The Danger Of Traditional Catholic Isolation

Normally we begin our Catholic journey as Novus Ordo Catholics, who know nothing other than that which we have experienced all our lives, in all the Catholic Churches of the world.  Some of us did attend the Latin Mass before it was suppressed in 1969.  We had a minimal knowledge of that Mass, but went along with the Church authorities to accept the new mass.

Novus Ordo 1Then, somehow, everyone in different ways, (like some from Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum), we began to re-discover, not only the Latin Mass, but pre-Vatican II morals and teachings.  And we wanted more of it.  Our soul knew it was right what we were discovering and what we felt we had lacked all this time, like those Tan Books always felt correct in being Catholic.

Thus begins a whole new Catholic experience.  We begin to go to the Latin Mass when it is available, or to the New Mass if it is more convenient.   Women begin to wear a veil at Church and begin to dress a little more modest when they go to Holy Mass.

But then comes the big problem when we discover that Vatican II’s documents are very ‘pastoral and confusing’.  That they seem to have changed what the Church had always taught.  Yet at the same time, we know that Catholic doctrine cannot change.  We also have personally seen and lived the terrible effects that came after Vatican II.  (Our family no longer Catholic, churches, schools seminaries closed, hospitals Catholic in name only, very few vocations to the priesthood.)Messa-in-latino 2

Then we begin to only go to the Latin Mass because we have experienced the liturgical abuse and shows at the new mass most of our lives and we are tired of it.  We want something deeper and more reverent.  We begin to study the how the Catholic Church was before and after Vatican II and are saddened by the ‘disorientation’ of most Catholics.  Then we discover that the New Mass was made up, and the first mass ever made up, from scratch in the history or the Catholic Church.  This is a horrible discovery.

Here is then when the ISOLATION can come in.  We begin to see ourselves as the fortunate Catholics who now know the truth about the Mass and Vatican II.  We now perceive all the Novus Ordo Catholics as ignorant and wrong.  We correctly know that they are liberal modernist who pick and choose what they believe in and practice as Catholics.  We try to dress modestly, they dress literally like prostitutes, even at mass.  Worst of all, they believe that any Catholic teaching can and should be changed according to modern man’s new life style.  

women priestsArguments begin.  We correctly judge them as living bad lives.  But then we stop talking with them or going to their events, because of all the evil activities that go along with these gatherings, (bad music, drinking, dressing scantly and dancing).  We do not want to support immoral lifestyles by hanging around these people.  They also see us as extremist and fanatics.  We no longer have anything in common with our family and friends with which we used to spend so much time with before.

Then try to keep our children innocent, not to be contaminated by the world.  So, we take them out of school and begin to homeschool them.
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 All this causes isolation and strong condemnation of our Novus Ordo family and friends.  We end up only associating with traditional Catholics.

On one hand it is great, because we now have good families with whom we can spend quality time with.  We do healthy clean activities together.  We have a lot in common because our friendships are now based on our love for our traditional Catholic faith, rather than on superficial things like having our children on the same sport team.

But it also can be a dangerous isolation.  This is especially possible when one becomes a sedevacantist or part of the Society of St. Pius the X.   I know this will make a lot of you who read this blog upset with me for saying this, but hold on and read it all and reflect on what really has happened in your life and with your family?  Is it totally healthy spiritually?XJL158488

Because almost every sedevacantist, and member of the Society, feel that all people in the institutional Catholic Church are bad, and even some say we going to hell, they isolate themselves from us.  For some, it is because we priest may say the Novus Ordo Mass or people may at times go to a Novus Ordo Mass sometimes, or we might go to a church where at other masses they give communion in the hand and there are crumbs of Jesus in the Eucharist being walked all over.  These are good points, and it would be much more pleasing to God if we only went to the Latin Mass where no Novus Ordo mass are offered.  But all this isolates these families from;

  • Us traditional Catholics who are in the canonical Church,
  • From there families who may even be pagans,
  • Friends who are modernist Catholics,
  • The average worldly people,
  • Everyone else who is not sedevacantist or Society member.

(I only believe in staying in the canonical Catholic Church, no matter how bad the Pope, bishops, priests, religious may be.)  I believe in reforming the Church from within, as extremely difficult as that may be.  

