These are the People Who Prompted Rorate Coeli to Instantly Shriek that Francis was a “Horror”

These are the People Who Prompted Rorate Coeli to Instantly Shriek that Francis was a “Horror” November 14, 2013

A reader writes:

Greetings from Argentina. I am sending you a link to a story in the local media about the wonderful world of Buenos Aires schismatics. The gist of the story is a group of SSPX (in the story, “lefebvrista”) members tried to interrupt an ecumenical prayer service commemorating the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht hosted by the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in his cathedral. Pope Francis, when he was Archbishop, maintained very good relations with the Jewish community in BA (the largest in Latin America, by the way), and his successor is trying to do the same. This is not always easy in a country that sheltered quite a few Nazis, and where twice in the ’90s the Jewish community was the target of very large bombings.

This sort of misbehavior should give a bit of context to the little controversies earlier this year about Bergoglio’s attitude toward the Extraordinary Form Mass as Archbishop. The silver lining in this story is that the writer correctly identified the protagonists as schismatics.

Here’s the story as told by the WaPo, which likewise manages to correctly tag these people as “fringe”. Unfortunately it still makes the mistake of calling them “Catholic”.

The biggest enemies of sane Traditionalism are Traditionalists like this. These were the people Rorate Coeli and similar Francis-bashers instantly trusted for information on what a “horror” Pope Francis was. The man gave them the EF lickety-split and these Jew-hating ingrates responded with contempt because it wasn’t perfect enough for their precious selves. Why would a bishop, confronted with an embittered nucleus of malcontents like this, possibly conclude that wasting a lot of time on placating them is not near the top of his to do list? Particularly after a display like this? The best pastoral strategy for these evil sympathizers for mass murder is a 2X4 to the side of the head and a bum’s rush from the precincts of civilized company. No normal person in their right mind would touch this stuff with a barge pole and no sane bishop in the world (which, of course, excludes Richard Williamson) should waste one more second trying to mollycoddle them. They deserve nothing but opposition, rebuke, and a slap in the face until they repent of being the enemies of the Church and the human race that they are. As Traditionalist reader Sean P. Dailey say, “If it weren’t for these jerks, we’d have an EF in our parishes by now.”

Too true. What harried priest in his right mind, swamped with a million things to do, is going to take the time to learn the EF when he has a more-than-reasonable expectation that the reward for his efforts will be a buzzing cloud of *these* revolting misanthropes congregating around the parish to harrass him for not doing it perfectly, to screech about Jews tunnelling under the sanctuary, and to make his life a living hell with behavior like that of these odious brats? The sooner some way is found to accomodate sane Traditionalists and weed out these lunatics, the sooner the Benedictine reforms can get back on track.

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  • Adam

    A few thoughts. Firstly, the EF that was provided as Cardinal Bergolio was clearly an insult, use of lay readers, new lectionaries, etc. Second, we can all agree that the manner of the protest carried out here was uncouth, however, that doesn’t mean they are wrong. And they have a point, it’s a seriously dangerous false ecumenism that is taking place here.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      No, no they don’t have a point. The protestors were crying about false gods being worshiped in the temple. You know, the false god Yahweh. These were Jew-bashing bigots.

      • Marthe Lépine

        And, in addition, they were, in my opinion, showing an inexcusable lack of respect for God’s house by behaving in this manner in the Cathedral. By the way, I would wonder if they are people of the same ilk as those who constantly claim that what they call the “Novus Ordo” mass (here in Canada we usually only call it the “Mass”) is not showing enough reverence to God?

    • $2346491

      First, Bergoglio set up a regular monthly Extraordinary Form Mass in Buenos Aires without prodding. I don’t think that many of the other bishops were jumping up and down to do that. When someone who has a much different viewpoint and sensibilities than you goes out of his way to accomodate you, the appropriate response would be to thank him, not whine about the use of lectors.
      Second, how exactly is a solemn interfaith service commemorating the Shoah dangerous false ecumenism? This is what all bishops do.. Have interfaith services, sit on ecumenical councils, visit synagogues, mosques, Buddhist temples, etc. I don’t see where Poli was handing out Communion to the Jewish visitors or Skorka was concelebrating a Mass. This would be silly because Jews and Catholics don’t have the same beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they cannot mourn the Holocaust together.

