Pope Francis: Rigid Traditionalists and Cafeteria Catholics “Aren’t Really Catholics”

Pope Francis: Rigid Traditionalists and Cafeteria Catholics “Aren’t Really Catholics” June 7, 2014

Half-hearted Catholics–those who believe only some of the Church’s teachings–aren’t really Catholics at all.

“They may call themselves Catholic,” said Pope Francis at his morning Mass at the Domus Sancta Marthae, “but they have one foot out the door.”

*     *     *     *     *

The Holy Father drew his inspiration from the Gospel reading for June 5, taken from John 17:20-26, and Jesus’ prayer that there would be unity, not divisions and conflict, among his followers.  He singled out three groups of people whose half-hearted acceptance of faith drew into question their membership in the Church:

“Uniformists” who believe that everyone in the Church should be just like them.  “They are rigid!” said the Pope.  “They do not have that freedom the Holy Spirit gives,” and they confuse what Jesus preached with their “own doctrine of uniformity.”  Jesus never wanted the church to be so rigid, Pope Francis said.  Such people “call themselves Catholics, but their rigid attitude distances them from the Church.”  The Pope likened the “uniformists” to the early Christians who demanded that pagans become Hebrews before they could enter the Church, when this was not what God intended.

“Alternativists” are those who hold alternative teachings and doctrines.  They, according to Pope Francis, have “a partial belonging to the church. These, too, have one foot outside the church.  They rent the church,” not recognizing that its teaching is based on the preaching of Jesus and the apostolic tradition.  The “alternativists” are today’s “Cafeteria Catholics” who accept some teachings, but not the teachings which they find inconvenient or which they don’t really understand.

“Businessists” are those who use the Church “for personal profit.”  Pope Francis noted that they call themselves Christians, but don’t enter into the heart of the Church.  “We have all seen them in parish or diocesan communities and religious congregations,” said Francis, “they are some of the benefactors of the Church.  They strut around proud of being benefactors; but in the end, under the table, they make their deals.”   

*     *     *     *     *

The Church, Pope Francis taught, is made up of people with a variety of differences and gifts.  If one wants to belong to it, he or she must be motivated by love and must enter with “your whole heart.”  The Pope explained the correct approach to the Church, according to L’Osservatore Romano:

But Christ’s message is quite different: to all these types, the Pontiff continued, Jesus says that “the Church isn’t rigid, it’s free! In the Church there are many charisms, there’s great diversity in people and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says: in the Church you must give your heart to the Gospel, to what the Lord has taught, and never have an alternative for yourself! The Lord tells us: if you want to enter the Church”, do so “for love, to give all, all your heart and not for doing business for your benefit”. Indeed, “the Church is not a house for rent” for all those who “want to do as they please”; on the contrary, “it is a home to live in”.

And to those who object that “it’s not easy”, to keep both feet in the Church, because “there are so many temptations”, the Rome’s bishop recalled that he who “creates unity in the Church, unity in the diversity, in the freedom, in the generosity” which is the Holy Spirit, whose specific “duty” is to actually create “harmony in the Church”. Because “unity in the Church is harmony. Everyone — he added with a joke — we’re different, we’re not equal, thank God”, otherwise “it would be hell!” But “we are all called to be docile to the Holy Spirit”. And this is exactly the virtue that will save us from being rigid, from being “alternativists” and from being “advantagists” or swindlers in the Church: docility to the Holy Spirit, he who “builds the Church”.

Pope Francis called for a docility which transforms the Church from a house “for rent,” into a house in which everyone feels at home.  “I’m at home,” he said, “because the Holy Spirit gives me this grace.”

In the Prayers of the Faithful, Pope Francis prayed for the grace of unity in the Church: to be brothers and sisters in unity, feeling right at home.  He prayed for “unity in the diversity of everyone… but free diversity,” without imposing conditions.

In his closing invocation, he prayed that we would create this harmony in our communities, parishes, dioceses, and movements.

He reiterated the message from his first Mass in Jordan, when he said:  

“The mission of the Holy Spirit… is to beget harmony–He himself is harmony–and to create peace in different situations and between different people.”


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  • Edward Phillips

    The Biblical problem with Catholicism .They follow themselves instead of the biblical truth.Love tells then the truth so they can gain heaven .Catholicism is not Christian it Catholicism which ideology are deeply root in works salvation .Doing catholic rules and even the blasphemy of purgatory.The catholic canon even say damnation to anyone who think they are forgiven by faith in Jesus alone.Canon 30: “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema = damnation.” Bible says 1 john 1 if we confess to Jesus he forgives all sin and cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness .Following is a list of verses that show that salvation/justification is by faith. Bold references are particularly pointed.

    John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
    Rom. 3:22, “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”
    Rom. 3:24, “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
    Rom. 3:26, “for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
    Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
    Rom. 4:3, “For what does the Scripture say? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
    1 Tim. 1:16, “And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience, as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” By the way book of James also says this .James remember is writing to those also forgiven and heaven bound .James is not telling ones work makes one saved from judgement,hell but James is showing how a true christian should behave.Never does the bible say works merit one anything .In fact it says the opposite .James actually quotes the same truth that Paul uses to support the teaching of justification by faith in Rom. 4:3. James 2:23 says, “and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'” If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example.The bible is not a house divided against itself .It does not oppose itself .It is absolute truth all the way through .Catholicsm twist God word to conform to Catholicism image of what they want it to say .Catholicism is the folly of fools and many follow them straight into judgement and damnation .Dear one salvation is a free gift offer to you from God .Jesus say ask me Jesus and believe on me and confess and Jesus said I will forgive ALL your sins and give you heaven .