Again, I say this is dangerous isolation.  We need to love and relate to all people and try to bring them to CATHOLIC TRUTH.  We do need to be careful where are children go to school, (homeschool is the best).  We need to be careful of family and friends who may corrupt our children or influence us to sin.  But, shunning all who are not perfect Society members or sedevacantist, is isolating and dangerous.  Your families, your spouse, your children, can be too isolated and get depressed.  We can become too extreme.  It could become a problem.  aloysius

We need to be loving and kind to all people, whether they dress immodest, are satanist, modernist, homosexuals, protestants or pagans.  In no way do agree with them or their way of dressing and living.  But we do need to be kind to them and help them see the truth.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics, and want to be charitable and loving, even though we are so concerned about the Church, the society and souls in general.

19 Replies to “The Danger Of Traditional Catholic Isolation”

  1. Thank you, Father, this post describes my situation exactly. How I wish my family and I could attend an SSPX parish, but for now, we must wait. Also, I’d like to say that heading towards the sedevacantism position is a very perilous path that could end in complete isolation without a Mass to attend or a priest to administer sacraments. What you are left with is nothing but despair.
    If we take care of our domesticChurch first, all will fall in to place.
    God bless

  2. Ave Maria!

    Hello Father!
    Amen brother!
    We as Catholics must be true to the Blessed Mother ……… “to thee do we send up our sighs mourning and wheeping in this vail of tears”. If our life is a Cross then we accept what is given to us on a day by day basis. We were Blessed to be born in these trying times because the Holy Spirit will give us the grace to persevere. We cannot put the Holy Spirit on a dog leash and say “God I will accept this, this, this …….. but not that ……… that is not my Cross …….. I am too smart for that Cross”. Really!
    Obedience …… obedience ……. obedience ……. is how the Catholic Church grew ……… disobedience ……. disobedience ……. disobedience…… is how it is dissolving before our eyes
    When I reverted the Bible quote(s) which stood out were Matthew 16:18-23. The order is the most important, God makes Peter the rock and the next passage Peter is following SATAN! …….. This is obvious to me that we have the True Church and the Catholic sinners who make terrible mistakes(me).

    I have always taken philosophy to its end …… its brick wall…….. until I reverted to the Catholic Faith in 2010 ……… there is no brick wall ……. we have so many things to contemplate which we will never fully understand until we meet our maker ……. the Trinity …….. Holy Mothers perfection ………. etc……… but there are brick walls of obedience that every Catholic must accept and turn off the contemplation or the devil will turn us into cynics ……..if we do not have the discipline of obedience…..we will contemplate things which are only known by God like………is the Pope the Pope…….Is the Host Jesus in the New Mass……

    When I reverted to the Catholic faith in 2010 I did not realize that the stress…..paranoia………dispear would be lifted by NOT KNOWING. It was such a relief to give many things to God and accept i am a little sinner who loves THE TRUE CHURCH. I will never leave the faith…..

    Father I do go to the Novus Ordo………I am afraid that by rejecting it outright I am making a decision that is GODLIKE ……. and believe me I am a sinner …….
    Two weeks ago I was in Chiang Mai and the only available Mass was Novus Ordo …….my daughter and I attended ….. she wore her vail which she does in ALL CATHOLIC CHURCHS ……. and an Old Man complimented her after Mass.

    God Bless You Father!

  3. Dear Father,

    I read your blogs and thank you for your wondeful insights and guidance. I attend Mass at a SSPX chapel, and must disagree with your assessment. Our priests frequently warn us against feeling we are superior to Novus Ordo Catholics. During a retreat I attended the priest said we should rather think that God led us to tradition because we are so wicked that we otherwise might not be able to save our souls. At another Mass the priest scolded an (unnamed) parishioner for stating that those who attend the Novus Ordo are heretics.

