The Madness of Traditionalism

The Madness of Traditionalism

I do not post to this blog as I should; always some other duty calling. But I had some spare minutes today and since I am still shaking my head, I felt I should write a few lines in way of explanation.

As some who visit here regularly will know, a small group of Catacomb Catholics have recently crashed head-on with the likes of the South Texas St. Jude Shrine handlers and their “priests.” The incident began with a few innocent remarks about being removed from an e-mail list of folks who believe the priests officiating at this shrine were valid and licit. The boss himself weighed in to castigate the “offender” with his usual ire for smearing these “holy priests.”

AHA! The trigger word, and all on the e-mail list begin to sing the mantra: a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedek…A priest forever, ad nauseum.  If only we had holy priests, but the reality is we have no priests at all! And accusing stay-at-home Catholics of being “jealous” of those who go to these messes is ridiculous. We pity those so entrapped in the lies that convince them these men are real and pray for their deliverance. We have proven over and over again that these “priests” are at least illicit — their services sacrilegious at best and probably idolatrous — so why in heaven’s name would we be jealous of those attending them?

Such a statement is just one of the many examples of madness that seem to be engulfing the Traditional movement at an alarming rate. The inability of members of these groups to think for themselves in any meaningful way without tapping into their gurus is yet one more reminder that there are more destructive religious sects out there than can be believed. It is sad to watch the process from the outside after having endured it for years myself on the inside; painful and discouraging, especially when one sees the damage done years later to families and children. Not everyone gets out, no matter how many throw them a lifeline. Life is hard, and it hurts; prayer and sacrifice are the only things that work — especially in these situations.

And then there is the man who argued that epikeia applies in these cases concerning clergy and magically resolves all difficulties. After a few rounds of e-mail responses, he wound up a bit desperate it seems, deciding to offer the ”proofs” advanced by a proponent of the Feeneyite heresy! Is this even possible? Are these people for real, or are they like so many others — only halfhearted hangers-on, going through the motions but never making the necessary intellectual connection. And this individual is reportedly writing for a well-known “Traditionalist” columnist with a solid Internet following. Scary, to say the least.

Perhaps the maddest and most disheartening thing of all, however, is that these followers of such groups cannot see that they have been lead in a big circle right back to the original V2 vomit they were at first so anxious to escape. Dressed up, recycled for its audience, ritually attenuated, these “masses” and Sacraments are no different and no better than the Novus Ordo ceremonies they abandoned; many of these “priests” and “bishops” were or still are connected to the church in Rome today in one way or the other. What Trads are engaging in is a charade, an elaborate  costume party complete with role-playing and prizes awarded for the best costume and performance. Those Traditionalists favored all these years by these gurus and their coterie of strange assistants have often been singled out for attention or assigned special missions, receiving lavish gifts, trips abroad, “privileged” information, or entrusted with special secrets that bring them into an inner circle they are not likely to abandon. Flattery is a very successful hook, and “secret knowledge” amounts to induction into a sort of Gnosis. Once their group experience has advanced to this level, it is not only a loss of face followers must worry about, but possible retribution by the guru(s) should any secrets be leaked. What results is a sort of irresistible and inescapable enmeshment that holds such people fast, unless they be blessed by a rare and special grace.