    • Maggie

      You know little. You do not understand the sacramental life established by Christ. He never said to follow a book. And we also know that not all He said and did could be written in all the books of the world. And each protestant community has their own ideas and vote on what they accept this year. Many of them accept sodomy and abortion, etc. Those are not biblical principles even. And even the devil believes in the Real Presence of Christ in the holy Eucharist. You do not see the Satanists breaking into a non-demon to steal their wafers because they know that they are just bread.

      • ava

        Christ said not one tittle of the law shall pass before he come again. The Catholic Faith embraces the Bible, Mass is not to be said without reading a Gospel passage, the word of God. I am sure an emergency situation could be made (that would be an example of not being rigid) however the Catholic Faith is based on the Holy Scripture which is the Word of God, the Word who was made Flesh, Jesus, and the Apostolic Tradition, and the Magisterium all which teach us of the Sacraments and instruct in the Dogma and Doctrine of the Faith. Catholics need to know their Bible.

        • johnnyc

          Any good Catholic Bible study will require having the Catechism of the Catholic Church close at hand.

      • tom bordeau

        He knows little for a reason. His profile suggests the breadth of his “christianity” subsists in chick.com. Literally everything emanates from chick.
        Nuff said!

    • LeticiaVelasquez

      Who defines Biblical truth for you? Your pastor? You? What happens when the church down the street disagrees? Catholics have 2,000 years of Tradition which helps us understand Scripture and still we have varying interpretations. How much more confusion there must be among those Christian denominations(over 4,000 new churches form each year) with no Pope.
      Here is Sacred Tradition in Scripture:
      then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings
      we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. 2 Thess. 2: 15

    • CatherineA

      Edward, it might surprise you to know that most of the Catholics who follow Kathy have heard all these arguments before. We are aware that salvation is a free gift. And please, the word Bible is a proper noun and should be capitalized, just like the words Jesus and God.

    • Go prosetyze elsewhere buddy. We’re not interested.

    • ava

      Au Contraire, Practicing, authentic Catholics truly believe and read their Bibles. What we have been quite remiss in is not learning the passage names and numbers of the Word like so many Protestants have accomplished. But let me clarify for you the importance of the canon you quote quite nicely, Christ came that all who believe may be saved. MAY BE should they so chose to Believe in Him, love Him and be obedient to Him. Until Christ came and died, we had no hope of ever entering heaven, this is true, and once he died for our sins, that hope had life. But we can not just get to heaven by claiming to believe in Him. We must be obedient. In 2 John 1:6 ” And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. … The love of which I am speaking consists in our living in obedience to God’s commands.” If indeed you love who you say, you do what they ask you to do, and in this case since it is God asking, if you claim to believe and love, you must do what he asks. And Jesus told us, if you know him, you know God, for God is in Him and He is in God. And Romans 1:4-6 “Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;”…And there is much to that obedience that the protestant’s deny in their said belief. Jesus said in John 6:46 -67…which says “unless you eat of my flesh and drink of blood you shall not have life within you”. Jesus did not just say this once, but he had to repeat it, saying “unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life within you…this was hard for many of the disciples to hear and after hearing it, many of his disciples left and walked no more with him. This is a passage I rarely ever hear protestants quote. But it is wondrous indeed and Christ spoke not of the bread representing him or being symbolic of him which he could have said if that was the case. But he is truly present in the Holy Eucharist at the consecration of the Mass celebrated by valid priests, valid because of the succession of the priesthood as established by Christ to His Apostles, at the last super when he washed their feet and then after his resurrection when he appeared to Peter and said,”Upon this rock I build my Church….and Peter, feed my sheep.” Jesus wants all who believe in him to be present at the Mass and partake of Communion with Him so that He can be one with all those He loves. This is Truth. This is Love and This is obedience to that Love. It is not a problem of Catholicism. It is a Mystery of God, not a secret. It is a great Gift. It is Truth.

      • johnnyc

        You go Catholic girl!

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Pure insanity…..

    First Francis insults different groups of people then Pope Francis says the Church should be a house in which everyone feels at home. ”I’m at home,” he said, “because the Holy Spirit gives me this grace.”

    The guy has lost it………..mock people then say feel at home?

    • LeticiaVelasquez

      He sounds a lot like Christ who was very hard on the Pharisees, those ultra strict law-abiders who judge others as being unworthy while their own hearts are devoid of charity. I see them judging the Holy Father for his efforts to join the leaders of the Middle East in his garden for a night of prayer for peace. They are judging him very harshly.

      • Maggie Sullivan

        So what your saying is our world has to many people who are moral and try and live by the Ten Commandments and the Pope is smacking them down so they will be free to follow whatever “choices” they want in life.

      • Isabelle101

        Careful! All of the Saints were those ultra strick law abiders who obeyed the law because they had so much love. ” If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Those who have little love, have littlle obedience and usually no faith.

        • Sheila

          Isabelle101 if you were to read the stories of the saints you would find that many were rule breakers! That many were in conflict with the church authority of their day!

          • WSquared

            Sheila, you need to be careful. They respected the authority, even if they may not have liked the way in which the authority was carried out, or even abused.

            The difference is between David and Saul. David still respected that Saul was God’s anointed, even as Saul messed up so many times.

            Why is that so many Catholics can’t seem to see any middle ground or loving combination between legalism and laxness, and mercy and justice?

        • WSquared

          No, the saints obeyed the law out of love, not legalism. They also knew that the law exists for the sake of love, and as a good in itself.

          Neither St. Therese of Lisieux nor Leo XIII nor Pius XII nor St. Francis de Sales sound anything like the rigid legalists in the Church, be they “traditionalists” or anything else.

