Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Catholic Blogs morphing into Novus Ordo Watch

Or Seditious Vaticanistas.

I first ran into this type of negative, suspicious, conspiratorial attitude years ago in Boston, around the time the Bayside 'apparitions' were being foisted upon naive Catholics.  The idea that Bl. Pope Paul VI had been replaced by an impostor was circulated at the same time - how else to explain the crisis in the Church?  I ran into similar followers of false mystics and bogus apparitions in Italy as well.  San Damiano specifically, and Mama Rosa, the visionary.  The followers were convinced the new Mass was corrupt, many in the hierarchy were Satanist, the true Pope a prisoner, and so on.  They stared at the sun to watch it 'dance' and many traveled from shrine to shrine following purported apparitions.  I always kept a distance and moved on from these types, as well as the cults surrounding even 'approved' apparitions with their stories of impostor Sr. Lucias and such.

It wasn't until the turn of the century did I find these same types once again.  When I began using the Internet regularly and later began blogging, I came face to face with the same phenomena - traditionalists and rad-trads mostly.  Now it seems to have reached epidemic levels - this conspiratorial attitude; under the influence of sedevacantism, the Novus Ordo Watch mentality seems to have swept the Catholic blogosphere.  "Devout Catholics" are saying and writing things I never ever expected to hear from people who claim to be the faithful remnant of true believers.

I'm actually used to it however.  I've mentioned growing up in a household that was hostile to the faith and Catholic teaching, an attitude clearly attributed to divorce and remarriage, alcoholism and poverty.  Even in Catholic school I was an outsider because of my 'bad' family.  My mother remarried to a non-Catholic dad - with little hope for salvation - no salvation outside the Church, and so on.  I would never be able to be a priest with impediments like that.  I was told my piety was an escape from reality by pastors and nuns.  My parents instilled in me how much of a hypocrite I am, and siblings made fun of me playing monk and priest.

Even after my conversion I wasn't educated enough - no theology degree and so on - too dumb to know better.  My piety was deemed pre-Vatican II.  In monastic life - my devotion to the Sacred Heart was criticized and so on.  This is no lament or complaint, whatsoever - these were the experiences which strengthened, deepened and stabilized my faith - even when I struggled with sin.  Even when I was told to accept my disordered inclination as a gift...

Therefore I'm accustomed to the contradictions devout, faithful Catholics slap peoples faces with - I'm just surprised it is so commonplace these days - that there are so many 'authorities' outside the hierarchy, condemning the Pope and the Magisterium.  (Not a few of these people perhaps a bit unhinged.)

It seems to me sedevacantism is spreading like a cancer under the guise of faithful resistance and dissent.  When Christ returns, will he find any faith?  In the Gospel, the Lord warns that even the elect will be lead astray - if that were possible.  Alas.

Here is a prayer that always got me through:
My God, I’m so persuaded that You watch over all who hope in You and nothing can be lacking to those who await from You all things, that I have determined to live from now on without any concern, letting go and giving You all of my anxieties. I will sleep and rest in peace because You, O Lord, and only You, have secured my hope. 
Men can deprive me of possessions and reputation; illnesses can take away my strength and means to serve You; I myself can lose Your grace because of sin; but I will not lose my hope; I will conserve it until the last instant of my life and all the efforts from demons trying to take it away from me will be useless. I will sleep and rest in peace.

May others expect happiness in their richness and talents; some may lean on the innocence of their lives, or the rigor of their penitence, or above all on the amount of their good works, or the fervor of their prayers. As for myself Lord, all my confidence is my confidence itself. Because You Lord, only You have secured my hope. - Saint Claude de la Colombiere


  1. There are some wacky people like you describe but surely the biggest threat the Church faces is not some ultra reactionaries but a much larger movement that seeks to conform the Church to the worst aspects of the spirit of the age, of the worldliness of modern life. Just saw that someone declared herself a Roman Catholic priest in Kansas City while the media (falsely) promotes things like Pope Francis saying pets are going to Heaven or atheists can remain atheists and be saved. Just pushing things that the Holy Father never said but which fit in perfectly with the zeitgeist. Some fusty old SSPX or sede vacantists seem almost quaint in their vitriol.

  2. It's becoming like TMZ out here. Gossip, hearsay, insinuations, a rush to be the "first" to blog, opinionated, disrespectful. All the things the faith isn't.

  3. François Varillon, S.J., wrote in The Humility of God: "God reveals what he is through what he does. His design for man, fulfilled in Jesus Christ, reveals his intimate being. One cannot separate act and being in him. The Incarnation is an act of humility because God is a being of humility. 'To have seen me is to have seen the Father,' says Jesus." If we would be like Christ--and that is the point, isn't it?--we must be humble. St. Claude's prayer is a beautiful expression of that. There is very little humility in the weirdness you describe.

  4. It is your piety that is the gift; saving you throughout your life, a tool used to help save the rest of us.

  5. >"Devout Catholics" are saying and writing things I never ever expected to hear from people who claim to be the faithful remnant of true believers.<


    See here:






    In that one from only 7 months ago, you said "There are much bigger sins people." Bigger sins that what? Than those that we shouldn't talk about all the time, and people obsess over?

    How is it that this topic was the butt of a joke before and now it's an article of the faith?

