Tell me a bit about yourself personally.
I am 41 years old, married, with 7 children. My children are 2-12 years old, all girls except for the oldest. We live in rural Texas, about 1/2 hour from San Antonio. My profession is Software Developer. My life philosophy is "renaissance man" or polymath, and I apply this to my career as well. By that I mean I wear dozens of different hats. I can handle machinery (chainsaw, weedwhacker, tractor, riding mower), use various tools (axe, shovel, lopper, saw, hoe), pour concrete, light a fire (with no liquid accelerant), and other down-to-earth activities but I can also bake, cook, write a sonnet, mend clothing, or sing all kinds of music. I know how to make an old sink or toilet look as good as new. I'm a "jack of all trades, master of few". I was born in Illinois, and my wife is a native Texan. We both have mostly German heritage, but unlike my wife I am part Irish (hence my last name), which keeps things interesting.
Did you go to college?
No, as far as my career goes I am self-taught, but I did spend three and a half years at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. The academic standards and discipline were quite high, at least compared to most modern colleges.
Where do your kids go to school?
They are homeschooled. My wife "rolls her own" curriculum. While we're on the topic, my wife and my girls all wear dresses and skirts 24/7. We are an integrally Catholic ("Catholic 7 days a week") Trad family. Considering the man of the house was heavily influenced by Bishop Williamson, this should be expected.
Why did you start CathInfo?
Back in 2006 I was newly married and my wife and I had a lot more free time than we have today. My wife found the Fisheaters forum and we both joined. We both love living and discussing the Faith, and socializing with other Trad Catholics. But we found the atmosphere there a bit too stifling, feminist, and restrictive. They didn't allow discussion of the various conspiracies (Jews, Illuminati, Freemasons, etc.) or sedevacantism. I didn't really care about the sedevacantist cause, but I did think it was ridiculous to forbid topics willy-nilly. I started CathInfo as an alternative forum with a much lighter moderating hand. Several months later, I got banned from Fisheaters after getting into an argument with an emotional feminist. I then began posting on, and promoting, CathInfo full-time. In other words, I didn't read or post anywhere else.
What is your personal position on the Crisis in the Church?
I support the worldwide SSPX Resistance, led by the faithful Bishops Williamson, Faure, Thomas Aquinas, and Zendejas. I supported the SSPX for years before that. I hold to the position of Archbishop Lefebvre on the Pope question, which explains my support for the SSPX and then the SSPX Resistance.
How do you explain the current Crisis in the Church?
Short answer: I don't. It is unheard-of and unthinkable that the Pope should preside over the greatest self-destruction ever recorded in Church history. It is mysterious, and to attempt to understand it would require peering into the mind of God Himself. Since such a feat is above me, I am unable to fully explain or understand the current Crisis. What I do know, however, is that life goes on. This life is still a test on which hinges the eternal salvation of each one of us. We still have to save our souls. That requires the Catholic Faith. The Mass and the Sacraments haven't ceased to be critical avenues of grace. We must seek out these means of salvation as a first and highest priority. We must learn the Faith ourselves and pass it on to our children. Catholics still need to be baptized, confess their sins in sacramental confession, eat the Body of Blood of Our Lord as He commanded, become soldiers of Christ in Confirmation, get married in the sight of God through Matrimony to propagate the human race and Catholicism, and so forth. Life goes on. So while I believe a full understanding of the Crisis is impossible, nevertheless we can understand enough of it to take prudential action. We know what we must do: keep the Faith. The Traditional Catholic movement is the answer. Namely: stay completely aloof from the Conciliar Church, seek out true priests, Masses and Sacraments, and don't worry about permission from Rome (we don't need it). We need no permission from any man, even the Pope, to keep the Faith or stay Catholic.
What is your position on the "preferred Missale" issue?
I grew up with the 1954 (or maybe it was 1945) Missale, and after 2000 I attended the SSPX which uses the 1962 exclusively. I have observed no difference(s) whatsoever in the congregations at the chapels I've attended. In every possible way you could measure it, the practical effects on the congregations were the same. Therefore I have no choice but to conclude that it makes no difference whatsoever, whether the priest uses the 1945 or the 1962 Missal.
What version of the Bible do you prefer?
Based on what I've already said about myself, you won't be surprised to hear that I prefer the Douay-Rheims Bible, Challoner revision (the one sold by TAN Books for decades).
What is your position on the Flat Earth issue?
