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By Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 14, 2021
Anthony Esolen, a contributing editor at Crisis, is a professor and writer-in-residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts. He is the author, most recently, of Sex and the Unreal City (Ignatius Press, 2020).
I’ve heard a lot of gloating in the last few weeks, as Catholics of a certain sort enjoy the discomfiture of their brothers who attend the Latin Mass. Evil motives prompt those brothers, they say: hatred of Pope Francis, disdain for Vatican II, unease with women in the sanctuary, and a Right-wing politics that makes a fetish of the unborn child while ignoring the Church’s social teaching as regards the poor.
Well, to the assigning of evil motives there is no end, and both sides can play the game. The traditionalists may reply that their brothers spent more than thirty years ignoring what a Pole and a German had to say about modern aimlessness, the sanctity of marriage and human life, and the power of the holy to move the soul; that they use Vatican II as a ticket for what the council documents do not propose; that they are in, at best, silent rebellion against the male priesthood; and that their own politics of national “solutions” sets moral hazards everywhere and tends to pulverize the family. …