American Society for Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)?

American Society for Tradition, Family and Property (TFP)? August 1, 2008

Anyone know anything about this “Catholic” group? I’ve never heard of the group until today, when I read this article about Carmina Salcido.

It’s a horror story. When she was three, her father went on a rampage, killed her family, and left her, her throat slit, in a ravine with her two dead sisters. She was found — and survived. Her only living relative, her grandfather, could not take care of her; she was adopted by an elderly couple, members of TFP, and it seems, her life was hell under them. TFP secluded her from the rest of the world, and that made the cover for — abuse. She makes it clear TFP was not to blame for the abuse. But I wonder, what kind of people join TFP? Is her story a unique example? What can people tell me about TFP?

Clearly Carmina has had a rough life; I hope, now that she is on her own, she will be able to find some peace.

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  • Padrevic

    They are the group that is always at the March for Life in DC each year with the big banners, drums and bunch of young men with the hair parted on the same side. Always seems a bit odd to me. If you read their material sends shivers down my spine. The word I think about when I see them is…uhhh…fringe.

  • Zak

    They tried to recruit one of my roommates in college. They seemed sort of nuts, from what he said. Before they would admit him to their metting location, he had to demonstrate he knew certain prayers in Latin. Then they told him about “the founder’s” teachings, and they had a number of portraits of the founder. I can’t remember too much of what it was about, although I recall that it was very anti-enlightenment, focusing on the three revolutions: scientific, French, and Russian, and how those undermined first Tradition, then Family, then Property. OR something like that.

  • I saw them at the San Francisco March for Life. There website: http://www.tfp.org/
    They’re on the ultra-conservative fringe. Very homophobic. Today’s headline ? “The world watches as Brazil advances toward a homosexual dictatorship”

    Fatima figures prominently – which seems to be a cornerstone among the crazy. They’re basically monarchists/oligarchists, opposing equality and pretty much any changes since the 14th century 🙂

    TFP runs St. Louis de Montfort Academy, a boys’ boarding school in rural Herndon, Pennsylvania, that provides students with a traditional Catholic education. One can only shudder at the thought of what happens there.

    I recommend the SOuthern Poverty Law Center report on the Catholic fringe.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    They play alot of brass at the March for Life, in addition to the drums.

    During a year that I taught at a Catholic high school, they gave their literature to our principal. I guess they were trying to make inroads through our religion curriculum. From what I remember reading, they all probably should be institutionalized.

  • See a photo of them at the bottom of this page http://www.rightwingwatch.org/groups/tradition_famil/index.html
    A combination of Hitler Youth and Knights of Columbus, outfit-wise. I also saw a photo of a related group in jackboots and medieval outfit parading through the Vatican. They were celebrating their recognition by the pope. They seem out of date today, but these kinds of groups used to be standard Catholic fare. Austria had them, there are only a handful of people left now. Fascist is probably the most fitting description. They’ll tell you that the Syllabus of Errors was just grrrrreat.

    They’re outside the democratic spectrum and apparently have supported all kinds of right-wing dictators in South America.

    They bought expensive ad space to have this printed in the US:

    By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. It calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval. …

    Left unchecked, this anti-Christian trend will become an unprecedented assault on the First Amendment and our American way of life that we do not hesitate to call persecution. …

    As the homosexual revolution’s anti-Christian intolerance makes itself felt through increasingly persecutory measures, a terrible problem of conscience arises in any who resist: Should we follow our consciences? Should we give in?

    For Catholics like ourselves, the condoning of same-sex “marriage” would be tantamount to a renunciation of Faith. …

    This is a battle for the soul of America. The so-called Cultural War is gradually becoming a Religious War.

  • And they oppose Samba 🙂

  • John

    I am praying for Carmina and her future. However, I was a bit put off by this post and how it attempts to throw suspicion on the American TFP, a lay Catholic group in good standing, faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. I was further shocked to see commentary calling devotion to Our Lady of Fatima a “cornerstone among the crazy.” The comment has the flavor of calumny.

    Frankly, I wish more people would oppose same-sex “marriage” like the TFP does. Three cheers for them. Respect for God’s law clearly does not make one “fringe” or “homophobic.” Most Americans know that homosexual vice is wrong and constitutes a grave violation of God’s plan. Visit the Vatican’s web site for more details.

  • John

    You were put off by a post asking for more information on the group? What I read was in the article, which read as some sort of counter-cultural separatist group, the kind I have seen within many so-called “traditionalist” circles, which are not traditional and indeed, are often openly critical of the Church. So I asked. The responses I’ve seen, save for yours, do not give me much hope. Can you shed some more light here and show us how it is not becoming semi-gnostic in its refusal to enter the modern world?

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    They sound like they may be in cohoots with alot of the Americanist dissentors who are your frequent visitors here:

    Just War and the Pacifist Offensive on Sovereignty
    Written by The American TFP
    Tuesday, March 25 2003

    The nation’s attention is rightly focused on the war in Iraq, where American and allied armed forces are bravely engaged in battle. At the same time, however, America is locked in a second war, one that is equally important for victory: the psychological battle for public opinion.

    Both are difficult. Both are decisive. Even as our troops fight courageously in Iraq, the polemics on the issue of just war and America’s “unilateralism” continue. The debate is all the more important because there is the danger that while winning the ground war, we lose the battle of ideas in public opinion.

    Indeed, in their impassioned quest for peace at any cost, some opponents of the war lose sight of important prerequisites for peace. They create an emotional climate that tends to obstruct clear thinking and warp the debate. They admit the possibility of just war in theory, but seem to deny there can ever be sufficient reason to wage it in practice. They argue that America cannot wage war without United Nations approval and condemn America for being “unilateral.”

    Such arguments appear to be based on the blurring of the concept of sovereignty in general while attributing some of sovereignty’s prerogatives to an international organization.

    In light of the fundamental importance of the ongoing war of ideas, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property – TFP presents some of the important issues surrounding just war and sovereignty. This is done in accordance with the principles of natural law[1] as understood in traditional Catholic philosophy, accepted by authors of the various schools and found in the classical treatises on the subject.[2]

    Of course, peace is preferable to war, and one must do everything reasonable to preserve it. War is an extreme measure to be used only when these reasonable alternatives are exhausted and, in waging war, all of the stipulations for just war must be observed.

    The American TFP presents these considerations in the hope that they will help our Nation reach a consensus on fundamental principles undergirding the very concept of the sovereignty of civilized states.

  • In other words, Mark, their love for the nation-state as it exists in the world today, shows they are frauds (14th century, indeed!).

  • Well, the crazy always have a big thing for Fatima – and they don’t seem content with the official statements by the Vatican.

    I’ve seen enough of the radical fringe to detest the combo of reactionary politics (as in: divine right of kings and what not), antisemitism, homophobia, sexism, white supremacy and so forth. The ties are there for all plain to see. Here the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on the ‘rad trad’ fringe: http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=719

  • I was brought up by wonderful, loving Catholic parents who are part of TFP.

    Today, I am 42 years old, and I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my parents and to TFP. I am a TFP director.

    There is plenty of information about TFP at http://www.tfp.org.

    I can offer fair, reliable facts on TFP, in contrast to some of the above postings, which rely on vague impressions and generic ramblings.

    If someone would like to speak to me personally, I can be reached at 717-225-7147, ext. 236.

    I am happy to help in any way I can.

    Robert Ritchie

  • Policraticus

    A lot what’s being described here sounds frighteningly like the Legion of Christ.

  • Hey now, Mark, I’m an Americanist dissenter 😛
    Actually, the rad trad fringe also features a lot of Anti-American sentiment, just based on different reasons than that of the Left fringe.

  • Kurt

    TFP started in Latin America in the 1970’s (or earlier) where they were in the front lines of supporting various right wing military dicatorship. If you like Pinochet, they are the group for you. TFP should not be associated with mainstream American conservatives who believe in democracy and the Constitution.

  • Robert

    Perhaps you could write a response to the concerns issued in here. For example, my own concern: is it some semi-gnostic flight from the world which is going on? Or how about the decree of state sovereignty in a way which only comes up after the Enlightenment while claiming to want to go back to the 14th century? And is there any acceptance of the fact the Church can develop a greater understanding of doctrine, and that some things in the 14th century were not — right? Or you can take on what others have said here, too. You have a free place to post. Enlighten us, if you wish.

