The National Catholic Register Is Not Tradition Unfriendly

Let me be very clear. The last thing I want to be is the cause of any damage to the National Catholic Register. I have been honored to write for them these past years and to be involved in the incredible growth of their web presence. They do good and necessary work on behalf of Christ.

While I admit that I was unhappy about what happened to my post the other day, I don't believe for a second that it was malicious or that it is in any way an indicator of tradition unfriendliness at the Register.

My editor had second thoughts about the piece after giving me the go ahead, but the communication was bungled.

The whole episode is embarrassing to everyone involved. My editor is a good man and a good friend. While I didn't share his concerns, he is responsible for what goes up and not me.

Everyone is regretful about how the situation played out. I know first hand that the folks at the Register are not unfriendly to traditional Catholics and they have allowed me to publish tradition-friendly posts before, posts you would not likely find in any other mainstream Catholic publication.

So nobody should think that because of this one unfortunate incident, the Register is unfriendly or unsympathetic to issues of concern to traditional Catholics.

So if my opinion carries any weight, please let this unfortunate incident go and move on.

*subhead*Merely unfortunate.*subhead*


  1. You are very kind and generous. A great example to all. God Bless you.

  2. Stuff happens, and I'm sure we can all let it go. We'll take your word for it. :)

  3. Well done Patrick. I see no reason for any of this to blown out of proportion. It's understandable that a "letter to the Pope" on NCR from one Catholic writer might not be the best place for it. Totally understandable.

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  5. Glad to hear it's been resolved, Pat.

    It was not an SSPX-type rift, but it just goes to show that things nipped and fixed early patch up quite nicely.

  6. Facts remain facts....the Register is very unfriendly to anyone who would oppose this new "modernism-lite" that is being pushed by the Church.

    Basically what this situation showed us is according to the new church we must show compassion to people who support killing babies, promote sodomy, use contraception, promote the destruction of the family, but never....never ever a word of compassion for those who are troubled by the destruction of the liturgy.

    Modernism must reign!!!!!!!!

  7. Would you share the nature of your editor's concern? It is hard for me to even hazard a guess.

  8. Viva Christo - Can you point to any action, article or data backed facts that support your contention?

  9. Viva Cristo Rey -

    Just because the Register has writers from the wide-spectrum of thought that is good and Catholic does not make them modernist-lite.

    I don't like some of their writers because I think they paint traditionalists with way to broad a brush. I think they too often challenge traditionalist in a very uncharitable manner, one that they would not dare employ to, say, an evangelical or a smiling secular atheist.

    The Register is needed. They are not unfriendly to Tradition. They have a large readership and are inevitably going to make some part of that readership unhappy by what they decide to print and not print. Most of the time we don't get see those decisions being played out like it happened in this case. I absolutely accept this explanation and don't think any harm has come from any actions by either party.

  10. The 'doors are open' for the SSPX to bring the Church back to Tradition!

    Archbishop Gerhard Muller has said that 'a reconciliation with the Society of Saint Pius X is possible'.

    The Congregation had presented [the SSPX] with a clear dogmatic preamble; 'this door is open, we do not close it,' says Müller. 1

    The door is open and the scenario has changed for the SSPX doctrinally. Traditionalists now accept that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre unintentionally made a doctrinal error is assuming there were known exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.He innocently extended this error to the interpretation of Vatican Council II.

    Without this factual error we have a rational interpretation of Vatican Council II which is in perfect agreement with the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Ad Gentes 7 affirms the dogma on exclusive salvation in the Church. While Lumen Gentium 16, Lumen Gentium 8, Unitatis Redintigratio 3 are not known exceptions to the dogma. They are irrelevant to the traditional, centuries-old interpretation.

    Vatican Council II does not contradict the traditional Church teaching on other religions and Christian communities.

    So the SSPX leaders could approach the 'open doors' with this understanding of Vatican Council II .They have already accepted the Doctrinal Preamble and they affirm the Nicene Creed.

