Answers does little more than undermine faith in Jesus Christ.

    And let’s not forget their zealous conviction to trivialize the True Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. And even to promote sacrilege against His Holy Person.

    If the real Catholics of the medieval Church met these guys they would have probably tied them to a stick and set them on fire. They’re an embarrassment and a thorn in the side of the Church.

    • chezami

      Goodbye. I don’t like liars.

    • Dan C

      “If the real Catholics of the medieval Church met these guys they would have probably tied them to a stick and set them on fire.”

      And the promotion of this as a remedy of concerns speaks volumes of the poster.

      Do you have friends?

      • Lucas Clover Alcolea

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure he does, do you?

    • Curry Maximus

      “Catholic” Answers Live is a farce. Several months ago, a Scripture “expert” (Tim Gray, I believe) had the audacity to state that the destruction of Jericho as recorded in the Book of Joshua was caused simply by an “earthquake.” – LOL

      • chezami

        Fundamentalism lives! You show them smarty pants edjimacated people who have been to college that One Man and His Bible is always prophet anointed by God, John Wesley!

        You will, however, have to do that in your Meetin’ tent, cuz you are done here. Bye!

  • PalaceGuard

    “They are enamored with Jewish converts…” They have something against St. Paul?

  • Harry

    Yeah, some Trads can do more damage to traditionalism than the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ folks could ever dream of.
    Take the Latin Mass Society over here in Britain. Just recently, the chairman of this group (the CHAIRMAN, if you can believe it) responded to a three-minute video by Tracey Rowland suggesting some reasons why people might be reluctant to go to the Latin Mass (video here – http://tinyurl.com/krrgfy6) by acting with all the maturity and grace of a six year old – namely, he sneered that she was fat and ugly, and followed this up on his personal blog with an amazing post where he suggests his behavior is totally justified because Our Lord, the Church Fathers and Thomas More all did the same thing.
    Seriously. This dude’s for real – http://tinyurl.com/qj6ng2k.

    Behavior like this is a massive barrier to other Catholics coming to a Latin Mass. And I think the argument that “beauty=better Catholics” is seriously flawed. From what I’ve read in Trad literature and seen in some Trad blogs to be a Trad all too often means –

    1) you don’t have a high opinion of other Catholics

    2) Think that any doctrinal developments since 1960 can be disregarded as rubbish (“Religious Freedom? No, that’s just pastoral! Of course we’ll start persecuting once we have the power!”).

    3) That you’ll have a quiet tolerance of absolute poison like the stuff propagated by Sungenis, which a number of Trads on this thread seem to think is an unfortunate personality quirk on his part rather than a mindset that helped contribute to the mass slaughter of six million innocent men, women and children within living memory.

    Obviously to impart this mindset on all Trads would be ridiculous, but it’s also absurd to pretend that this kind of thinking isn’t common in Trad circles. Attending the Latin Mass should not mean joining an exclusive club with strict rules on what the attender should believe and think.

    God speed the day where a Catholic who thinks ‘Dare We Hope All Be Saved?” is the best thing on soteriology ever written and enjoys playing the guitar for the Novus Ordo in his own parish can attend a Latin Mass and feel completely at home!

    • chezami

      Yep. Until Tradiitionalists really get that their biggest enemy is Traditionalists, their subculture will continue to be the massive turnoff that it is. I know a number of Traditionalists I like just fine. But the culture as a whole, whether online or when I meet it in large number on real life, is just not worth the effort to try to sympathize with. I just can’t muster the will to care about what they care about, because the fruits of that culture, apart from aesthetics is mostly pretty ugly. More power to the people who can make a home for themselves there. Hopefully , the good ones will take the ugly ones. But my experience is most of ugly.

      • Stu

        My EF parish is growing. Brand new Church that is paid off, lots of kids. Doesn’t sound like a “turnoff.”

        • vox borealis

          A common refrain is how small and exclusive the trad community is, and yet it is undoubtedly growing, as your parish exemplifies.

          • Stu

            When we had the Church blessed by the Bishop a year and a half ago, it was packed with most of the priests in the area (who obviously don’t pray the EF). They were all anxious to be a part of it.

            Now that we are paid off, we look forward to the consecration. I think that is going to be just as big of an event in the diocese.

            For every Trad out there that sneers at a “Novus Ordo Catholic” there are multiple Catholics at OF parishes that call me “schismatic” or “reactionary.” Trads have no corner on the “fallen nature” market.

