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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Catholics! Can We Please Dispense with the Circular Firing Squads?

Who are you aiming your slings and arrows at? 

It seems today that Catholics spend more time fighting with each other than fighting our common enemy, the devil. Novus Ordo true believers shoot arrows at the wicked "rad trads." The sedevantists (who have grown since Benedict died to include all the "Benedict is my pope" people) tell the rest of us there's no pope and it's obvious so why can't we see it? And then there are the multiple attacks on those "SSPX schismatics" who cause so much division. "Go away, we don't need you here!"

Of course, we also have the cannons being fired almost every day by Church Militant who hate everybody who isn't them and think the TLM should just go away (as CM's Dave Gordon says). 

What I find almost amusing (if it weren't so sad) is that, while people are busy pointing fingers and calling others names like "schismatic," they often insist that it's the other guys causing division. They, on the other hand, are as pure as the new-fallen snow -- as if telling people they're outside the Church isn't divisive.

"No, we aren't the divisive ones; YOU ARE!"..."No! YOU ARE!"


Can everybody just take a deep breath and put a sock in it?

It's a good time to remember that there have been thirty or forty anti-popes throughout the Church's two millennia and sometimes saints were on opposite sides in trying to determine who was the rightful pope. St. Vincent Ferrer, for example was confessor and theologian to anti-pope Benedict XIII for five years (1394-1399) during the Great Western Schism. Was he a heretic and schismatic or was he following his conscience during a very difficult time? He later tried to convince Benedict to abdicate and stopped supporting him when he refused. 

We are living in one of the most chaotic times in Catholic history. I know people who fall into all the groups I've mentioned. Some visit the blog and we engage in Socratic dialogue where everyone argues respectfully. They all seem to me to be people of good will doing the best they can to find the truth in the midst of a spiritual tsunami. I will not judge or condemn any of them. Besides, I like them. So I will argue as respectfully as I can which sometimes may fall short of charity. Mea culpa!

I too am following my conscience as best I can. As far as I can see from my research and study, the SSPX is NOT IN SCHISM. And unless the Lord convicts me that I belong somewhere else, I will continue as I am going to the chapel. In my entire Catholic life, I have never heard the faith explained so clearly and the Mass celebrated with such reverence and fidelity to the Sacred Tradition passed on by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church. I have never seen priests put themselves out for the flock like they do traveling five hours round trip to minister to us.

So can we all just be kind and charitable toward one another? Think of the difference if everyone just smiled, continued to be friends, prayed together, and broke bread together instead of shunning one another. "I can't come to your house because you are one of those people."

Everyone is welcome at Camp Kreitzer: sedevacantist Catholics (1958 and 2022 inclusive), Novus Ordo Catholics, FSSP, ICK, etc. Catholics, SSPX Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, etc. I even welcome my adversaries and once hosted a "cast party" for participants in the trial after a group of us were arrested at Christ the Redeemer parish in Sterling, VA for disrupting a meeting of the dissent group Call to Action (CTA). Unfortunately Bishop Keating wouldn't instruct the pastor to drop the trespassing charges, so we subpoenaed him as a witness since he was the "owner" of the property. After the trial we got the idea of having a "cast party" since I wrote a spoof in one of our early newsletters. (The judge actually had a jogging suit on under her robes. Sometimes reality is funnier than fiction.)

 It was a joke and I didn't expect the CTA folks to come, but Charlie Davis, one of the founders of Virginia's chapter, called to say he and his wife accepted. He told me I went up in his estimation by inviting them. I said he went up in my estimation by accepting. (The bishop and the chancellor declined.) At the party, Charlie told me he was glad we could get together and appreciate each other's views. I replied, "Don't misunderstand, Charlie, I think you're a heretic, but I like you." How can we call those in error back to the truth if we won't have anything to do with them? I still pray occasionally for Charlie and the other CTA members. One of them moved out to Front Royal, but we've never run into each other that I can recall.