          • WSquared

            Sorry, that the law exists for the sake of love– of God and neighbor– and not as a good in itself.

            Saints know that sin only makes sense in the context that it is a deprivation of the good, and contrary to love of God and love of neighbor. Legalists will say things like “it’s a sin, cuz it’s a sin, cuz it’s a sin,” which is just nonsense. They’re also likely the ones who only ever seem to boil the Church’s teaching on human sexuality down to some bourgeois respectability, can only ever explain it as “the Church sez ‘no,’ and ‘no’ means ‘no,’ dang it!” Ask them to explain any of it, and all they can ever say is “well, it sez right her in CCC No. blah blah blah,” thereby treating the Catechism the way fundamentalists treat the Bible. They are therefore unable to and wholly incapable of explaining any of it as to how it relates to love of God and neighbor.

            This is what happens when the only “Catholicism” you know is either “pray, pay, or obey” or “kumbayaa,” neither of which affords one any sort of profound or healthy spiritual life. Saints also have no tolerance for sin, but an abundance of mercy for sinners. They are therefore able to think bigger in a way that legalists and uniformists seem to be incapable of.

    • Dave

      I keep hearing that Pope Francis insulted people, but where’s the proof?

      • steve5656546346

        Ah, the proof is in nearly every speech that he makes.

    • D611

      Pope Francis didn’t knock traditionalists. He talked about uniformists, alternativists, and businessists without assigning any one of those labels to any particular groups within the Church. He probably did not do so because he knows, as do I, that there can be each of these types within any community of Catholics, across the whole broad spectrum.

      • Maggie Sullivan

        Well, if the problems in the Church, as Pope Francis seems to think, are to many people are devout and obey Christ I don’t see it.

      • Diane, look at my comment on this. This was a very devisive statement by the Holy Father. This is not the way to evangelize.

        • ava

          I agree with Diane. But first of all some must understand that the Pope has more than just evangelizing. Evangelizing would be spreading the Gospel message to those who do not know about the Gospel, or who know very little about Jesus, or are confused about the Truth because they have never been part of the fulfillment of Truth in the Catholic Church. Then the Pope also has to preach to the Faithful. He must correct errors and point out flaws and failings. He must do this for his salvation and all the faithful. He can not leave error alone. He can not ignore it. But the faithful have to guard themselves against pride during his instruction. They have to look inward and say to themselves as he has said before in a beautiful little book titled “The Way to Humility”, I am a sinner. I am not corrupt. But I am a sinner . Instead of attacking the Holy Father’s words that are said in that Love which is to correct error and bring us all closer to the perfection of the Saints for our own Saintly Salvation, we need to be open to hear the words of correction. Especially from the Holy Father.

      • Colin Corcoran

        I’ve heard fortune tellers tell fortunes with far more clarity and detail than I have yet to hear out of Pope Francis. He speaks vaguely unless of course it’s an off the cuff remark, and then he speaks very plainly and directly, while even the vatican scrambles to clarify his comments so that they can be cast in a light in keeping with the faith. Wish somebody would clarify his official statements as well because all the confusion cannot be good for the church, and confusion like this is not something usually attributed to God.

    • Tammy

      Really?! Disrespect and disdain for our Holy Father! This is very divisive!

    • Netmilsmom

      Read more than the headline.
      Pope Francis didn’t slam traditionalists. Kathy Schiffer did. If anything, the “rigid” people are those people who clutch their pearls and gasp at the very mention of anything “Retro Catholic” coming into their parish. He is telling us to STOP dividing into camps and be open to all forms of worship. EVEN Latin, receiving on the tongue and classic devotions.

      • ava

        Thank you for your comments!!! Poor Pope Francis. Please everyone we should all say some very special prayers for him today and all the priests and bishops in union with him. The attacks against him increase everyday!

  • Maggie

    OK, just who would the Pontiff define a ‘Catholic’—not those who embrace the fullness of the Church’s teachings and traditions–oh, no, not them! Many the LCWR, maybe they are open to the “spirit” (not the holy one though). Maybe the Jesuits who run Catholic universities and are open to “diversity”? Maybe just those who tout “social justice” and are concerned about carbon footprints? I guess those who pray and sacrifice and seek holiness and love the sacrificial nature of a TLM are just on the outskirts with the Pontiff. But are they on the outskirts of Christ?

    • Dave

      Can you prove that the Holy Father thinks traditional Catholics aren’t really Catholic?

    • Karen Hall

      I was wondering that myself. Who, besides himself, does the Pope consider to be Catholic?

    • LL1

      Why should anyone have to prove whether the Pope thinks this thing or that thing? If you want a definition of something, look in the CCC.
      Moreover, some definition of what constitutes a Catholic isn’t really the point here. The point is that among those people who refer to themselves as Catholics, there are some people who fall into one or more of these errors, and these errors ought to be avoided because they are harmful to the soul and to the Church.

      • ava

        Thank you for your comments!

  • D611

    I’m adding here what I posted in your Facebook thread Kathy. I don’t think we are going to end a kind of growing sectarianism in Catholic circles online as long as we think only traditionalists can be rigid and only progressivists can be cafeteria Catholics.

    Just the headline alone makes it look like Pope Francis was aiming the rigid part at traditionalists. Unfortunately, that is a stereotype all people who love the traditional Latin Mass end up wearing because the perception is they are the only ones capable of rigidity. Yes, *some* traditionalists can be overly rigid, and in a way that is not in harmony with the Gospel or teachings of the Church. But so can others, like the examples I’ll now give.