        • chezami

          Glad to hear it. Perhaps guys like Lucas could learn something from your parish.

          • Lucas Clover Alcolea

            *Yawn*

            • Ron Van Wegen

              Well, that’s a childish reply if ever I saw one!

      • Lucas Clover Alcolea

        Yeah sorry mate, its the regular Church that’s stultifying and dying for want of vocations, Traditionalists on the other hand are growing at a phenomenal rate.

        • Harry

          I think that’s not quite what’s going on. I seriously think that Traditionalists are attracting other people (though converting some who are fence-sitters) who have their view of the world – fundamentally conservative (if not reactionary) in politics, culture, theology and philosophy with a great love for the medieval/baroque era, and conversely a great suspicion if not hatred of the developments of modernity.

          Put another way – do you know many Trads who are left-wing when it comes to economic policy or immigration? Quite a lot of Trads I’ve read on these topics are strong supporters of the “immigrants are invaders” view of things. What about Trads who have strong sympathies with the nouvelle theologie? Is there even a single traditionalist who dislikes Garrigou-Lagrange, to pick a theologian popular among traditionalists? Trads who don’t think that burning men for heresy was a regrettable but necessary action? Trads who think that the Church may have overreacted to the threat of Modernism? I think you could find one or two examples, but not many.

          For there’s a clear narrative among Trads – the Church was doing fine up until the 1960′s, when everything went mad and the Church – in it’s misguided at best, pathetic at worst – attempt to open up to the World was instead corrupted by it, destroying the liturgy and gutting the seminaries. Now a faithful remnant must cling to the traditional ways whilst tactfully ignoring pretty much the entirety of Vatican II (pastoral is a very useful word in this context) and every encyclical, letter and sermon issued by the Pope until Imperatus Maximatus the First is elected and does away with all those troubling doctrinal deviations like support for religious freedom or apologies for persecution and the Crusades, and returns the Church to its pristine state circa 1860/1950.

          That’s quite a bit different from merely preferring the EF to the NO and wishing others to enjoy it as well. Like I said above, you show me a Balthasar-loving, guitar-at-mass-playing hippie Catholic who wears sandles to Church who calls himself a Trad and I will be much more receptive to attending a Latin Mass. But I have no wish to take on the baggage associated with it, and I believe that God will love us just as much whatever mass we attend.

          • Stu

            “do you know many Trads who are left-wing when it comes to economic policy or immigration? ”

            ———-
            At my EF parish, most of the men are increasingly against both mainstream political parities and opt for a “Catholic” outlook on such matters. I think your stereotype might need some tweaking.

            • Stu

              As to vocations, our parish has five. One is a traditional monk, one is with the FSSP and three are diocesan. Looks like we have another one on the way who is headed to the FSSP as well. Our parish accounts for over 20% of vocations in the entire diocese.

            • Salkind

              As a Traditionalist, I opt for a third way, such as what Chesterton and Belloc aimed for(Distributionism). But I can say this much: I could never be a Democrat. Support for the murder of unborn babies is a much greater evil than anything the Republicans represent.

              • Stu

                Indeed, many at my EF parish are either distributists like me or very interested in it given it’s foundation in traditional Catholic Social Teaching. And while the Democrat party is a “non-starter”, increasingly the GOP is more accepting of abortion and other evils. The economic liberals and the pelvic liberals are slowly coming together.

          • Lucas Clover Alcolea

            Frankly I don’t know the political ideologies of those who attend the latin mass, but your post does raise a good question can people have all the ideologies and be good catholics? Can people be left wing, a hippie etc…? The answer is clearly no, because socialism, the left wing and liberalism all hate God and were created and rely on philosophies which are fundamentally anti-catholic. And yes the Latin mass attracts all sorts young, old, black, white, asian etc…. I very much doubt all of these held the same political views when they first became attracted to the latin mass or do so now. Of course in general they will be conservative but why would you be left wing? That philosophy and indeed some philosophies of the right are fundamentally hostile to Catholicism and condemned by the Popes.

            I’m afraid your post does not demonstrate a sincere desire of truth, rather you want the truth to accommodate to your views, ‘If this…. then I will do this’. What it should be is ‘If true, then I will follow’. You will not find guitar playing, sandal wearing catholics at latin masses, nor even conservative NO masses because such is disrespectful to God.

            • Harry

              And there’s the Trad thin-skinned bitterness we’ve all come to know and love!

