I just wrote about the new papal document: Pope Francis’ Traditionis Custodes is for the Sake of Unity (7-16-21). I predicted what the reaction to it would be:
The only dispute is whether the problem was bad enough to justify a “clamping down” on the relatively free availability of the extraordinary form Mass. Pope Francis thought it was serious enough of a problem; so did the bishops. His critics won’t accept their judgment no matter what (and that will be obvious in the days to come). And this is part and parcel of the problem: the reactionaries have an intrinsically flawed, Protestant-like and theologically liberal Catholic-like notion of Catholic authority. This mentality is not good for the Church or for Church unity.
Sure enough . . . So we see the utterly predictable reaction precisely from those quarters where one would most expect it: a venue like One Peter Five that is anti-Vatican II, anti-Pauline (“New”) Mass, and anti-Pope Francis. Thus, head honcho over there: Steve Skojec, wrote Crippled Religion Strikes Again – And Summorum Pontificum Gets the Axe (7-16-21), which absolutely opposes Traditionis Custodes. There is much irony in this for those who are aware of Skojec’s recent history: whereby he came out against the attitudes of his own “traditionalists” with a rage and fury rarely seen anywhere.
Traditionis Custodes was sadly brought about as a result of unsavory, undesirable viewpoints and attitudes among too many adherents of the Old / Tridentine Mass. Skojec proved there was an attitude problem within his own ranks in his two jeremiads in late May. I documented it at the time. Here is a sampling:
I’m angry because I’ve spent my life trapped within various ideological subsets of Catholicism that subvert autonomy, critical thinking, and reason itself. . . .*[I]t’s incredibly frustrating to watch as people turn to this increasingly uncritical tribalism to feel safe, or conspiracy theories to “explain” things, or even in some cases an explicit desire for the end of the world . . .
I’ve spent the past 17 years of my life as an apologist for traditionalist Catholicism — the most recent seven of which have been devoted to founding and running 1P5, which was, for a couple of years at least, the most-read traditionalist Catholic website in the world.
I thought I had, at long last, found my place. . . .
[T]raditionalism isn’t [Catholicism] . . . Instead, it is an ideological mask more identifiably in the shape of true Catholicism. . . . traditionalism, as a “movement,” as an ideological oxbow lake, is a novelty. It’s not a historical reality, . . .
[T]raditionalism, though it retains real treasures from the past that enliven the faithful today, becomes predominately ideological. A version of Catholicism that remains in constant tension with and sometimes open rebellion against the only institution that can give it life: the very Catholic Church that discarded it.
It’s paradigmatic crippled religion. And that is a problem.
It’s easy enough to see if you look at it objectively. Traditionalism, in my experience, is often attracts an unrelentingly toxic and negative sort of person — particularly online, but this filters down into the real world, too. Everything that is seen as non-traditional is perceived as hostile, even malicious. Since it has no authority structure of its own, no governance, no recourse to anything but old documents interpreted however the reader wishes to read them, it gives rise to an autonomous collection of mini-popes, all of them reveling in their “duty” to speak truth to power, analyzing anyone who ostensibly professes the same creed to death, searching for every “gotcha” moment with which they can be browbeaten for being insufficiently pure. . . . The same mantra is repeated countless times a day in trad comboxes and social media, “Ha! And you call yourself a trad!?” . . .
[T]here’s nobody trads would rather eat alive than other trads who have fallen short in some way. I’ve never endured more calumny, more vitriol, more outright enmity in my life from any group of people as I have from certain members of my own in-group. And all of it is in response to imagined deviations from this or that dogmatic opinion held by whichever mini-pope was standing in judgment that day. . . .
17 years after thinking that traditionalist Catholicism was the bold answer to what ails the Church, it became startlingly clear to me that it was, perhaps, quite the contrary. . . . now as a group, I think they’ve lost their way.
Now from his second article:
We can read yet another Remnant screed, or listen to Michael Voris fantasize about vanquishing “Nazi Pedophile Cults,” or watch the umpteen-millionth hour of Taylor Marshall’s Fun-Time Masonic Scandal Hour, but none of it is making any of us a better Catholic. I don’t give a damn about “uniting the clans” — for that you need a strong leader who can quell their divisions by the might of his sword and lead them to victory. Not a single Catholic media figure is holding Excalibur, however, and the lot of them need to start taking themselves a hell of a lot less seriously. . . .
“. . . Is my belief in the superiority of one liturgy over another becoming a fetish? Do I treat others with disdain because they do not live up to my standards of what being a ‘real Catholic’ entails? Have I made an idol of the Church, or my attachment to her laws?”
He was arguably even more polemical and graphic in his withering tweets at the time and even many months prior:
. . . the cult-like mentalities of many Catholics, the sewer that is the traditionalist “movement,”. . . (5-28-21)
TraditionalISM features some of the most toxic people I’ve ever met. (5-27-21)
There is a virulent strain of anti-Semitism in Traditional Catholicism, . . . (tweet on 12-30-20)
God allowed His own Church to fall into the hands of an evil pope. [link]
I’m a fallible man, just like anyone. But I don’t have Francis wrong. He’s not only a tool of the globalist left, he’s a freaking heretic. I’ve never seen a more obvious case. [link]*I didn’t ask for a sucky pope. I just managed to be effective at demonstrating that he was one. [link]
Oh, it’s been my job to document him for the past 6-7 years. There’s no question: he’s a bad guy. [link]
There is a saying that goes around in some traditionalist circles, which I believe was coined by my friend and colleague, Hilary White: “Novusordoism is not Catholicism.” It’s very much a different, and largely incompatible version of the same religion. And though people like to argue the point, Rome just proved it. (Roma locuta est; causa finita est?) If the Catholicism of our grandparents and the Catholicism of our generation were really sympatico, they’d have no trouble co-existing.