    I experienced priests and lay people who were dismissive of my love for polyphony and chant, and who were so rigid in their thinking, that of 4 weekend Masses, not one featured anything but contemporary music, mainly with guitar and piano. A very good friend was made to feel uncomfortable in one of the few choirs in a local, suburban parish, because she liked to simply keep her Rosary wrapped around her hand when she sang during Mass. She did not pray her Rosary, but was told by this rigid choir director that she could not have her Rosary.

    Ask priests who were ordained 10, 15, 20 years ago, whether they encountered rigid types who labeled them as rigid simply because they wanted to do Eucharistic Adoration and include a daily Rosary in their regimen. In fact, that is one reason why many Catholics, both of a traditionalist bent, and a non-traditionalist one, both abhor use of the label “rigid” because it was code for “unwanted devout Catholic.” Many men were rejected from the priesthood, not because they were traditionalists, but because they simply wanted to pray a Rosary and sit in front of the Eucharist.

    Today, we can find those who are so rigid about wanting Communion in the hand brought to an end, they promote their cause with the flavor of bile. Yet, can we say there are not those so rigid about wanting to keep Communion in the hand, that they refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of discussing the pros and cons in a charitable way?

    Let’s be careful about giving the impression to others that Pope Francis is merely talking about traditionalists since he himself did not use the word, as far as I can see. Lets’ look inward at where each of us has been rigid, and have been a cafeteria Catholic. If we set our focus within, we will find we have probably all been guilty of both of these faults at one time or another.

    • ava

      Thank you for making these comments!

    • Harry Flynn

      Well spoken!!!!!

    • Therese

      Wow! Wish I’d said that!!!

    • Lucille Hadden

      I don’t think that Pope Francis is speaking about those who love the Latin Mass and Adoration rigid. I think he is speaking to those who claim that the last ‘real’ pope was Pius 12th, and who really do nothing but argue and belittle the Church if they don’t agree are understand what it teaches. Also, there are the legalistic thinkers…a catholic version of fundamentalism.

      The whole, entire truth and wisdom and traditions of the Catholic Faith belong to all of us. We can embrace and enjoy all that it is without picking and choosing. It’s the picking and choosing that is harmful to us and to the unity, such as those that say Vatican 11 isn’t really Catholic, etc. Ignorance breeds division.

      I love my Catholic Faith, every bit of it! I will not allow anyone to dissuade me from entering in to its beauty on every level!

  • W Meyer

    Some of the most rigid I have encountered are the Spirit of Vatican II folks, who endorse almost anything which flies in the face of Church teaching. To refer them to the CCC is to risk them suffering a coronary, or a fit of apoplexy. At the very least, they will foam at the mouth.

  • Marie

    The title of this article is extremely misleading nowhere did Pope Francis say who is guilty of being uniformists, as the lady just stated below this post. This is putting ‘spin’ on a story and inflaming more discord. And if parishes were truly respectful of differences, they would make the Tridentine form of the Mass available to everyone as Pope Benedict XVI asked in his Summorum Pontificum, and that is not being done. So the best way to respect differences and not be a uniformist (NO Mass only and if you don’t like it you can leave or move to another city etc.) would be to make the Tridentine Mass available to all, and it would be very well attended.

    • ava

      Again, greatly appreciate the comments. We should all be working to avoid fanning the flames. One way to do this is use the words spoken by the speaker and less editing. Thanks again!!!

    • Brian J. Wilson

      Though I love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and indeed prefer it, I must take exception to the statement that Pope Benedict asked all parishes to “make the Tridentine form of the Mass available to everyone.” He made no such request. He did, however, state that, where there is a stable group of parishioners who want it, the pastor of the parish (or, if the pastor is unable to provide the Mass, the diocesan bishop) should make the good-faith effort required by ministerial charity to make the Mass available. Not every parish (by a long shot!) has such a “stable group” who desire to assist at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

      • Guest

        Please provide the source of your quote “stable group” I am not seeing that in the Letter or the Summorum Pontificum itself.
        In “Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Bishope on the occasion of the pubication of the Apostolic Letter “MOTU PROPRIO DATA” SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM ON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970″ he states: “Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio. The present Norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.”

        Please define what you mean by “stable” it seems to imply that those who are interested in the Tridentine Mass are by nature “unstable” and I don’t see that word as I said in either document. How would one prove his or her stability to be able to have the Mass, rather it seems to me after reading both documents the only impediment is the Priest learning Latin and learning the Rite !

        Quote from the Summorum Pontificum itself:

        “In some regions, however, not a few of the faithful continued to be attached with such love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms which had deeply shaped their culture and spirit, that in 1984 Pope John Paul II, concerned for their pastoral care, through the special Indult Quattuor Abhinc Annos issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, granted the faculty of using the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII. Again in 1988, John Paul II, with the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei, exhorted bishops to make broad and generous use of this faculty on behalf of all the faithful who sought it.

        Given the continued requests of these members of the faithful, long deliberated upon by our predecessor John Paul II, and having listened to the views expressed by the Cardinals present at the Consistory of 23 March 2006, upon mature consideration, having invoked the Holy Spirit and with trust in God’s help, by this Apostolic Letter we decree the following:

        Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi (rule of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. The Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V and revised by Blessed John XXIII is nonetheless to be considered an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi of the Church and duly honoured for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.

        It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows:

        Art. 2. In Masses celebrated without a congregation, any Catholic priest of the Latin rite, whether secular or regular, may use either the Roman Missal published in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII or the Roman Missal promulgated in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, and may do so on any day, with the exception of the Easter Triduum. For such a celebration with either Missal, the priest needs no permission from the Apostolic See or from his own Ordinary.

