Pope Francis and most of the bishops are, to put it mildly, not generally seen as protagonists among these communities and networks. There is real danger that the pope’s actions will push such communities, either due to manufactured martyr-complexes, a genuine sense of alienation and betrayal, or a combination of the two, into more adversarial and combative stances vis-à-vis the rest of the church, the pope, and Vatican II. There are quite strong and troubling precedents for such a possibility in the papacy’s (mis-)handling of the Jansenist crisis with heavy-handed documents like Unigenitus.
I’ve related the present attack on the TLM with the Jansenist crisis, most recently in my piece Kicking the Trads to the Curb. But I’m not the only one to make the connection.
My discovery of the Jansenist controversy was a key in confirming my decision to leave Roman Catholicism for the last time; I had been through enough “mini-Jansenist” problems with the Charismatic Renewal. It’s interesting that the Church was able to “gum” the Charismatics into submission during the pontificate of John Paul II. My guess is that the trads will put up more of a fight like the Jansenists did. In the latter case the fight persisted until the century of the French Revolution, but in many ways the suppression of the Jansenists paved the way for that cataclysmic event.
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