Of Shell-Shock and Squirtguns

Below is from a recent piece by Joseph Pearce, an otherwise gifted author and recent discoverer of the Ancient Mass.

Sadly, his position on the TLM is all too familiar now – smacking of shell-shock and the insipid “Squirtgun Catholicism” of the last hundred years, when somehow it became an act of virtue to submit to tyrannous violations of divine and natural law, both within and without the Church:

For the past few months, I’ve been discovering what it’s like to be living in the ghetto. Ever since the issuing of Traditionis Custodes last July, I know what it feels like to be a second-class citizen in my own Church.

… It is understandable that those forced into the ghetto or shepherded onto the reservation should feel anger. It is reasonable to expect that those who are forcibly marginalized will be resentful of those who have used force against them. But this is the way of the world. It is not the way of Christ, nor is it the way of the Christian.

We know that we will suffer persecution for following Christ because Christ Himself told us so. We know that such persecution is a blessing because Christ told us so. We know that the mark of the Christian is to love those who persecute us.

It is, therefore, with love, not with anger, that we who find ourselves in the ghetto should respond to those who have placed us here.

Wait. With love and not anger?

Mr. Pearce, with respect: maybe, just maybe, you might try a little anger.

After all, anger is never incompatible with love – indeed, its absence may well be vicious.

Aquinas on the subject:

[As] Chrysostom says: “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins.  For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and incites not only the wicked but even the good to do wrong.” …

Anger… [is] a simple movement of the will, whereby one inflicts punishment, not through passion, but in virtue of a judgment of the reason: and thus without doubt lack of anger is a sin…

Hence the movement of anger in the sensitive appetite cannot be lacking altogether, unless the movement of the will be altogether lacking or weak.  Consequently lack of the passion of anger is also a vice, even as the lack of movement in the will directed to punishment by the judgment of reason…

The lack of anger is a sign that the judgment of reason is lacking.

[F]or a man to be ready to forsake a good on account of difficulties which he cannot endure… is what we understand by effeminacy, because a thing is said to be “soft” if it readily yields to the touch… properly speaking an effeminate man is one who withdraws from good on account of sorrow caused by lack of pleasure, yielding as it were to a weak motion.

From Summa II-II. Q 158 and 138

May the Saints grant us a share in their holy anger, to move our wills unto justice.

No more Catholic weak sauce…

and Bravo the Restoration!


  1. De sales, augustine and st. James say that anger should never be intentionally allowed into your heart. No exceptions.

    I learned this in de sale’s “An Introduction To The Devout Life” in the chapter on anger.


  2. Anger led to this famous confrontation between Saint Nicholas and Heretic Arias … transposed by technology to Saint Nicholas and Heretic Bergoglio.

    Absence of anger under certain conditions at the extremities is not only wrong – it is inhuman.


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