For example, Michael Sean Winters, who whines and opines for National Catholic Reporter, recently wrote:
It is increasingly clear that the opposition to Francis comes not only from misconceptions about Vatican II but actual hostility to the council and to all the popes since.
As I’ve stated many times, Francis is a problem, but he isn’t the problem; a distinction that belongs primarily to the Second Vatican Council (to say nothing of the bastard rite that it inspired).
Winters, of course, is vehemently opposed to the mere suggestion that Vatican II is a problem – a “misconception” as he would have it – but at least he’s been able to connect the dots.
As for the most talked about neo-conservatives in recent weeks, Phil Lawler and Bishop Athanasius Schneider?
Not so much.
As most readers know, Mr. Lawler has authored a soon-to-be released book about Francis entitled Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock.
The inimitable Maike Hickson (whose dear husband Robert, a stalwart defender of Catholic tradition, is still in need of our prayers and sacrifices, as is her entire family) has provided a review of Lawler’s work that includes a number of noteworthy quotes.
For example, Lawler states of his evolution from Bergoglian defender to critic:
I found I could no longer pretend that Francis was merely offering a novel interpretation of Catholic doctrine. No, it was more than that. He was engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.
Francis has reopened the debate about the continuity of Catholic teaching. His supporters see him as the liberator of the spirit of Vatican II, bringing permanent change to the Church, while his critics protest that the Church cannot alter its fundamental doctrine.
It truly is an amazing thing to witness an otherwise intelligent man tiptoeing around a reality that is staring him squarely in the face.
If Lawler truly wishes to see what “a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches” looks like, he need look no further than the Almighty Council – the same that sparked the “debate about the continuity of Catholic teaching” that has been raging ever since.
Lawler even goes so far as to count himself among those who are horrified at “the prospect of irreversible change” such as the sort pressed forward by Francis.
And yet, for whatever reason (diabolical disorientation, perhaps), he simply cannot – at least at the present moment – bring himself to acknowledge the direct role played by Vatican Council II in the horrors of the present day.
Neither can Bishop Schneider, whose recent and much ballyhooed “Profession,” in addition to citing Vatican II as if it is a remedy to the present crisis, does not even dare to directly criticize Amoris Laetitia!
On this note, readers may recall the “prediction” I made last week, which, to be honest, was about as bold as predicting that the sun will rise in the morning:
Be on the lookout for another one of those whiny Remnant videos with Michael Matt lecturing us on how deserving of esteem the Kazakhstani bishops are in spite of their failure to address the actual problem.
A kind reader has alerted me to the fact that it’s actually a bit worse than I had imagined:
Our hero, Bishop Athanasius Schneider?
How exactly does making a “hero” of a devoted man-of-the-council amount to “standing with 2,000 years of infallible teaching;” e.g., extra Ecclesiam nulla salus, Catholic doctrine concerning the Social Kingship of Christ, the true nature of the Holy Catholic Church as the Church of Christ, etc.? (No need to answer.)
I trust this effectively puts to rest any lingering doubts one may have had concerning the “trad-con” phenomenon about which Cornelia Ferreira warned readers many month ago.
As Maike Hickson rightly pointed out in her review of Phil Lawler’s book:
Such a perspective [as Lawler’s] should stand as a counter-argument against those who claim that resistance to the “reforms” of Pope Francis is mainly “Lefebvrist” or “traditionalist” in origin.
Indeed, such claims give men like Phil Lawler and Bishop Schneider way too much credit; after all, even the scribes at National Catholic Reporter are able to see and acknowledge what they cannot.