Saturday, October 8, 2016

Stockholm Syndrome in the Latin Mass Movement?

Mysterious Quote:

Recently, I gave my own point of view about the question of traditionalist Catholics criticizing the post-Vatican II popes and hierarchy, in light of the recent tragedy hitting the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. LINKLINK

And then someone in the comments section posted this mysterious quote:

"Who is going to save our Church? Not our Bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church.  Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops like bishops and your religious act like religious."  

Reading it, I thought,
"Where does this quote come from?  Who's the author?  No doubt some fellow Trads may take the quote as being shamefully disrespectful of the hierarchy.  Maybe think it comes from those "Rad Trads" over at the Remnant."

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Traditionalist Stockholm Syndrome :

There are certain of my fellow Trads who seem to have succumbed to a kind of "Stockholm Syndrome." There's a specific mode of thought that says, even in a time of grave Church Crisis, Catholics must not openly criticize--at least publicly--the hierarchy...  

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...because doing so could anger the bishop and provoke him to persecute trads...that expressing the opinion that a certain bishop is acting against Catholic Tradition is not compatible with the requisite sympathy and loyalty Catholics owe the bishop as a Successor of the Apostles. 

Stockholm Trads, am I off base?  From your point of view, does the person quoted at the top of the post sound to you like a nutty "rad trad"? Have they got things upside down, since the laity are the sheep and the hierarchy the shepherds?  Its not the laity's job to make sure "priests act like priests, bishops act like bishops, and religious act like religious"? 

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My Thoughts:

Permit me to give my angle on this Stockholm Syndrome phenomenon in the Latin Mass movement, as I see it from my Okie armchair, before I unveil who said the quote.

I could be wrong, this is just the opinion of one Okie Trad with a blog. But I sense there are many Okie Trads and beyond who already share my point of view--or who are beginning to--considering how the "Francis Effect" is being played out around the world.

The circular reasoning that excludes laity from publicly holding the hierarchy accountable is exactly what enables Modernist Clerics to tear down the Church (cue clerical pedophilia and its decades-long universal cover up).  

A Gag Order to keep SILENT shows a convoluted form of respect for the Office of Bishop and does no good in helping to "save our Church." Its a dysfunctional method that sees its only other alternative to be a break with church authority.  Its a cynical approach that does not consider legitimate, effective organized efforts to build up a "counter-revolution," and yes even within the "diocesan structure." 

The Modus Operandi of Stockholm Syndrome Traditionalism could be summed up: 

Be very, very afraid of the local bishop; if we act too much like traditionalists, he may not permit our Latin Mass, parish, order, convent, etc.  

To me this operating principle betrays a privatized mentality about following Catholic Tradition and the traditional Mass.  It all becomes a private affair of personal preference.  A private concern for a small clique in the diocese. 

The Author of the Quote is...

So without further ado, after google-searching the mysterious quote, I give you the author in is none other than, 

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

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As always, the Comments box is Open!


  1. No Stockholm cowards..uh,I mean Catholics, in the SSPX.

  2. Itd be cool if the SSPX accepts a personal prelature, which would make it like a universal diocese. Its bishop could incorporate any new religious orders into it. Fr. Ripperger, Mother Miriam, etc if they aren't welcome in the local "diocesan structure" could just switch over to the Society...if they were so inclined.

  3. I would like to comment on your statement "The circular reasoning that excludes laity from publicly holding the hierarchy accountable is exactly what enables Modernist Clerics to tear down the Church".

    The issue at hand is the meaning attributed to the word "accountable". If a man has an argument with his wife, does he discuss the issue with her, or does he shout it out of the bedroom window for the neighborhood to hear? If an employee finds that his manager is doing something questionable, does he report it to his boss through the proper channels and resume his duties or does he stand in the middle of the store and shout it out loud so every customer and employee can hear him?

    Too often, the laity (particularly those embracing Catholic traditionalism) have not so much fallen subject to a Stockholm Syndrome, but to a "Shout It From The Rooftops" Syndrome. They feel that the only way to "set the record straight" is to use a megaphone to let everyone and their mothers know about the sins and misdoings of Mr. so-and-so, Fr. so-and-so, or Bishop so-and-so. This has only gotten worse in the digital age through the forums and the Blogosphere.

    There are, of course, proper channels through which misbehaviors and complaints and even simple criticisms and suggestions can be politely submitted (as long as they are objective and substantial). Unfortunately the tendency is to either not use these channels or to get tired of waiting for "visible results" (the results we wish to see, that is) and we "go public" - and not merely by throwing the issue to the wolves - er, to the people out there, many of whom already dislike the Catholic Church - but also by passing judgment on the individuals, who are labeled (ex. Modernists, Liberals, or worse).

    The fact is that bishops, for better or for worse, are the successors of the apostles and share with Peter in the Power of the Keys. To them we owe respectful obedience. In the secular world, the concept of obedience is poorly understood. It is mostly shaped by family relations or our relations with authority figures. For too many Catholics, the understanding of obedience goes to what they have read here and there on the Blogosphere (mostly calls to "stand up", "resist", and what not), missing entirely the point, namely that the Christian is called to imitate the Suffering Servant who said "not my will but yours, Father", and to follow the Shepherd with trust ("My sheep hear my voice and they follow me").

    Raising our voice when something against the moral law is commanded is not disobedience. But arguing against a priest, bishop, or the Holy Father because what he commands is contrary to our wishes or desires (no matter how holy they may be or appear to be) is not obedience. The Desert Fathers and the masters of Monasticism taught that the Abba, the Father, was to receive loving obedience in "all things except sin". It is not therefore a matter of Stockholm Syndrome, as if the laity were "captives" of their bishops or of the Pope, but a matter of loving surrender to God's holy will (whether active o passive) which He expresses through the Hierarchical Church. Which is why the great Western master of discernment, St. Ignatius of Loyola, established as prime rule: "To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black if the hierarchical Church so decides it".

    I hope that issues such as these will be addressed in our new blog ( Please feel free to touch base with us if you have ideas or an article to post.