Errors of Traditionalism: Trad Priests are above Popes

In my previous post, I pointed out an heretical teaching by traditionalist priest Fr. Zuhlsdorf on indefectibility. It is a very serious error pertaining to both the essential nature of the Church, a promise of Christ about the Church, and the indefectibility of the Roman Pontiff and Apostolic See. His error contradicts multiple dogmas and many teachings of Popes, Saints, and Councils on the Church and the Pope.

And his followers do not care. I have seen this many times, even well before the Pontificate of Francis. When a group of persons follow a traditionalist priest, his word is above the teaching of any Pope or Council or Saint or set of the former. Traditionalists tend to follow whatever their favorite trad priests teach as if his every word were dogma, and in contradiction to the actual dogmas of the Faith.

This is one of the attractions for seminarians in becoming traditionalist priests: POWER. Do you want to be the newest Novus Ordo priest in a diocese with many other priests with much greater seniority? Or would you like to suddenly be treated as if your every word were above the teachings of Popes and Councils? Traditionalism offers unprecedented power to priests, without regard to their knowledge or training, without regard to their holiness or faithfulness. Just repeat the usual traditionalist talking points, and everything else you say will be accepted without question.

A new Novus Ordo priest is assigned to a diocese as an assistant priest, and he must build trust and support in that community, which is difficult and takes years. If he becomes a traditionalist priest, he has a ready-made community that will follow him instead of the Bishop or the Pope, a community who will treat him like a Saint merely for telling them what they wish to hear on religion. Say the TLM Mass and repeat the usual talking points about tradition and against liberalism, and you have a type influence, power, a loyal audience, and adulation that a priest can seldom find anywhere else.

Traditionalist priests are treated by their supporters as if they were above the Bishop, the Pope, and almost any other Pope and Council. Vatican II teaches this, but our traditionalist priest says that. His traditionalist supporters will follow his word over that of a Council — not only over Vatican II, but Vatican I or Lateran V or almost any other Pope or Council. This type of instant power, to be raised as if you were above the Pope, is dangerous.

It is clearly seen in the case of Fr. Z. who has no qualms about selling merchandise that ridicules the words of the Roman Pontiff. He profits from ridiculing the Pope. Someone make a note to point this out at the next Ecumenical Council, when they are preparing anathemas against heretics and schismatics. To profit from indirect blasphemy against the Vicar of Christ is a very grave sin, akin to simony, except that instead of selling spiritual goods, one is selling blasphemous “goods”.

Ronald L Conte Jr

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2 Responses to Errors of Traditionalism: Trad Priests are above Popes

  1. john says:

    Your comments seem more directed at a particular type of US socially and religiously conservative parish than communities elsewhere who sometimes use the 1962 Missal. However, most priests who celebrate the Mass using the 1962 Missal will also regularly celebrate the Mass using the 1970 Missal. Traditionis Custodes quite rightly emphasised that the communities using the 1962 Missal, and their priests, need to stay in communion with the rest of the church. For most communities that isn’t going to be a problem.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes, that’s right about my comments. There are faithful traditionalists, and then there are traditionalists who are already in schism.

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