  • Policraticus

    The little I’ve seen has not been encouraging, that’s for sure.

  • Kurt, Pinochet had quite a few buddies among bishops and cardinals, who lobbied for him with JP II. Pinochet presented himself as a good Catholic. Idols of traditionalists like Lopez Trujillo.

    One must not forget that the Catholic church’s support of democracy, individual freedoms and such is of rather recent date, and still nowhere near the American model, as one can hear sympathy for censorship even now.

  • John

    The TFP has always opposed atheist Communism in the realm of ideas. However, since the organization is non-partisan it does not endorse political parties or politicians. Therefore, it was not connected to the regime of Pinochet in Chile, as the post above states.

    For more information about the founder of the first TFP, Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, visit: http://www.tfp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=400&Itemid=27

    Also, most of the questions asked in this discussion are answered in depth in the work titled Revolution and Counterrevolution published by the American TFP. To read it online, visit:

    http://www.tfp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=691&Itemid=107

    God bless!

  • Jeremy

    … sympathy for censorhsip even now.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing?

    Frankly, I have found myself being quite sympathetic to the view that free speech isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Reasoned intelligent debate among persons knowledgeable about the subject should be encouraged and defended. I think we should start encouraging more professional journalists who analyze the news as well as report it. I also firmly believe we should be paying a lot less attention to folks like us who try to pretend that they have an informed opinion on something that they have only thought about for a few minutes:)

    Really, I don’t think that jailing or fines are the way to go, but our current ‘any one with a mega-phone’ system of public discourse really sucks.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Some touching testimonial of Saint Michael the Archangel’s intervention during the recent Iraqi campaign, courtesy of a TFP writer:
    Rescued from the Jaws of Death
    As a heavy-weapons machine gunner, his position while patrolling the streets of Ramadi with Delta Company was right behind the point man. The responsibility for protecting the rest of the unit fell squarely on his shoulders. It was an appropriate position for a Catholic young man named after the warrior angel, Saint Michael.

    He was also a SEAL communicator which required him to carry a rucksack full of communications equipment in addition to his MK 48 machine gun full of ammunition. He carried the extra 100 lbs, without complaint, in temperatures as high as 130 degrees.

    In May of 2006, during his first month in Iraq, his unit came under fire during counter-terrorist operations. Heavy enemy automatic weapons fire resulted in a wounded SEAL who was left exposed to enemy fire. Michael threw caution to the wind and ran directly into the line of fire to help the injured soldier. As gun fire chewed up the asphalt around him, Michael snatched the wounded soldier from the jaws of death with one arm, returned enemy fire with the other and then dragged him to safety.

    He then maintained suppressive fire while the wounded SEAL received tactical casualty treatment. After loading his wounded teammate onto an evacuation vehicle, he returned to the battle. This act of heroism earned him a Silver Star and a reputation for putting others first.

    Some months later the injured soldier had a dream of the incident where the Michael who rescued him had wings. He later had an artist make a reproduction of the image in his dream depicting Michael Monsoor in dress blues with a loaded MK 48 Machine gun and silvery wings. As a tribute to Saint Michael the Archangel, who he felt was there with them, he included the short exorcism which invokes the warrior angel to “be our protection against wickedness.”

  • nothing wrong with the TFP as far as I know…

    there are wingnuts in every group, to be sure, but all I’ve ever seen them do is some great work with America Needs Fatima and the TFP Student Action thing they’ve got going on. They are out there consistently raising their voices against the heinous affronts the Church is subjected to on a daily basis.

    *shrugs*

    kudos for them, I say.

    they are doing more than most of us…..

  • Ah, I see that’s thestory Mark quoted above. Check out the ersatz atonement narrative at the end of the article. Soldiers are not Christ. Soldiering bears absolutely no resemblance to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. None.

  • Henry,

    Greetings. And thanks for asking more about TFP.

    Can you take some time to read our many position papers at ww.tfp.org?

    You may not have the time today but maybe over the weekend?

    TFP is very much involved in the world. We take public positions on a wide range of topics.

    One thing for sure — TFP statements give a much more complete overview of TFP thought than an article in the Sonoma Times.

    Hope that helps.

    BTW, membership in TFP’s Fatima campaign is near 150,000 nationwide and growing. You don’t get that type of membership if you’re hidden under a rock.

    All the best,
    Robert Ritchie

  • I found this thread on Catholic Answers to be interesting:

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=178953&page=2

    It appears the Bishops in Brazil have condemned the organization, and so the group has spread to the US, joined the “right causes” to get attention brought to themselves, and their past in Brazil ignored.

    I don’t know if the claims in the post are true -did they substitute the founder’s name !?!?! for Jesus?!?!?! Anyone know anything about this claim? I will assume it is false because of the absurdity of it, but I do know such things happen — so if someone knows of this and can detail more about this, let me know.

    It really seems the group doesn’t know 14th century thought too well, with their Americanism as it is. One can’t be Americanist and pre-14th century in mentality at the same time.

  • Robert

    Please, you have a forum HERE. You could answer some of the concerns here — instead of having us go to your site. It would do well for you to answer some of the concerns; when I did go to your site, it didn’t sit well with me. Indeed, so many apparent contradictions; I don’t see on it the claims as was on the CA forum, but I do see things which sit as contradictory. Start with — how can one be pro-America (a democracy following Enlightenment ideologies) and pre-14th century in mentality? Obviously one can’t; so what in the modern world do you follow and what not? The doublespeak DOES concern me a great deal.

  • L’Osservatore Romano 1985:

    During its 23rd plenary assembly, the Council of Brazilian bishops approved a note concerning the ‘Brazilian Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property’, advising Catholics not to join the above mentioned Society. Its esoteric character, its religious fanaticism, the personality cult of the founder and of his mother, the abuse of the name of the Virgin Mary can absolutely not be approved of by the Church.”During its 23rd plenary assembly, the Council of Brazilian bishops approved a note concerning the ‘Brazilian Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property’, advising Catholics not to join the above mentioned Society. Its esoteric character, its religious fanaticism, the personality cult of the founder and of his mother, the abuse of the name of the Virgin Mary can absolutely not be approved of by the Church.”

  • Gerald

    Right, the more I read on the net, the more I find suspect. I still think there is room for doubt — for now — and some of the claims I’ve read just don’t sound credible, and yet they are possible, since I’ve seen such in other groups before. I do wish John and Robert would actually respond here, instead of telling us to look at articles on the website, which may or may not deal with the specific concerns here; and without any sense of interaction, questions really can’t be answered just by reading them (like the contradiction of pro-America and pre-renaissance mentality).

  • The Brazilian bishops are particularly trustworthy.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Why is “Property” capitalized?

    BTW, did you see that Spring Grove mansion….?

  • I’d say they and similar groups are a holdover from before Vatican II. It reminds me a bit of “Burschenschaften” in Austria – very conservative, nationalist (longing for a return to Germany), ‘traditional’ Catholics (Old Mass – which, it must be said, is an innocent hostage to radicals), sometimes leftovers of what used to be Austrian aristocracy, short haircuts and fencing – some still purposely get slashed in the face (“Schmiss”) and then try to exacerbate the wound. I could see those types at the Pope’s visit to Austria and at a TLM in Vienna. The Catholic-fascist government in the 1930s has been repeatedly defended by ‘rad trads’ on my old blog. Translated to Latin America, we see this support of the likes of Pinochet. It must be said that there are cardinals who are sympathetic to those groups.

    Why does Fatima play such a big role on the fringe ? I guess they don’t believe the Vatican. Again, I recommend the SPLC dossier on the Catholic fringe. http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=719

    I can’t help but think “Are you a Jew, sugartits ?”, whenever the fringe comes up. *

    * ‘Rad trad’ Mel Gibson to a police officer.

  • Well, the crazy always have a big thing for Fatima – and they don’t seem content with the official statements by the Vatican.

