The false binary between progressive accommodators and “rad trad” restorationists

Many formerly conservative Catholics have been red-pilled by the current papacy, which has, sadly, led to extreme and wrong positions about Vatican II and the Church at large.

Pope Francis meets with the editors of 10 European Jesuit magazines and Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the Jesuits, May 19, 2022, in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Much ink has been spilled on the recent comments by the Holy Father concerning his assertion that the Second Vatican Council has been “gagged” by “restorationists”. Pope Francis specifically mentioned the United States as home to many such restorationists. This interview, published in La Civiltà Cattolica, was with editors of European Jesuit journals of culture, so it was no mere “off the cuff” collection of remarks. It was a Jesuit Pope speaking to fellow Jesuits in a scheduled event about one of the burning issues of the day—namely, the ongoing retrieval and application of Vatican II.

Therefore, I think his comments deserve careful scrutiny both as to their exact meaning and as to what they might portend in the way of “policy” decisions.

It is tempting to assume there is a specific group of American Catholics the Holy Father has in mind when he uses the term “restorers” and that this group is what many refer to these days as the “radical traditionalists” (or “rad trads”). And if that is who he has in mind, then he is indeed correct and is not attacking a straw man. Because such groups do indeed exist and they are increasingly vocal on social media about their rejection of Vatican II as a failed pastoral Council that should now be seen as a gigantic mistake. And, this thinking goes, since Vatican II was a mistake, we should just quietly set it aside as the quaint and naïve relic of a post-war, Pollyanna ecclesial optimism about the goodness of bourgeois Liberal culture.

Furthermore, included in their bestiary of the monstrous fruits of the Council are: the deep Masonic perfidies of the liturgical reform, the crypto-heresy of all post-conciliar popes (for some of them even Pius XII was “squishy”), religious freedom (a dangerous concession to religious error), ecumenism (the denial of Catholicism as the true Church), interreligious dialogue (religious relativism as we saw with Pope John Paul II at Assisi), and finally, a full throated condemnation of Pope Francis as a heretic or even, some assert, an anti-pope who is the head of the false “Vatican II Church”.

That is indeed quite a list of grievances—grievances I categorically reject without qualification. And it is a list filled with intellectually lazy and imprecise conflations of post-conciliar theological distortions with the conciliar project and its texts as such. But it is an intellectual laziness, I think, born not of a more generalized lassitude toward deep thinking, but rather of a kind of ecclesial and theological exhaustion on a personal level.

Many of the people who now call themselves traditionalists and who harbor some or all of the positions outlined above were people who a mere ten years ago would have been content with being called “conservative JPII Catholics”; they harbored no such deep resentments toward the Council and were quite adept at making the proper distinctions between the Council as such and the often silly adaptations that came after. They understood the need for ecclesial obedience and cohesion in the face of an increasingly hostile culture and found in Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI great figures of cultural resistance and stalwart defenders of orthodoxy. Some of them were active in the “reform of the reform” of the liturgy and were not the implacable enemies of the Mass of Paul VI they later became. The Lefebvre folks existed but were an extreme and marginalized minority and their “soft schism” was rejected by almost all conservative Catholics as a dead end. These conservative Catholics understood that there were still deep pathologies in the Church and much more work needed to be done, but there was confidence in the authority of Rome, that the center would hold and was holding, and that the Church would survive the centrifugal forces threatening to rip her apart so long as the Rock of Peter held firm.

What happened?

Pope Francis is what happened. And those formerly conservative Catholics have been red-pilled by the current papacy, reacting against it in often emotional and visceral ways. “Red-pilled” is the buzzword people use these days for when one’s mind is changed almost overnight by some sort of black swan event. After decades of fighting and struggling within the Church for a return to ecclesial sanity, and after decades of fighting against the deeply antagonistic currents of modern culture, the rise of a Pope who not only didn’t have their backs in those struggles but who seemed to go out of his way to scold them for their efforts as “rigid pharisees” (and who promoted the worst cultural quislings to high ecclesial office) was the final straw. The center had given way, it no longer holds, and the barque of Peter had raised its sails and tacked with the cultural wind rather than against it.

And so the long-suffering conservative Catholics simply said, out of exhaustion, “Basta!” and threw in the towel. “If this is Vatican II”, they said, “then we want no part of it. A pox on all of it!”

The irony is that the very radical traditionalists the Pope clearly dislikes are of his own making. He is the one who has radicalized them. They would not exist in the numbers that they do if he had not become an enigmatic provocation rather than a clarifying unifier. I am all in favor of a prophetic and brave Pope who does not mind upsetting the status quo applecart of settled conventions in order to stir the pot and get the blood flowing. I am, after all, a Catholic Worker. And I am no friend of the “system” of modernity either inside or outside of the Church. And if that is what this Pope is trying to do, then I gladly stand aside, bow, and wish him well as he passes by.

But I do not think that is what he is up to. Further, I think he bears responsibility for the rise of the very traditionalists he helped to create and who he now laments.

Some might say that all of this is a bit of a caricature of the current Pontiff. And I suspect it might be in part, but only in part. Because somewhere imbedded in the caricature is the truth, and the truth is that this is a Pope who is no friend to conservative, orthodox American Catholics.

Which leads to the further question: Did Pope Francis, in his comments about restorationists in the American Church, have in view more than that very small but vocal minority of “rad trads”? One wonders if he did not also have in mind, even if in a vague and generalized manner, the large swaths of American Catholics who were simply garden variety “conservatives” who admired the kind of Catholicism represented by journals such First Things, Communio, The Thomist, and publishing houses like Ignatius Press, as well as centers of intellectual discourse including the John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC.

There is more than a little evidence this is the case. Far from merely dissing the radical traditionalists, this pope has gone out of his way to also snub and bypass bishops of a more conservative bent in favor of prelates including Cupich, Tobin, Gregory, and McElroy. In the same interview with the Jesuit editors, the Pope also made the claim that reality is superior to ideas. And that ideas are all well and good, but one can only make progress in the spiritual life when one attends to a process of discernment via an encounter with reality. He obviously means more here than a simple dichotomy between pragmatism and idealism, and is appealing to deep Ignatian principles of discernment. But whatever his broader meaning in these words, I think it is safe to conclude the Holy Father thinks prelates like the above are better at discerning reality—and what our pastoral response to reality should be—than are prelates such as Cordileone, Gomez, Barron, or, formerly, Chaput. It really is impossible to see it otherwise.

This should tell us something. I lived through the post-conciliar silly season. And my analysis of that era is that a well-organized group of academics and clerics co-opted the Council in order to further their own agenda of deep theological rupture with the tradition. This is what Pope Benedict called the “Council of the media” rather than the real Council of the fathers and the texts they actually produced. I know this is an old story and a bit shopworn by now; nevertheless, I think it is largely accurate and still important.

Along these lines, Pope Francis speaks of those forces in the Church today who are “gagging” the Council. And he focuses on restorationists as the main culprits. But from where I sit, and based on my own lived experience of the post-conciliar era, the primary “gaggers” of the Council were those progressives who derailed the Council by sidelining the ressourcement thinkers who animated it (Henri de Lubac, Louis Bouyer, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Jacques Maritain, Joseph Ratzinger, Jean Danielou, et al) and replaced their powerful theology of a reinvigorated retrieval of Scripture and the Fathers with their own ersatz accommodationism to the spirit of the Zeitgeist.

And I see a recrudescence of this same theological superficiality in the American episcopal appointments of the current pontificate. This is not history repeating itself in a literal way, but let’s just say I think the scent of 1966-1978 can be detected in the air. Cardinal Cupich bans ad orientem worship in Chicago in all Masses, but allows for the Cirque du Soleil liturgies at Fr. Pfleger’s parish to continue on unabated and unopposed. In that same diocese, a priest can wear rainbow vestments celebrating and promoting a form of sexuality opposed to Church teaching. But a priest dare not wear Fiddleback lest one be accused of being a restorationist and getting shipped off for “counseling”. On and on it goes. We have seen this before; we had hoped it was a thing of the past. But it apparently isn’t.

For me, it is déjà vu all over again: the false binary between progressive, cultural accommodators and rad trad restorationists. They have both “gagged” the Council. And, sadly, it is the great ressourcement project of the Council, and of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, that is the victim. If Pope Francis wants to “ungag” the Council, I believe that he needs to rethink his pastoral strategy of snubbing ressourcement prelates in favor of the theological heirs of Concilium.

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About Larry Chapp 61 Articles
Dr. Larry Chapp is a retired professor of theology. He taught for twenty years at DeSales University near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He now owns and manages, with his wife, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania. Dr. Chapp received his doctorate from Fordham University in 1994 with a specialization in the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar. He can be visited online at "Gaudium et Spes 22".


  1. I will have to rethink my earlier resolve not to read anything by this author. For myself, Pope Francis has woken me up and not in a way that he would consider a good thing. I suspect I am not alone.

  2. The College of Cardinals, all younger than 80, elects Popes and requires at least 66% votes. Francis will have it on 2/3/23 when Calcagno is 80, and Francis has 82/124 appointees. He need not appoint more before then, given his 16 new ones. The next 4 to retire are not “Francis Cardinals.” That willl be on 9/17/23 when Comastri retires as # 4. He need not appoint more before then. “Non-Francis Cardinals” will be 25% on 9/15/24 when Piacenza is 80. Benedict is 95. Francis will be 95 on 12/17/31 if he is Pope. Members of the current College, not “Francis Cardinals,” will be 5 then. 7 Cardinals were born before 1960; new Cardinal Marengo is 47. They will elect 2 “Francis Popes.” More shall follow; the same with Cardinals and Bishops. Those who dislike Francis, there is an old saying: “you don’t have the numbers.”