The consequences of such behavior and its resulting aberrations are chronicled by the Prophet Isaias in Ch. 24, vs. 1-15, and we are experiencing them today: “Behold the Lord shall lay waste the earth, and shall strip it, and shall afflict the face thereof, and scatter abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest: and as with the servant, so with his master: as with the handmaid, so with her mistress: as with the buyer, so with the seller: as with the lender, so with the borrower: as with him that calleth for his money, so with him that oweth. With desolation shall the earth be laid waste, and it shall be utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourned, and faded away, and is weakened: the world faded away, the height of the people of the earth is weakened. And the earth is infected by the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, they have changed the ordinance, they have broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore shall a curse devour the earth, and the inhabitants thereof shall sin: and therefore they that dwell therein shall be mad, and few men shall be left. The vintage hath mourned, the vine hath languished away, all the merryhearted have sighed. The mirth of timbrels hath ceased, the noise of them that rejoice is ended, the melody of the harp is silent. They shall not drink wine with a song: the drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of vanity is broken down, every house is shut up, no man cometh in. There shall be a crying for wine in the streets: all mirth is forsaken: the joy of the earth is gone away. Desolation is left in the city, and calamity shall oppress the gates. For it shall be thus in the midst of the earth, in the midst of the people, as if a few olives, that remain, should be shaken out of the olive tree: or grapes, when the vintage is ended. These shall lift up their voice, and shall give praise: when the Lord shall be glorified, they shall make a joyful noise from the sea. Therefore glorify ye the Lord in instruction: the name of the Lord God of Israel in the islands of the sea.

Pray that we be counted among those few grapes and olives. And pray that God delivers us from the madness all around us; from the snares of the enemy and the noonday devil.


T. Benns


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  1. irene

    Teresa, your words have given me such consolation. God allowed me recently to witness firsthand how traditional “priests/bishops” are the same, if not worse, as the novus ordo priests I ran from. Then, when I started researching and found out about so many horrible and mad/crazy trad “priests/bishops”, I thought to myself, this cannot be the meaning of the words that Jesus spoke–“I will not leave you orphans”.

  2. inthecatacombs

    Are you talking about St. Jude’s in Stafford? I thought they did in fact have good and holy priests, properly ordained. What is going on?

    • Moderator

      We find it hard to believe that you would make such an uninformed comment. Either you are unfamiliar with this site; or, being familiar with the site, you remain unconvinced as to the unalterable truths of Holy Mother Church. In either case, you have much studying to do. We encourage your to carefully read the articles found herein, setting aside any personal prejudices or animosities.

  3. inthecatacombs

    Yes, new to the site. Found it via web search, and only beginning to read. Just so you know, when you load, it shows the first screen with links (gray background) and then quickly loads to this: /
    It almost appears to be two distinct sites.

    We are not sure about our previous comment as uninformed. We have never been to St. Jude’s, we don’t know the people who run it, but we have encountered one of its priests, and this particular priest was certainly ordained by the Roman Catholic Church in the years before Vatican II. Is this somehow incorrect? We’ve since read this article here and a few others on the site and certainly believe in the madness of the “Traditionalists”. We can understand why people act as they do, for is appears as if the Church has vanished! And people, according to their understanding, are running for what they think is right.

    We aren’t fooled by Lefebvre, for one. That man was most probably never a priest, and therefore not a bishop. That appears to be irrefutable, but even if we pretend that he was, he was certainly outside the Church and therefore his whole operation was not Catholic. The SSPX position is delusion and madness. The Dimond Brothers are absolutely deceptive here, because they certainly understand the issues and yet double-talk around it with laughable “arguments”. Some of the other “bishops” and “priests” in the “Traditional” world are so openly perverse, so obviously twisted in their doctrine, that it is heart-breaking to see people flock to them. Obviously this is out of desperation, at best. But bishops and priests ordained before Vatican II? Yes, have been a few. Scattered here and there. We have never doubted these clergy, and if there is a problem with any of the very few old clergy that we know of we would like to find out what it is.

    And also: it is our opinion that there are too many personal prejudices and animosities in the “Traditional” world. We believe that it is of prime importance to remain open and consider everything. We sadly cannot even hold a conversation with most “Traditionalists” because they will not consider our views, they will not have a polite talk with us. In some cases they will not even give us the time of day, knowing of our positions.

    One thing: you mentioned an e-mail list for discussion. We don’t know of this list. We really don’t know of any list at all for discussion on this topic. Could you post the address of it, or direct us to other online lists for news? That would be appreciated.

