|World Youth Day, Sydney|
|An Urgent Call to Boycott!|
Michael J. Matt
|Editor, The Remnant|
Support for Juventutem
Welcome to World Youth Day 2005
I was greatly disappointed by your paper’s treatment of World Youth Day, or more specifically Juventutem’s participation in WYD. It was refreshing to see traditional Catholics represented there, and I’m not at all certain that Benedict’s predecessor would have allowed that to happen. Mr. Ferrara was way off the mark on this one. (J.S. Internet)
Editor’s Response: Many thanks for your letter. Actually, Juventutem had announced plans to be at World Youth Day (WYD) in Cologne long before the death of Pope John Paul II. In fact, Juventutem was apparently established in answer to the late Pope’s invitation. Juventutem.com explains:
In response to the invitation of the Pope John-Paul II, a delegation of young attached to the Tridentine liturgy (Mass of Saint Pius V) officially organizes a festival within the World Youth Days from August 10 to 21, 2005…We will spend one week in the heart of the World Youth Days, as an official delegation in charge of the animation of a place of reception.
This aside, however, I will respond in some detail to the main thrust of your letter, i.e., that we should have supported Juventutem.
Back in the late spring we were contacted by a French representative of Juventutem who was eager to garner The Remnant’s support for the effort to integrate a traditionalist contingent into World Youth Day. I was impressed by this man’s zeal and, having organized groups of young American traditionalists on Notre-Dame de Chretiente’s pilgrimage to Chartres for the past fourteen years, I was also intrigued by this new initiative. Could young tradition-minded Catholics actually benefit from an event that in the past had included a laundry list of scandalous “entertainment,” rock ‘n’ roll all-nighters, heterodox catechesis and an ecumenical free-for-all that left youngsters more addled than inspired?
After some deliberation, however, I decided to pass; this was not because we questioned the good intentions of Juventutem’s organizers, but rather because we couldn’t justify encouraging our readers to immerse their children in a highly controversial event, even for all the right reasons.
By now most Catholics are well acquainted with what that controversy entails. We’ve all seen the appalling liturgical jamborees, the immodest dress and the raucous behavior of overly praised and under-supervised youths. We’ve watched, appalled, as hundreds of thousands of young people of both sexes filled gymnasiums, youth hostels, parking lots and open fields to sleep after dancing and “hanging out”. We’ve seen the WYD rock concerts and remarked how indistinguishable they are from the fare provided by MTV, with the exception that WYD’s oftentimes Protestant musicians like to give “shout outs” to Jesus between sets.
Legendary "Christian" rock band Stryper.
Would you want your daughter to be a fan of these characters?
Some may here quibble with us because WYD “rocks” to “Christian rock”! First off, that isn’t always the case, and, secondly, even when it is, this is a distinction without a difference, especially when trying to justify mixing beat-centric music with a million teenagers and raging hormones over an extended period of time.
Christian rock is about as oxymoronic as “Christian” striptease. It is a sham designed to provide good kids with a “justifiable” link to a pagan cultural expression. It is a sham that attempts to baptize the indecent and the indecorous with a few Christian-sounding phrases in the often unintelligible lyrics—thereby adding sacrilege and irreverence to an already poisonous brew.
Rock music, from its inception in 1954, derived its revolutionary reputation primarily from its musical construct—how it was made—not its lyrics! Because that construct accentuates and exaggerates the beat (over and above melody), it has a physical and psychological effect on its listeners that is not unlike that produced by pagan rituals which also use beat-centric music to summon “gods” in their various religious rites.
Ordered music, on the other hand, is designed to appeal primarily to the intellect and secondarily to the heart. Anyone who has seen kids “rock out” on a dance floor (whether to hard rock, country rock or “Christian” rock) understand that the music is stimulating not their intellects or even their emotions, but rather their basest appetites. If played long enough and loud enough, rock music numbs the intellect and, as one critic put it, fuels the fires of concupiscence. And this has nothing to do with lyrics. Trying to drape “Jesus” over this evil is arguably sacrilegious!
The folks at Juventutem wouldn’t quarrel with this, I suspect. To their credit they went to considerable lengths to immerse their young pilgrims in good music and to squelch the barbaric din of WYD whenever possible. For example, a young seminarian (writing on Juventutem’s blog under the heading “FSSP Seminarian Confronts Remnant over Juventutem”) recently took issue with Christopher Ferrara’s “World Youth Day: Vehicle of the Meta-Heresy” (The Remnant, Aug. 31, 2005). But as I read his well written complaint, I noticed that the young man seemed hard pressed not to make our case for us. He writes:
The circumstances of the papal Mass were unfortunate, but I believe the Juventutem youth tried their best to make the best out of a bad situation. [Note well: papal Masses are now “bad situations”!] I think they must be commended for trying.
