“If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

“Backwardsism” and True Progress

By Father David Nix

An article at Rorate Cæli is titled Francis confirms his hatred for the Latin Mass and it quotes him as saying:  “I certainly know that the Council is still being applied. It takes a century for a Council to be assimilated, they say.  And I know the resistance to its decrees is terrible.  There is incredible support for restorationism, what I call indietrismo (backwardness).”

I too used to say things like, “It takes a hundred years for a Council to be implemented correctly.”  But now I see this doesn’t apply to Vatican II.  It only applies to dogmatic councils that were established to dissipate confusion, not seminate it.  We have had 20 dogmatic ecumenical councils that included infallible anathema statements.  Most of these ended up ultimately growing the numbers of the Catholic Church, whereas Vatican II tanked it… and continues to do so. Such rejection of the Holy Spirit’s protection was declared quite clearly by those who initiated it:

-“There will be no infallible definitions. All that was done by former Councils. That is enough.”—Pope John XXIII, Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, October 11, 1962.

-“The magisterium of the Church did not wish to pronounce itself under the form of extraordinary dogmatic pronouncements…. ”—Pope Paul VI, discourse closing Vatican II, December 7, 1965

-“Differing from other Councils, this one [Vatican II] was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral.”—Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience.

About 50 million Catholics have left Catholicism in the Western Hemisphere since Vatican II.  I prove here the numbers have also tanked in the Eastern Hemisphere, contrary to all the rumors of how successful “The Council” has been in Africa over the past 50 years.  In other words, “the changes” have statistically been a total failure in both hemispheres.  To insist “we just need to implement it the right way” has finally become as preposterous as “We just need to implement Communism the right way. It has never been tried the right way!” But what the latter has executed against bodies, the former has done to souls:  Total destruction.

When are we going to admit that destruction of traditional Catholicism is not “progress” anyway we project an ideal upon the future?  In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote:

We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be and if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. 

So also, we Catholics must realize that trashing Apostolic Catholicism has been the wrong road, any way you slice-and-dice the crumbling statistics.  This is why traditional Catholicism is the future. It’s a Church founded on Divine Revelation, not new enlightenment principles. are ironically the most progressive ones.  The quote from CS Lewis continues:

If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

InfoVaticana also counters the very notion of his backwardsism:  “The key is in the fetish word of the last council: aggiornamento, updating, updating. The Church, an institution that is not of this world but is in this world, is called to maintain its perennial doctrine, the eternal message of Christ, valid for all times, while studying the spirit of each age to adapt the form of the message so that it reaches the world effectively.”

So enough of attempting the impossible hermeneutic of continuity.  It has utterly failed.  Traditional Catholicism is not just the past of the Catholic Church.  It’s also the future.

CS Lewis’ quote continues to explain why we traditional Catholics want to return to the original Apostolic Catholicism after 65 years of tanked numbers:

We have all seen this when we do arithmetic. When I have started a sum the wrong way, the sooner I admit this and go back and start over again, the faster I shall get on. There is nothing progressive about being pigheaded and refusing to admit a mistake. And I think if you look at the present state of the world, it is pretty plain that humanity has been making some big mistakes. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.

17 thoughts on ““If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.””

  1. This piece doesn’t seem to allow much wiggle room for the truth of ’58 SVism vs ’22 SVism. Same with the Dr. Mazza piece; the quotes he referenced have all been known and shared by sede clergy and sites like NOW for years.

    The “hard sayings” from sede clergy are understandably difficult to believe, especially as it relates to whether or not NO clergy are actually valid, or that the faithful’s annulments are true… but just because we don’t like them, doesn’t negate it’s truthfulness.

    1. Sede clergy observations of fact may be true.
      Their conclusions from those facts are open to debate.

    2. Kono, NO clergy are valid. They are probably even licit. I have very personal and very convincing reason to know that the Eucharist is confected during a NO mass, and that confession to an NO priest is effective.

      If you do not put credence in my testimony, then find the testimony of the demons themselves persuasive. Do not NO exorcists still exorcise? And do they not testify that they themselves require permission from their faithless NO bishops to perform exorcisms?

      Further, there are still public Eucharistic miracles still occurring in the NO mass.

      I understand that this is a hard thing; I struggled when I was first tradpilled to reconcile the situation with the NO bishops & the NO mass. But God spoke to me in a way I have only experienced three or four times in my life, always for my own correction, and the thrust of His answer was that He has permitted the effrontery of the NO for a time, like he once permitted divorce, due to our hardness of heart and lack of faith. And he also chastised me for neglecting my own duty to stew over the situation with the NO…

      God bless and hope this helps!

  2. A big problem is: The entire hierarchy, almost all Bishops, and most Priests and Deacons, across the globe, DON’T think they are on the wrong road, and they will all die homeless and starving in the streets, the last donating-Catholic having left the Church decades ago, before they even consider it.

    1. Here’s a rather amazing factoid: outside of Traditionalist circles, many Novus Ordoites have not the least clue that Bergoglio is antagonistic towards the Latin Mass and the Traditional Catholic Faith. My in-laws are caught up in the Novus Ordo, heavily involved with their parish, and actively interested in what they call Catholicism. My husband and I attend only Latin Masses and are just as active in our FSSP parish.

      Back in May my husband made a remark to his mother about how “Francis” is hostile towards the Latin Mass and how we are concerned about the status of the FSSP constantly.

      My mother in law looked shocked and said, “But Pope Francis loves the Latin Mass, right?”

      Where to start….

  3. No, no, you don’t understand.

    Tanking the number of Catholics and destroying the Mass, and making the Church a secular NGO, was the point of Vatican II.