              I’m not simply wrong or mistaken, I’m a liar and hate the truth because I don’t sufficiently appreciate the Latin Mass.

              Tell the truth, I don’t like the guitar at mass and I don’t wear sandals or follow particularly left-win ideologies when it comes to politics. However, I know Catholics who do and can see their obvious dedication to Christ and His Church. But apparently that’s just a cover-up for their hatred of God and the truth,because if they were real Catholics they would all have your views and do exactly what you do. God forbid there should be a variety of practice and opinion in the Universal Church.

              Your post pretty much shows what Mark’s been talking about – want to have more people come to the Latin Mass? Try not being a jerk to other Catholics. And other Trads on this thread? Don’t defend other Trads for their jerkishness.

              • Lucas Clover Alcolea

                Lol, again, like many, you don’t read what people write but instead read your prejudice into their writings and then continue your prejudice with more trad bashing. I too know many people who like guitars, taize etc… and are dedicated to Christ, I don’t judge them nor say I am better but what they do as regards guitars, sandals etc…. is still wrong. The same goes with being left wing, again my Dad (who’s a protestant!) is left wing and clearly is sincere in his devotion to Christ, still in both his protestant and political views I know he’s wrong. You seem to believe that just because someone says ‘such and such is wrong’ they must hate that person, that’s a nonsense.

          • Rachel

            My husband and I are Trad “hippies”. Our politics are neither conservative nor extreme liberal but we do have some liberal ideas. There are all sorts that go to the Latin Mass but I also understand your reticence that its the “refuge” of conspiracy theorists and ultra conservatives.

        • Harry

          Also, the Faith is growing tremendously in Africa and Asia, and that’s got nothing to do with Latin Mass enthusiasts. In certain parts of Africa the Mass goes on for three hours and contains much in the way of dancing and exuberant emotional displays – the sort of thing that would give hardcore Trads a heart attack.

          • Gerard

            No. The Church organization is growing. That doesn’t mean the faith is growing. Bishops approving contraception are not promoting Catholicism.

          • Lucas Clover Alcolea

            And the same goes for the latin mass community in these countries, which again is growing significantly. Moreover in these places two things should be noted: a) there are major issues with people being Catholic but actually retaining syncretism and not practicing Catholic teaching; and b) these are where there are more orthodox priests.

          • Rebecca Fuentes

            I bet they even use DRUMS! Oh the humanity.

      • flyingtoupee

        And the biggest enemy of the Church Universal is not the ultra liberals, who at least acknowledge what they are. The true enemy is the neo-Catholic who turns a blind eye to the auto demolition of the Church(to quote Paul VI) while going out of their way to bash the few Catholic groups and organizations that have revealed that the Emperor has no clothes. We’ve gone from the Church Militant to the Church Milquetoast.

        • chezami

          Yes! Purge those evil Catholics! God has made you his instrument of vengeance! You alone are the Holy One! You alone are the Lord! You alone… oh, wait. I guess that’s Jesus. But he’s pretty much turned this one over to you. So smite them Impure Catholic Answers people hip and thigh!

          Oh! And buzz off. You’re done here.

          • RNOAKTREE

            You banned this Guy?
            Clearly there are problems. Clearly the Catholic answers people have not addressed the issues. Ten years ago – they actually defended the “for you and for all” translation in the Cannon of the mass. They seem inclined to defend every practice as long as the practice is OK with the legitimate Church Authority. Never seem to wrestle with the notion that legitimate authority can act in an illegitimate way.
            They are great at apologetics. Thin on confronting the many issues that actually undermine the faith in the typical Catholic parish today.

  • flyingtoupee

    Let’s see. We have a Church full of folks who haven’t been properly catechized and who treat the Blessed Sacrament like it’s a potato chip. We have a gigantic scandal involving homosexual priests that has even infected members of the Roman Curia. The Church is mocked, not because of Her Divine Founder, but because of the immoral lives of priests. We have abortions performed at Catholic hospitals. The Cardinal of New York says that the Governor of the State, who campaigned for infanticide, is a Catholic in good standing(oh, and Joe Biden’s a great guy too). But the biggest problem we have is Bob Sungenis and those pesky Traditionalists. Uh huh. Get your head out of the clouds, Mark. The Church is in a crisis. You’re straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Wake up.

    • chezami

      Clearly the smart thing to do is attack Catholic Answers then.