    Neither do you, Gerald. I guess it puts them in good company.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    In America, these types are usually low-middle class , who sub-consciously disparage that our ‘aristocracy’ was never anything other than post-Enlightenment money-grabbers. They long for a ‘ruling class’ to be minions for–nostalgic for a time that never really was in the New World…

  • Ah, I see that’s thestory Mark quoted above. Check out the ersatz atonement narrative at the end of the article. Soldiers are not Christ. Soldiering bears absolutely no resemblance to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. None.

    Neither does writing liberal drivel on a weblog.

    When the soldier asked Christ how he could attain the kingdom of heaven, He answered: “Do not bully, be satisfied with your wage”. Jesus didn’t say: “Put down your arms and stop killing people”.

  • Henry,

    Here you go. Please take a look at this report on our recent Call to Chivalry camp:

    “Largest Ever Louisiana Summer Camp: United in the Faith.”

    It sounded like a crowd at a stadium as the cheering filtered through the Louisiana woods. It was not, however, a normal sporting event. Rather it was the closing “medieval games” at a Call to Chivalry camp where two teams of boys were pitted against each other in feats of prowess and heroism while parents looked on. The intense cheering came both from boys and parents as they encouraged those competing.

    The unity and camaraderie of that final scene could sum up the ten days of the summer camp. The intense physical, intellectual and religious formation had forged friendships and bonds that made it seem that camp participants were not just individuals but rather a Catholic band of brothers.

    Nightly Rosary procession.

    From the morning pipe reveille to the nightly rosary procession, the Seventh Annual Call to Chivalry Camp was an unforgettable and unifying experience for the nearly fifty boys who filled the camp to capacity. Co-sponsored by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), Tradition, Family, Property – Louisiana and the Saint Louis de Montfort Academy, the year’s camp was held at the Feliciana Retreat Center in Norwood, La. from July 1-11, 2008.

    Catholic boys, ages 12-18, traveled from all over Louisiana, Arkansas, California, Texas and Missouri to attend the program which combined informative talks and action-packed games with manly piety.

    This year’s theme was that of Charlemagne and Catholic France. Heroes from the past mixed with the present as the boys heard talks on Charlemagne, Saint Louis IX and great crusaders. To add to the cultural experience of learning about medieval France, the program included a “Charlemagne Dinner.” One of the fathers of the boys had hunted a Russian wild boar earlier in the week and spent a whole day preparing a spectacular feast that made all think of those truculent times.

    Piety – or better manly piety – is an essential ingredient of the camp program. The TFP camp stresses the need for prayer, the rosary and Holy Communion as the most important part of the “spiritual combat” of these modern day knights. They are always challenged to adopt the code of chivalry in their modern-day lives. There was even a “vigil of arms” held throughout one night where the boys prayed at one hour intervals before a relic of the True Cross.

    Fathers are always encouraged to attend part or the whole camp with their sons. Indeed, the fathers have become an essential part of the logistical support for the camp…and even join in some of the games. Local fathers always prepare magnificent feasts in typical Louisiana style.

    “When they get home all they talk about is the camp,” commented one father who decided to spend a few days at camp himself.

    The ten-day program was action-packed and experienced TFP counselors made sure there was never a dull moment. The schedule was crowded with a grueling day hike, a music recital, archery, paint ball games, skeet shooting, rock climbing, self-defense classes, a treasure hunt, swimming, chess tournaments and other activities. A special Fourth of July program included a traditional barbeque and watching a fireworks display aboard the U.S.S. Kidd ship museum moored on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge.

    The intellectual formation was also given by several veteran TFP members who came from the TFP main offices in Pennsylvania and St. Louis de Montfort Academy to give talks on the Charlemagne theme. Members and graduates of the TFP’s Sedes Sapientiae Institute also gave presentations. Finally, the veteran camp participants themselves were encouraged to help in this regard. Lively theatrical presentations helped illustrate the points.

    “This was the largest number to come to the camp,” said Thomas Drake, coordinator of the event. “They all formed such a cohesive group that was united in the Faith.”

    The final day marked the highlight of the event and brought to a culmination the united efforts of so many friends, families and supporters in Louisiana who made the course both possible and legendary. Parents and friends watched and cheered at the “medieval games” and its final grueling obstacle course.

    Final Rosary Procession with TFP members in ceremonial garb.

    After the games, all came in rosary procession where nearly 150 people crowded into an outdoor pavilion-turned-medieval banquet hall. The guest of honor was Msgr. Robert Berggreen of Saint Agnes Parish in Baton Rouge who often came to the camp to say Mass and hear confessions. Several fathers headed by chef Rusty La Motte cooked a magnificent feast which included a large roasted pig and several different kinds of meat. A castle cake complete with moat – and Louisiana alligators – was especially applauded. Speeches of farewell and gratitude plus the distribution of a special Charlemagne souvenir was the fitting end to an unforgettable summer camp.

    The camp was over but the bonds forged over the ten days remain. The boys returned to face all the horrible pressures of today’s culture. However, they now know they are not the only ones involved in this fight and join them in upholding Catholic values in the midst of the cultural fight to uphold the values of Christian civilization so threatened today.

    For more information on the next Call to Chivalry camp, please call 717-225-7147, ext. 229.

  • The Brazilian bishops are particularly trustworthy.

    What a curious thing to say, Michael. What makes the Brazilian bishops particularly trustworthy?

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Jousting for Jesus?

  • Robert

    While that my tell us it had a crowd, and followed a model which reminds me of that post-renaissance tradition, the Boy Scouts, it doesn’t answer any of the questions which have been asked. Just because a group prays the rosary doesn’t make it orthodox. And you would be surprised at how few people took daily communion in the 14th century, too. And those paint balls — which pre-Trent saint used them?

  • Rick

    The Holy Spirit.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    “To add to the cultural experience of learning about medieval France, the program included a “Charlemagne Dinner.” One of the fathers of the boys had hunted a Russian wild boar earlier in the week and spent a whole day preparing a spectacular feast that made all think of those truculent times…”

    Sounds like a Hemingway impotent males’ fantasy fest….

  • Rick – Generally speaking, they’ve opted for the poor.

  • jh

    It is rare that people come on here that are from the groups that are criticized. I really do not think Gerald you are being particular helpful in throwing out charges of jew haters and images of Nazi Youth. I a tad suprised that in the interest of Christian Charity and Christian Discussion some of people are not being asked to calm it down in their comments. Who would want to enter this discussion if you were them?

    I know a few people in this group and on the whole they are solid Catholics. I suppose many in the mainstream would consider them kind of geeky and antiquated. You know camps with Knights and Chivarly and think it is odd. However the Church is a big old place with disciplines for all.

    LEt me add one other thing. I suppose that the memebership are not big fans of some of the outcomes of Vatican II or the Liturgical reform. However they have always been careful on the whole not to be too public with that criticism or make it a huge part of their mission. This is one reason why the Tardition in Action was formed because they viewed the TFP to be sort of spineless

    It is humorous because of peoples assumptions but the radical Fatima Groups have criticized this group and oh yes The Society of Pius the X says its a front for Masons.

    Perhaps you can go to them for material.

    I find my self in a odd postion that I often defending such diverse groups as the The WAY, various aspects of the Charismatic Renewal, The Latin Mass Folks , Catholic Worker groups all that seem at times to be at each other throats. But these New Ecclesial Movements are as a whole something the Vatican welcomes and I do wish we would take more of an open attitude toward them without trying to read everyone out of the Chrch

  • I won’t send my kids to the Boy or Girl Scouts. I have something against uniforms, orders, ranks and the like. Wonder if Michael’s with me on that 😉

  • Catholic Workers are too left for me, but they’re not lunatics or mean-spirited. I’ll take any Jesuit over the rad trad types.

  • blackadderiv

    I’ll take any Jesuit over the rad trad types.

    I’m pretty sure the TFP was started by a Jesuit.

  • BA – Nope.

    Gerald – The only uniform my kids are likely to wear (while they are kids) would be a Catholic school uniform (that is, if we don’t opt for home schooling which is looking pretty good). That, or a sports uniform I guess, if they really want to. 🙂

    On Jesuits – I’ve known some Jesuits who weren’t far from the rad trads.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    And too many dads cheat for their Cub Scout sons at the annual Pinewood Derby…

  • blackadderiv

    Michael,

    My bad. He was educated by Jesuits, which is not quite the same thing.