    • chezami

      Yes, the *real* victims here are, as ever, the poor butthurt whining Nazi sympathizers. And you’re gone! Bye!

    • Mariana Baca

      Yes, using new lectionaries or lay readers are an *insult*. ::rolls eyes::

      “Dangerous false ecumenism?” A prayer service with Jews? What danger do you think there is? Do you think the Jews will magically think we are thinking Jesus is not necessary while in a big cathedral full of Catholic iconography?

    • Rachel

      what? What is so dangerous about having a joint prayer service commemorating a terrible event like Kristallnacht? This is not “false ecumenism”. This is reaching out in love and forgiveness with our Jewish friends and what better place to show that than in front of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament who is mercy and love itself?

      • chezami

        By “false ecumenism”, Reactionaries typically mean “not being hateful toward Jews”.

  • Christopher

    I think a compromise is needed. Next year, A Requiem Mass should be said for the souls lost in the Holocaust. Heck, this could even be the culmination of a week of intense prayer for the conversion of our Jewish friends and loved ones . We could invite local synagogues and wrap the whole thing up with coffee and doughnuts AND bagels and lox.

  • James

    Your writing is base Mr. Shea. I hope you are better in person than you sound online. The SSPX come out smelling like roses in comparison to your above post.

    Secondly, the Vatican does not view SSPX as schismatic neither does Catholic teaching, so stop with the labeling.

    • chezami

      Oh look! Another reader I can do without, who never will be missed! Bye!

  • capaxdei

    On the one hand, I think there’s been a lot of miscommunication, with Pope Francis having these sorts of folks in mind when he says things that self-identified traditionalists in the U.S. hear as being directed toward them.

    On the other hand, these sorts of folks are present among self-identified traditionalists in the U.S.

  • > Unfortunately it still makes the mistake of calling them “Catholic”.

    > “enemies of the Church and the human race ”

    Come on, Mark. I (reading your blog, from Argentina, since 2002) am sure you know better (and are better) than this. Check yourself.

    Whom are you calling (and refusing to call) thus?

    I’m in tune with you frequent denunciations of traditionalist nuttiness, but this is unacceptable.

    > They deserve nothing but opposition, rebuke, and a slap in the face

    Again: Are you sure about that? Would you call that sentence “catholic”? Who are “they”? Are they concrete people (those human beings that you see in those photographs -they appeared on the cover of all newspapers here- men and women with their personal histories, struggles, sins and pains?), or are they some abstraction? Is the phrase about “hate the sin and love the sinner” irrelevant here?

    • Marthe Lépine

      I think Mark is perfectly allowed to express anger here, in his own Blog. People who behave in a shocking way sometimes deserve this sort of commenting, at least as a first reaction. And in my opinion, he expressed it well.

    • Paco Sabro Sura

      Yes Mr. Shea, next time anger gets the best of you, and you are tempted to lash out against people like this, ask yourself: “W.W.J.D.”? I’ll tell you what Jesus did when he was faced with the narrow, angry, self-righteous religious practitioners of his time; He called them “blind guides,” “hypocrites,” “fools,” “whitewashed tombs,” a “brood of vipers,” and “children of the devil.” So please, choose your words carefully next time.
      And never, ever, overturn tables or benches in the name of God. That
      would be very un-Christ-like.

    • Sometimes you need to be stern in battling away foes. People like the ones who did that stunt are rather sick and demented individuals who profane the cross of Christ.

      I normally think Shea takes things too far, but on this one, he’s right. Look on the bright side. If the “golden age” rules were in effect, we’d just execute the lot of em. Consider a tongue lashing from someone they will never meet from the internet as getting off easy.

