Modern Catholic Recovery Conference – Crisis Magazine

A group named Trad Recovery is holding a conference this summer to minister to people who have been harmed by their involvement in traditionalist communities. Some traditionalist Catholics have taken offense to the project, but it is certainly possible that there are some people who have had bad experiences and who might therefore benefit from some ministering.

The proposal itself, though, should shame conservatives and trads into doing something similar for those wounded by the changes in the Church since the sixties.

While the Trad Recovery group has chosen to hold their conference in a fairly small venue in beautiful Montana, it likely will take counterpoint conference organizers some time to pull their event together. Why? Because the numbers interested may be huge; it will require renting out sports arenas in multiple metro areas to accommodate a mere fraction of the wounded. Millions have left the Church since the sixties, and millions of those who remain are exceedingly unhappy with much of what is happening in the Church. Many of those who left claim, I didnt leave the Church; the Church left me. Hence, a good title for the conference would be: The Church Left Us.

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

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I can imagine the organizers will ask potential attendees to use something like the following list to determine if the conference is for them. The conference would be for anyone who checked one or more of the following:

  • I was scandalized by the removal of the tabernacle to a remote part of the church, sometimes out of sight and sometimes to a storage space occupied by other items, such as stacked chairs and brooms.
  • When the new parish church was built to look like a spaceship, I had a hard time walking in.
  • I have come to realize that seminaries were homosexual hothouses for years and actively discouraged ordination of heterosexual men.
  • Receiving the Eucharist on my hands seems like a desecration.
  • I have always wanted to know where the beautiful statues removed from churches have disappeared to. Could I buy one?
  • When I learned that the changes of the Novus Ordo were not required by Vatican II, I began to question the changes made.
  • I never figured out why banners are considered appropriate around the altar: To enhance a carnival atmosphere?
  • I could not understand why all the U.S. bishops agreed to close the churches during Covid, when abortion clinics and liquor stores remained open. They didnt even protest! They didnt even allow Easter Services!
  • I continue to be appalled at the cover up of sexual abuse.
  • I fear a large number of bishops are active homosexuals.
  • My kids have lost their faith because they attended Catholic schools.
  • The evangelical church down the street cares more about Gospel values than the Catholic Church.
  • I cant believe the Holy Father seems so determined to suppress the Traditional Latin Mass.
  • I was devastated when I learned that my parish priest was baptized with the invalid formula: I baptize you in the name of the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, which made his baptism and all his subsequent sacraments invalid and which invalidated all the sacraments he performed (my kids baptisms, my daughters wedding, my mothers funeral Mass, and all the Communions my family received at his hands).
  • I am completely wearied by ambiguous and possibly heretical statements being issued by Rome.
  • I am demoralized beyond words that the U.S. bishops make money by assisting with the human trafficking happening at our border.
  • I cant believe I had never heard of the Traditional Latin Mass until five years ago; I am overwhelmed with its beauty and reverence.
  • I realize that the purpose of a synod is to rubber-stamp progressive proposals approved in advance of the synod.

There will be breakout sessions where you can hear homilies on topics you have never heard:

  1. How to avoid going to Hell.
  2. Why in vitro fertilization, masturbation, viewing pornography, fornication, and homosexual acts are wrong.
  3. Why greed, laziness, gossip, and detraction are sins. (Actually, the Holy Father gives excellent homilies on these issues.)
  4. Why modesty of dress is important everywhere, especially in church.
  5. Why missing Sunday Mass is a mortal sin.
  6. What is mortal sin.
  7. How to avoid going to Hell.
  8. What are the parts of the Mass and why are they there.
  9. What is infallibility.
  10. What are approved and what are disapproved apparitions.
  11. Why you need to go to confession regularly and at least once a year.
  12. What are the different kinds of prayer. Who are the great masters of prayer in the Church.
  13. Why it is sinful to cooperate with evil.
  14. How to avoid going to Hell.
  15. The value of regular participation in Adoration, in novenas.
  16. The importance of devotion to Mary and of the family Rosary.
  17. The horrible consequences of divorce.
  18. That there were good popes in the past.
  19. That there were bad popes in the past.
  20. How to avoid going to Hell.

Therapeutic activities:

  1. A fire pit into which participants can toss song books, banners, screens used to project lyrics, the book Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, and copies of the National Catholic Reporter.
  2. A facsimile of the Tiber River into which participants can toss Pachamama dolls.
  3. A convert the sinner activity where participants can push dummies of dissenting theologians, unfaithful prelates, and proabortion Catholic politicians into confessionals and shout their sins at them in hopes that they repent.
  4. There will be a safe space where participants can rest peacefully in the presence of candles, incense, and chant.
  5. There will be a room that hosts a looping video showing how wreckovated churches can be beautifully restored. 
  6. Confession will be available 24-7.
  7. Adoration will be available 24-7.
  8. Enrollment in the brown scapular will be available 24-7. 
  9. Guidance in choosing a patron saint will be available 24-7.
  10. Instruction on how to prepare dying loved ones for a holy death will be given.

Chutes and Ladders

All attendees will receive The Church Left Us version of the game Chutes and Ladders.

Chutes: Those who land on the following squares will go sliding down a chute for:

  1. Continuing to give to CRS although it collaborates with groups that teach young people how to masturbate, that refer for abortions, and that give out contraceptives.
  2. Singing banal songs with gusto.
  3. Getting fidgety and complaining if Mass goes over an hour.
  4. Having no trouble with self-taught hippie strumming guitarists providing the music for Mass.
  5. Repeating the ridiculous phrases (without qualification): God loves you just the way you are  [and wants you repent and follow the Gospel], or You need to meet people where they are at [so you can move them to where they should be], or We use contemporary music because young people love it [any proof for that?].
  6. Watching a televised Mass rather than attending Mass.
  7. Believing girl altar boys are an effective way to keep girls in the church and that it doesnt harm boys.
  8. Believing Virtus Training of laity will reduce priestly sexual abuse.
  9. Wearing cargo shorts or a dress with a bare midriff to Mass.
  10. Being willing to give Fr. James Martin any credence at all.

Ladders: Those who land on the following squares will go flying up a ladder for:

  1. Kneeling for Communion and receiving on the tongue even when it is discouraged.
  2. Complimenting your pastor when he preaches on a difficult topic.
  3. Volunteering for parish projects such as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or supporting a local pregnancy help center.  
  4. Being able to sing the Gloria, the Creed, and the Pater Noster in Latin.
  5. Having gone on a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine.
  6. Having read The Dictator Pope, Infiltration, or any of Peter Kwasniewskis books.
  7. Being skeptical about all pronouncements that sexual abuse is on decline in the Church and that bishops are doing a better job of dealing with sexual abuse.
  8. Stopped being immediately skeptical of conspiracy theories.
  9. Spent an hour in Adoration each week.
  10. Beginning to doubt that the only thing wrong with Vatican II is its spirit.
  11. Having acquired an Apostolic Pardon for a dying person.

Stay tuned. Organizers are just getting started and will undoubtedly have more ideas on how to minister to those traumatized by the practices of the modernistic Churchpractices such as Eucharistic ministers wearing Crocs; rainbow-themed vestments; liturgical dance; St. Martin Luther King Day; blessings of same-sex couples. Please submit your suggestions to your local organizers.  

  • Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., is a retired professor of moral theology.

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