Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Weigel doesn’t nuance his attack on “Traditionalist” Catholicism

November 29th, 2013, Promulgated by b a

Continuing in the series, but first some abbreviations.

  • CR = Counter Reformation
  • CD = Catechetical Devotional
  • BC = Baltimore Catechism
  • EC = Evangelical Catholicism
  • EG-PF = APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM (added PF for Pope Francis to distinguish from EC)

2) Weigel doesn’t nuance his attack on traditional Catholicism.

EG: “Traditionalist Catholicism imagines that modernity can be rolled back and that the old, culturally transmitted certainties can be restored.” p16

EG: “Catholic traditionalism is also an implausible, indeed impossible, model for living Catholicism. It denies the reality of the conditions under which the Gospel must be proclaimed in the twenty-first century – and thus renders itself evangelically sterile, sounding the retreat into bunkers and catacombs rather than issuing a call for witness and mission.” p17

EG: “Progressive Catholicism… and … traditionalist Catholicism… are variants of the same Counter-Reformation, rule-based, catechetical-devotional Catholicism. Like fossils in amber, both remain stuck within the Counter-Reformation model.” p17

This leaves an ignorant reader with the idea that all “traditionalists” are in the same boat. One of the posts in the series I had planned was going to be “Good Traditionalist / Bad Traditionalist” to sort out some of the stereotypes often associated with traditionalist Catholics. But I think I’ve already covered this several times. Instead of focusing on the problems with radtrads, I’d like to call out the important fact that many of the attacks against so-called “traditionalists” (in another post I’m going to address lumping Catholics into buckets like this) are straw men. A fundamental principle when referring to groups of people is to give the benefit of the doubt, but without properly nuancing traditional Catholicism, I fear many readers will be left with thoughts like, “You go to the Latin mass (although admiteddly he does throw a bone to latin-mass goers)? You must not like Pope Francis. Your book queue is filled with pre-conciliar writings? You must not embrace the vision of V2. You’re teaching your kids the Baltimore Catechism and find value in it yourself? You must think religion is purely formulaic. You think Protestantism really is as wrong as the Council of Trent stated it to be? You must be unable to relate to anyone outside of your mindset.” I’ll give the same disclaimer I’ve given in many of my comments – I’d probably someone who would be put in the traditionalist camp (in that I love the older books, happen to attend the latin mass because I don’t have to worry about 60s style innovation, and appreciate a disciplined approach to life), but I am not someone who knocks V2, the authentic reform of the liturgy, or the modern popes. If he’s talking about the other (bad) kind of traditionalist (someone who bad mouths popes, v2, is-holier-than-thou, etc) then his attacks are all well and good. (note: maybe my circle is too small, but I don’t know that I’ve ever met one of these “bad” types before). I won’t claim to be able to read Weigel’s mind, so I don’t know if he’s intentionally knocking the good kind of traditionalism or not, but either way he’s just flat wrong. (reminder: Catholicism is a religion of tradition). Here’s just 2 examples I’ve seen in the recent past that shows how wrong Weigel is:

rorate-caeli: An explosion of converts and priests! (during the reign of Pius XII)

rorate-caeli: FSSP statistics

Disclaimer: linking to Rorate Caeli doesn’t mean I endorse everything I read there. However, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as many people make it out to be.

And for those who will say that Pope Francis is saying the same things as Weigel, let’s look at what he actually says in EVANGELII GAUDIUM:

EG-PF: 95. This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes which appear opposed, yet all have the same pretence of “taking over the space of the Church”. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the concrete needs of the present time.

Note the key word “ostentatious” and also the qualifier “but”. Pope Francis is not knocking people who have enough respect for the liturgy to do their best to restore reverence to it. He is not knocking doctrine. He is knocking people who do these things (ostentatiously) without true Christian charity. His words are drastically different than Weigel’s.


21 Responses to “Weigel doesn’t nuance his attack on “Traditionalist” Catholicism”

  1. Gretchen says:

    Your post seems very much a defensive one. Traditional Catholics often allow the modernists to frame the argument, and thus are put in a position of weakness. To be forced to parse between ‘Radtrads’, “so-called traditionalists,” and the other various and assorted complaints put forth from modernists is to have lost whatever authority one had. One is stuck in a no-man’s land where one has to distance oneself from this and that kind of Catholic who happens to revere traditionalism, but isn’t quite up to snuff for uppity modernists. Why try to please modernists, even when they call themselves Catholic?