    They could ask the CDF Prefect if “religiosum obsequium… religious submission” in will and intellect to the Magisterium, means accepting a Vatican Council II which does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.This would include accepting a Vatican Council II in which it is not assumed that the dead now saved in Heaven, are physically visible to us and so are known exceptions to the dogma on exclusive salvation.

    It will also mean that in the Nicene Creed when we refer to 'one baptism for the forgiveness of sin' we are referring to one known baptism only ; the baptism of water. There is only one known baptism, which is visible and repeatable. There are not three known baptisms. The baptism of desire and blood are known only to God.

    Also when when we pray 'I believe in the Holy Spirit' it must be clear to all that the Holy Spirit does not claim that we can physically see the dead -saved , nor expects us to follow or teach this irrationality.

    When we refer to 'the Holy Catholic Church' in the Nicene Creed, we are referring to the Catholic Church outside of which there is no salvation. There are no known 'elements of sanctification and grace' (LG 8) outside its visible boundaries.Neither is there known salvation outside the Church with 'seeds of the Word' (AG 11 etc), nor with ' imperfect communion with the Church'(UR 3). LG 8, UR3, LG 16 refer to possibilities and not exceptions to the dogma defined three times.They are always implicit and never explicit for us.

    The 'doors are open' for the SSPX to bring the Church back to Tradition! This new development must be a nightmare for the liberals.They cannot cite Vatican Council II to back their dissent, unless they are implying the dead are visible to us on earth.


  11. Thanks Pat. I never really thought there was an anti-traditional mindset at the NCR. I think there are some specific problems, or perceived problems, with articles about the SSPX. First, catholics have a natural piety towards the Pope, which is good as far as it goes. Whether that piety is reinforced in the long run by the strong claims about human liberty made at the council, is another matter - but we can't blame people for 'standing up for the Pope' as they see it. Secondly, thanks to Bishop Williamson, the SSPX is associated with anti-semitism, and at the end of the day NCR is running a business. The SSPX tried to buy a church in Manchester, UK, and there was a huge furore in the local press about anti-semites trying to buy a church. In the end there was a legal challenge and the deal fell through. The brand is toxic, and people don't want to be associated with it. Which is bad news for everyone, because a deal with the SSPX could lead to greater clarity for all Catholics about what is expected of them re: the council. At the moment it's "guess what's in my head".

  12. Catholic Mission. Let's say you have a teacher in a Catholic school, accepting a small quota of Muslim students, and I tell the students that the Church teaches that there is no salvation outside the Church. The parents of a muslim child complain and threaten to sue the school under the religious provisions of the Equality Act. The headline in the Mail says TEACHER SAYS MUSLIM STUDENTS WILL GO TO HELL. I think the school, and the local Church leaders, will throw him to the wolves - and on a human level you can't entirely blame them. The Vatican's guidance over the last 50 years has not been clear enough on how to deal with that situation, leaving room for human weakness to read the texts in a convenient way. Very clever people might be able to read the documents and understand the words in a surprising way, but that's not good enough. Let's see some anathema. Everyone needs to know where they stand. The FFI, the LCWR, everyone.

  13. I'm thinking, by the way, of British-style Catholic schools funded by the state. I'd have more confidence in an American private Catholic school, but even so, there's always a human element.

  14. The National Catholic Register is Tradition Unfriendly towards the dogma on exclusive salvation in the Catholic Church

  15. Ok- what happened was avoidable and regrettably handled. There was good intention on everyone's part. But would the NCR issue some official communication to that effect? I know you accept the word of your friend the editor without hesitation, Pat, but in terms of justice to your good name as an orthodox Catholic writer, and also to assuage the concerns of those of us who are new to NCR, or are relatively unfamiliar with their 'track record' on things traditional, such a move would seem to me to be worthwhile.

  16. Viva Cristo - Silence? I thought as much. Every week for years now the Register has provided (paid for) Tito Edwards and Pat Archbold to write or provide links to good resources for traditionalists. The Register gladly and boldly promotes the restoration of the sacred wherever it surfaces in a newsworthy fashion. Key members of the staff have strong traditionalist leanings and sympathies. Your rant is untrue, uncharitable, and calumnious. The only way I could consider you otherwise is if you have mistaken the Register for the the National Catholic Reporter.

