Father Michael Rodriguez on the divisions among traditional Catholics August 31, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, different religion, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, Latin Mass, manhood, persecution, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, unity, Virtue.
I was blessed to receive the following, very supportive and edifying communique from Father Michael Rodriguez with regard to my post pertaining to CMTV last Friday. I had mentioned in Friday’s post a certain priest being “the best” I’ve ever met – well, Father Rodriguez is surely in that same category but I’m still yet to meet him face to face! Someday I will, even if only in Heaven, should we be so blessed.
I am in full agreement with every point made below, and I thought the sentiments conveyed were of such grave import and so helpful that they should be shared. I was elated when Father Rodriguez agreed to let me post his comments. I pray you find them as consoling and edifying as I did (text begins immediately below, all emphasis in original, if I have any point of disagreement with Father Rodriguez, it is in his praise of the author):
Blessed be Jesus Christ and His most pure Mother! I want to thank you for the excellent post which your wrote today, “A cry of the heart towards my friends at CMTV.” Excellent work, TB, may God give you the graces necessary to continue along this narrow path.
I thought your words were prudent, charitable, conciliatory in the best sense, sincere, heartfelt, and TRUE. I think it is extremely important to get the message out as often as possible that traditional Catholics should not be fighting and attacking each other. I am convinced that such infighting does not come from God. We do not have to agree on what is the best concrete path to resolve the extremely difficult dilemma of maintaining fidelity to the perennial lex orandi, lex credendi of Holy Mother Church, while also maintaining fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium (both perennial and present), but we should respect and support the fact that many (traditional Catholics) are giving it their best effort. There are no easy and simple answers to the Gordian knot of fidelity to the Faith vs. obedience, which is one of the things which makes the current Church crisis so nefarious. Hopefully, one thing is clear: the real enemy of the Church today is not the FSSP, nor the SSPX, nor the sedevacantists. The real enemy are the modernists and heretics who have infiltrated to the highest levels of the Church, and those whose disordered passions itch for novelty after novelty, and those wolves who seek to alter the timeless worship and doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. [One comment: I think this is the key to my point of view – there is so much chaos and confusion in the Church today. Surely I may disagree with the decisions some folks have reached in terms of which approach to Catholicism they feel works best for them, and just as importantly, the souls in their charge, but I am loathe to castigate them strongly for reaching a different conclusion from my own. So many of these matters are hotly debated even at the highest echelons of the Church that I think it preposterous that lay people attack each other for being of a different tribe. And I do have a strong concern that tribalism is a significant factor in all the conflict among traditional Catholics]
I think all traditional Catholics should focus their energy on: (1) doing everything possible to restore the Traditional Latin Mass, and reach out to “Novus Ordo” Catholics to help them appreciate, love, and understand better what has always been the Mass of the Catholic Church, (2) doing everything possible to restore AUTHENTIC Catholic doctrine, especially with regard to ecumenism, religious liberty, the social Kingship of Jesus Christ, collegiality, sexual morality, the nature and proper exercise of Church authority, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Priestood, the Four Last Things, the primacy of the supernatural (vs. the natural), and the primacy of the salvation of souls (vs. saving the earth, social work, ending world hunger, etc.), and to reach out to “Novus Ordo” Catholics to help them appreciate, love, and understand better what has always been the doctrine of the Church, (3) prayer and fasting, (4) promoting the true Message of Our Lady of Fatima, which includes the, as yet undone, Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by the Pope in union with all the Bishops of the world.
If fellow traditional Catholics disagree on how best to carry out (1) and (2) above, then I strongly urge these Catholics to focus even more energy on (3), and then, after working with renewed energy at (1) and (2), to dedicate, if necessary, a minor amount of time and energy to discussing their respective differences with patience, charity, understanding, and trust in God’s Providence.
Thank you again, TB, I think you made many, many excellent points in your piece, points which are deserving of serious reflection by all those who sincerely wish to do God’s Will and serve–not themselves, not their own agendas, not their own particular “groups,” but rather–Holy Mother Church.
We are first and foremost Roman Catholics, not adherents to this or that particular “traditionalist group.” We will do well to remember this, and to be forever grateful to God for opening our minds and hearts to the marvelous treasures of Sacred Tradition. Fostering this gratitude will keep us humble. [OK, I’ll make one more comment. Some people have been blessed to be born into traditional Catholicism. Most of us, however, have had to find it ourselves. We must always remember that, a) not everyone is at our exalted level of personal perfection, and b) not everyone will necessarily arrive at the same end point we find just right for ourselves. That doesn’t mean they are less Catholic or bad people, for some, they may greatly exceed us in time (or now), for others, we trust that God knows that some other end point is best for them.]
I hope and pray that CMTV, the FSSP, and the SSPX do their utmost to adhere to points (1) and (2) above. May God bless them all in this work. TB, may God bless your work and efforts . . . thanks again!
Ad Iesum per Maríam,
Fr. Michael Rodríguez
Diocese of El Paso
TB = Tantumblogo, not tuberculosis. Just so we’re clear.
Responses to Friday’s post have run the gamut from very supportive to very hostile. Closer proximity to CMTV seems to correlate strongly with hostility, which, duh. In which case, the post has failed, because the hope was not to stir up still more hostility but to engender a step back and reappraisal. Judging by the responses received thus far, that seems unlikely to happen, but I will continue to pray.
Whatever failures of memory or charity I may have had in my post, focusing on those I think misses the point. The point is that a goodly number of longtime CMTV viewers, supporters, friends and allies generally share my sentiments. And if it were me, that would be a cause for worry and reexamination. I know from seeing comments from very far afield dating back many moons that the concerns I expressed have been conveyed by many others in many other contexts. So, I think I am far from alone.
At any rate, the core of what I was hoping to convey is really put forth much better by Father Rodriguez. I don’t mean to re-open old wounds by this post, but to close them, and to that end I’m announcing two things:
- I have said my peace regarding CMTV and regard the matter as closed. I will happily broadcast any positive developments
- I will terminate commenting on this post if it descends into a pro/anti SSPX fracas.
The very point of this post, and the next one, is to prevent #2 from occurring. I was away over the weekend as is usual and comments took an unfortunate turn. No mas.