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A Leaven In The World… Mike Lewis Calumniates TLM Catholics

May 5, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


In common Catholic parlance the word “traditionalist,” when applied to adherents of our true and most ancient faith, implies love of the Traditional Mass and frequent, if not regular, attendance at this 1962 Latin language liturgy.
Mike Lewis, of “Where Peter Is,” published a hit piece, “When Catholics resist both faith and science” at the site the week of this writing, attacking Catholics who love the historic Mass of the Church. The title of the article itself indicates the primary problem with his approach, for in targeting fellow Catholics both for their practice of the faith and for their medical choices, he mixes apples and oranges.
Mike’s primary stated angle in the opinion piece concerns the opposition to some aspects of the COVID 19 phenomenon on the part of those he describes as belonging to “radical traditionalism and reactionary Catholicism.” Apples and oranges. Theology is the Church’s domain of authority as upheld by the Holy Spirit, and not the natural sciences, medicine among them and epidemiology in particular when it comes to COVID 19 and other viruses that can be fatal to individuals with underlying morbidities.
The brief of the Church is the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The science of theology. Not the science of virology. When bishops and Popes supplant the proper role of individual Catholics to consult and follow the advice of their own doctors, as has happened in the last two years, they stray from their divinely appointed roles into an area in which they lack both expertise and divine mandate.
Lewis attempts to paint those who love the ancient rite as hide-bound medievalists who run to the local alchemist instead of the pharmacy for cough and cold remedies. Nothing could be further from the truth. The same scrupulous research and wide reading over years that led them back to the tradition of Catholic worship also characterizes the approach to medicine and physical health for these very intellectually alert and intelligent members of the Church.
When it seems nearly everyone around one is gaslighting in opposition, and citing the authorities both civil and religious to bolster their cause, one is spurred all the more to do responsible and personal research. The traditional Catholics I have known for more than a generation are such intelligent and well-read Catholics. They know what they believe and why. And what they don’t. And novelties are most certainly not included in the catalog of their Credo.
Traditional Catholics stand on the rock of Revelation, on Christ. It is for this reason that they reject novelties promoted by anyone in the Church, no matter the office held by the promulgator. And those with higher office and authority in the Church who promote novelties and heresy are all the more guilty of scandal. It is not the person who holds such erroneous opinions that is opposed, but rather the heresy for the sake of the salvation of the soul who holds such error, and every soul. This also is a matter of certainty for traditional Catholics.
Lewis wrote, “Like Protestants, the traditionalists have become untethered from the rock, and they hold a wide range of novel beliefs and doctrines that are incompatible with the traditional Catholic faith. They are left facing a future without a clear path back toward full communion with the Catholic Church and the Successor of Peter. They lack trust in the Apostolic See, which was established by Christ as ‘the rock which guarantees a rigorous fidelity to the Word of God against arbitrariness and conformism’.”
I challenge Lewis to name the “novel beliefs and doctrines” held by Catholics who love the Traditional Mass. These believers adhere to the more ancient form of worship precisely for the reason that it is not novel. It is Catholic because handed down by the Church and upheld by every Pope. Until now. Speaking of novel. These Catholics adhere to the office of the papacy with all the strength that faith can give. And they pray for the Pope.
John XXIII, convener of the Second Vatican Council, never said the ancient Mass could be abrogated. Paul VI acknowledged its historicity by means of the “Agatha Christie indult,” among other acts. John Paul II approved its existence through promulgation of Ecclesia Dei and Benedict XVI gave full access to such worship in Summorum Pontificum. Only Francis has gone so far as to claim the authority to severely restrict the Mass of All Time. This in fact is novelty. This action is what is opposed by many who love the Catholic faith. And it is the action which is opposed, not the person who commits the act. Here Lewis says traditional Catholics, reactionaries, “reject instruments of authority.” I’ve never met a single traditional Catholic who doesn’t believe in the episcopal office created by Christ.
“When individual members of the Church decide to reject the instruments of authority and transmission of the faith given to us by Christ, the result has historically been chaos and division. We see this today in the many Protestant denominations that reject the papacy and have been divided many times over. We see it happening in real-time in the various strains of radical traditionalism and reactionary Catholicism, where fierce arguments erupt over the legitimacy of Francis’ papacy, the number of heresies he allegedly holds, and what they should do about all of it.”
Catholics who love our faith, and because of that love also our Traditional worship, also love the office of the papacy. They oppose its illegitimate use in allowing the promotion of population control and globalism, or theories of climate change. Some of these are matters about which Catholics may legitimately hold different opinions. When Popes engage in such misuse of their office, faithful Catholics, all the way back to St. Catherine of Siena and earlier, serve Christ and the papacy by calling Popes back to the legitimate use of their office for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. This in fact is Catholic faith and conduct.
“And is it no surprise that many of the Catholics who most vigorously oppose the positions of the mainstream scientific establishment are also vigorously opposed to the teachings and decisions of the institutional Church? From Patrick Coffin to Tim Gordon to Taylor Marshall to Eric Sammons to Leila Lawler to Fr. Dave Nix to Bishop Joseph Strickland, there appears to be a strong correlation between Catholics who are passionately opposed to Pope Francis and those who publicly reject the scientific consensus on how we should respond to COVID.”
Again, he is mixing apples and oranges and for that reason his thinking is faulty. But in claiming that these Catholics whom he here names are “opposed to the teachings of the institutional Church,” he calumniates them. And by lumping the “teachings” of the Church together with “decisions,” he mixes once again like with unlike. One can oppose the policies of the Church while upholding her teaching and Deposit of Faith without ever losing the grace of salvation.
Popes and bishops overstep their brief when they instruct Catholics on medical matters. And Catholics who challenge Popes and bishops to better teach and model the faith are both models of that faith and good servants of our Church leadership. One can hope and pray that Lewis corrects course in the next of a promised series on this topic.
Thank you for reading, and praised be the risen Lord Jesus now and forever. Please support solid Catholic journalism by subscribing to The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper today.

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