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Father Michael Rodriguez on the divisions among traditional Catholics August 31, 2015

Posted 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 FatherMichaelRodriguezregard 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 maxresdefaultChurch 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

———–End Quote————

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:

  1. I have said my peace regarding CMTV and regard the matter as closed. I will happily broadcast any positive developments
  2. 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.




1. sixupman - August 31, 2015

“United we stand, divided we fall!”

None of us are omnipitent?

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

Or omnipotent, but I agree with the sentiment.

sixupman - August 31, 2015

Limeys can never spell!

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

But we love you anyway. My great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather sailed from Bristol to Virginia (pretty sure Jamestown) prior to 1640. My dad’s side is entirely English with a little bit of Scottish.

I’m an Anglophile from way back, even if my reading of the persecution of Catholics has cooled my former enthusiasm somewhat.

sixupman - August 31, 2015

“I” next “O” – could have been thick thumb.


2. Mrs. Pat Scott Houston, Texas - August 31, 2015

I just want to be a ROMAN CATHOLIC and go to a Tridentine Mass (that ii grew up with) where Our Lord is treated with the reverence He so deserves. I am not SSPX, nor the other group. I presently attend a LATIN Novus Ordo Mass, which is the closest I can get for now, subdued, and done with respect. I wish Father Rodriquez were my parish priest, and I agree with him about your fair minded article. The chaos, confusion, bickering, etc.–is one of the signs of Satan at work among us. Instead we should be united, and that was the beauty of our old Tridentine Mass–it UNITED Catholics world wide.

Tim - August 31, 2015

Agreed. I attended an FSSP parish for 13+ years until they left town. Then it was a diocesan TLM….the SSPX was now in town. We went back and forth for a while and we came to the conclusion that the SSPX chapel was better for our spiritual needs. At the diocesan TLM you had to swallow the Novus Ordo culture, which when I have an option will run from. I am not an SSPX zealot, but I will defend them from slander and calumny. I do grow weary of the “circular firing squad” mentality. I am fortunate to have had dealings with the SSPX, FSSP, ICK, Diocesan TLM’s and The Slaves of The Immaculate Heart as I have been given a “broader view” of the lay of the land. Fr. Rodriguez is correct….the real enemies are the modernists, who, unfortunately, hold power currently. There’s no longer any “comfortable Catholicism”. I know a handful of sedevacantists, they are not “evil” or “un-Catholic”. They are simply individuals of good will who have reached what I believe to an incorrect conclusion from the same set of facts. Castigating them and refusing to associate with them is not a Catholic approach and will surely not do anything to “bring them back”.
I do find being united to Novus Ordo folks more difficult as I can accept that they haven’t reached an appreciation for the Traditional Mass and accept that they attend that liturgy. I find the difficult part accepting the obvious manifestations of the culture that they are a part of…..it is foreign to me and much of the liberal Novus Ordo culture is dangerous to souls.

3. been there done that - August 31, 2015

Excellent reply to this old lady’s oft repeated cry of angst to both God and man ,”Isn’t anyone just Catholic anymore?”

4. Another voice crying in the wilderness for PEACE among traditional Catholics | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - August 31, 2015

[…] with the post I did on Friday but especially Father Rodriguez’ response, I found Michael Matt’s own plea for peace quite providential.  It seems to have come out a […]

5. Woody - August 31, 2015

So, can you tell us how Fr. Rodriquez is doing on his “sabbatical” or is it still better not talked about.

Tantumblogo - August 31, 2015

I really don’t know much. I think things are relatively stable for now.

6. FL_Catholic - August 31, 2015

Its interesting that this article and the CMTV one were posted this past weekend. Yesterday my wife and I on the way home were discussing making a donation to the Society of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (which I notice never gets brought up in these FSSP/SSPX wars for some reason).

While explaining to my wife everything that happened with the FFI and the Apostolic Visitation of Destruction and all the different traditional groups and societies, she eventually threw up her hands and said “SSPX! FSSP! ICKSP! and on and on and on! You traditionals and your lettered jargon! Why can’t you all just be Catholics first and parts of these groups second!?”

