Why I am Critical of Radical Catholic Reactionaries

Why I am Critical of Radical Catholic Reactionaries November 22, 2017




[reply on another page from a mainstream “traditionalist” who objects to these writings of mine, but it’s not public, so I can’t quote the other person’s queries. You can tell pretty much what was asked (nicely, this time), by my replies]


All serious and dangerous errors are well-worth refuting. The devil can take people out of commission on the right or the left of the theological spectrum. If he gets a Catholic (one who does believe Church teachings) thinking like a far-left radical or secularist, then he has won a great victory. It’s well worth preventing Catholics from losing their trust in Holy Mother Church and their joy. If I’m able to help in that goal, then it is my duty as an apologist.

I don’t think that apologists have dealt with this very much. Catholic Answers does occasionally. There is only one more book I know of, by Madrid and Vere, and that is about the SSPX only. My two are the only other books by apologists that I am aware of (links: one / two).

This is certainly a defense of the Church and the faith (hence, apologetics) insofar as reactionaries outright deny certain aspects of it (the authority of councils and popes) or refuse to think with the Mind of the Church and basically act like Catholic liberals or like Protestants. That is worthy of apologetics ink, just as, e.g., the Donatist schismatic and rigorist errors occupied St. Augustine 1700 years ago.

You’d have to show us something in Vatican II that was the reason for you leaving the Church [at age 20], and you won’t be able to do that; I’ll guarantee it right now. You left because you bought a rotten bill of goods somewhere along the way, just as I refused to be any kind of Christian for ten years in the 70s. That was my fault. I don’t blame anyone or anything else for it. It was my sin and my rebellion.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Vatican II; everything to do with dumb, nominal Catholics and liberals who didn’t teach you properly. So blame them; don’t go after a council protected by the Holy Spirit. Don’t fall into that silly, basic error. You’re smarter than that!

And parents have no share of blame when their children leave the Church, either? All Catholic parents are responsible for discipling [not disciplining here; discipling] their children. There is no excuse for them failing to do that. Parents have to check up on the schooling their children receive. This is why we home school. We have four children: 22, 20, 16, 11: all rock-solid, moral kids who have gotten into no trouble whatsoever. It’s still possible to do even today. But everyone wants to shift the blame when things go wrong. Kids still have free will and sometimes parents do great and they still rebel, but the parent knows down deep whether they did their best or messed-up in this regard.

Quick summary of the errors of reactionaries from my second book, first chapter (available on the book page):

I define “radical Catholic reactionaries” (“RCRs” or “reactionaries” in abbreviation) as a rigorist, divisive group completely separate from mainstream “traditionalism” that continually, vociferously, and vitriolically (as a marked characteristic or defining trait) bashes and trashes popes, Vatican II, the New Mass, and ecumenism (the “big four”): going as far as they can go without technically crossing over the canonical line of schism. In effect, they become their own popes: exercising private judgment in an unsavory fashion, much as (quite ironically) Catholic liberals do, and as Luther and Calvin did when they rebelled against the Church. They can’t live and let live. They must assume a condescending “superior-subordinate” orientation.

What else do you want me to do? I have 39 books, over 50 separate web pages (the reactionary page is just one of those), 2,490 posts. I go after more kinds of error than any other apologist I am aware of. I will be doing my third book about atheism shortly. I have two against John Calvin, two against sola Scriptura, etc. I’ve covered every major topic. But when I get to this one, you tell me I shouldn’t do it. Sorry! These are serious errors, and they will harm people just like every error. That is more than reason enough to expose and refute them.


Photo credit: photograph by Ryan Hyde (6-15-10) [Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 license]


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