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Hilary White

First, let us define our terms

A few weeks ago, during an unexpected visit from our local curate, I realized that there might be an easier solution to converting nice young Novusordoist priests to the fullness of Tradition than I had previously thought. It dawned on me that we have a huge advantage in the polite form of combat known as “debate”; they don’t know our positions. They haven’t been taught anything at all about the Traditionalist proposals and arguments. 

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.” St. Augustine

How many have seen the third Godfather movie? A lot of Catholics really found much of the Vatican stuff in that movie rather laughable and potboilerish, and I think the criticisms of the depiction of Catholicism are pretty fair. But there was one scene towards the end that I think was interesting: it’s where Michael Corleone, perhaps motivated by his poor health and a growing awareness of his mortality, tells his doting sister Connie, “I made my confession today.” Connie is rather shocked by this, and says, “That’s not like you, Michael.”

We might have missed the importance of Connie’s response; as a Catholic woman she understood that Michael having made his Confession meant that he had decided to give up all sin, which would have to include participating in the Corleone family’s criminal operations. He was saying, in effect, I’ve returned to the path of virtue; from this day on, I can’t be a gangster, and if that means I can no longer be the head of the Corleone Family then so be it. In the next scenes, Michael turns over the reigns to his nephew Vincenzo. The film went on to show that, for his sins, Michael’s redemption was not to come so cheaply.

I wrote the other day about my very first pastoral visit from a local priest. We had, as you may imagine, a lively and interesting discussion and I was very happy and grateful that he stopped by. But of course, as you do, I thought of a million better ways to say the things I was saying, all ten minutes after he was gone.

Fortunately we have the internet, and here is the first of a series on the basic topics and issues that separate Traditionalists from more “mainstream” Novus Ordo Catholics; an attempt to begin to dispel the confusion.
An unexpected conversation

For years now I’ve been presented with a complex challenge that I don’t know if I’m really equal to. All Traditionalists face it eventually: explaining why we are Traditionalists, and what the difference is between that and a “normal,” that is, Novus Ordo, Catholic. I’ve tried in blog posts and in articles here and there to clarify it, but I think I still haven’t really done a thorough job.

The other day I was again confronted with this problem – and my inadequacy to address it – in the form of an extremely unusual event; I got a pastoral visit in my new home from the local priest! Whoever heard of such a thing in our times?! Fortunately for me, our curate speaks excellent English and seems to be an extremely nice chap. I was completely delighted when he just turned up one Sunday shortly after the early Novus Ordo Mass I’d just attended in the church next door (the next place over, but still half a mile away across the fields and vineyards.)
Some time ago, I met a young woman who had come to Italy to pray at the tombs of the saints and beg their intercession for a project she felt God was calling her to undertake. She arrived in the ancient city, dressed – as we hope she will be for the rest of her life – in a white and blue habit that made her, entirely uncoincidentally, a dead ringer for the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can attest that it rather drew the eye.

Bonino and SorosGeorge Soros with his pal, the infamous abortionist and friend of Pope Francis, Emma Bonino, at the "In The Pursuit of Peace Award Dinner 2015"

With the breaking of the news into the English language media-sphere the other day, some thoughts converged, into the form of a question: Why would anyone expect Emma “La Bicicletta” Bonino not to be invited to speak at a Catholic Church in Italy? Catholic editorialists are furious that Bonino was invited to speak at the church of San Defendente in Ronco di Cossato, on July 26, 2017, “World Refugee Day”. But there is an underlying tone of defeated routine in their protestations, as though they are objecting out of a dogged sense of a duty to fulfill rather than any real outrage; let alone shock.

IMG 0676

I’ve been debating with people over the main motives of the current efforts of the regime in Rome to block or dismantle all attempts to return the Church to her original Catholic course. Many have said, not without justification, that we need to follow the money. Certainly in nearly every case of a concerted attack by the Bergoglians against a Catholic organisation, staggeringly large sums of money are nearly always involved. Still, we can’t discount the ideological motive either.

But “follow the money” is never bad advice for a journalist. This week, our friend Marco Tosatti stirred up the debate again, when he gave us another fascinating glimpse into the Vatican’s ongoing persecution of the saintly Fr. Stefano Manelli and the order he founded, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. 

a pope
Is the Pope conversing here with his successor?  (God help us if he is!)

Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Knights of Malta 

Has Bergoglio reached the end of his usefulness? And if so, what’s next on the agenda? 

While most eyes are still lingering on the repellant business in Fatima, and watching the skies for fire from above, the rumour mill is firing up again. There are people around about who want information to come out, and they like to send it to me and to others we know who are doing similar work. I’ve also been having conversations with various folks who have been sharing what they have heard. Then I suppose it is more or less my job to put the pieces of the puzzle together, with one bit from one person, and another bit from another, and see if it makes a picture. 

(Nota Bene: all to be taken with the subjunctive and qualifiers... we’re still talking about rumours and speculation, don’t forget):

Why can’t we figure out what is really going on? We have heard, since the last American general election, the term “fake news” being thrown around, that we can’t trust what we’re reading and hearing. It has been a huge success at creating fear and distrust, division and contention, as it was intended. We start to wonder if we can even trust our own eyes. We wonder what is going on in the Vatican and the world, and are at such a point of confusion and self-doubt that we feel we can no longer know up from down. 

For many, it has the result of driving us away from public engagement altogether. If nothing you read or see on TV can be trusted – if we get conflicting and contradictory messages even from the pope – isn’t it time to just retreat? To give up trying to figure it out, and build a private enclave where we don’t have to think about it anymore?

Hilary Toon

Suggested New Year's Resolution: Keep the Faith, Despite the Madness

Two years ago, using the term “schism” in reference to the antics of the Vatican would have got you automatically labeled a sedevacantist or schismatic. Now it is used commonly by nearly everyone, including highly placed prelates in Rome. This is not because the Church is falling apart. It is not because Catholics are losing their Faith. It is because they are finding it. Because the realities have at last begun to overcome the false propaganda of the last five decades.

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