    None, not one, of those straw man arguments pertains to the goodness of the Catholic faith as lived for centuries before V2. So what if some Catholics complain about V2, or the Pope, or the NO Mass! What does that have to do with the truth and beauty of the Vetus Ordo Mass and other traditions within the Catholic Faith? This is a form of bigotry, for it condemns a large group of individuals with one broad brush (which is akin to stereo-typing women, or people of color, whole ethnicities, etc).

    For goodness’ sake, does not the world have ample evidence of modernist Catholics complaining about popes and doctrine and dogma? Why are they allowed a whole garden of ‘types’ of Catholics and ‘Catholic’ beliefs, but traditionalists are not?

    The modernists brilliantly divide and conquer tradition-minded Catholics by this tactic. There are some basic assumptions that I think many Catholics do not want to admit, chief among them is that V2 seems to have been the flash point for a modernist revolution within the Church.

    Fr. Gelineau, in “Demain la liturgie,” remarked in 1976, “The reform decided upon by the Second Vatican Council was the signal for the thaw…Entire structures have come crashing down. Make no mistake about it. To translate is not to say the same thing with other words. It is to change the form. If the form changes, the rite changes. If one element is changed, the totality is altered…it must be said, without mincing words, the Roman rite we used to know exists no more. It has been destroyed.” (From Open Letter to Confused Catholics, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre)

    Now, I suppose I will be metaphorically tarred and feathered for daring to quote from a book by Archbishop Lefebvre.

    If the traditional Catholic Faith is to be preserved, then traditional Catholics must know that there is a war going on, and not just in the heavenlies. A recent pope said the smoke of Satan had gotten into the Church. If one agrees with that statement, then one must be willing to vigorously oppose the enemy within the Church, as well as without.

    Letting the modernists frame the argument is a losing proposition. They do nothing but name call because that is all they have. The do not have truth on their side. They are, however, well down the road to winning the war, and one need only look at their local parish to see that. Time to change tactics.

  2. Ben Anderson says:

    So what if some Catholics complain about V2, or the Pope, or the NO Mass

    Because this is potentially a very serious sin and one I want to stay far away from.

  3. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Gretchen, your point about not letting the modernists frame the argument seems sound.

    My question for you is the same for George Weigel.

    Who are the modernists? Who is it that has been framing the argument and winning the war? Is it George Weigel?

    Who are the Traditional Catholics of whom you write allow the modernists (whom you do not name) to frame the argument?

    Please name the radtrads and what they believe so readers can decide whether your exhortation to not sparse between them and traditionalists should be heeded.

    Perhaps I am merely uninformed as to who is who and what is believed by all these parties. Or perhaps tragically I am very out of touch with blog knowledge. So please update me so that I can better understand all of these labels.

    Now while I am concerned about Mr. Weigel excluding Catechetical Devotional Counter-Reformation Catholics (of which Ben is self described) from his understanding of Evangelical Catholicism, I believe that Mr. Weigel needs to name and explain who the people he criticizes are and precisely why they are not relevant to his understanding of Evangelical Catholicism which he describes and prescribes as implementation of the Second Vatican Council II as interpreted by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

    Thank you.

  4. Gretchen says:

    Ben, you completely ignored every other point in my comment. Was there nothing of substance there? I do not know how to respond to the fear of sin you mentioned. Would you agree that there are many good and holy people who have critcized popes, councils, and the NO Mass without sinning? Church history is replete with saints who exposed erroneous points of view, including heresies and false teachings promulgated from those inside the Church. It seems as if your statement is designed to shut down dialogue out of anxiety.

    Dominick, here is the oath against modernism. I think it is quite clear. Now you can decide for yourself who is a modernist:


    Given by His Holiness Pope St. Pius X

    September 1, 1910.

    To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

    I N. firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (cf. Rom. 1:19-20), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical’ misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.

    Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

    Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way. I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .”

    I would say that George Weigel’s articles include elements of modernism, whether he understands it to be so or not. Modernism is endemic in our culture, our educational establishments, even our Church hierarchy. I am quite sure I have expressed modernist beliefs and viewpoints, which I hope and pray will be excised as I grow in grace and sanctification.

    What I pointed out in my previous comment was that modernists seek to divide and conquer traditional Catholics (for lack of a better term) through assigning name-tags such as Radtrads (who are they anyway besides being described as nasty, schismatic and so forth)? I believe many modernists, including those Catholics who would never describe or understand themselves as such, use these terms to describe anyone who steps out of line with their understanding of the Faith. People rightly understand that most of us have an aversion to being criticized, therefore, name calling is a potent tool to control and frame the argument without having to address truth.

