In 1968, “all” the liberal Catholics rejected Humanae Vitae. Now in 2021, “all” the self-described “conservative” Catholics reject Traditionis Custodes (and none see the outright absurdity and irony of this)
I hasten to clarify that I am not denying (by my rhetorical question mark) that these folks are canonical, doctrinal, creedal Catholics, or by virtue of their baptism, etc. My point is that in so acting, they violate the very essence and spirit of what it means to be a Catholic (see, e.g., 1 Jn 2:3-6, 9-11; 4:7-8, 20-21. They violate the Golden Rule, Jesus’ command to “love one another; even as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34, RSV), and the Catholic duty of devotion and extreme deference toward the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church and successor of St. Peter: guided and protected by the Holy Spirit.
The theologically liberal Catholics massively dissented against and trashed the papal proclamation Humanae Vitae (Pope St. Paul VI, 1968): which reiterated the grave sinfulness of contraception. Today, Catholics on the right of the spectrum (usually orthodox in theology) — who detest the dissent in 1968 — are themselves massively dissenting against and trashing the papal proclamation Traditionis Custodes. What’s the difference? I see none (excepting differences in the precise level of authority of the two documents). Both were or are functioning as Protestants (particularly, Luther and Calvin) when they acted or act in the particular manner that I am documenting.
1 Peter 2:17 (RSV) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the [pagan, anti-Christian, persecuting] emperor.
Ecclesiastes 10:20 Even in your thought, do not curse the king, . . .
Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men.
Acts 23:1-5 And Paul, looking intently at the council, said, “Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience up to this day.”  And the high priest Anani’as commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.  Then Paul said to him, “God shall strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”  Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”  And Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written [Ex 22:28], `You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
We have no record of the high priest during St. Paul’s trial becoming a Christian or ceasing to oppose Paul. Yet Paul shut up as soon as he was informed who had him struck. and he did so because of the Mosaic commandment which is reiterated in many ways in the New Testament.
Nero was emperor when St. Paul wrote: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” and “he is God’s servant for your good” and “the authorities are ministers of God” (Romans 13:1, 4, 6). He himself was also killed under Nero a few years later.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,  and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Philippians 2:2-3 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.
I found most of the articles I will be citing from a list of responses compiled by Peter Kwasniewski. He graciously included my first reply to Traditionis and stated in his introduction: “Please feel free to add missing article titles and links in the comments.” So I added my second reply in the comments (thanking him for the list and for including my article).
Today I checked to see if my comment was still there, and discovered that it had been removed, that I had been banned from the New Liturgical Movement site; also that I was being trashed and slandered in the combox (which comments were perfectly acceptable to the “moderator” there):
If you could find more odiously tendentious characters on the internet than Dave Armstrong and Mike Lewis at this point I would be surprised. I’m not sure why NLM is directing clicks to the ministry of propaganda for modernism to be frank. (
It’s important to know what the other side is thinking so that we can address their misconceptions and correct them. You know, to be ready at all time to give an account of the joy that lives within us, . . . (
You are presupposing that these are men of goodwill. They aren’t, they are beyond the ability to reached through the faculty of reason 8 years into this circus. We know exactly what they think on every issue and are predictable as the rising sun. They serve no purpose beyond perfecting the art of gas lighting and expanding the boundaries of sycophancy. (
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. . . . -Sun Tzu (
Dave A banned me ages ago from commenting on his blog. He didn’t like it when I pointed out that history is full of bad bishops, including bad popes . . .
