I coined the term, “Radical Catholic reactionary” on 3 August 2013.
“self-righteous, pharisaical, more-Catholic-than-the-pope Catholics who incessantly bash the Novus Ordo, Vatican II, popes since Pius XII, and ecumenism.”
These reactionaries call us names, like Daniel’s “Novus Ordo Catholics” or “Vatican II Catholics” or (the dumbest one of all) “neo-Catholics”. Therefore, it was necessary to categorize the Catholics who did that, and I came up with “radical Catholic reactionaries” because many self-described “traditionalists” were complaining about “radtrad” and mistakenly concluding that it means “all traditionalists are radical” rather than its usual meaning of “extreme / fringe traditionalists”. I also did a survey of the history of the term, “radtrad.” In my categorization, traditionalists and reactionaries are two distinct groups: the first being mainstream and the second, fringe and extreme.
Daniel’s hypocrisy is evident. He objects to “reactionary” being used to describe his position, while at the same time he (blissfully unaware) feels free to use as an epithet and derisive description, “Novus Ordo Catholic.” Nor is “reactionary” confined to Communist usage. It has (like many words) a more general usage as well, and its origin in English (around 1815-1830) precedes Karl Marx.
Michael Voris did a video in early February 2015, in which he described the SSPX, The Remnant, and Catholic Family News as “reactionary Catholic media.” The late John Vennari of the latter group responded with two videos on 15 February 2015. Voris’ usage (I cant find, in searches, his use of the term any earlier) was a full year-and-a-half after my own coining of the term, so perhaps he was influenced by me, rather than vice versa. Michael Matt at The Remnant also responded to the same video and his “former friend” on 13 February 2015. He ends by stating, “please pray for Michael Voris—a good man whose talents and services have apparently been co-opted by the enemies of the authentic Catholic counterrevolution.”
Voris’ working definition was the same as mine in three of the four hallmarks that I utilize: opposition to the ordinary form Mass, Vatican II, and popes since Pius XII (not merely to Pope Francis). I don’t know if he includes ecumenism in the mix. But it is very similar to my usage 18 months before his own.
The pejorative, derogatory name-calling of non-reactionary Catholics (which in turn sadly necessitates identification of the category of folks who do this) is rampant in the Ferrara article. Reactionaries like Ferrara always refer to themselves as “traditionalists.” That’s the first thing to know. But it’s “false advertising.” It’s like Mormons calling themselves “Christians.”
Ferrara uses the term “neo-Catholic” — a term coined by sedevacantist Gerry Matatics in the late 90s — (in this instances, referring to myself, Karl Keating, and Phil Lawler) 15 times in his article. He defines terms at the end. Take special note of this: it’s absolutely classic “reactionary-think”:
* neo-Catholic: a Catholic who accepts and defends the officially-approved ecclesial novelties of the past half-century, despite their destructive results and even though no Catholic is obliged to embrace a single one of them in order to be a member of the Church in good standing. These novelties, none of them binding on the Catholic conscience, have arisen primarily under the headings of “liturgical reform,” “ecumenism,” “dialogue,” “interreligious dialogue,” and the “updating” of priestly and religious formation, which has emptied the “reformed” seminaries and convents. Neo-Catholicism, whose ensemble of characteristics would horrify a Pope such as Saint Pius X, the arch-foe of Modernism and what he called “the Modernist as Reformer,” is the ecclesial equivalent of “neo-conservatism” in the political realm: i.e., a liberalized, “moderate” form of conservatism that attempts to reconcile true doctrine with novel practices, attitudes and fashions of the day that tend to undermine true doctrine. The current prevalence of the neo-Catholic “style” of Catholicism constitutes the essence of the post-Vatican II crisis in the Church.
**traditionalist: a Catholic who, being perfectly free to do so, prescinds from the recently introduced ecclesial novelties and continues to practice the unreconstructed Faith of his ancestors, including the traditional liturgy and the traditional formation of priests and religious in seminaries and convents that are full. The descriptor “traditionalist” was unnecessary before the Second Vatican Council, because every practicing and believing Catholic was, by today’s prevailing neo-Catholic standard, a traditionalist.
Ferrara — citing one of my relevant papers — at least does me the courtesy of posting my lengthier definition of radical Catholic reactionary:
I define “radical Catholic reactionaries” as a rigorist, divisive group completely separate from mainstream “traditionalism” that continually, vociferously, and vitriolically [sic] (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.
This comes from the guy most responsible for widely promulgating the ridiculous description, “neo-Catholic.” At least my coined term makes sense. Same old same old here from the reactionaries . . . Avoid them and their websites like the plague, folks. You have been warned. Take it from someone who has studied them for over 20 years.
Photo credit: Photograph from Max Pixel [CC0 public domain license]