Editor’s Note: There has been a tendency among some recent critics of The Remnant to confuse our editorial concern over the troubling pontificate of Pope Francis with expressions of indignation over mere personal effrontery. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we note the fact that the Holy Father, for example, appears to be “scolding” traditional Catholics on something of a regular basis, we are not particularly concerned about his less-than-favorable opinion of us as individuals. We are a remnant, after all, whose stock-in-trade is opinion which tends to struggle against the current.
An attack on traditionalists by the Holy Father does, however, suggest an attack on Tradition itself, on 2000 years of liturgical heritage and the established moral order of Holy Mother Church—the defense of which, no matter how inadequate, is what makes a Catholic a traditionalist.
What is so troubling for many of us is this idea that if Pope Francis is correct in administering these scoldings of Tradition, and if he is right in attempting to establish a new orientation for the Church and the papacy, then it would seem to stand to reason that the Church historically and traditionally was wrong or at least seriously mistaken in both her praxis and teaching for a very long time. By his own admission, Francis is trying to move the Church out of the darkness of her old ways and into the light of modernity. For nearly 2000 years of Church history, no pope ever spoke of such an idea other than to condemn it as patently false.
It is difficult for non-Modernists to reconcile novelty with established Tradition, and so we hope and pray we are dead wrong about Pope Francis, and that we are grossly misunderstanding his agenda. Please, God, let it be so! But this is not about us, so-called “traditionalists” taking umbrage with a perceived insult from the pope. We’re used to the catacombs, and we’ve grown up with the scoldings of post-conciliar Holy Fathers ringing in our ears. But in the dire situation that appears to confront the Church now, as is here intimated by Father Anonymous, we fear that the pontificate of Pope Francis may be setting up to take things to a whole new level, a level no Catholic in history ever imagined possible.
Our fear, then, is for the Church we revere above all else as well as for the hopeless world in which our children will grow up, robbed as it may well be of the moral authority of Holy Mother Church. What will happen to them in the winds that will blow then?
Father Anonymous is not a traditionalist, by the way; he offers the New Mass but, like us, is more than merely apprehensive over the direction in which Francis appears to be taking the Church. If Father’s apprehension makes him a traditionalist, so be it and may God help us all. Pray for Pope Francis and pray that The Remnant's concerns about the present pontificate eventually prove to have been wildly exaggerated. MJM