Obviously, people who have no qualms about trashing popes will lie about a lowly lay apologist like me, too. To these people, I am a “modernist” and an “enemy” and on the “other side” and engaged in “gas lighting”, whereas I regard them as beloved Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ and His Church who have fallen prey to false premises and bad ideas and behavior. I am sincerely trying to “correct” them, just as they are sincerely trying to correct me (albeit along with the personal attacks and the false pretense and damnable lie that I am supposedly a “modernist”).In what follows (apart from my detailed analysis of Peter Kwasniewski and one brief, bracketed interjection), I will simply name the person or venue, link to their article, and cite their own words about the pope and his actions and his supposed inner motivations; adding only my own commas. I won’t bother to add quotation marks. All the words after a given source are directly cited from that source.I am particularly documenting the personal trashing and sinful attempts to read the pope’s mind and heart; judging his motives. This is the purpose of this article; not to exhaustively engage in every argument against Traditionis custodes. That is for another time and another article. All bolded text in the citations was present in the originals.I will also be color-coding various objectionable themes, so readers can immediately visualize how many serious errors are in play here:
red = defectibility; the idea that the Church and/or pope can fall away from the faith and apostatize. It’s the most radical reactionary idea of all.purple = Pope Francis is a bad man, tyrant, deceiver, uncaring, cruel, modernist, stinkin’ theological liberal, pulls the wings off of flies, burns ants with magnifying glasses, is stupid & ignorant, is not to be respected or believed, etc.orange = Pope Francis (or “Bergoglio” as it were) is an outright heretic or as close to it as is possible to get without crossing the line.green = Vatican II stinks, is of lesser authority than Trent & other ecumenical councils; it was a liberal revolution, cause of all ills in the Church, etc. [in one case, Vatican I was also trashed].blue = The Novus Ordo / Pauline / ordinary form / “New” Mass is bad, objectively inferior to the Tridentine, invention of liberals, etc.brown = we can and ought to simply ignore Traditionis custodes, as if popes have no authority at all, and we are functionally private judgment Protestants.
Joseph Shaw: staggering document, exceeding worst expectations. Joseph Shaw : Pope Francis appears to be punishing all priests who celebrate the Traditional Mass and all the laity who attend it for the alleged sins of a few: who ‘reject Vatican II’, whatever exactly that means.Peter Kwasniewski: In the whole history of the Church, there has never been so dramatic a rejection of a Pope’s predecessor. Never. This is unprecedented, . . . Kwasniewski has in fact — dirty little secret — been scathingly critical of Summorum Pontificum. Just 13 days ago (7-7-21), he wrote:
We see evidence, frankly, of a hypertrophic ultramontanism that makes the pope the one who determines the content and message of Catholic worship, with increasingly less respect for tradition. . . .
While there have always been different “uses” in the Latin Church, this doubling of the liturgy of Rome is a case of dissociative identity disorder or schizophrenia.
By no stretch of the imagination is it possible, let alone desirable, to talk about the Tridentine rite and the Novus Ordo as “two usages” or “forms” of the same Roman rite; and it is ludicrous to say that the deviant form is “ordinary” and the traditional “extraordinary,” unless the evaluation is merely sociological or statistical. . . .
This, then, is the fundamental problem with Summorum Pontificum: it is internally incoherent, founded on a monumental contradiction caused by the worst abuse of papal power in the history of the Church. As a result, its provisions cannot help echoing, almost every step of the way, an insoluble dialectic between the unabrogatable privileges of collective ecclesiastical tradition and an assumed or presumed authority over liturgical aetiology, ontology, and teleology. The motu proprio reflects and reinforces false principles of ecclesiology and liturgy that led to the very crisis to which it was a partial response. Indeed, Benedict XVI’s work is often characterized by an Hegelian dialectic method that wishes to hold contradictories simultaneously, or to seek a higher synthesis from a thesis and its antithesis (“mutual enrichment” can be understood in this framework).
After its Prologue and Article 1, the remainder of Summorum Pontificum subtly holds the traditional liturgy hostage, or gives it, as it were, second-class citizenship.
I, on the other hand, have consistently praised and defended Summorum Pontificum all along (and still do): even in direct dialogue with Dr. Kwasniewski. The question for him, then, is obviously: “if Summorum Pontificum was that terrible, why all the fuss about overturning it?”