      • Gerard

        It’s a very smart thing to do. Catholic Answers and EWTN are not honest. Fr. “Z” is another one. They are the enablers of moderate modernism and indulge in neo-Ultramontanism. If you get a bad bishop or bad Pope, they won’t have the integrity of St. Paul. Never have and they don’t show signs that they ever will. Catholic Answers shouldn’t be afraid of a little competition.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          By what authority do you make such pronouncements, Gerald? Last time I checked, Francis (not you) was Pope. What is your proof that CA, EWTN, and Fr. Z are liars?

        • chezami

          And you’re gone. Bye.

        • wlinden

          Is “neo-Ultramontanism” like “neo-Catholicism”?

  • the Quartermaster

    All I want to know is, are the Catholics for Choice people really Catholic? Not, Catholic in the sense of baptized, but Catholic in the sense of, “Should we be calling ourselves Catholic, and should others object when we do so”? Otherwise, informative post.

    • Ron Van Wegen

      You’re Catholic if you were baptized Catholic.

      • flyingtoupee

        To be Catholic, you must also assent to Catholic faith, whole and entire. Since Catholics for Choice reject the Church’s teachings on abortion, contraception and euthanasia, they are material heretics at least and have ceased to be Catholic.

        • the Quartermaster

          Christ claims me vs. I claim Christ?

          • Traditionalist

            No, the Faith is what it has always been. If you think that the prudential judgements of Cardinals, Bishops, and yes even the Pope have authority over the Canons and Decrees of all of the Councils, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and the entire corpus of what every Pope from Peter has taught, then you really don’t understand the Faith at all.

            • chezami

              This dumb argument is constantly made and is a total straw man. If you think Jew-hated and white-washing mass murder is essential to the Catholic tradition, you are a heretic.

              • Traditionalist

                What makes you think I hate jews, I pray for their conversion daily from their hideous false religion and conversion to the One True Church, just as I pray for protestants and mohammedans to convert.

                • the Quartermaster

                  I hope that you will consider retracting your reference to the spiritual heritage of the Church — not to mention the faith tradition our Lord chose to be born into — as “their hideous false religion”.

                  • the Quartermaster

                    This sounds an awful lot like the pharisaism that you practice. Jesus says, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. How many have you caught with your absurd rhetoric? Jesus doesn’t care about your knowledge or my purported lack of it. He cares about how well we love our neighbor. If you think praying for conversion while publicly insulting those you pray for is acceptable to Jesus, well, there’s a word for that, and it isn’t nice.

        • Salkind

          This is orthodox Catholic teaching. Not only that, but the folks at Catholics for a Free Choice aren’t just materially heretical, but they are obstinate in their rejection of basic Catholic teaching. Most Protestants are material heretics(that is, in good faith, therefore not formal heretics), but the same thing cannot be said for the people who are part of this anti-Catholic organization.

    • chezami

      Yes. They are Catholics–very bad ones.

      • the Quartermaster

        Bad Catholics for Choice, then? Or Miserably Errant!

        • chezami

          Pretty much. Catholic in the US have picked up the bad habit from Protestants of declaring some immoral or heretical Catholic a “Catholic” or “not really a Catholic”. It’s far better and more accurate to call such Catholics “Bad Catholics” than “not really Catholic”. Until a person either formally apostatized or is excommunicated, they are Catholic. Doesn’t mean they will necessarily be saved–recall that Dante puts Popes in hell–but they remain members of the Catholic communion until they recounce it or get the boot from the Church.

  • Peter Wales

    Another great article Mark, thanks. “I am no better than anybody else in this hospital for sinners and it is a miracle of grace that I get to be part of this noble company of the saints when I am so unworthy” is going to be part of my daily prayers from now on!

  • Brennan555

    Okay, so a website in Dallas states that they like Faithful Answers and considers them better than Catholic Answers and it’s Faithful Answers’ problem that they didn’t go on the website and rebuke them for it?

    Because if you look around Faithful Answers’ website I don’t see any mention of Catholic Answers, Jimmy Akin, or Karl Keating, much less trumpeting that they are much better Catholics than they are and Catholic Answers is awful (I am a traditionalist, and like Catholic Answers, especially Jimmy Akin, quite a bit).

  • Louis Tully

    SAINT Edith Stein must really get this guys’ goat.
    Bless you Mr. Shea!

