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How to get out of the Matrix on your own

…because, trust me, no one in your parish is going to help you.


Here’s your shovel. Now get to work.

The other day, I did a post that quite a few people seem to have read… and shared… and commented on… in fact, it’s been the biggest hit since I started this blog. This puzzles me slightly, because in it I basically said the same thing I’ve been saying from the start (and more or less the same thing I’ve been saying as a Catholic blogger since I started in 2004… only with fewer recipes.)

To sum up, Francis isn’t a weird and inexplicable anomaly. He’s really just the logical conclusion of what has been happening in the Church, and the world, since 1965. He’s not a surprise. He’s not “confusing.” He’s not a diversion from the glorious path of gloriousness the Church has been on since the close of Vatican II. He’s the embodiment of everything that’s been happening, including the intellectual and moral degradation, since the Church opened the windows and let the post-Enlightenment world in to run things. This includes his apparent inability – and the inability of his friends and supporters – to understand why a logical contradiction is meaningless. (When I mention “intellectual degradation” that’s what I mean. The loss of the ability to employ the basic principles of rational thought.)

All of this, I continue to maintain, is OK. It’s not a disaster unless you too start nonthinking that way. Moreover, this is all going to work out to a good thing in the end, since in Francis we finally see just what a grotesque parody of the Faith and of rationality this direction produces. He’s not just the embodiment of Vaticantwoism; he’s a walking, talking, blithering, selfie-taking, blaspheming, antirational, heretical twaddle-spewing example of the ancient parenting principle of the Bad Example; a guy so brazenly a bad father that he serves as a salutary lesson for the children in what not to do.

From the first day of this pontificate, I have been saying that this is the wake-up call the Church has so desperately needed. So obvious was this that it was the first thing my longtime atheist friend said when we talked after the Conclave: “Well, well… Pope Francis sure is popular with non-Catholics, isn’t he?”

I have maintained that the Church, bleeding out from a million papercuts, could not have survived another “conservative” pontificate. John Paul and Benedict had the capital of centuries to spend, but it’s all gone now, and we have to start from scratch. Francis is not only going to make that possible, but he’s going to make it the only possible path for believers. And that’s a good thing. In short, this pontificate was exactly what has been needed to force Catholics to re-learn their Faith, in order to defend it, now not only from the world but from the entirety of a hierarchy steeped in and addicted to their intellectual and carnal sins.

And [Halleluja!!] the remaining believing Catholics are starting to figure it out. Even the ones who were infected with the papal positivism that had become the norm under John Paul II, have started to question the nostrums of novusordoism – that set of ever-so-slightly-off and often unspoken assumptions about Catholicism that are in reality direct contradictions to the Faith of our fathers.

That “Unknowing” post has generated a big rush of emails. I will use one as an example. I won’t identify the writer, but she is a devout young lady from the US, who asks, “What are the main tenets of traditionalism as you refer to it? What is meant by “neo-modernism”? What was wrong with Pope Benedict’s pontificate? Can you recommend articles or books to read that cover this issue in greater detail?” Since I (and the small group of Trad bloggers out there) have been getting quite a few of these requests, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post giving the secret away.

I have written many times about the intellectual path I took that brought me out of the Novusordoist conservative paradigm. I have said that the logical contradictions of Vaticantwoism finally simply became insupportable, and another hypothesis was required to encompass the observable facts.

The difficulty people have, however, is that the source and meaning of these “observable facts” will remain obscure if the person continues to have nothing to create a contrast. I give the example of my good friend S, a young lady who came to stay at my place in Santa Marinella when she got a temporary job in Rome. She was a peach and everyone loved her, cheerful, kind and as devout as it is possible to be in the modern Church. She had just finished a degree at a large American mainstream Catholic university, and as such had never in her life encountered anything but “conservative” novusordoism. While she was staying with me and getting to know the Rome Trads she started going to the Trad mass at Trinita. I didn’t press her for her thoughts on the old rite, just hoping it would kind of sink in.

Then the Sunday came when we missed the Train into the City, and decided not to fight it and just stay in S. Mar for the day. We went to the NO Mass at the little Rosary Chapel around the corner from the flat. It was usually pretty innocuous; no guitars or hand holding, and the priest, while a bit longwinded, was at least a genuine believer as far as anyone could tell.

