What Should You Say to Those Who Call You a “Traditionalist”?

Italian company Radio Spada recently published a work of Don Andrea Mancinella, a priest ordained in 1983. This book is titled Golpe nella Chiesa: Documenti e cronache sulla sovversione: dalle prime macchinazioni al Papato di transizione, dal Gruppo del Reno fino al presente [Coup d’Etat in the Church: Documents and Chronicles of Subversion: From the First Machinations to the Transitional Papacy, from the Rhine Group to Present Day].

As a reminder: In 2009, the journal Courrier de Rome published a book by Don Mancinella titled 1962 Révolution dans l’Eglise: Brève chronique de l’occupation néo-moderniste de l’Eglise catholique [1962 Revolution in the Church: Brief Chronicle of the Neo-Modernist Occupation of the Catholic Church].

The postscript from Golpe nella Chiesa is from Aldo Maria Valli; it is titled: How I became backwards [from the neologism indietristi, ”people who look to the past, going backward, without roots”, a term coined by Pope Francis who uses and abuses it to designate those who are attached to Tradition.] The Italian journalist delivers in it a personal testimony and an enlightening analysis of the current crisis. Here are the most significant excerpts.


Jorge Mario Bergoglio bears an enormous reponsibility, and his pontificate will go down in history as one of the most dire. I will say in a moment how this pontificate is unique. But we must first remember that the Argentinian Pope is not the sole architect of the debacle. Rather, he is the latest link (for now) in a long chain.

To attribute all responsiblity to him, possibly claiming that he is not the Pope, is not to recognize reality for what it is, and to seek refuge in fantasy. Francis has certainly set the tone, but the direction to follow was fixed long before him.

I opened my eyes rather recently myself. The decisive turning point occurred in 2016, after reading Amoris lætitia [editor’s note: Apostolic Exhortation on the family, 2016]. A reading which I had to take another look at, because modernism knows how to desguise itself and therefore the text at first glance only gave me a vague feeling of uneasiness. It was in the second reading of it that the fact was blindingly obvious: the Pope was essentially saying that God has the duty to pardon us and that we have the right to be pardonned.

For me, this was a bit of a complicated period. I was still working at TG1 [editor’s note: Telegiornale 1 is the name of the news broadcast on the public television channel Rai 1], I spoke about the Pope almost every day to millions of viewers, and I did it, as always, as a journalist, without allowing my thoughts to show through.

But my heart and my soul were in turmoil. The Pope justified sin and proposed a distorted idea of divine mercy. On my blog Duc in altum, I very quietly externalized what I thought: I wrote that Pope Francis is a relativist. And my remarks did not go unnoticed. […]

When, for example, in Amoris lætitia, the tendency arises to put at the center not God and His objective Truth, but man with his needs and the conditioning to which he is subject, we do not help man to be more free: we delude him so that he thinks he is.

When we explain that the important thing is not so much the content of the norm as the manner in which a given situation is lived, in all conscience, by the individual, we risk leaving the field clear for the diffusion of subjectivism and relativism. We no longer have man listening to God because he is conscious that God is Truth and that this Truth is objectively good.

We have a God adapted to human subjectivity. We no longer have the rights of God and the duties of man, but the rights of man and the duties of God. So, people say, where is the problem?

The problem, I would respond, is that this a matter of an upheaval of our Catholic Faith. And this is not the path of liberation, but the path of slavery: because on this path, man becomes desperately enslaved to himself.

The drama of modernity lies in this reversal. And the tragedy of the Church is that she has made this reversal her own by accepting modernist theses. Man like God. And even his own idol. Which is a sure way of condemning himself to slavery and thus to misfortune.

When there is no longer any freedom to follow the true good, but only the freedom to interpret circumstances according to one’s own needs, and what is good according to a subjective assessment, there is quite simply no longer any freedom. And if there is no freedom, there is slavery. And if there is slavery, there is no happiness.

It is astonishing that men of God would tend to consider the divine law, in its objectivity and clarity, as an obstacle on the path that leads to God, while on the contrary the objective and clear law is the only instrument which allows a responsible choice and therefore authentic freedom. Yet this is what is happening before our eyes. […]

Guilt and punishment, it will be objected, are categories too clear-cut. Far from being legislator and judge, God can at most be a friend who accompanies. Hence the end of absolutes. Hence justificationism, which feeds on vague and indeterminate concepts. We no longer know what the place of responsibility is, and in the place of a merciful God who pardons those who convert, we place an understanding God who always justifies. […]

Today, I ask myself the question: as someone baptized in the Catholic Church, of which God am I called to be a witness? Of an indiscriminately understanding God or of an authentically merciful God? Of a God who erases the guilt of man or of a God who assumes it in Jesus, His Mediator and my Redeemer? Of a God who offers me superficial consolation or of a God who delivers me from sin? Of a God who through love was made Man or of a man who by presumption wants to be made God? […]

We must be patient, must not tire of maintaining our position. If the Lord sends us this trial, it is for our greater good. This is why, paradoxically but not that much, I give thanks to the Argentinian Pope. With him, all the knots are dissolved, all the contradictions manifest themselves. Now the picture is clear and we have the opportunity to choose our side.

Since I said and wrote that non-Catholic thought and even a non-Catholic Magisterium have crept into the Catholic Church, I suddenly became a traditionalist to some. There are friends who, elbowing each other, look at me with sadness and say: “The poor man. He was a good person, and now he is a traditionalist.” As if I had contracted a terrible disease.

The label ‘traditionalist’ does not bother me. But I would be happier if they told me that I am traditional. Also because I think that we cannot be Catholic without being traditional. Tradition comes from the beautiful Latin verb tradere, to deliver, to transmit. And when we receive a gift as immensely beautiful as the Faith, we cannot help but want to transmit it. If possible, intact. Perhaps we will manage that, perhaps not, but we cannot give up on it.