But they can’t. . . .
Nobody has opposed him [Pope Francis] more fiercely than traditionalists who are seeking to stay within the Church and under his legitimate authority while fighting his agenda where it goes astray. . . . malignant pontificate . . . abusive shepherd . . .
You get the idea. But he dished out more of the same in his article from 7-13-21 (originally from 7-30-18): “Why Do People Have A Problem With the Novus Ordo?” You think many adherents of the Tridentine Mass don’t have a serious problem with the Pauline Mass? Read on. Skojec makes the pope’s case for him, with flying colors (and this is standard fare at One Peter Five):
[W]e have reached a critical moment in Church history, namely, the widespread recognition that simply because a pope says or does something does not necessarily mean it is in the best interest of the Church or the faithful. It is therefore an opportune time for us to consider again whether the changes in the Mass that were forced upon the Church in 1969 were in fact good simply because the pope gave them to us.
The misleading terms of “Ordinary” and “Extraordinary” form — which came from Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum — provide euphemistic cover to an unprecedented liturgical dissonance within the Roman Rite; two liturgies, one sacred and time-tested as the fruit of organic development, another created by a committee with a clear rhetorical purpose at odds with the historical understanding of liturgy throughout the Church’s two thousand years.
He cites one of his previous articles:
The attack on the liturgy that we have witnessed over the past half-century can be understood as nothing less than a diabolical attempt to strike at the heart of our most important and intimate connection with Our Creator — and also to confuse and disorient us through this loss of perspective. We have been given over to idolatry – the idolatry of self, such that we see the world only through the lens of our own desires. Christ’s sacrifice has been replaced with food and fellowship, His altar of oblation turned into a table, . . . nearly every act of reverence for the sacred has been stripped away. Christ remains present in this reinvented, banalized, man-centered liturgy, but He is ignored, forgotten, abused, and upstaged. . . .
The architects of the Church’s “new and improved” liturgy knew exactly what they were doing. And they have been successful. They have, with a single stroke, moved the entire liturgical edifice of the Church to a foundation of sand. . . .
By destroying our understanding of our relationship with God through the central act of prayer of the Church, they have undermined all else besides. Now, after half a century of demolition, they are dismantling what’s left of the faith almost unopposed.
Then back to the present, he continues his wholesale attack:
The Novus Ordo, by design, strips away the ethos of sacrifice from the liturgy, and turns its attention inwards, towards man. Towards community and meal sharing. Towards turning an altar of sacrifice into a supper table. Towards the placation of theological differences between religions. . . .
I say this not to offend, but because I believe it to be unequivocally true: The so-called “Ordinary Form” is an inferior liturgy, . . .
There is no easy way to say it: the new Mass is an artifice; it is a modern construct created out of whole cloth, not the fruit of some organic theological development across the span of centuries.
People think that the traditionalist and reactionary movements are not shot through with error and quasi-schismatic garbage? I could give 200 examples (just from my own past documentation), but I’ll offer just one. Eric Sammons is the editor of Crisis Magazine: which used to be a pretty good orthodox Catholic magazine, but is now too often polluted with reactionary nonsense. Eric tweeted the following on 16 July 2021:
Pope Francis understands something that traditional Catholics also understand, but many “conservative” Catholics refuse to see: Post-Vatican II Catholicism is in practice a different religion than pre-Vatican II Catholicism. They are not compatible.
I don’t know of any better way to absolutely justify Pope Francis’ action today. Steve Skojec and Eric Sammons are doing my work for me, and the pope’s work also. Skojec classifies Pope Francis as a heretic (which no one has remotely proven), while at the same time he commits himself to two heretical and dangerous beliefs: the defectibility of the Church and of the pope; the Church holds that the indefectibility of the Church and the pope are de fide and infallible doctrines: the highest level of the magisterium.
He calls his “traditionalism” a “crippled religion” and then he turns around and calls the one true Church, established by our Lord Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit and protected by Him from error, also a “crippled religion.” He leaves his readers nothing (except maybe becoming Eastern Orthodox, a la Rod Dreher), . . .
Traditionis Custodes: The Council and the Roman Rite (Adam Rasmussen, Where Peter Is, 7-16-21)
Traditionis Custodes: In the Hope of Liturgical Reform (Daniel Amiri, Where Peter Is, 7-17-21)
Et Cum Spiritu NoNo–The Demise of the Traditional Latin Mass Experiment (Monsignor Eric Barr, Thin Places, 7-17-21)
Catholics (?) Trash, Judge, & Mind-Read the Pope (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) [7-20-21]
Summary: Steve Skojec admits how terrible & abominable conditions within traditionalism are. Yet he rejects Traditionis Custodes, which was made necessary by those same manifest serious errors.
Tags: Catholic Mass, Extraordinary Form, Latin Mass, liturgical reform, Mass of Pope Paul VI, Motu Proprio, New Mass, Novus Ordo Mass, Old Mass, One Peter Five, Ordinary Form, Pauline Mass, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, reform of the reform, Second Vatican Council, Steve Skojec, Summorum Pontificum, TLM, Traditionis Custodes, Tridentine Mass, Vatican II