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Today I do a “feel good” post, one that should provide all my dear, loyal readers with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. The reason I am writing this post is due to a very despondent mindset that I have been noticing, one which exists inside the Catholic community, or to be more precise, that part of the community that is active on social media.
Before I get to the linked publication and the “good news” however, I would first like to propose a THEORY for why I believe this is so.
From what I can gather, many of the Faithful Catholics who are doing this great work of chronicling and explaining the current situation that exists inside the Sacred Vatican Walls on social media and in the wider blogo-sphere, appear to be rather new to Tradition. In other words, they have “converted” recently from the post-conciliar NUChurch.
Therefore, the problem with this mindset is most likely one of PERSPECTIVE.
By coming from the NUChurch, still a rather large institution, over to the numerically small Remnant of Catholics who have been fighting the neo-Modernists and now the post-Modernists for over 50 years, it appears to these new “Traditionalists”, aka Catholics, that “nothing is happening”, or worse yet, that it’s all falling apart.
I also notice observations about how few of us there in fact are. Hey, welcome to the RESISTANCE.
They also have this idea that since they have “seen” the light, it must follow that other Catholics, and especially the priests, bishops and cardinals in the wider church, especially those who are resisting the latest iteration of novelties, should have also “seen the light” to the same degree as they have, and therefore aren’t acting forcefully enough.
Could be true, but hard to say…
Now, my loyal readers know that I do not intend to be unduly critical, since it’s not in my nature. So if I offend anyone, I apologize in advance.
But I think that there are certain things now that need to be said.
So below, I will pen my counter argument to the above thought process, so as to provide a different persepective, and it is as follows:
The reference point of any new “Traditionalist” should be changed to that of the Remnant circa 1970, when overnight, as if by magic, there were NO (as in ZERO) TLM Masses offered to the general population publicly, anywhere. And if one was to be found, it was offered by what used to known back then as a “renegade” priest.
In 1970, the Society of St. Pius X had 7 priests, one bishop and a couple of buildings that they used for a seminary, in a Swiss university town.
For the general Catholic population, or rather that part that was lucky, the situation changed in 1984 when JPII “the great”, allowed for Indult Masses to be offered. But first permission needed to be secured from the local ordinary, and good luck finding a priest.
This situation was constant up until the later part of the 1980’s. If you were lucky enough to live in the US, and provided you lived in a big city, you could be one of the luck ones and actually found a TLM being offered “from time to time”, within 50 miles of where you lived.
That slowly started changing in the 1990’s, but the change was slow and limited. It was limited to usually one church in an inner city neighborhood, one that was completely abandoned due to “white flight”, and occupied by one priest who was still hanging on. In order to save the trouble of shutting down the parish, the local ordinary would allow that priest, one faithful to Tradition, to experiment and offer a Latin Mass. (I think the revitalization story of St. John Cantius in Chicago is a good representation of just this phenomenon.)
This slow process continued and started getting some legs only in the early 2000’s. The reason being, as best I can tell, due to the SSPX and the 1988 Consecrations. When Archbishop Lefebvre (Requescat in pace) consecrated the 4 SSPX bishops, a breakaway group formed and became the Fraternity of St. Peter. It came under the new church law, the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (MPED), which was created in order to form a split within the SSPX and destroy that organization. On an aside, sound familiar? But I digress… The purpose behind the MPED and the FSSP was in essence to erect Latin Mass churchs (1962 Missale Romanum) next to any new SSPX chapel that was beginning to spring up, mostly across the US and France. This was done with the intent to drain off the Faithful from the SSPX into the FSSP. And it is also suspected that if this strategy would have been successful, the ED community(ies) would have slowly been wound down into the NUChurch. It is for this reason that the FSSP still doesn’t have their own bishop, after one was promised them in 1988.
