The Church Militant

This is a difficult time to be a Catholic.  The moral scandals in the Church, which should have provided an occasion for constructive change and for replacing the leftist American hierarchy with bishops of strong faith, pure morals, and sound theology, have only aggravated the divisions within the Church.  Even many self-described traditionalists are taking advantage of the crisis to say “We told you so.”  Nothing good has happened since the elimination of the Tridentine Mass (which, of course, has not been eliminated), they say, and even Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae has been condemned by Latin Mass, a magazine that recently seems to have taken on the task of reducing Catholic moral theology to the principles of capitalism.  Pope Leo XIII, St. Thomas Aquinas, and every other major doctor of the Church must now make way for Adam Smith and Bill Gates.

In their rage and frustration with the very real disorders in the Church, some traditionalists do not hesitate to say that the See of Peter is vacant.  Only their saving remnant of old believers represents the true Church.  Like other American conservatives in these troubled times, many Catholic traditionalists are afflicted with a shortsighted perspective on the Church and a crippling ignorance of history.  It is not, after all, as if the Catholic Church has not faced equally grave crises in the past, some of...

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