Sunday, 3 February 2013

Highlight: CDF Mueller Plays Hardball Against "bad trads" as a Relevant Follow up to my SSPX/CCCB Post

Hello Everyone,

I was surveying my Blogger feed today, and came across this interesting article. A hat tip goes out to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does the Prayer Really Say, who caught onto this early:

The Prefect (a.k.a. the head honcho) of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, who deals with  essential matters to our Catholic Faith as a Papal Congregation that directly answers to our Holy Father, had been asked questions on some matters and covered them in an article given to a German Daily newspaper that covers Catholic issues. The original coverage article, featured in the Vatican Insider (a.k.a. is found here:

The reply highlights a few important points. Cardinal Mueller reveals to us, the reader:

- That generally there is an anti-Catholic attitude similar to the negative propaganda or hatred expressed towards Jews in Europe (did he mean World War II? because it is certainly feeling like we will soon become like them the way North America and Europe are going downhill.) He called the hate campaigns pogroms.

- That basically the people of Germany are very liberal and not-Catholic in their dialogue with bishops, wanting to dissent from Catholic Church teachings and want things like womynpriests, gay marriages, and married priests (though that one is a disciplinary issue in the Latin Church, which can be discussed and eradicated with a Papal pen stroke. It's not dogma/docrtine and happened in early Church history!). In essence they are not dialoging, they are selfish and want the Church to become like secular society.

- This big snippet is also mentioned at the end of the article: "Finally, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a clear message to the Lefebvrians: we presented them with a proposed doctrinal preamble but “we have received no response so far and we will not wait forever.”

In addition, I followed a rabbit hole through another link on my blog feed and came to a blog dealing with the Anglican Ordinate (which I do not cover on this blog). In this link here, it seems Muller is really hitting the Catholic specch/talk circuit as he gave an opening speech for the US Anglican Ordinate's symposium in Houston, Texas, USA. Looking through this, some interesting points caught my eye from this blogger:

- Communion with the Bishops’ Conference, with the local bishop and with the Holy See are “specifically enshrined” in the Apostolic Constitution. [This to me says: You guys cannot act outside the Magisterium and not under the local ordinary. You are not some independent Catholic group. This is in contrast to what the SSPX are doing.]
Similarly the clergy themselves are “called to maintain fraternal bonds” with other Catholic clergy. 
- It is natural for the Ordinariates to focus first and foremost on “unity on the macro level”, i.e. communion with the chair of Saint Peter.

These three are my particular favourites to highlight:
The Archbishop particularly took blogs to task, stating that they are a way of promoting what he called “unbridled, unreflected” comment and dissent. He stated that love must be the foundation of our work as bloggers.
The witness of men and women “joyfully living their faith” is so important.. [!!!!!!!]
He stressed again the importance of “winning the trust and confidence of the local Catholic community”.

When taken all together, once can see clearly the kind of role that Muller is taking has head of the CDF. He is carrying out the Pope's mandate as the "pope of Christian Unity" as Fr. Z dubs our Holy Father Benedict XVI. 

Furthermore, it is a good reflection/reverberation of the points I was making in my post about the SSPX and the CCCB response to the anti-Semitic comments from other voices of the EF community in Canada. While yes, our bishops certainly as a whole need to stand courageous as the Holy Father is against the wolves of our society and not back down and cave into Church-haters, we must not be so vicious as to tear them apart as "angry trads". 

Why does what Muller is saying have pertinence and connect to my prior post? 
1) They, as well as the CDF under Muller, are not stupid. They realize the stubborness and the spiritual damage that the SSPX and their adherents/supporters (who aren't innocently naieve victims) are doing to the Catholic faithful. They must WORK within the boundaries of the Magisterum and the Church, despite how wicked and cowardly or lukewarm the servants in the positions of power in the Church are acting, or perceived to be acting. The Vatican's patience is wearing this with regards to the SSPX, and soon, should they go down the road they are now, the Society may be deemed outside the Church and once that pronouncement is made, who knows what is going to happen to all those souls, especially those who get suckered into the Society based on aesthetics and a "pretty picture of what Catholicism should look like," who received TRUE, VALID, and LICIT Sacraments, of which those fake ones in the SSPX are unrepeatable or NULL AND VOID. 

