The Horror: This is Why Catholic Traditionalist Fear Pope Francis

An interesting article I found from The Blaze and it very true. For those of you who know me I am not the most traditional of Catholics; in fact I want to follow the spirit in finding theological bridges to include our own people as aboriginal into the church and for that I can be (and have no problem) with being labelled progressive or liberal … (“Labels” are none of my business I cannot control what others think about me - that is not my business).

However, this article and what I have read here highlights a new problem and that is the uncomfort of my brothers and sisters who are traditionalist. I believe that we need to have the extraordinary mass, latin has a place in our church, and when I go to a predominately traditional mass I respect the choice in style of the majority and even kneel to recieve communion on the tongue (have not done that since the 60’s)!

What I believe Francis is talking about is embracing unity in diversity and I would hope that traditional catholics would embrace my efforts to find an expression, symbolism that would reaffirm who we are as Catholics but within an environment that honours our creators gift of giving us an aboriginal world view… yeah stuff like that.

Bruce Ferguson
Trickster (indigenous symbol for transformation - conversion and changing into something…)

This looks like people are looking for controversy where there is none.

I love Pope Benedict. He’s a genius, a holy man and a patient man. But I have not forgotten Doctor Ratzinger who refused to wear a clerical shirt or cassock at any of the Vatican II proceedings, always wearing a shirt and tie and signing everything as Doctor, not Rev or Father.

I have not forgotten something that he said in his interview in Light of the World when asked if he missed his jackets and sweaters. He said that he did miss them, but he had inherited the daily use of the white house cassock. In other words, it was not his choice of clothing. It was Bl. John Paul’s choice. Probably, Bl. John Paul found the house cassock to be comfortable. Who knows and who cares? It’s his home and he can walk around in his boxers if he wishes to do so.

The point is that some are making Joseph Ratzinger into the super hero of Traditionalism, which he is not. He is the superhero of fidelity to the Church. Let us not forget that it was he who threw the monkey wrench into the final discussion with the SSPX as reported by Bishop Fellay himself. It was Pope Benedict who said that the CCC, Vatican II and the Ordinary Form of the mass had to be accepted as is, without criticism. It was he who refused to give the SSPX the freedom that it asked for to teach about the “errors of Vatican II” It was Pope Benedict who appointed Archbishop Dinoia and Archbishop Mueller who referred to the SSPX argument as sophistry. How quickly we forget.

Pope Benedict brought out the externals that satisfied the Traditionalist eyes, but left the the everything else in place. This is not a criticism. It’s just a fact.

Now, we have Pope Francis, who is not too interested in the externals and he’s being accused of throwing Pope Benedict under the bus along with the reform of the reform. This is a gross and unfair statement about both men.

The pope is a Jesuit. In simple language, he is a consecrated religious. He’s not going to live and do things the way that our secular popes have done them for 200 years. Live with it or ask the Holy See to pass a law that prohibits the election of religious to the papacy.

All of this comparison sounds almost childish. It’s the kind of thing that kids do when one parents says one thing and another says something different. The parents may be saying different things, not opposing points, but the child finds a way of splitting.

Catholics on both sides of the aisle need to grow up.

The Traditionalists forget that Pope Francis is a Jesuit and that the Jesuits were form as the ‘schock troops’ of the Church. “To error is human, to really mix things up you need a Jesuit.” :smiley:

Part of the problem is that people are not taught to think critically.

In addition to that, we have many younger people (at least, younger than you and I) who seem to have the impression that all popes are going to be didactic. John Paul 2 and Benedict 16 were both from academia; John Paul, with a PhD in Theology and another one in Philosophy blessed us with Theology of the Body using the humanistic and phenomenological approaches to the matter; and Benedict has blessed us with many theological works.

Now we have a pope who is not from academaia, but rather, if you will, from the “streets”; not that he is less intellectually capable; but rather, that he has a much different style.

Rather than being didactic, he is hortatory. He is trying to light a fire under Catholics; not to ignore doctrine or morals, but rather to live out the Gospel. And for those who wish to continue to approach our faith from an intellectual viewpoint, they are going to have problems with this pope as he is not going to give them dissertations. It will be more like marching orders.

Each style has its purpose and time. The Holy Spirit still guides the Church, and the Holy Spirit clearly wanted this approach at this time. A point seemingly forgotten in the inability to see the change that has occurred.

Salvation is not about doctrine; doctrine is about salvation. Salvation is not about morals; morals are about salvation. Salvation is about our encounter with Christ, and how we respond. And that is a whole lot of what this Pope is saying.