    It was a success! Progress! Modern!

    Therefore it needs more further integration! Hence Synods on synods on synods on synodality, followed by a meeting where they’ll gather once more to synodally proclaim how the spirit is working by at best doing nothing at all and at worst lining up events according to the WEF’s calendar, and just allowing the queerist amongst the laity to do anything unchecked, while your suggestion box queries to maybe at least have someone volunteer to ring the bells at the elevation during a weekday Novus Ordo goes unanswered, alongside never solving the ineffable mystery about who keeps blowing out the candles we pay for at the grotto.

  4. Today in Tbilisi, capital city of the country of Georgia, over 2,000 people took to the streets and shut down a pride march. Despite no casualties or injuries, the media is having a melt-down. Georgia is a solidly Orthodox Christian nation and while I’m not advocating the Orthodox Church, I’ll ask everyone to ponder such an uprising against sodomitical tyranny happening in the post Vatican 2 Catholic West. No, other than a small group of Trads here and there, it wouldn’t happen. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart can’t come fast enough!

    1. Evil will burn itself out. Goodness will endure.

      “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Prov 28:1)

      This will take time, for the burn to consume that which needs consuming.

  5. Fr Nix always has thought provoking content.

    It’s easy to take what he says here about “progress” and apply it to the Church catastrophe, and criticize failure. That’s just an easy way out to avoid personal responsibility – I can (frequently do) do that from the comfort of my chair, without personal cost.

    We (I) should personally commit to evaluating our (my) own progress, regularly, to ensure I haven’t gone down my own wrong paths and dark roads into the theological and personal weeds. Be ready and willing to admit error without shame.

    I can’t change the Church – I have no control over Her. But I can change myself; lead my family. As a *cell* of the Church, I can do my part.

  6. The late theologian Fr. Gregorius Hesse, had a talk in which he explained that historically, every valid Council of the Church had three distinct features: a shared form, common matter, and common intention. For the form, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but Fr. Hesse mentioned that V2 did not follow what had been done in the past. For matter, Fr. Hesse pointed out that only CATHOLICS were allowed to attend and participate, not heretics or schismatics. For intention, Fr. Hesse points out that EVERY valid Council intended to correct errors and thus define doctrine (whether or not that actually happened is not the point: it was intended). Vatican 2 did absolutely none of these. It really doesn’t have the marks of a true Council.

    However, then-archbishop Karol Wojtyla, a participant of the council, said in his 1975 book, “The Sign of Contradiction” that the Church “redefined herself” at the Second Vatican Council. He also called himself a “new pope for a new church”. It seems to me that Vatican 2 wasn’t a Catholic Council, but was the formal creation of a man-made, man-centered, false church, as Pope Gregory XVI said in Mirari Vos.

    1. Exactly Aaron. Most sede clergy don’t point to the heresies of each post conciliar antipope, though there are many, but to the council itself. To reject the new Mass, the false ecumenism, the religious liberty taught by the VII antiChurch, one must necessarily reject those who promulgated it.

      St. Paul says to the Galatians and therefore to us, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.” Anathema does not mean partial communion, una cum. VII and it’s false popes preach a very different gospel and therefore it cannot be the Catholic Church.

      Please, for the love of truth, listen to this 18 min sermon….most especially those who believe themselves to be traditional priests.


      1. Kono said: “To reject the new Mass, the false ecumenism (etc) … one must necessarily reject those who promulgated it.”

        That statement is the key to where you and I disagree. Same facts. Different conclusions. I reject their sin. I do not reject them.

        I see those in Conciliar authority like a child whose father demands the child sell crack cocaine (steal, prostitute, etc) for him. He’s still my Dad. Neither will I comply in matters of sin. I will work to convert his heart.

        1. Aqua, what, exactly is the point of a pope if he can “error” in teaching the whole Church false and already condemned doctrines? What’s the point of a pope whose teachings have to be sifted by a Society in “partial communion” with Rome, a Society that coincidentally came into being shortly after VII?

          Comparing our natural father to the Holy Father of the Catholic Church is a silly and emotional argument. Our fathers are not supernaturally protected from teaching us error and they are our fathers for life and even after their deaths. That is not the case for Popes. Once they die, they are no longer our Holy Father.

          While a valid pope can absolutely be an immoral scoundrel and ask INDIVIDUALS to do something immoral such as stealing, he cannot by supernatural Divine Protection, give us already CONDEMNED doctrines such as ecumenism, religious liberty, etc. Do you not believe in the supernatural protections Jesus conferred upon St. Peter and all of his successors? I am a sedevacantist for believing exactly this.

          The VII antiChurch and it’s “popes” are teaching a different gospel than the one St. Paul says we should follow. We need not be theologians to see this, otherwise the true Catholic faith couldn’t be for everyone.

          I see Assisi as a stained glass window for the theologically illiterate…..like me.

          And I’m sorry for sounding so harsh here, but R&R is not what Catholics do, it’s what Protestants do with their “clergy”. And seeing as you said here or on another post that it was EASY to get to heaven, seems to me you still have some left over protestant beliefs.

  7. Vaty-too-ism is also a phenomena affecting the Protestant world. Even secularists are noticing the trends where at such a time that evil is so obvious, and Christianity attractive as an antidote , yet the ones who should be speaking the loudest are silent.


    Methinks that a very large bulk of religious signed up at the time of the post-war positivity boom, expecting things to be an easy career, but are now discovering that the warnings foretold about the world bybtheir religion are horribly horribly true.

    The council members were also poisoned by this optimism, and ignored Fatima’s ‘prophets of doom’ as not concerning their time.

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