      Being serious, you can “love the sinner”, while at the same time making sure they can’t damage anyone with their filth. And let’s be honest, that’s all this is: disgusting, revolting filth.

  • Marthe Lépine

    I have a question… It seems to me that the demonstrators described in the above-quoted article, by using the name of Saint Pius X in the name of their organization, are actually insulting that great saint’s name. And since I remember what happened to Mr. Voris’ organization a while ago, when he was asked to remove the word “Catholic” from its name: It might be an idea to begin protesting the use of Saint Pius X’s name in that scandalous way. Of course, my opinion is only that of a foreigner to your country who has never encountered a member of the SSPX in person and has never been exposed to the kind of liturgical abuse claimed by some traditionalists, therefore I am certainly not an expert. However, I would like to know what you think.

    • Michael Voris, however, though he might be occasionally obnoxious, is a faithful son of the church and obeys his bishop. These people: not so much.

    • $2346491

      The Vatican really needs to make it clear that the SSPX are in full schism and there will be no more talks with them. Francis is deliberately ignoring them, but he really needs to make this official and to denounce the group publicly. I’m not sure what Benedict was thinking about reconciling with this group. Their main issue with the Church is Nostra Aetate, not the language of the Mass. Did Benedict not realize that?

      • Rachel

        Benedict was thinking what any other pastor would be thinking: he wanted them to reconcile to the Church. He showed them mercy and they spit it back in his face :(.

        • Marthe Lépine

          On the other hand, there is something to be said with the expression “give them enough rope and they will hang themselves”. Maybe Pope Francis is giving them more time to understand and repent, and if they don’t, he might then Choose to act firmly.

          • Sigroli

            Well, they’re well on the way to hanging themselves, aren’t they, with this latest round of B.S. from Fellay.

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    This kind of activity sheds a lot of light on the upset about Pope Francis’ comments in regard to the spiritual bouquet he received. If his experience of Traditionalists in Argentina is “people who demanded I preach Good Friday sermons about the Jews killing Christ”, then naturally he is not going to have the view that Traditionalism is a great influence on the life of the Church.
    I have to say, if I was hearing people complaining about Rabbis being permitted to host prayer ceremonies in the Cathedral on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, and then those same people tried to impress me with “See the total number of prayers we counted up for a spiritual bouquet!”, I’d be a bit jaundiced about their sincerity as well.

    • $2346491

      The source that Rorate Caeli was using concerning the Latin Mass in Buenos Aires is a Holocaust denier. Dawn Eden figured out that the blogger had an entry mocking the Holocaust; she also linked to a wonderful series by Jeanette Pryor, a former SSPX member, about the anti-Semitic and cult-like nature of the SSPX. If you go to any Argentine traditionalists websites, you’ll figure out really quickly that their main beef with Bergoglio was his warm relationships with the Jewish community – lots of whining about Skorka and the Jewish Masonic conspiracy and lots of other coded anti-Semitism.

  • ivan_the_mad

    How very shameful. Perhaps they should recall Romans 9:4-5 and 11:28-29. This is what comes from prideful rejection of legitimate expression of the teaching authority of the Church, in particular Nostra Aetate.

  • Andy

    I read about this yesterday and thought what the hell is wrong with these folks? I read today about dangerous ecumenism. Ecumenism is aimed at unity and cooperation – as I recall JPII (my memory is not what should be this late in the semester so forgive me if I am wrong about who) reminded us that we come from the Jewish faith so maybe a bit more unity is in order.
    The disruption of any religious service is beyond the pale – it is these folks who give as Mark states traditional catholics a bad name – to me they are cartoon figures who do great harm. The pride with which these folks demonstrate that “ownership” of what is catholic is both appalling and frightening. The idea that the Catholic church is a field hospital, a place for sinners to find healing, a place where all are welcome, seems to have escaped them entirely.

  • Dave G.