After Mass, as we walked down to the supermarket, S. suddenly burst out, “It’s SO DIFFERENT!” “What?” I said. “The whole thing! It’s almost as if it’s a totally different religion! Like it’s really all about us, like we’re all just sitting there talking about ourselves! God hardly gets a mention!”

I admit that I had difficulty stifling an evil laugh.

The trouble most people are going to have is that they never get an opportunity to get out of the NO bubble. They never hear about how the New Paradigm differs from the Faith.

Fortunately, the one thing they seem to have retained is the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, and it is this that Francis is now attacking. I think this will be his greatest contribution, since it is only on these issues that the novusordoist Catholics have retained any awareness of the Church’s tradition.

And of course, because the laity has to live every day out there in the secular wasteland, they see much better than most clergy just how much the world has diverged from the Church’s teaching, even in only the last few years. So many of us are children of divorced parents, so many of us have struggled out of the mire of the Sexual Revolution, the notion of a pope trying to force the Church to accept the secular world’s mores remains a horror to them. And this, I believe, is the last hope we have. It is only this, that to many of us is like a punch to a wound, that will shock them into investigating what is really happening.

It reminds me of another conversation I had some years ago. I met a nice young fellow from a seminary in Ireland. One evening we were seated opposite each other at dinner and we got into a discussion about the deficiencies of the New Rite and New Theology. He was a clever enough young fellow (working on a degree in math and physics) and had the Faith, so it was fairly easy to show him the more obvious logical and theological inconsistencies. It was pretty much Trad 101 stuff and he was willing to listen.

This was a young man who was never going to be satisfied with half-answers from either side of the argument. Ultimately, he was a nice young guy who wanted to know The Real and seemed willing to face the consequences of what he learned.

At the end of a long and very interesting discussion, he asked why he needed to change. Wouldn’t the NO do?

I asked him, “What is your intellect for?”

He replied, “To know God.”

“Good. So, when you are using your intellect to know God, does he want you to seek only partial knowledge, or does he want you to know everything that is within your power to know?”

He didn’t answer, but gave me a rather pained look.

“Of course,” I said with my Evil Smile, “there is no reason at all for you to do anything about this. You can secure your salvation in NewChurch. As you said, the Holy Spirit has rescued the NO Mass and the other sacraments from outright invalidity. You can lead a perfectly holy sacramental life in the new dispensation and go to heaven. You don’t have to look up and compare the two texts of the Mass and see what was removed and speculate on why. You don’t have to read the Von Hildebrands…

“You don’t have to ask yourself these difficult and frightening questions, or consider the consequences of finding out true things that would lead you somewhere you don’t want right now to go.”

“I can take the Blue Pill,” he said.

“You can take the Blue Pill.”


And here’s where I answer my young interlocutor’s question above. If you want to know what’s wrong with the New Paradigm in the Church, you will have to learn the Old Paradigm. After that, you will have the awful responsibility of deciding which one is true and what to do about it. This is something you have to do mainly on your own. It is where the question comes down to you and God. There will be people around you all yelling different things. There will be people who want to help you find out the truth, and people who want you to continue to conform to the New Paradigm. There will also be people who just get mad at you for wanting to be different – always failing to realize just how sucky it is to be different and weird, and that no one in his right mind just chooses it for the sake of being different. (There will also be the mean, stupid, bitter, angry or outright crazy Trads who just like yelling at people and telling them what to do. Avoid these. They are out there, but you don’t have to talk to them. I delete their rubbish from the inbox regularly.)

Here’s the reading list. It’s not complete. In fact, it is what I would call a starter kit. Quite a lot of it is old and out of print, (the Trad apologists started publishing in the early 80s for the most part) but can be found here and there on second hand and out of print bookseller websites. Also quite a lot of it has been made available online in full or in large quotes.

I learned a lot just by spelunking in the innernet a lot. Also, I had the huge advantage of living in John Muggeridge’s house for nearly three years, and it was literally piled high with this material, for obvious reasons.