    God Bless,


  4. Dear Father, Thank you for your comments. I have seen this problem many places – in the Novus Ordo, ACTS, among charismatics, marriage encounter, Newman centers, etc. And in Tradition, in indult parishes, FSSP, independents, SSPX. In short, it is a problem everywhere. But I thought your post unfairly singled out the SSPX. I was happy to see you talking about this problem because it is one I sympathize with and struggle against. However, I was left feeling left hanging because I didn’t get solid and practical advice on how to avoid this problem and strive for balance. I am a homeschooling housewife – my place is in the home. What are the specific recommendations that you can make to a family who wants to protect their children, yet fight isolationism? Thank you and God bless. We pray for you everyday!

  5. Father,
    Great post! If we want to be like the Good Samaritan in last Sunday’s Gospel we should look for the “spiritually dead” among us and reach out to them. Christ wants everyone saved and so should we. We cannot isolate ourselves to the point that we can no longer fulfill our Lord’s request to proclaim the gospel to everyone. As traditional Catholics we have been blessed with the fullness of Truth…let’s not hide it under a bushel but shout it from the mountaintop.

  6. With all due respect, Father, your statement “…almost every sedevacantist, and member of the Society, feel that all people in the institutional Catholic Church are bad..” is just patently false. I’m a bit surprised you would make such a blanket generalization of “almost every” member of the Society (SSPX). Wow.

  7. No, Father, you are completely and utterly wrong. We must separate ourselves! We have 2000 years of Tradition and all the saints and angels in Heaven and the Holy souls suffering in Purgatory. We are not isolated from the supernatural pov.

    Christ demands that we separate ourselves from the heathen and the disorderly brother. If they refuse to return to Tradition we cannot return to them. Simple as that. Its Scriptural.

    1. Hey Joshua, Im afraid that you are wrong on this point. To claim that we must separate ourselves from CATHOLICS who attend the Novus Ordo, who have valid Sacraments, you are just creating a divide among believers. I would understand if you were trying to separate yourself from Muslims, Buddhists, etc. but that is not the case. You are called to be an example to your brothers, whom have been Baptized in Christ, in order to show him proper worship. How do you do that when you won’t even associate with them. Let us not be like the Pharisee’s.

      In Christ,

      1. I believe St Paul speaks of “brothers” who walk disorderly and tellw us we should separate ourselves from them. You need to read St Vincent or Lerins who tells us to do the same.

  8. Dear Father:

    Thank you for your website.

    We do live in very dangerous spiritual times, very dangerous. It is not like the so-called good old days of pre-Vatican II, where we could pretty much go any where and hear the Faith taught. There were obviously wolves then in cassocks and there are more so now.

    I do not attend an SSPX chapel nor am I a “sede”, I attend an independent chapel. I do not hold that those that still attend “approved” masses are wrong. I know there are holy priests that fight for the Faith, as much as they are able, within the confines of their diocese and in obedience to their bishops. Who, it seems for the MOST PART not all, are either wolves and/or infected with modernism. I believe that it is difficult for you in your struggle.

    However, can you not see that it is difficult for us, laity too? And for priests that give up the security of salary, medical insurance, and retirement and face calumny and lies to fight for the Faith also? I am sure there were priests in the time of the Arian heresy who tried as you do to fight from within while others like Athanasius fought outside. We live in dangerous times and we all walk on the knife’s edge, but Jesus walks with us if we stay true to the Faith.

    I am sure there are some that do believe themselves superior who attend an independent or SSPX chapel just as there are those that turn up there nose at “Traditionalists”. People are people, but I know more that are humble and trying to save their souls and do not think as such. This is a multi-front battle and we need those within and those seemingly without the Church and it is uncharitable for those “without” the Church to label those that stay in as wrong and those that are “within” the Church to label those as wrong who, in trying to save their souls, go to a chapel that is “without” the normal Church.

    The only way to determine what one must do is to pray, pray, pray and study the Faith diligently and read the pre-Vatican encyclicals and pray, pray, pray. Again, we live in dangerous spiritual times and we walk on a knife’s edge where, if we are not diligent and humble, we might fall to the siren call of the sedes or to the easy call of the nearby parish and N.O. life and/or become uncharitable.

    Dear Father, I love your spiritual writings and have been following you for a couple of years now, I know there must be a reason for this article and that you encountered those that are uncharitable Traditionalists, but this article in turn was not charitable either.

    God bless!

