Traditionalist Catholics are often accused of being members of a "small cult." H.L. Mencken once observed, "A cult is any religion except for my own." While I do not hesitate to call Protestants, the adherents of Vatican II, and any other false system a "sect" (in opposition to the One True Church), I will not call them a "cult." Originally, the word cult signified a means of worship and the Church Herself applied it to the liturgy. Now it is used in a pejorative manner for any religious activity someone doesn't like. The term does, and should, have a restricted meaning for those organizations which use coercion to get and/or keep members.
According to Janja Lalich, Ph.D. and Michael D. Langone, Ph.D., there are several characteristics of a cult some of which are:
- The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
- Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
- The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.(See http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm)
Using this as a guide, we can call Scientology a cult, but not the Vatican II sect. Ironically, some members of the Vatican II sect refer to Traditionalists as a "cult." The reason is clear: We believe in objective truth, and we possess it exclusively.
Is there such a thing as objective truth - truth which has always been and always will be the same - unchanging and constant - hence a truth which is absolute? Now, either words have meaning or they don't. If truth is only a matter of personal taste, if one is convinced that all reality is relative, there is hardly any point in continuing either discussion or search for truth. One is caught in the self-contradiction of proclaiming that the only truth there is---is that there is no truth. Unless we deny all logic and meaning we must conclude that Truth, as such, exists. Such a statement may seem puerile to a Traditionalist, but once an agnostic admits the possibility of truth, he is logically committed to seeking and adhering to this entity.
Once we accept the possibility of objective truth we can seek it out from only three possible sources. These are 1) the ancient and always constant Truths embodied in the Catholic Religion and demonstrated by right reason; 2) our own or someone else's gut feelings or psychological experiences as to what is true; and 3) some mixture of these two extremes. Either we accept objective criteria, or we accept subjective criteria, or we create a mixture of the two that for some reason or another we find personally satisfactory. We see here displayed the spectrum between Traditional Catholicism which offers us objectively defined truths, the beliefs of modern man which approach absolute subjectivity and Protestantism which is a mixture of some objective truths combined with subjective opinions. Vatican II, with its novel doctrine on religious liberty, places the post-Conciliar position on the nature of truth in the middle or modern category for it proclaims that man is free to believe anything he wants and that his very dignity lies in this freedom. How can man's dignity lie in his freedom to believe error?
But, the Vatican II sect will protest, if you're Catholics, then why are there so many splinter groups? Your just like Protestants. I've dealt with this charge before in other posts. It's glib, but it doesn't get you very far. Without a pope, it's only natural that when the Shepard is struck, the sheep will be scattered. We DO agree on far more than we don't agree. The Vatican II sect, which has an alleged pope, has disunity and there should be NONE. Ask any three Traditionalist priests if homosexuality is always wrong, or what is Transubstantiation, and you will get three identical answers. Ask the same of three Vatican II sect "priests" and you will likely get three different answers, depending on whether they are "conservative," "moderate," or "liberal."
The reason for my post today is to suggest something bold for Traditionalists. One way we could get more united to see our way through this time of the Great Apostasy, is to have universal recognition of each others Orders. All Traditionalist clergy, ordained after Vatican II obtain their Apostolic Succession from one of three Episcopal Lineages: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (SSPX and SSPX-SO), Archbishop Peter Thuc (CMRI), and Bishop Alfred Mendez (SSPV).
Due to bickering and pride, some question the validity of the other lines. The Society of St Pius V (SSPV) will not recognize those ordained/consecrated by Thuc. The Society of St Pius X-Strict Observance (SSPX-SO) will recognize only Vatican II orders (!) and their own. They shun SSPV and CMRI. To their credit CMRI will recognize all three lineages. Rather than get bogged down with the reasons behind the "doubts" that were cooked up, I have a suggestion:
- Have Bishop Santay (SSPV), Bishop Pivarunas (CMRI), and Bishop Williamson (SSPX-SO) begin talking to each other via Skype to work out some differnces.