        Art. 3. If communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently, the matter is to be decided by the Major Superiors according to the norm of law and their particular laws and statutes.

        Art. 4. The celebrations of Holy Mass mentioned above in Art. 2 may be attended also by members of the lay faithful who spontaneously request to do so, with respect for the requirements of law.

        Art. 5, §1 In parishes where a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition stably exists, the parish priest should willingly accede to their requests to celebrate Holy Mass according to the rite of the 1962 Roman Missal. He should ensure that the good of these members of the faithful is harmonized with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the bishop in accordance with Canon 392, avoiding discord and favouring the unity of the whole Church.

        §2 Celebration according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII can take place on weekdays; on Sundays and feast days, however, such a celebration may also take place.

        §3 For those faithful or priests who request it, the pastor should allow celebrations in this extraordinary form also in special circumstances such as marriages, funerals or occasional celebrations, e.g. pilgrimages.

        §4 Priests using the Missal of Blessed John XXIII must be qualified (idonei) and not prevented by law.

        and so on and so forth, I do not see any requirements of “stable” here, I would really like to see the quote and the document from which you got this, I’m sorry but it kind of sounds like some kind of psycho-babbel. Again the documents seem to be saying that . . . anyone . . . who requests the Tridentine Mass should be provided it, as long as they do not insist on attending it exclusively, and that exposing the faithful to this Mass can increase their devotion and appreciation of their heritage as Catholics. And as my first post stated, this is not being done, their wishes, request, and needs are not being given much thought or effort at all, and this is sad because having a Tridentine Mass in every Parish on a regular basis is probably the one thing that will actually accomplish a New Evangelization, more Vocations, and an increase in the numbers of parishioners. This trend has been shown over and over.

        • Joy Niklas O F-s

          In Rome, a stable group is defined as three people. I imagine the root is found in ‘where two or three are gathered’, although that is just my opinion.
          One of the cardinals during the time of BXVI used to say, verbally, repeatedly, that BXVI desired all parishes to have a TLM, although it was not in SP.

    • James M

      Vague accusations, like those this Pope makes so often, are a good way to cause confusion.

  • Ruben Aguilar

    I’m not liberal, I’m not conservative… I’m Catholic and I follow Jesus!

  • KathleenWagner

    Okay, people – nomenclature review.

    Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite: Post-1963, the common, usual, Joe Catholic form of the Mass, called by the ignorant the Novus Ordo, almost always in the vernacular.

    Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite: Pre-1963, sometimes known as the Tridentine Mass, always in Latin.

    Saying “Traditional” to mean the Extraordinary Form just lets schismatics think they’re Traditional, which means good, right? Wrong. Use the proper terms and let the schismos sit in the cold until they’re ready to submit and be reconciled to the Church. Not that Pope Chattypants is any particular draw.

    I’m getting SO tired of this pontificate.

    • ava

      He is tirelessly working for the salvation of all of our souls, which thank God, includes yours. Shortly after Vatican II, one might be heard using the term Traditional to describe the Mass for which they wanted to participate; however, the people were not ignorant that used the term in this way as they were using the term as the term can be defined in a dictionary…”existing in or as part of a tradition, long established”. Then with the passage of time, traditional in this case was used more as an adjective to describe the type of Catholic pushing for the Tridentine Mass, but again not the particular Mass Rite.

    • Katherine Anne McMillan

      ROFL! my new name for Pope Francis is Pope Chattypants!

    • Therese

      “Pope chatty pants”?!?!?!? SHAME ON YOU.
      Your mother apparently never taught you to respect anyone.

    • Las Vegas Viewer

      Novus Ordo is new order of the Mass, it isn’t ignorant to refer to the Ordinary Form of the Mass as Novus Ordo. The Tridentine Mass is the Extraordinary form of the Mass.

    • WSquared

      Wow. You didn’t have to call Pope Francis “Pope Chattypants” any more than those who didn’t like Pope Benedict had to call him things like “Ratzi the Nazi.”

      You might consider that when you say things like that, Traditionalism and the Latin Mass don’t need enemies.

  • “Half-hearted Catholics–those who believe only some of the Church’s teachings–aren’t really Catholics at all.”

    I frankly find that a disgraceful statement by the Holy Father. Is that his idea of evangelization? Insulting and pushing people out the door? Look, life is complicated, especially in today’s world. It’s up to the clergy to connect us to Christ and bind us together. That statement is not binding us together. That is devisive, and separates us. That’s not a convincing argument. That’s giving up on people. I know that’s only one such statement and perhaps he didn’t think it through, but he should rethink using such argument in the future.

    • ava

      The Holy Father is picking up his Cross every day and walking in the footsteps of Jesus, Jesus spoke truths that the Jews of his day did not like to hear either. They took offense. They were insulted. How dare he. They let their pride prevent them from taking his loving instruction to heart and changing their sinful ways. We should all be careful we do not let our Pride prevent us from hearing the Truth when we’ve been told of our sins. Pride is not a virtue.

      • What does that have to do with pushing people out of the church? I didn’t exhibit any pride.

        • johnnyc

          They are pushing themselves out of the Church.

          • No they’re not. And what ever happened to the Church’s push for Evangelization, especially for existing Catholics? If this was Church policy (which it’s not) then the Church would be talking out of both sides of its mouth. But I’m pretty sure this was a slip up in the Holy Father’s phrasing of what he wanted to say.

          • WSquared

            Perhaps it’s that we complain because we want the New Evangelization, but expect only the Pope and our priests to do it.

            It’s “Let Father Do It.”

    • johnnyc

      The Holy Father is right. People that do not follow Jesus and the Church that He founded, the Catholic Church, are protestants.