I’ve avoided the really polemical works, which you probably don’t need to start with but will probably be more useful later on. A bunch of it comes from the SSPX, but I figure if you are too delicate a snowflake-flower to get past all the anti-SSPX nonsense, you probably also wouldn’t be reading me.

D. Von Hildebrand: Trojan Horse and Devastated vineyard, the Charitable Anathema

Abp. Lefebvre: Letter to Confused Catholics

Michael Davies: everything, but especially the Mass trilogy, (Cranmer’s Godly Order, Pope John’s Council and Pope Paul’s New Mass) his work on the false V-II idea of “religious liberty,” The Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, and Liturgical Time Bombs. There’s quite a lot more, many of which are thin booklets and out of print. Go and find them.

Romano Amerio: Iota Unum: A Study of the Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century.

Ralph Wiltgen: The Rhine Flows into the Tiber

Maritain: The Peasant of Garonne

Bouyer: “The Decomposition of Catholicism”

And the popes:

Quanta Cura (full text) – Pius IX on the errors of the modern age, including the Enlightenment/French Revolutionary principles that form the basis of the American Constitution.

Pascendi Dominici Gregis: Pius X’s declaration of war against the Modernist heresy.

Quas Primas: in which Pius XI explains how everything you thought you knew about “Catholic social teaching” is wrong. The Social Reign of Christ the King.

Mirari Vos: Gregory XVI on the grave threat (in 1832!) of liberalism and religious indifferentism.

Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae: Leo XIII against the Americanist heresy (essentially, against the idea that the Church and the same Enlightenment principles noted above can be compatible.)

… all of which is pretty much summarized in this book, “The Popes Against Modern Errors: 16 Papal Documents”

And if you are interested in comparing Francis (and JPII) and the traditional Catholic teaching on marriage and sex, Casti Connubii: Pius XI.


Think of it as a shovel. With this material, you can dig down past the false floor and find the lost Church buried beneath.

It’s fun! Like being Indiana Jones.

In fact, you can listen to this while you do your homework.


79 thoughts on “How to get out of the Matrix on your own”

  1. Pingback: Books to read | Pearltrees
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  3. Marie A. Dean says:

    Vatican II is a RESULT not a cause of the Modernist invasion, which is why Popes Pius IX and Pius X warned us against this heresy. The heresies of Modernism infiltrated the seminaries in the early 20th century and even before…The very first publication of the Catholic Encyclopedia has Modernist heresies in some of the texts.

    I have read all but one of the above…But, rational ascent is only one part of our responsibility. Prayer and fasting. I do not see Middle Class Catholics praying earnestly for this pope, nor doing mortification. Quite the opposite.

    I knew one priest who is now dead who was ordained 15 years before VAT II who told me his generation joined the priesthood to make the Church more Protestant…where was the outcry then?

    Lay people are to blame for this rot as well, with their blind support of rotten Catholic school systems which have been teaching heresy for over 50 years….Some of us were homeschooling in the late 80s, as we had already seen the rot. Complacency and the lack of prayer on the part of the laity is to blame, and conformity. Too many Catholics sold out to the diocesan structures which have been led by liberals since my childhood, and I am on the way to seventy. This wake up late. I wrote about these things in my first blog, started in Jan. of 2007. Few paid attention….

    This current pope is a result of years and years of corruption in the Church. However, even Cardinal Burke, and Cardinal Schneider, both of whom I have met and heard, are not calling for schism. Schism is a formal act of turning away from Rome.

    I suggest praying that this pope changes….anyone can and many do. We need to not only learn, but pray and deal with the duties at our levels of calling. There was only one Catherine of Siena who went to the pope in Avignon, and she did great penance and severe mortification. We are not holy enough and holiness is something we can all work on where we are daily.

