So while our own podcast has been on a bit of a hiatus for the last couple of months (but stay tuned for upcoming announcements on that front), I’ve been doing some listening to other podcasts. Here are some that I think will interest you.
First, for something related to current Church affairs and a little more highbrow, I recommend the latest Vatican Insider podcast from America Media about the lead-up to Pope Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, restricting the older form of the Mass. From the show notes:
In this special deep dive episode of “Inside the Vatican,” host Colleen Dulle unpacks Pope Francis’ decision, the history behind it, and how it has affected devotees of the old Latin Mass. With a church that seems even more divided after this decision, the question remains: Where do we go from here?
The next one I am going to recommend is a little off the beaten path. Somehow I recently came across this podcast called None Dare Call it Ordinary, a show with the tagline “A downright unsettling podcast.” This is a podcast that focuses on fringe beliefs and movements. They clearly put a great deal of research into every episode, and they are entertaining with lots of banter, energy, and back-and-forth. Here’s how they describe the show: “Hosts Dylan and Brent dig into the unusual, unorthodox, and downright unsettling beliefs found at the depths of the Internet and the heights of paranoia.”
Anyway, last year, they aired a remarkable seven episodes on the radical traditionalist movement: five on sedevacantism and two on “anti-sedevacantism.” In reality, the five part series on sedevacantism is the history of radical traditionalism, beginning with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, drifting into sedevacantism, and then branching out into the far fringe: Pope Michael, the Palmarian Catholic Church, and even (for premium subscribers only) an episode on the “Our Lady is God” movement (not a typo). The two episodes on “anti-sedevacantism” are basically an overview of the book True or False Pope? Refuting Sedevacantism and Other Modern Errors by John Salza and Robert Siscoe, which is a rebuttal of the sedevacantist argument from an SSPX perspective. (I’ve written in the past about how both movements are essentially two sides of the same coin.)
A lot of readers have asked about the origins and history of the radical traditionalist movement, and while we’ve addressed it in bits and pieces, Brent and Dylan do a great job of laying out the main players and disputes in this multi-decade saga of true believers who are “more Catholic than the pope.” Additionally, they do it from a secular perspective—I believe one of them is a lapsed Baptist and the other was raised nominally Catholic. I was very impressed at their ability to pick up and explain concepts like form, matter, sacramental validity, apostolic succession, and the four marks of the Church. Their pronunciation of some of the names and terminology isn’t always the greatest, but God bless them, they try. (Also note there is a little foul language in there during their banter.)
But I do recommend this as a fantastic primer for those of you who are confused by this whole “radtrad” thing. And, if you enjoy their podcast, consider supporting them and their work.
Episode 19: Sedevacantism Part 1 – Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre versus Vatican II
Episode 20: Sedevacantism Part 2 – The Society for Saint Pius X, the Ecône consecrations, and the Excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Episode 21: Sedevacantism Part 3 – The Society for Saint Pius V, the Consecrations of Archbishop Ngô Đình Thục, and the Sedeprivationism of Guérard des Lauriers
Episode 22: Sedevacantism Part 4 – Francis Schuckardt and the Tridentine Latin Rite Catholic Church
Episode 23: Sedevacantism Part 5 – The Siri Thesis, the Palmarian Catholic Church, and His Holiness Pope Michael
Episode 85: Anti-Sedevacantism Part 1 – The Attributes and Marks of the Catholic Church
Episode 86: Anti-Sedevacantism Part 2 – Can the Pope be a Heretic?
Image: Cathedral of the Palmarian Catholic Church, Palmar de Troya Spain, by AndreasK58 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53257388
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Mike Lewis is the founding managing editor of Where Peter Is. He and Jeannie Gaffigan co-host Field Hospital, a U.S. Catholic podcast.