The Blame Game: Jesus had Judas, Francis has Roche

“Serious question: Why is Cardinal Roche trying to FORCE Catholics to prefer the OF to the EF?”

The question above was posed on social media by the tradservative outlet Corpus Christi Watershed. The date: 14 March 2023.

This wasn’t CC Watershed’s first Blame-it-on-Arthur rodeo. 

On February 7, the site published an article suggesting that “His Holiness” (as they call Jorge) may have had Cardinal Roche in mind when he said, “We must observe the Code [of Canon Law] because it is serious, but the heart of the pastor goes beyond it.”

The motive for this veiled rebuke, according to writer Jeff Ostrowski, is that “Cardinal Roche (in a way some feel approaches ‘megalomania’) has endorsed an overly-rigid, overly-restrictive interpretation of Traditionis Custodes.”

As supporting evidence for this claim, Ostrowski wrote:

What is the mind of the lawgiver when it comes to Traditionis Custodes, a Motu Proprio which sought to slow down the spread of the Traditional Latin Mass? The lawgiver has emphasized having a ‘pastoral heart’ rather than a rigid, legalistic, and restrictive application.   

Evidently, Jeff Ostrowski and CC Watershed failed to note just how poorly that particular assertion aged. One month and one notorious rescript later, they’re still doing their level best to pin the “restrictive application” of Traditiones Cojones on Arthur Roche!

They are far from alone. In fact, the Blame-it-on-Arthur Campaign (© All rights reserved) is an initiative that was created by, and belongs to, Tradservative, Inc.  

One of the most glaring examples of this exercise in cognitive dissonance was put forth by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, longtime board member of Tradservative, Inc. 

[NOTE: While it may appear as though I delight in “picking on” Peter, that’s not so. The frequency with which he gets mentioned on these pages is merely a reflection of the fact that he happens to be one of the tradservative movement’s most prolific commentators and persons of influence. It’s nothing personal, in fact, in our brief interactions, I’ve always found him to be a gentleman despite our deep disagreements.]

On the very day that the rescript was issued, Peter sought to calm his followers by assuring them that the situation at hand is far from unprecedented.   

Let me see if I got this right:

In confirming Roche’s aggressive application of Traditionis Cojones, Jorge Bergoglio (stage name, Francis) was acting in a manner analogous to the way in which Jesus consented to the events leading up to His death on the Cross for our salvation? 

Wow. If I was given to speechlessness, this just might do it! 

The deficiency of this analogy is presumably apparent to all, but just to be safe…

The notion that Iscariot’s sandal may snugly fit Arthur’s foot might actually have some merit, but only insofar as it is intended to suggest that Roche is no more Catholic than his boss. Of course, that’s not at all what Kwasniewski means to suggest, but let’s examine the matter more closely just the same.

According to Sacred Scripture, Judas was replaced by Matthias, not because the traitor was dead, but because he had departed from the Truth: 

And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two [Barsabas or Matthias] thou hast chosen, to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:24-25)

Get that? Judas fell from the Apostolic office by transgression thus leaving a void, i.e., of his own volition, he severed himself from communion with Our Lord and relinquished his ministry. If, upon pondering this truth, Bergoglio, his henchmen, and the offices they claim to possess come to mind, congratulations, your sensus Catholicus is evidently functioning. 

No, Arthur Roche is not Francis’ Judas, he is Francis’ beloved disciple.

As I write, Tradservative, Inc.’s Communications Department is busily churning out content denouncing Arthur Roche for comments recently made to BBC wherewith he said that restrictions on the traditional Roman Rite in favor of the Novus Ordo are necessary because “the theology of the Church has changed.”

In response to “Cardinal Roche’s outrageous statements,” Peter Kwasniewski exhorted his followers saying, “It’s important for trads to go on the offensive here.”

Against whom or what are the troops being called to mount an attack?

Why, Arthur Roche, of course.