      • So what’s your plan to evangelize them? Or evangelization just double speak?

        • johnnyc

          We evangelize them like we do protestants. By proclaiming the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Church, the Catholic Church. Jesus Christ and His Church are One and the Same. Many protestants profess to loving Jesus but believe that there is no need for a church. So they separate Jesus from His Church. One only needs to look at the many varied protestant communities that have women ordination, accept homosexual marriage, contraception and even abortion never mind the many interpretations of God’s Word to see the results of that. These ‘cafeteria catholics’ are doing the same thing. And if they do end up leaving the Church they blame the Church. They are not leaving because they do not find Christ. They are leaving because they do not accept a particular Church teaching and whether through ignorance or pride do not see that that particular teaching comes from Jesus Christ. Love requires obedience.so we not only need to love Jesus we must follow Him as He asks us to.

          “It is an absurd dichotomy to love Christ without the Church; to listen to Christ, but not the Church; to be with Christ at the margins of the Church,” he said. “One cannot do this. It is an absurd dichotomy.” – Pope Francis

          • All i can say is division is diabolical; unity is of Christ. If it makes you feel better than advocate everyone leave the church because no one can measure to your standards. Take care.

          • johnnyc

            I never advocated everyone leave the Church. I agreed with the Holy Father. I answered your question and apparently you do not like the answer. Perhaps you have a problem with some of Jesus’s teachings. They are Jesus Christ’s standards. You might want to take it up with Him.

          • WSquared

            True unity is of Christ; false irenicism and unity at all costs– i.e. false unity– is not.

            You might recall that “tolerance” is a form of false irenicism.

    • Kirry

      There is a saying: The truth will set you free, but first it will really tick you off (cleaned up for present company). Thats what his comments are doing. He is calling out those people who are in error and, as can be seen in these comments, he really hit the nail on the head. He cant just go along and let people live in error. He is obliged by his office to correct us. Please use it as an opportunity for some self reflection not pointing the finger back at him. How do you propose he correct people without upsetting our hyper-pc, I’m ok, your ok culture? If he doesn’t have a right to do that….who does? Maybe his tact could have been better but he’s human, give him a break. He is a work in progress same as the rest of us.

    • Las Vegas Viewer

      The pope often makes statements that require further explanation. A lot like the President.

      • steve5656546346

        But then he doesn’t explain further…

        • Las Vegas Viewer

          That is for sure. No one is watching as it were.

    • WSquared

      Um, you know that the great thing about being Catholic is that if you’re not as Catholic as you should be, and in fact have put yourself out of full communion, you are just one good confession away from being a fully practicing Catholic again and full communion, right? Right?

      All he’s saying is that being Catholic should not mean that we rest on our laurels. There are tons of ways of being Catholic In Name Only.

      That is devisive, and separates us.

      So does a false irenicism that pretends that serious problems don’t exist. Francis, like Benedict and JPII, knows that we have to recognize problems and confront them head on, knowing that Christ can heal those wounds and divisions. If we pretend that they aren’t there, we, well, stop asking Him for help, in much the same manner as those who like to pretend that sin doesn’t exist and they aren’t sinners.

      • We were told the other month that Church has an outlook of gradualism. She understands that not everyone is where they should be and with time and the sacraments people will grow. My point was, the clergy should not push those people out. It should entice them further in. The Holy Father’s language, whether he intended it or not, was a pushing out. By the way, my hunch is he didn’t intend it that way.

  • Patricia Walsh

    How did “uniformists” become “traditionalists” in the title of the article. As if those who have worked for decades to eradicate the Tridentine Mass from the Church are not the “uniformists”: forbidding any use of Latin, forbidding any use of chant, priests denying Holy Communion to people who kneel??? Seriously…

    • johnnyc

      Perhaps the blog owner is on the liberal side of the aisle and like the liberal media interprets the Holy Father’s words to suit an agenda?

      • kathyschiffer

        “Liberal side of the aisle”? Who, me? Thanks, Johnny–You’ve helped to provide needed balance for all the folks who’ve called me too conservative.

        • Patricia Walsh

          I do not understand the use of the term “traditionalist” in the title of the article, unless you actually believe the intention was to criticize traditionalists, even though the Pope never used that term. I find the term “uniformist” as accurately applied to many camps in the Catholic Church. Being so is as much or perhaps more a personality issue as it is reflective of any particular point of view.

        • Lee B

          The title of the article is misleading and uncharitable, you are making yourself part of the problem that Pope Francis speaks of regularly

  • cenlacatholic

    “Rigid traditionalists” already have one foot out of the door? Boy, I guess that makes many of our sainted pre-conciliar popes cafeteria, or non-Catholics.
    Does anyone listen to this bull anymore?

    It’s being reported in Islamic press that the Qur’an will be read at the Vatican today. You heard that right, the blasphemous collection of a madman’s ramblings who denies Our Lord was crucified, calls the Virgin Mary the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, and rejects the divinity of Our Lord as the Arians did, will be read from the Vatican–as well as some Islamic prayers; you know, for dialogue, and for peace between Israel & Palestine.
    …As if allowing prayers to the false god of Islam will bring about anything, except perhaps judgement upon the Church (it seems we’re already experiencing a chastisement).

    What was that about cafeteria Catholics, again? Anyone with half a brain can see through this nonsense.

    This sort of drivel is par for the course for Patheos bloggers.

    • Capt.craig

      Great move Frank! Invite the evil into the House. Disgusting!