  • Marion

    Here is the blogger in Dallas – who is very good and a traditional Catholic: http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/more-traditional-alternative-to-catholic-answers-starts-up/ – who makes points that not only myself has found with Catholic Answers. I’ve listened via radio and internet practically since it’s inception and have found more and more changes or laxity in many areas. Faithful Answers’ response to this nasty and uncalled for blog – do YOU protest to much! as in trying to CYA? – is charitable, unlike this piece. The changes in the church are horrendous and there is too much suspect reports about our new Pope and it seems we are losing more Catholics due to these lax and modern ways and trying to fit in with every other religion. While I am not a SSPXer, etc, I am not pleased with the state of the church and it’s inaction is countless ways. I know more and more people turning to Faithful Answers and Mihael Voris at “Church Militatant” because places like CA are too busy “going with the flow”. Faithful Answers’ response is here: http://www.faithfulanswers.com/faithful-answers-to-mark-shea/

    FA is not perfect and neither or you or CA Mark and pretending to be so smacks of pride. There is room for both as many people, more and more of them are tired of this “can’t we all just get along and be the same”, etc nonsense that is floating around and way past tired of the Church NOT excommunicating pro-abort and gay marriage pushing politicians and NOT removing bad bishops from office or severely reprimanding them, etc. The list goes on.

    • chezami

      So let’s punish Catholic Answers, who are clearly on the side of the angels, instead of dealing with actual sin or confronting real enemies of the faith. I’m sick of Trads hiding in the fortress and shooting arrows into the backs of people with the guts to go out and take on the challenges facing the Church. It’s cowardice and its crap.

      • Michael MacDonell

        “on the side of the angels”? It should be evident by a lot of the comments to this article that those commentors are in fact “confronting real enemies of the faith.”

        • chezami

          No. The bulk of the commenters are attacking folks like CA while turning a blind eye to FA’s star apologist: a man who says the mass murder of six million Jews was when the victims turned on their murderers because they got a better deal from somebody else. As long as Traddery is characterized by that kind of narcissistic corruption and self-pity, word cannot express how little I care what such people think about who the enemies of the Church are. Traddery’s massive spiritual blindness in the matter of gnats and camels is frequently repellent. You are you own worst enemies.

  • Carlos Lopez

    Catholic commentator Mark Shea offered a very public apology today for the way in which he has argued on his blog lately

    http://www.catholicvote.org/mark-shea-offers-a-public-apology/

    So sad to see that Mr. Shea doesn’t learn.

    • chezami

      I don’t apologize for opposing people who make excuses for Jew-hatred and mass murder.

      • Marsaili

        And it is good to oppose hatred of Jews and mass murder. However, I don’t see that Faithful Answers has mentioned or supported hatred of Jews (or anyone else). If it ever does, then of course you should say something. Hopefully Sugenis will behave himself and not wander into condemning Jews. I’m assuming that others on Fathful Answers will keep him in line.
        You have mentioned the angry trads. Yes, they do of course exist. And they aren’t going to go away, They will serve as a continual reminder that the Catholic Church did not begin in 1968, but rather it began nearly 2000 years ago. They will be a constant and rather unpleasant reminder of the old liturgy (with its great richness and beauty) as well as the beautiful devotions that were prevelant before the Council. Those who fear or are embarassed by the Church before the Council will not rest easy as long as trads exist. And they will always exist (warts and all).

  • Columba

    Great Dr Sungenis article. Shame on you Mark Shea.

  • Martin Snigg

    Kate Edwards is a highly respected commentator in Australia. Her thoughts might be helpful. I’m sorry I can’t comment intelligently and have to link. http://australiaincognita.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/answer-wars-sigh.html While I’m here, Patrick Deneen can provide some context http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/05/20/3763423.htm

    • Rebellion?

      She writes: ” almost made me want to leave my hat off in Church this week in protest
      (however the weather here in freezing Canberra this Sunday dictated
      pragmatism!).”

      Any writer that sees the holy sacrifice of the mass as an opportunity for “protest” makes one mystified as to why she is “highly respected” anywhere. She doesn’t state reverence for Christ and the august mysteries as her reason, but the weather which makes one think that she would have taken her protest to mass to “show the world she can.” Does this sound like humility to anyone?

  • chezami

    and the way you know I am a Christian Zionist is…?

  • J. Bauer
    • Joe

      I read this reply. Seemed very good to me. Has Shea commented on it?

      “Conduct yourself as you would in my living room and you’ll generally be just fine.”


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