  4. gertrude

    to Inthecatacombs,
    It is a pleasure to meet you. I am pleased to see that you are at least, trying to search for the truth after having been decieved into bekieving what is visibly displaying itself as Roman Catholic. Praise be to God! One of the things I noticed and caught in your reply was that, like most people, you dont quite understand Jurisdiction in the perfect definition that Holy Mother Church teaches it. I do not mean that towards you in an insulting way. I mean that in a most charitable way. My prayers are going to continue for all of you to continue your search in understanding….. Because of the minions of the devil titling themselves as priests (whether these men of the Traditionalist cults sincerely worship Satan is a mute point) their work has been succssful in confusing the mass to believe a distorted and twisted ideology opposite of True Roman Catholcism. I pray pray pray that a few remnant truly study and beg God for Him to lead us and teach us to the truths of the faith taught to us by the Holy Ghost. I think that Sts Peter and Paul are so very important right now for us to pray to because they were key figures in the truths of the Christ. If you would ever like to talk, contact Teresa and she will give you my emai and or my number. You must keep trying to understand Jurisdiction. Without understanding it, you may continue to believe that even these elderly priests, ordained prior to the end of Vatican 2, hold good standing in the church. They do not. This does not mean the church is dead! There is more to it than that. I am not saying that there is NO priest who could have continued to offer the mass. I am saying that as of this point, the chances of that is almost nil. If you understand Jurisdiction, you understand why I say that…. it is a hard subject to fully understand unless you pray and clear your mind of the stupidity of the Trad cults distortions of it…… Start from scratch and beg God for guidence…,it will click. I promise.

  5. inthecatacombs


    Thank you for replying to us.

    Along with Sts Peter and Paul, we would include Sts Norbert and Bernard, who also held the Faith while an antipope sat in Rome.

    We would love to talk. We don’t know who Teresa is. We had asked questions in our first posts above but as you can see they have gone unanswered. It would be nice to see the actual email exchange that is being discussed. We would like to join these email lists.

    Also, since coming here a few weeks ago we’ve read a good deal on this site. What we’ve seen about Jurisdiction we know, and agree with. We are long familiar with these writings. None of these “Traditional” groups have any Jurisdiction whatsoever in the Catholic Church and are therefore not Catholic at all. Nobody can go to the SSPX, the SSPV, the CMRI, or countless other “Traditional” clergy because none of these are “Catholic”; but we have yet to see a single article that shows how other clergy, licitly and validly ordained, have now lost their jurisdiction. Which article explains that? This seems to infer that there are no more Catholic bishops in the world and we do not believe that is true.

  6. gertrude

    Let me take a look for you. It is simple to explain yet it is different stages that you have to understand on HOW they lost their Jurisdiction. My email is who is like un 2 god (at) gmail dot com. … I will send you something that can start you to understand how these older priests lost their jurisdiction. For one, they said the Novus Ordo mass. It is easy to understsand that if you believe the Mass is against Pius V’s – Quo Primum and how heretical the Novus Ordo mass is. There is no law that excuses these priests or bishops if they chose to partake in such a sacrilege….NONE…. not even ignorance.

    Also, has one thought as to HOW the mass would cease for a time (as Daniel predicts and the Fathers of the church unanimously agree that it would) if there were a ton of priests and bishops to say it?

  7. inthecatacombs

    Gertrude, thank you we will contact as soon as we can. As for your question about how the Mass would cease for a time–are you saying that Church Fathers unanimously agree that the Mass and Sarcraments, and Sacramentals, will cease COMPLETELY? If so then there can’t be any more bishops left. Do you believe that there are no more bishops, that the Apostolicy of the Church has ended?

    We don’t think there are a ton of priests and bishops offering public Mass, by the way. We believe there are, or may be, a few. Of course the SSPX/SSPV/CMRI/Traditio/etc sorts are all pretenders. All of the major ‘traditional’ groups and the web sites and organizations from John Lane’s to Most Holy Family Monastery to the site to Novus Ordo Watch and Traditioninaction and CathInfo are hopelessly embracing a very anti-Catholic clergy. They are all sewn with poisonous and illogical ideas.