I think it's interesting at times, and a lot of people really want to discuss it, but I'm not convinced by any means personally. Let's put it this way: I see no reason to forbid the topic. I don't believe any historical or scientific topic should be taboo or forbidden for people to discuss. I do believe the Earth is the very center of the universe, with everything revolving around it. I was firmly convinced by "Galileo was Wrong" and "The Principle". I never knew that scientists didn't have a single experiment, a single proof, that shows the Earth moves.
While we're on the topic of Science, allow me to ask: Did we land on the moon?
We did not. I find the pro-hoax arguments to be extremely convincing. Especially the fact that no advanced nation has done anything on the Moon, or even anything beyond Low Earth Orbit, for the past 50 years. That evidence speaks volumes to me. NASA claiming they lost the technology to go there is just the icing on the cake. I believe the Van Allen Belts surrounding the Earth are an impenetrable obstacle for human flesh. That is why we never venture beyond Low Earth Orbit. In the entire history of man going into space, the "Moon landings" of the early 1970's stand out as a statistical aberration. If they want to convince the doubters that we landed on the Moon, having any advanced nation send a man beyond Low Earth Orbit would be a start.
What people or experiences helped shape your views on the Crisis in the Church?
Well, I was brought up Traditional Catholic at a small independent chapel. My parents met at TAN Books and Publishers, which is a family business owned (until 2009) by my father's uncle Thomas A. Nelson. I worked at TAN Books for many years myself. I attended St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary (SSPX) from 2000 - 2003. I also spent a couple years attending Mass with the Institute of Christ the King (a group approved by Rome) when they came to town in the mid 1990's. So personal experience taught me a great deal about the various groups.
When did you first support the SSPX?
I grew up at an independent Trad chapel run by Thomas A. Nelson. In 2000, I began pursuing a vocation to the priesthood. Our priest pointed me to St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, MN. While I waited for the Fall semester to begin, I read a bunch of books on the Crisis and was inspired by the works of Archbishop Lefebvre. My parents were always pro-SSPX, but during my childhood the SSPX was a non-issue because the nearest chapel was 1.25 hours away. Our independent chapel was 20 minutes away. But I still remember the gist of my mother's comments on news stories back in 1988: "Disobedient? Rebel? Look at all the names they call the heroic bishop. Grrrr....", "Someday they will have to admit: Archbishop Lefebvre helped save the Church!", "The Archbishop will be canonized someday!"
When did you first support the SSPX Resistance?
On day one, as soon as Bp. Fellay's perfidy became public. I was already predisposed to believe the SSPX was losing it, ever since that infamous German media interview. If you recall, Bp. Fellay threw Bp. Williamson under the bus back in 2009. I completely sided with Bp. Williamson in this conflict. When Fr. K anonymously posted the famous letters on CathInfo on May 10, 2012 (Letter of the One to the Three, and the Letter of the Three to the One) that is what really started the Resistance. Ever since that fateful day, CathInfo has been ground zero for the Resistance, or its de-facto online headquarters. CathInfo was already a popular message board, but I did have to ban a lot of "accordistas" and strong pro-Fellay agitators from the forum. I immediately began supporting the SSPX Resistance effort in any way I could, including spreading the word openly at my local SSPX chapel, and working hard to have Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer and Fr. Hewko come say Mass at a very primitive version of St. Dominic's Chapel. (This was before Fr. Pfeiffer went off the deep end). To me, the Resistance is just the continuation of Archbishop Lefebvre's prudent branch of the Traditional movement.
What is your position on Feeneyism?
I completely disagree with the Feeneyites, at least as I understand them. But I'll admit I've never looked into the issue very deeply. I only know what I've been told about them. I believe in Baptism of Desire and Baptism of Blood as taught by the Council of Trent. God is free and is not limited to His ordinary means. I also prefer St. Thomas Aquinas whenever he conflicts with St. Augustine. But I think that most of the endless discussions of EENS, implicit faith, membership in the Church, etc. are not time well-spent, unless you are a priest and/or trained theologian. For my purposes, every non-Catholic needs to be converted to the Traditional Catholic Faith and water baptized, period. That will be my recommendation for 100% of potential converts I come across. And I completely oppose the false ecumenism of Vatican II which killed the Church's missionary spirit. But for me, opposing Vatican II is enough. I don't care if some priest wants to trace the false ecumenism of Vatican II to some earlier seed, long before Vatican II. Practically speaking, the Church was OK before Vatican II and was not OK after it. So to me the whole thing is academic, like arguing about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. The academic discussions of what is necessary for a pagan to save his soul completely bores me, as it should because it's not my field. It is above me, and above my training. I am only concerned with the practical: Send in the missionaries already! All non-Catholics need to be taught the whole Catholic Faith and water baptized. We Traditional Catholics have bigger fish to fry, like dealing with the neo-pagan Modern World. In summary, discussion of these topics requires theological knowledge -- it should be done by theologians trained in Traditional Catholic universities and seminaries. I am not a theologian, nor do I play one on TV. So I remain aloof from these discussions, which are not profitable for me (or for most Catholics) to engage in.