    I have no problem realizing that a group like this does not represent most who are traditionalists, or even most who have concerns about things Pope Francis has said or done. In fact, I’d like to spend more time unpacking the things Pope Francis has said than constantly obsessing with radical groups like this. He’s said some pretty amazing things that suggest I better get ready for some radical changes in my approach to living the faith. I mean:

    “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,”

    Am I the only one that has thrown away food and got hit between the eyes with this quote? I know from working with people in the international missions field that this is a very non-Western view. We Westerners might be comfortable with owning that home entertainment center while our brothers and sisters in Christ starve to death in the mud. But guess what, much of the global south doesn’t see it that way. And I get the feeling Pope Francis is the first in a new series of steps in a different direction. Instead of focusing on groups like this, let’s focus on the above quote. Did I just spend a 100 bucks on the Breaking Bad series knowing that a sister in Christ in Africa will bury her starving child today? Defend.

    • Paxton Reis

      “Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry,”

      It is estimated the $150B to $200B of food goes to waste in the US. Add to this what happens in other developed nations like Japan, in Western Europe, and the emerging mega cities in China, and we witness a clear failing of our consumer lifestyle.

      And next time out at a restaurant, observe all the food that is left uneaten and trashed. My spouse lived a life early on as an immigrant, an economic refugee, on another continent and lived in some desperate conditions for a period of her life. Now she works part time at our local school in the cafeteria and it upsets her to see the amount of food trashed each day.

      (Just her guess, but she thinks 25% to 35% goes unconsumed and trashed, including perfectly good pieces of fruit. She has stopped kids from tossing bananas and apples then pocketing them to bring home. When young her grandma made sure she ate ever bit grain of rice on her plate. The abundance and comforts of our consumerism has distorted our behavior. )

      Our seemingly innocent choices and behaviors have consequences beyond our households, and this gets to the heart of living a Christian lifestyle: Am I my brother’s keeper?

      I am happy the focus on Pope Francis is bringing these issues to the forefront. I suspect some in the media are following the Pope because in their imagination they are hoping he will change the Church’s teachings on abortion, birth control, etc.. So be it though…let’s take this media attention and run with it to announce the Good News.

      • It’s not the actual throwing away of the food that irritates me. If it wouldn’t be good for you to eat it, don’t. What gets me is the weird cultural habit that keeps Americans making fun of, say, French restaurants for not giving you a huge pile o’ slop. “Those portions are too small! HAW HAW! The plates are smaller than hubcaps! WHAT’S UP with that?” This is why restaurants pile our plates with food we either weirdly eat (“Come to me, obesity! I need you!”) or else realize we have to throw away.

        • Paxton Reis

          One does not have to eat all the food on the plate. Bringing home the leftovers can make for a decent meal (or two considering the huge portions) the next day and is a better solution than throwing it away.

          Never really had French food, though when in Japan I think their portions are just right and definitely reduced compared to many US restaurants.

          • jaybird1951

            The French and other European restaurants do provide smaller portions than Americans are used to but the overall effect is filling but spread over several courses, as I can attest. That is one way that Europeans manage to stay slimmer on average than Americans. German food does tend to come in larger portions but still less than we are used to. Europeans walk more than we do and that makes a big difference. Get rid of some of the school buses and make the kids walk to school.

            • $2346491

              Paris, even in the winter, is much warmer than Chicago.

      • Dave G.

        Again, it’s not just the food. The point is the lifestyle. What do we buy that we don’t really need knowing full well that brothers and sisters in Christ (and others of course) will die without food or shelter or the basics? That’s the point.

        • Paxton Reis

          I hear you Brother Dave.

    • $2346491

      Yep.. I was very disquieted by that one and it made me think about all the times that I have wasted food.

      • Dave G.

        And not just food. So much else we buy.

        • Margaret

          Clothing. SO. MUCH. CLOTHING. (Not all my fault– lots of hand-me-downs, but still…) DVDs. Dare I even whisper– books?