And you know what? I didn’t have a response to that. My wife was born in a Catholic-lite family and has become more and more favorable to tradition, and seems to want to do exactly what Benedict XVI wanted, to blend the best of tradition and the Council, with complete love and filial obedience to the Pope. And as she listens to my parents, who are die-hard SSPXers, and myself (die-hard anti-SSPX) argue against each other, all she sees are people who love the Church tearing it apart while our happy-clappy almost heretical pseudo-Catholic family members just continue happily on their path to Hell, instead of us presenting a united front of Tradition to call them back to the Truth of the Church. To me, her exasperation at the bickering and infighting and “jargon-filled tribalism” that the Traditionalist movement is filled with, mirrors what I’m reading in this article and have read elsewhere. We aren’t bringing in more sympathizers to our cause to help us fight the good fight to protect Holy Mother Church, we’re alienating people and leaving them at the mercy of the ravenous progressive wolves who will happily disorientate and destroy those who we’re driving away.

TB and Fr are both correct, we need to stop this infighting and work together to protect the Church during this massive crisis she finds herself in. Methinks at our Judgement we Traditionalists are going to have to give an account of how we used our energies to protect the Church and reestablish Tradition. If all we have to offer the Lord are pages and pages of pro/anti SSPX diatribes for all the time we spent in the Traditional movement, methinks He will be none too pleased.

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Tantumblogo - September 1, 2015

Great comment. Thanks so much. Sorry it delayed showing, it got caught in spam.

sixupman - September 1, 2015

In Australasia there has been cordial relations twixt FSSP and SSPX down to one SSPX Superior – a canny Scot.

7. skeinster - August 31, 2015

One of the (many) things I love about Fr. Carota’s blog is his usual sign off on his posts: “How blessed we are to be Traditional Catholics and to have (whatever good thing it is he’s been discussing)”.

Thanks to you and Fr. Rodriguez for sharing this with us.

8. al007italia - September 1, 2015

My one pet peeve is when someone calls the TLM or Tridentine Mass the Catholic Mass. That total ignores all the Eastern Catholic Churches that are a part of the Catholic Church as well as the other Western Catholic rites like the Mozarabic. I am a full supporter of there being greater availability for those who want the TLM. But those who act like it is the only valid form are doing just as much damage as those who want to change cchurch doctrines.
II know there will be some who are upset with me. BUT, I don’t care. What ii said is the truth.

kimzef2015 - September 1, 2015

While I maintain a much needed job in a conservative Novus Ordo parish, I’ve attended FSSP, SSPX and an independent sede chapel with a priest in the Dolan/Sanborn line. I’m also online friends with several sede Catholics who attend Eastern rite Catholic Churches (even though they are una cum Francis) because their rites of bishop consecration and priest ordination as well as their Mass were not altered by Vat 2. One guy says he just coughs loudly whenever Francis name is mentioned at his Byzantine Catholic Church. I tend toward the independent sede chapel
because it just seems the most logical and consistent in its beliefs about what happened to the Church.

The one thing we can all AGREE on is that Vat 2 needs to be abrogated. I am grateful to Francis because his persecution of the FFI caused me to take a closer look at the Mass of the Ages and at Vat 2—much of which is in opposition to what the Church taught previously.

Seattle Kim

9. tg - September 1, 2015

Thanks for the post. Some of us have no choice but to go to new Mass. Mundabor has written good post on the NO Mass and his latest one “Here is my body””, I think some traditionalists go to far when they say the NO Mass is not valid. It’s not great. It’s Coke not wine but if you believe the Catholic Church is still the church, then it’s valid. Even though I have pet peeves at my parish, there are no abuses. ( I did go to a Latin Mass in Austin last month. It was easier for me to follow it this time than the first time I went to one. I say “first time” because I really don’t remember it from my youth.)

10. Tulsa Catholic - September 1, 2015

I go to an active and growing FSSP parish, but will not trash or brothers in the SSPX and have never heard a FSSP priest say anything against the SSPX. I get the letters from ICKSP, FSSP, SSPX, and the Friars. All are good and dedicated to bringing people to Christ and follow the 1st law of the Church: salvation of souls. I agree with Fr. Rodriguez and with you Tantum. Great post.

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