If you were to ask me why I converted, I would tell you some very familiar things. Such as my study of history (through Protestant authors mind you) that opened the door to many questions as I was constantly finding more and more Catholic doctrine taught and believed by the early Church; not to mention the fact that they even called it the Catholic Church. It was also the fact that the Bible could not be infallible unless it was compiled by an infallible Church. But these were just the "sealers of the deal," if you will. They were not the most important part of my conversion, for that honor goes to the overwhelming spiritual attraction I had to the Catholic Church. I certainly dare to say it was other-worldly in nature.
I grew up in a "low church" Protestant denomination, and thus, never had any experience of liturgy. So, when one day I was looking at the photos of the Traditional Catholic Mass in a history book, I was really overcome by how beautiful it was. I had never seen anything like it before. I had not once stepped foot inside a Catholic Church, so I was never exposed to the architecture, the stunning vestments, the gold instruments of the Mass and so on. To this day, nearly a decade later, I can still envision that photograph of the Traditional Mass at the moment of the elevation of the Blessed Sacrament. I have always believed that God is the author of beauty, and therefore in order for us to see something truly beautiful, we can be comfortable in knowing that that someone or something is in some way pleasing to God. So, it was the beauty of the Church which drew me in. It pains me to say that the beauty of the Church has been eclipsed by so much ugliness in modern times.
Some pictures ARE worth more than a thousand words.
I have to admit that I never expected to come to a point where I would consider myself a traditionalist Catholic, but, then again, I also never expected the Church would be in the state it is in now when I converted, and this brings us to the present day.
Now we all know how easy it is to just go on our way and try to ignore obvious problems staring us in the face. This is particularly attractive when we don't have any clear answers as to how to solve them. But while I am content at my parish, having been blessed to live in an area with a traditional priest, I am no fool. I know the floor is old and water damaged for us traditionalists. I know full well, that while I take it as an article of faith that in the end we will triumph, there are very dark times ahead for us.
These thoughts have been surfacing all the more since being told by my wife a little over a month ago that I was going to become a father. It is truly amazing how much more honest you are with yourself when you have a child on the way. I am eternally grateful to God for the opportunity to become a dad. That said, here I am writing this, and I am wondering what kind of a Church he or she will find. Will my child find the same beauty that I found when I converted? Will they be drawn in as I was and hence stay in the faith and enter Heaven? This brings me back to the opening question: Do any of us traditionalists have a future in the Church of Francis and beyond?
The answer to this question isn't easy. For myself, I like to think that my nice little parish will continue to be exactly as it is now. When my priest retires or dies another great priest like him will be installed and all will be well with the world. But I know this isn't the case.
We are all too aware of the ongoing purge of traditional priests. We read stories all the time about someone being canned by a tradition hating bishop. We read headlines of Papa Bergoglio literally destroying entire orders of nuns for being too Catholic. So, this is where we are at, and keep in mind that it is Francis who is appointing the cardinals and the bishops, and it is from this lot that will spring the next pope and the next cardinals, bishops and priests. I also know that we are going to continue to have synods. The heresies which have flowed from them will continue to flow like a broken water main.
This one I really hate to say out loud, but I feel I must in order to mentally prepare myself and others for what's ahead: we are going to have more papal encyclicals.
Parishes will be getting closed by the dozens over these sex abuse lawsuits and which ones do you think will be targeted for closing? We will be forced to choose to attend wild Novus Ordo parishes which are ran by perverts or driving an hour or even more to find a Mass with some measure of sanity in it.
Our Lady of Akita warned us of these times.
We will be forced to accept watered down doctrine coming from Rome on a daily basis, and don't put it past Francis I or Francis II and his henchmen to come out with a new-er form of Mass. As bad as all this is, bear in mind that we haven't even touched the topic of women's ordination, or the ending of celibacy for priests. Priests will be married, and maybe even Father James Martin will tie the knot.
Ok. So that's the state of affairs in the Church. That is pretty much laying it all out there, a total synopsis of what lies ahead for us. If we were leftist fanatics like Bergoglio, we would be ecstatic. But, we are not. We are traditionalists. Thus, our hearts are heavy. So, what do we do? The enemies INSIDE the walls of the Church are many. We are few. There is no point in mincing any words. However, we have something the revolutionaries in the Church do NOT have: God's blessing. God is not the author of heresy and perversity and that is exactly what the Revolution represents. Due to this fact, they are without the Greatest Ally man can have. This DOES mean something. Without God, we have far too little power to do anything. But, with God, we have a chance.
All of us in this counter-revolution are here for a reason: God called us into this camp in order to fight. So, fight we shall! (And if you're here, my guess God called you to the front because you LIKE fighting. Welcome to one of the few places where a personality defect can be turned into a strength). So then, how do we fight?
St. Athanasius said: The heretics may have the churches, but we have the Faith.