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  11. Elizabeth says:

    I can’t believe I just read this article. It’s got almost every reason why I’m about to make the leap and leave the CONCILIAR church, and yes my “trad” parish. The group doesn’t hold the Faith whole and entire, and have absolutely compromised on V2. I’m just saying NO, and that doesn’t mean NovusOrdo either. Just NO. I stand with the True Church of Christ and those who hold and teach the True Faith without having to hold back because of some compromise to be in union with those who DON’T hold the True Faith and therefore aren’t even Catholic. I believe that Benedict is the real Pope – in all his own Modernist glory – therefore no chair is empty. True Catholics don’t need permission from their compromised, Modernist Bishops to practice the True Faith and assist at the only real Latin Rite Mass there is. Permission… recognition from those who aren’t even Catholic? What pill have we been taking?? Oh yes…the blue one. What absolute insanity. Keeping true to my Baptismal vows FOR ONCE, I NOW (REALLY) renounce Satan, and ALL his works…

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  14. accelerator says:

    Surprised you did not list DeMattei. And from left field, the sharper evangelicals saw all this early on, witness David Wells’ polite alarm bell in ‘Revolution in Rome.’ T’was before InterVarsity Press got on board with the StJPG canonization project.

  15. accelerator says:

    A-m-a-z-i-n-g blog writing. I can’t believe the authorities have not shut you down.

  16. Leo Wong says:

    I recommend two works of literature: Martin Mosebach’s The Heresy of Formlessness and Fr. Bryan Houghton’s Judith’s Marriage. Or, if the latter is hard to find, Fr. Houghton’s Mitre and Crook.

  17. christiansibelieve says:

    If I may say this is going to be a long post. Bear with me

    So this is my first time writing on this. First time actually reading this. Thanks to my friend. He noticed my very traditionalistic view as a Catholic and noticed my angst against white fluffy church of nice people. I’ve been battling it out. There is something missing in the norvos ordo (not sure if I spelt it out rightly)

    To say. Beautiful writing. I particularly like your story telling because it is showing real life situations which provides evidentially a true proposition. That is; that this is happening to you- and so yes other people can relate.

    I have not yet attended a traditional mass. I am overdue to.
    Church of nice will still have to put up with me because I’m fighting to the end and it’s not over until it’s over.

  18. Barbara says:

    First, nobody has ever claimed that traditional Catholics are holier than anyone else. There is a wide range of customs, cultures, and temperaments among them too.

    Second, generalizations are silly. The right is not homogenous, nor is the left.

  19. Guest says:

    Forgive me for contradicting you, but what do you mean by “egalitarian” nonsense? I’ve encountered trads who are playing by neopagan rules such as ancestor worship, racism and support for neo-fascism. They won’t outright admit to worshipping their ancestors, but they do have an implicit view that everything their ancestors did was virtuous. The Neopagan right poo-poos egalitarianism because it comes from Christian values. They think races are unequal and are supporters of caste.

    And really, when you look at the way pagan societies are structured, you see that the idea that men are equal comes from Christian thought. It is Christ that tells men to love their foreign neighbor. It is Christianity that says that all men are descendants of Adam and hence are brothers in a physical sense. It is Christ that tells you seek the good of those who hate you.

    This was my wake up moment. Not only are the left paganizing, but so are the right. Apperantly it is not manly to love ones enemy even though God who made men desires it.

  20. CraigV says:


  21. CraigV says:

    That’s what pushed me out…along with a growing sense of “self-loathing traditionalist” mentality coming from the forum at about the same time. Kind of like they’d bought into the neo-catholic caricature of traditionalists and constantly fought like hell to prove and to remind everyone that only “good” trads were welcome. Got old quick.

  22. Hilary White says:

    Well, honestly, probably not. But in his defence, and in the defence of all the good people – like Mother Angelica and Ann Roche Muggeridge – he was writing at a time when the conservative position was a lot more plausible. It took a lot of time for the divide to become as wide as it is today. But keeping this in mind, Von Hildebrand is one of the best of that school. I expect that had he lived to today, things would have looked somewhat different to him.

  23. James Bascom says:

    Thank you for your brilliant post. I would definately add “Revolution and Counter-Revolution” by Plinio Correa de Oliveira. The crisis in Western Christian civilization began long before the 19th or 20th centuries, but in the Renaissance and Protestant Revolt of the 16th century. God bless.

  24. Katherine says:

    I started at the top of the list with Von Hildebrand’s Trojan Horse. Haven’t gotten far, but he starts out with the same old story about the beautiful documents of V-II and how they have been misinterpreted and misused by the hierarchy. Is it going to get better?