    Michael Yoder

  9. Very good, Father, and thank you for following God’s Call. I do have to slightly disagree with you. Your statement “Because almost every sedevacantist, and member of the Society, feel that all people in the institutional Catholic Church are bad, and even some say we going to hell, they isolate themselves from us.” for one thing throws all of us who attend SSPX Masses into the sedevacantist camp, which all of us are not. Most of us run from that way of thinking. The world is a dark and nasty place, and our first job is to get our own souls to heaven, then our wives (or husbands) and if we can, our children’s souls. If we cannot isolate ourselves from the world, as in convents or monasteries, and if our state of life call us to be in the world then we must be, but we don’t have to like it. In fact, we must despise it, but I guess try to smile while doing it. When each of us finally responds to God’s call, we all react differently to it. Each goes along the road to heaven, some go further, some stop, and even some fall back, but I believe the longer we stay on the road and are open to God’s Voice the more this world will fall away. Yes we must love and reach out and be there for friends and family and strangers, too. But we have to make choices, and we must judge and we must protect our very souls.

  10. I disagree with James the SSPX in a town I will not mention has actually told my grandchildren and children that attend SSPX ,that if your parents send you to public school you will go to hell . My grandchildren no longer attend their school they go to public school now because their parents do not want them to learn prejudice and they have found more charity there . They are still attending mass at the SSPX . My grandchildren while attending SSPX school were becoming snobbish towards those attending Norvus Ordo Church and other faiths,since leaving the SSPX school I have notice them happier and so much more charitable to people. So maybe where James is at the priest is good . SSPX is not perfect I can say a lot more but that would not be charitable and I do attend the SSPX mass myself.

    1. Public schools teach immoral sex education, evolution, etc. as well as now most Novus Ordo Catholic schools. I say most as I don’t know what the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Phoenix teach. Your only choice is home schooling or traditional Catholic schools like the SSPX. In the old days, prior to Vatican II, parents would be ostracized for sending their children to public school if there were Catholic schools in their city. I went to Catholic schools in Cleveland OH when there were still nuns and priests teaching back in the 50s and early 60s. I noticed a change in my senior HS yearbook of 1964 where the priests allowed stupid immodest cartoons in the yearbook. That’s when things went downhill. Now all the Catholic schools I went to there are closed. I am glad I went to Catholic schools back then as now I am not sure I would have stayed Catholic. I am glad that Archbishop Lefebvre preserved tradition, otherwise I don’t think we could have found any Latin Masses today except for a few independent priests like Fr. Wickens in NJ; but those old priests have mostly died off. May they rest in peace. Thank God for the SSPX.

  11. Well something is definitely wrong when the SSPX, FLUNK kindergarteners and most of the parishioners have to send their children to the Public school the public school is more than 50 percent Catholic children .But this particular public school allows them to observe their Catholic practices observing abstinence on Fridays. You as a parent are,,responsible for your children soul .I myself have witnessed families raising their children in the worst place ever,among thieves an murderers etc. and yet their children turned out to be fine outstanding God fearing children solid in their faith. God protected them nothing bad ever happened to them . Not everyone has the advantage to be raised in good Catholic Schools an nice neighborhoods , (I was fortunate) but God is there wherever the Faith is protecting those who love Him and put their faith and trust in Him.

  12. When I was not even 8 years old, people started saying me names because of my race.

    When I was about 12 and started my catechism class to become a Catholic, some children of my age in my neighbourhood who is not Christian insulting and mocking me on my way to Church.

    When I was at my twenties, some Christian denominations friends attacking me, judging me as worshipping our Blessed Mother and trying to convert me. And I almost lost my faith.

    When I was at my thirties when I moved to a small country I live now with my husband and 2 children, I was questioning and struggling with my faith when I witnessed the very modern Catholic environment inside the Church, people dressed immodestly for Mass. I was converted, baptised and grew in novus ordo church but never saw this immodesty in my parish at my home country. There was something wrong.

    When I was at my forties and found the Tridentine Mass belonged to the archdiocese for the first time, it was like falling in love for the first time. The Mass is only once in every 2 weeks at that time. When I started receiving Holy Communion kneeling on the tongue, covering my head n stopped wearing pants in my novus ordo parish, friends and many other faithfuls started to give me a strange look. And at least 2 priests talked to me for being the way I was.