    Also, Benedict is the cause of Cardinal Bergoglio being Pope because Benedict would be Pope had he not retired, making Francis his Papal legacy. Benedict gambled that his successor would be like him, but he forgot an old saying: “the House always wins.” Those who dislike Francis: thank Benedict for that Papal irony. I do every day.

    The Francis Legacy already has changed US Bishops as he has appointed 135 out of the 455 (30%), and one of them is only 39 years. 20% of the 455 will turn 75 in the next 5 years. That is when they must offer to retire, which Francis may accept or reject. Some of those shall be from the large dioceses of Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, Miami, Atlanta and Orange County, California. 2 of them currently are the President and Vice President of the USCCB. It is probable that more than 50% of US Bishops shall be Francis appointees in 5 years, including those voting in the USCCB.

  3. This is a sad piece from Chapp. I wonder what Balthasar would say… He fails to note that this is a Pope whose concern is for the whole Church; American exceptionalism shines through these paragraphs and, as it turns out, Larry Chapp is not immune from it.

    • Except that one can easily find similar concerns expressed from the “whole Church.” They are by no means confined to the United States.

    • American exceptionalism?? If you knew anything about me and my life-long career and published writings you would know how wrong you are. I am hyper-critical of America and of American exceptionalism. And nowhere in this essay do I endorse it. I am merely making an empirical claim. Namely, that the “restorationists” Pope Francis claims exist in large numbers in the American Church are the result of formerly conservative American Catholics who have moved Rightward because of this papacy. And I make it clear that I do not think their rejection of large parts of Vatican II are good. That is hardly endorsing American exceptionalism.

    • Really? The “whole” Church? Like the true faithful in China whom he has utterly betrayed? Like the Catholics in Africa, which has been the most dynamic and devoted congregation in the world in the last half century, whom he has repeatedly ignored and repudiated? And yes, the most faithful and devoted to the Catechism in North America, whom he has consistently dismissed with contempt. Doesn’t seem remotely Christian to me, let alone Pastoral. Francis is a stinker as a shepherd, and he has worked like a demon to guarantee that the Vatican will stink for a long time to come.

  4. In response to Larry Chapp’s observations in this article, allow me to re-post a comment I offered last year to a piece at CWR on the significance of VII by Douglas Bushman:

    “I’ve found this view of the Council’s unintended consequences accurate – from Msgr. George Kelly’s 1979 book, “the Battle for the American Church.” Permit me to quote him at length:

    ‘….in view of the unsettling effect of the Council on the internal affairs of the Church, it is evident that the dysfunctional aspects of the Council were related in part to the planned objectives. It may suffice at this point to suggest briefly what may nave been sources of unanticipated difficulty:

    1. The objectives were too numerous and frequently conflicting – for example, the growth in Catholic faith as against new definitions that would appeal to non-Catholics.

    2. Attempting more than one Council could possibly accomplish – for example, consolidating agencies, while enlarging the scope of Church activity.

    3. Seeking to dismantle ancient structures before adequate substitutes were developed. Liturgical changes are the clearest examples of this.

    4. Reaching out to non-Catholics without making provision for solidifying the ongoing commitment of faithful Catholics. While debates were going on in Rome, children were being taught (and through them, parents) that missing Sunday Mass was no longer a mortal sin.

    5. Adopting broad conciliar policies without evaluation of their possible dysfunctional aspects. Two suggestions of Pope John in his opening statement to the Council were to haunt not only the bishops’ deliberations between 1962 and 1965, but also the subsequent pontificate of Paul VI. These were:

    A. Changes in doctrinal formulas are desirable if Catholic doctrine could thereby be made attractive to unbelievers.

    B. Condemnations of error are not to be contemplated.

    These principles enunciated by Pope John were later used to justify serious doctrinal dissent within the Church and to insulate dissenters against its chief doctrinal authorities.’

    “Not that Msgr. Kelly does not claim that the Council documents contained outright heresy or deliberate breaks with Church doctrine, but he does persuasively argue that there were more than a few careless or mischievous ambiguities with which the dissenters and rebels ran very, very far. One of the many supreme ironies following the Council, with its declared intention to “reach out” to non-Catholics and unbelievers, is the fact that conversions, which had been coming to the Church at flood tide during the 1950’s, immediately dropped off sharply, and have never since approached the level at which they stood prior to the Council.

    We can all agree, I hope that something went drastically, terribly wrong, even while the Council was still meeting. The question for us now is: What do we do about the mess that we’re in? What are the Church’s needs in the present day? For my part, I can’t see where continuing to argue over the true meaning of VII and its documents is of any use. Whatever the Council intended, we’re very far removed from that happy outcome. What do we do about it now?”

    Back to the present, I can’t agree with Larry Chapp that the discontents of “traditionalists” can be attributed simply to Ppe Francis: He certainly exacerbated them, but they existed long before his ascendancy. I hesitate to dub myself a “traditionalist,” since I am a registered parishioner in a regular parish in the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ, where I am also assistant organist, director of a schola cantorum, longtome CCD and RCIA instructor and member of the Knights of Columbus.

    But I do indeed identify with those who argue that VII, whatever its intentions, has not produced the results that all of us had hoped and expected would follow, partly due to the influences described above in the quote from Msgr. Kelly, and in substantial measure due to the fact that so many of the Council’s policies were simply misconceived, especially those in the liturgical reform. So while I do not doubt at all that the current OF rite of the Mass is valid, etc., and I am able to attend the EF perhaps 2-3 times annually, I much prefer the latter and would attend it exclusively if I could. If that makes me a “traditionalist” in the bad sense of the term, I guess I’m stuck with it.

  5. Dr. Chapp, you’re singing my song!

    I’m an orthodox Catholic who could be called a restorationist.

    But what I’d like to see restored is *not* the pre-Vat Church. Not by any means.

    I was there. That Church was tired, reflexive, dubious about its place in a rapidly changing world. It needed a spark of conviction, of passion — in other words, it needed the Holy Spirit.

    What I yearn to see restored is that Spirit-infused Church, the Church as it is referred to in the Vatican II documents. It’s a Church that barely had time to come into being until it was swamped by the silly theological doohickeys and contrivances introduced by those invoking “the spirit of Vatican II.”

    Indeed, if I could send a message to the so-called rad-trads — whose impulses I admire and whose opinions of Bergoglio I doubtless mostly agree with — it would be to actually read the documents of Vatican II. I think you will be surprised at what you find.

    What I found when I read them a half century ago was the Catholic Church as a vital, confident, inspiring, meaningful, living, breathing, thinking, loving Body of believers whose Head is our Lord.

    It was the same Church He founded on good St. Peter and sent to the ends of earth to save the souls He loves.

    It’s that Church I would like to see restored.

    And, unfortunately, the likes of Cupich, McElroy, Tobin, Gregory — and, yes, absolutely, Bergoglio — are not about to get that done.

    Come, Holy Spirit, come!

    • Yeah. I read the docs 60 years ago in university. They were tedious blather then, and they are now — or worse. Let’s all move on from Vatican 2 (ugh) wherever that leads.

  6. Another fine article by Chapp. He hits the nail on the head.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that not only is Bergoglio a mean, vindictive and name-calling person (well-documenred) but he is someone who is easily influenced by those he chooses to surround himself with. I truly believe that men like Tobin of Newark, Cupich, McElroy, and Gregory who are all power-hungry and angry persons in their own right have an unhealthy influence on this Pope and a stranglehold on the American Church. I think they feed this Pope will all kinds of lies to enhance their status with him. Francis, being gullible and given to the same kind of mind-set, is inclined to believe the garbage he feeds them. If this were not so, if Bergoglio were open to hearing all points of view, why wouldn’t he have met with the four ‘Dubia Cardinals’ and given private audiences to me like Tobin of Providence, Gomez, Chaput, Cordileone as he has with James Martin SJ and the rest?

    No, nmy friends, the McCarrick Church is alive and kicking. The Spirit of McCarrick lives.

    We await a new Pentecost in the Catholic Church. John Paul II was noted as saying that the Catholic Church needs to breathe with two lungs (the East, as well as the West) but I’m afraid that our Church is on a respirator presently under Bergoglio and his chorus of angry, power-hungry, clerical Nazis.

    • What an imbalanced and deplorable clericalism you have. You got no shame pridefully waving your misplaced entitlement by using the title “Deacon” but you would not even call Pope Francis by his papal title and name.

      • Explain why you disagree rather than trying a shame-mongering tactic. If you think that Bergoglio and his cronies aren’t nasty and vindictive, then state the evidence otherwise. But sad to say, the evidence that they are as I stated is well-chronicled. But to refer to him as “Bergoglio” is mild compared to what the Pope has called fellow Catholics. I hesitate to even cite those names here because they are so distasteful. But if you’re at all interested, there’s a website devoted entirely to this topic.

  7. I fear that the “Synod” will end up as a rubber stamp for Pope Francis’ dream of what modern Catholicism should be. If such comes to fruition, we won’t even be a Vatican II church and maybe not even Catholic. So the appointment of recent Cardinals will ensure it.

  8. How are we do deal with the cognitive dissonance created by the current “administration.?” We had 30+ years of Pope St. JPII and Benedict XVI giving a supposedly authoritative interpretation of the Council, only to see the present pope do everything in his power to tear all of that down and attempt implement the Council precisely according to the hermeneutic that they rejected. The saddest part of it all is the damage to the credibility of the Church and hence the perhaps permanent erosion of her ability to evangelize. It really does appear as though when the papacy changes hands we are suddenly we are supposed to forget the “policies” of the prior “administration,” which now constitute “wrong think.” I despair.