And then there was the time I invited a young priest who went to school with our daughter to come to dinner after I gave him a Millstone award in the Les Femmes newsletter. He wasn't sure he wanted to come. I told him if I was wrong, he should come in charity; and if I was right he should come in humility. He came. Sadly, he later left the priesthood.

Life is too short to spend it fighting with those who are our natural allies. It's more fun to smile and be friendly. Hey...we are all on the same side if we love God and want to serve according to His purpose. 

So who wants to come over for a glass of wine, some cheese and crackers, and deviled eggs courtesy of our chickies? Our welcome sign has no exceptions as long as you are a person of good will. (No murderers and burglars! And, heretics, recognize that you'll be in danger of conversion. Our house is protected by God and by His angels and saints. )

Y'all come, hear!

P.S. Dymphna's post today illustrates exactly what I'm talking about: 



  1. I agree. We should all just love each other through this. That's what "they" (the powers that be) don't want, and we know that's what Jesus does want. So...

  2. So true Mary Ann! Thank you I accept your invitation with pleasure and extend an invitation to you and your husband if you are ever near Ft Worth Tx. We have a lovely FSSP church here and an extra bedroom or two.

  3. I like your style. I am hosting a friend of a couple of years today, a Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor. But he's easy. We know where we disagree; there is no false-ecumenical pretense. And we agree on so much. Plus, he receives a couple of Hail Marys every day.

    See - we are going out into the peripheries, befriending the marginalized. Even Pope Francis would be welcome here, but he'd have to listen to me.

  4. The whole concept of the Pope is stupid and always was. Orthodox and Prots were right. The very concept of the Pope has you constantly fighting each other over an abstraction. All Catholics boil down to: (1) this clearly heretical Pope is infallible, embrace the heresy, (2) the Pope is a heretic and not infallible but we can't admit Vatican One was wrong and heretical for claiming popes are infallible so we "recognize and resist" and ignore the real problem, (3) the Pope is a heretic so he is not Pope and there is no Pope but the non-existent Pope is still infallible and we're still in communion with him even of he doesn't actually exist. Its just tiresome nonsense. The concept of Pope has driven you all insane.

  5. Jerry, Am I correct in assuming you are a Protestant? If you are an agnostic, your comment makes some sense. But if you are a Bible-believing Protestant, then your comment calls Jesus Himself stupid. It was He who said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Every family needs a head. We can see clearly what fatherlessness has done to the human family. And Protestants have split over and over and over because there is no authority at all for Protestants. Everyone is a "pope in the pew" interpreting his private revelations from the Holy Spirit.

    I agree that the fighting is "tiresome nonsense," but God uses even that to serve a purpose. I'm not sure what it is at present, but I'm confident He has things in hand.

    1. Read Tertullian and stop peddling that nonsense. Its been known Jesus was talking about the confession Peter made eons before Luther ever joined an Augustinian monk house or took his first sip of German ale.

    2. But to answer the question as poses, I grew up Prot but tend toward more Eastern Orthodox positions now though I haven't converted yet. But I have read enough Western church history to know the pope was never anything but an elected for life President of a schismatic denomination until Vatican One. And he was only a legend in his own mind and in Italy. France often resisted him, e.g. Gallicanism, finally declared heresy at Vatican One. Other nations dropped him as soon as possible, e.g. England. But he was always a colonial Italian imposition they never wanted. The Pope is an Italian superstition, nothing more. His defenders tend to be Italians. Hispanics still see him only as an elected for life President. Only Italians actually buy Vatican One. That's why Sedes are all Italians. They buy Vat One so much they have to convince themselves that Francis can't be pope.