I believe we’re truly blessed to have both Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis at the same time. The Holy Spirit guides the Church. Each Pope, being human, will have a unique personality. I can’t compare one to the other and say I “like” one better … They are both awesome, and both were given to the Church by Divine Providence! :slight_smile:

Just my opinion, but I fail to find much traditional and somethings that are not even particularly Catholic in my brothers and sisters claiming to be “traditional Catholics”.

And I assure you that they would say the same about their brothers and sisters claiming to be “liberal Catholics” - or any Catholic - no matter what qualifying label you slap on them.

It’s called Original Sin.

I hope your user name isn’t an indication of more provoking posts. :slight_smile: When you post something like what you have written, you are bound to step on toes. FYI - in case you don’t already know. :rolleyes:

I don’t think I’ve had anyone sum up this issue as well as you just did. Many people will say “The last two popes were scholars,” but that doesn’t mean much.

Thank you for your clear, charitable commentary. :slight_smile:


I think part of the difficulty with the “marching orders” approach is that the people who have spent a significant portion of their lives, time or money in fields like pro-life work feel alienated by Francis. The thought is, “He wants us to live the Gospel? Uh… I thought we’ve been trying to do that the whole time…” It’s like a betrayal. It’s not just, “Live the Gospel,” but the way it is talked about makes it seem like people who have done pro-life work have been doing a ****** job at that the whole time, all the while, 'Yeehaw, poor people!"

It feels like the Pope is stomping on pro-life workers while at the same time having a dance party with people who do work with the poor.


  1. His approach wasn’t “Do this INSTEAD of that”, but “Don’t do ONLY that”
  2. His approach wasn’t “Don’t do this anymore”, but “Don’t forget to put everything in perspective, so that others can understand why you’re right”.

Again, let’s remember what he said:
“We cannot insist **only **on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. // But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. // The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all."

This article reminds us that Benedict XVI said the same things in 2006. Here’s the whole quote:

Let us return, therefore, to the subject of “God”. The words of St Ignatius spring to mind: "The Christian is not the result of persuasion, but of power (Epistula ad Romanos 3, 3). We should not allow our faith to be drained by too many discussions of multiple, minor details, but rather, should always keep our eyes in the first place on the greatness of Christianity.

I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and '90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith — a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.

In this perspective I would now like to continue by completing last Tuesday’s reflections and to stress once again: what matters above all is to tend one’s personal relationship with God, with that God who revealed himself to us in Christ.

Jesus used to bait the Pharisees just as the pope is doing with the press. One thing this has brought out is how poorly news people research . Makes you wonder how accurate other news is. Francis just like Jesus is reaching out to sinners (woman at the well?)

Pope Francis has wanted to keep the Church balanced. Two, or three issues, have been overshadowing all the rest for a time. It’s not that these aren’t important. They are. It’s just that some people seemed to think the Church was only tending to those, since those matters were all many of us talked about.

Pope Francis was reminding us that we have a responsibility to ALL the issues, not to forget about poverty, and all the others.

For pro-life workers, he has come out and said abortion is a product of a “throw-away” culture. I hope the pro-lifers will continue with all your good work.

It’s just that there are people in poverty, and other things, that also have their place. In fact, perhaps divorce, abortion, certain crimes, and such may even have at least part of its roots related to other problems…such as poverty.

I’m a traditionalist and I have no problem with Pope Francis. Sure I have things I feel called to which are not the norm in the Church today but that’s just me. To be honest I pay very little to no attention to all of this Pope Francis hoopla. I just pray for him since his position is one I do not envy.

I think you have to understand him in context. He comes from a continent that is not as prosperous as the US, where there is much poverty, people living in favelas, and in his own country in fairly recent memory, persecution, kidnapping and murdering of political opponents (which it appears he played a large role in smuggling people out of Argentina to safety); there were also brutal dictatorships in other neighbouring countries, namely Chile (Pinochet) and Paraguay (Stroessner) . In many places in South America, for many people the most important priority is simply getting enough to eat on a daily basis.

In Western Europe, and in Canada, the abortion fight has largely been lost, alas, and there appears to be little stomach to re-open any discussion of the issue at the political level. The US is thus a bit unique in that regard, in that the debate still shapes your political landscape. In Canada our Conservative government before being elected promised to raise the issue but once in power, realized it was a hot-potato and didn’t want to tackle it for fear of alienating voters. If the Tories won’t take it on, the parties to the left surely won’t, so basically the fight is dead. I think the same in Western Europe, where most countries are governed by coalition governments.

So I don’t think he’s stomping on the pro-life workers as much as raising the flag and saying that there are other pressing social concerns that need to be addressed.