- To prevent any further aspersions against their Orders, IN AN ACT OF SUPREME HUMILITY FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS, agree to meet and a designated place and time to conditionally re-ordain and conditionally re-consecrate each other!
- In this way, those who only recognize the Lefebvre lineage would now have to recognize the other two. Likewise, the Mendez and Thuc devotees, would have to recognize the other two lines.
- By achieving mutual recognition, Traditionalists will inch closer to the day when perhaps we can get as close to a unified front until the papacy is restored.
- Perhaps, in so doing, we would hasten the day when a pope comes to replace His Holiness Pope Pius XII (d. 1958).
I urge any Traditionalists who read my blog to bring this to the attention of your priests (and even Bishop) to let them ponder the potential good that could come from this act. I also wish to thank my friend Mike at www.dailycatholic.org for discussing this issue with me. He's a man strong in the true Faith. (Please say a prayer for the repose of the soul of his dear wife Cyndi, who recently passed.) There are those who say the fate of the Church is in God's Hands. True enough. But as St. Teresa of Avila observed, "God has no hands but ours." (Lit. "Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.")
This is a great idea! I suggested the same thing but it got shot down pretty hard, as in, "IT'S SINFUL TO EVEN SUGGEST DOING SO YOU ARROGANT NON-CATHOLIC", etc. kind of rhetoricReplyDelete
BetrayedCatholics.com claims CMRI/SSPV/etc. are all cults and they have the stay-at-home sedevacantist position:
(Unfortunately this site appears to be down at the moment of posting this, unless there is a technical problem with my computer)
Additionally, we have mud-slingers at thelaypulpit.blogspot.com and pistrinaliturgica.blogspot.com vs. the Sanborn/Cekada group
I bet Satan loves all this because it is militarily/strategically "retarded" and makes enemies of the Church laugh at the disordered childishness of those who claim to be the "one true Church".
As you may know, the CMRI superior asked to have someone look into if they were a cult and report the findings to their superior, because they didn't think they were one but were getting accusations of being one. It was found that all they were doing fit the definition of a cult exactly and the superior agreed that that was the case and that there was a need for change (excuse me if I've gotten the story wrong a bit, I'm summarizing). Without a pope and with warring "factions", there is plenty of cult-behavior going on and little objectivity. Granted, everyone is under confusion and stress.
I would interrested in more details regarding CMRI as cult. Thank you, I appreciate it.Delete
CMRI being a cult refers to when their original leader.I think he left CMRI in late 80's, after which he was arrested on drug and financial charges.Delete
CMRI has since renounced their original leader and do their best to sustain the true catholic faith.I'm not in a city with CMRI but know enough to understand they're sincere.Delete
There are many things to add to your strategy. Why not recruit more people and true priests from the novus ordo? I'm sure some still exist who are true priests (one is here in the local diocese, he's old). Part of the problem is that people *kind of* believe in sedevacantism, but not with a faith that moves mountains. All the pieces of the puzzle aren't put together. There are still lots of unaddressed objections which don't come to light because of the relative obscurity of the traditionalist and sedevacantist groups and positions. With more people comes more challenge and responsibility.ReplyDelete
"Perhaps we would hasten the day when a pope comes to replace Pius XII" - but what do traditionalists think about "Pope Michael"? The trad. bishops put every obstacle in the way to electing a pope with bishops, putting David Bawden ("pope" Michael - he is now a true bishop as far as I know) in the difficult position of if he and a bunch of laymen should elect a pope. If the novus ordo is not Catholicism, then the Catholic bishops are all that's left and there is no obstacle from a general imperfect council from electing a true pope. Isn't that what you're suggesting, from a sedevacantist standpoint, and which is the only logical way to get a pope from this position? However, the other possibility is sedeprivationism, but then if you believe in this, then you are NOT sedevacantist. In fact, I suggested to a few people who agree that sedevacantism and sedeprivationism are actually schismatic in the future, because sedeprivationism says that if Francis were to reject the heresies he adheres to he would become pope. Would all sedevacantists agree with this? Then, as I mentioned, they're not sedevacantists but sedeprivationists, because other sedevacantists would NOT agree that such a gesture would make Francis pope. And then if that's all we need to get a pope, what are the sedeprivationists doing to make that situation happen? P.S. Would Fr. Cekada (sedevacantist) and Bp. Sanborn (sedeprivationist) split then if they agreed their views are formally schismatic? Or is Fr. Cekada really a sedeprivationist? There are a lot of these sloppy logical considerations and a lot of other scattered voices who are hardly addressed, like johnthebaptist.us and immaculata-one.com, and betrayedcatholics.com, all stay-at-home sedevacantists.