Yes, Roche’s comments are an outrage, but he’s merely echoing the heretic, Francis, who plainly asserted in Traditionis Cojones (and repeated in Desiderio Desideravi) that the Novus Ordo is “the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.”

In other words, the man that Tradservative, Inc. looks upon as Roman Pontiff has repeatedly made it known that the true Roman Rite is incompatible with the faith of the conciliar church. On this note, he is most certainly correct and so is Arthur Roche, the faith of Vatican II represents a profound change from the theology of the Church!

Far be it, however, for men like Jeff Ostrowski and Peter Kwasniewski to lay blame where it truly belongs.

One may wonder, how is it that such intelligent men have come to find themselves so utterly disconnected from reality as to suggest that Arthur Roche is in any sense the driving force behind the present assault on the Roman Rite and thus the one true Faith?

The answer is rather simple.

He who takes it upon himself to reject even just a few foundational Catholic doctrines – for example, as it concerns the inerrancy of the Church and the dependability of the Roman Pontiff as the rule of faith – even if he embraces all the rest, will eventually begin drawing conclusions on other matters of faith that are far removed from the truth. The longer the tradservative insists on rejecting these doctrines, the more absurd his conclusions will become until, ultimately, he will find himself divorced from objective reality even with regard to very simple things, almost as if he is unable to see that which is perfectly plain to all.

It’s like attempting to strike a level line on a wall two feet above the floor while being high by just a couple of degrees. Initially, it may not be noticeable, but the further one continues, the greater the distance grows between the line and solid ground.    

In the present case, the solid ground of truth is entirely obvious:

The assault against the one true Roman Rite is being driven by Francis, and this thanks not to Bergoglio’s personal whims but according to the will of the Council, which never even hinted that the Roman Rite as the bishops knew it should persist untouched alongside the revised rite. It’s not so much that the tradservatives cannot see this situation for what it is, but rather that they are loathe to focus on these truths too intently. Evidently, they smack far too hard of reality.

Exactly what reality is that?

Men like Jorge Bergoglio and Arthur Roche have no claim to membership in the Mystical Body of Christ (much less the papacy), not if what the Church has always taught about such things is true. Nor does the Second Vatican Council have any claim to validity as an ecumenical council of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The indisputable fact that they serve the poisonous food of error to the naïve – something a Holy Father and a Holy Mother simply cannot do – is proof positive that this is so. 

One can only speculate as to what drives the professional tradservative of today to insist otherwise, whether it be genuine ignorance, undue focus on temporal concerns (e.g., friendships, followers, and finances), or just plain pride.

Speaking for myself, however, I can recall very well a time not so long ago when I was one of them, laboring as I did to defend the Second Vatican Council, attempting to force a traditional interpretation of its grave errors according to a “hermeneutic of continuity,” and this even before Benedict coined the phrase.

As longtime readers of this space can attest, my positions have evolved over the years, by the grace of God, coming to reflect more and more closely the truths of the Faith as taught by the Church’s holy popes, Doctors, Saints, catechisms, and eminent theologians. Along the way, with every turn, there has been an earthly price to pay.

Rejecting and correcting my “conservatism” in favor of R&R “traditionalism” cost me my job, friendships, endorsements, and opportunities. Likewise the turn from “traditionalism” to where I stand today. As for where I will stand tomorrow, I cannot say, but one thing I know for certain, if it pleases God to bring me closer to the fullness of truth, then getting there will continue to come at a cost as the pursuit of truth always does, at least in this world.

Resist it as we may, the truth has a way of imposing itself upon souls. In fact, over time, it becomes more and more evident, knocking all the more loudly with every passing day on the door to the sincere conscience. The truth about Our Lord, His Vicar, and His Church can only be ignored and denied for so long. Eventually, all of us – believer and non-believer alike – must face it head on.

The only question is whether it will happen in this life or the next.

The “earthly cost” of speaking truth, identifying and condemning errors, adds up over time. Only with the support of likeminded persons can our efforts on this blog continue.