Did you know that not all pre-Vatican-II popes were created equal in the eyes of disaffected post-Vatican-II radically-traditionalist Catholics? Apparently, not all of the pre-Vatican-II popes made the grade as Sufficiently Loyal To The Post-Vatican-II Rad-Trad Vision Of The Church.
Case in point: When the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger took the name Benedict XVI many Catholics were touched by his explanation that the choice was made, in part, to honor the largely-forgotten twentieth-century Pope Benedict XV. Not all, though. There was at least one person, herself a radically traditionalist Catholic, who saw dark designs in the new Pope’s choice of name:
"Benedict XV came into his Papacy as Europe was entering World War I. In his first Encyclical, Ad Beatissimi issued November 1, 1914, the Pope, who refused to take sides in the Great War, made a dramatic call for peace between the warring factions of Europe. He also made it clear that inside the Church he was calling for a stop to the war against the modernists.
"Even while he referred to the ‘admirable fruits’ of [the] previous pontificate [that of St. Pius X], he called for concord among the members of the Church, that is, the modernists and the ultramontanes — the traditional Catholics who had been strengthened by Pius X. This ‘peace’ orchestrated by Benedict XV is what gave the modernists the opportunity to emerge from their dark, semi-occult caverns back into the light of day with a comfortable position in the Church."
"Dark, semi-occult caverns"? This rhetoric is so over-the-top that it practically fisks itself. To continue, let’s look at what this cheery individual sees in store in a Ratzinger pontificate given the current Pope’s choice of the name Benedict:
"I believe Benedict XVI intends to oblige traditionalist Catholics to ‘reconcile’ with Vatican II and the New Mass, to finish with our resistance and incorporate us in the Conciliar Church. It would be a maneuver similar to that of Benedict XV 100 years ago, when he struck his blow at the Sodalitium Pianum and the anti-modernist reaction. It is my opinion that we should be prepared for this kind of progressivist maneuver."
A pope who hopes to reconcile disaffected Catholics with the Church they claim as their own? Imagine that!
"What should be the position of Catholics at this important juncture? To be aware of the maneuver that is probably being prepared. To continue our resistance against the errors of Vatican II and its consequences. To offer an intransigence [sic] opposition to any proposition that implies acceptance of error. To display an invariable determination to remain always within the bosom of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and remain faithful to her perennial teachings. To maintain a firm belief in the promise of Our Lady that she will intervene and restore Holy Mother Church to shine again with her purest doctrine and lead the world to build the Reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
You know, in some ways, radical traditionalism — as opposed to a legitimate Catholic traditionalism that merely prefers traditional expressions of the faith but does not reject Vatican II and the contemporary Church — annoys me more than progressivism. Perhaps it is because the progressivists are usually honest enough to admit that they wish to change the doctrines and disciplines of the Church. They are easier to deal with because their agenda is clear. Radical traditionalists, on the other hand, present their discontinuity with Church history and their rejection of the authority of the Church’s leaders as a supposedly Truly Catholic Response to concerns about the admitted difficulties in some human sectors of the modern Church. Anyone who rejects their understanding of the Church and its teachings is not as Catholic as they.
And that "anyone" apparently includes even a pre-Vatican-II pope.