The American Empire vs. “Romish Popery”
We’ve seen this before.
As we’ve analysed here before (see here and here), the American Deep State has been targeting the Catholic Church for decades. At first the immigrants were targeted by street thugs (there was a riot outside St. Peter’s in New York at the first Christmas Midnight Mass in 1806) and racist Protestant groups – the No Nothings and the KKK – but now in the 20th century and beyond, the psychological warfare programs begun during the Great War have been turned against the Church.
The most recent attack of the American Deep State begun in the 1950s has brought the Church in these United States to her knees (“kneeling before the world” as Jacques Maritain adroitly put it). The American Catholic Neocon movement, once mainstream, is now losing adherents among the new Catholic generation, who realised the Neocons’ compromise with the errors of Liberalism ultimately poisoned the Faith and the faithful.
Now we have a Pope who comes from the embittered ruins of Baroque Spanish Christendom, destroyed for decades by the American imperialist Monroe Doctrine (see our contributing editor’s Puritan’s Empire for more on this).
Like many from Central and South America, he has no love for the American Empire and does not understand the milieu and cultural impact (Catholic or otherwise) of these United States, obscured as it is by the US government’s anti-Catholic legacy in these regions of the Americas.
Traditionis Custodes was no doubt contextualised by a history of anti-American rhetoric coming from the Holy Father and his allies – to what extent there is a direct connection with American Trads and the document is not entirely certain. What is certain is that the document used what Vatican II condemned as “collective guilt.”
And this played perfectly into the hands of the American Deep State.
As our contributing editor stated in his penetrating refutation of the Responsa ad Dubia,
It was Nostra Aetate of the Second Vatican Council that rejected the idea of “collective guilt,” e.g., that all of the Jews are responsible for the death of Christ. An error analogous to this anti-Semitism is being committed by Francis, Roche, and their party towards traditionalists. Realistically speaking, the first aim of TC seems to be punishing Catholics who find in the traditional rite a stronger basis and more nourishment for their spiritual lives, because these same Catholics also generally hold firm to magisterial teaching on faith and morals that the current pope and his entourage have rejected.
This is always the way of dictators, tyrants, and evil men in power. They find something wrong somewhere, and use it to destroy a whole group of people and tear down the monuments of our forefathers. The Protestants did it when they overreacted to abuses in the Renaissance Church. The Liberals did it when they tore down the tyranny of French absolutism.
It’s merely a pretext to destroy something that you want destroyed, whether or not that problem really exists or is really that bad. And this is how the US Deep State psychological warfare program has been operating since Thomas Paine wrote that monarchy is per se tyranny.
Fellow Catholics Pile on the Trads
Since TC (despite the courage of many Cardinals, bishops, priests and lay faithful to oppose Pope Francis) we’ve seen a rebirth of the old uncharitable attitude toward Trads, as fellow Catholics have jumped on the band wagon of labeling fellow Catholics “Rad Trads,” “Radical Traditionalists,” and have attempted to marginalise them.
Trads have been suffering this treatment from fellow Catholics for decades. As our venerable Trad godmothers Judy, Mary and Jodi explain in Mass of the Ages, Episode II (at 21:39):
This is the uncharitable treatment has resumed after TC. As our contributing editor Kennedy Hall wrote more than a year before TC,
When non-traditional Catholics flippantly refer to “angry trads” or “rad trads” in a negative way, it is not helpful. In addition, it could be argued that this flippancy is the other side of the coin with regards to the judgemental spirit they supposedly see in traditionalists. We should keep in mind that the sin of schism is a sin against charity, either against unity with the Church, or with other Catholics; brushing off, or dismissing traditional Catholics, including those who attend the SSPX is still a sin against charity–arguably a schismatic disposition.
Using Labels against Fellow Catholics
Now to be fair, some of our interlocutors have used labels to criticise the Trad movement in a spirit of fraternal debate, which has produced some fruitful dialogue. But this result makes it clear that the intention with these labels was not an uncharitable marginalisation, but a lively debate among brothers who commune at the same Eucharistic altar.
And to be fair again, Trads themselves sometimes attempt to label non-Trads too – “Neo-Catholics,” “Neo-Modernists,” etc. – so this cuts both ways. And finally Trads should also be honest about issues in our own movement – a certain “Neo-Jansenism” that we have discussed in another place – identified for years by Fr. Chad Ripperger.
But this only brings us back to the use of collective guilt by our critics to seek out and destroy Trad faithful and our movement. If our critics can find anything to truly blame among Trads – even if this is only a superficial critique – they will use it to destroy our movement.
And if this is true for our critics in the Church, how much more is this true for the regime of the unborn holocaust? The American Deep State is not unaware of these inter-Catholic controversies, but will exploit them if they can.
As reported by Stephen Kokx over at LifeSite, the FBI is now coming after Trads. And guess what? They used the new label that our fellow Catholics have already been using against us: radical traditionalists! They even gave us a new acronym for it: RTC! (Thank you, FBI!)
Indeed, Trads were already a target when the Republican party attempted to co-opt our movement for the sake of Trump (I acknowledge this even though I voted for him twice).