          • Dave G.

            Playstations, home entertainment centers, sports cars – why the list goes on! Again, I know from those dear friends I met from the mission fields all those years ago that the Western notion that it’s just one of those things we can buy oodles of stuff while Christians around the world starve is not universal. I can’t help but think Pope Francis is pointing more in that direction.

  • *pops popcorn*

  • kirthigdon

    The reference in the article to the majority of protestors being youths with red berets leads me to wonder if they were SSPX people at all, but rather members of the TFP. This is an organization not merely schismatic, but heretical to the point of idolatry. The TFP, whose members frequently wear red berets, originated in Brazil but has members throughout Latin America and the US as well. Some of its members were once arrested in Venezuela, accused of plotting to assassinate Pope John-Paul II when he visited that country.
    Kirt Higdon

    • $2346491

      The SSPX leader mentioned that it was SSPX. The Argentine SSPX blogs are crowing about this stunt. But no doubt the group you cited was also involved. They all originate from the same cesspool.

    • Margaret

      Get outta here! TFP is heretical? They always gave me the willies at the Walk for Life in DC, but– really?!??

      • IRVCath

        They’re certainly not in line with Catholic Social Teaching. Preferential option for the nobility, really?

        • Elmwood

          i remember reading their literature and thinking that they were all about the rich and wealthy families staying wealthy, like an aristocracy or something. That really offended my working class catholic sensibilities. I think they are reactionary to marxism.

      • $2346491

        The TFP and other creepy extremist groups should be encouraged to skip the March for Life.

  • IRVCath

    The SSPX has become a parody of itself. Lefebvre may have been a schismatic, but as someone whose father was killed by the same people who put on Kristallnacht, I hardly think he would have stood for this sort of thing. Even he would have been horrified.

    • Sigroli

      Then let’s see Fellay have the cojones to stand up and condemn it!

      • IRVCath

        I highly doubt it. Fellay is part of the reason why the SSPX is a parody of itself.

        • Sigroli

          No kidding (I was being facetious).

    • $2346491

      Lefebvre was the one who actually consecrated the current SSPX “bishops” including nuttycakes “Bishop” Williamson. Lefebvre is the instigator of the current disaster.

      • IRVCath

        Well, yes, ’tis the fruit of schism and disobedience. Still, you have to agree it’s gone downhill even for such a disobedient outfit.

        • $2346491

          I think that they were always like this; however, their antics are now getting wider play because of the Internet. Also, Francis has no intention of reconciling with them. Fellay isn’t going to get any special pope meetings or other accommodations so he doesn’t have any incentive to pretend that he isn’t a nutty anti-Semite and monarchist.

          • IRVCath

            Well, being a monarchist isn’t a sin. Anti-Semitism certainly is, though.

            • $2346491

              Desiring an autocratic and theocratic government structure where those who aren’t Catholic are marginalized and even killed and the “peasants” don’t have a say in their government is quite a creepy worldview. Frankly, the only reason why “Bishop” Fellay and the SSPX exists is because of that freedom of religion and expression that he hates so much. A Renaissance pope would have ordered Fellay and friends to be burnt at the stake for heresy.

              • Athelstane

                Desiring an autocratic and theocratic government structure where those who aren’t Catholic are marginalized and even killed and the “peasants”
                don’t have a say in their government is quite a creepy worldview.

                1) In the first place, Catholic teaching on the state has never been resolutely against democratic structures and accountability in the civil sphere (no, really, not even by Pius IX; go read Quanta Cura again). Nor has the Church taught that non-Catholics must be killed. Nor is the SSPX even on their least charitable reading (however troublesome some of their other views might be).

                2) In the second place, It’s a worldview which Pope after Pope endorsed for many centuries, and which Dignitatis Humanae insists is still valid.

                A Renaissance pope would have ordered Fellay and friends to be burnt at the stake for heresy.

