Father Michael Rodriguez’ Novel Suggestion for Unity Among Traditional Catholics

Father Michael Rodriguez’ Novel Suggestion for Unity Among Traditional Catholics

July 11, 2017
Posted by Tantumblogo

As I posted yesterday, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Father Michael Rodriguez of El Paso on the 4th of July. Much of the discussion centered around the views Father and I share regarding the different groups within the larger community of traditional Catholicism. I’ve posted on this subject numerous times before, but I will briefly restate them: most traditional Catholics have a particular group, be it the SSPX, FSSP, ICK, IBP, etc., within which they feel the most comfort and towards which the most affinity. I have no problem with that. Certainly there are advantages and disadvantages to each group, and especially between the SSPX and the Ecclesia Dei communities. All of this is fine and can certainly be discussed within proper limits of prudence and charity.

Where both Father and I have serious reservations is with proponents of each group basically making dogmatic definitions regarding the “other,” whichever that may be. And this is not strictly an SSPX vs. Ecclesia Dei matter. I have also heard proponents of the Institute of Christ the King make starkly derogatory comments regarding the FSSP, and vice versa. Oftentimes, it seems as if the various partisans of particular groups within traditional Catholicism spend far more time and effort attacking each other than they do opposing the true threat to the Faith in this age, the modernist Left within the Church. Or perhaps I should say “within.”

This is all so fruitless for so many reasons. Certainly, one can, with charity, expound on why one prefers one group versus another, or problems they perceive in certain canonical situations. But when it comes to arguing, definitively, that group X is protestant and schismatic or group Y has sold out and accommodated itself to the modernist zeitgeist, the arguments are as endless as they are unhelpful. Yes one can pile up great piles of quotes from Scripture, Doctors, Saints, Fathers, etc., on each side of whatever issue one wants to choose. But the other side in the major question dividing traditional Catholics – the canonical status of the SSPX –can do the same, and does, with grim determination. So the arguments go on forever, everyone becomes more and more settled in their own predetermined position, and nothing ever changes.

It also seems very silly when one realizes what a teeny, tiny fraction of the Church traditional Catholics constitute. Traditional Catholics might make up 1,000,000 ± 500,000 Catholics. As such, we are not even 1/10 of 1% of the nominal reported population of the Church as a whole.

With all the confusion in the Church today, where the Bishop of Rome seems to be doing all he can to demonstrate his manifest heresy, if not worse, can any of us be so certain that we are so perfectly right, and the other guy so perfectly wrong? Should we be focusing our efforts on judging that others conclusions are so much inferior to our own?

Father Rodriguez plea is that we stop all this endless internecine warfare and get down to the business of dealing with the primary threat not only to the future of the Church but also to the very souls of millions of other nominal Catholics out there, most of whom have never even heard of traditional Catholicism nor are aware that an alternative (and far more authentic) practice of the Faith exists.

But this is not just another “can’t we all get along” post. Father made a suggestion for a way for the traditional communities to both come together and be far more effective in fighting against the modernist dominance and deformation of the Faith.

The suggestion is this: for the various traditional communities to start holding at least semi-regular conferences amongst all the various groups, as a means to establish more peace and concord between the various communities AND for the development of strategies to fight for the restoration of our sadly tattered Holy Mother Church. Some aspects of these conferences would be public, while others would of necessity be private.

Father sees many potential advantages in doing this, as do I. For one thing, the modernist powers in the Church have long used the differing canonical status of the various groups against those groups, basically using the different factions as clubs against the others. In fact, there is a rumor going around now that if the SSPX is “regularized,” the Ecclesia Dei communities will be dissolved and Summorum Pontificum abrogated, leaving the SSPX as the sole provider of traditional Sacraments. Whether that is true or not is not the point, what is the point is that what has been used as a weapon by the modernists against the traditional communities could very easily be turned around and used by the communities themselves against the modernists. One could easily imagine numerous plays on the “good cop bad cop” routine that could be developed using the SSPX and Ecclesia Dei communities to wring concessions from the powers that be, or to at least gain great benefits from mutual concerted action.

While there are some pan-traditional meetings like the Catholic Identity conference and things of that sort, they are primarily lay-led and not really oriented towards specific strategizing among the priests of the various traditional communities themselves. But to my knowledge, no pan-traditional meetings of clergy oriented towards unity of action have ever been held.

Frankly, once Father made the suggestion I was shocked at its simplicity and obviousness, wondering why such an effort hadn’t come into being years ago. That’s a testimony to the really powerful feelings of resentment and disassociation among the various factions, I guess. Or perhaps it takes a seeming outsider to notice the obvious.

I love this idea. I’m a lone lay blogger, and not a terribly imaginative one at that, but I have to think that getting several dozen of the brightest minds within the SSPX, FSSP, ICK, IBP, SSJV, etc., could come up with all manner of strategies for achieving greater concord among traditional Catholics, greater effectiveness in response to threats, more concerted promotion of the traditional Catholic movement, and achieve an overall far stronger and healthier traditional Catholicism.

It’s all about souls, and doing what is best for the good of the Church. We can all still believe our particular situation is the best, that our current level of understanding of the Faith is darn near perfect, but let us do so in a more low key, less parochial manner. And let us work towards finding ways to bring concerted action between traditional communities about, while we still have the chance. Francis is moving fast, and he certainly intends that his pontificate not be a weird standout, but the beginning of an entirely new church of man. The modernists will not long tolerate the existence of traditional Catholicism. They cannot, we are an existential threat to them.

Let’s work together, and show them just what a threat we can be.

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One comment on “Father Michael Rodriguez’ Novel Suggestion for Unity Among Traditional Catholics

  1. A starting point for Fr. Rodriguez’ suggestion?

    ... for the various traditional communities to start holding at least semi-regular conferences amongst all the various groups, as a means to establish more peace and concord between the various communities AND for the development of strategies to fight for the restoration of our sadly tattered Holy Mother Church. Some aspects of these conferences would be public, while others would of necessity be private.

    Catholic Identity Conference 2017

    Written by Michael Matt | Editor

    Announcing the 2017 Catholic Identify Conference 2017 – October 27 – 29, 2017.

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