Contrary to what you seem to suggest in your [Remnant] article, there was no other formal participation with WYD activities, aside from the papal Mass. We did not attend any of the catechesis sessions (we held our own), we did not attend any of their concerts (we had our own sacred music concert one night, interspersed with spiritual meditations given by various priests throughout the musical pieces), and I do not know of one instance of Juventutem participants engaging in scandalous behavior.
This is welcome news indeed, and I do give credit to Juventutem for trying to “make the best of a bad situation”, but I’m still perplexed. Why did Juventutem raise money, charter airplanes, arrange accommodations, and travel thousands of miles to put themselves and the teenagers in their charge in the midst of a “bad situation”? Is our young seminarian suggesting that every participant in Juventutem avoided all of WYD’s objectionable events? Would the leadership of Una Voce, the FSSP and Juventutem confirm that they had given orders to abstain from WYD’s events and taken measures to prevent attendance?
Why does the seminarian confront us for failing to guess that Juventutem had actually engaged in some sort of clandestine boycott of WYD, when all of the pre- and post-WYD hype Juventutem has published is to the contrary, including the above- statement “We will spend one week in the heart of the World Youth Days, as an official delegation?”
Moreover, if there was a boycott of WYD, what was the point of traveling all the way to Cologne to boycott the very event traveled to? What about the youngsters on Juventutem’s blog, who seem ecstatic about WYD’s events and make no mention of avoiding them like the plague, as the young seminarian did? And while we’re at it, what does the Pope think about Juventutem’s boycott of his cherished event? What does it say about our situation that Juventutem defends itself by insisting that it had nothing to do with events the Pope heartily approves? Can the Pope not see that he has presided over something so scandalous that serious Catholics know they must shun it for the sake of their faith? Does our seminarian not see the implications of his own defense of Juventutem?
I am perplexed. The seminarian’s explanation, while encouraging, leaves me with more questions than answers.
WYD’s Strange Bedfellows
"We Have Come to Worship Him"...neo-Catholic style!
One unanswered question is still whether attending WYD for any reason was worth the risk. The other is this: Given all that we know about WYD, can we be accused (as we have been in a rather catty email) of promoting a schismatic spirit for refusing to endorse Juventutem? Where is the “schism” in refusing to endorse an event from which even Juventutem was forced to separate itself as much as possible, with even the papal Mass being described as a bad situation? So now it is schismatic not to endorse a close approach to scandal, sacrilege and heterodoxy? This strange devotion to WYD is becoming downright spooky.
And we are not just concerned here with bestial music, scandalous liturgies, and heterodox catechesis. WYD is proudly billed as an event that is leading to a One World Order:
After the welcome celebrations for the Holy Father, the International Festival will provide very special impulses under the motto ‘Bridging the World’. Artists from all over the world will offer musical, dance and other unusual performances to express that World Youth Day is also about getting to know other cultures. And that’s not all: WYD also sets a signal for the One World [the emphasis is WYD’s own]
Teenagers in Cologne were welcomed by none other than the pro-abort head of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Kath.net among others had warned parents that all sorts of strange bedfellows were preparing to descend on Cologne:
…sophisticated pro-abortion groups are pushing their agendas within organizations which can easily meld with events such as World Youth Day (WYD).
A case in point is the United Nations and its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ostensibly are about the environment, helping women and children and eliminating world poverty by 2015 - wonderful goals which fit well with Christian morality.
Therefore it is no surprise that Word Youth Day Germany is partnering with the UN Millennium Campaign in Germany for one of its opening ceremonies which will take place in Bonn. Added incentives for the partnership include a video address to the WYD pilgrims gathered in Bonn for the opening ceremonies on August 15 by none other than UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and a massive fireworks display. Annan strongly supports population control, abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and much more completely at odds with important Catholic principles…
[Pro-abort UN Executive Coordinator for the Millennium Campaign] Eveline Herfkens is to address the WYD pilgrims at the opening ceremony on August 15 in Bonn along with federal and state representatives. Following this there will be a ceremony of the opening of the UN gates, and WYD pilgrims will be encouraged to attend a pavilion where the MDGs are promoted and lauded by Herfkens among other representatives.