    When 3 years ago, i decided to stay put at SSPX for a personal reason, I started losing several friends from my novus ordo parish, although I still sometimes come and join the small Catholic community they have. But I already considered a traitor. I even had a long talk with 1 of the priest there who was questioning my move to SSPX and the other priest has already been agitated of my decision to go to SSPX.

    Father, I never feel exclusive and better than our brothers outside SSPX and the SSPX priests here do not shape me towards that mentality.

    When I read your views on this blog, my tears filled in my eyes. You might be right and I know that you mean well, but I am just a normal human being, only perhaps I am too sensitive after all I’ve been through. I am sorry Father, but it popped into my mind “now, it’s coming from my traditional priest”.

    Again Father, my apology if I misunderstood you. But one thing is certain. Father, no matter what, you are my father, all the priests in this world are my fathers. I am blessed to be a Catholic.

    God bless and 3 Hail Marys for you Father.

    Your daughter.

  13. Fr Carota raises a good point. Certainly, after finding the traditional mass I was so relieved that I did at times have thoughts of “never again” regarding the novus ordo environment.

    But of course this is wrong. All Catholics are my brothers and sisters – and good siblings do not shun or avoid one another. Rather I like to go among them and try to be a good advert for the traditional Catholic faith. SInce I found it, I have managed to introduce a few other people to the traditional mass, all of whom have been very taken with it.

    I go to an SSPX Church. I started going there due to a longing for reverant liturgy and orthdox teaching, as well as the authenticity which the Novus Ordo lacks, being only a few decades old. All of my expectations have been surpassed and I am extremely happy there.

    We are blessed with two very good SSPX priests. They often warn of the danger of traditional Catholics lapsing into self-admiration and thinking themselves “better”. They also fiercely attack sedevacantism.

    I find the point Father makes cuts both ways however – I find that, as well as there being a traditional constituency which tends towards isolationism, there is also a modern/conciliar constituency which tends towards rejection / demonisation and even mockery of traditional Catholics.

    The Archdiocese I live within produced what Fr Z called (paraphrasing) “the most cold and negative” response to Summorum Pontificum. They do not like the traditional mass and offer the absolute bare minimum provision – and even then grudingly. This was another reason I sought out the SSPX.

    And I find some novus ordo Catholics are very quick to (wrongly) condemn the SSPX as schismatic or “not part of the Catholic Church” – this is uncharitable of them, especially as these same people tend to regard Protestants – genuine schismatics/heretics – as “fellow Christians”. Even some Novus Ordo Bishops fall into this Category, men who should really know better and give better example.

    Our SSPX Church (like all SSPX Churches) displays the pictures & names of Pope Francis and our local Bishop; we recognise the position and authority of these men – but the local Bishop does not recognise us. We do not reject him, he rejects us.

    So the same fault can appear among Catholics regardless of how and where they worship. But we all have the example of Our Lord Jesus Christ to follow, and if we sincerely follow Him to the best of our ability, then we will not go far too.

    I agree it would be better if the SSPX had a canonical status – and I very much feel that is in the pipeline. Ultimately however, the genuine Catholic faith is more important than a canonical status (which boils down to the approval of men), which is why I am quite comfortable at the SSPX. Also, when I look at many priests / religious orders etc who do enjoy a regular canonical status , it often seems that a canonical status does not mean much anymore, in terms of guaranteeing orthodoxy / faithfulness. So, I am not concerned over the irregular status of the SSPX. Christians are taught “by their fruits ye shall know them” – not “by their regular canonical status ye shall know them”.

    1. “if we sincerely follow Him to the best of our ability, then we will not go far too.”

      Sorry, the end of that sentence is meant to read “we will not go far wrong”.

