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Traditionalist Catholicism is essentially a Catholic analog of Protestant fundamentalism, generally based on the idea that the Catholic Church lost its way with the results of the Second Vatican Council ("Vatican II"), and looking for a return to those earlier halcyon days. Some remain within the Church; others have formed their own splinter groups on the assumption that the current papacy is illegitimate (e.g. Sedevacantism). Some groups have even appointed their own popes.
Many are merely sentimental conservatives who long for a return to the Latin Mass and the Douay-Rheims or Confraternity translations of the Bible because that is the Catholicism they remember from their childhood. Many others, however, are complete crank magnets who also promote…
- Holocaust denial
- conspiracy theories about the Illuminati, Masons, and New World Order
- a "Douay-Rheims only" movement (similar to the fundamentalist Protestant King James only movement)
- the equation of Christendom with Europe ("Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe": a defense of colonialism at best and a Catholic parallel to Christian Identity at worst)
- the preachings of Father Coughlin
- the restoration of feudalism and monarchism
- apologetics for the fascist dictatorships of Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Jozef Tiso, António de Oliveira Salazar, Ante Pavelić and Philippe Pétain.
Some of them seem to want to undo not just Vatican II but also the entire Age of Enlightenment. They also tend to be rabidly anti-Protestant and stake out an opposition to abortion so extreme it makes other pro-lifers look liberal by comparison.
Notable adherents and groups
- Mel Gibson is a member of a Traditionalist Catholic church, and we all know what a wonderful, inclusive Christian he turned out to be.
- The Society of St. Pius X.
- Richard Williamson, independent bishop, expelled from the society above. Holocaust denier.
- Most Holy Family Monastery, and its current leader Michael Dimond. Known for incessant self-promotion and the prolific distribution of really insightful DVDs on such subjects as "Abortion, Rock Music, and Freemasonry Exposed" and "The Communist and Masonic Infiltration of the Catholic Church".
- Veronica Leuken (1923-1995), who claimed to have a series of visions of the Virgin Mary in Bayside, New York. Widely promoted with billboards, junk mail, and a toll-free recorded phone message, "Mary"'s messages for the world included New World Order conspiracy theories, a warning that the current Pope was illegitimate, the Church had better restore the Latin Mass, and warnings of impending disasters and God's judgement coming soon upon the United States. The official website for her group, Our Lady of the Roses, officially shut down in 2014, but her followers have founded These Last Days Ministries.
- Judge Andrew Napolitano, a libertarian activist and frequent Fox News analyst, self identifies as a Traditionalist Catholic.
- Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), a movement of Traditionalist Catholic political and civic organizations, founded in 1960 by Brazilian activist Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. The US branch of the movement is the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, noted by their public protests with members wearing red sashes.
- Antonin Scalia
- William F. Buckley
- Patrick Buchanan
- Michael Voris, former CBS News affiliate newscaster turned Trump-loving owner of the mini-media empire called Church Militant (formerly RealCatholic.TV), and President of St. Michael's Media. They create anti-abortion, homophobic, anti-feminist, Islamophobic, pro-theocratic, and climate change denying videos.
- Robert Sungenis
The enemy of their enemy
In a fascinating illustration of the horseshoe theory, crank booksellers are likely to stock books from both Omni Christian Book Club (traditionalist Catholic) and Emissary Publications (rabidly anti-Catholic) that both promote the exact same drivel about an international Jewish conspiracy.
Further, while Anti-Catholic conspiracy theorists may hold up the most extreme wingnut Traditionalist Catholics (especially the pro-fascist ones) as representative of all Catholics, both groups tend to promote similar conspiracy theories about the current Catholic Church, particularly as regards alleged Communist influence and the ecumenical movement.
- Radical Traditionalist Catholics Spew Anti-Semitic Hate, Commit Violence Against Jews. Intelligence Report, Issue 124. Southern Poverty Law Center. Winter 2006.
- Even mainstream Catholics were warning others about her, stating that her supposed messages from "Mary" contained errors in "Catholic terminology, history and theology".
- Announcement of the shutdown of Roses.org
- Michael Voris took down this video from his website, but it has been mirrored for your perusal and disbelief.
- Voris later backtracked, somewhat, several weeks later when interviewed by Russia Today.
- How a right-wing Ferndale fringe group is building a multimedia empire: Ferndale-based, Catholic fringe group wants to tear down wall of church and state by Robert Allen (February 18, 2017) The Detroit Free Press.