  • Sounds like a Hemingway impotent males’ fantasy fest…

    Hey! [deer hunter here…] 😉

  • He was educated by Jesuits, which is not quite the same thing.

    Not by a long shot. In fact, the great Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe admitted the past failures of Jesuit education to a group of Jesuit alumni, insisting that that the Jesuits had failed to educate their students for justice. In his famous address “Men (and Women) for Others” (PDF):

    First, let me ask this question: Have we Jesuits educated you for justice? You and I know what many of your Jesuit teachers will answer to that question. They will answer, in all sincerity and humility: No, we have not. If the terms “justice” and “education for justice” carry all the depth of meaning which the Church gives them today, we have not educated you for justice.

    What is more, I think you will agree with this self-evaluation, and with the same sincerity and humility acknowledge that you have not been trained for the kind of action for justice and witness to justice which the Church now demands of us. What does this mean? It means that we have work ahead of us. We must help each other to repair this lack in us, and above all make sure that in the future the education imparted in Jesuit schools will be equal to the demands of justice in the world.

    The TFP founder’s bio indicates that he was a victim of the failure of this era of Jesuit education.

  • Carmina C. Salcido

    Greetings Everyone,
    Let me re-iderate here that I hold nothing against T.F.P. They may not be perfect no one / no Group is. The way some of the members in the Group went and took to extreme some of the things they teached was not their fault. I do agree to one thing and that is WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! Its 2008, and the style has changed…. its no longer useful to go back to the “Medvl” Times I mean seriously come on! Yes we need morals, standards and rules but do you really think things were that awesome and great back in the 17th century?
    This Group I believe served a very nessecary purpose in fighting communism but after that…. well their chore was kinda done. I mean actually my grandpa was involved with them too, and because of that they pulled my Mom Angela God Rest her Soul out of School and prohibited her from really socalizing, dating, etc. Its changed now, as a matter of fact and they have made many changes seeing that their existance was in jepordy and losing many good members.
    So if you have any questions feel free to email or ask me.
    carmina.salcido@gmail.com
    Sincerely
    Carmina

  • blackadderiv

    Michael,

    You’re absolutely right. Castro, for example, was also educated by the Jesuits.

  • I guess that’s the downside of “finding God in all things.”

  • sounds like a cross between the rad trads, the actin society, and the coalition for fog!

  • Carmina,

    Thanks for your comment and reply in here.

    I started this post, as you can tell, this morning when I knew nothing of the TFP. I’ve done some reading through the day, and I do find some things disturbing. But also think, even if there are things I would find problematic, there are things good within (sort of as you say, no group is perfect; but also no group I would say is totally bad, there is always something good).

    I am glad to hear some things have changed. Perhaps more will; I think anyone who really comes to grips with Aquinas will realize they can’t ignore what happens in the world, and must come to grips with the modern world (as Vatican II did). But that’s neither here nor there.

    And I want to restate what I said in my first post: I hope you are now finding some peace in your life. While of course this will, in a way, always be a valley of tears, the reasons why and how do not have to be the same, and it can’t be without joy or comfort. You’ve been through some tough times; don’t give up… your voice can be one to help many if you so desire!

  • Carmina,

    Ironically, this group doesn’t seem that “medieval.” In the Middle Ages much of the political power was decentralized and the notion of “property” was entirely different than it is today.

    If TPF wanted to go back to *some* of that I would approve, but it seems very “modernist” in how it enjoys nationalism.

  • dominic1962

    That report from the SPLC is pretty sub-par. I read it and it seems pretty obvious that the author knows little about Catholic teaching (I didn’t know we turned into universalists after VII…) and seems to know even less about the various “radtrad” groups. Sure, there are some kooks out there (and they’re in every group from both ends of the spectrum). Besides, what is with this “anti-semetic” nonsense? Skinheads tend not to hate Palestinians as much as Jews, and various Arab groups that hate Jews do not hate other Semetic Muslims.

    I don’t know if I’d say that the Brazilian bishops are particularly trustworthy (well, besides Bishop Rifan). From what I’ve read, there are lots of pseudo-Marxist Liberationists among their group. Also, look at “EP V”-crazy.

  • There are liberationists among them, and that fact is encouraging. It shows they, unlike many bishops (sadly), take the authoritative Catholic teaching on the option for the poor seriously.

  • dominic1962

    It is encouraging that there are pseudo-Marxists in the ranks of the episcopacy? Well, hopefully the Benedictine appointments are changing this.

    Just as authoritative as the definition of the Immaculate Conception or that women cannot be ordained? Real Catholic social teaching has nothing to do with Liberation Theology.

  • Dominic

    The pref. option for the poor has nothing to do with CST? Odd.

    I’ve seen many people who have heard the Church “condemned” LT. It never did. It gave some warnings against a materialistic reductionism, while also encouraging aspects of it in its discussion on LT. Strange enough, many of the people who oppose LT are capitalists following the same kind of materialistic reductionism, and would fall under the same criticism.

  • It is encouraging that there are pseudo-Marxists in the ranks of the episcopacy?

    Depends what you mean by “pseudo-Marxists.” If you mean liberationists, then yes, I find that encouraging. But liberation theology need not be “Marxist.” In fact, it usually isn’t.

    Just as authoritative as the definition of the Immaculate Conception or that women cannot be ordained?

    Quite a bit more.

    Real Catholic social teaching has nothing to do with Liberation Theology.

    This statement is 100% ignorant. CST adopted the concept of the option for the poor from liberation theology. JPII said liberation theology is “both useful and necessary.” You don’t know the history, and you don’t know the documents.

  • SB

    Quite a bit more.

    Says who?

  • The Lord Jesus Christ.

    Heard of him?

  • SB

    Gee, now that you mention it, I have heard that name a few times. Guess what, though: No one with the slightest familiarity with the New Testament would claim that Christ ever said one word about governmental policy, however.

    Moreover, it is very odd (for someone purporting to speak from a Catholic perspective) to claim that a political teaching is “quite a bit more” authoritative than an infallibly defined teaching. What’s “quite a bit more” than infallible?

  • SB – Do some studying.

    The option for the poor is not about “governmental policy.” I never said that it was.

    Nor is it a mere “political teaching.” It’s the very heart of the Gospel, more basic even than infallible Marian dogmas. In fact, it need not be infallibly defined because it is a no-brainer. It’s like asking whether or not the Gospel was infallibly defined.

  • The NT authors thought the end of the world was just around the corner, which is why they didn’t much bother with social change, such as trying to overthrow slavery.

  • SB

    SB – Do some studying.

    Wow, what a cogent refutation. I’m just stumped now. I can’t think of a response to such a powerful and well-thought-out argument. You win.

    The option for the poor is not about “governmental policy.” I never said that it was.

    But liberation theology is most definitely about governmental policy. Therefore your equation of the two (LT and “option for the poor”) makes no sense unless you intend to say something about LT’s view of governmental policy.

  • Wow, what a cogent refutation. I’m just stumped now. I can’t think of a response to such a powerful and well-thought-out argument. You win.

    The refutation followed that sentence. Surely you didn’t stop reading…

    But liberation theology is most definitely about governmental policy.

    No, it’s not. Care to give me a bibliography of the works of liberation theology you have read. Shouldn’t take you long to list them for me.

  • SB

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that liberation theology doesn’t center around the notion that people need to be “liberated” from bad governmental policies? Every time I think you guys have said something silly, someone comes up with something even more outlandish.

    So on the one hand, Michael Iafrate says, with no explanation or support, that liberation theology is not about governmental policy. On the other hand, Pope John Paul II said that “this conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms.”

    Sorry, you got trumped.

    FYI, I tried to read Gutierrez once, but after 50 or 70 pages, I had found it to be a complete waste of time.

  • Karen

    Here is an article from their website praising the aristocratic tradition of horse racing and breeding. The article doesn’t precisely state that some people are just born better than others, but it certainly left me with that implication.

  • Are you seriously trying to suggest that liberation theology doesn’t center around the notion that people need to be “liberated” from bad governmental policies?

    Yes. Liberation theology teaches that people need to be liberated from sin. Sin is embodied in certain social structures and this can include political structures. But the primary “enemy” of liberation theology is sin, not governments.