Peter Kwasniewski : Pope Francis has dropped an atom bomb on the Catholic Church that will harm not just those who “adhere to the Latin liturgical tradition” but everyone who values continuity and coherence, reverence and beauty, our heritage and our future, dripping with condescension and heartlessness, Was it naivety on my part, or just a misplaced belief that simple respect for human beings and for fellow Catholics might still animate this Peronist pope’s heart, that led me to be unprepared for the monstrous and mendaciously-named Traditionis Custodes?, It is far worse than I had expected: a text that drips with contempt, miserliness, and vindictiveness, lacking even a rhetorical attempt to provide a context or (however insincerely) cushion the blow: a lack of rudimentary grace that has never been seen in a document of such magnitude, All he cares about is an artificial “unity” that ought to be called uniformity, or better, ideology, this is a declaration of total war, and must be courageously resisted every step of the way, soul-crushing regime, it is inherently anti-Catholic, Does the pope have the authority to issue such a diktat? No. It is worth even less than the paper on which it is written, cold, harsh, and foolish . . . has all the charm of a decree by Stalin ordering the purge of Ukrainian dissidents, The “logic” of Traditionis Custodes is tortured, to say the least, Can we not see here the utter breakdown of the hyperpapalism that makes the pope a mortal god, a divine oracle, who gets to rewrite liturgy, theology, morals, and even the record of history in pursuit of ideology?, the final stripping-away of all pretense about the deadly game the modernists wish to play, The sign of the Virgin, the one who received the Word and magnified God, stands opposed the sign of the Serpent, the one who proudly disdains God’s gifts and exalts his own will.
Dr. Ilya Kotlyar: I believe the new document is what St Thomas Aquinas referred to as ‘unjust and unreasonable law,’ which is ‘a violence rather than law’ . . . I don’t think it binds the conscience of any faithful Catholic.
Sophia Tait: . . . the Church authorities condemn the Mass we’ve all grown to love . . .
British Catholic humorist Eccles: What can one do when a highly revered religious leader becomes a mad psychopath in his old age?
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: cruelty, vulgarity, brutality, insults the entire pontificate of Benedict XVI, quite awful.
Christopher R. Altieri: has punished . . . Catholics, Pope Francis has shown himself capable of wielding the great power of his office, but little evident interest in wielding it safely or with care for who gets hurt, The best case scenario, in other words, is that the bishops ignore the pope.
Amy Welborn: presentism, catchphrases and a lack of engagement with theology, tradition or history at a deep level, push TLM goers out of the mainstream.
Catholic Culture [possibly Phil Lawler]: Pope Francis has all but forbidden the traditional Mass, and clearly suggested that the ancient liturgical form is now harmful, bishops . . . should presume a harmful influence in the TLM, and seek to uproot it.
Sam Guzman: draconian measure, grievous, disastrous, and wrong, will tragically only increase division In the Church rather than heal it, attacks from our own hierarchs.
Rorate Caeli / “New Catholic”: Attack of Hatred and Vengeance Against the Latin Mass [title], Jorge Mario Bergoglio is without a doubt the most arrogant pope in the history of the Catholic Church. From day one, if not before, it has always been about him — whatever the subject. Bergoglio is in reality a man of vengeance. A pope of vengeance. An angry bitter Jesuit settling scores through vengeance, Ignore its message. Ignore its motivation caused by pure hatred and vengeance. Keep calm and keep on going as if it does not even exist, The rest of the Church is quickly dying! Why would you sever the one healthy limb?, Do we side with tradition, or do we cave to novelty? Do we acquiesce to the hatred and vengeance of Francis the Humble . . .?, Ignore the Agent of Hatred and Vengeance, and all his works and all his pomps.
Whispers of Restoration: the Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) – that unholy and aberrant 1960s invention of disjointed committees staffed by modernists, heretics, and worse, It will now be “disobedient,” whether sooner or later, to celebrate the Mass of our Fathers without paying homage to the New Paradigm, Why would the hierarchy display such unmitigated prejudice against the Roman Mass, the Mass offered on every continent for so many centuries, if Francis and his apparatchiks were not destroyers?, Does one need any further evidence that the NOM is the ritual expression of a New Religion?
