Within Catholic ultra traditionalist circles a new wave of ugliness has arisen. Numerous traditionalist blogs, websites and publications spew disrespectful hatred towards the Catholic church. They mock the Mass by despising the “Novus Ordo” they denigrate the Holy Father referring to him as “Pope Frank” or “Bergoglio” and refer to their mother the Catholic Church with adolescent disrespect as “FrancisChurch”.
I avoid commenting on the filth because, why wallow in sewage? I’m not going to link to the aggregators and websites in question because if you’re interested all you have to do is snoop around a little and follow a few links. You’ll see how they lie, misrepresent and tear down fellow Catholics, how these self appointed prophets ridicule, gossip and slander their fathers in God, and how these self righteous, pretentious Pharisees vomit their bile on all they meet.
It is pointless to ever argue with these people because they are always right. They have no true repentance in their hearts, but are driven by the worst kind of pride: spiritual pride.
Instead of arguing I would like to point out what is going on. First of all, I think it is unfair to use the term “traditionalist” for these people because it pulls down the many good, sensible and holy Catholics who are traditionalist by nature and by their devotions and worship. These people are my friends and family. I am on their side.
Most traditionalists work hard for the church. They live their faith. They build up their families and their parishes in the faith. These good folks deserve to keep the term “traditionalist” and to honor it with their good, strong, faithful and humble Catholicism.
We should separate the paranoid hate mongers from the rest of the traditionalists. They are not traditionalists. They are Protestant fundamentalists wearing traditionalist Catholic clothes.
I know about Protestant fundamentalism. I was raised and educated among Protestant fundamentalists. Among them were many good and sincere Christian people, but also among them, and driving their religion–was a certain type of religious person whose attitudes mirror exactly the Catholic fundamentalists on the rise today.
Here are ten principles things that connect them:
- Private Interpretation – Protestant fundamentalists rely on their own private selection and interpretation of the Scriptures. Their interpretation is always the right one. Catholic fundamentalists rely on their own selection and interpretation of church documents. Like the Protestant fundamentalists they know better than the Pope.
- Cafeteria Christianity – The Protestant fundamentalist picks and chooses which parts of the Bible he wants to adhere to. Catholic fundamentalists do the same. They pick which parts of Catholicism they consider “authentic” and ignore or denigrate the rest.
- Private Prophets – Protestant fundamentalists alway raise up their own preachers and prophets. Mini demagogues–they cultivate a celebrity status and promote them as infallible mini popes. Catholic fundamentalists fall down before their own prophets and preachers who they also raise to a status of authority that supersedes the bishops and even the Holy Father.
- Fortress Mentality – Protestant fundamentalism thrives on the fortress mentality. The little group gets together and builds walls and peers over them at all the “sinners” who are outside the enclave. Catholic fundamentalists practice the same ghetto mentality. “We few, we faithful few!” We are the small group of faithful ones who remain. Their response to this blog post, for instance, will be to retreat further into their self made holy fortress and throw stones over the parapet at me–not addressing my points, but resorting to name calling and personal smears.
Image Creative Commons.