The pro-abortion UN representative will also participate in the WYD event sponsored by a German Catholic Youth Group called “International Youth Hearing for Justice and Peace” which will take place in Cologne on August 18.
Other Catholic European groups were trying desperately to get the word out that homosexual groups were also to be at WYD with bells on (see http://cathcon.blogspot.com/2005/08/wolves-in-sheeps-clothing.html)
And The Remnant is harboring a “schismatic mentality” for refusing to get all giddy over traditionalist participation in this freak show?
At the very least, one would have thought that WYD’s enthusiastic presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar would have been enough to end this debate before it got started. Jesus Christ Superstar? The blasphemous rock opera at World Youth Day? Good-night!
And let’s not put too much stock in the glowing testimonials of those dear (but highly impressionable) teenagers who “felt the grace of God” at Cologne and whose lives were “changed forever” by the experience. Similar emotional testimonials are routinely delivered by teary-eyed waifs with shaking voices after every Medjugorje “pilgrimage,” Promise Keepers rally, Billy Graham Crusade, or Britney Spears concert. We must not confuse the workings of grace with the emotional surge that runs through large crowds in the presence of famous personalities. “Faith healers” have been manipulating that phenomenon for ages.
When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope, I myself was standing in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, absorbing the thunderous chorus of “Benedetto, Benedetto, Benedetto” sung over and over again by a hundred thousand people. The figure of the new pope stood on the loggia, high over the Piazza; his face was beaming; his arms extended over an endless sea of humanity. The electric sensation that pulsated through the massive gathering at that moment is as indescribable now as it was exhilarating then. Had I been twenty at the time (rather than closer to forty), I’m sure I would have had a “life-changing experience”, marked by the “fact” that I could “feel” grace enter my soul.
Impressionable teenagers standing amidst a mass gathering of one million and in the presence of arguably the most famous man in the world are primed and ready for all sorts of “life-changing experiences” that are short-lived and shouldn’t be taken too terribly seriously. So let’s not base a defense of WYD on ephemeral emotion. Let’s look at the faith as practiced by the many “graduates” of WYD, which began in the 1980s. Does anyone see millions of faith-filled youth all over the world raising large families and adhering to the doctrines of the Faith without reservation?
"Coming to Christ"...neo-Catholic style!
Therese Ickinger once noted that a teenager who wants to break her curfew will sometimes resort to: “Mom, what’s the matter? Don’t you trust me?” A Catholic mother, Mrs. Ickinger noted, will always respond as follows: “No, I don’t trust you, and you shouldn’t trust yourself.” After WYD we heard much about the “amazing” fact that never before in history had there been an event in which one million teenagers came together for a Catholic event. True, and why is that? Because in the old days Catholic parents wouldn’t have stood for it! Knowing well how the Devil works, they would never have recklessly “trusted” their teenagers like that.
It may come as something of a surprise to our young friends, but even people who prefer the old Mass are not impervious to the seductions of the world, the flesh and the Devil. WYD is a dangerous hodgepodge of emotionalism, sleep deprivation, youthful exuberance, sexual energy, fuzzy theology and pulsating rock ‘n’ roll. Evangelizing in such a volatile environment may sound like a good idea to a teenager but it should give pause to those of us who’ve been around the block once or twice.
I’d no sooner permit my son and daughters to “evangelize” at WYD than I’d let them evangelize Ozzfest or, for that matter, that “Christian” striptease club. And, besides, isn’t that what the Pope is supposed to be doing at WYD… evangelizing? What, exactly, are we talking about here? Given that the Pope was right there, smiling and enjoying the events, is it not obvious that Juventutem, in their alleged “boycotting” of those same events, was, in fact, boycotting the Pope as well?
In any event, we were all teenagers once. I remember trying to justify all sorts of dangerous and illegal stunts in the name of “the cause” when I was young. For me, Christ’s admonishment to Peter that he should put up his sword was the most disheartening text in Scripture.
So, when a young person insists that he wants to go to World Youth Day to “evangelize” or “witness” in the name of tradition, I wonder if wisdom shouldn’t first praise him for his fervor but then gently encourage him to stay home, pray his rosary, and avoid near occasions of sin.
Juventutem’s evangelizing in the name of tradition didn’t exactly make the front page, after all. The official word was that Juventutem was an “official delegation” at WYD, not a counter-witness to it. The clear impression conveyed by Juventutem’s leadership is that even Latin Mass-boosting teenagers think WYD is great. Despite the best intentions, Juventutem seems to have become a pawn in the game of making the worldwide traditionalist movement appear “reasonable” in the eyes of those who have spent the past 40 years bulldozing the landmarks of tradition.