    So on the one hand, Michael Iafrate says, with no explanation or support, that liberation theology is not about governmental policy. On the other hand, Pope John Paul II said that “this conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms.”

    Sorry, you got trumped.

    Whatever you think you are arguing here is not coming across. Please rephrase.

    FYI, I tried to read Gutierrez once, but after 50 or 70 pages, I had found it to be a complete waste of time.

    Reading something you disagree with is a waste of time? Wow. Thanks for admitting you know absolutely nothing about liberation theology.

  • SB

    Reading something you disagree with is a waste of time?

    No, I’m happy to read something I disagree with, which is why I bought the book in the first place. What I don’t have time for is reading a long book that is dense and stultifying, and where even when I put in the work to understand a given passage or chapter, there’s not even a mildly interesting thought lurking somewhere as a reward. There are too many well-written and insightful books that I’d rather read instead (including books that I may not agree with).

    Whatever you think you are arguing here is not coming across. Please rephrase.

    Pope John Paul clearly thought that LT views Christ as a “political figure.” You, by contrast, claim that LT isn’t about governmental politics. I go with the Pope on this one. If you want to try to prove that he was wrong, go right ahead.

  • Pope John Paul clearly thought that LT views Christ as a “political figure.” You, by contrast, claim that LT isn’t about governmental politics. I go with the Pope on this one. If you want to try to prove that he was wrong, go right ahead.

    Nevertheless, JPII said LT is “useful and necessary.” His views on liberation theology changed drastically over the course of his pontificate. If you read the documents and attend to the history, you will see this. But you prefer caricatures and a static, unchanging conception of persons and movements.

    But I have the feeling you’re not willing or able to put in the work to have a conversation about this. You aren’t seeking any understanding, as is evident from your unwillingness to engage Gutierrez. To claim that the book contains “not even a mildly interesting thought lurking somewhere as a reward” is absurd, even to those who disagree with him. Seems as if you simply lacked the patience to deal with a “long” (300 pp freaks you out?) and “dense” (I understood it as an undergraduate) book. Perhaps you prefer your current “understanding” of liberation theology which relies on mere stereotypes (such as its primary concern is “government policies”). If so, there is nothing I could do or say to convince you to make a real attempt at engagement and understanding.

  • SB

    I’m the kind of guy who read War and Peace at age 11, so 300 pages is a mere trifle. I’m just saying that I didn’t get anything out of it, and life is too short to waste with uninteresting books. (Interesting-ness and jokes are similar in that way — just because I think something is funny isn’t a guarantee that you’ll find it funny, and just because you think something is profound is no guarantee that anyone else will agree.)

  • Honest questions for Carmina:

    Were other TFP members aware of the abuse you were receiving? If so, what did they do about it? If not, do you think they would have approved?

    Did your abusers hide their abusive actions from their TFP friends and contacts?

    Do you know any other children of TFP families who were similarly abused?

    Do you consider your abusers faithful members of TFP? Or did their abuse – in your opinion – violate TFP’s doctrine?

    With a prayer for your health and happiness.

  • SB

    Nevertheless, JPII said LT is “useful and necessary.” His views on liberation theology changed drastically over the course of his pontificate. If you read the documents and attend to the history, you will see this.

    Notice that you’re totally changing the subject. I wasn’t saying anything about whether JPII condemned Liberation Theology; I was just referring to his plainly accurate characterization of it as political. Come on, if all LT said was that we need to be liberated from *sin*, what distinguishes that from anything that Christians have said for 2000 years? Actually, I think what you’re doing is just another bit of equivocation — when LT says liberation from “sin,” it is treating bad governmental policies as “sin.” Do you deny that? Do you seriously deny that Gutierrez speaks of liberation from political injustice?

  • I wasn’t saying anything about whether JPII condemned Liberation Theology; I was just referring to his plainly accurate characterization of it as political.

    Who’s changing the subject? The quote you gave me was in reference to “political” interpretations of Christ. (Whatever “political” means to JPII in this case is not clear without the context.)

    Come on, if all LT said was that we need to be liberated from *sin*, what distinguishes that from anything that Christians have said for 2000 years? Actually, I think what you’re doing is just another bit of equivocation — when LT says liberation from “sin,” it is treating bad governmental policies as “sin.” Do you deny that?

    I’ll simply copy what I wrote above since you seem to have missed (or ignored) it: Liberation theology teaches that people need to be liberated from sin. Sin is embodied in certain social structures and this can include political structures. But the primary “enemy” of liberation theology is sin, not governments.

    Do you seriously deny that Gutierrez speaks of liberation from political injustice?

    No, of course he links liberation and politics. But to Gutierrez, liberation-salvation is more than political. He speaks of it as liberation from sin, personal and social. In fact, of all the liberationists you could have picked who supposedly “reduce sin to political oppression” or what have you, Gutierrez is about the poorest choice you could have made. Gutierrez has been at the forefront of liberation theologians in arguing for an “integral” understanding of liberation, and a full sense of what sin involves. Had you read a few more pages in his book, you might have learned that.

  • SB

    Yawn. The only point I care about is that to the extent liberation theology concerns itself with governmental policies (I don’t care about the magnitude of that extent), you have absolutely no grounds for claiming that it has been approved by anything that Jesus Christ ever said or did, or for claiming that LT is “quite a bit more” authoritative than infallibly-defined Catholic teachings.

  • I made my case. Read the Gospels again, with eyes open.

  • SB

    I’ve read the Gospels many times, and if you’re claiming that the Gospels say anything about governmental policies, you’re full of it. They just don’t. That’s all I’m saying. On the other hand, if you’re not claiming that the Gospels say something about governmental policies, then you have no reason to disagree with me.

  • I’ve read the Gospels many times, and if you’re claiming that the Gospels say anything about governmental policies, you’re full of it. They just don’t. On the other hand, if you’re not claiming that the Gospels say something about governmental policies, then you have no reason to disagree with me.

    What have I been saying this whole time? That liberation theology is not primarily about government policy. The option for the poor is not a “political teaching” but a teaching primarily about God.

    It is impossible to carry on a conversation with you because you obviously ignore what is being said to you.

  • SB

    The problem is that you keep trying to equivocate. If you really think that LT and the “option for the poor” aren’t about governmental policies, then you would have had no objection to my last comment. Instead, you sneered, “Read the Gospels again, with eyes open.”

    Well, OK, what is that supposed to mean? Given that you don’t take the trouble to spell out an argument, I’m left to read your mind. The only conclusion I could draw was that you were trying to insinuate that the Gospels DO say something about governmental policies, and that I would realize this if I read the Gospels with “eyes open.”

    If you’d take the time to nail down your own position and then be clear about it, the argument would be much shorter or perhaps non-existent. If all you’re doing is pointing to the scriptures where Jesus blesses the poor or says that the rich will have a hard time getting into heaven, great; no argument from me about that. All I’ve said is that these scriptures don’t address governmental policies. Since you now apparently agree with me about that, we’re in agreement, and there’s no place for insinuations that I haven’t read the Gospels.

  • Kurt

    TFP was quite unhappy with Latin American bishops who moved to abolish the practice of the front pews in parishes churches being reserved for the wealthy “patrones” while the “peons” stand in the back of the church.

    They accused the bishops of Chile of being “soft on communism” because they supported agrarian reform under the Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei. The published so many attacks on the Church in Chile and Brazil (for standing up for the poor and criticzing military dicatorships) that the Vatican threatened excommunication.

  • SB – You are obviously the one who is confused. And I will stop adding to your confusion by withdrawing from this absurd “discussion.”

  • SB

    I’m not confused about anything of consequence. I’m confused only as to your inexplicable behavior — on the one hand, accusing me of needing to read the Gospels merely because I say that they don’t address governmental policies, and then flipping on a dime by denying that you think the Gospels address governmental policies. You need to cut out the passive-aggressive act, whereby you sneer at someone for saying X, but then pretend that you never implied not-X.