    • No, man, don’t despair. All things are in God’s hands. And since you wish to be in that place, despair can not be allowed any comforts.

      Despair is part in what is happening – that you identify! Prov. 11:1 – we have to trust that God will see to it things go as they should.

  9. Among some thoughts emerging after reading this are these:

    A. Larry Chapp’s article here sounds an uncertain trumpet when by seeming to trivialize the contemporary Church crisis, by labelling the falsehoods being peddled inside the Church by Church authorities as merely “silly” (i.e. the “silly season” theme, a crutch often leaned on by for instance George Weigel). It leaves me wondering whether Mr. Chapp has not weighed the grievous harm being done by what I will call (per the observations of Fr. Bouyer, who Chapp admires) “the impoverishments” and “deceitfulness” of what he snd others might call the “agiornamento” or “Spirit-of-V2” cult inside the Church.

    B. V2 ought to be weighed as another Council smong all other Councils in the Church, and as B16 stated, is not to be understood as a “super-dogma” or “super-council” eclipsing all before it. It has both some very good things and some rather poor aspects, and deserves to be criticized just like anything else, against the standard of The Truth (you know who). One of the things that deserves scrutiny and criticism is foe example the Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Consilium (SC). Indeed, Fr. Louis Bouyer, in his memoirs, explicitly criticizes the Church’s point man on the implementation of SC, Msgr. Bugnini, calling him “a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty.” Now that is a catastrophic indictment of the destruction made possible by the double-talk (and one might also conclude lip service) one finds in SC.

    I will leave other things aside, and simply ask whether perhaps Larry Chapp, other self-identified “conservatives,” might do better than asserting what they claim the problems are of “conservatives” taking “the red pill,” ask instead ask themselves if part of the problem is that they themselves keep “taking the blue pill” so that they can avoid facing the reality of the decadence of the “Francis-establishment.”

    • I do not think I in any way identified myself in this essay as a “conservative”. I am merely describing them in this essay and saying that the surge in rad trads is being caused by formerly conservative types being red-pilled by Francis. I am not a conservative Catholic or a liberal Catholic. I am a resourcement/Communio theologian which is different from either of those two trajectories. Nor do I think Vatican II is beyond criticism or that it is a super council. I have criticized it myself, and often. My complaint with the traditionalists is that they object to the wrong things. I think their critique of the Council misses the mark. And quite often.

      • Yes, but that’s just it. You seem to have a particular bee under your bonnet for the rad-trads (at least that’s my impression, based on the overall tenor of your writings – not just here). When you write or speak, it’s when you blast the rad-trads that you seem most animated and determined. It seems the rad-trads are really bad but the rad-progs are simply silly and can be dismissed as such. Maybe you’ve taken a new turn with “It’s the Moral Theology, Stupid!” but even there it was hard to for this reader to detect anything like “the house is on fire” type alarm.

        It’s the mentality that says “We saw all this silliness in the ’70s, and sure it has come back around now, but nothing will ultimately come of it” which drives me mad. What I see happening is now as a true revolution that could lead to the dissolution of the Catholic Church – and at a very minimum will destroy the faith of millions of Catholics – if it is not stopped. But, I suppose it is just “silliness.”

        The rad-trads who reject Vatican II are not the problem. Their numbers are miniscule and they have no power in the Church. The rad-progs are in control and are determined. I just don’t get how you are able to come off as somewhat chagrined by the rad-progs but truly disturbed by the rad-trads.

      • Mr. Chapp:

        Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the chance to discuss, and the opportunity for that given by CWR.

        I sense that we you and I use the term conservative to mean different things. By your use in the essay it seems you intend the term as more of a relative indicator of a rough position on the “Church-political-spectrum,” with “progressives”(however that is defined) on “the left/far left” and “radical-traditionalists” on the right/far right and so-called “conservatives” in between, a sort of “moderate” group, halfway between the 2? In any case, people deploy the term, and it has perhaps dome ambiguity in the intended meanings.

        For myself, I certainly do consider myself a “conservative msn” and a “conservative Catholic,” using the term “conservative” as given by Roger Scruton, meaning a perdon inclined to preserve what is beautiful and good (and true) that was handed foen by previous generations. This is a very different sense than that used as a relative indicator on the political spectrum.

        I suppose I labelled (mistook?) you as a conservative because of your “new tradition manifesto,” your preference for the “ressourcement” aims in V2 as well as your mention that you opt for Mass at an Ordinariate parish (and these sre very concerned with preserving liturgical patrimony of the English Catholic or Sarum Rite).

        In furtherance of the discussion, is there something concrete as a basis for your suggesting that large numbers of “moderates” (or JP2-conservatives as you termed them) are migrating to “rad-trad” parishes? Or is this instead perhaps your gut sense being used to carry a narrative about the crisis in the Church?

        I mean that the situation, it seems to me, is more likely to be that moderates (or JP2 conservatives) might be more apt to just quit the Catholic Church, or go somewhere else for “sacraments,” (as for example Rod Dreher did goong to the OC).

        In sny case, I have read most of Ratzinger’s Ignatius Press works, and I love Msgr. Gamber and the old liturgical scholar Fr. Adrian Fortesque, and a host if others, and I’ve more often than not been stuck in what the New Testament might call a luke-warm (Novus Ordo) parish, with little regard for or respect for liturgical beauty or endowments (such as shown by respecting/appreciating the Roman Canon), wtc etc.

        So I am a “conservative” stuck in a Church that seems to have waning regard for scripture and tradition, and over-sized concern for “submitting” to The Pontiff Francis, at the expense of, among ither things, the higher authorities of scripture snd tradition.

        The situation seems archly insane: a Church that is drinking from the water of the River Lethe, in hopes of forgetting its identity. The irony is too painful…

      • This pope has associated the TLM attendee as a rejector of VCII. Truth be told, Francis and his papacy reject VCII in addition to their magisterial predecessors. You yourself have taken Francis’ pill, Mr. Chapp.

        That otherwise educated and occasionally thoughtful folk equate and positively correlate the TLM attendee as rejecting VCII, that these same thoughtless folk then caricature and slander TLM attending Catholics is something for which there is no kind label. Such prejudicial nonsense is expected from a hyperpapalist. Some papal idolators may not like to openly identify as lovers of all things Francis, but the truth will out. Swallowing whatever colored pill-of-the-day that Francis decides to set out, some are glad to oblige and imbibe. Write a little OP about it, collect a paycheck, and call it a good day of work.

  10. Fr John Hardon had no difficulty with the documents of the Second Vatican Council, which allows me tremendous confidence in the outcome. He was grieved at the excesses and aberrations in the name of the “spirit” of the council, as are most of the readers of this site. That said, there is much work to be done to reevengelise the culture, and to that end, I just keep my head down and try to promote the good, the true, and the beautiful. The importance of this is found in the words of St Anthony the Great, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’” That time has certainly arrived, and it doesn’t take sophisticated commentary on the liturgy to be attacked; a mere admonition to honour the Sabbath will do.

    • Explain why you disagree rather than trying a shame-mongering tactic. If you think that Bergoglio and his cronies aren’t nasty and vindictive, then state the evidence otherwise. But sad to say, the evidence that they are as I stated is well-chronicled. But to refer to him as “Bergoglio” is mild compared to what the Pope has called fellow Catholics. I hesitate to even cite those names here because they are so distasteful. But if you’re at all interested, there’s a website devoted entirely to this topic.

  11. Dr Chapp is making ‘rejection’ of the last Council do a heck of a lot of work here. I have no problem confessing that the Second Vatican Council was an authentic oecumenical council while at the same time acknowledging both its lack of pastoral fruitfulness and the evils its partisans have wrought in the life of the Church. It would be foolish to pretend that it didn’t happen and that all of its fruit is rotten but it is also foolish and misguided to continue to insist that it is ‘a second Pentecost’; pft. But, the caricature of the ‘rad trads’ out of the way, I quite agreed with most of the rest of his analysis.

    “He is the one who has radicalized them. They would not exist in the numbers that they do if he had not become an enigmatic provocation rather than a clarifying unifier. I am all in favor of a prophetic and brave Pope who does not mind upsetting the status quo applecart of settled conventions in order to stir the pot and get the blood flowing. I am, after all, a Catholic Worker. And I am no friend of the ‘system’ of modernity either inside or outside of the Church. And if that is what this Pope is trying to do, then I gladly stand aside, bow, and wish him well as he passes by. But I do not think that is what he is up to.”

    This was my ‘take’ in the first year or so of the present reign.

    • This is not a caricature of the rad trads in the slightest. If anything, it is a toning down of some of their worst elements. I get this so often from trads: “You are attacking a straw man!” And then they speak and prove me right. I am not claiming that everyone who identifies as a trad holds every one of the views I describe. What I am outlining is a kind of compendium of the mainstream trad critique of Vatican II. But take but one outing into trad social media and you will see everything I describe on display … and worse. Oh, much worse. I could also toss in the not so hidden anti semitism I have encountered in trad circles, and certain views on the role of women that are borderline abusive.

      • I can agree that this is an apt characterization of a very small group of “rad trads,” but I’d also note that their numbers are exceedingly small and they inhabit the fringes, or are even separate from the Church altogether. What puzzles me is that they excite so much attention and huffing and puffing in more mainstream sectors. They are indeed cranks and perpetual malcontents, but they are exceedingly small in number, and don’t wield anything like the influence which the Pope and his colleagues attribute to them. What I think they’ve done, unfortunately, is provide Francis with the pretext for something he likely intended to do from the beginning of his reign, namely scrap the EF altogether; his robust dislike of it has not exactly been a secret. As a cardinal in Argentina, he managed to thwart legitimate requests for the EF, despite the provisions of Benedict XVI’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum.