  25. Thomas J. Ryan says:

    Americanism would begin the influence the entire Church after WWII and strike it’s hardest blow during the Council.
    Need proof?

  26. Lynne says:

    Hilary, I don’t mind if you don’t allow this to go through…

    A man who posted there self-identified as gay. He then decided he really should be a woman and began transitioning. He also argued that there was some kind of ‘secret’ document at the Vatican which allowed for Catholics to do it. The forum owner backed him on this. It was very scandalous and many other pieces of information came out. Many of us left the forum. There had been other scandals there which I’m not going to go into.

  27. Patricia Gallagher says:

    Maggie, my reconversion is 20 years along, too, although I was much slower on the uptake! About the time I decided to intensify my Catholic reeducation, in 2008, the idea of continuing in my government job began to make me mentally and physically sick. I took early retirement, *and* told friends I would use my free time to concentrate more on my Catholic studies and serve as a catechist. Until reading your post, I never gave a thought to the possibility that the two “life currents” were related — but, what a gift!

  28. Eyes Opened says:

    And God is doing a gigantic purge of the whole Church.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    I haven’t visited it for awhile, only when I quickly want to look something up. Have fun!

  30. louiseyvette says:

    Not nearly enough!

  31. Rory Donnellan says:

    Deacon Augustine, I second your comments about “Christian Order”, now edited by Rod Pead. There are plenty of very good traditional Catholic publications, but Christian Order remains the best – informative, insightful, and even more hard-hitting than a thoroughbred stallion at full stride! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart! Father Crane was a Jesuit of the old school – and there are today precious few of them left! That once mighty Order is now more accurately named the “Society of Judas” – once raised up by the Good Lord Himself to combat protestant lies, many Jesuits are now protestants themselves.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, so you are familiar with that site.

  33. Maggie says:

    “This is something you have to do mainly on your own”. So true. My reconversion is 20 years along. And back as early as the late 90s I started to question things. Why the hand holding around the altar? Why the standing at the consecration? Why communion in the hand and standing? And I began to read and study and learn. Relearn. I have read half of the books suggested. And even so, I used to argue with priests that said we were a new church and who rejected everything post-conciliar. Now, I concede, they were correct: there is a ‘new church’ and it does not resemble much the Church the martyrs died for. The Truth is watered down or even suppressed. And of course, Jesus Christ IS The Truth who is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. We little sheep are bleating and bumping into each other with few true shepherds to help and guide. Instead we get ‘pastoral’ solutions to ‘irregular situations’. Oh, but lets not throw stones but rather keep the truth from the sinner and allow them to continue to offend God and endanger their souls!
    I have to keep my eyes, my heart and soul, on Jesus and Mary. I got a Masters in Moral Theology at a good seminary and I do know the true teachings and do what I can to spread and uphold them. Am willing to pay the price. Gave up my medical career for example. We all must prepare ourselves for more persecution and ridicule and being ostracized by other Catholics too. This pontiff has called the faithful Catholic many many names. He exiles faithful prelates and appoints ‘progressives’ who are not about the salvation of souls. The battle belongs to the Lord and we wait for Him to intervene.

  34. Deacon_Augustine says:

    This is exactly how Pope St Leo II condemned his predecessor Honorius I:

    “We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Sergius, …and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of Apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted.”

    See any analogies now?

  35. ProfKwasniewski says:

    I’m done, promise!

    See you in July—–

  36. Ad Orientem says:

    You are perfectly correct.

  37. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve found a handful of distasteful comments on their forum but I confess I haven’t been to it for some years now. As I recall, the Administrator was very vigilant and serious about not allowing any sedes to post comments. Is that what you’re talking about?

  38. Hilary White says:

    For heaven sake, Peter. Knock it off.

  39. ProfKwasniewski says:

    No one is ever done learning.

  40. MSDOTT says:

    How can they be ‘Catholics in name only and in reality Protestants’ when they truly believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Our Lord?

  41. Hilary White says:

    The forum was the reason I left it out. The idea was to provide a list of books for people just starting to figure things out.

  42. Hilary White says:

    They made a movie of it, starring Martin Sheen, quite appropriately, as the brash young liberal priest who gets sent to the island to shut the thing down. Depressing book, depressing novel, depressing situation.