  • Carmina C. Salcido

    To Jeff Clubreath >

    my adoptive parents were one of the “Idol Model” TFP Familys…. They supported and helped the Group tremendiously, However no one knew for sure that there was anything going on behind the “Iron Currtin” so to speak. I tryed telling my mom about one of the abuses going on when I was twelve years old and she yelled at me saying “How could you ever think up something that horrible!?” “You are a Liar!”

    There were a few people that suspected something wasn’t right but my adoptive parents were so “idolized” that anything that they said was immediately disregared or quieted. I know for a fact that they would not have approved of the majority of abuse I unwent… however alot of disliplinary things such as sever spankings, being forced to eat soap, having your tough douced in hot pepper sauce, being slapped across the face and picked up / dragged around by the hair of your head were put under the cadigory of “spare the rod and spoil the child”
    I also know that alot of other “member families” used these same disiplinary measures and weren’t told to do anything else.
    To answer if they hid their abusive mannerisms from the TFP and other Families… yes some of it and other of it no. One family’s kids watched me get picked up by the hair of my head and dragged into another room of their house it was a misunderstanding on my Adoptive moms side as we kids had been playing hide and seek and I was in the “boys” room and she flipped out I was like 12 yrs old at the time. the oldest girl who was also in the room and watched it happen asked me why I was being treated like that… she ran downstairs and asked my adoptive mom if it was ok for me to play with them and that, thats what we’d been doing.
    And yes til this day the my adoptive parents are being “sheltered” and given work by the TFP…. which sickens me! I told the President and leader of the American TFP about what happened, he told me he couldn’t believe what I said…. and I lost the friendship of this Group as well as the majority of the Families I knew growing up turned their backs toward me and cut me off from communicating saying I was spreading calumny and lies.

  • Patrick

    I think that Jeff Culbreath has a very good point here about possible cases of abuse in other TFP families. God forbid that this is only the tip of the iceberg and what we see here is a case of widespread abuse emotionally, psychologically and/or sexually.
    After reading this article, and a lengthy google search, I came to know that the TFP also runs an all boys boarding school in Herndon, PA. I don’t know what it is but the combination of abuse (turning a blind eye towards abuse, perhaps) and an all boy boarding school doesn’t sound like healthy recipe to me. Are there any non-TFP members working at this school? Are all the teachers linked or members (volunteers) of the TFP? If something were to happen, is there an outsider that would take the necessary steps and provide a solution to the problem? Because from what I read the “president and leader” doesn’t seem to be too responsible in this matter, conflict of interest maybe?
    This “Catholic” association seems a bit fishy since there is no mention of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) nor The America Needs Fatima Campaign (ANF) on the website of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Do they have any backing by the Catholic hierarchy? If there is a problem who is responsible for this group? I’ve always thought that these loose cannons/rightwing religious groups are to be avoided since if something happens there is no one to be held accountable, they just disappear into thin air leaving only their damage behind. Just months ago there was that whole case in El Dorado, Texas with the break-away Mormons – is this our catholic equivalent? Are we going to find out later on that they have an arsenal at hand waiting for the Armageddon? Another Waco situation?
    Our prayers go out to Carmina and we admire her courage for speaking out! I just hope that this is the only case.

    *************************************************************
    Maybe I’m mistaken. Maybe I’ve read all the wrong sites. Enlighten me if I’m wrong but I think some action should be taken.

    What do you think?

  • Carmina: Thank you for taking the time to answer. I especially appreciate your insistence that you do not blame TFP as a group for your abuse: that shows a mature ability to make important distinctions. TFP or no TFP, I’m just extremely sad that you suffered this abuse at the hands of a well-educated “model” Catholic family. As a Catholic, I feel like apologizing to you personally.

    Your experience must have tested your faith severely. I hope you’re still Catholic, but wouldn’t be surprised if your pain was so great that you left the Church. Some of the things on your MySpace site indicate that might be the case. My prayers continue. May God bless you in your journey.

    Patrick: The point of my questions to Carmina was to establish whether TFP, as an organization, ought to be suspected of creating an abusive environment in this case, and possibly others. At this point I think it looks bad for TFP, but not much different from other groups and organizations. The TFP people in Carmina’s story seemed to behave much like people in the wider society – some enabling, some disbelieving, some disapproving, but none willing to stick their necks out. In fact you could substitute bishops and priests for the TFP members in Carmina’s story and it would look a lot like the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

    In short, I’m not ready to single out TFP as a group that is more especially dangerous than other groups. I do know a few families who have had some involvement with TFP and they would be horrified by Carmina’s story.

  • Billy

    Henry & Gerald
    You asked about the Brazilian Bishops council condemning the TFP. Sure they do not support them but I also happen to know that the Brazilian Conference of Bishops is known to hold a lot of lukewarm positions and even some liberal ones. I found an article on catholicexchange.com and the first sentence in it is “The Catholic Bishops of Brazil have a long record of lukewarmness – or even apparent opposition – to the Church’s teaching regarding human life issues.” The article is about the council of bishops stand in early February against Abortion. the link is http://www.catholicexchange.com/2008/02/16/82679/.
    The bishops also contradicted Benedict XVI when he visited Brazil in May of 2007. The conference of bishops had been strongly advocating “participating” at mass via the internet. The conference’s general secretary, Monsignor Dimas Lara, said “It is pointless to talk about the evangelization of the youth without discussing the internet. “It may be a new thing for all of us, but it is necessary.” By this statement he is going directly against Benedict XVI who, in the encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis, said that communion over the internet, or any other media, had “no spiritual value”.
    The point that I am making here, gentlemen, is that an organization that goes against the pope and is known for its liberality would not endorse a conservative organization whether catholic or not. For me personally I am not going try too hard to get the endorsement of liberal minded people. Maybe you all would see it as a good sign if a conference of bishops lend out the 2nd floor of their headquarters to the local gay and lesbian community rent free, they don’t even do that with other catholics.

    I would like to say this to Jeff and Patrick. People like you will only believe what you want to hear. The pope would give a whole encyclical on something that you disagreed with but you would take from it what you want and make it look like he was saying what you wanted him to say. You all are just out there to get the TFP. Anything to make them look bad, right? By the way the accusations that you two make against them are all “possibilities” and very wordy suspicions that sound horrible. There is no proof on you alls part. And don’t take it as a bad sign if Robert Ritchie does not reply for a while because he is a very busy person and can’t answer every question and concern on every blog.

  • “I would like to say this to Jeff and Patrick. People like you will only believe what you want to hear … You all are just out there to get the TFP.”

    Billy, I can’t speak for Patrick, but you’re way out of line imputing such views to me. I don’t know much about TFP, but I came into this discussion favorably disposed. I’m a traditionalist. Apart from the Iraq war, I tend to agree with TFP’s approach to the Faith as represented on their website. I’ve recommended their articles several times over the years. Carmina’s experience is troubling, but she doesn’t blame TFP for her abuse and there is no reason why we should either. Please re-read my last post.

    That said, there have been some bizzare rumors swirling around TFP for years. E. Michael Jones did an extensive report some years ago and seems convinced that TFP has the characteristics of a cult. Carmina’s experience, naturally, raises some questions, and so I asked them.

  • Donald Harrison

    Fellow Forum Readers: When the article about Carmina first came out in the paper last week I saw it, and read a bit about it. I have to say that I was pretty surprised to find so many entries here on vox nova about the American TFP.
    I’ve read all the posts and I don’t think that anyone is ‘out to get the TFP’. A forum is a place where we ask questions or give our opinion on an issue and not a cyber witch-hunt… What we are commenting here is a news article that reports of a situation of abuse and I think that we can all agree that whatever can be done to avoid it is highly recommendable.

    The American TFP has a shady past and it’s reputation hasn’t always the best. I guess it depends who you ask, but for the most part they are seen to be a bit… unique. Some people claim that they are sedevacantis and others say that they just prefer the old Latin Mass. Some say that they are a ring-wing, political fringe group and others say that they are just good Catholics living according to their conscience. I guess my point is, who are we to judge? If this is the way that they ‘ve decided to live, that should be cool with us insofar as their lifestyle doesn’t start affect the Catholic community and mislead us in anyway.