      • ava

        Did not invite them into the House. He invited them into his home. They are not meeting where we worship, where the Bread transformed into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. But how powerful might the prayer meeting have been if it was before Christ exposed in the Blessed Sacrament. If we can parade the Blessed Sacrament on the streets, we could hold a prayer meeting with Muslims and Jews before him, if they only would, but I suspect right now they would not. We are called to rise above the attitudes held by the Pharisees and Sadducees. But something diabolical is working hard against us, and it is not Pope Francis as he is called respectfully.

    • LWC

      Anagnorisis much? My cute little rubric-minded Pharisee.

    • ava

      The venom being sprayed out on this sight is very sad to read! Jesus said,”I came not to call the just, but sinners to repentance.” He did not die for only some people, just our allies and friends. What Christian has ever believed this? He knew full well what Judas was going to do, he knew what the Jews were going to do. The Pope does not know exactly how this will end, but he Believes in the Promise of God, he Believes in the Power of Prayer, and Believes as we have been told that in the end God prevails, but does that mean he is to sit back and do nothing while we wait for the end game? No, he is called to be like Christ, and he has done just that. And the Word tells us to pray without ceasing, it never said we could not invite our enemies to pray with us. Infact in Luke 14:12 ; Jesus told us when we have a dinner, don’t invite our friends, brothers, sisters, relatives or rich neighbors who might invite us in return, if they do, then we are repaid. No, Jesus is still calling everyone, even those who continue to embrace evil. The Pope is providing a chance for praying together. Who are we to deny them this grace and blessing from the One who died to give it them. Shame on us!

      • tom bordeau

        “The pope is providing a chance for praying together!?” You mean like the Assisi gatherings? Still wondering if that worked?
        What you consider venom these days was not so 60 years ago. What has changed?
        Are you saying the auto-demolition re to by Paul vi has ended and the church is on the mend? What really has occurred are millions upon millions of catholics defecting the true faith and joining our ” separated brethren”, the one the pope wants to pray with. Pray without ceasing takes on a new meaning, doesn’t it?

  • RMThoughts

    The guy serving up the cafeteria food it telling his customers they they have one foot out the door.

  • LWC

    Anagnorisis much? My cute little rubric-minded Pharisees.

  • Colin Corcoran

    You forgot to explain how traditionalists are included there. Seems we are the ones who believe everything the church teaches, don’t object to the NO – but will drive 4 hours to find an EF mass instead, and are more familiar than most with the fact that the church is made up of many catholic rites, the like chaldeans, byzantines (Eastern Rite), Ukrainian Catholics, etc.. all in full communion with Rome. The SSPX already left the church. So if people rigidly obey all the teachings of the church embodied in the catechism – most with more than a little basis in apostolic tradition instead of just the new testament aren’t the people Francis was complaining about. Suggest you retool your title – to be less inaccurate, lest people think you ignorant, confused, or a trad basher…

  • Amateur Brain Surgeon

    This makes perfect sense. When my children were young I was forever calling them nasty names and then I’d invite the children of strangers into our home and tell them how wonderful they were; especially if they did not believe in the Holy Trinity and Divine Revelation.

    This is who Our Holy Father is and he has accumulated a lengthy list on insults directed at those he clearly can’t tolerate and so ABS knows the answer to Telly Savalas’ old question – Who loves ya, baby?

    Not him; he does not love me and my ilk; however, as it is the case that me and my ilk maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority,(See Mystici Corporis) there ain’t nothing that can be down about us expect to insult us on a regular basis but such insults and slights strengthen the skin of the Flummoxed Faithful and one can not find one in one billion Catholics who have EVER heard a Pope display such public disdain for part of his flock and so the lame attempts to associate his remarks with the praxis of Jesus.

    Lord have mercy.

    We aint that dumb…..

  • FrBill Peckman

    Traditionalists and uniformists are not synonymous. I know many who are as far from being traditionalists who are every bit as rigid in their ideology and are very progressive. My reading of what the pope is talking about is those who become adamant that everyone in the parish view worhip and life from their perspective; whether that be progressive or traditional or every variation in between. Most of the squabbles I have to deal with as a pastor is from the infighting of these uniformists who have a scorched earth mentality and little will to compromise. I can assure you that each side believes that they are completely right and those who oppose them oppose Christ.

  • Bart

    I believe Pope Francis is wrong. Why. When you point a finger at others three point back at you. As popular as the Pope is he does very well at judging others. He would be much better if he folded his hands in prayer for them and kept his tongue behind his teeth. He does so well at fault finding rather than teaching. When does he ever quote the wisdom of the Saints. he only quotes himself. I pray for him.

  • Thanks. I think this was fairly written. It is mostly in the pope’s own words, so I think it is unfair to say it slanted. Featured this on the homepage of poetprophet.com

  • Mike Feehan

    Well, then EXCOMMUNICATE the Cafeteria Catholics…

    • NDaniels

      Those who do not believe in the unity of The Word of God have already separated themselves from Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; the confusion and the illusion of disunity comes from a lack of charity on the part of those who do not desire Salvation for those who profess to be Catholic, but do not desire to abide in The Word of God.
      (see Catholic Canon 750)

    • WSquared

      Excommunication isn’t a penalty to be doled out lightly. It should be used prudently.

      But in some cases, public excommunication would be a great mercy: it would remind the faithful that yes, the Church has boundaries and is not amorphous (but don’t worry; if you’re outside those boundaries, the Church’s job is to reach a hand over to help you over that boundary– persisting in grave sin is equivalent to slapping that hand away). It would remind the faithful that those who misrepresent Church teaching in public while just as publicly flaunting their Catholic identity or “Catholic street cred” do not speak for the Catholic Church, and therefore do not get to determine what Catholics believe. Moreover, a soul that persists in grave sin doesn’t just cut itself off from God; it numbs itself even to the point that being receptive to God is difficult. Persistent grave sin hardens the heart and deadens the soul. But God’s grace can work even with hard cases.

