@BishopBarron held a secret, “invite-only” meeting about the rise of “trads”. Wherein Fr. Z opines and invites (again)

First posted on 4 August 2020 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on his blog:

As reported by Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter), it seems that Bp. Robert Barron highly-visible, media-prelate, Auxiliary of Los Angeles,

… hosted an invite-only meeting of Catholic media professionals last week to discuss “disturbing trends in the online Catholic world,” including the rise of “radical Traditionalist” movements that are often [?]marked by personal attacks and vitriolic commentary.

Personal attacks?!? He would do better to start with those site which manifestly, repeatedly, shamelessly undermine the teachings of the Church and cause scandal, such as the very Fishwrap reporting this non-transparent, secretive meeting!  They could start with the positively “venomous” Michael Sean Winters, who wrote that he wants to watch people with whom he disagrees diehe doesn’t think converts should have a voice in the Church, and tries to get people fired from their jobs.

Where is this coming from, you might ask.

The private meeting took place July 29 via Zoom and was confirmed to NCR by Brandon Vogt, content director for Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

Vogt said that the meeting was initiated at his suggestion and had a threefold purpose, to discuss:

  • A “culture of contempt” among Catholics online;
  • The rise of “tabloid style” news in the Catholic press, “often in service of accruing web traffic and video views”;
  • The influence of the so-called “radical Traditionalist” (or “rad-trad”) movements online.

“Rad trads” are often young Catholics who prefer traditional liturgy, including the Latin Mass, and subscribe to more conservative political beliefs and religious practices.

“All of these are major pastoral issues, which is why I proposed to Bishop Barron, in his capacity as bishop, to host a meeting with various Catholic media leaders to discuss these items,” said Vogt.


More from Fishwrap:

Vogt said the meeting of Catholic media professionals discussed the online behavior of traditionalists who “ruthlessly criticize the pope and bishops, and question the authority of the Second Vatican Council, often to the point of repudiation.”

While neither Barron nor Vogt specifically identified individuals or organizations responsible for targeted online attacks, much of the criticism directed at Barron has been fueled by fringe right-wing sites such as LifeSiteNews and Church Militant.

“Fringe right-wing sites”.   Let’s drill into that for a moment.

Alexa says that Fishwrap is #101,350 in global internet engagements.
Word On Fire is #122,959.
However, Lifesite News is #25,936.
Church Militant is #74,261.

Similar Web shows Fishwrap at a Global Rank of 53913
Word on Fire is 74513
Life Site News is 18673
Church Militant is 50595.

LifeSite and Church Militant are kicking Fishwrap‘s dissident backside in traffic and even more strongly outpacing the beige Word On Fire.


Brandon Vogt proposed this anti-“trad” closed-door meeting.  Vogt aimed the meeting at … whom?… the competition?

I wonder.  At any time, did someone ask, “How can we get rid of these troublesome trad websites?”

I wonder.  Did the anti-“trad” closed-door meeting include any “trads”? Were any who are considered by them to be “trads” invited to participate in that meeting?  What about dialogue?

There are trads of every stripe, of course.  I like Scott Hahn’s distinction of “mad trads”, “sad trads” and “glad trads”.

I offer two things for Bp. Barron’s consideration.

First, if you want to create a firestorm by trying to squelch “trad” (however you define it) sites, the “trads” have the matches.   Samizdat will be redefined should it ever come to action in that regard.

Second, if you want to demonstrate good will and work on your invite-only agenda in a positive way, I’ll help.

Here’s the first way:.

Your Excellency, Bishop Barron, please come to Madison to be celebrant for a Pontifical Mass in the Traditional Roman Rite.   I assure you that we, for our part, will pull out all the stops.  It would be massively attended.  It would be a terrific occasion for you to preach to “trads” (however you define them) and win them over and also to listen to them.

This is, again, a gesture of good will.   What say you, Your Excellency?

Please write to me.  I’m not hard to find.

Fr. Z

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4 Responses to @BishopBarron held a secret, “invite-only” meeting about the rise of “trads”. Wherein Fr. Z opines and invites (again)

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Spot on, Fr Z!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, ++Barron said “For me, it’s impossible to repudiate Vatican II and claim to be a traditionalist“, with which I’d mostly agree — though I continue to dislike this word “traditionalist”, which refers to a political faction within the Church ; as compared to the phrase “traditional Catholic” which refers to all Catholics who are Faithful to the Tradition and the Orthodoxy of the Faith and to Holy Church.

    But this “event” was of course organised by the “Fishwrap” rather than by the Bishop himself, and that journal is 10 times more heterodox than ++Barron at his very worst, given that he’s just about orthodox in most things ; but not all.

    I have complained about Archbishop Viganò’s recent interventions as fomenting factionalist schismaticism ; well, this reaction by the “Fishwrap” and these other anonymous liberal-progressives against the “traditionalists” in general is one more step in the direction of that schismaticism.

    Schismaticism occurs when groups within the Church start to treat each other as “the enemy”.

    Things really haven’t been this bad as regards the Unity of the Church since the end of the 15th Century, in the period between the formal Schism between East and West, the Western Schism, and up to Martin Luther nailing up his 95 declarations of Heresy and Apostasy on his church door.

    We’d need another Pope Martin V to tackle this problem at its root ; instead, we have a Francis who thinks there’s nothing wrong with Pachamama idol worshipping, and nothing wrong with making open mockery of those who cleave to the Traditions of Catholic Christian Religion. Though at least in Martin’s time, the schismatics had at least had enough honesty to formally place themselves in Schism by electing a couple of Antipopes …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David says:

    “Inclusivity” means everybody, except those designated for “exclusion”. It is as if His Excellency wants the worst possible outcome, I.e. schism. But I don’t think His Excellency Bishop Barron thought of this “sit-down” on his own. Who was the Pezzo Novante who assigned this “event” to Barron? Cupich? Vigneron?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Robert John Bennett says:

    Bishop Barron might want to consider this:

    “What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them.” – Acts 5:39

    Liked by 4 people

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