    I’ve noticed a couple of posts where people write that the TFP is not approved by the Catholic Church and that the TFP this-or that… The fact of the matter is that the American TFP is NOT a Catholic association but an association that has Catholic members. I guess that means that they are Catholics that form an association but are not under the umbrella of the Catholic hierarchy. This is why they don’t need (or maybe want) approvals or authorization. This might not sound so bad but if this isn’t a Catholic Association (I mean associated to the local Catholic Church) why do they always try to target Catholics? Why do they try to portray themselves as faithful Catholics yet they aren’t interested in following the teaching and instructions of the local Catholic hierarchy? I saw another article that says they made $6.5 million in sales of books and religious articles last year, is this all about money? Questions, questions and more questions… I think that there are enough red flags out there to tell us to stay away…

    Billy: Your comment about the Pope writing a “whole encyclical” (by the way, would you prefer he wrote half an encyclical?), and some people only taking what they want from it etc.., umm…. I’m too sure how this is relevant or even remotely related to the topic of this forum. I don’t want to get into anything personal here, I’m here to learn and I value the opinions of the other contributors to this forum. It is true that this article interests me and I’ve learned a lot about the American TFP since the Sonoma paper published the story, some interesting aspects but more being very alarming.

    Those are my two cents…

  • Donald

    I think what you wrote here is how things followed with me. I read the article, and that was the first I heard about the TFP. I posted this article. Then I started doing some research. I found some things which I found to be questionable. I actually sympathize with many elements of what I found, but other aspects, make me fear that even if the group means well, it could attract the wrong kind of person who will find ways to use the group for their own purposes. That’s one of the problems with separatist groups. It’s a good place to hide out. And it sounds like that is what happened. I think it is good to hear all of the TFP is not like this, but I also find it sad that they are unwilling to consider the possibility that abuse is possible too in their system. Finally, the outright opposition to some bishops, denigrating their character, using various key words which say nothing and everything, keeping it vague, which really annoys me. Yes, I can find bishops can do wrong; but as Michael I has shown elsewhere, there is a right and wrong way to respond.

  • Billy

    One point that I would like to make before the rest of my others is that I may say something that you disagree with but that does not mean that the TFP backs my opinion just because I support them. No supporter of the TFP is a representative of the TFP unless asked by them to represent them. Logical?

    Henry
    There is something that I have to say and that is that the TFP has never deliberately gone against any Bishop or any member the the Church’s clergy. They have never pointed their finger at any member of the clergy and said “He is wrong.” I challenge you to try to find an example of it.
    Another thing that you mentioned is the so called “abuse” that happens. I can assure you that there is no abuse within the TFP. If there is any abuse among any of the TFP’s supporters then the TFP has no say over it and their actions do not reflect the views of the TFP. I’ll give you an example. My parents are third order Franciscans and if every morning they got up and beat the tar out of me for no apparent reason then I am not going to say that it is because they are third order Franciscans. It is the same thing with the TFP. Just because some think that there is abuse going on in the TFP does not mean that the TFP is responsible for any abuse that happens among the supporters. The only abuse that the TFP has a say over is when someone says something contrary to the general policy of the TFP and then they are allowed to correct them. But when do they know when that happens. They don’t. So they can’t counter it.

    Jeff
    By saying that People like you will only believe what you want to hear I was just dividing the waters. I thought through reading all of your comments that you did support the TFP to a certain extent but I wasn’t sure. Nothing personal. No insult taken I hope. Now I see what these “possibilities” are. It is now clear to me that they are honest questions.
    And my concerns with Carmina are more certain points that she mentions. I was not saying that she was attacking the TFP but she was attacking her parents and posed them as a “role model” family of the TFP’s. I guess that my point is that if one claims that a family is a role model of an organization then criticizes them she is subconsciously criticizing that organization. I am not saying that she is criticizing I am saying that in the reader’s mind the parallel is drawn between the two and your mind associates one with the other.

    Donald
    I really like your point of “who are we to judge?” Like Crist said “Judge not lest you be judged.” To give our opinion is one thing but to give it in a way where it makes it sound like the TFP is horrible or if you support it then you are bad. Another point is that there are people that are “out to get the TFP.” Not on this blog but there are. I mean there are whole articles on the web and many other places that all they do is try to slam the TFP. And another thing how can the pope write half of an encyclical to his flock? He can write one in sections but ultimately it comes out as a whole one. And my point by saying that is that just like the modern day media some people will take parts of an article of the TFP’s and post it on the web and without the rest of the article it sounds heretical. I mean you could do that with the Summa Theologica.

    One thing that I would like to address generally is that the SSPX people are very quick to disown any affiliation with the TFP. Their reason is that the TFP accepts the Noves Ordo mass as valid and that they do not criticize the “problems” in the Church, which according to them would include criticizing the clergy.
    God Bless

  • Roberto Garza

    Hey,

    Look what I found on the website of the Archdiocese of Miami:

    http://www.miamiarchdiocese.org/bulletin/Bulletin_101707.pdf

    Rob

    Pastoral Bulletin
    Volume 13, Issue 19 October 17, 2007

    “Office of the Chancellor
    FOR YOUR INFORMATION
    Please note that the “American Society for the
    Defense of Tradition, Family and Property” (also
    known simply as “Tradition, Family and Property, or
    even “T.F.P.”) as well as “America Needs Fatima”,
    are not authorized to function in the Archdiocese of
    Miami, including fund-raising.

  • joni mayfield

    Carmina, I feel the same way today as I did in April of 1989, living here in sonoma valley. As a mother of a 2 year old daughter at the time, I felt such pain in my heart for you and your sisters. As a parent, I just wanted to hold you and make it all better. Nobody can fix what happened that day. Thank God you are a strong girl. I will never forget you or your sisters, your mother, and your grandmother and aunts. There are many other like me that still hold you dear to our hearts. I now live right across the highway from where you lived at that time.

  • Carmina Salcido

    Joni Mayfeild,

    Thnaks for the beautiful note I aprreciate all the love care and concern. If you ever want to contact me just drop me a email at carmina.salcido@gmail.com

    Hope all is well with you and Life is good!

    Peace and Love

    Carmina

  • Lynea

    +JMJ+
    There is absolutely nothing “fringe” about the TFP. (I am in no way defending the personal actions of each individual member, but the organization.)
    I am a Roman Catholic who happens to know a great deal about what the Church teaches. All one has to do is look up what the Roman Catholic Church believes under its dogma and doctrine. There is no secret about it (unlike other Christian faiths that believe they can decide for THEMSELVES what is good and what is evil — and therefore do not have a doctrine because, well times change). The Roman Catholic Church believes what God has revealed, and since God doesn’t change His mind according to what’s new and happenin’ in the world, the teachings of His Church do not/cannot change.

    That having been said (which is nothing new to those who are instructed correctly in the faith), the TFP only stands up for what the Roman Catholic Church has already and ALWAYS defended in the areas of tradition, family and property.

    Check out the Vatican website and read some documents on what the Roman Catholic Church believes. Read the writings of the Church Fathers and Doctors. You may decide for yourselves that all of this is wrong, and be like Adam and Eve, deciding for yourself what God really meant when He said ‘no’.

    As for me, I’m sticking by His Church.

  • Lynea

    + DETRACTION is a sin, and when you sell out your own parents to publicly reveal a grave sin of theirs, it’s still a sin. I could see telling the proper authorities, even a close friend or two, and those who could help, but writing a book. Then you go so far as to promote it on the Internet. I cannot applaud an evil for an evil. In a sly way, this very non-Catholic act actually defends a non-Catholic action (detraction) in order to promote one’s own career — and drag the reputations of traditional Catholic families, the TFP and the Catholic Church into (unjustifiable) question. If what you say is true, Carmina, you must forgive all those who have hurt you. As I know you must know, there are MANY very holy traditional Catholic families. And, just because they live on a farm, don’t own a tv, or prefer to home school, it doesn’t mean that they are keeping their children as prisoners and abusing them. That type of implication is downright calumny. The children I know from traditional Catholic families are the most educated, well-rounded, pious children. They are also the most socially conscious, polite, balanced and well-grounded children. Obviously, as has been demonstrated, there are a few exceptions.

    No matter what your parents have done to you, that does not give you the moral right to disclose the sins of your parents to the world. The true common good is not promoted by detracting against your parents and using abuse as an excuse to dfy the teachings of Christ in his Church.