        And the balance between “rad-trads” – indulge me for finding this term irritating – is hardly equal, is it? For some time, the “progressives” have frequently found themselves promoted and rewarded, placed in positions of power and authority. The trend, moreover, long pre-dates the present Pope’s tenure, extending back to Paul VI, whose selections for senior episcopal sees appear even more baffling in retrospect.

        So while I do agree that “rad-trads” are a querulous and unpleasant lot, I can’t see that they exert anything like the influence that’s often attributed to them.

        • I keep asking: Who are “rad-trads”? Labelling a group of people without defining who they are is falling into some type of trap.

          What web sites do you and Larry Chapp look at to find ‘rad trads’ who are anti-semites, querulous and unpleasant?

          What is a “Catholic”?

          I attend a TLM. Because of my love for that liturgy, because I dislike the direction and judge the leadership of the church hierarchy to be unsatisfactory and lacking in sound teaching, would you and Chapp label me a rad trad? An ‘anti-semite’? ‘Querulous and unpleasant’? Why stop there? Why not throw in ‘racist,’ ‘bigot’ and ‘rigid, horrid, fossilized, ossified, petrified, dirty, bead-counting, rule-following pharisee’?

          Why not?

          • Meiron, I can’t tell if your comment is directed at my post or someone else’s, so I hope I’m not adding to some confusion. If you are addressing my comment, I think we’re in agreement. As I indicate, I would also attend the EF if it were available, but I unfortunately live in a diocese where clerical hostility to the old rite is vehement, to say the least. As to the “rad-trads,” I also believe that Chapp sets up a false equivalence between them and over-the-top progressives, since the rad-trads are isolated and far removed from the fulcrum of clerical authority while the progressives often are in control of it. The very tiny number of rad-trads whom Chapp spills a great deal of ink denouncing do indeed hold some strange – in my opinion, anyway – but their numbers are extremely small and most of us would not have heard of them unless they are hauled into public view as Chapp has done here. They seem to serve mainly as the proverbial mouse that terrifies the elephant. So I agree with Chapp that their views are on the fringe, but otherwise can’t see that they have anything like the influence he suggests that they do here.

          • No, Rickett
            Despite your creed that you agree with me, I attest without hesitation that I don’t know you. Let’s see. Rickettty. Perhaps our paths did cross once upon a time. Yes! You were that tin-man looking for some place called Oz!

            It is reported that Greydanus, the Catholic film critic, has maps for all places fantastic and delusional if you and your travelling companion chap should ever begin to see that you’re lost.

      • I agree with all of this. But focusing so much energy going after the rad-trads seems misplaced to me, when the immediate existential threat to the Church’s is to be found elsewhere. If we don’t wake up fast we are going to find ourselves in a Church that looks very like the Episcopal Church, which has embraced modernity in toto but basically has no members.

      • The tar brush seems a bit big. Anti semitism??? Really??? Among CATHOLICS in 2022? REALLY?


        To what ‘rad trad’ social media outlets do you refer? Can you cite some instances??? Do you call sedevacantists Catholic? Do you consider sedevacantists to be rad trads? Do you consider Catholics rad trads? Labels without definition and allegations without evidence strike the same discordant notes as prejudice and bigotry.

        • Meiron, would you kindly explain your strange response to my comment above, in which indicated that I agreed with you? Thank you.

          • My post is like a parable. Matthew 13:15 may help.

            James 1:26 or Matthew 12:35 also may apply.

            Perhaps contemplate the Ninth Commandment.

            Maybe consider who is your brother.

            Finally, answer the original question I asked: Who is a rad trad? What leads you and your travel companion to label them ‘cranks, misogynists, malcontents, and anti-semites’?

            Now I’m grasping at straws. Calling Strawman scarecrow! No answer!

            If confusion still reigns, can you travel to Rome? Francis surely has one or two more pills.

          • Edit please: Add “SOME” between the words “label them” Thank you so very kindly.

            And thank you for all your moderating edits which have always saved me from the worst of myself.

          • No, scripture is not sarcasm, but the manner in which one uses it can be. Anyway, I think we’ve probably exhausted the limits o this thread, so if you want to continue the discussion, please feel free to contact me at:


            Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll see you again here at CWR. I still think we’re on the same side, actually. Be well, God bless.

        • Sorry Meiron, but I’m still very much in the dark. Perhaps you could simply speak plainly without the sarcasm? As I indicated in my first post at the beginning of this thread, I myself much prefer Mass in the EF and would attend it exclusively if I only had the opportunity. I did indeed refer to a tiny – nay, microscopic subset of “rad trads” – and again, note that I indicated that this term is quite irritating – who seemed to me querulous and cranky, but I nowhere used the terms “antisemitic” or “misogynist” as Larry Chapp does. My impression of this exceedingly small subset derives from in-person conversations for the most part from in-person conversations, not from web sites, although a few of these no doubt can be found if one searches with due diligence. I also expressed my opinion that Pope Francis probably intended to prohibit the EF of he Mass altogether, and citing the supposed “rad trads” who allegedly reject VII gave him the pretext for the limitations he imposed on it last July. As several other posters here have noted, those of us who are attracted to the EF are often unfairly accused of “rejecting” the Council. I can certainly accept that it was a valid council, but I can’t endorse the view that it was a huge success, for reasons that I set out in my lengthy post at the top of this thread.

          Would you kindly respond to this comment in straight-forward terms, as you’ve done elsewhere in this thread? Thank you.

      • Dr. Chapp made the allegation of anti-Semitism. He owes it to his readers to define what he means by the term and provide some examples of what he claims to have encountered that meet that definition. Chapp ought to know how often usually baseless charges of anti-Semitism have been used to ruin careers and shut down legitimate debate. Catholic intellectuals have a real blind spot when it comes to this question.

    ‘all children , all need each other ..’ – one of the good catechetical themes of the World meeting of Families

    Surprised again at the lack of attention given to the above , in this month of June when the world seems to take pride in how pride of focus has been given to powers that seem to think they have almost won ..have defeated what family stands for ..

    The Church having been prepared by The Spirit, including through The Council, to meet these challenges – using the weapons in more effective ways ..
    Feast Day today of St.Thomas More and St .John Fischer .. poor King Henry – his fearful insistence for a male child out of fear of losing his kingdom ..? blinded to role of Blessed Mother , as Mother and Queen of the Kingdom of the Divine Will ..

    our days blessed in many ways to witness the power of the Holy Spirit moving in ordinary lives ..

    Heard a testimony recently in an online ministry – an I.T .team leader, a non Christian , afflicted by significant effects of a ‘spell’ from envious coworkers – set free by 10 min. of praise and worship with hands raised – as advised by the priest who is also an exorcist, gifted in conveying the child like enthusiasm and joyful trust in The Lord, in the simple child like prayers –
    ‘God is good all the time , all the time God is good , His Love is steadfast , His mercy endures for ever ..’ The raising of the hands – ? a means of countering the misuse of hands our interconnected world where in the ‘mark of the beast’ on the hands can symbolise work and other activities contributing to ends that we do not intend ..
    The aspects of spell etc : too – could words that have been spoken in anger/ envy / contempt / seduction – by parents , those in parental roles have similar effects ..
    even from the media .. thus, not having spared many from the ‘internal slums ‘ – painfully even in The Church ..

    The good will that earned the endearing title given to the Holy Father as the ‘slum Pope ‘ -as the apt blessing for The Church for our times as help in making more sense of the areas that seem divisive …acknowledging that there are ‘internal
    slums ‘, the Holy Father choosing persons in leadership who have empthy for such , who are more willing , holy and committed enough to deal with same with patience and compassion …
    that the ‘older brother ‘ attitude of disdain , esp. from those who have been blessed in matters of faith and morality can bring more alienation and fear ..
    instead , expecting and blessing such gifted persons to bring good into needy areas – churches, liturgical realms and such – ? as the motive for the changes ..
    their influence to be the leaven to break the ‘spell’ of effects of wounding words and experieneces, from persons with the internal slums, its envies as the bully mentalities etc: that may not manifest , with enough good, holy compassionate ‘older brothers ‘ around ..who too would invoke The Spirit along with The Mother , to bring healings and deliverance into vast realms and families .

    FIAT !

  13. We must remember that during the reign of St. Pope John Paul II the term “restorationists” was generally used to refer to those loud minority of promoters and advocates of the old pre-Vatican II (Tridentine) mass. But with Pope Benedict XVI legitimizing its abnormality, they started being called “traditionalists” wrongly implying that tradition is a frozen past rather than an ever living and evolving present. But with Pope Francis their disloyalty and disrespect of the Bishop of Rome in particular and its more open resistance to and rejection of Vatican II in general should earn them to be righly called “tradicalists” to connote the extremist traditionalist radicalism they advocate. With their thunderous and often misleading publicity, an unknowing media consumer can easily be deceived into thinking they are big when in fact they are just a small minority, and loud that is. The numbers do not lie and this can easily be googled. Before Traditiones Custodes, the old pre-Vatican II mass was celebrated in only 1,700 out of the 225,000 parishes worldwide – or in 700 out of the 18,000 parishes in the U.S.. After Pope Francis’ correction of the mistake made by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum, this figure has significantly lowered. But their roaring continues, giving the false impression they are large.

