Dave Armstrong picks on Michael Voris over here for suggesting that Pope Benedict XVI was shamming illness so he could play hookey from the papacy.
Armstrong goes on to point out how dissident conservative Catholics often end up going off the deep end completely.
No one is ever as faithful as they are. No one else is ever as orthodox as they are. No one else is every so liturgically correct as they are.
You know the sort. For some time there has been disagreement over a name for this kind of Catholic.
Are they conservative Catholics? Are they traditionalists? Are they “raddy traddies”?
In fact none of these labels work because, of course there are plenty of conservative Catholics who aren’t rabid anti Semitic, flat earth fundamentalist crazies.
There are plenty of traditionalists who are happy, sane, humble and holy Catholics
There are plenty of rad trads who don’t feel obliged to jump in the deep end wearing lead boots.
I guess Pope Francis himself named them a short time ago when he said there were fundamentalists in all religions.
That’s exactly what the lunatic fringe remind me of and I’m surprised, being a graduate of Bob Jones University, that I didn’t spot it before.
The ones on the lunatic fringe of Catholicism (whether they are crazy conservatives or loopy liberals) are really fundamentalists.
They have the same traits as fundamentalists anywhere and in any religion:
- A literal and legalistic approach to their holy books
- A dread suspicion of anything modern
- A need to blame and demonize others
- A martyr complex
- Self righteousness so huge they can’t see it
- A self contained, self designed closed system and world view
- An ever decreasing number of devotees
- An ever increasing obsession with arcane detail to prove their point
- An angry and argumentative nature
- Zero joy.
What’s to be done about such folk?
Nothing I reckon. You probably won’t be able to change their mind.
So think the best, give them the benefit of the doubt, don’t argue, wish them well and be at peace.