    I feel sympathy for abuse victims, but I do not defend an eye for an eye.

  • Carmina C. Salcido

    Dear “Lynea”
    I knew this would be brought up this “Detration”…. and in other words must I state that doing as you say would mean…. hiding the secretes of evil doers to save the their self esteem and reputaion. The Truth is the Truth…. and guess what, it hurts a whole lot especially when you’re in the wrong. So stating something thats true means I have done nothing wrong so far in this writting of the book I don’t even disclose to whom it is that did such. Im not out to make them feel bad or punish them, I mean if I wanted to punish them they’d be in jail, but Im not here to hurt anyone, only to survive and find true happiness and leave what is abusive and wrong.

    And about telling a close friend or two… Excuse me, but I tried, and my friends turned their backs on me as well as the leaders in this TFP Group!

    Who ever you are, Im sorry you feel this way about the situation, you blind yourself to reality and TRUTH – Evil must be confronted, exposed and DISTROYED. Come on you know that’s what we are taught. And did I see you say Calumny!? That word has no right to be used in this situation!Defenition: “a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something”
    I swear on the one true Catholic Church and everything that is sacred and holy nothing have I written or spoken is false or malicious, So help me God!
    I will die for what I said and there is nothing I take back or hold. And if you do not believe in an eye for an eye, in this situation Justice, then let me here you say you are against the death penalty of Ramon Salcido.

    When the the only friends you have will not believe you, when your own parents turn on you, when you loose everything its nothing short of a miracle that I believe there is a God.

    THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE! That is what I was taught and that is what I believe.

    And hello!? When did I ever use what I’ve been thru or used the abuse I’ve been thru for an excuse to defy the teachings of Christ and His Holy Church? Luckily I don’t hate all catholics, and unfortunaltely I waste my time defending my Rights to tell the Truth, but I believe in truth and have all the time in the world to defend the Truth.
    I am very sorry this is the way you feel about the situation.
    I hope you feel very happy about yourself and your life
    I wish you nothing but the best and many blessings fall your way.

    Sincerely yours,

    Carmina C Salcido

    P.S. I must laugh at your very sly and sarcastic sense of humor stating ” Obviously, as has been demonstrated, there are a few exeptions.” saying quite clearly that I lack being educated, well rounded (thank god Im not anymore haha!) pious, balanced, and well grounded. I thank you ever so much! 🙂

    If you have any questions or comments or you wish you contact me directly feel free to do so…. carmina.salcido@gmail.com

  • IteMissaEst

    Wow.

    Msgr. Burggreen is still saying Masses for you guys?

    Pathetic how you take advantage of people.

    Just so the readers here know I am an ex-member of America Needs Fatima and I can attest to the fact that they are very much a cult.

    They are monarchists, and oppose egalitarianism in most of it’s forms.

    That being said, it is no surprise that they looked the other way when you were beaten, dominated, and abused Carmina and that is because their first priority is spreading their message and recruiting more members so that they can “defend” western civilization from the invading hordes of “Islam”, “Secularism”, and “Communism”.

    Take Lord of the Rings and replace the Orcs with Muslims, slap Medieval conceptions of Catholicism, wholehearted support for the “righteous” function of the Spanish Inquisition, and inane reveries about the “good ole days” when women wore dresses and allegedly acted like “women” back in the 19th century, and you’ve got the TFP.

    I don’t speak from ignorance I speak from experience, and these people are nutty to say the least.

    I would advise any practicing Catholic who is a member of this forum and faithful to the teachings and magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church (and that does include canonically authorized NCCB’s like the one in Brasil which condemned this group as a personality cult), to stay as far away as possible from these people.

    They break with Tradition, they Steal your Family, and they will take your Property in as many donations of land and money as they can get.

    Here is a video showing their insane obsession with playing dress-up and taking their fraudulent medieval mentality seriously:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umsbfVh2tAE

    Yes, the music is beautiful, we all know that, but focus on what you are SEEING.

    That is the death of the founder, and their group was definitely a cult of personality back then. Without the founder it is still a cult and they still idolize the founder. Just goto their website, you’ll see what I mean.

    Lest you be mislead by their frequent assertion that “what goes on in TFPs in other countries we know little about”, here is a video showing them protesting blasphemy and wearing the same costumes they were in that video showing the death of their founder (I hope you guys hid his bones well).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isny8IJdXV4

    The TFP have almost no concept of the the idea that “their is no such thing as negative promotion” and get off on acting like wannabe Inquisitors running around in Medieval Officer and NCO Garments that the Teutonic Knights might have worn protesting blasphemy under the guise of “reparation”.

    The rigid posture of the young cultists is particularly revealing as it shows that they must stand that way in order to show “respect” and “bearing” which is more appropriate for the military. They can achieve this level of control and demand this level of respect of new recruits because they frequently isolate new members and cut them off from any people or groups of people who pose a threat to their tight control of information (as well as things like books, magazines, movies, tv, internet, and anything else that could break the spell). In a normal United States military unit it takes serious training to establish this level of control over people, but the TFP has even greater control over it’s members.

    I will evidence to all of you this by posting this link and then defying ANYONE from the TFP or anyone else here to find me anything on this website discussing the hypothesis that democracy might actually be better than monarchy and coming to the conclusion that in some substantial ways it inherently is:

    http://www.montfortacademy.edu/essay06.htm

    The above article is entitled: To be or Not to Be a Monarchist

    They are downright evil and they are indoctrinating young American men who are raised in a democratic society to believe things that are un-American and things that the Catholic Church has never given preference to (the idea that monarchy is the best form of government).

    They pass themselves off as Anti-Communists, but what they really are is an authoritarian monarchist cult that considers Democracy to be markedly inferior and won’t submit to the judgment passed on them by the NCCB (who has the legitimate canonical authority to make authoritative statements on whether or not a group is a cult of personality).

    I would advise all here to treat everything these people say with a heavy dose of skepticism and to keep your 12-15 year old kids away from their organization. If you let them, they will recruit your children and then attempt to turn them against you if you object.

  • IteMissaEst

    I am willing to bet everyone here dollars to dimes that “Lynea” is really Andrea Fragelli.

    Be afraid TFP, be very, very afraid.

    The French Foreign Legion already has a file on you and I will make it my personal mission in life to make sure the FBI has a fat folder on your domestic operations and that CIA has another fat folder on your various compartmentalized International TFP’s.

    I will write against you, I will bring knowledge about who you are and what you do, to other people )Catholic and non-Catholic) with an invisible hand and you will pay for your atrocities.

    I will not rest until you are utterly destroyed and denounced from every corner of the globe and the Vatican issues an updated international statement on your little extremist organization reiterating the truth that the Brazilian NCCB pronounced 23 years ago.

    “The truth will set you free”

    Indeed it does, and you (TFP/ANF) are on my radar, FOR LIFE.

  • Maria

    I have recieved various petitions and tracts from America Needs……and I have to say that I find them spooky. There is an extremism there that makes me uncomfortable and they seem to be very persuasive that their mission is a good one—but it seems to contradict the Church’s teaching on social justice and Charity toward one’ fellow human being. The disciples of Our Lord once asked his permission to “Call down fire from heaven” on some people who did not believe. Jesus rebuked them! Also, Peter cut off the ear of the High Priests slave when Jesus was arrested. Jesus restored the ear and said “Whosoever lives by the sword, dies by the sword”. I have often wondered how the inquisition missed that scripture? We have people in the church who do not have the Prince of Peace in their hearts and minds. God help them, and God protect us!

  • KnockKNOCK

    They are officially condemed in the Arch. of Miami

  • joe

    TFP isn’t as weird as it looks looks…i’ve been to their camps and they’re pretty cool. but i think its fine for everyone to have an opinion on them…so… whatever…

    and knockknock…they aren’t CONDEMNED anywhere…dumbass..= P

  • Blankblank

    I’m a student at the TFP school and it is a cult who hates women. They also have some other issuses one example according to one of my teachers if a kid is beat by his parents we shouldn’t do anything about it cause it’s none of our business. Us students are secluded from the world while they basically tell us to our face that our families are going to hell because they watch television and listen to music that isn’t classical.