Category: Radical Traditionalists

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Tribalist Catholicism

Most Catholics, if they take their faith seriously, harbor some critique of modernity, even if they cannot articulate it in detail. This almost goes without saying, since there is much in modern culture that conflicts with Catholic teaching and the Catholic way of life. Many Catholic converts can trace the path of their conversion back to a period of dissatisfaction with modern culture and with the tenets of liberalism. That’s certainly where I started from...

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National populist org behind traditionalist opposition to Pope Francis

Now that the dust has settled after the Vatican’s summit on the Amazon, one unlikely result has been the surfacing of the connection between Pope Francis’ most avid traditionalist opposers and a broader organized network that has the aim of disseminating a particular brand of national populism. Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), a group that originated during Brazil’s dictatorial regime and is known for its far-right attacks on “progressive” politics and nationalist defense of traditions,...

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The Bolsonaro influencer seeking to sway the synod

[UPDATED OCTOBER 30: More signs of an Anti-Francis alliance between Küster and TFP with English-speaking papal detractors emerge: On October 29, two days after the synod came to a close, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register was seen having dinner with Küster on in a restaurant in Rome. This highlights the professional and social ties between the Brazilian social media influencer and portions of the Catholic media world, pointing to the involvement of nationalist...

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The Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theory (Part 3)

A major part of Taylor Marshall’s argument in Infiltration rests upon highly dubious traditionalist interpretations of the ‘secrets’ associated with two famous Marian apparitions, thus providing another link between Infiltration and fringe Catholic conspiracy theory and apocalypticism. In this third part of my look at Infiltration (see parts one and two), I will compare Marshall’s interpretations of the secrets of Our Lady of La Salette and Our Lady of Fatima with interpretations that are more...

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The Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theory (Part 2)

In my last post I summarized part of the grand conspiracy laid out in Taylor Marshall’s Infiltration, in order to refute his claim that his book puts forward no such thing and to give the reader an idea of its key features. It’s actually difficult to say that it is his theory, since he covers some very well-trodden ground. Many of its parts, including those I have not outlined so far, can be found in...

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The Synthesis of All Catholic Conspiracy Theory (Part 1)

Dan Burke, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., along with his wife Stephanie, recently interviewed Dr. Taylor Marshall, popular Catholic podcaster and author, about his book Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within. The interview took place on the August 23, 2019 episode of Divine Intimacy Radio—Resources Edition, which is produced by spiritualdirection.com and Sophia Institute Press, the latter of which is the publisher of Infiltration (under their Crisis...

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I Browsed the “Faithful Shepherds” Website So You Don’t Have To

In his most recent post, Mike Lewis mentioned a website called “Faithful Shepherds,” which is spun off from LifeSiteNews. Faithful Shepherds ostensibly exists to “hold bishops accountable.” Gallingly, given current events in the Church, what the site means by “accountable” is not “morally accountable” but “accountable to a certain set of Catholic political priorities.” For the people at LifeSiteNews, publicly taking pro-choice politicians to task is equally constitutive of orthodoxy as holding pro-life views oneself. ...

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The Pope-less Church of Tradition

It seems that hardly a week goes by without another bold intervention into the affairs of the Church by one of the disaffected members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, usually delivered via channels like the National Catholic Register or LifeSite and then spread throughout social media. By now, the gallery of personalities is well-established: Cardinals Müller, Burke, and Brandmüller; Bishop Athanasius Schneider and of course the elusive Archbishop Viganó. Although not all of them are “traditionalists,”...

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“When JP2 did it, it was different”

On July 25, the Catholic Herald published a piece by the Canadian priest Raymond de Souza entitled, “The inexplicable transfer of St Peter’s relics to Constantinople,” in which the author offers a litany of objections to Pope Francis’s gift of a reliquary containing small bone fragments (believed to be St. Peter’s) to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. I pointed out in a Twitter thread on July 3 that radical traditionalists’ objections to popes giving...

Why the Nichols Letter is different

Since the release of the open letter signed by Aidan Nichols and others, many of Pope Francis’s critics on social media are defending it with the same talking points they’ve used to defend their positions on the “dubia” and many other initiatives critical of the Holy Father. They are applying lines like, “we need clarity from the pope,” or “We love Francis but he needs to correct some things.” Apparently, they haven’t read it closely...

We cannot take our faithfulness for granted

Several years ago, I realized that I hadn’t seen a friend of mine for a few months. He and his family were active in my parish. He was a young man with a very lovely wife and a bunch of rambunctious little boys. They could always be found in the narthex during the 11:30 Sunday Mass, working hard to wrangle the kids and doing their best to participate in the Mass. He was active in...

Papal critics: embrace Mercy!

“God has imprisoned all human beings in their own disobedience only to show mercy to them all.” — Rm 11:32 (NJB) When Pope Francis ended his Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, he issued an apostolic letter entitled Misericordia et Misera, dedicated to the theme of mercy. In this letter, His Holiness extended permission to any priest to validly grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance with people who had procured an abortion (before this...

Showing mercy towards traditionalists

“Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued” — Pope St. John Paul II Ecclesia Dei, #6.b Semina verbi It is undeniable that much of the resistance to Pope Francis’ magisterium, reforms, and pontificate comes from some Church quarters with a certain traditionalist leaning. In fact, one must also acknowledge that this resistance...

The Real Papolaters

On Monday I wrote a short piece on Pope Francis’s trip to Loreto, where he visited the Holy House that is believed to have been Mary’s home when she was visited by the angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. My piece focused on his address (in which he defended the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage and the family), and the fact that he officially signed his new apostolic exhortation on young people, entitled Christus vivit (“Christ...

Kiss the person, not the office

“Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men” — Mt 15:7-9 (DRV) As Mike Lewis noted yesterday, during a pilgrimage to Loreto, Pope Francis made a beautiful address about the significance of family, based on the traditional understanding of marriage as a union between a man and a...

Getting it Half-right: Sedes and SSPX

In recent days, a number of articles defending the legitimacy of Francis’s papacy have appeared on websites that are usually critical of the Holy Father, including a two-part blog post on One Peter Five by Robert Siscoe (click to read parts 1 and 2). Siscoe, who co-authored a 2015 book entitled True or False Pope? Refuting Sedevacantism and Other Modern Errors, appears to be a member of what is colloquially known as the “Recognize and...