The desire to label goes generally hand in hand with the inability to argue. Labels are convenient, because they save the effort of thinking. But it is precisely the time to return to reflection, because the crisis of faith and that of reason go hand in hand and influence each other.

Like the Church that ‘goes out,’ ‘the signs of the times’ is also an expression which sounds good. The champions of the Second Vatican Council have incidentally made it their standard. But we have seen where the demand to seize ‘the signs of the times’ has led us: the Church in thrall of the world, as if the world had something to teach the Church and not the other way around. The time has come to gather once again the signs of God. […]

I said that Francis was only the latest link in a chain, which is true. But it is a link which has its own characteristics, and we must be aware of this. When I talk of the current crisis of the Church and in the Church, some friends attempt to console me by maintaining that there were many crises in the past and that the Church has always come out of them. This is undeniable.

But the current crisis is unique. There is no precedent because it is not a matter of another crisis. It is a matter of the final assault. We are dealing with a Pope who, under the impetus of the powers who supported him, has implemented, since the start of his term of office, a deliberate plan of destabilization and of overthrow. This is therefore not a crisis, but a revolution. A new, revealing chapter in the modernist war against the Catholic Church.

Let us say it even more clearly: with Bergoglio’s pontificate, we see at work the attempt to give rise to a new religion to replace Catholicism.

In this revolutionary perspective, there exists an instrument which plays a particular role: the Synod. Democratic ideology, presented as a form of mercy, is at the service of relativism. Once the democratic principle is adopted, it is no longer possible to proclaim an absolute truth.

As it almost never reaches real conclusions on individual issues, the Synod can ultimately seem a harmless tool, a blunt weapon. It is nothing of the sort. The Synod is both method and content. […]

It is no coincidence if, faced with the current coup d’état in the Church, it is necessary to recover counter-revolutionary thought. Faced with a subversion, an overthrow, we must gorge ourselves on antibodies.

Even the publication of Laudate Deum [editor’s note: Apostolic Exhortation on the climate crisis from October 4, 2023, following up on the Encyclical Laudato si’ on integral ecology from May 24, 2015] is an element of the revolutionary project. Environmentalism is the new content of the new religion.

In this type of document, despite the title, God disappears and Jesus is no longer even a corollary. And can useful idiots be missing? Obviously not. In fact, tree planting ceremonies are organized in dioceses, while the cross and the crucifix are stored in the attic.

At the same time, all the representatives of globalism are received and venerated at the Vatican. It is a pilgrimage which also gives us a visual idea of the manner in which the revolution is in the process of unfolding. The Church and the Faith are being dismantled piece by piece. In their place, the process of assembling another Church, another Faith. […]

At this level, the imperative is to save the seed and to keep it alive. It is the Lord, urged by our prayers, who will show us the way. Meanwhile, we are reacting to each attack:

  • Do they talk to you about the importance of listening and debating? Respond that the important thing is to cultivate the spiritual life by listening to God.
  • Do they tell you that the important thing is not to judge but to accompany? Respond that we must clarify the purpose, otherwise we put ourselves at the service of human passions.
  • Do they tell you that the method of mutual listening is in accordance with justice? Respond that if man does not listen to God, he inevitably falls into injustice.
  • Do they want to convince you that it is no longer the time for hierarchies and that we must turn toward the people? Respond that this is the path of the deification of man and that the flock without a shepherd is headed for disaster.
  • Do they tell you that in moral matters we should not be rigid and that we must take into account extenuating circumstances? Respond that when the Church condemns, it is not to crush, but because she recognizes the unique value of the soul and that she has its eternal destiny at heart.
  • Do they push you to think in collective terms? Strive to think and judge in personal terms.
  • Do they tell you that justice and truth are guarded by the people? Respond that justice and truth come from God and have nothing to do with quantitative criteria.

And if you still have hope to manage change under the banner of the nebulous ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ [of Benedict XVI], remember that the great counter-revolutionary Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) affirmed: ‘It is not men who lead revolution, it is revolution that leads men.’

Some will say perhaps that I am exaggerating and that talking of revolution, in the case of Francis’ pontificate, is disproportionate.

I return to Francis himself, who, in Ad theologiam promovendam, an apostolic letter under the form of a motu proprio approving the new statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, writes verbatim: ‘Theological reflection is therefore called to a turning point, to a paradigm shift, to a courageous cultural revolution.’

And the same concept was used in Laudato si’, the Encyclical ‘on care for our common home.’ It must be admitted that the word ‘revolution’ on the lips and in the writings of a Pope can appear surprising, if not implausible. However, Francis made it his own, thus revealing his objective.

The consequence is evident. As I have said several times already, if we want to be Catholic today, we must be counter-revolutionaries. This statement may seem a bit like a slogan, but what interests me is the basic idea. To be counter-revolutionary is to fight, each in his own domain and according to his role, in order to reestablish the violated order.

I believe that this perspective must be deepended, including through the study of antirevolutionary movements that have emerged in the course of history. As the great counter-revolutionary Juan Donoso Cortés (1809-1853) pointed out, in this battle we must know that each word pronounced is inspired–whether it be by God or by the world–and proclaims the glory of One or the other.

It is a matter of choosing your side and the language to adopt. It is not possible to abstain or attempt mediation. This is a war in which we are all involved: all enlisted to reestablish order.

So, if they call you an indietristi, take it as a compliment. And fight with even more courage.”

Source: Aldo Maria Valli – Trad. à partir de benoitetmoi/DICI n°439 –FSSPX.Actualités)

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