There is a word for a Catholic who thinks the Pope is an antipope, and it’s not “traditionalist.” Do you know what it is?
A Catholic who thinks the Pope is an antipope, is a Protestant.
If you think that the Holy Ghost made a mistake and there hasn’t been a valid Pope in Rome since the 1960s or since the resignation of Benedict XVI, you’re a Protestant.
If you would rather follow the teachings of one pompous cardinal rather than the successor to Peter, that doesn’t make you more Catholic than the Pope, it makes you a Protestant.
If you think the Holy Ghost has forsaken the Pope and now speaks through a pack of theology professors, the bishop of the SSPX which has no canonical standing, and some guy who writes for The Remnant, in defiance of the Holy Father, you’re a Protestant.
If you obey every Catholic teaching that meshes with Right-wing sensibility but assume that every teaching that meshes with the Left isn’t equally binding or vice versa, you’re a Protestant. Ditto if you think that aesthetics, important as they are, make a Mass invalid and that a Church who allows the Novus Ordo has committed an error. Same if you think that any scholar on earth, no matter how many times he’s read Saint Thomas, knows more about Church teaching than the Holy Ghost Who speaks through Peter’s successor. Also if you cheer when the Church speaks against the sins of your neighbor but claim she’s mistaken when she reminds you of yours. Especially if you applaud when she denounces your neighbor’s sins but claim she is in error when she speaks for mercy.
You’re not a traditionalist, because a traditionalist would believe in Sacred Tradition. You’re not an orthodox Catholic, because “ortho doxa” means “true faith” and you’ve claimed to know more than the True Faith. You’re just a Protestant. Many who thought they knew better have broken off from the Church before you, and many will after you, but the Church will remain until Christ returns. She calls you back to her and will welcome you if you return, no hard feelings. But she’s still the Church and, insofar as you defy her, you’re not. You may well be a fine person and I know that Jesus loves you very much. You may have a lot of fancy book-learning. Your Latin and Greek may be on point. You may love Our Lady and really dig the cappa magna. But you’re still a Protestant.
I have nothing against my Protestant brothers and sisters, by the way, and I pray that we will someday all be one as Christ is One with the Father. But I’ve got to call a spade a spade.
If anyone would like to read a Catholic apologist’s answer to the pack of “experts” attempting to correct the Holy Father this weekend, I recommend Scott Eric Alt’s take.
(image via Pixabay)