The Anglican Ordinate is no different. They cannot, like the SSPX, act as a special interest group that can do whatever willy nilly and attack the Pope and the Church and those things which the faithful must adhere to. Considering it was set up by the Pope and is closely working with the Vatican, I doubt that there will be any problems for the most part from the general progress I am seeing on the blogosphere. 

2) Muller is clearly no stranger to the dark side of Traditional Catholicism in the form of the "angry trads", having been dealing with the SSPX. He clearly is aware of these bloggers that are practising Catholics spewing out vitrol in the Church, without solid research or basis (e.g. reading up on church teachings, canon law, etc. or just taking a real piss-pott attitude if they don't fit a "certain mold" of the blogger's liking). He clearly means those on the extreme, though sadly these tend to be the loudest mouthpieces on the Catholic Blogosphere (e.g. Michael Voris and his ChurchMilitantTV), drowning out the good voices who are solid/orthodox/EF/Traditional Catholics (e.g. Robert Barron's Word on Fire Ministry). 

Sadly these bloggers are the ones who are not reflecting the truths of Catholicism in its most beautiful forms, especially those of the Latin Mass. Like he says, we who partake in the Latin Mass, Ordinate, etc. should be blogging joyfully and full of charity. If those choose not to heed the Prefect`s words, and continue in that dark Trad mode,  (and there are examples all over the place on the net/blogosphere) it is these examples that will pose a negative attitude and an apathy/hatred to the emerging Ordinates or EF parishes/communities, and will be shunned by the majority of Catholics and clergy, who would otherwise be open, or at least willing to dialogue with the faithful/members of these communities. It`s bad enough at the moment that there still exists the old insults and a lingering ``Spirit of Vatican II`` mentality due to poor catechesis or liberal interests that attack the EF, but what these bloggers do will only further harden the hearts of these enemies and allow them to say ``Aha! I was right. You traddies are bad news!!!`` And young people like me DO NOT want to make those bloggers our best friends, be it on-line or in person, regardless of age or gender or status in the Church!

If only more of us took the road Muller is suggesting, then perhaps over time, there will be greater reception of the Angilcan Rite AND Latin Mass in the general Church, and while some people will still like the ol' Novus Ordo, those who would have been otherwise apathetic just might give the Angilcan Rite and Latin Mass a chance, and there you have it! The New Evangelization at work!!! Sometimes, it can even be as simple as 1 Latin Mass/Anglican Rite Mass to move the soul of an otherwise lukewarm Catholic back to true, active practice and love of their Faith, or perhaps a visiting pastor of a parish/bishop, and they might incorporate it into their parish/diocese, all because they experienced the Mass at is should be: Redeeming, Passionate, Sorrowful (in a proper way), and joyful! Not cold and Jansenistic. That includes their experience before and after attending the actual Mass.   

Therefore, I do hope that all of you who read this blog, and those involved in the EF via simple participation or Latin Mass serving, will realize that the Church IS getting it. However, those in certain positions of power are getting upset and losing patience with those who are "representing" the EF/Traditional Catholicism and this will only serve to stifle its growth and possibly even cause a backlash against us by those in higher power in the Church. In other words, we gotta show a ton more love folks. 

Muller ..... he's actually got it right. Fellow Catholic youth, let us be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and show the rest of the world, especially those other Catholics among us, what being solidly Catholic is truly like, without the angry traddie-ness.  

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian. 

P.S. I see people are still checking out my Starter Points posts as the most popular item. I do have drafts in progress. I hope to work again on some posts in a couple of days, and once they're done, release concurrently Part 4 of the part-by-part analysis of the Latin Mass, and also Starter Points III: Responses by an Altar Server at Mass (with before Mass and during Mass parts). It's slow, but don't worry! More altar serving stuff is on the way! Be patient. 