    1. The Church is Tradition. It is not a matter of taste.

  17. David Madeley said...
    The headline in the Mail says TEACHER SAYS MUSLIM STUDENTS WILL GO TO HELL.

    Does he say that the Catholic Church teaches that Muslims are all going to Heaven or some will go or the Church does not say anything on this issue after Vatican Council ?

    I think he could say that the Catholic Church teaches before and after Vatican Council II that all Muslims need 'faith and baptism' (AG 7) to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    They are oriented to Hell unless they convert into the Church.

    They are ALL oriented to Hell according to Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (846,845) since :

    1.Vatican Council II does not mention any known exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and neither to AG 7 which supports the dogma on exclusive salvation in the Catholic Church.

    2.We do not personally know any exceptions in 2014 to 'all' needing 'faith and baptism for salvation'(AG 7).

    3.Being saved in imperfect communion with the Church (UR 3), seeds of the Word (AG 11), good and holy things in other religions (NA 2) are not known exceptions to extra ecclesiam nulla salus or AG 7.

    4.The baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance are not exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus by Fr.Leonard Feeney.

    5.Whether Fr.Leonard Feeney was correct or wrong we do not know any one saved with 'elements of sanctification and grace' (LG 8), 'those who are saved by Jesus and the Church' (CCC 846) etc among Muslims and among people in other religions or with no religion.

    So if the Church does teach this shouldn't the teacher be honest and say that this is what the Catholic church teaches.

    If this is what Vatican Council II says then should not the NCR be honest and mention it. It would mean Vatican Council II does not contradict the SSPX's traditional position on other religions and ecumenism


  18. David Madeley asked : What's your hermeneutic of continuity? How does Dignitas Humanae square with the Syllabus of Errors? If you have an idea, I would genuinely like to hear it.

    Dignitatis Humanae mentions that in a society with a secular Constitution a non Catholic has religious liberty. This is something objective. Even the SSPX legally accepts this.

    DH also states that a Catholic has a right to live and proclaim his Catholic Faith.

    AG 7 affirms the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. A Catholic has the right and obligation, morally, to affirm the dogma in a secular state.The SSPX can also do it.




    Did Michael Davis know ?



  19. David Madeley said...
    The SSPX tried to buy a church in Manchester, UK, and there was a huge furore in the local press about anti-semites trying to buy a church. In the end there was a legal challenge and the deal fell through.

    It is unfortunate that the media in England considers the SSPX anti-Semitic even when they deny that they are anti Semitic.

    According to this reasoning, all Catholics (non SSPX in this case), who accept Vatican Council II(AG 7) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church(845,846,1257) would be anti Semitic in England.

    Since Vatican Council II, like the Bible and Tradition tells us that Jews need 'faith and baptism' for salvation. Jews need to convert according to Vatican Council II.

    We do not know any exceptions in 2014 and neither does Vatican Council II mention any known exceptions to the traditional teaching on other religions and Christian communities and churches.

  20. Mistakes, accidents and miscommunications happen in human endeavours...but proper manners would dictate since the article was inadvertantly made public on the NCR website, the editor, in this one instance, has the duty to explain to the NCR readership what his second thoughts and concerns were to pull down the article, even if that makes the editor uncomfortable.

  21. I think the editor should at least post a response as to why NCR is unwilling to to keep the article posted. It's no secret that it was up. But it is now a secret as to why it can't remain up.

  22. CM, there's a lot of material there and I will work through it gradually. But what I like is that you've come here with potential solutions, so I thank you.

    Last night I went to the lay community that I have been going to since before I started going to the Society. For a long time it was really difficult, since they are steeped to the gills in what I see as "the new stuff" i.e personalism after Heidegger. But we're getting somewhere. I've been saying to them a lot recently, "if I could make people understand the words freedom, person, choice, liberty, the way you understand them, I would. If I could wave a magic wand and make it so that no-one would ever take concepts like 'authority of conscience' the wrong way, I would" As it is, I can't make sure that people understand these words correctly, so I'm suspicious about using them among the uninitiated. They have a place, but they are the goods in the back - concepts to introduce when people have developed some self-discipline and are ready to 'unlearn'. The Vatican Council put them front and centre, and that makes me really uncomfortable. You can't have a sensible conversation with a 5-year old about chocolate. I'm not sure you can have a sensible conversation with 20th century man about freedom, until he's learned some discipline.