  6. Benevacantists are not remotely like 1958 sedevacantists. Sedes do not believe that there has been a pope since Pope Pius VII, Vatican II is a heretical anti-council, and the revised post-conciliar sacraments are invalid including the 1968 ordinal for priests and bishops. Benevacantists simple believe Benedict was in error that he could abdicate his active ministry while remaining a member of the Petrine Office. In fact he suspected such a bifurcation or trifurcation could occur as part of another priest’s dissertation in the late 1970s. There are also people that believe there was invalidating collusion before the 2013 conclave rendering Bergoglio’s election null, Amoris Laetitia is formal heresy, and that demon Pachamama worship, along with selling out Chinese Catholics to the CCP is a canonical crime, and 67 acts of Bergoglio are heretical heinous acts and the college of cardinals should make him repudiate his errors or be deposed.

    They won’t do it, because it means anyone after Francis could be removed for heresy or apostasy too, and they have to protect the priesthood no matter how bad the priest is.

    And they’re also heretics lime him. Remember heresy is also schism, so Francis is both a heretic and a schismatic, by definition of the Fathers like St Jerome and Doctors like St Thomas Aquinas (Summa, ii pt of ii pt, Q39).

  7. Well, Jerry, you sound like you've read a lot and probably know a lot more than I do. But I don't think Christ's saying is "nonsense" and, as I said, every family needs a head (and the mystical body of Christ as well).

    I can't hold Tertullian in the same regard you do since he lapsed into heresy after writing many good works. He ended up attacking the Catholic Church more than he did the pagans. Sometimes the smartest people do the most damage. One of the sweetest and holiest women I ever knew was my husband's grandmother who cleaned office buildings. Little, humble people are close to the truth.

    Here's a little of what I found about Tertullian for readers who may not know much about him, as I do not:

    Augustine (354–430) briefly writes of him in On Heresies, acknowledging his "many eloquent works" and defending his doctrine of the soul, before explaining his heresy:

    Therefore, the reason Tertullian became a heretic was [...] because in joining the Cataphrygians, whom he had earlier demolished, he also began to condemn, contrary to Apostolic teaching, second marriage as debauchery. Later, having separated from them too, he established congregations of his own. (On Heresies, 86)

    Finally we come to Vincent of Lerins (d. 445). In his treatment of Tertullian one can sense both his admiration and frustration:

    For who more learned than he, who more versed in knowledge whether divine or human? [...] Was not his genius of such unrivalled strength and vehemence that there was scarcely any obstacle which he proposed to himself to overcome, that he did not penetrate by acuteness, or crush by weight? As to his style, who can sufficiently set forth its praise? It was knit together with so much cogency of argument that it compelled assent, even where it failed to persuade.

    Yet this man also, notwithstanding all that I have mentioned, this Tertullian, I say, too little tenacious of Catholic doctrine, that is, of the universal and ancient faith, more eloquent by far than faithful, changed his belief, and justified what the blessed Confessor, Hilary, writes of him, namely, that "by his subsequent error he detracted from the authority of his approved writings." He also was a great trial in the Church. (Commonitory, 18)

  8. Hello Mary Ann! Camp Kreitzer sounds wonderful.

  9. Hey Dymphna, You and Rocky should take a drive out to the valley and come visit. I'll send you home with some Camp Kreitzer honey and a dozen eggs from our chickies. I'd love to meet you in person and I make very good deviled eggs if I do say so myself.

  10. I'm a friend of all who love the Old Faith and work for its restoration.

    God will sort out the details between our various factions, likely via a Catholic Peter.

    I have read your blog for a long time Mary Ann, this was an excellent post. Thank you.

  11. Mary Ann,

    While I of course agree that we need to unite and fight the common enemy, Satan, it's not that simple any longer. I don't see how sedes can really unite with non-sede Catholics in that we don't agree who or where the enemy is.

    Sedevacantists believe the VII/NO Church is not Catholic and therefore not the Catholic Church. We believe we cannot be united to what we believe is a false religion.

    "Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?"
    2 Corinthians 6:14‭-‬15 DRC1752

    I'm not suggesting in any way that you or any non-sede Catholic are not believers, but I do strongly believe that most all the hierarchy in the NO Church have lost the faith, if they ever even had it. And the few (in the hierarchy) who may still have the faith to absolutely nothing to help.