  1. WRT Robert Barron versus Michael Voris, they serve different constituents and we would be diminished if one type of ministry would disappear.

    Robert Barron tends to focus on the positive and ignore the negative. So much so that sometimes he goes over board and slips dangerously close to heresy (e.g. his video on hell essentially stated that believing in universalism was heresy but one could reasonably hope all were saved). This approach works best on Catholics who have drifted out of the faith for no good reason and only require being called back or friendly Protestants who are disillusioned with Protestantism and only need be invited into the Church. But his positive-only approach falls flat on reverts or potential reverts who left precisely because they were never taught the more challenging aspects of the faith or who weren't even taught the basics of the faith other than "I'm okay, you're okay. God loves us". Positive only Catholicism might give people a reason to live for the faith, but not to die for the faith.

    Michael Voris tends to focus on the harder aspects of the faith and is not afraid of calling people to challenge and live up to the faith. He will criticise as well as praise bishops when they follow Catholic teaching (e.g. he's done both with Cardinal Dolan) or been soft. And although he's occasionally gotten into a tustle with some archdiocese (e.g. the Archdiocese of Detroit which said they couldn't use the name Catholic) but ultimately he will submit even if he had as a case (e.g. the company is headquartered in another archdiocese which hasn't called for a name change) if it causes scandal (e.g. chainging the name from RealCatholicTV to ChurchMilitantTV).
    His approach works best on people who are stuck because of non-challenging Catholicism that downplays anything that might offend anyone. His approach is also appreciated by those inside and outside the Church (e.g. Protestants and Orthodox) that see the problems in the Church and only need to that it is not normal and will get fixed as we become more worthy of Christ and faithful to what he handed down through his Church. He also serves moderate/most bishops who are under enormous pressure from secularists and neo-Protestants within the Church. These moderates want to be faithful to their mission, but can't fight on their own and without backup, they will submit for the sake of peace. If however there is a strong voice on the other side, the moderate priest and bishop can simply throw up his hands and accept the status quo since "you can't please everyone".

  2. Anil Wang,

    That's actually an interesting analysis of the issues touched here. It didn't occur to me now how the evangelizers are targeting specific groups of the faithful or lukewarm/drifters/non-Catholic in and out of the Church to give their message to. Kind of reminds me of St. Paul's epistles to each specific community, touching on different issues.

    That being said, I will have to partially disagree with you. You seem to be in favour towards Mr. Voris. Unfortunately, Voris as a whole tends to be more right to the point of going over the top at times, and is certainly not a favourite to work with amongst clergy as you`ve stated in the Detroit example. In addition, he tends to get admirers from the more "angry trad" crowd, and has a few connections there, including in my (our?) diocese. There are pictures floating around the internet. Also from a personal standpoint, I used to be a daily watcher of Voris and his Vortex. However, over time I became angry at those who were not pre-Vatican II or didn`t like the EF and just thought the Church was full of rot. It took me spiritual counselling with one of my parish priests to shake him off mostly and now I only view his subject material in small doses on specific topics (e.g. a week devoted to feminism's attacks on the Catholic Church and poisoning its ministries and male confidence).

    I will say one thing though, and this should be for everyone viewing this blog, you have proven an excellent example of someone who is `trad` who does voice a concern in disagreement, but not an angry one. We are all entitled to civil discussion on matters (save Church doctrine and dogma) and I have seen much of your commentary since delving into the Catholic blogosphere on other blogs. You have provided here an example of how to dialogue or voice opinion/disagreement without the vitrol I mentioned. Were other traditional Catholic voices on the blogosphere to take after your example, there would be much less hate towards the EF, and a lot more agreement. EF people, take note.

  3. To each his own. As I've stated, not everyone is attracted to all ministries, and one man's meat is another man's poison. I know Mr. Voris would definitely turn off precisely the people who would be attracted to Father Robert Barron.