    I am sure, Dominick, that you are not “tragically” out of touch with blogdom.

  5. Ben Anderson says:

    I’m not trying to shut down dialogue. Can you please provide an example of a Saint who criticized an ecumenical council? Maybe they exist – I don’t know.

    I’ve heard stories of Saints criticizing popes, but I honestly don’t know much about them. If you have info – please share.

    Also, I don’t know of any Saints who criticized an approved rite of the Church. Again, I have done very little research here, so maybe you have some.

    Your point about name calling and creating division is valid. Perhaps I was too careful in this post (as you say) not to be associated with certain types – I’m not sure. There is just so much ignorance and so much sin which leds to so much infighting – my apologies if I unnecessarily added to it. This is surely a weird Catholic world we are currently living in.

  6. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Ever get the feeling you’re in over your head?

    I am getting that feeling.

    The Oath quoted above is new to me.
    While I have no problem at all with any of its
    content, it would be interesting to know whether
    Popes since Saint Pius X have required public recitation
    of the same.

    Once I surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and
    His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
    I realized the reliable, genuine and authentic
    authority who teaches, sanctifies and governs
    in Christ’s Name is accessible.

    Is this conversation beginning to call into question
    a Catholic’s sense of security that the Church can
    be reliably trusted because of all the different
    voices claiming orthodoxy?

    I refuse to let that happen no matter
    how difficult it is becoming for me to keep up
    with the background, knowledge and understanding
    reflected in various comments posted.

    I trust Christ the head of the Catholic Church.
    I still trust the Holy Spirit to guide
    us into the evangelical mission Vatican II

    Frankly, no one has offered any substantive
    argument that evangelical catholicism does not in fact
    best represent the interpretation and implementation of the Second
    Vatican Council just as the pontificates of John Paul II,
    Benedict XVI, and His Holiness Pope Francis
    have demonstrated and is demonstrating.

    Lastly, I refuse to be anxious that I or other Catholics
    (who seek to obey the Son of God our Savior
    in the ways that the last three popes have exhorted)
    are perhaps espousing modernist beliefs whether
    understood to be such or not understood to be

    Lastly, to you, Ben, our beloved brother who courageously
    has been fighting the good fight: you have no need
    to apologize. Mr. Weigel offended you. Let us
    give him the opportunity to explain himself
    and make peace with that portion of Christ’s Mystical
    Body whom he asserts has no place in carrying out
    the Second Vatican Council’s evangelical mission.

    By the way, am I a radtrad or a traditionalist
    with the credentials to be labeled as such?

  7. Gretchen says:

    Ben, let us be clear. I did not say a “saint” criticized V2. I said “good and holy people” have criticized popes, councils and the NO Mass. There is abundant documentation throughout history of such examples. Some were right, some were wrong. Just so. Right or wrong, they were and are good and holy people who differed with the Church hierarchy. I was not aware that the mere act of publicly differing with Church leaders was a grave sin, or even a venial sin. To make it appear so is to definitively suppress free speech for Catholics who desire to be faithful and obedient, of which I count myself.

    How many examples would you like of “saints” who criticized popes? Having read about them only in passing (Saints Paul, Theresa of Avila and Francis come to mind) as this was not a special interest, I have not compiled any lists. However, if you feel that would further the conversation I will do some research and post later on it. Considering that Cleansing Fire has been a much-needed forum for exposing and criticizing the past reign of Bishop Clark with its manifold assaults on the traditional Faith, I am surprised that this is an issue.

    The NO Mass is an approved rite of the Church. Does that mean it is perfect and could not be improved? Or is it the priests who continually modify it the problem? How has almost universal implementation of the NO Mass blessed the Faith and the Faithful? Has it hindered the Faith in any way? Since the Vetus Ordo is also an approved rite of the Church, why has it been suppressed? If it has always been an approved rite, why was Summorum Pontificum needed to free it from suppression? Why is such a rite, known to have blessed and furthered the Faith for centuries, been forsaken? Why are those who desire the Vetus Ordo routinely villified and blocked from having it said?

    Isn’t it much more important to be discussing questions like that, rather than to be painted into a corner over who had the audacity to criticize a pope or a pastoral council? If the criticisms have validity, then shouldn’t they be addressed?

    Our mystical Holy Mother Church is perfect, but the hierarchy is not. They are men. They make mistakes, become corrupt, promulgate false ideas, become enamored of the world and so on. Do I need to mention the sexual abuse scandal? The fallen human element of the Church is not the same as the mystical Body of Christ.