    • Not sure where you’re getting your terminology, but the original term for radical traditionalists was “integrists”, and then “traditionalists”. Those words were used during Pope St. JPII’s reign, especially the latter one. I’d never heard “restorationists” until now, and I’ve been dealing with radical traditionalism for decades, as some family members and friends fell victim to it. The only place I’d ever seen the idea of “restoration” being applied to the Church is by groups like the Bpatists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons that claim the Church fell to a great apostasy and then they received the “real revelation” to restore the lost Gospel. Maybe the word was used by some to refer to traditionalists, but in the huge swaths of material I read over the years, I never encountered it.

      If you are referring to the older liturgy an “abnormality”, please, don’t. It was an approved and received rite of the Mass just as much as other legitimate ones. Summorum Pontificum was not some aberration or “mistake”, but the culmination of what had come before it. Pope St. JPII allowed the older liturgy to be offered, and Pope St. Paul VI gave permission to whoever asked Rome to continue offering it, so Pope Benedict XVI expanding it was an organic outcome. I know people who grew up with it during the seventies, and they’re good and obedient Catholics, not dissidents, so whatever the problem with radical traditionalists is, it’s not necessarily the liturgy’s fault.

      It might be good to read more about the Roman liturgy and its history. It sounds like there is some misunderstanding here, and a lack of good will toward those who find it spiritually nourishing. After all, the number of Melkite and other Eastern Rite Catholics in the US is small, smaller than those who want the EF, but that doesn’t mean they’re to be denied their liturgies. The Latin Church has basically only two possible rites just now; the Eastern Churches in union with Rome have many more. What happened to appreciating diversity?

      • You’re confusing the rite with form. There are several rites, yes. The Roman rite is one of them. In every rite there is only one form of liturgy. Pope Benedict made the liturgical and theological gymnastics in 2007 by inventing and justifying the co-existence of two forms of the Roman rite. Pope Francis corrected this last year by rescinding that mistake of his predecessor.

    • Thank you Alex for this informative post. It is true that this small number of dissidents are making a loud noise. I never heard of the term “tradicalists” before, but it does seem more apt because our Church has a living tradition, not one frozen in the past. It is an ever living and evolving one.
      Here is a passage from an article in My Catholic Life. “When we speak of “traditions” with a small “t”, we are only speaking of human customs and practices that are established throughout time. But when we speak of “Tradition” with a capital “T,” we speak of the work of the Holy Spirit to continue teaching and guiding us through the successors of the Apostles in every day and age. Tradition is the word used to specify the teaching action of the Holy Spirit in every age. And this is important! Why? Because Jesus did not give us a 500 volume book of the law addressing each and every question that would ever arise in the areas of faith and morality. No, instead He gave us the Holy Spirit, and most specifically, He gave the unique gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and their successors to teach us and to lead us into all truth in every day and age when questions would arise. This is Tradition, and it is quite an ongoing gift! ”

      • Credit for the distinction between “big T” and “little t” belongs to Yves Cardinal Congar (Dominican, d.1995), a peritus at the Second Vatican Council and author of “Tradition and Traditions” (1961-3).

        His “Divided Christendom” (1937) developed a theme later advanced by the Council in its Decree on Ecumenism. Later he wrote “Lay People in [not are!] the Church” (1953), and then with Karl Rahner and many other periti, he worked on Dei Verbum (Divine Revelation), and with Ratzinger was selected to work on the groundwork for the Decree on the Missions.

        Before the Council, from the late 1940s to the late 1950s Congar was suspended from teaching and from other public activities such as participation in ecumenical discussions, because of his involvement in the so-called “new theology” and in the priest-worker movement. He was compliant and did not even allow his diaries to be published until five years after his death.

        Compare Congar today with Marx, Batzing, Hollerich & Co. who write (and read?) nothing, but work cleverly instead through their media events to overturn even natural law, and the Catechism.

        In early 1963 Congar was already outspoken that (experimental) episcopal conferences must not threaten Church unity nor dilute the personal responsibility of bishops (points clarified with finality in 1998 by Pope St. John Paul II in Apostolos Suos (On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Episcopal Conferences).

        An understanding of the Apostolic Church now being dismantled by the German “synodal path” and probably by open-ended, continental synodality as well, not doctrinally of course (!), but in practice (“evolving”?)–the Holy Spirit made me do it!

  14. Can a schismatic be a validly elected Pope? Wouldn’t those who followed a “schismatic” pope, in essence, be following a pope who is both anti Pope and anti Filioque, having separated themselves from The One Body Of Christ, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, be, in essence, part of a counterfeit church?

    If not, why not, since it is true, that there is only One Body Of Christ, that exists Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, although it is true that there will be others, hopefully a multitude, who, will become part of The One Body Of Christ, or others, like The Good Thief, who, at the moment of his death, recognized The Christ, In all Christ’s Glory, and came late to The Fold.💕🙏

  15. Elaborating on déjà vu—and since it’s part of the public record—my own memory is how all this current stuff played out already in the 1980s in the Archdiocese of Seattle—a particular church which now is psychiatrically inoculated just a bit, I propose, against the cognitive dissonance today under Pope Francis…

    None of the German “synodal process,” and possibly the broader synodality, is new. Instead, a “tradition” one might say, proof with George Orwell that some traditions are more equal than others.

    The upshot in Seattle included an Apostolic Visitation requested by the Holy See (conducted by the later Cardinal Hickey), appointment of an auxiliary bishop with unusual authorizations, two years of supervision of the archdiocese by a triad of brother bishops from across the country (orthodox, liberal and middling), a near riot on the steps of the cathedral and the appointment of a coadjutor archbishop, Archbishop Hunthausen’s early retirement, and (earlier on November 14, 1985) publication of findings from the Apostolic Nunciator of the U.S., Archbishop Pio Laghi (plus an unpublished bucket list). A really ugly scenario, unprecedented and not likely to be repeated.

    Without clumsily creating a martyr for the rad non-trads, Archbishop Hunthausen was both complimented for many of his ministries, and instructed to resolve multiple concerns (of today!) which had transpired on his watch since his arrival in 1975:

    “(a) The need to bring into clear focus–working together with priests, religious and theologians–certain teachings of the Church and their implications for the pastoral practice of the Archdiocese [a mini dubia!][….](b) In particular, the need to present more clearly the Church’s teaching concerning the permanence and indissolubility of marriage [!….]. (c) Greater vigilance in upholding the Church’s teaching, especially with regard to contraceptive sterilization and homosexuality [!, enter stage-Left: Marx, Batzing, Hollerich & Co., with media megaphones!]. (d) The need to ensure that pastoral practice regarding the liturgical and sacramental ministry of the Archdiocese is in accord with the Church’s universal norms, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist [“intercommunion,” “the Sacrament of Reconciliation”….]. (e) The need to review the ongoing education of the clergy and the selection and formation of candidates for the priesthood [this, nearly two decades before “the Scandal”….].”

    The tip of the iceberg, and the flagship of novelty in the United States. Sound familiar? Those who disagree with Chapp’s analysis probably entered the theater of the absurd a few decades after the opening curtain.

    • Back in the mid 1980s, Wuerl was appointed auxiliary bishop in Seattle (or was he coadjutor?); he and Hunthausen were reputed to share authority, but they supposedly clashed over where each other’s authority began. Hunthausen’s ‘liberal secular orthodoxy’ prevailed and Wuerl went next to Pittsburgh where he dealt with clerical sex abuse allegations among diocesan priests. Hunthausen’s heterodoxy influenced many priests and far too many Seattle Catholics. Under Hunthausen, priest and nun Ferder and ?Hern?, certified sex therapist partners, traversed parishes, branding parish missions with their vision for attaining psychological bliss in the area of sex.

      Vancouver (BC) archbishop Remi DeRoo lived and breathed the spirit of VCII. He was a Seattle archdiocesan regular visitor who traveled around with a female assistant (She preferred Nordstrom for shopping.), purveying the benefits of spiritual growth via the enneagram. They all charged for their service, and many blind and sick paid the price for their teachings and others like theirs.

      Still another diocesan religious sister (still alive) argued for homosexual activity as a morally acceptable alternative, far ahead of her time.

      Are the people in the archdiocese of Seattle now immune? I would hazard to guess not. Unless the comatose spiritual state qualifies one as immune…

      • On track, but barely scratching the surface…My deliberate wording was”pyschiatrically inoculated JUST A BIT…” Not more. Just sayin’ been there, done that. Nothing more.

  16. Skirting the real issues, trying to subordinate the true church, brings no favour to the leadership.

    Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

    Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

    1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

    • Thank you for the passage from Psalm 1. Yes, “blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked …” . Professor Nahum M. Sarna explains (“On the Book of Psalms”): “This conceptual association of Torah with Psalmody inevitably led the rabbis of the talmudic age to draw analogies between the deeds an words of the personalities with whom the authorship of the respective works was associated. One felicitous example is that the initial word of Psalm 1, “happy” (in Hebrew ‘ashrei) is also the first word of Moses’ final utterance just before his death: “Happy are you (in Hebrew ‘ashreikha) O Israel.”

      It is a joy to come upon your comment in which you provide Bible passages as a powerful reminder that the Church must find her sources in Scripture.

      • Your kindness is appreciated. Brothers in Christ striving together to honour the Lord and aid our fellow man.
        Praise the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

        Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

        Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

        Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


  17. Dr. Chapp says:

    “The Lefebvre folks existed but were an extreme and marginalized minority and their “soft schism” was rejected by almost all conservative Catholics as a dead end. These conservative Catholics understood that there were still deep pathologies in the Church and much more work needed to be done, but there was confidence in the authority of Rome, that the center would hold and was holding, and that the Church would survive the centrifugal forces threatening to rip her apart so long as the Rock of Peter held firm. What happened? Pope Francis is what happened.”