Now, like the good Marxists they are, the new regime is attempting to find a single bad apple among the Trads in order to turn us over to the wolves.
So if they can find some Trad somewhere on some chat room who happens to say one wrong thing that the regime doesn’t like – boom! convicted by collective guilt.
Time for Public Processions Everywhere!
We should be grateful here – the establishment both before and after 2020 recognises the cultural potency of the Trad movement, and has to face us for what we are: Catholics. They’ve always been afraid of us because the fallen angels fear the Mystical Body of Christ. Let us be eternally grateful for every form of suffering that comes our way: And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus (Acts v. 41).
They have to find a way to corral us, control us, and pacify the cross of Christ.
But the cross of Christ will not be moved. No. It will be raised higher and higher by the public processions of faithful chanting Christus Vincit!
Therefore I say, let the FBI come and see Christ. Come to our Latin Mass, by all means. You will see the glory of God and faithful Catholic families and lots of crying babies! You will find joyful souls who have experienced the grace of Christ. That FBI infiltrator won’t know what hit him when he hears the heavenly chorus of our parish schola!
The secrets of his heart are made manifest; and so, falling down on his face, he will adore God, affirming that God is among you indeed (I Cor. xiv. 25).
Many Trads are Trads because they have already had this experience!
Those Extreme Trads – Caught in their own Words!
In response to the FBI leak, the good Bishop Strickland spoke like a bishop:
Sadly, the experience of Mark Houck provides evidence that this type of surveillance is not beyond the realm of possibility. It underscores our societies deep ignorance of what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ or as presently stated “radical traditional Catholic.” Our Lord tells us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Deeply committed Catholics are the last people the authorities should be concerned about. Yes committed traditional Catholics will defend the unborn and others who are helpless but attacks of violent aggression are antithetical to what it means to be a radically committed traditional Catholic. Let us pray for all in positions of authority and especially those in law enforcement.
Thank you Your Excellency! How many other bishops will defend their Trad faithful against the American Deep State?
Meanwhile, the fiery statement of Dr. Brian McCall, editor of Catholic Family News (one of those “radical Traditionalist” news outlets named in the FBI memo), is worth quoting in full:
The release by a courageous whistleblower of this internal FBI memorandum confirms the dystopian state of the country in which we sadly live.
This memo, combined with the targeting and persecution of those working to protect the lives of unborn children, proves beyond any doubt the evil people who control the levers of power in the US government are using that power to persecute any who dissent from their godless ideology.
The FBI is spying on and infiltrating traditional Roman Catholic groups and even parishes for simply exercising their First Amendment Rights. The absurdity of the outrageous allegations of the FBI memo are blatant.
Although the author acknowledges that white supremacists are and have always been violently anti-Catholic (the KKK burn crosses specifically to show their hostility to Catholics), the author believes these white supremacist groups are now deeply attracted to strongly Catholic parishes and groups that they despise.
Traditional Catholicism has never had anything to do with racial bigotry or hatred. In fact, the White Supremacist groups that have been active throughout US history (such as the Know Nothing Party) have targeted Catholics because Catholics have always sought the salvation and improvement in this world of the lot of those races and ethnicities despised by white Protestant elitists.
Ironically, every traditional Latin Mass parish I have ever attended is more ethnically diverse than liberal Catholic parishes that segregate attendees by linguistic, and hence ethnic, lines (i.e., Spanish Masses, Vietnamese Masses, etc.).
Traditional Catholics seek the conversion of everyone regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or any other attribute, to the Kingship of Christ. They seek to bring the love of Christ and His Church to all races and ethnicities.
The memo’s prominent reliance on the utterly discredited and bigoted Southern Poverty Law Center, which is not a law center at all but merely a radical political leftist front, further discredits this memo and its author.
The Department of Justice, in its continued persecution of pro-life advocates, and now, simple Traditional Catholics, should be renamed from its Orwellian title to the more accurate Department of Injustice.
There’s not a lot to add from this mic-drop from the good law professor, other than to speak directly to my fellow, non-Trad Catholics, especially those who want to marginalise us and label us uncharitably: will you stand with us when we are persecuted by our own bishops? Will you stand with us when the FBI comes knocking on our rectory door? Come to our Latin Mass – it’s a pre-Lenten, “purple” Sunday this week – I want you to hear our parish schola. And let’s have coffee and donuts in the parish basement after. Let me introduce you to some of my friends and family here: they are all very scary, “Radical Traditionalists.” 🙂
JESUS IS KING!
T. S. Flanders
Radical Traditionalist Catholic (RTC)
Timothy S. Flanders earned a BA in Greek and Latin from Grand Valley State University in 2010 with special studies in history, writing and Arabic. As a result of his studies, he converted from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy and began working in education among ages Kindergarten to adult. He then pursued a Masters’ Degree in Christian history and theology with the Catholic University of Ukraine. In 2013, as a result of further searching, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly after Pope Francis was elected. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. In 2021, he became the editor-in-chief of the online journal, OnePeterFive. He is the author of three books: Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics, City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and When the Gates of Hell Prevail: What Catholics Do in Dark Times, as well as a forthcoming book about Eastern Orthodoxy, published by St. Paul Center. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.