    Personally, I cannot fully unite with Catholics, and not all with Catholic clergy (who I believe should know better) that insist that the pachademon worshipper currently squatting on the Seat of Peter is a valid pope. How can we unite if we cannot even agree that Bergoglio IS the enemy?

  12. I'm not talking about uniting, Debbie. I realize we (in the broad sense) are not united. But, if you believe your brother is in error, do you just walk away? St. Dominic, my confirmation patron, spent much of his life dialoguing with heretics. Are we really so insulated that we just wipe our hands and say, "Well, they are wrong, I'm not having anything to do with them ever again."

    This blog does not require anyone to be in unity with my beliefs and opinions. You and others who disagree with me are welcome here.

    What I'm asking for is charity toward all those who are struggling to survive the crisis in the Church without losing their faith. The Christmas message was "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will." Can we not act in peace toward others who are obviously "men (or people, if you prefer) of good will?" That's my goal and I'm sticking to it.

  13. Interesting to hear "slipswell" the prot talk about 'presiders' (or presidents) since that's the new moniker VC2 gave to Catholic priests: "presiders" over the assembly of the people of God (in imitation of the protestants!).

    Also not sure where gets this info: "Only Italians actually buy Vatican One. That's why Sedes are ALL Italians. They buy Vat One so much they have to convince themselves that Francis can't be pope."

    "There may be some ten thousand Sedevacantists throughout the world, with the most important centers in the United States, Mexico, France, Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic. The small Japanese group Seibo no Mikuni, founded in 1970 by Yukio Nemoto (1925–1988), remains largely isolated because of its peculiar millennial beliefs."

    None on this wikipedia list appear to be Italian. "Early proponents of sedevacantism include:

    Francis Schuckardt, an American who was part of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fátima, until he publicly took the position in 1967 that the Holy See was vacant and that the church that had emerged from the Second Vatican Council was no longer the Catholic Church. He founded the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI).
    Bishop Daniel Q. Brown, an American former Old Catholic bishop who converted to sedevacantism and an associate of Schuckardt.
    Yukio Nemoto, a Japanese who created the sedevacantist group Seibo No Mikuni (Kingdom of Our Lady, 聖母の御国).[27]
    Father Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, a Mexican Jesuit priest and theologian who put forward sedevacantist ideas in his books The New Montinian Church (August 1971) and Sede Vacante (1973). His writings gave rise to the sedevacantist movement in Mexico, led by Father Sáenz, Father Moisés Carmona and Father Adolfo Zamora, priests who formed the Unión Católica Trento (Tridentine Catholic Union).
    Father Francis E. Fenton, an American priest who was inspired by Sáenz's writings and founded the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement as an American parallel to the Mexican Unión Católica Trento.
    Father (later Bishop) Michel-Louis Guérard des Lauriers, a French Dominican priest and theologian who developed the Thesis of Cassiciacum in the 1970s.
    Several American priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX): Father Daniel Dolan, Father Anthony Cekada, and Father Donald Sanborn, reportedly sedevacantists in the 1970s, who were expelled, along with several other priests, by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre for holding this view.[28] Nine of these priests later founded the Society of Saint Pius V (SSPV) in 1983.
    Father Gommar DePauw, an American priest and canonist who founded the organization he named Catholic Traditionalist Movement.
    Father Oswald Baker, an English priest who was a sedevacantist by at least 1982, and reportedly some time prior to that.
    Father Lucian Pulvermacher, an American missionary priest who left the Roman Catholic Church in 1976 and in 1998 was elected pope of the conclavist "True Catholic Church" with the name of "Pius XIII".

