By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Traditionalists Exploiting the Vulnerable

In his recent interview with various Jesuit publications, Pope Francis expressed concern about the "ideologization" and "exploitation" of the traditional Latin Mass. (You can find the link in the Sept. 19th blog post below.)

Shortly after the interview was released, I received a call from a very elderly relative, a recent widow, from Miami. She has been very, very devout since childhood. She called me because she was concerned after reading an article by a member of a prominent, schismatic traditionalist group about the Catholic teaching concerning the salvation of those outside the Church.

I had to tell her the truth. Fanatics can easily scour the centuries of Church councils and documents and make any argument they want about any subject under the sun. And they can be very fanatically insistent and convincing, especially to the vulnerable--the pious, especially the elderly pious and others who have not had any formal theological training.

What they do to the pious is wrong. It is wrong to disturb and exploit the vulnerable with ideological and tendentious manipulation of Church documents.

Instead of providing comfort and light and peace to devout Catholics in the late evening of their lives, they sow anxiety and worry. I know what Pope Francis meant in his interview.

(Image of story of widow's mite used under fair use doctrine)