Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

A leaked FBI memo from their Richmond Virginia office targets those it refers to as Radical Traditional Catholics (RTC). RTC is defined as a subset of those the memo refers to as racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVE). An analyst’s note from the memo is clear: 

“RTCs are typically characterized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) as a valid church council; disdain for most of the popes elected since Vatican II, particularly Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II and frequent adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology....”  

The memo goes on to refer to trip wire and source development; this is bureau jargon suggesting the need for agent infiltration into what they have defined as RTCs. 

The FBI memo reads like a secular appendix to Pope Francis’ motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes; a letter in which he places restrictions on the Tridentine Latin Mass (TLM), marginalizing it until it can be eliminated.  Bergoglio rescinded Ratzinger’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum of 2007, under which the Latin Mass was considered the extraordinary form of the Mass alongside the Novus Ordo (NO) or ordinary form of the Mass. Ostensibly, Ratzinger was declaring a hermeneutic of continuity, that TLM and NO are both valid forms of the Mass, perhaps this was only to lend more credence to the 50-year-old modernist Vatican II NO by putting it alongside the 1500-year-old TLM. 

Bergoglio’s hermeneutic in contrast is one of discontinuity or rupture. In Traditionis Custodes he refers to the NO as the unique expression of lex orandi of the Roman Rite. In writing this he suggests that the Latin Mass (TLM) was wrong or at least insufficient. For 1500 years Catholics did not get it right according to Bergolio. It was not until what many NO advocates refer to as “The Council” (Vatican II), that the church finally got it right. 

The intelligence work that composes the FBI memo is abysmal. Details are inaccurate and superfluous. A Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) list of supposedly RTC hate groups included in it is farcical. Vatican II groups are listed such as E. Michael Jones’ Culture Wars as well as Michael Matt’s, The Remnant. The FBI did not bother to vet the SPLC list to properly define their target; SPLC is obviously not concerned with the TLM but has its own agenda and it paints sloppily with a broad brush. They even list a tiny harmless group based in New Hampshire, The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

The FBI is arguably just working alongside the Pope. What Bergolio is doing to those traditionalists who consider him a valid Pope and submit to his authority, the FBI will do to those sedevacantists who are out of his reach. Although the word sedevacantist does not appear anywhere in the memo, that is their described target. Sedevacantist Catholics do not recognize any Popes after Pius XII and attend only the Latin Mass. Bergolio has no authority or influence on them except to help swell their numbers every time he opens his mouth and shoves his foot in it. The FBI memo is timely given the death of Ratzinger as some traditionalists continued to recognize Ratzinger as Pope and now face a sedevacanatist dilemma. 

Lex orandi, lex credendi refers to the link between prayer and theology. The TLM was at least as much a threat to the hegemony of the modernist NO as, Primo’s and Secundo’s Paradise restaurant was to Pascal’s American philistine cuisine in the movie Big Night. The NO could not exist together with the TLM as the latter was a constant nagging reminder of what Montini, through “The Council” jettisoned. TLM was growing and comprised of many young parishioners while the NO on the other hand is a dying boomer option favored by older priests who never learned Latin and by secularized parishioners who do not want anything to challenge the world spirit. In Savannah, GA where I attended the indult TLM, it was scheduled after the NO Mass on Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral. The parade of masks and miniskirts leaving the NO walking past the conservatively dressed and largely unmasked “indulterers” was a scene that sticks in my mind. It looked like two different churches. Some NO priests who conducted the TLM were affected as well; they were at risk of becoming Catholic, something Bergolio discourages.

So-called conservative pundits are reacting to the FBI leak as expected. They see the memo as an attack on religious liberty. Tucker Carlson is among those missing the point. He listed Mormons, Scientologists and others on his FOX News show as threatened. He is wrong. The enemy of our souls is not attacking sects or cults. He is fine with all happy-clappy, fully vaxed, compliant worldlings who practice any of the many experiential religious options on a theme of relativism. Nor is he attacking the Vatican II NO Mass that his infiltrators created. He worked hard to create religious chaos under the guise of religious freedom and is fine with all such gatherings of those who practice religious hobbies; his sights are fixed on what remains of the TLM.

Frank DeRienzo is a retired Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Gordon College and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and is a graduate of the US Army Defense Language Institute. He currently works with eLearning technology.

Frank DeRienzo

Frank DeRienzo

12 Responses

  1. Allen Wilson says:

    I wonder if there might be some kind of a connection between this ridiculous nonsense and the oppression of the orthodox church in the US colony of Ukraine?

  2. Roger McGrath says:

    Anyone interested in how the Church has been corrupted might want to take a look at The Deep Church Revealed by John F. McManus.

  3. Robert Reavis says:

    Thank you for the post. And the two responses . I always enjoy seeing Allen Wilson and Roger McGrath appear.
    Here is a little remembrance for Ash Wednesday from section V of Eliot’s poem of the same title.
    I am not a huge fan of Eliot as a poet but maybe his obscurity is appropriate for these times.
    In any event, Ash Wednesday is.

    Will the veiled sister pray for
    Those who walk in darkness, who chose thee and oppose thee,
    Those who are torn on the horn between season and season, time and time, between
    Hour and hour, word and word, power and power, those who wait
    In darkness? Will the veiled sister pray
    For children at the gate
    Who will not go away and cannot pray:
    Pray for those who chose and oppose

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

    Will the veiled sister between the slender
    Yew trees pray for those who offend her
    And are terrified and cannot surrender
    And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
    In the last desert between the last blue rocks
    The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
    Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

    O my people.