SSPX and Sedevacantists reject every pope that came after VII. So, why would Pope Francis make any difference to them?

I still fail to understand why some people feel that they have to respond whenever Pope Francis says something. This includes some bishops. If you want to make people nervous, just make a comment about something. There are some people out there who seem to thrive on making everyone else uncomfortable. I find that behavior more remarkable than anything that Pope Francis has said to date.

There is also an attachment to Pope Benedict XVI that is starting to become toxic. I’m not so sure that Pope Emeritus Benedict would appreciate it. I’m beginning to understand how children of divorced and remarried parents feel. “You can’t move that. My mom put that there.” Well, “Hello! But this is no longer your mother’s home.” In other words, Pope Benedict does not live in the Papal Palace nor does he occupy the Chair of Peter. He’s as bound to Pope Francis as the rest of us are. But we don’t want to accept this. Because we can’t accept this, we’re looking for little things to signal some kind of conflict between the two men. The conflict does not exist.

Even if Pope Francis undid everything that Pope Benedict did, there would still be no conflict, because there is only one pope. The former pope would simply have to assent just like any other bishop. I truly believe that he would do so gladly.

My other concern is that the left and right are too concerned about their interests. They lack an ecclesiological vision. Their vision of the Church is very self-serving. They claim that it’s based on Vatican II or on tradition. The truth is that their vision of the Church serves what they believe the Church should be, not what the Holy Spirit says the Church should be. As long as both sides maintain this trend of thought, they’re going to talk past each other and they will never find a pope who satisfies their needs, because they’ve made Catholicism all about their needs, not about Christ’s mission.

As I never tire of saying, people are focusing on statements and deeds that have nothing to do with them. Take for example what someone said about Pope Francis’ statement on pro-life ministry. I have worked in pro-life ministry for a very long time. I run the largest pro-life ministry to men in the USA. I’m the superior of a religious community founded to live and proclaim the Gospel of Life according to the mind of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

What the pope said about the way that we deal with abortion and the mistakes that he points out do not make us feel anything like this. The truth is that we have no feelings at all. The ministry is about Christ. It is part of the mission of the Church. It responds to the issue of abortion according to the mind of the Church at the moment. We have no problems with what Pope Francis said. If he says that he does not talk about abortion all the time and that we don’t have to do so either, then we won’t do so. We can preach the Gospel of Life without having to mention abortion in every sentence.

Also, we’re big boys. We accept that we are ALWAYS wrong and the popes are ALWAYS right. This is what St. Francis commanded us to believe under pain of grave sin. This command has not gone away. Ask the FI. We are happy to do whatever the pope says that we must do and stop whatever he says we must stop. We’re happy to change and modify what he says to modify and to keep what he says to keep. It is our hope that the laymen, diocesan priests, and religious from other communities who work alongside us in this ministry will learn from our witness. We’re not in this just to stop abortion. We’re in this to live the Gospel in a very particular way and nothing would make us happier to see others learn to live the Gospel the same way.

So where’s the problem? :shrug:

I’m pretty active in pro-life work myself, but I don’t feel betrayed by Francis at all. I see him as very inspiring. Work to help the poor is pro-life work - remember that. Besides, Francis has been known to have an especially large heart for children with severe disabilities and for women who have borne children out of wedlock. He also reiterated to the obstetricians at Italy’s Catholic hospitals to continue to refuse to perform abortions.

Remember, though, that the unborn, elderly, and disabled are not the only people who are trampled on in our society. We need to do everything we can to protect them, but we also need to recognize the other needs in our society, as well. The homeless (especially homeless men) are often ignored. Immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are often despised and/or exploited. More people are receiving food from food banks today than ever before. The rich in the US are getting richer, while the middle class is barely keeping its head above water, and the poor are getting poorer. The divorce rate in the US is rampant. All of these, along with rampant abortion on demand allowed up until natural birth, are symptoms of a society which places the self above all else - symptoms of a society in which one’s own self has become the object of worship.

Satan has deluded our society into self-worship. Even most of us Catholics worship the self outside of the one hour that we spend in Mass each week (if we even go to Mass). The only way we can combat Satan is through devoting our worship to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We must also spread the Gospel in word and deed in a society that is becoming more and more adversarial to hearing and living the Gospel, starting with our own families. Without doing this, all of our efforts to combat abortion, contraception, and gay “marriage”, along with all the other needs of our society, will be in vain. This is the core of Pope Francis’s message. He is not saying that we should not fight evil where it exists; he is saying that without Jesus - without the saving grace of the Gospel and the sacraments - the fight against evil is futile. And he’s right. Christ allows us to conquer any evil; without Christ, we are powerless against evil.

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