Fr. John Hunwicke: So much, then for Bergoglianist autocracy, But if the hyperuebersuperultrapapalism of Bergoglianity will not serve God’s People, what will? Conciliarism? You just have to be joking. After the fiasco of Vatican II (yes; genuine, valid, canonical Ecumenical Councils can be disasters for the Church, . . .), No auctoritas can subsist in enactments which manifestly subvert Holy Tradition.
Fr Hugh Somerville Knapman, OSB: the old Mass was good in the “old days” (all 1400+ years of them) but is not good for today, and so cannot be countenanced in the modern Church. It is the liturgical expression of situational ethics, and the relativisation of absolute truth, Whatever it is, this is not Christianity in any authentic sense, one could reasonably argue that this is a bitter fruit not of Vatican II, but Vatican I, Collegiality has disappeared as a meaningful doctrine, This is not a pastoral document; it is a political one, If anything, it is Jacobin, It is hard to recall an exercise of authority as self-defeating as TC, Though in his name, TC was not written by Francis, TC is not progress, but aggressive defensiveness.
Eric Sammons: One of my first thoughts when reading the Pope’s decree was our Lord’s words, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?” (Luke 11:11), It’s easy to tell them to shut up and obey, but what loving father would treat his children like that?
[Dave: well, for starters, God: telling St. Paul that His grace was sufficient, when Paul complained about his thorn, or never explaining to Job why he suffered so much. They both asked for God to stop their suffering. He said no]
Michael Matt: We Resist Francis to His Face [title], We know exactly what this is. It’s all about the crumbling facade of Vatican II, shuttered churches, empty seminaries, lost Faith and a massive clerical sex scandal vs. the international youth movement that is traditional Catholicism. Francis is also obsessed with crushing the tiny remnant of believers left in a world of universal apostasy because he is a globalist tool. He has locked down Summorum Pontificum because like a crucifix to a vampire, the old Catholic liturgy threatens the diabolical New World Order to which Francis has signed on, And that kind of Catholicism must be banned if the New World Order is to take flight. Catholics must be forced to reject any claim of religious supremacy or objective truth, His only recourse is clumsy persecution, the Revolution having failed to eradicate the holy Faith, Well played, Catholic brothers! By this action, Francis has only confirmed that your faith is too strong for his New Order. He fears that the entire conciliar Revolution of Vatican II itself is in peril.
Stuart Chessman: the language is succinct, harsh and adversarial. The reasoning is often transparently dishonest, every day the fundamental tenets of Catholic theology and morality are challenged – often with the express or implicit support of the Pope (e.g., the prohibitions of divorce, abortion, homosexual behavior)?, Clearly, Francis and his episcopal allies want a war in the Church, The real problem is not traditionalism, but the manifest, catastrophic failures of the Vatican Council, the Novus Ordo and the ultramontanist organization of the Catholic Church, The sin of the Traditionalists is that, by their very existence and even more so by their success, they bear witness to the fact that (a)the current “Conciliar” regime is in discontinuity with its pre-Conciliar predecessor; and (b) this regime is in rapid disintegration, he carries ultramontanist centralization to a new extreme, intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy the so-called Conciliar Church.
Shawn Tribe: I see this instruction as a dead letter from the very moment of its signing, I believe priests would be in the right (and indeed within their rights) to do what has been done frequently throughout Church history and simply ignore this instruction, the Pauline missal . . . is -not- one and the same with the immemorial Roman rite. Rather, it is a substantially new and different rite; a “neo-Roman rite” if you will.
Dale Price: Imagining the present pontiff as a guardian of any “tradition” save that which began with him getting the white hat is bleakly hilarious, in fact, He’s an abusive, bad father who likes other children more than his own.
Fr. David Nix: Dr. Taylor Marshall spoke today about how Pope Benedict XVI attempted to bifurcate both the Roman Rite and the Papacy. In other words, it seems that the Roman Rite was bifurcated into the “ordinary form” and “extraordinary form” in the 2007 document, Summorum Pontificum . . . Such errors of creating new (and impossible) theological realities may be blamed upon what is called a “Hegelian dialectic.”, You would think I of all people would write a blog post in defense of Summorum Pontificum during this week of turmoil. But I fully agree with Archbishop Viganò who criticizes Summorum Pontificum, We must now choose. There can be no bifurcation of the Roman Rite.
