In a post yesterday I made some generalized observations about traditionalist Catholics. Never mind that I took care to say “some” and “sometimes” and “a few” and “too often” thus avoiding blaming all traditional Catholics of anti-Semitism, not caring for the poor etc. Still some commenters jumped on it and assumed I was throwing mud at all traditionalist Catholics. I wasn’t. But then perhaps the sensationalist headline at Pewsitter.com didn’t help, which claimed that I was “slamming the Catholic right.”
There are a couple of issues here. First of all, I’m extremely wary of any group or individual who can’t take criticism. If you immediately fly into either a rage or a self righteous pout when you or your group is criticized, then God help you. We all need to learn that our best friends are our critics. If the criticism is fair, then we get a new perspective on ourselves and our problems and we are given light to improve. If the criticism is unfair then we learn patience, kindness, self control and maybe even humility. We grow a thicker skin and maybe even learn to laugh at ourselves.
The second issue is the specific one of anti-Semitism. Is there anybody out there who has experience of the rad-trad Catholic movement who can seriously deny that there are some anti-Semites among their ranks? The fact is that the ugly whiff of racism and Jew hatred clings to the radical traditionalist Catholic movement. This article chronicles the problem if you are uninformed and interested. So does this article.
This is not to say that all traditionalists are Jew haters or holocaust deniers. It isn’t even to say that all traditionalists are secret anti-Semites. It is certainly not to say that traditionalist Catholicism is necessarily anti-Semitic. It’s simply to assert the undeniable fact that some radical traditionalist Catholics are anti-Semitic, and that they should be repudiated by all the decent majority of traditionalists.
The Catholic Church has enough bad press, outright lies and calumnies falsely associating Hitler, the Nazis with Pius XII and the Catholic Church. When the enemies of the faith then do a little digging and find that certain Catholics are, in fact, holocaust deniers, anti-Semites and Jew haters it stinks.