Marching forward into battle, there WILL be further papal documents which contain heresy. I don't know whether or not the pope will state they are ex cathedra, but let’s just say he does. RESIST. Not even the pope is above God. He's not. Period. And it's not a sin to say so. If Francis, or Tagle the Great, step out onto the Loggia and declare "The chicken and the egg BOTH came first," it does not make it so. Arm yourself with this and take heart. The words ex cathedra or let him be anathema are not like the words abra cadabra. They do not turn a falsehood into a truth. The Roman Pontiff is BOUND by the truth revealed by God through Scripture and Tradition. There are no "surprises of the Holy Spirit." No "maturing of doctrine." No. If and when you hear further heresy, with or without "magisterial authority" attached at the end of it, resist it. Scripture and Tradition will light the way even when the pope hides all the lanterns.
Next, and I want to say first that I am not a member of the Society of Saint Pius X, nor do I attend their chapels. Nevertheless, I believe that they ought to be given our full support moving forward and we must drop the nonsense of some of us faithful Catholics who do a lot of amazing work but still throw shade on the Society. The day is coming when Summorum Pontificum will be a skeleton, and the FSSP and Institute of Christ the King will be suppressed. It is my belief that many of the priests from these two groups will either start something new outside the Church's canonical regularity, and thus become just like the Society, or, they will join the Society Itself. So to those who constantly bash the SSPX, be careful. One day, you may find yourself choosing between attending a Mass by a married Cardinal Tobin and a Society chapel. We must show our fidelity to the pope, but NEVER to heresy, and we are not required to attend Masses that are corrupt and devoid of any Catholic identity. Nor are we required to scandalize our children by bringing them to totally corrupted parishes. The SSPX just so happens to be an organization who figured out long ago about the nature of the crisis in the Church what we are just finding out now. I also believe that tithing something to the Society or any other group that pops up in the future as a resistance movement is an investment into the parishes our children and grandchildren will be forced to attend tomorrow.
When it comes to heretical priests and bishops that we have the misfortune of coming into contact with we MUST, no, we HAVE THE DUTY to make certain that they consider having come into contact with US a misfortune. The days of showing the clergy respect as a universal rule have come and gone. Even leaving the issue of sex abuse and its subsequent cover-up aside, we have to lay aside our timidity. Christ was NOT timid. We all remember the scene where Christ physically beat people out of the temple. Now I'm not suggesting anything like that. But it still sets a good example. The Church is the house of God and it is to be protected in its physical as well as its doctrinal integrity with the same amount of passion and fury that we protect our own home and family. So, when we hear something goofy come from the mouth of a priest in Mass, we approach him and demand he explain himself. Or, record the sermon and post it online and/or give it to certain Catholic watchdog groups. Don't show more respect for the clergy who attack the Almighty God than you show for the Almighty God Himself.
Also, we have to let our priests and bishops who are faithful to the true teachings of Holy Mother Church know and feel our unflinching support. Invite them over for dinner. Throw a surprise party for them in appreciation for all that they do in creating an environment where you and your family can live an authentically Catholic life. They are taking great risks. Many of them have sacrificed careers as bishops or higher in order to stay true to doctrine. Let them know how much you appreciate all they do and that you have their back if and when push comes to shove.
Moving on to the clergy of tomorrow we must understand that our seminaries were infiltrated with modernist professors who created modernist priests and bishops. They did this in secret. They feigned loyalty to Catholic dogma while secretly holding heterodox views in order to get ordained. Later generations then no longer needed to hide their heresies. They were now in charge. WE must do the same. If we know a seminarian, or your child is entering a seminary, if they are not able to enter a KNOWN good one, make certain they act as the revolutionaries of old did. They must know they have to keep their orthodoxy secret. Get by. Get ordained and THEN do battle. There is nothing wrong in doing so. We are taking back Christ's Church.
Fr. Vega, Cristero priest (For Greater Glory)
I could go on with more things that we can do to fight but I feel this is a good start. I might write a Part II some day in the future as events unfold themselves, and we have to adjust our strategies. But the primary message I want to get across is this: WE ARE AT WAR. There can be no more standing by. Not for any of us. We are all here on this side of the fence for a reason and that reason is simple: to help fight the barbarians at (or rather inside) the gates. We each have different roles of course. Some are gifted writers, Vloggers and commentators. Those of us in that talent field must utilize every ounce of strength in us to wage battle. For others who find their talents outside this realm, you still play key roles as suggested by the necessary actions cited above to confront corrupt clergy. Also, financially supporting groups who are actively fighting this modernist heresy is an extremely important role to play as well. History has never known of a free revolution and ours will not be the first.
So much is at stake here. Much ground has already been lost. Be that as it may, we are still seeing promising signs of a renewal of tradition in the Church among many people, most importantly, among the youth. In each traditional parish, not only are there families, but those families are big. The boys in these parishes of today will be infiltrating the seminaries of tomorrow. So, there is much hope to be had. The Counter-Revolution is getting younger, and the Revolution is getting older. The men who wish to destroy the Church have lost their faith in the belief of the indefectibility of the Church. The gates of Hell will not prevail. Not even another Bergoglio could do that because Christ Himself as well as Our Lady of Fatima have blessed our mission, because it is nothing less than saving the one, holy Catholic and apostolic Church. All we have to do is everything we can. God will take care of the rest. I will leave you know with a verse we all know but which almost has a ring of a battle cry to it when read in the backdrop of today's climate:
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:15
The Faith, and thus, the Church, will ALWAYS be triumphant.