Tim Stanley: it’s a lesson in how liberalism in this gerontocratic, Brezhnev-esque stage behaves — utterly intolerant of anyone who breaks from the party line. It is not enough to be quiet or even submit. You must conform, his decree is most likely to promote schism. In short: this is a classic case of hypocrisy, of a politician being everything they accuse their opposition of, I’m reluctant to accuse the pontiff of outright lying, but his proclamation is disingenuous.
Fr. Peter Stravinskas: judgmental and mean-spirited, reeking with a hermeneutic of suspicion, Francis has gotten his information from his personal “magic circle” and from the gossip he seems to thrive on (and yet condemns in others), a flight of supercilious arrogance, As usual, Francis’ lack of precision, canonically and theologically, leads to more questions than answers, We know, from painful observation over the past eight years, that this Pope often and strongly punishes perceived opponents of his agenda, I have consistently and vociferously opposed every problematic aspect of this pontificate – as have thousands upon thousands of clergy and laity. That groundswell of opposition is why nearly all of his documents have been DOA (dead on arrival), If a priest or bishop is looking for an historical model to follow, I would highlight the response of the Jansenists and Modernists when confronted with papal condemnations. They expressed their appreciation for the fatherly care of the Pope, thanked God that the issues raised by the Pope did not exist in their communities, and went on their merry way, for the average informed Catholic, this Pope has made himself irrelevant.
Edward Feser: Usually, errant popes exhibit serious failings of only one or two sorts. But Pope Francis seems intent on achieving a kind of synthesis of all possible papal errors. Like Honorius I and John XXII, he has made doctrinally problematic statements (and more of them than either of those popes ever did). Like Vigilius, his election and governance have involved machinations on the part of a heterodox party. The Pachamama episode brings to mind Marcellinus and John XII, this lunatic period in history that we’re living through.
Hilary White: Why am I not mad? Why am I not freaking out? Why am I not panicking? Why, in fact, am I something along the lines of ferociously joyful? Because a very grave evil, that has duped a great many people with quite a lot of comforting, sleep-inducing lies for quite a long time, is coming to an end. An entire regime of Un-Reality is collapsing before the inexorable demands of the Real. And the defeat of lies, the defeat of UnReality is always a triumph for Christ who is Truth incarnate, Summorum Pontificum was a dead letter the minute it was promulgated, I submit that for the American Trads right now, their task is to stiffen the sinews, tighten the belt, build up the spinal bone mass, and start figuring out how you are going to live the Faith without the Mass for the time being, There are no more comforting, sweet and soothing lies about the “hermeneutic of continuity” and “reform of the reform” issuing from the papal chair. The end of that nonsense alone should be cause for joy, And this letter from the pope has made it explicit; there have been two rival, competing religious ideas – two incompatible religions, implacably opposed in their goals, their doctrine and understanding of the meaning of human life and the nature of God – residing in the house of the Church, and that cannot be tolerated any longer, the meaningless, heretical gibberish of “hermeneutic of continuity,” the soft compromising lie of “conservative Catholicism” – is finally being broken, Pope Francis Bergoglio has made it clear that he intends to purge the Church of the remaining Catholic elements. It will be a Catholicism-free Church. Which means a Christ-free Church. And what does that mean? It means it will not be the Church.
Phillip Campbell: The harshness of this diktat is only surpassed by its sheer imbecility, The double standard does not invalidate the weight of Traditionis Custodes (whatever that may be), but it does destroy any pretense of good will on the part of the Holy Father, horrifically reductionist hermeneutic.
Photo credit: Portrait of Martin Luther (1528), by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
Summary: I survey massive dissent against Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes. Catholics mind-read the pope, trash Vatican II & Summorum Pontificum & the Pauline Mass: proving why it was needed.