The Hope of the Future?
A Catholic nun and priest getting
"caught up in the spirit" of WYD 2005
I don’t doubt the good intentions of Juventutem; my heart is warmed by their zeal. They are solid young Catholics with much to offer—which is precisely why I wouldn’t recommend they risk their innocence, compromise our movement, or squander their youthful idealism by immersing themselves in neo-Catholic festivals such as WYD. Lot and his family were admonished to leave Sodom, not stick around and engage in a little “evangelizing”. And St. Paul admonishes us to “come out from among them”. Consider this description of WYD’s opening night, as reported on the official web site, and see if this sounds like anything traditional Catholics should be endorsing:
“Let´s get it started”. It is with this song that the group Höhner gave the starting shot for the festival in LTU Arena in Düsseldorf after the opening service Tuesday evening... A mix of hot rhythms and a mood of Rhineland carnival shook the Arena to its foundations, leaving the visitors who had come from all over the world in a frenzy… Cardinal Joachim Meisner extended greetings to the applauding and whistle-blowing crowd in Düsseldorf on behalf of their “fellow species in Cologne”, an allusion to the inaugural event taking place there as well. Since the band hails from Cologne, the musicians struck up the carnival sensation “Viva Colonia” while “Da simmer dabei” blasted from all corners and even the Cardinal seemed to sing along.
Three carnival clubs were welcomed with a rapturous applause… But also the songs of the band “Eierplätzchen” in Spanish, the Ska and Reggae mix of the group Trovaci and the drummer group Tentekko who hit at their instruments as if they were possessed caught on well with the crowd. (Emphasis mine)
Behold World Youth Day: The deafening noise of drums and rock guitars fills the night air while Taize music accompanies “reconciliation” sessions by day; papal Masses “warm up” for world famous pop stars (England’s legendary rocker Cliff Richard closed WYD after the Pope’s Mass); Protestant rockers RESCATE are prime time and center stage, even after publicly ridiculing the theology of the papacy to the press; the biggest headliner of the event is, of course, the Pope himself, but only after he visits a synagogue and subjects himself to a lecture from a rabbi about his (the Pope’s) “responsibility” for the Church’s “sins of the past”.
And this is our great “hope of the future”? Judging by Catholic News Service’ John Thavis’ reports, the event seemed more like something right out of the pages of Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World:
They all came together for the first time at the evening vigil, where the pope’s appearance in his popemobile set off cheers and camera flashes.
Pope Benedict’s first act was to bless a huge bronze bell dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul II. As the bell tolled deeply, many in the crowd broke into chants of “Giovanni Paolo” — John Paul’s name in Italian.
The vigil was heavier on prayer and lighter on entertainment than previous such events. Spiritual dances by young women from India and Ghana alternated with brief testimonials and the singing of hymns.
At one point, an Argentine artist juggled straw hats and flaming torches to symbolize prayer as a dialogue between God and man. The pope, his eyebrows raised slightly, looked bemused…
As the pope left the area for the evening, young people joined in singing a hymn of the ecumenical Taize community, “Stay With Me.” The official program ended at that point, but youths talked, prayed and sang in small groups through much of the night.
At a closing Mass the next morning, the pope, dressed in gold vestments, was joined by more than 900 bishops, 9,000 priests and… male and female altar servers.
Altar girls, jugglers, rock stars and liturgical dancers. And this is tame by comparison with the Pope’s arrival in Cologne, when a throng of thousands shouted at Peter’s successor as though he were a WWE wrestling star. Wearing the beatnik garb of the MTV generation, they screamed and waved their silly banners and grimaced at TV cameras—all while Christ’s Vicar attempted in vain to speak over the din. When the Pope showed signs of becoming annoyed, the NFL-style “fans” were admonished to shut up! But they carried on, trying desperately to draw attention to themselves. It was embarrassing! Imagine the disciples of Christ shouting at Him while He was trying to deliver the Sermon on the Mount. Imagine Christ at WYD! It’s unthinkable!
But this is the new Church of a new world, where young people who have nothing to say— because their Catholic schools have taught next to nothing since Vatican II—are nonetheless encouraged to shout every kind of inane slogan at priests, princes, kings, and even God Himself. Meanwhile, Peter is evaluated, not so much by his defense of doctrine, but by the extent to which he can draw applause from a million clueless teenagers.
