Saturday, December 29, 2012

Surrender in the Culture War?

“Now if a sports team is not admonished by its coach, its playing standards begin to fall. If Catholics are not admonished on cultural issues like music, women’s dress, or watching television, their cultural standards begin to fall, which has profound implications for their faith. Traditional parents are being left to struggle alone with their families to keep the worldliness of modern society out of their homes, because the leadership of the SSPX has either missed this cultural revolution, or it is not giving it the attention that it deserves. I have had many long discussions with Traditional families who are concerned about the way that the Traditional movement is going. Religious movements must take a stand on cultural issues if they are to flourish. Tradition was strengthened when it used to take a stand on television. But if a stand is not taken on cultural issues, the stand on doctrinal issues soon begins to weaken."

Bp. Williamson quoting a friend, Eleison Comments No. CCLXXXV, 29 Decemeber 2012

By N.D.C. Wansbutter, Esq.

 In all the debate over "deal" or "no deal" with the Modernist officals in Rome, I believe the very important fact that the S.S.P.X has already surrendered on the cultural issue has been overlooked. Readers of Durendal will know that we've long fancied ourselves champions of cultural issues as an important aspect of the modern-day struggle against the Devil, the Flesh, and the World.

Now, one may rightly question why I am singling-out the S.S.P.X since it may be said, with some justice, that all traditional groups are fairly quiet on cultural issues. And that the S.S.P.X still says at least as much as other groups, such as the C.M.R.I., and more than the indult groups. But with the expulsion of Bp. Williamson and the promotion of a certain layman to a position of power, I suggest the evidence is that the S.S.P.X is slowly moving towards an opposition to such "embarassing" cultural dinosaur-type positions like saying women should not dress as men, or that the television should be cast out of the home (although they seem to be dead-set against the internet of late). Readers may ask why I, a "sedevacantist", care what the S.S.P.X says. I care because the S.S.P.X is the largest and most influential traditionalist group in the world, that has done much good and can do much good yet. And I have many friends who are ministered to by them and I still look to them for a certain level of guidance.

A debate I had with the aforementioned layman, Maximilian Krah, on the forum "Ignis Ardens", I believe is illustrative of the new direction and the problem, since he is a prominent layman who wields more power in the S.S.P.X than the great majority of its priests. The debate started when I commented on Dr. Krah's interview with the Remnant Magazine, stating:

This interview confirms, crystal clearly, that Max "He who shall remain nameless" represents the "moderate" "respectable" new face of the S.S.P.X which is, essentially, a compatimentalized Sunday Catholicism. A man who thinks that modern-day Germany is a "model" nation, a "moral nation" and those moral values, "such as the equality of women, are non-negotiable and worth defending". Am man who thinks that being Catholic is somehow believes love of the mini skirt and love of The Blessed Virgin Mary are not contradictory. (cf. I think this is amply proven by his very comments about how he believes in being "optimistic" and "moderate" (a mentality that smacks very much of John XXIII and Vatican II's attitudes towards the modern world. So, too, his condescending tone for those of us who are not "moderate".

Now, a strong supporter of the S.S.P.X establishment made the point that Herr Krah is just a confused 35 year-old who is still learning the faith, and that I should be more generous with him since many a trad was perhaps even a Novus Ordinarian at 35. A point well taken, but in my view Herr Krah is not just any 35 year old lawyer. He is a person of considerable power and influence in the S.S.P.X and in being interviewed in such a way is being held up as an exemplar of the S.S.P.X faithful and Tradition. At least this is my impression, again, especially because of the influence he has. That said, "there but for the grace of God go I, and I don't point all this out to cast stones at Herr Krah but to raise a concern about the direction that the largest traditional group is taking.

Dr. Krah, for his part, had a fair bit to say in response to my comments, the most salient bits being:

Now I get attacked for somhow being "not Catholic enough", what in a very fundamental way thrives the question what being Catholic means. The Church answers it quite clear: You have to hold the faith, attending to the sacraments. Being Catholic is not about history, politics, not about style and fashion ...

He went on to call my comments about the rottenness of the modern world "clear heresy". After some more back-and-forth I inquired as to where Dr. Krah received his ideas about the goodness of modern society, the fact that the Church has nothing to say about history, clothing &c. and his response was important: "you can be sure that I often and openly discuss it with various priests, mostly SSPX-clergy. My understanding of theology was formed by and within the SSPX. I added some reading, and for sure, I use my special legal training and my knowledge in philosphy, especially theory of law. During my travel to the New Seminary Project and the Angelus Press Conference some days ago, I once again could talk to several priest from the US-district. Noone doubted in any way my faith."

Anecdotally, many traditionalists will comment on the "de-Williamsonising" of the S.S.P.X in the U.S., and to be sure, the Angelus, when I stopped my subscription a couple years ago, did not feature the "radical" cultural articles it used to under Fr. Novak's watch. So, given that, in my view, the S.S.P.X has surrendered -- or is in the process of surrendering -- its part in the culture war, I think the danger is clear. I fully agree with Bp. Williamson's friend and we've already written much on the topic here, here and here. And it shall continue to be one of Durendal's purposes to take a stand on cultural issues and discuss them.

Posted on the Feast of St. Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr, a.D. MMXII

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pope Piux XII " The sound consistency of your principles will be put to the test by the so-called modern spirit, which cannot bear hindrance. And it will be tried by the same indifference of many toward the moral consideration of styles. The most insidious of sophisms are usually repeated to justify immodesty and seem to be the same everywhere. One of these resurrects the ancient saying ab assuetis non fit passio ("The passions are not aroused by things we are accustomed to") in order to brand as old-fashioned the rebellion of honest people against fashions which are too bold. Must it perhaps be shown how out of place the ancient saying is in such questions?

When We spoke of the absolute limits to be defended in the relativism of style, We mentioned the unfounded character of another fallacious opinion according to which modesty is no longer appropriate in the contemporary era which has now become free of all useless and ruinous scruples."

That's right there on the SSPX asia site. Of course, Catholic teachings have never stopped liberals from disregarding them and even from denying that they exist.

There are many clowns these days who are mocking Catholics by insulting the Faith while claiming to be unimpeachable Catholics, flagrantly and falsely misrepresenting the Faith, showing admiration for the ways of the enemies of the Faith, then waxing indignant when called on their shamelessness.