    I heard a wonderful homily on Sunday. The priest said that it would be foolish to jump ship just because those in the wheelhouse were engaged in a fist fight. A humorous analogy that hits the core of the issue. We remain faithful Catholics because our faith is not anchored in those in the wheelhouse. It is anchored in the One, True Church, its Tradition and magisterium, which is predicated on Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

    One more thing. I may be quite wrong, and if so, pray that God will set me straight, but I can’t imagine that Jesus would disassociate himself from the “certain types” you mention. After all, he was quite fond of those who were zealous for the law, one of which was an apostle (St. Simon the Zealot, Unfortunately, there has been so much calumny and sinful detraction about others that unless one investigates for oneself, one is likely to believe the seemingly endless reports and whispering campaigns.

  8. Gretchen says:

    Dominick, a click of the mouse will tell you that Paul VI rescinded that oath in 1967. Now that would be an interesting rabbit hole to follow.

    Glad to hear you are comfortable in your faith.

  9. Rich Leonardi says:

    The problem with Pope Francis’s writing style, as exemplified in EG 95, is that it is both intemperate (“ostentatious preoccupation”) and non-specific (“some people”) — and therefore easily manipulated by people with agendas. To date he’s directed his fire against economic conservatives and doctrinal and liturgical traditionalists. Even assuming a moral equivalence between them and their left-wing opposites, the influence of the former over the affairs of the Church pales in comparison.

  10. Ben Anderson says:

    Thanks for your input, Gretchen. There is much to consider here. I haven’t worked this all out myself so I don’t really have an initial response, but promise to spend time considering. If I determine that I’ve thrown some of my friends under the bus unnecessarily, I will recant. You are correct that perhaps I was too concerned in this post as to how Weigel fans might interpret it vs how traditionalists might interpret it.

  11. annonymouse says:

    First, to Rich Leonardi – spot on. All sorts of people are cherry-picking the Holy Father’s exhortation to suit their own agendas. E.J. Dionne does precisely that in his Washington Post piece today.

    But my main point is this – I think this entire thread is indicative of precisely the mindset that Weigel thinks the Evangelical Church needs to transcend. He is envisioning a Church (and perhaps this is a fairy tale) in which we put aside labels and get on to the very real mission of making disciples of the whole world.

  12. Ben Anderson says:

    I think this entire thread is indicative of precisely the mindset that Weigel thinks the Evangelical Church needs to transcend.

    Indeed this is the problem he is trying to address. And it is a real problem.

    He is envisioning a Church (and perhaps this is a fairy tale) in which we put aside labels and get on to the very real mission of making disciples of the whole world.

    You’re joking, right? He accomplishes this by writing a book titled with his new label and denigrating others by labeling them? What Weigel says is, “everyone get on board with my (neocon) vision and if you don’t agree with it, then you are a problem weighing us down.”

  13. Rich Leonardi says:

    My $.02 on Weigel. He had a close personal relationship with John Paul II and a less-close, but still close-enough relationship with Benedict. Because of that he could offer unique, valuable insights into their pontificates. With Francis, he’s just another commentator weighing in on what he sees from afar, and so his perspective — and judgment — is colored by his personal biases and predilections. He has needlessly picked a fight with “traditionalists,” a broad enough category to include everyone from sedevacantists to the guy in the next pew who wished Fr. Bill threw in an Agnus Dei every now and then. And again, we have a pope doing much the same thing. So distracting and needless.

  14. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Rather than throwing anyone under the bus
    (Ben’s friends, Weigel fans, traditionalists)
    let’s consider how we can pray and work for
    both unity and each other’s sanctification.

    Discuss, argue and dispute as circumstances
    demand, yet strive to win souls rather than arguments.

    Once again, it seems to have been unnecessary
    for Mr. Weigel to denigrate, marginalize and exclude
    “traditionalists” from the evangelical missionary
    intention of the Second Vatican Council.

    Our controversial author needs to address this
    Dec. 5.

    Evangelical Catholicism is not a new label.
    For 28 years I have attempted to be a faithful
    evangelical Catholic according to the Vatican II
    documents. Weigel’s book affirms and encourages
    hope in the Gospel and Catholic faith, identity
    and mission in that Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    What possibly can be wrong or misleading about
    describing and prescribing “Gospel Catholicism”?
    Aren’t we “Gospel Catholics”?

    Gospel is Evangelical. Evangelical is Gospel
    and CATHOLIC.

    ” With Francis, he’s just another commentator weighing in on what he sees from afar, and so his perspective — and judgment — is colored by his personal biases and predilections.”