    Dr. Chapp is obviously correct on this point, but he misses the deeper truth. What the current pontificate demonstrated to these conservative Catholics is that in practice there is very little difference for a sincere Catholic trying to persevere in his faith life between the official Second Vatican Council and “the Council of the Media.” The “media event” was the whole point of Vatican II! Pope Francis has revealed the presence of legions of priests and high-ranking prelates in within the Catholic Church who seem to be trying to create a new religion that wears the garb of the old one and even controls all the same property of the old faith, but that has been “updated” by an appeal to Vatican II. This was the position of “the Lefebvre folks,” and it turns out that there was some truth to what conservative Catholics for a long time dismissed as “kooky conspiracy theories.” What a recent convert to the traditionalist movement means when he says that he has been “red-pilled” is that he now can no longer deny the evidence of his eyes: this pope and many bishops, and many priests hate the Faith he has come to love and want to see it die. Sure, I believe just as Dr. Chapp does, that it is possible to reconcile the documents of Vatican II with the prior teaching of the Magisterium, but that has been besides the point for many years now.

    Now my view, for what it’s worth, is that all faithful Catholics, both traditionalists and those of a merely conservative bent, have to take what we have learned from our experience of the past 60 or 70 years, as well as from study of the past 300 years of history (i.e., examine the Enlightenment’s influence on the Tridentine Church), then place ourselves mentally in the 1950’s and ask ourselves honestly: Why did many leading churchmen of that age, including many beyond any suspicion of being modernists in sympathy, believe the Church needed to be reinvigorated? Why did holding an ecumenical council seem like a good idea to some? If the Church was so strong in the 1950’s, why did it only take a few years of turbulence to lose a huge percentage of believers? What were the hidden weaknesses of the Church that made such losses possible?

    I have no set answers to these questions, but we have to start there. There was much that was good before Vatican II, but obviously there was much that was rotten. Likewise, Vatican II was not all bad. But, simply appealing to the documents of Vatican II while ignoring the actual implementation of those documents and the wishes of so many corrupt and heretical prelates, will not help.

    • Stephen, it’s not clear to me that “many leading churchmen” back in the 1950’s did in fact desire that a general council of the church be convened, and I think more than a few were surprised and wary when John XXIII, on his own initiative, suddenly announced that he intended to do just that. Indeed, the Pope mentioned such “doomsayers” in his opening address to the assembled bishops and dismissed their concerns rather serenely. Looking back, though, I’d have to say that their worst fears about the likely effects of the council were actually short of the mark. Things turned out much worse than they had forecast.

  18. The Troia Cathedral, Apulia, dated in the 12th Century, has on the ambo the relief of the lion devouring the lamb with the dog, said to be white, pouncing, in reaction, on the lion. The dog is thought to be a sheep dog. The internet says that the Cathedral literature has the dog as representing God. There is some speculation about what the dynamic really means. May I share one of the possibilities with you?

    This is the moment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the dog represents the apostles in their confusion and near despair. Not only were the apostles in disarray experiencing their hearts as overturned; they also were battling a virtual pressure for retaliation, deeply interior, held in check by a sense of momentary futility and matters not at hand and by the memory of sharing the Lord’s life.

    The relief is not a Pentecost representation. Pentecost would resolve all those conflicts. Meantime each one of them, one by one, would show himself to the BVM only to hear her telling him to be at peace. The peace would be quite palpable and uniquely maternal and calmingly virginal. The word for what they felt in the experience of the Mother of the Lord, in that time, is, Redemptrix.

  19. Stephen White at the “Catholic Thing” also questions Francis’ misunderstanding of American Catholic ‘restorationists.’

    He asks: “Or is it possible that Pope Francis sees as ‘restorationist’ the tens of millions of American Catholics (including the overwhelming majority of priests, and every single American bishop) who has received the Council in fidelity to the papal magisterium of Francis’ own predecessors?”

    Francis should let that understanding sink in. It is the same as Larry Chapp suggests. Francis is responsible for feeding the flock and restoring the gloss of their fleece, no matter its being matted, stinking, and besotted by dirt. Their coats lack lustre since they’ve been eating only weak, bitter, and foul-tasting gruel for the last near decade. They’ve been out in the cold because their shepherd has gone astray. Own it.

    White suggests that “restorationist” Catholics are dwarfed…by millions of other Catholics…who reject the actual texts of the Council and the interpretation given it by Pope St. Paul VI, Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and depending on the issue, Pope Francis.

  20. Fr. Chapp says in the article,

    “Many of the people who now call themselves traditionalists and who harbor some or all of the positions outlined above were people who a mere ten years ago would have been content with being called “conservative JPII Catholics”;

    I thought this was a very good point ans something I too have observed and felt. On the flip side of this there are JPII/Benedict conservative Catholics who embraced Pope Francis’ critique and aligned with him to the point of making significant public defenses. The web site features articles by many such persons.

    Dr. Chapp goes on to say,

    “Further, I think he bears responsibility for the rise of the very traditionalists he helped to create and who he now laments.”

    In my opinion this statement as well as many others is where this article goes off track. Perhaps one way to see why this comment isn’t good would be to quote Dr. Chapp in one of his replies:

    “I get this so often from trads: “You are attacking a straw man!” And then they speak and prove me right.”

    So is he responsible for the kinds of words that come out of the mouths of traditionalists in response to his critiques? Well, yes he is a cause but is that necessarily a knock against his critical speech? Should he be blamed as somehow culpable if they willfully and angrily oppose his criticism? Did Jesus sin when he angered the Pharisees?

    And so the question reduces to this: Are at least some, if not most, of the attacks against Pope Francis motivated by Pharasaic scandal? I think so.

    Thank you for your considerstion,

  21. Stephen White at the “Catholic Thing” also questions Francis’ misunderstanding of American Catholic ‘restorationists.’

    He asks: “Or is it possible that Pope Francis sees as ‘restorationist’ the tens of millions of American Catholics (including the overwhelming majority of priests, and every single American bishop) who has received the Council in fidelity to the papal magisterium of Francis’ own predecessors?”

    Francis should let that understanding sink in. It is the same as Larry Chapp suggests. Francis is responsible for feeding the flock and restoring the gloss of their fleece, no matter its being matted, stinking, and besotted by dirt. Their coats lack lustre since they’ve been eating only weak, bitter, and foul-tasting gruel for the last near decade. They’ve been out in the cold because their shepherd has gone astray. Own it.

    • After reading through the article and most of the comments, there came to mind an observation I heard a Pentecostal preacher make years ago. He noted that when a church no longer evangelizes, the members fall to picking fleas out of one another’s hair.

      Of course someone will say, “Fleas! All of the above discussion has to do with huge issues.”

      Agreed, yet there are much bigger issues flaring up all around us, for example the suicide rate, the sexual suicide celebrated ,and promoted by “Pride Day” etc etc. Over the past year there have been something like 1030 deaths by drug overdose here in Portland alone. For all of this we have the answer…and yet for the most part we are literally dumbstruck with horror. Am I wrong? We are constantly urged to evangelize, but haven’t the slightest, not the slightest notion of where to begin. Where, for example, are the workshops on how to lead someone to Christ? But that has a very Protestant ring to it, does it not? After the Decree on Ecumenism, it should not, and IMHO savvy bishops should be inviting Campus Crusade for Christ and the like to the parish hall to show us how it’s done. That in itself would be evangelical as well as totally alarming and edifying to CCC. Or should we rather continue to expand on the delicts of Pope Francis, the proper implementation of Vatican II, etc. etc?

      People, many people, are overdosing, blowing their brains out and hanging themselves for lack of hope, while well-formed Catholics of every school are content to be in their own inimitable way (myself included) “fiddleback fussbudgets” (h/t Prof Chapp) who have a very clear of what the pope should do but not the least notion of how to do what Christ and His Church have been asking them to do for many decades now. Am I wrong?

      Larry did mention in one of his video interviews that a Theology prof of his offered this theme for evangelical outreach:”Come out of Hell.” That is the ineluctable argument that would fill up our churches with near-suicides, repentant druggies, prostitutes, homosexuals, war criminals and “night workers” of every sort..which is exactly what we want to see happen, right? Right?

      • Indeed, Lee! How many bishops in the entire Catholic Church formally send their young, newly-Confirmed Catholics out on two-year missions as do the Mormons (and, no, I am not intending to extol Mormonism)? How many dioceses have paired themselves with dioceses in third world countries to establish missions to those countries and the lending of material assistance to fellow Catholics? I’ve been to Guatemala innumerable times on mission. From the start, I was impressed withe number of Mormons, evangelicals, Baptists, and Anabaptists in Guatemala evangelizing Catholics OUT OF THE CHURCH. I give them credit, at least, for acting on what they profess to believe.

        I think there’s a lot of truth to the observation made above that when a Church stops evangelizing (as we Catholics once did in the 16th & 17th centuries), we start picking the fleas out of one another’s scalps – just as monkeys are wont to do on those PBS nature shows.

      • Lee, you’ve put your finger on it… We Catholics need Christ, the post-Christians need Christ, the world needs Christ. Yet we don’t often offer him to the broken world around us, we’d rather keep this treasure buried in the backyard, like the person who received the single talent in the parable. We’d rather argue over why no one understands Catholic teaching anymore, and seek out all the scapegoats we can find ( McCarrick, Bugnini, Masons, etc…..) so we can feel justified in our particular failures to love the Lord and live the faith, failures more similar to those of the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son.