  14. Dear Fr. Carota,
    It has been a real blessing to read your blog on a daily basis. In fact, I read it at night before I go to bed so I can especially reflect on the lives of our great saints. That said, I discerned a moment of weakness in your blog on “Isolation”. It reminded of when Jesus rebukes St. Peter in the following, “Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.” If you recall, St. Peter came off as loving when in reality he was denying Jesus’ fulfillment of the scriptures by denying His death and resurrection. I appreciated so much that you fought for Traditional Catholicism and even considered you a present day saint. Nevertheless, like St. Peter you are human and prone to weakness.
    If you recall from your own blog, many of the saints were prone to “isolation” and many were even ostracized from their own families. I too, have suffered the isolation along with my own family. It is very difficult living in this world therefore, we must remember, “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” I told you a few years back that God led me to the Latin Mass. I fell in love with the traditional rite and only wish every Catholic Church would have the Latin Mass.
    Unfortunately, I spent my entire life going to Novus Ordo Mass. While I try my best not to judge others, I believe God gave us a choice to discern the true faith (the one Apostolic Church). When I attended the Novus Ordo Mass not only did I see people inappropriately dressed but I saw a complete disregard for God. Every time I go to the Novus Ordo Mass I am reminded of Jesus and the moneychangers in the temple. I see teenagers and adults playing on their phones, children playing ball in the cry rooms, and people of all ages socializing while others are trying to pray. If Jesus were here today, would he want this going on in His Father’s house? Not to mention, the priest pedophilia, financial misconduct, and the destruction of the true Catholic schools. Yes, Jesus had mercy on sinners but not those who disregarded His words. Clearly, Jesus spent little time with the Pharisees who were always trying to catch Him in a snare. He gave us free will to change but never forces us to His will. We must submit to His will.
    Sometimes when you start to see something every day you become desensitized. We Christians have become desensitized to abortion, Christian beheadings, homosexual marriage, and many other atrocities. Just the other day, I read about how aborted babies are being kept alive and having their beating hearts ripped out. This is barbaric and literally makes me sick to my stomach. What evil lurks among us? In the case of homosexuality, Jesus preached to love the sinner but not the sin. We as Traditional Catholics, do not need to be accepting of such contradictory behavior. Maybe the “isolation” should be looked upon as our cross to bear. I understand we can go out and be a good example to others but only God can change their hearts.
    That said, I have become frustrated and even considered becoming a sede or joining an SSPX. I feel like the Church is still here but Vatican II made it unrecognizable. I wonder if Maximilian Kolbe, Padre Pio, or Pope Pius XII would attend a Novus Ordo Mass. If these great people were alive today would they recognize the Novus Ordo as its beloved Catholic faith? Maybe I am incorrect but I read some place that Padre Pio received dispensation from saying the Novus Ordo Mass. Keep in mind this was a man who received the stigmata; the wounds of Christ.
    Fr. Carota, you have many faithful followers. We know in our hearts we have to be merciful of others while at the same time avoid going down with Sodom and Gomorrah. We need you to be strong and pastor us. I am sure all of us Traditional Catholics have been “isolation” just like Jesus, St. John of the Cross, St. Benedict, and Mother Theresa. Did not St. Benedict of Nursia live in isolation for many years even having his own Friars try to kill him with hemlock? Look at Fr. Kolbe who died in a concentration camp (in isolation with ten other men) after he gave up his life for a fellow man. This does not mean we need to be accepting to the ways of this world. If I had to, I would die for my faith. Please I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ gives you and all of us the strength we need to persevere and do His will.
    Pax Christi,

  15. Thank you Father for your website, the work you obviously put into it and your dedication to your priestly vocation. I wish you would reconsider your criticism of the Society of St. Pius X. All my life I have been a Novus Ordo Catholic. I did not know any better and frankly, there were no other options. I am 64 years old and all my life I have tried to be faithful to God. With the crisis in the Church being what it is and with no remedy in sight, in the last decade or so I have struggled to worship God as the saints and Church Tradition have taught. I started attending an FSSP chapel but the nearest one is 3 and 1/2 hours away. I recently attended Mass at a SSPX for the first time. I won’t go into all the details but the liturgy was beautiful, the parishioners were reverent and the atmosphere conducive to worship. What struck me most about the SSPX Mass was afterwards. At every other Mass I have ever attended the priest is always in the back of church after Mass socializing, greeting people or otherwise laughing it up. After the SSPX Mass, the priest and deacons were on their knees in the sanctuary. That says a lot. St.Joseph, patron of the universal Church, pray for the reconciliation of factions within the Church.

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