    No, Sir. A year before he wrote this controversial
    book, Weigel visited and spoke with the former
    Cardinal Archbishop Bergoglio. Of what did they speak?
    The evangelical missionary appreciation of Vatican 2
    as understood and taught by the Latin American and
    Caribbean Bishops who met in 2007 at Aparecida.

    “He has needlessly picked a fight with “traditionalists,”
    Apparently so; Dec. 5 Rochester traditionalists
    give him an opportunity to explain himself and make

    “And again, we have a pope doing much the same thing.
    So distracting and needless.”‘
    Excuse me, Who did you say you are, Sir?

    Let’s be open to the Holy Spirit and trust Christ’s
    Vicar knows where God is leading His Church.

    “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say Rejoice.”

  15. BGP says:

    I haven’t read the book so I am probably speaking out of order here but… I have the impression from what I’ve read on this blog and elsewhere that Mr. Weigel doesn’t get Traditional(ist) Catholicism. Most trads aren’t trying to turn back clocks, we’re (I almost defiantly qualify as one) trying to survive in a militant secular age, in a Church where we are often treated with contempt simply for believing and practicing, what the Church has always believed and has practiced for centuries. People climb into foxholes when their being shot at.

    I stopped following Weigel years ago when 2 things became apparent to me
    1. He is a NeoCon and views the faith through a Neoconservitive lens.
    2. He is/was an obsessive (in an unhealthy excessive groupie sort of way) fan of JPII. After Benedict became Pope virtually everything he had to say about him was related to JP.

    As to the string of comments, lately I’ve been bothered by a certain distorted understanding of authority in the church held to by the majority of ‘conservatives’. Legitimate authority has limits, and to fix problems one must diagnose them.

  16. Gretchen says:

    Ben, you are my favorite writer here at CF. As a fellow convert, I appreciate your insights very much, even if I don’t always agree with them (I think I agree about 95% of the time). However, what I am most grateful for is the Christian humility you exhibit. It is an example for me. I really look forward to upcoming posts regarding Weigel’s visit to Rochester. Wish I could be there!

  17. annonymouse says:

    Rich – just to clarify, Weigel’s book predates Francis’ pontificate. It is not a reaction to, or colored in any way, by Francis. It was published in late 2012 or very early 2013.

    I hope to be able to be at Weigel’s talk just to hear his take on Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, and I am looking forward to the CF take on it. I have some real issues with Francis’ understanding of economics and human nature.

  18. Nerina says:

    I think this is a very good thread – even when people clearly have different views, I don’t see any rhetorical bombs being thrown here.

    I identify strongly with BGP. I can confidently say I am a traditional Catholic who yearns not for a nostalgic church I never knew (my parents didn’t take us to church), but rather for a certain level of reverence in the Liturgy which I have found best expressed in the TLM (I’m not saying it can’t be done in the NO, but I haven’t experienced it often). If preferring the TLM makes me a “traditionalist” who wants to “return to the catacombs” then pronounce me guilty.


    People climb into foxholes when their(sic) being shot at.

    Great line. I’m using that.

    Mouse, I look forward to hearing what you think about George Weigel and the Holy Father’s recent AE. While I believe we differ in our preferences regarding the liturgy, I think I share many of your theological and possibly political views.

  19. BGP says:

    Oh right “They’re” not their I don’t see an edit option. typing faster than thinking again.

  20. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    George Weigel does know Jorge Mario Bergoglio; knows him, spoke with him and understands how well Our Holy Father Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, is promoting holiness for the sake of mission as intended by the Second Vatican Council and officially interpreted by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

    {One last thought before I offer a link to Weigel’s most recent article since publication of EVANGELII GAUDIUM: a certain Ryan on Father Z’s blog suggested that Pope Francis’s words, like those of Jesus himself, are intended for those who most need to hear them.}

    “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say REJOICE.”

  21. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    A preacher once asserted the Church is not about maintenance; not about saving itself.
    The Church is about mission; about losing oneself and giving oneself for the salvation of all.

    Can we hear this same message in what Pope Francis is writing, saying and doing?

    George Weigel puts it this way: “Pope Francis is a revolutionary. The revolution he proposes, however, is not a matter of economic or political prescription, but a revolution in the self-understanding of the Catholic Church: a re-energizing return to the pentecostal fervor and evangelical passion from which the church was born two millennia ago, and a summons to mission that accelerates the great historical transition from institutional-maintenance Catholicism to the Church of the New Evangelization.”

    No matter what labels we use to describe ourselves, let us hear and heed the exhortation offered by the two mechanics about whom DanielKane has written:


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