    This is the problem with having one's faith be entirely defined by the sensibility of the current pope.
    I actually admire you, based on what you've written here and elsewhere, for holding to the Faith. I mean it. What I don't admire is the papering over of confusion and questions so obvious that even a Cardinal George is scratching his head. He's got a theology degree or two and is no dummy.

    I'm not sure it's even worth responding anymore to this type of thing. Both sides believe the other is ignorant, good will aside. Both sides wonder if there will be any faith when Christ comes.

    But your side wonders that because they see confusion from Catholics and skepticism towards Francis as apostasy while my side wonders that because they see a separation between the Faith and what is being proposed as the way of 'mercy', for one thing, by Francis and others. Both sides fear apostasy, but from a very different angle.

    1. Now I'm scared. This is what will happen at the last judgement - all my contradictory posts will be brought up for all to see.

      There seems to be a lot of panic over this encyclical which has neither been leaked or released yet. We also can take it or leave it - no new commandments or disciplines, or even doctrines will be set forth in the encyclical. Not to worry. It's a very Jewish thing to say - not to worry - and it is full of wisdom.

      Don't think about it. That works too.

      I'm not being dismissive or sarcastic either.

      God bless you and keep you and give you peace.

    2. "Now I'm scared. This is what will happen at the last judgement - all my contradictory posts will be brought up for all to see."

      If your lucky Terry, I will be in front of you in line...that should give you enough time to scrub your posts, meet with lawyers, come up with a tap dance routine to distract...especially if St. Peter focuses on the late 80's early 90's..."Im sorry I don't recall that St. Peter..are you sure it wasn't someone else, I have a very common face...."

    3. LOL! That's a deal.

  6. At the very least, it would helpful if both sides understood the other better. This has always been my problem with your side, probably from the very beginning with Francis. Your side just, it seems, never wanted to hear it. Couldn't stand the thought of it, that something might be amiss, that our world of trusting nearly every sensibility of a Pope Benedict of JPII might have to be suspended a bit due to some of the confusion that was erupting. Or, they denied there was any confusion at all or that you're a sinner for feeling that way.

    My guess is that, in most cases, such people who were scandalized by Francis skeptics were projecting their own fears and insecurities onto the situation. Things were more complex than their way of practicing the faith had previously necessitated. So instead of trying to incorporate the confusion into their faith in a meaningful and coherent way, they told others they can't be confused or they were wrong for seeing anything wrong.

    Perhaps we should not be confused at all. But the fact is, if you want to "meet people where they are", people truly are confused. That's the sad thing. People are genuinely having a struggle. Whether you personally have that struggle or not, or cannot understand it, it remains a struggle for some.

    Yet, in a reverse Good Will Hunting moment, many were told: "It's all your fault."

    So, it seems, in a way, some Catholics are getting a taste of what you got years ago. They, in genuine ignorance over how to make sense of Francis and all that has happened in two years, were blamed or told to change, to deny the reality as it appeared to them. They were accused of being apostates and shamed for experiencing confusion and cognitive dissonance.

    And so much so, I think, because the accusers themselves could not come to terms with the same confusion they experienced on some level in their souls, intuitively, that they had to either deny it or blame those for voicing it, having no other response on hand for the phenomenon of the confusion.

    That's been the experience of the "faithful and devout" Catholic from our side for close to two years.

    I can only say, in parting, that I am sincerely sorry for my own mishandling of so many situations in that time. I often reacted rashly and out of my own fears (whether they were founded on the truth or not I still don't know for sure). I often got into confrontations that were probably futile. I insulted and mocked in my own way and still do. I understand it's a way of dealing with things when things cannot be dealt with sanely and rightly. It's not right - but I think that's what it is still.

    Perhaps the saddest part, at least for me, is that this confusion still reigns. To see upsetment even at a National Catholic Register, to see so many Catholics sensing that something is wrong, and not knowing how to make sense of it - it mirrors my own struggle. I never thought it would even be possible to experience something like this. Such was my own misplaced, I think, consent to following the pope's every breath.

    It has left something of a void. Ironically, the prayer you quote here is one that is close to my own heart. How else does one deal with a situation that is utterly at a crossroads with reality and one's own sensibilities, or with a man who is supposed to be the guardian of the Faith and has seemingly undermined it for so many? I guess to abandon one's self to God and to hope that God knows that at least such a person is trying and wants Him and the truth, that God knows His heart and will understand the difficulty he has.

    Truly, there are no answers I have beyond that right now.

    1. Nothing with "sides" will ever bring you peace, even if you are morally certain you're on the correct "side." Eventually, we all need to get to peace. Unrest is unsustainable. So, you can get rid of the thing or you can get rid of the sides. When the thing is the Church, I hope the answer is clear.

    2. Amen to that, Joshua. I am no scholar of our theology but I do read the writings of the Church Fathers and the Popes and there is peace in that. The words of the Bible tell us constantly to be a peace. So, I enjoy the occasional reads I have here and try to keep it simple at all times. It's much less confusing and frees me to focus on Jesus' message . . . to LOVE.

  7. I barely know any more what some kvetch about. Gone are my regular rounds every morning, in part tired of the pot shots on the Pope, digs at Catholics who don't fit one mould or another, etc.,

    There's a certain peacefulness that comes from not watching people the way I had before.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.