De Natura Reactionarum Romanae; Or, On the Nature of Reactionary Roman Catholicism
It should be strange to any person of faith to see the above title and consider how it applies to the current state of the Roman Catholic Church. However, this article does not deal with the Holy See or the Vatican (which are two separate legal entities, one should note). I wish to bring attention to the wellspring or rather cesspool that is “traditionalism” in the reactionary Catholic right. It is this wing of the religious parties of the United States and the Global North that is immensely concerning to all Leftists and should sound an alarm in the entire world.
Traditionalist Catholicism is not merely the reaction to Vatican II (the 21st ecumenical council which took place from 1962 to 1965) but is rather a reaction against the current bourgeois, Liberal order. Examples of people who exemplify this reaction are broad in terms of what station of life they are in but can be said to include Nick Fuentes, Wrath of Gnon, Trad Patrick (known as Rights and Duties on Youtube), amongst others. While they are all from different walks of life, one common thread unites them, their reactionary Catholicism. Perhaps the most egregious of these is Trad Patrick who openly has called himself a “clerical fascist” and works to explicate the basics of why “we will never have a monarch without a fascist government” in order to convince the LARPers who want to be as much of a Trad as he is.
Traditionalism as explored here in this article is a baptismal fount for those who cleave to the commandments of pre-1965 Catholic teaching, namely the blaming of the Jews for the death of Jesus Christ and also advocate for racial separation as evidenced every weeknight on DLive with Nick Fuentes. This form of religion is wholly that opiate which loosens ups the masses to the Fascism trying to claw its way out of Belloc’s “Prussia Not Hitler Must Perish” (1940) and Evola’s Revolt Against the Modern World (1934). These two thinkers are ones which are brought up by Fuentes and TradPatrick alike and the aesthetic of which is the entirety of Wrath of Gnon’s whole Tumblr/Twitter combo. They seek to install a version of Catholicism into the world which is totalitarian and will bring total solutions to what they think are the problems of Modernity. This is not to say that Modernity is good or that Capitalist Realism is preferable to Reactionary, Traditionalist Catholicism, but rather that while Catholicism is not unique in having this reactionary element it is of great concern that this element wishes to fully eradicate what it sees as a “cancer.” These men wish to eliminate the current Capitalist paradigm and replace it with Fascism in order to bring about their own utopian vision which involves the takeover of the entire Earth.
While some might say that plenty of Catholics like Timothy Gordon, Dave Gordon, Matt Walsh, and the like have sided with Neoliberalism or Neoconservatism (two sides of the same Capitalist coin) and believe that history has come to an end. These men have taken to idolizing Francisco Franco, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, Benito Mussolini (just look at TradPatrick’s twitter background), and others. The United States then has become the main battleground between reactionary Catholicism which has an aesthetic quality and historical continuity that entices those who are carried across the threshold by these men. And just as Liberal, bourgeois governments are beginning to frustrate themselves with finally recognizing identities outside the Christian binary, this force appears which enforces a binary that is immanent and present-in-the-world to the extent that TradPatrick and Nick Fuentes find the rules of Catholicism to be “real” rules while Sharia and Halakha, of Islam and Judaism respectively, are somehow wrong and false. This is part of reactionary Catholicism’s assertion of whiteness.
Even when people like Dr. E Michael Jones try to pretend that they are against whiteness and that all we need to do is to “return” to an ethnically segregated past in order to truly be free we can see right through their smoke and (two-way) mirrors. Yet, it is through this assertion of whiteness which allows for this form of Catholicism to exist since there are racial divisions in the Roman Catholic Church especially in the United States. In the American Southwest there is a noted division between Hispanic Catholics and white Catholics, where often Spanish language masses are often the first to be culled or as is the case in Diocese of Las Vegas, there is a true struggle to get Spanish masses in the first place.
This is not an aberration, this is central to the mission of whiteness when it has its gold and white, Catholic face. The desire to align the Roman Catholic Church with the novel concept of “western civilization” is part of the desire to rally behind the militant rise of “identitarianism” or “America First” ideology. This is made clear since Michael Voris, Nick Fuentes, et al. have rallied (and in Voris’s case, still rally) behind Donald Trump. Fuentes and the more radical members of the reactionary Catholic right have perhaps distanced themselves from him since 2016, but they have done so by using Trump’s statements of immigration as a springboard for more right-wing ideology. Fuentes and TradPatrick were both at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally where the infamous phrase “The Jews will not replace us” was shouted out by hundreds of tiki-torch bearing white men. This is part of the reactionary ideology which both of them derive their political conscious from, that is, the antisemitic myth of “white replacement” and the desire to recreate Rome.
This form of Catholicism has many violent tendencies. Namely, it desires a violent overthrow of the Liberal bourgeois state and to replace it with a dictatorship of clerics. This becomes a method of colonizing the world and living out the old dream of conquest by the cross over the entire world. This is why the antisemitism and racism are particularly frightful, since they on one hand want to convert all of the peoples of the Earth and thus subjugate them to their Fascistic will, but also subjugate them to their Fascistic will and exterminate them. They perhaps will not say this outright, but their admiration of Fascism’s implementors and their constant poking at racist, antisemitic talking points and thinkers leads one only to conclude that this reactionary Catholic right is the most potent example of nascent fascism in the United States.
Antony LeRoy is an ASU Ph.D. student in English Literature and the online editor at Peace, Land, and Bread. They are a Critical Theorist who explores the beginnings of Capitalism through their work in the Early Modern Period. Their areas of expertise are Economic, Queer, and Critical Race theory. They are currently working on a forthcoming book titled The Market of Eden for CCS’s Iskra Press.