Those Who Accuse the Pope, Harm the Conversion of Sinners

What effect does all the complaining, accusing, and resistance to the Roman Pontiff, Pope Francis, have on the conversion of sinners, on the ability of the Church to win new converts and to save souls? What does all this controversy look like from outside the Church?

If someone converts to Catholicism, and then joins a TLM community, are they taught to “recognize and resist” the Pope? That is not a full conversion. They would be converting into heresy and schism. What a terrible state to be in. Out of the fire and into the frying pan. Such persons are converted to Catholicism only to be in immediate danger of losing their salvation by heresy and schism, and even by malice.

When I watch a video, such as Taylor Marshall railing against Pope Francis, I’m also reading the live chat next to the video stream. The chat comments are often worse than what he is saying. At least Dr. Marshall will tell his followers not to engage in hateful or malicious remarks online, not to harass other Catholics who are not traditionalists. He counsels prayer, confession and Mass with Communion, and especially the rosary. But the comments in the chat show that many of his followers are there for the hate. They are there to call the Pope a heretic or a false prophet (or “the false prophet” of the Antichrist).

Marshall’s book, Infiltration, accuses Pope Francis of being “a pope for Satan on the Roman Chair of Saint Peter” and claims his Pontificate “has been a slow, patient plan to establish a Satanic revolution with the pope as puppet.” The book quickly reviews everything decided by a Pope or Council over the last 150-plus years which is contrary to Taylor Marshall’s understanding of Catholicism. And wherever the Church departs from Marshall’s opinions of correct doctrine and good discipline, he declares that departure an infiltration by an evil conspiracy of freemasons, Communists, socialists, modernists, Satanists, and of course the illuminati. The claims he makes are patently absurd. But what effect does it have on preaching to those outside the Church and trying to make converts to Catholicism?

Well, it certainly doesn’t help if you are calling the Pope Satanic and saying an evil conspiracy has succeeded in corrupting the doctrine and discipline of the Church for multiple generations. Who wants to join that Church? No one. Consider Taylor Marshall’s book “Infiltration: The Plot to Destroy the Church from Within”, and Phil Lawler’s books “Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock” and “The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It” and Marcantonio Colonna’s book “The Dictator Pope: The Inside Story of the Francis Papacy”. These books cannot help but drive persons away from the Catholic Church.

Who wants to join a Church which is supposedly controlled by an evil conspiracy, and is led by a Pope who is a Lost Shepherd and a dictator Pope, along with a body of Bishops who are corrupt and cowardly and have betrayed Christ and the faithful? That is some sales pitch right there. These books express hatred of the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff. I’m not judging the souls of the authors, just the contents of the books. These types of books along with innumerable videos, social media posts, blogs, articles, etc. are making a compelling case for not becoming Catholic.

Souls are being lost to Hell. And the reason is that many Catholics have risen up in pride to declare to the world that their own understanding of Catholic Christianity is absolute Truth, and the teachings of the Church Herself are filled with errors. Where are those errors? Each complainer, each papal accuser proposes that the Church has erred, again and again, exactly wherever the Church disagrees with that person’s own understanding. What a coincidence. Is the Church really corrupt by not agreeing with Taylor Marshall on every point of disagreement? Is it not possible that he has erred, and the Church is right — thereby proving there is no conspiracy or infiltration? And the same is true for the other accusers of the Church.

So the case for converting to Catholicism goes from joining a 2000 year old Church founded by Christ on Peter and his successors all the way down to “pick your favorite online schismatic Catholic teacher” and adhere to that one particular version of the Faith. The latter is not such a strong argument for changing one’s life and staking one’s soul and eternal salvation. By undermining the authority of the Popes and Councils, and trying to replace that Rock with the majority opinion of a subculture or the unique opinions of an individual author, the attractiveness of the Church to converts plummets.

How many souls would be lost if the only way to become a formal member of the sole Ark of Salvation were to be ultra-conservative and attend Mass in Latin, a language that few today know? On top of those obstacles, these far right preachers of their own version of the Truth make their every opinion into a pseudo-dogma, which then becomes just another obstacle to conversion. TLM communities want wives to be submissive to their husbands in a rather extreme interpretation of that Bible passage; they want women to dress and act as if it were the 1800s. They demand highly conservative political and social views. Otherwise, you are not going to be welcome in many of these traditional Latin Mass (TLM) communities. And yet that is the version of the Faith that they preach: Join us and accept all kinds of burdens that we have added to the Gospel, without any necessity, or (they think) burn in Hell.