You can read this letter from '83 which indicates Abp. Lefebvre was having talks to elect a pope: http://www.scribd.com/doc/77235819/An-Open-Letter-to-Archbishop-Lefebvre-by-Bishop-George-Musey-November-1983
^That is from Bp. Bawden, "Pope Michael"'s library on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/Let%20George%20Do%20it%20Not/documents
Why not wait for the traditionalist bishops to elect a pope?: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16249660/Why-Not-Wait-for-the-Traditional-Bishops-to-Elect-a-Pope
So, how are we going to get a pope? Couldn't we easily have done this by now? The only thing I don't agree with Bp. Bawden's claim to the papacy is that they held a lay election. Now, sedevacantists should be more clear: are they sedeprivationists (we just need V2 pseudopopes to convert to get a pope), conclavists (seeking to elect a pope), or sedevacantists (there is no way to elect a pope or no way known now).
I have not seen one position defended WITH CERTAINTY such that denial of it would be as absurd as denying that 2+2=4. Until such certainty is established through prayer, working together, and study, we will be immersed in the chaos of these warring factions NOT for the glory of God but contrary to it.
One last point I forgot to mention: if we admit communists infiltrated the Church to destroy it, how don't we know there are communist plants within the traditionalists to create "controlled opposition"? Of course Satan and the communists knew there would be a backlash, so why not send some into that camp as well? Then you have control of everything. Generally I don't know if this applies to any specific SSPX characters or the like, as I only know so many of them via what I can read online, but maybe it would explain why Bp. Fellay has been acting so lukewarm or Abp. Lefebvre would waver back and forth if the novus ordo was Catholic or not. The rabbit hole is deep, but the pipeline to God is direct, so I encourage you to pray and to spread a reliance on prayer to solve these problems. Are we not in a MAJOR crisis? Are we acting as such, going to heroic lengths to pray to get it to end, holding all-night prayer vigils and the like? Maybe we just need to give a little more and the solutions will come. I believe we ought to pray for miracles, direct angelic and Divine intervention, and the like. Is that not what the magnitude of the situation we face today demands, or is this just a few "minor problems" we're dealing with? Should we go to more "extremes" out of humility? I've heard that self-mortification such as whipping has been banned, but I did recently pray in the St. Rita that she endured "severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings". What length are we willing to go to solve this crisis? I truly believe almost all the traditionalists are of good will and while divisions are necessary, the lack of perceived progress at solving these different problems, in my opinion, is lamentable and something we should oppose with as much effort as our states in life permit.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your efforts to fulfill your Catholic duty in this difficult time with your blog and so on, and have a faith that moves mountains that we can get past this nonsense and that the Church may be swiftly restored to sanity, or we may hold it out and brace ourselves for the end... whatever God wills!
This is an excellent idea!!!!!However,I would not be above recognizing Pope Michael if he can prove he is validly ordained/consecrated.If the 3 major lines (Thuc, SSPX, SSPV,etc)recognized him,I would too.ReplyDelete
As for "Pope" Michael, see my post of 5/10/13, "Attempting To Replace the Heretical With The Delusional"ReplyDelete
This is an excellent article.I wish more Roman Catholics thought like you all!!ReplyDelete