        For my part, I’ve been the elder brother/lover of Latin/decryer of liberals/reader of “Devastated Vineyard”, etc since the late 90s, always seeking to understand who wrecked the church and her liturgy, and who wrecked families and the economy in the USA since the 1950s. I’ve found a few smoking guns, as we all have. The unfortunate part is, I’ve not lived the Gospel in my life to the degree I should have during this time, and many around me are starved for Jesus as I waste time picking nits, real or imagined.

        I guess the upshot for me is right now I’m not accomplishing what I’m preaching in this combox, so signing off for Ora et Labora. Please pray for me to accomplish that well. I’m praying for you all in your individual labors for the kingdom.

        God bless

      • The trouble is is that we have been getting all manner of evangelization. The sinners in the Church have been very evangelistic trying to justify their sinful behavior and views. Pelosi and Biden have been very evangelistic in their positions that are contrary to historic Church teaching. We seem to have a serious problem with honesty in advertising. The word Catholic is joining ranks with the words new and improved as an empty marketing slogan. Sometimes the Church comes off as a spiritual version of Enron, WorldCom, and Bernie Madoff. Once evangelized are there sound members of the Church hierarchy to whom we can entrust the would be converts to? There are days where faithful Catholics appear to be being given the Uriah the Hittite treatment.

  22. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, church life experiences newness, and creative vitality. Time and again, the Holy Spirit comes to disturb theologians enjoying an extended theological slumber.

  23. Yes, I’ve heard this theory before. The council was never properly implemented, because it was hijacked by homos immediately afterwards. If so, it was the easiest hijacking in history, as the council Fathers gave up without a fight.

    • They weren’t about to fight, given the traditional notions of obedience that the great majority of at the time stilled adhered to, even more so since Pope Paul VI often aligned himself with the hijackers, indeed, appointed them as bishops and to other positions of authority.

  24. I don’t always agree with him, but I enjoy Dr. Chapp’s articles. He makes the reader think (as evidenced by the comment box). Charitably respond to his ideas, do not resort to ad hominem arguments. Dr. Chapp is a brother in Christ! We don’t need more tribalism on the Church (i.e. either agree with me completely or your a bad person/enemy). He’s also not entirely wrong in his observations. Getting one’s back up and defending one’s camp at all costs is not healthy and will ultimately hurt the traditionalist movement.

    I just finished reading this book and I thought it was a great apologia for Catholics who fashion themselves as “traditional”…

  25. Chapp employs the terminologies already being used in the different arenas. My impression is he is trying to draw out some sense about what is going on around these terms. He’s not trying to authenticate them or how they are applied; nor suggesting doing that is a necessary exercise. Even so the terminologies are not his doing or his fault. What I am about to print in primary school, but yet we are having to do it.

    There are some in the Church who enjoy the favour of the Holy Father and consider themselves true images of “doctrine/not doctrine” as he would have it. Portions of them identify as “Charismatic”. All will say they reflect the nugget embryonic church after Pentecost and will adapt the words, “restore”, “tradition”, “integration”, “radical”, “spirit”, accordingly. Oh yes, and “true to VATICAN II”.

    They tend to be very “expressive” and they externalize their “movements” because “the Spirit breathes life”. At the same time, from my observation, there are among them those who are guilty of the things the Holy Father denounces, like insular and ossifying, who escape scrutiny because they are “going forward”; and it is possible also to suggest that they get promoted. But they would hold that the “Spirit invisibly at work in them” would be “proving the results”.

    Anybody can be “adaptive” or “practice adaptation” but it doesn’t mean it will be right. Let’s take this further though. I am appalled by that splitting doctrine and discipline thing/idea. I believe it is directly opposed to the Petrine ministry and office and undermines them and is outside Revelation and Tradition. It’s anti-doctrine and as non-doctrine can’t be Magisterium.

    It expresses a false theology of mercy and hierarchy that it aims to confirm. So that it actually is an ADMISSION about the alleged “invisible Spirit” and the “work” that “the Spirit is doing”. In the same way certain “doctrines” get sneaked in when they “uphold” and “adhere” to certain figures like Martini, Merton, de Chardin, Rahner “who were not being doctrinal or doctrinaire”.

  26. Dr. Chapp,

    I appreciate this article and much of what you’ve written here. However, I do take issue with the characterization that all “conservative” JPII Catholics who have felt disenfranchised by Pope Francis and have gravitated towards the Latin Mass are necessarily “rad trads“.

    First of all, I think the term orthodox might be better suited than conservative here, but perhaps what you mean is neo-con? I would argue that the neo-con position would seem to slip more easily into the radicalized phenomenon you describe, which is all the more reason for an adequate resourcement catechetical effort.

    As a female graduate of the Pontifical JPII Institute in Washington who has begun to attend an Extraordinary Form Mass in the last several years, I can maintain my Communio/resourcement approach to theology while appreciating the riches of the Church’s liturgy which were previously unknown to me. If properly catechized, I believe the vast majority of orthodox Catholics are capable of the same, and deserving of both the wealth of the Vatican II documents (properly understood and even critiqued, obviously) and the treasures of the Church’s liturgy.

    I can also tell you with a sincere heart that I am not a Sedevecantist, a misogynist, or an anti-Semite. Not everyone who attends a Traditional Latin Mass falls into such categories, and I think it is harmful to make such generalizations. Do I know a person here or there that has been radicalized by crazy websites or podcasts? Sadly, yes. Are the vast majority of the families attending the TLM in our conservative diocese sedevecantists, or even “just” rejecting of Vatican II? Absolutely not. The majority are simply orthodox Catholic families who want a beautiful, historically rooted, orthodox liturgy and choose not to pay attention to fringe elements whose claims are clearly at odds with the truth as it is revealed in the Catholic Church.

    I actually believe that a restoration of the liturgy is absolutely key to a true implementation of the Second Vatican Council. I have not read a large amount of your work, but from the little I have, I would think you might agree. Perhaps we would differ on how this liturgical renewal should be done, but surely you can understand that the dignity and beauty of the Extraordinary Form, (particularly as it is better understood among young families who are working to be properly educated and catechized with regards to it), has a place in our Church.

    You can be a JPII Catholic, faithful to the Church, and love the Latin Mass. This is precisely what Benedict XVI was showing us with Summorum Ponticcum, going so far as to underscore the mutual enrichment of the forms. I think recognizing this and dialoguing about it is actually going to bring more unity to orthodox Catholics than what may appear to some to be a sweeping generalization of all orthodox, Latin Mass-attending folks as “rad trads“ because they believe the efforts of the “reform of the reform“ (even where well intentioned), have fallen short of what was lost in the older liturgy. Thanks for your consideration.

    • A name with such a Greek meaning cannot be wrong, and your words have been blessed. May God continue to shed his rays of reason, might, and light upon you and yours.

  27. Wow, it is an interesting and challenging article to say the least! What follows is my two cents. That there are some conservative Catholics who take things to an extreme is obvious to me. I just finished reading “The Deep Church Revealed, An Enemy Within” by J.F. McManus, where and hard to believe, he takes some very negative views of even JPII and BXVI. I have also read “A Voice in the Wilderness, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the Church, America, and the World” edited by B.M. McCall, where Vigano believes that JPII’S and BXVI’s use of the hermeneutic of continuity to interpret the Second Vatican Council has failed to do the job, and that what is required is the cancellation of the Council. These radical traditionalists, however, make some good points. For example, JPII’s meeting at Assisi can raise some valid questions. Moreover, the ambiguity found in some Council statements can be problematic. I believe, nevertheless, that their extreme reactions cannot be rationally justified, so I cannot agree with them. Are they a majority of the faithful Catholics? I do not believe so. I believe that the majority of faithful Catholics are what the article calls “conservative JPII Catholics.” I also believe that the current Papacy is a disaster for the Church, and that Dr. Chapp is correct in believing that Pope Francis’ words and actions are the reason why some conservative Catholics have become radicalized. Where will the current mess end? I do not know, but we need to remember that if God permits evil, it is because God draws good out evil. Perhaps the current evil is necessary so that it will be easier to identify the wheat from the chaff. Are we Catholics willing to follow Christ by entering through the narrow gate, or are we willing to follow the world by entering through the gate that is wide and leads to destruction? By the way, an excellent book to read is “A Church in Crisis, Pathways Forward,” by Ralph Martin.

  28. Dr. Chapp’s mention of “ecclesia and theological exhaustion on a personal level” really resonated with me.

    I don’t deny Vatican II…what I’m sick of is the never ending purse fights between Popes, bishops, theologians and even local priests on what Vatican 2 means and how it should be implemented.

    A few years ago I decided to go to the TLM and live a traditional Catholic life until the hierarchy can figure out what it’s doing. I was so terribly exhausted by their confusion and tolerance of heterodoxy. It’s worked out great. It very liberating as I was freed from their indecision and confusion.

    So sure…I accept the documents of Vatican 2, and when the Church actually tells us what they mean and implement them consistently, I’ll be on board. Until then, I’ll just do what Catholics have always done.

  29. And then there is Pope Francis’s first apostolic exhortation, his mission statement, issued in the year of his election, 2013, Evangelii Gaudium. There in paragraph 32, he appears to call for genuine doctrinal authority for episcopal conferences. Is this call for multiple sources of potentially inconsistent articulations of Catholic doctrine a rejection of two of the principal claims of the Catholic Church after the claim she was established by Jesus Christ himself, that is, (1) that the Catholic Church does, and should, speak in one voice proclaiming the Apostolic Faith in its fullness and without corruption; and (2) that this is done infallibly only through the pope speaking ex cathedra? Here is that paragraph 32: 32. Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. Pope John Paul II asked for help in finding “a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation”.[35] We have made little progress in this regard. The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”.[36] Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated.[37] Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach.