Needless to say, the real “God of surprises” then took matters into His hands, and once the Ecclesia Dei Commission was set up and started to spread, many diocesan and religious communities started asking for the Indult Mass also. This created an atmosphere whereby some of the responsible yet disheartened and despondent ordinaries, and non-mathematically challenged, allowed for these Indult Masses of be offered just to save some of their crumbling, disintegrating diocesan infrastructure. Think Detroit, which now has one of the most active TLM environments anywhere!
And then came the election of Benedict XVI. I will never forget the moment when it was learned that Cardinal Ratzinger has ascended to the Throne of St. Peter. It is as if a NEW SPRINGTIME had appeared from what seemed to be a never ending winter of NUChurch discontent.
This really gave us all a powerful boost at that time, and the election of Benedict XVI did not disappoint, as far as your humble blogger is concerned.
And then two years later came the Motu Proprio Summarum Pontificum. For those who do not remember what the lay of the land looked like at that point in time, the Traditional community looked like Nagasaki after the bomb. The Faithful began asking about TLM’s at their local parishes, but nobody was prepared. And I would say that after an initial 6 months to 1 year of excitement, reality dawned on us all.
And it is that reality, i.e. the one that the Catholic Church has to be rebuilt,… to use a famous Michael Davies quote: BRICK BY BRICK, that overcame the Catholic Faithful. And it was that realization, one that was even more devastating than the one in 1970 when no more TLM could be found, that was even more cruel on the psyche.
The reason it was more cruel was that up to then, the Faithful just focused on “their church” or their TLM community. They were focused on rebuilding that Remnant of the Church that they were familiar with. But in 2005 and 2006, when the Faithful looked around inside the wider Church and saw how devastated it was, and the task before them, it dawned on us all of just how massive the Restoration in fact needed to be.
So most of us returned to focus on our local churches, chapels or TLM communities to continue the work of rebuilding.
Over these last 10 years, the rebuilding has been nothing short of spectacular, provided the starting point of reference is 1970, 1988 and 2007.
One example of this rebuilding effort is St. John Cantius and the Canons that arose under the leadership of Fr. Frank Phillips. The Canons are now being invited to take over churches in other diocese. Now the Canons are not strictly Traditional (they do NO masses), which makes them less “toxic” to any entrenched “hippie sects” that may still exist in the taken over church. But one thing is for sure, the proper Catholic faith will be found at these churches post takeover.
The next and last milestone that I will mention here is that as of this year, there is a Traditional Latin Mass offered in ALL of the diocese in Poland. This is by far nothing short of a miracle, given that Poland is a country that is the heart of the JPII “sect”, a “sect” that was “personally offended” by the 1988 consecrations by Archbishop Lefebvre. Next, the Polish church transitioned into a “nationalist” oriented church after Vatican II, using the native language masses as a big “selling point”. On the other hand, it is a church where 40+% of the people still regularly go to mass, and 95% of the population has contact with the Catholic Faith at one point in their lives. Furthermore, it is the Polish church that is the most threatened by FrancisChurch just across the Oder River. The Polish hierarchy don’t want to go the way of the German Church and are realizing slowly that a return to Tradition is the ONLY OPTION. And it is the Polish Church that should be viewed as the bellweather for progress of the Restoration.
And speaking of Polish and churches, here is some eye candy from Fr. Z…
Ok, so that’s that…
Now to the linked post. It comes by way of Zero Hedge. (see here)
In that post, we can read about a PHENOMENON that has went through the cycle of 1) random observance, 2) consistent pattern and is now in the definable PROCESS phase of its existence in the wider population.
This PHENOMENON has to do with the latest generation, i.e. GENERATION Z becoming quite conservative. It works nicely with and helps explain to a large degree, the popularity of internet PHENOMENA like Jordan Peterson, Sterfan Molyneux, et al, which I have been regularly featuring on this blog.
I will leave off here for today, but please read the linked post. It dovetails very nicely with the parallel PHENOMENON of young Catholics being attracted to Tradition.
And I will return to this subject in a follow-up post…