  8. gertrude

    all I know is that the holy sacrifice of the mass will cease for a time during the reign of antichrist. How else would he accomplish his works? No one knows for how long it just says “for a time.” I do believe that it will cease completely for a time. Which is certainly frightening for all humanity. I have no idea if there are any bishops left that are faithful to holy church but I do know there are none visible to my eyes or anyone else that we have spoken to but that does not all together mean there are none. There is no jurisdiction for anyone to say mass publicly. Privately is a different story.

    • Moderator

      There is an important caveat to your statement: A priest who could licitly offer Mass privately could not have ever been involved in any act of heresy, apostasy, or schism. This precludes any involvement with any sundry of traditionalist groups (all of them, without exception), as also any so-called “independent” priest or bishop. Of course, any involvement with the Novus Ordo or the Vatican II (ir)religion would be an act of heresy, and this of itself would be a disqualifying factor.

      In the unlikely event that such a priest could be found, he could say Mass privately, yes; but no one could be in attendance at it without grave disobedience to the laws of the Church.

  9. Rick

    Hi Teresa,

    Rick here again.

    1) My website will be up again in the next week or so. Anybody else is free to send me an email and tell me about themselves and I may give them a username and password to the site. The site is both a social network and resource network for catacombers. By resource network I mean a virtual library of potentialy all good Catholic resources in the world: it just depends if people have the will to enter them: this can include links to your favorite websites.

    2) Teresa, I just wonder how a older priest, even if validly ordained, can have jurisdiction to confer the sacraments: weren’t they given jurisdiction back then to a parish or diocese or city like Milwaukee or under a certain bishop–who is dead– and therefore do not have jurisdiction unless they were given a general one.

    May God Bless

    • Moderator

      Dear Rick,

      Glad to hear that your site will be up again. Hope it is well read.

      The Church teaches that these priests, even though they once had jurisdiction and stayed in their locations, no longer possess it for several reasons:

      1) Jurisdiction was usually granted for 3-5 year time periods or even less. The reason is that priests had to pass an examination before it could be renewed because the Church wished to make sure they were qualified to hear confessions.
      2) With only rare exceptions (and I know of none), all these priests today, even if validly ordained, have celebrated the John 23 Mass, the Novus Ordo, or have communicated with Traditionalists in their rites. This is communicatio in sacris for which they suffer infamy, (Can. 2294). Unlike simple excommunication, infamy means they are not able to act validly OR licitly.
      3) Since they do not retain jurisdiction, they must invoke it under Can. 2261 §2 or 209 IF they are not under censure. But they cannot do this now because only the pope supplies, and we have none.

      God Bless,

    • Nicole

      Hello Rick and others,
      Is anyone still looking for social connections? We are a big family of recent converts from the Trad groups (mea culpa!) and our children are very much missing the social aspect in their lives. I recently started a group as a social network to hopefully connect families and individuals looking for Catholic fellowship. I heard that there used to be a site but that it fizzled out. Did you have that site, Rick? My husband and I are very eager to do Catholic Action and meet other Catholics who want to do the same. Please feel free to contact me if anyone would like. Thank you!

      • T. Stanfill Benns

        Dear Nicole,
        I would like to check things out a bit before referring anyone to your website, so please be patient. Past experience has taught me to be very cautious!

        As you may have seen from my recent blogs, I am not fond of the word “recusant” because it was given to us by English Protestants, not the Church Herself, although I know you were probably unaware of this in starting your site. The same is true and even more so of the term “Roman Catholic.”

        Use of the term recusant might also suggest to others that you are supporters of a person whose beliefs are not consistent with my own presentation of the faith, which is solidly grounded in papal and conciliar teaching, also Canon Law. With those new to the site, I always try to make necessary distinctions so I can make certain that what is presented here is not confused with the presentations of others who have not always done the necessary research, or who hold doctrines contrary to Church teaching. One must be very careful regarding this. Truth is one, and error is many.

        Yes there was another site, but that person has since embraced the Feeneyite heresy and basically returned to the Protestantism from which s/he originally came. I appreciate your comments and hope we can resolve this. God bless.


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