  4. Vince Cornell says:

    Today I learned that our bishop, ever eager to curry favor with Francis and Cardinal Roche, ordered our pastor to use the wretched NAB English translation when reading the Epistle and Gospel out loud (instead of the traditional Douay-Rheims). We’re one of the few (of once many) Latin Masses still allowed in the diocese (at least for now – our stay of execution was given a clear expiration date), and we’re in a remote area convenient to nobody. One would think we’re “out of sight, out of mind.” But, no. There can’t possibly be any reason to force us to use the inaccurate and often heterodox if not outright heretical translation other than to rub lemon juice in the fresh wound – a charitable sentiment for us, the sheep the bishop has decided are not worth caring about. We’re not allowed to list our Latin Mass times in the parish bulletin, we’re not allowed to offer the Triduum in the traditional form (we were the first parish to EVER offer the full Triduum in our relatively young diocese), baptisms, confirmations, and weddings have been banned, and now have to use the garbage NAB translation. What’s next? Mandatory singing of “On Eagle’s Wings”?

    Sadly, the pastor is “going along to get along” terrified that if he doesn’t dot every eye with precision he will be removed (the bishop has made it crystal clear that he will severely punish anything he deems as even slight disobedience – again with that big heart full of charity). The Church today is practically overflowing with cowards and quislings, and sour old man Francis and his toady, Roche, must surely be laughing at how absurdly easy it has been to claim illegitimate power after power with no one daring to peep an objection.

    At least I don’t have to look far to find suitable sufferings for Lent, but if the priest calls the Blessed Virgin Mary “Favored One” during the Mass of the Annunciation, I might have to step outside to make sure I don’t get too close to a near occasion of sin.

  5. Robert Reavis says:

    Mr. Cornell,
    I wonder what it’s like in the pew these days for those families driving those distances just to avoid “everything cruel and crass,
    that celebrates itself at Mass” these days?
    Years ago they were a pretty knarly bunch that often saw the priest as more of a craftsman than a counselor. They didn’t much care about the rest of it as long as the rite was right. I still kinda think it’s a reasonable approach if I had a family to raise and a mortgage to pay in the current conditions.

  6. Dot says:

    The crack in the window started long ago in the early 60s when the Traditional Latin Mass was changed to the vernacular. Looking back all changes occurred with each succeeding Pope putting his spin on the Mass and rules for the people.

  7. Vince Cornell says:

    Mr. Reavis – we used to drive an hour and a half one way every Sunday to go to Old St. Mary’s in D.C. for the Latin Mass. Eventually we found a lovely little country parish that was offering the Mass, and we moved to be close to it and have been very happy ever since. A nice community has formed there of homeschool families, we have good priests, and we do potlucks and dances for the kids and even a music recital once a year on St. Cecilia’s Feast Day. It’s not perfect, but it’s more than I have any right to expect given the country and time we live in. Which is why it’s so damn infuriating that our bishop, with no other reason than to carry water for Francis, the Spiteful, is taking away our sacraments, tinkering with our Mass, and basically telling us that, as soon as he gets the word from Rome, he’s going to kick us out to the windy corner. He’s made no attempt to explain himself, to communicate with us, to show even the tiniest measure of solidarity with us, and certainly doesn’t acknowledge all of the money and prayers we’ve given him over the years. I know he’s threatened our pastor as well as other priests (good priests who have given him no problems, unlike others I could name), but he has no problem turning around and asking us to give him more money in his Lenten Appeal so he can build more Hispanic churches. Fat chance, brother!

    But then what should I expect from a bishop who so eagerly closed down all his churches at the slightest hint of a bad flu and orders from the government? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the bishop still wears a face mask when he drives around by himself in his car. It’s certainly the public picture he’s painted of himself.

  8. Robert Reavis says:

    Thank you, Mr Cornell. Actually I find this very encouraging to know. It is very similar to other places where good things persist and even flourish, in spite of everything and every attempt to attack, diminish and eliminate them.
    I don’t know if you have read Waugh’s little biography on Edmund Campion but under the circumstances you might enjoy it. Some things stand still while the world turns.

  9. Frank DeRienzo says:

    Immediately after the release of Traditionis Custodes, the NO priests conducting the indult TLM at the Cathedral in Savannah where we attended, sermonized on the need for submission to the V2 hierarchy. One young priest went so far as to expound on the V2 approved vision of Faustina through which he expounded that we must follow man rather than the direct words of Christ. It was clear that if the TLM was eliminated by Bergolio, these NO priests expected us all to dutifully attend the NO. Even while the TLM was allowed under Ratzinger’s motu proprio, it was limited, many holy days of obligation had no TLM option. A TLM-only orientation was not allowed as we were expected to attend some required observances in the NO rite. TLM was only allowed as an optional niche artifact. We became Sedevacantists.

  10. Dot says:

    Have any of you heard of the New Liturgical Movement?

  11. Vince Cornell says:

    With the way so many bishops and priests have behaved after Traditionis Custodes, one wonders when the prohibition was lifted regarding women priests.

  12. Dot says:

    I don’t think women should give communion, be deaconesses or priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I grew up when the church had a Latin Mass. I sung Latin in the choir. It just seems that the RC Church could at least say the Agnus Dei in Latin and English. Too much was removed from the church to modernize it and in my mind, the spirituality was gone.

    For me? I do believe priests should be able to marry before becoming a priest otherwise it bodes trouble as has been common in the Catholic Church. In the Orthodox Church, priests must marry before being ordained a priest. Although I am still a Catholic, the last time I went to a Catholic Church was a few years ago after someone asked me if I wanted him to bring and give me Communion. I nearly pushed him over and walked out. I’ve travelled the religious landscape and am happy where I’m at.