  14. Not sure what you mean when you say murderers are not welcome, but CTA folks are – guess you mean as long as someone doesn’t want to murder or burglarize you (?) Anyway smacks too much of Pope Francis/N.O. all are welcome (Think of the difference if everyone just smiled, continued to be friends, prayed together, and broke bread together instead of shunning one another. "I can't come to your house because you are one of those people."). If they are welcome in your house, how could they not be welcome in God’s house (or if they are not welcome in God’s house, how could they be welcome in your house)? Seems foolish to protest and then party together.
    In my own family siblings say I respect your views and how you choose to live your life, why cannot you respect mine? Unfortunately, as fallen away Catholics, I don’t think how they choose to live their life and raise their children is “respectable” or “decent” – according to SSPX teaching they are hell bound (but if Ronald Reagan/Hilary Clinton are respectable, they are too). I am guided by St Paul 1 Cor 5: "I wrote to you in an epistle, not to keep company with fornicators. [10] I mean not with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the servers of idols; otherwise you must needs go out of this world. [11] But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. [12] For what have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not you judge them that are within? [13] For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves. 1 Cor 5
    Sure we are to try to convert others to the faith, but St. Paul also counsels Titus: "[9] But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain. [10] A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid: [11] Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.” Titus C3 [Maybe because waste time vs: [8] It is a faithful saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they, who believe in God, may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.]

  15. You say from your “research and study” the SSPX is not in schism. However, “schism” has a precise definition (a break due to doctrinal differences/ a split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief) and your own bishop uses that word to describe SSPX:
    "We have been notified that the Society of Saint Pius X, which is a schismatic sect and not in full communion with the Holy See, is holding Masses in Front Royal, VA. This group did not request permission for their gathering from the Diocese of Arlington."
    Pope Benedict as well when lifting the excom of the four SSPX bishops stated “they do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the church” and that the lifting of the excom was personal and did not apply to the institution (SSPX itself) due to doctrinal differences.
    Since the excom were lifted,YOU (yourself) are not ipso facto schismatic by attending, but could be depending on your intentions. [Not sure how strong you are on the doctrinal issues –seem to be too ‘indoctrinated’ in all are welcome/words (woman/man/schism) can mean whatever you choose (heretic “to choose”)/ would have no problem attending diocesan TLM if guaranteed forever.]
    SSPX/+Lefebvre dismisses priests from the society (since the 1980s) for even discussing sedevacantism- -think it goes back to Titus C3:8 it is vain and unprofitable, divisive and takes away from excelling in good works which is good and profitable. However, since you don’t want people telling you or the SSPX that you are not Catholic/outside the Church, it’s odd that you don’t mind people saying that the pope is not Catholic/outside the Church. Pretty sure it’s not Catholic to do so. But isn’t it divisive? Wouldn’t PF be welcome at Camp Kreitzer?

  16. Goodness, Anonymous, maybe you should start your own blog.

    And yes, of course Pope Francis would be welcome at Camp Kreitzer.

  17. I don't know that I would allow "Pope" Francis in my home. It is of pious belief that when St. John the Evangelist was in a bathhouse and learned that a certain known heretic was also in there, he ran out yelling to get out lest God destroy the building. I'd truly be worried Francis would bring demons into my house. And I'm not some home aloner kook who doesn't mingle with others. Being the only practicing Catholic in my entire family, I'm surrounded by agnostics, atheists, CINOs and even an aunt and cousins who are JWs (all baptized Catholics)....but I'll never, ever pray with the JWs as they worship a false God.

  18. Hi again, Debbie,

    I've shared that story about St. John myself, but I'd still welcome Pope Francis. Praying with him might be another matter. But I've hosted the Mormon boys and I used to have several Jehovahs witnesses knock on the door every now and then. One young dad came more than once. I invited him to come back with his family for brunch. (They usually sat in the car.) He never did, but I was sorry. I liked him. Then there were two ladies who were both fallen away Catholics. They didn't understand when I said that made me sad. I explained I couldn't live without the Eucharist. They quoted the Bible saying not to drink blood and I quoted back John 6. They never came back. I love Chesterton and he was a man who made friends even out of people who would be natural enemies. I wish I were more like him.