  43. Hilary White says:

    Yes, the point is that I already know it. I’ve done the damn reading. Did it 13 years ago.

  44. Lynne says:

    or the Reformation?

  45. Hilary White says:

    You know, I don’t take very kindly to pestering. And when I told you that my Sp. director had warned me strongly against reading books of this kind, I was not joking.

  46. Hilary White says:

    OH. EM. GEE!!!! I’m reading your damn book, OK???!!! SHEEEE-ITT!!!

  47. Radical Catholic says:

    Inside every troll is one of these:

  48. Hilary White says:

    With all respect to my good friend Chris, I left GF off the list on purpose. For the beginner it might be a bit too polemical. Good for the second wave of investigations after the initial spadework is done, and the person has finished freaking out, had a cup of tea and taken a few deep breaths.

  49. Hilary White says:

    No, Pope Honorius was condemned posthumously for having signed an ambiguous statement. Specifically he was condemned for having failed to defend Christendom from Monothelitism with sufficient fervour. It was his job, after all.

  50. Brian Evans says:

    Pope Honorious was guilty of monotheletism, a heresy that did not exist at the time he fell into it. How is this plainly analogous to our current situation?

  51. Remnant Clergy says:

    We will see, most likely before the 100th anniversary of Fatima , Francis condemned in the greatest schism in the Church, as prophesied by Akita.

  52. Remnant Clergy says:

    Recall La Salette: “Many shall abandon the Faith, and great shall be the number of Priests and Religious who shall separate themselves from the True Religion; among these there will be found likewise several bishops” and “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of Antichrist.”

  53. Kim Bo says:

    Yeah figuratively–hey you’re the writer. I am just a humble nurse and musician.

  54. Hilary White says:

    I don’t rule out the possibility that a future pope will anathematize the lot of them, and overturn all their works.

    But you and I aren’t that pope.

    And I’m pretty sure you mean “figuratively.”

  55. MSApis says:

    Another good book is “The Great Facade”. A real eye-opener.

  56. Deacon_Augustine says:

    The sede position begins from the same false premise that the neo-Catholic position does, namely that a Pope cannot be a heretic. The sede’s believe this and say: “That man is a heretic, ergo he cannot be Pope.” The neo’s believe this and say: “That man is the Pope, ergo he cannot be a heretic.”

    Both positions are illogical and easily refutable – all one has to do is study a little Catholic history to know that we have had Popes in the past who have been condemned as heretics, but the Church never denied that they were Popes. Look up Pope Honorius in the online Catholic Encyclopedia (which to my knowledge has never been on the Index of Forbidden Books) and it will all be made quite plain.

  57. Hilary White says:

    “My quickest response…” But you don’t have the authority to make that call. And neither do I. This is the problem we have now with this egalitarian nonsense we picked up from the Enlightenment heretics; we have all to one degree or another unconsciously adopted the facile notion that “my opinion is as good as anyone else’s”. But our desire for a quick and easy resolution cannot erase the reality that the great crises of the Church (and yes, I understand that this one is MUCH the worst one we’ve ever had, eclipsing even the Arian Crisis) are resolved not by people standing around in the piazzas declaring this or that candidate to be the real pope.

    This is the reason I am grateful to the Holy Ghost for this pontificate. Bergoglio seems determined to pull down the edifice not of the real Church but of the novus ordo cardboard backdrop that has been built as a false facade since Vatican II. The latest is that he has supposedly spoken to Hans Kung and encouraged him to “question” the doctrine of papal infallibility publicly… it is this schizophrenic behaviour that will be his own undoing.

    Between the Trump/Hilary ticket in the US, Justin the Six-year-old-girl Trudeau in Ottawa, that Commie freakjob (whose name I can’t remember) in Westminster, mainland Europe committing cultural suicide and this lunatic in the Vatican, our entire civilization is heading for a colossal collapse the like of which we haven’t seen in 2000 years. I really do think that, painful as it is all going to be, this is the only way forward.