  • suegonzalez

    Perhaps the Holy Father should stop categorizing Catholics and acknowledge that we are all sinners and all in need of the healing Presence in the Eucharist?

    Perhaps we as Americans need to stop calling each other names and start looking at how we can work together to respect one another’s dignity and respect one another’s differing viewpoints? Along with all that acceptance, perhaps we should all inform ourselves as to what is in the Catechism and commit ourselves to living what we, as Catholics, believe to be true?

  • RandomRambler

    The Pope is right – you can’t be half Catholic and half liberal, just like you can’t be half pregnant.

    • NDaniels

      No doubt, one cannot be for Christ and anti Christ, simultaneously.

  • Jack Smith

    Which one of the 3 are saved?

  • Fetrovsky


  • Mal

    Well, the Pope did not use terms like serpents, brood of vipers, hypocrites and whitewashed tombs to describe certain people. His is a warning of love.

  • Ed Murray

    I get offended when I see that mostly everyone forgets about those who are single their entire lives….not because they really wanted to….but because God has chosen for us to be single.

    Having said that, I know full well there is a place for folks to marry, have children, and raise them to become both good Catholics and good Citizens BUT I get angry with the “marrieds” who assume the entire world runs circles around them:( We, who are single, at least in The United States, pay for the luxury of having children and we get “NO” respect:(
    Remember that St Paul never married….either.

  • NDaniels

    A Traditionalist who believes in the uniformity of The Word of God, is not the same as a uniformist who believes in the uniformity of a god created in their own image.

    • WSquared

      That’s true enough.

      But where a lot of “conservative” and “liberals” oppose each other is that they separate “lex orandi, lex credendi” from “lex vivendi.” Where they agree is that those things are separable when all three are required for any and all Catholics.

  • Voice

    Ha! Clearly this site is of Rigidists (forget about traditionalist). Certainly “rigid” can mean anyone who is unbending. One can be a rigid alternatist! The reality is many in the Church want to create it in their own image, their own desires and personal preferences of liturgy, music, teaching, etc. Once our leaders have decided, the complaining commences. Rather than trust in God, we trust in self. So much mumbo jumbo out there, including here. So few really care about what is truly important, only their own self-absorbed wants. If you gripe, if you are trying to change doctrinal teaching, if you are trying to change the novus ordo… you are included in the homily. The Truth always stings and is painful. Let’s take Pope Francis out of the city and throw him off a cliff. No wait, he’s the pope, he must not have meant “that” when he spoke. He did. I am sick and tired of ALL the liberals and the traditionalists in the Church holding the rest of the Church hostage with their disunity, division and pettiness.

  • JCC

    There is nothing about Traditionalists! Bad and misleading Title!

  • Mary Ann

    The headline is deceiving. Using the terms “traditionalists” and “uniformists” interchangeably is probably not want Francis would want.

  • mad2002mad

    As a cradle Catholic in the pre-Vatican II Church–was in grade school when council was called–I like the changes and was hoping for more until JP-II and Benny the X-V-I reversed everything and stopped implementing the spirit of Vatican II. I’m also a proud cafeteria Catholic and would remind everyone that some good things come from a cafeteria. Far too often, we try and pigeon hole people to make a point which doesn’t really address the conversation we should be having. Our Church is big enough for everyone and it should be. If some folks like the old mass, which I served as an altar-boy, then have it once in a while. Some people like folk masses–I don’t but that shouldn’t stop others from enjoying them. In short, let’s have inclusive parish life so we may all join in a common union to praise and worship. After all, life is too short to argue over whether one should crack the pointed end of the egg or the flat bottom.

  • Roseanne Sullivan

    The headline is bogus. He never said a word about traditionalists. He spoke about rigidity.

  • MIKE

    UNITY in the Church can be obtained when Diocese Bishops (and their Priests) actively, prominently, and often encourage all literate persons to read a Catholic Bible and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”
    at home.

    And when Bishops handle obstinate public scandal by those who purport to be “Catholic” so there will be no confusion.

    Their job is to teach, correct, and when necessary to discipline – to save Souls of those guilty as well as those scandalized.
    This is love of neighbor.

    There are only 3 kinds of Catholics.
    1) Faithful Catholics do their best to adhere to the Doctrine of the Faith which is contained in the Bible & CCC.
    2) Catholic heretics.
    3) Catholic schismatics.

    We should use correct Church definitions for heresy and schism. This would cut down on confusion and public scandal.
    CCC: ” 2089 INCREDULITY is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it.
    HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;
    APOSTACY is the total repudiation of the Christian faith;
    SCHISM is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

  • Mary Crawford Petrini

    I do think after reading the blog here, then the article from the Vatican newspaper on the Pope’s words, the Blogger could have been more true to the Pope’s intent by using his words of : “Uniformists, businessists and alternativists.” This would have eliminated the reaction experienced by people who have a liking for the Latin Mass etc. The above terms can then apply to any particular person’s within the Church without generalizing it and regardless of the manner of Worship experience they choose..

  • Pat

    Thank God I became a member of the Catholic Church at Baptism. I probably have, or have had, a little bit of everything the Pope describes as not a real Catholic. I thank God for another Sacrament, confession. When I sin against God or neighbor, he forgives me in the Sacrament. It sounds as if the Pope is asking someone to be perfect in order to belong to the Church, be Catholic.

  • Baron Kaza

    More insults from Pope Humble….

  • Baron Kaza

    A manifest heretic