  23. The editor made a bad decision, plain and simple. They should apologize not only to you - perhaps they did... but should have a third thought and publish it.

  24. By the way, Pat - you do great work here... been reading you for 7 years now. You are a good man!

  25. There was nothing at all objectionable about the article except that it called for a magnanimous gestureof the Pope toward the SSPX. That kind of charity and humility is - I suspect - unthinkable to those who surround the Pope. And if Mr. Burke wants access for his little rag at the Vatican, he had better do their bidding.

  26. I'm a regular reader and learn so much here. Class act.

  27. Yep. You're right, Pat.
    Sometimes a paycheck is more important than principles.

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  29. Pat, I like most of your stuff, but I have to say, with due respect, that your above post sounds like Dan Burke is standing just out camera frame with a gun. Two examples of how the Register is tradition unfriendly: Their names are Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher.

  30. Thanks for the note. I, for one, a long-time NCRegister reader (paper edition) have pretty much stopped reading it. I have become more open to Tradition in the past year. And I find I have to shake a lot of anti-Trad attitude that I picked up from NCR.

  31. Everyone should pick up a copy of EWTN: A Network Gone Wrong.


  32. What about me Fr.Angelo GeigerF.I ?

  33. Weeeeeeeeelllllll.......
    I'd like to think that this situation merely presents a sad misunderstanding. Unfortunately, the fact remains: an article that requested that Pope Francis consider a provocative idea..has been removed from a notable Catholic publication's website.
    I'm forced to consider that the article's content may well have ruffled a few feathers that someone didn't want ruffled. ..Given that Pope Francis, himself, seems to be somewhat cool to the idea of anything more traditional, such a situation doesn't bode well for a more traditional understanding of Catholic faith or identity.

  34. If the National Catholic Register columnists, Fr. Angelo Geiger F.I and others are not saying that Vatican Council II does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, then it is not fair to the SSPX.

    Since they are not supporting in public the dogma on exclusive salvation (for whatever reason). Neither are they affirming the dogma in harmony with Vatican Council II. Neither are they discussing how most people in general are affirming the Council as a break with the dogma.

    Since if Vatican Council II is in harmony with Tradition then the Council is in agreement with the SSPX's traditional postion on other religions and Christian communities.This must be stated by the NCR columnists.

    One must not deny the truth about Vatican Council II just to protect ones career or financial priorities.

  35. Speaking about the Real Francis Effect, Louie Verecchio said on his blog on Feb. 19, "Should Francis reign for five years or more, we can expect to see," among other things, "Interest in tradition increasing in step with hostility toward it." This is right on. We've seen this already, and we'll see much more of it.

  36. There will be no clarification from the National Catholic Register

  37. Pat, I like most of your stuff, but I have to say, with due respect, that your above post sounds like Dan Burke is standing just out camera frame with a gun. Two examples of how the Register is tradition unfriendly: Their names are Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher. "

    LMAO such a good and amusing point.

  38. Pat, my apologies as I am guilty of being unkind over Twitter towards both The Register and EWTN. I do agree with the comment however that your editor should have responded. You were left hanging out there. You can handle it though. It's over now, but I am afraid my dear friend, it will return.
    Mr Burkes response saddens me as I guess he can throw around words like calumny so easily. There are many examples of antitraditional.anything on the Register....just read some of Mr Sheas polished "patheos" pieces he uses on his blog and at the Register. I'm committing calumny Mr Burke,right? Thank God I'm not an alister blogger or I would be getting my comeuppance from Mr.Shea in his very snarky style. But then again this former Jersey girl can handle a left coaster like Mr my sleep. Time to move on, but know this, next time we ain't gonna be so kind. we trads are like Marines, leave no one behind. God love you Pat, you are a better person than me.


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