  30. Analogies red pill or blue are fine insofar as analogy is meant to envision an inarticulate reality, not fully comprehend it. Chapp’s thesis is that traditionalists due to Pope Francis pillorying have fallen into the red pill trap, Chapp alluding to what Francis intended. In this I agree.
    Both bluepilled progressives and Radtrad redpilled have rejected VatII on false premises. However, the analogy of a false binary of progressive accommodators and Radtrad restorers who have “gagged” the council the victim ressourcement seems a tad incomplete regarding the reality. It seems more complex. Francis, Chapp says, needs to rethink his pastoral strategy of snubbing ressourcement prelates. That’s wishful thinking [wish that were true] though politically correct language [it ain’t gonna happen].
    Masterful Francis has achieved, in this writer’s view, his purpose of creating two pill duped opposing factions neither fully understanding their vagrancy. Although, reading through the comments it’s evident the issues as explained, while somewhat relevant are not fully representative of the reality. We find in comments a mixture of ebb and flow opinions, each side partaking of the other side of the equation. It’s complicated. I guess for a professor, and Chapp has excellent insight particularly regarding the pontiff’s cleverness it makes for good lecturing and as apparent good lecturer he is. Nevertheless, what comes across is a melee of conflicting true and false premises: good men and women [we have a few outstanding, some who seem more perceptive of guile] being absorbed and reduced to ineffective competing bystanders while the paradigmatic radicalization of the Church moves ahead. But that give and take of ideas among commentators indicates a dogged appeal to ressourcement could to some workable degree unify the Church. As it stands we’re divided.

  31. “It is tempting to assume there is a specific group of American Catholics the Holy Father has in mind when he uses the term ‘restorers’ and that this group is what many refer to these days as the ‘radical traditionalists’ (or ‘rad trads’). And if that is who he has in mind, then he is indeed correct and is not attacking a straw man. Because such groups do indeed exist and they are increasingly vocal on social media about their rejection of Vatican II as a failed pastoral Council that should now be seen as a gigantic mistake.” I second that motion, but I would refer to these people as “nostalgists,” and I would define them as people who believe that nothing in the church liturgy may be validly changed (or nothing ought to be changed, as I perceive them comprising a spectrum). They are at the other extreme from Modernists, who believe that everything can and even ought to be changed, including timeless doctrine. (Those who simply prefer the older mass because of its beauty and reverence are not nostalgists.) Curiously, the nostalgists insist upon a return to pre-1962 (the most radical demand a return to pre-1950) liturgy, but do not insist upon returning to the original Pius V mass, or to the liturgies he abolished, or to the older mass in Greek, or the original mass in Aramaic, with participants reclining around a table. Nor do they favor reversing the Council of Jerusalem’s abrogation of ancient Jewish ritual. So, their nostalgism goes only so far–back only to matters in very recent institutional memory.

    • Traditionalists are not crude antiquarians. One of the (many) issues with the New Mass is that it was cobbled together, pretty much on the spot. It didn’t gradually develop over the centuries. The ancient Roman liturgy did. The ‘Aramaic’ and ‘Greek’ retorts miss the point.

    • For argument’s sake let’s look at discernment in 3 stages: perceptivity, discretion, elucidation. Let’s apply these to the dictum “realities are more important than ideas” and see if or how the dictum can be sustained.

      The discipline of discernment within the Church is not restricted to Ignation method or insight. There is a pluralism of valid approaches that should be respected and fostered for the array of participants and elements one aside the other.

      The concern for the Church is fidelity to grace which always precedes reality, ideas and discernment. She marks out differently what is organic for doctrine and how doctrine develops; and what is permissible otherwise where she makes prudent and practical adjustments.

      In both the temporal and the supernatural, in addition, reason has to identify in any situation what ideas predicate the reality and vice versa; whereby to assist in bringing them to right understanding and order.

      It would seem clear that, without more, the dictum “reality over ideas” raises the implications that 1. a false dichotomy is set up, 2. ideas are used to by-pass realities in unstated varying degrees, 3. realities will get confused, 4. there is a misapplication of Ignatian principles and 5. the Church’s judging authority becomes intellectually tied and distorted.

      Per Chapp –

      ‘ In the same interview with the Jesuit editors, the Pope also made the claim that reality is superior to ideas. And that ideas are all well and good, but one can only make progress in the spiritual life when one attends to a process of discernment via an encounter with reality. He obviously means more here than a simple dichotomy between pragmatism and idealism, and is appealing to deep Ignatian principles of discernment. ‘

  32. Oh what a tangled web…
    How can those who affirm that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, and those who deny that God, The Most Holy And Undivided Blessed Trinity, Through The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, Is The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, both be part of the same Body Of Christ?

    “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion “, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), for it Is “Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost (Filioque), that Holy Mother Church, outside of which there is no Salvation, due to The Holy Ghost, exists.

    It has always been about The Marriage, In Heaven and on Earth, and yet we continue to see those who have been Baptized Catholic rejoicing in the fact that the question of abortion, the intentional destruction of a beloved son or daughter residing in their mother’s womb, is now a question for the State, when The Supreme Court certainly should have recognized that our Unalienable Right to Life, the securing and protection upon which our inherent Unalienable
    Right to Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness depends, was never a State’s Right issue, but a Human’s Right issue.
    Woe to us, for rendering onto Caesar what Has Always and Will Always Belong to God, The Author Of Love, Of Life, And Of Marriage, and thus The Author Of Our Unalienable Right to Life, to Liberty, and to The Pursuit of Happiness.

    Only The Truth Of Perfect Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Salvational Love can set us free and lead us to Salvation, which is why Due Process is binding in both State and Federal Law

  33. I think that, inclining toward the observation of Fr. Morello, here is the weakness and ineffectiveness of the “JP2 conservative” label used by Mr. Chapp (who I like):

    The label as used by Mr. Chapp seems to indicate that he employs it as a union of religious and political values, and that the JP2 part signals the religious, and the “conservative” signifies the political, and Mr. Chapp is explicit that he doesn’t identify as a “conservative,” yet he identifies as let’s use the term “orthodox” Catholic.

    Well, in truth, “conservative” is a term much broader than the narrow political-economic aspect that Mr. Chapp assigns it.

    Conservative people, culturally (that is, in a much broader sense than Mr. Chapp’s apparent meaning restricted to politics), want to preserve whst is good snd true snd beautiful that has been handed down to them from the previous generations, per how the philosopher Roger Scruton defines the term.

    This includes all things, not just narrow political views.

    So got instance, a conservative Catholic person will be concerned to preserve the traditional prayers if the liturgy. And to that point, I note that Mr. Chapp enjoys the benefits of an Ordinariate parish, which is patently conservative in its preservation of the traditional liturgy. So Mr. Chapp is, as to liturgy of the Catholic Church, a conservative in the sense of Roger Scruton.

    And Me. Chapp is in the ressourcement cohort of the Vatican II reformists, which is patently an effort to recover s
    and preserve the full storehouse of Catholic tradition and theology and philosophy, including the enormous store of traditions formed and handed down by the early Church fathers. So Mr. Chapp is a conservative Catholic in that sense, according to the broad cultural definition used by Roger Scruton.

    So then the dichotomy doesn’t work, because Mr. Chapp is either intentionally (for I assume political reasons), or unintentionally (for other reasons pertaining to the faith?), reluctant to wear the label conservative,

    But as to tbe Catholic faith and culture, he is actually in the conservative part of the Venn diagram. There is no avoiding that.

    And in his Ordinariate parish, he enjoys all of the benefits of having a pastor and parishioners who are preserving scripture and tradition, including the traditional prayers of the Roman Rite liturgy.

    Unfortunately for most Catholic people, we don’t have ready access to priests and parishes and dioceses that care about the scripture and tradition preserved and promoted by Mr. Chapp’s Ordinariate parish.

    So he seems to be taking that for granted. And we are stuck with a diocesan Church establishment that doesn’t value what he already enjoys, and takes for granted.

    • Very true. I honestly don’t think I could distinguish between the hostility I routinely encounter to Mass in the EF and to the largely Catholicized Anglican liturgy that Chapp rightly prizes. I envy him for his situation, although I also think that he minimizes the ongoing liturgical wasteland that is so prevalent in so many ordinary parishes. There’s a tendency here and in other of his writings to dismiss such concerns as simply more from those “rad-trad” cranks whom he spends so much time excoriating.

  34. The title of the article should – more accurately – be “The False Binary Between Heretics and Non-Heretics,” but that would be too truthful.

    It should be obvious that there is no false binary between good and evil.

  35. Thank you Dr Chapp for your articles which I found worth reading.I think one important contribution of Fr Balthasar on the papacy appears in his book The Office of Peter and the structure of the Church. In it he points out 4 main church missions equally important but different: Peter (authority) John closely linked to Mary,James and Paul.Taking the office of Peter in isolation,almost unavoidingly leads to authoritarism and clericalism which Pope Francis critizes frequently,but paradoxically it seems that he is more authoritarian than his predecessors.I think the other 3 missions need need to be fully embraced by the Church. A brief comment on liturgy: I
    I believe the Pope John Xxiii missal was never officially abrogated.the idea of Benedict XVI was mutual enrichment of the two forms of Roman rite and eventually have a single form. One basis rule of liturgy is organic development and unity in diversity

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