The Rise of the “Neo-Traditionalists”
The hope of the future!
I wonder whose idea it was really to try to integrate traditional Catholic young people into WYD. Was it someone with his eye on a bishop’s miter, perhaps? Whoever it was, I would like to ask him one question: Must our loyalty to Rome be demonstrated by parking our precious children at the intersection of mind-numbing pop culture, soul-deadening rock concerts, and faith-sapping Novus Ordo banality?
If what our young seminarian says is true, and Juventutem was meant to give a counter-witness to this madness—although its leaders have yet to say any such thing—then Juventutem should organize a World Youth Day of Reparation in Rome. On that day young traditionalists, led by their priests and elders in St. Peter’s Square, could make acts of reparation for the sacrilege and indifference shown the Blessed Sacrament throughout the world at the New Mass. They could manifest their loyalty to the Holy Father by begging him to restore the traditions of the Church and by assuring him that young people want to be Catholic again!
Meanwhile, traditional Catholics do not need to go to WYD to prove their communion with Rome. Their loyalty to the Pope and the Church is beyond reproach. As the products of home schools, many American traditionalists have been at the front lines for years, having never questioned their Faith, always dressed modestly, and consistently refused to lose themselves in the MTV funhouse.
For such soldiers of Christ, WYD has NOTHING to offer! They are not looking for a place at the ecumenical table. So why use them to convey the impression that “reasonable” traditionalists are in Cologne feasting with neo-Catholics on the same poisoned fruit that decimated our seminaries, made a laughingstock of our priesthood, and left untold numbers of souls in darkness? It’s a scandal! Why in heaven’s name would anyone want to manipulate that precious remnant of traditional Catholic young people that, by the grace of God, is still left in the Church? Give them leadership; give them hope; give them a crusade! But don’t make them the traditionalist poster child of abominations like WYD!
A traditional contingent at WYD to go along with the homosexual contingents, the Protestant contingents, the charismatic contingents, the hootenanny contingents is an affront not only to God but also to the traditionalist pioneers who blazed a trail for us through the post-conciliar desert forty years ago, and whose efforts resulted in the partial restoration of the Tridentine Mass throughout the world! We must not encourage the next generation of traditional Catholics to despise that memory by becoming cheerleaders for the very people who tried so hard to crush the old guard traditionalists.
Peaceful coexistence with the Novus Ordo? Quibbling over vestment fabrics? Waxing rhapsodic over the pretty smells of incense? Is this what traditionalism has been reduced to by militant indultarianism? Was the Society of St. Pius X correct all along in warning that the Indult mentality would poison our young and lead to the end of the Catholic counterrevolution? Not according to the young seminarian from the FSSP quoted above. He’s ready to fight! But what about his friends, and what about the leaders who led him to WYD? How long will they allow him to “boycott” the excesses and outrages of the Novus Ordo? If they give the order to attend the Novus Ordo Mass or to celebrate it after he is ordained—just once, you understand, to show our “communion”—will he comply?
Juventutem’s blog sheds some light on these questions, as do various other sites featuring defenses of Juventutem. In a discussion of Juventutem's initiative on the web blog Open Book, one teenager sounded off against The Remnant, Catholic Family New and The Latin Mass, which, according to him, are “rags” that are not fit for “mopping up floors.” Another seconded that. Still another went a bit further:
Let me “third” hieronymous’ comments on “the rags”. It may interest people to know that the “Remnant” is prohibited reading for the seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and wisely so.
I can appreciate the confusion “ordinary” Catholics have with these groups and sub-groups, but if you travel in trad. circles long enough you can tell after five minutes of conversation whether somebody has “mens nostra”, or is, as Fr. Devillers says best with his French accent, “a wacko”.
Posted by: David Kubiak at Aug 19, 2005 12:33:52 AM
There’s an apt term for these folks that’s been floating around the internet of late—they’re called “neo-traditionalists”. In essence, they seem to be neo-Catholics with a flare for Latin, a taste for Gregorian, an appreciation for incense, an allergy to resistance, and a loathing for old guard traditionalists. Fleeing the sinking S.S. Novus Ordo, these characters are evidently determined to commandeer the “traditionalist” lifeboat, christen it the S.S. Useful Idiot, and hoist a flag of surrender to the same crew whose sinking ship they just fled. Terribly conflicted chaps, I’m afraid, but they’re in good company. EWTN, The Wanderer, Crisis magazine, Opus Dei—they’re all scrambling to lay claim to the name “traditionalist” now that things have gotten so embarrassingly out of hand in the Novus Ordo.