    It will not be for any of these people to do anything to stop it. In the history of the Church, which is the history of our entire civilization, the height of such crises has always brought forward a pope who has been a reformer. The Great Western Schism was resolved when a pope called a Council to put a stop to it, and his lawful successor started the process of reform and clean up. It took a long time. A long, long, long time. But reality wins. It has to. It is the nature of the True and the Real to always win. But there is always a cost, and that is where we come in. It is not our job to declare that this Council or that one is a “real” Council. Nor this or that pope and antipope. It is our role to tell other people what the Faith really is. And to continue to hold it ourselves. Anything more is culpable arrogance.

  58. Hilary White says:

    Oh yes, good call. I can’t imagine how I forgot it. It was certainly formative for me. And the story of what those evil bastards did to this saintly man at the Council is a warning enough of what kind of people we’ve been dealing with.

  59. Hilary White says:

    “where’s the animosity”… It doesn’t really come from the difference between the two positions. I dipped my toe into the sede thing for a while to see what was going on in there, and examined it on its merits, but came to the conclusion that these people were talking waaaaay outside their area of competence. It’s one thing to suspect that the election could have been rigged, or to think that maybe Benedict’s current position is invalid in the Church’s law and tradition, or whatever other thing one has big qualms about our current situation (too many to write down here). It’s entirely another thing to declare that Bergoglio’s election was definitely invalid and that he is definitely an antipope. Much as we have well earned contempt – and in some cases loathing – for most of the members of the hierarchy, it does not mean that the hierarchy is not a thing created by God for the governing of the Church. We don’t get to usurp the position of the bishops and cardinals and make definitive judgments.

    Also, the sede position is mostly an emotional one, and it constitutes a backdoor escape from responsibility. If you can just say, “Well he’s an antipope” then you also get to say, “he’s not my problem, and all the things he does are also not my problem. I’m gonna sit here in my sede chapel or at my kitchen table, reading my missal, and ignore the whole thing.” As the troubles in the Church and the world continue to grow to truly Kaiju-size behemoths, naturally we look more and more to finding a way out. I totally get that impulse. Sersiouly. Who needs this crap? But to do so requires a distortion of reality so self-serving and of such magnitude that it just screams “coward” to me.

    Third, the real animosity comes not from the position as such, but from the people. I blocked whatsisname not because he was a sede, but because he was an asshole. The position seems to attract the worst kinds of personalities, the egomaniacs who actually make it their life’s mission to stomp around the internet trolling traddie websites demanding that everybody agree with them. These are people with SEVEREly malformed social abilities. If you talk to them at all it is an invitation to have them follow you around the internet for the rest of your online life.

  60. Brian Evans says:

    I am a new convert who got curious and went trad about 8 months ago. i’ve tried to talk to everybody and figure out where I fit in. SSPX seems the closest to my point of view, but… I’ve never talked ot a sede. I’ve listened to a few talks by Bp. Sanborn. but what is the animosity toward sedevecantists? what is the reason for that? i honestly don’t get it. because it seems like a rational enough position. a council with doctrinal errors was no coucil, a string of modernist popes weren’t really popes. My quickest response to people about VII was that it was not a council because it lacked council form, i.e. it deviated from all previous concils in refusing to affirm orthodox statements and condemn heretical ones. Some future pope will correct this and AL and correct the total torrent of errors coming out of rome for the past 60 years. Isn’t it possible or even probable that the conciliar popes will in the future all be deemed heretics and thereby not popes at all. So what’s the angst about sedevecantism? Is it just that it leads to quietism? I do think its a problem if a sede thinks NO masses are not valid and therefore don’t want to fight to stop sacrilidge and illicit masses, is that what lies behind the scorn for sedes?

  61. Benwhitworth says:

    I have been meaning to read all of these for books … for about twenty years. Thanks for the nudge.

  62. Elizabeth says:

    I’ll bet you’ll love it. Tons of great stuff on that site. I wonder how many years it took her to develop it, with all that’s there. “Traditional Catholicism 101: A Primer” is an excellent place to start. You might be surprised what you didn’t know (as I sure was). It played a big part in my discovery that it’s like there’s two different religions, if all you know is post-VII Catholicism, as was my case.

  63. Herman Wills says:

    Thanks Hilary, yeah I’m still here.