{23:4} For they bind up heavy and unbearable burdens, and they impose them on men’s shoulders. But they are not willing to move them with even a finger of their own.

Over at Crisis Magazine, they’ve given Mary a new title: Exterminatrix. And they want you to consider whether women should be allowed to vote. Just terrible. Who wants to join that version of religion? Mary is Mediatrix not Exterminatrix. And as for her role in defeating all heresies, this is due to her unfailling faith in her Son and His Church, something lacking at Crisis magazine, where every attack on the Pope is welcome. They are not winning converts, but instead are turning away souls from the path of salvation.

All this wrangling over the form of the Mass boils down to one thing: which form is most suited to win converts and help carry them, from day to day, towards salvation? Most persons would probably not be Catholic if they had to also attend Latin Mass and accept all the ultra-conservative baggage that TLM preachers demand, on top of the true Gospel (if it is even found in their preaching at all). Things have become so bad that one can hardly find any mention of Jesus and His two great Commandments of Love in any of these discussions.

Who wants to join the version of the Catholic Church preached by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, who offers his own unique version of the Faith, while at the same time he sells merchandise ridiculing the Roman Pontiff? Protestant Christians taught that the Gospel is the two great commandments of love will not be attracted to a version of Catholicism that is based on hating the Pope and making snarky comments about him as often as possible.

Modernism is alive and well in traditionalist communities. The modernist error of exalting one’s own opinions over all else, the modernist error of rejecting authority, the modernist error of following a culture, rather than following the Church, the modernist error of ridiculing and rejecting Church teaching — these are now the errors of conservative and traditionalist Catholic groups. After years of railing against modernism, they have fallen into a version of modernism wearing a conservative or traditionalist mask.

Pope Francis is a Saint. I read his audiences and sermons, and I see no difference between him and the other Saints, between him and Pope Saint John Paul II. How will Church historians judge those who rebelled against Pope Saint Francis and Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint Paul VI and Pope Saint John Paul II? Not well. To be on the other side of an argument from any Pope is highly undesirable. To be on the other side from three or four Pope Saints and two Ecumenical Councils is hopeless. There is no possibility but that the next Pope or the next Ecumenical Council will utterly condemn the papal accusers, the haters of the Novus Ordo Mass, the accusers of Pope Francis, and those who raise themselves above Popes and Councils to preach their own version of the Faith, incompatible with Catholic teaching since Vatican I (1870).

These opponents of Popes and Councils will answer before God for every soul that was lost from conversion and salvation due to their false accusations against the Church founded by Christ on Peter and his successors.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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3 Responses to Those Who Accuse the Pope, Harm the Conversion of Sinners

  1. MichaelT says:

    A few simple, non-technical thoughts on the Traditional Latin Mass and Novus Ordo Mass topic..

    Tracing the Mass back to it’s fundamental root, it was instituted by Jesus Himself at the Last Supper, and I think it’s safe to say the words Jesus spoke were in His and the apostles native Galilean dialect of Aramaic.

    And again, after the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the Upper Room, when they emerged and spoke, every one heard them in their own native language.

    Both of these events strongly suggest to me that Jesus’ holy will is for the Church to be as easily grasped and universally understood/approachable as possible.

    Lastly, the nostalgic view that the Church was holier prior to Vatican II and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass in the 1960s is spurious. The most glaring (and jarring) example of that is how far back the current widespread suppression of evidence/coverup/enabling of pedophile priests problem reaches – to the early 1940s – more than a decade before John XXIII became pope, and two full decades before Vatican II.

  2. Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for another very good article. I really
    appreciate how you are defending the church and our Pope.
    I too am coming to believe he is very holy. So many of his words
    have been twisted by the media. I think that many of the people
    who think Pope Francis is evil have just been taken in by
    the fake news and false representations of him. I too used to
    worry if he was a good Pope, until I started to read what he has
    actually said , his homilies ,and encyclicals. I have found
    him to be truly faithful to all our church teaches. Thank you
    Ron for teaching me about the churches teachings about our popes.
    I now know not to be taken in by so many liars and false stories
    about our saintly Pope Francis.

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