“Traditionalists” at World Youth Day? Archbishop Lefebvre, my father, Hamish Fraser and the rest of the old guard must be turning over in their graves.
But what do we know? We’re just a bunch of wackos—pronounced with a supercilious French accent. Yet if being a wacko means refusing to be seduced by the same people who have spent the last 40 years trashing the traditions of Holy Mother Church, allowing sodomites take over the priesthood, and destroying the Roman Rite, then wackos we are—and proud of it! And if being a “traditionalist” means that I’m expected to fawn over the champions of Vatican II, endorse the New Mass, and run off to WYD like some kind of ninny, well, they can have the term—and welcome to it! This wacko will shuffle off to the catacombs of Tradition.
But if we are indeed on our way back to the catacombs, we need to acknowledge the truth: that the traditionalist movement has been infiltrated by neo-Catholics in traditional Roman vestments and lay enthusiasts for a Latinized version of Novus Ordo Catholicism.
No matter how this development proceeds, the real traditionalist movement—the “wackos”—will not be lacking for new recruits. As the scandals in New Church increase both in severity and number, The Remnant can hardly keep up with the demand for its “wacko” analysis of events. Scores of disenfranchised Catholics, encouraged by the traditional Catholic resistance, are apparently recognizing that the authentic traditional Roman Catholicism defended by the “rags”— The Remnant, CFN, the Angelus, the Fatima Crusader, AFS, Apropos, Latin Mass, Catholic, Seattle Catholic.com etc.—is the last bastion of sanity in the Church.
And it’s not just the SSPX priests who are holding up the priestly end of the Catholic resistance. The FSSP, for example, has quite a number of militant young priests and seminarians, who somehow manage to follow The Remnant pretty closely, despite the alleged ban by FSSP leadership of the French kind. These young lions are tired of the political games and the namby-pamby compromises of the past. Why? Because they know, just as we know, that neo-traditionalism is a farce. It is just as much a farce as St. Athanasius insisting that his followers “emphasize the positive” in the Arian crisis, and not only cease criticizing the Arians and their heresy, but also to bring young Catholic contingents to Arian festivals to yuk it up with the heretics! The organizers of WYD may not be Arians, but this writer is not prepared to defend them against the charge of neo-Modernism, with their Protestant stage shows, ecumenical brouhahas, and modernist liturgies.
Thankfully, thoughtful young traditionalists can see through the neo-traditionalist facade. In 2002, for example, a young man named James Louis walked the Chartres Pilgrimage and later witnessed the goings on at World Youth Day in Toronto. He wrote a powerful article at the time juxtaposing the two events. His opening paragraph positively exudes the sensus catholicus:
Two very different events took place in the Church this past year. One was a perfect example of Catholic reverence; the other a showcase for “pop Catholicism.” At one, ears would hear chants of Ave Maria; at the other, “John Paul II, we love you.” At one was sung Chez Nous, a traditional French hymn; the other featured the rather banal “Light of the World.” One was a timeless display of love for Christ, the Blessed Mother, the Church and the Mass, while the other was more indicative of the personality cult of the man who is pope. One was the Chartres Pilgrimage; the other was the World Youth Day celebration in Toronto. While the majority of people at each event fell into the same age group, the two events could not have been more different. Chartres exemplified traditional Catholicism while World Youth Day marked the most recent attempt to conform the Church to modern popular culture, leading to its earning the not inaccurate moniker, “Catholic Woodstock.”
Precisely! Traditionalism is not about our liturgical “preferences”; it is about the salvation of souls…our souls, our children’s souls, our nation’s soul, and the souls of hundreds of millions who languish in the devastated vineyard that is the Novus Ordo.
Let’s commend those members of Juventutem, then, who have sincere and noble aspirations for their apostolate as a way to restore Tradition. But at the same time let’s call on Juventutem and all traditional Catholics really to “witness to tradition” by participating in a worldwide traditionalist boycott of World Youth Day in Sydney—unless and until the rappers are disinvited, the rock ‘n’ roll concerts are cancelled, the pro-aborts are banned, the United Nations and Taize reps are told to stay home and a Tridentine Mass is offered by the Pope himself. Imagine that!—the Pope, turning his back on the TV cameras, facing God, and leading a million young people in the prayer that is the hope of the whole world: “Introibo ad altare Dei, a Deum Qui laetificat JUVENTUTEM meam.”
Now that would be a Catholic World Youth Day for the ages! Sign me up.