                I’m not of the SSPX, nor will I defend their schismatic tendencies (or behaviors like these), but I daresay that Fellay would fit more closely into the outlook of Renaissance Popes on these teachings than most of us would. I think we have to be honest about that.

                • IRVCath

                  Outlook maybe, but their doctrine, not so much. If they tried to call the Mass the Holy Father himself celebrated borderline invalid and an affront to God, and, say, Pius V was Pope – or even Alexander VI – and they would have been brought before the Holy Office, who were not above turning them over to the state for burning. Nowadays the Holy Office merely sends them stern letters warning about the danger to their souls.

                • $2346491

                  ‘1) In the first place, Catholic teaching on the state has never been resolutely against democratic structures and accountability in the civil sphere (no, really, not even by Pius IX; go read Quanta Cura again). ”

                  Umm.. So like Pius IX was all about universal suffrage in the Papal States… They had the most free elections in Europe at the time.. Sarc off. I’m sorry but Pius IX didn’t even condemn slavery… ‘Kay. Living in the Papal States was one of the most autocratic areas of Europe in the 19th century.

                  “Nor has the Church taught that non-Catholics must be killed. Nor is the SSPX even on their least charitable reading (however troublesome some of their other views might be).”

                  Yep.. We will just shove the evilll Jews into the ghettos and demand that they convert. There was that awful situation where Pius IX forcibly ripped the little Jewish boy from his family. There were also pogroms and ethnic cleanings of the Jews based on Catholic doctrine and started by Catholic priests, etc. This all led to the Shoah.

                  “I’m not of the SSPX, nor will I defend their schismatic tendencies (or behaviors like these), but I daresay that Fellay would fit more closely into the outlook of Renaissance Popes on these teachings than most of us would. I think we have to be honest about that.”

                  They are defying the Pope. In the good old days, accusing the pope of heresy and literally saying he was the anti-Christ (which Fellay recently did) led to your arrest and a date with the public executioner in town.

  • lavallette

    “Sic Transeunt schismatici”: sooner or later they start losing touch with their roots and slowly descend into irrelevance as they abandon their core beliefs.

  • Dante Aligheri

    What I find disheartening is how quickly the media laps this stuff up – like the Westboro Baptists. One small group does something heinous, and now they suddenly are imputed with the label “Catholic” and put all over the Internet. Granted, Pope Francis is the biggest man on the Internet right now (praise be to God Most High), but we Christians are being watched, everywhere, as we should be. And when we or anybody drops the ball, this reflects back to God. Then the good Gandhi is quite justified in saying: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.”


  • RichFader

    If you want people to think that you’re right and you’re the good guys and the establishment Catholic Church is wrong and the bad guys, and you go to a Kristallnacht memorial service and try to shout it down, you are doing it wrong. And if you tell a cathedral full of Catholics, Protestants and Jews that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a false god, you’re pretty much begging for them all to give you the Nelson Muntz point-and-laugh.

  • Sane trads should take this as a reminder: these people exist. they are a minority, but they make a lot of noise. They don’t care about the Latin Mass, and they sure as hell don’t give a rip about tradition: they are merely using it as cover for their disgusting views.

    How to counter it? Make sure you and other sane trads are known by your local priests. Not just the ones who celebrate the EF. Go show up at their events. Offer support whenever they do a worthy cause. And if you can, get on good terms with the Bishop. not to secure favors, but just so he can personalize traditionalism, and associate it with the good he sees, rather than this kinda nonsense.

    • chezami

      Such people are also the *principle* experience Bergoglio has had of “Traditionalism”. Not too hard to figure out why he gives them short shrift. They demonstrate the old adage between humans and dogs is that a dog won’t rip you to shreds when you try to feed it.

      • IRVCath

        It’s the fruits of disobedience in part. Ironically, I think that Summorum Pontificum may have indirectly caused this radicalization – it may have induced a lot of the saner members of the SSPX to return to the obedience of Holy Mother Church – which leaves the remainder to be with the sort of kooks who think that the Holocaust was one big joke.