  64. louiseyvette says:

    I have now bookmarked Fisheaters. Oddly, I hadn’t done it before.

  65. louiseyvette says:

    “Francis is not only going to make that possible, but he’s going to make it the only possible path for believers. And that’s a good thing.”


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  68. Hilary White says:

    No more replies to this post will be approved. Sede trolls are like tribbles, the more you feed them…

  69. docmx001 says:

    It’s sedes like you who refuse the red pill, because wah wah wah reality can’t be this bad so let’s pretend it’s not really happening.

  70. Scott says:

    An excellent reading list. I would also add historian H.J.A. Sire’s “Phoenix from the Ashes” (Kettering, Ohio: Angelico Press, 2015). Keep up the great work!

  71. Stephen Lowe says:

    Are you confusing Ascension Thursday with Christmas? Such gifts and no lumps o’ coal.

  72. Cesar Pozuelos says:

    We are reaping the fruits of Vatican II, that´s exactly the way it is. If we are going to blame someone, John Paul II is to me, the favorite …

  73. docmx001 says:

    Oh ma ga. All of this, girl. All. Of. This.

  74. Elizabeth says:

    Great post, Hillary. For what it’s worth, what helped me tremendously was the website, then spent a long time within the “For Catholics”…Essays section starting with “Traditional Catholicism 101”. That whole site is a treasure trove.

  75. Georges Buscemi says:

    Another awesome post, thank you. I would just like to add that my red pill was Leo XIII’s Immortale Dei and the works of Fr. Denis Fahey on the Social Kingship of Christ. John Lamont’s amazing paper on Church / State relations was also a huge eye-opener. But the one book that I don’t think enough people have heard of but speaks to the degradation of reason in the post-enlightenment era is Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition. It shows how belief in God is impossible under the current thought regime that denies Aristotle’s four causes and especially the final cause. It also gives a succinct overview of natural law. I cannot recommend this last book enough !

  76. Michael Dowd says:

    One of these days someone is going to inform N.O. Catholics that they are Catholics in name only, and are in reality Protestants. Do you think many will care? Not very likely in my opinion.

  77. Hilary White says:

    Sedes. Can’t stop beatin that drum. Go start your own blog.

  78. Hilary White says:

    Yes, it’s clear that this entire affair is a gigantic purge.

  79. E. George says:

    And for this priest that era was exactly a year ago: the New-New Springtime of the Church, I guess. He was inspired by Benedict to bring Tradition back in a concrete way. In retrospect, it all seems like a slow-motion setup: entice the crypto-Trads out of the darkness (Benedict), then send them packing (Francis) or at least cordon them off in some denied zone (SSPX) where they can’t harm the average parishioner with their benighted Truth and other inconvenient topics.

  80. Silvia Aldredge says:

    I’d add Why Catholics Can’t Sing by Thomas Day. Its an easy read but it covers the ‘Why the music problem is a really big problem?’ question nicely.

  81. Marcel Ghost says:

    Many Catholics pride themselves on taking the red pill and come to the conclusions you do. But they haven’t really taken that red pill in reality. They haven’t gone far enough. No pope or true council could give us the serpents we’ve been fed for over 50 years.

  82. Hilary White says:

    This happened to a great many priests of that era, and will, when the histories are written, go down as one of the great crimes.

  83. E. George says:

    Reading Iota Unum was the turning point for me. It put to rest forever the “misinterpreted documents of VII” fallacy. What sealed the deal definitively was when my “restorationist”, TLM- saying NO local (and beloved) pastor was unceremoniously sacked by his order and literally exiled for “imposing” his liturgical idiosyncrasies on the parish. A small group, preferring their own cozy modernist vision of the Church literally hated him and prevailed upon his superior. It echoed that line from Isaias quoted by Romano: loquimini nobis placentia- tell us only pleasant things. This is what they wanted to hear and this what the whole post VII Church has striven to deliver: speaking only pleasant things, ultimately to the danger of souls.

  84. Peter says:

    It is bizarre but true, Pope Francis has wakened me up and I have had to learn more about the faith then ever before. I hope you are right and to overuse the boiling frog analogy that more and more frogs are jumping out of the pot and not being slowly boiled to death.

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