    Note, I left the Church before confirmation for a few decades and only returned because of Protestants taught me the basics of the faith, Anglican's taught me the value of Tradition, the Orthodox taught me the mysteries of the faith and the liturgy and Orthodox infighting and the fact that Catholicism includes both Eastern Catholics and an Anglican Ordinariate taught me that Catholicism is the one true faith. Given that, TLM isn't my first choice if I don't attend NO masses (which I do). Given that also, I see the need for true diversity and coexistence.

    That being said, the Vortex isn't the only thing Voris produces. Listen into his One True Faith series and look at the topics covered. Nearly all of them have nothing to do with TLM or angry Trads. Pick a "safe" topic that won't upset you and listen in to see what I mean.

    Also, listen in on his other talks. He frequently mentions that he goes to the NO and has no issue with properly calibrated NO masses. He also regularly states that Vatican II most certainly did *not* cause the mess in the Church today and that Vatican II has many beautiful documents. He places most of the blame on the rejection of Humane Vitae and the rot in Catholic Education before Vatican II (he regularly refers to his own campus Notra Dame as a prime example). Those two and their causes were the justification on everything that followed.

    Granted some of his words and videos have been used by Angry Trads to bolster their anger....But as with the anti-Catholics in Protestantism and the Orthodox, Angry Trads will use any stick to justify their anger, and if the stick brakes they have two. As with all things, we need to see the place of the parts (no matter how distinct) in the context of the whole. That is the definition of Catholicism, is it not?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hmmm, another interesting insight. Seems like what you experienced is exactly what Nostra Aetate from Vatican II means when it talks about other faiths (and also other sects/separated factions of Christianity implied) having elements of the truth. With each step in your journey you got close and closer to the fullness of the Truth and now here you are at it.

      True, Vortex isn't the only thing Voris produces, and yes there are other programs (albeit for that $10/month fee, though sometimes he gives us a free episode on YouTube or his site). To me, I feel he's like a prophet or messenger sent 20 years to early for his time to be accepted by the majority of people in the Church. I think when more dust has settled and as Fr. Z puts it "the biological solution" claims its souls back to Christ (or Hell if they have been judged by our Lord,) then we shall see more ready acceptance of those messengers like Voris, and more of those princes and priests in the Church acting as Arch+ Fulton Sheen did when he was alive.

      However my major deal is this 1) The company he tends to keep (e.g his fans/promoters/admirers/other traditional Catholics, etc.) contain a noticeable number of those who are more of the radical/ultra-trad crowd. From what I've witnessed for the most part, because he believes on not being a softie or "charitable", he doesn't try to discourage those fans or radicals who proclaim similar messages like himself either (unless there's a video you recall to mind where he tells the rad-trads to stop harming the EF). 2) His means and direction of his message can have a detrimental impact to someone's spirit like myself. I think for certain people it's the medicine they need, but for people like me it was candy: Good at first taste, but after consuming a fair amount, makes you sick to your stomach, fattens you up, and rots your teeth. Also, unguided by a spiritual counsellor or good faithful Catholic, they won't be able to have limits on their spirit and may fall off the narrow road alone. 3) The EF and traditional Catholicism has it bad enough in the Church with people judging us harshly and still influenced by poor catechesis/liberal lies and insults, etc. As I allude to in the original post, I would consider Mr. Voris one of these mouthpieces/voices for the EF/Traditional Catholicism who unintentionally, or intentionally, serve to reinforce the stereotype of the rad-trad, as he is one of the loudest and most public voices for the EF/Traditional Catholicism.

      So therefore Anil, I will say once again that you have voiced your opinions and your support for Michael's work, well, as I have as well in a proper, charitable manner contrary to those voices I allude to in my original posting. However, I do not want the the comments section to devolve into a pro/anti-Voris diatribe or rabbit hole to nothingness, so I'll say we should end this here.

      Thanks for coming over here Anil, and Pax Tibi Christi. And do keep supporting the Ordinate. They look like they are doing excellent work in the Church with a joyful spirit (both in liturgy and for the most part on-line) as Muller describes.