Since you're not a Feeneyite yourself, why do you allow them on CathInfo?
Firstly, I keep all discussion touching on Feeneyism in a single sub-forum, since many (most?) people don't want to hear it. But some people can't get enough of such discussion -- both pro and con. Who am I to forbid them to discuss what they want to discuss? Secondly, because it's impractical and near impossible to forbid entire topics of discussion on a discussion forum -- topics which are often closely related to many other topics. I have nothing but contempt for Angelqueen's infamous and laughable moderation policy, where they inserted [BLEEP] every time "Sedevacantist" or "Sedevacantism" was mentioned. Notice that AQ is dead and irrelevant as a forum today. No one mentions AQ anymore, except in a historical context. It sounds good at first glance to "ban Feeneyites", but where does it end? EENS? Membership in the Church? Catholic doctrine on Salvation? Baptism? It's too hard to carve out an exact forbidden area with no ambiguity. The same with Fisheaters banning all discussion of "conspiracies" back in 2006. Does that include all conspiracies, even those with tons of evidence? So any case of 2 or more men getting together to work evil, without being completely open about their plans to the whole world, is forbidden? That's an awfully broad definition.
What is your position on Sedevacantism?
I disagree with sedevacantists, because I hold the so-called "Recognize and Resist" position exemplified by Archbishop Lefebvre. The Archbishop speaks for me on this issue. I do consider most sedevacantists to be Catholic. I consider the Dimond Brothers and other extremists to be schismatic, since they take a chainsaw to the Mystical Body of Christ by excommunicating all and sundry. Some sedevacantists are consumed by bitter zeal. I consider the Pope question to be a prudential matter, or a matter of opinion, touching on this unprecedented Crisis in the Church. No one has the certainty of Faith on the Pope question. Just like no one can fully explain the Crisis in the Church, no one can fully explain the Pope crisis either. The most any of us have is a best guess. I believe sedevacantism solves no problems but only creates more problems. It adds nothing over and above the benefits you get from the "plain vanilla" Traditional Catholic package. But everything I said just now about Feeneyism applies to Sedevacantism as well: way too many people waste far too much time on this topic. We have more important things to worry about.
Would you care to elaborate what important things you refer to?
Mostly related to being Catholic, and raising one's children Catholic in this Modern World. You have issues with family, schooling, economics, men have to deal with sodomites and other pagans, many Catholics have difficulty finding a place to attend Mass, Catholics try to have a natural-sized family ("all the children that God sends") but they are the first ones in their family to do so -- their parents and grandparents can't even help with advice. Men have to find work wherever they can, which often involves uprooting the family. Women and girls have to make their own clothes because the stuff they sell at the store is only fit for whores. Parents are concerned about the effect the world will have on their children. "Where will I find suitable friends for my children, and suitable spouses for my grown children?" I hope you see what I'm getting at. All of these crucial, practial, life-or-death issues, and people want to argue about the status of the Pope. No thanks. I say: as long as you're resisting him, and completely aloof from Modernist Rome and the Conciliar Church, you're good.
What kind of Catholics do you want on CathInfo?
All Traditional Catholics are welcome. All who can rationally discuss with other Traditional Catholics are welcome. However, they need to be able to get along with those who disagree with them on disputed points. Lay-popes, or those who act as judges or arbiters of truth and attempt to put down "the final, definitive word" on centuries-long theological debates, are not welcome and won't last long here. If you are not the Pope, please do not pass off your opinion as a "Papal Bull". Since you are not the Pope, it is not Papal. So we are left with "Bull".
CathInfo members should all realize that their chosen group is nothing more than a lifeboat -- yes, even the grand old SSPX. How much wealth does the SSPX have, just in real estate, worldwide? I'm sure the answer would shock most Catholics. And yet they are fundamentally in the same boat as Bp. Zendejas and his small network of around 6 chapels. Emergency jurisdiction doesn't magically morph into normal jurisdiction from the Pope just because you cross a certain number of parishioners, a 25th year in business, or $1 Billion in assets.
Where do you attend Mass?
I attend "St. Dominic's Chapel", a Resistance chapel under Bp. Zendejas which happens to be on my property. I am the chapel coordinator.
Do you prefer High Mass or Low Mass?
Definitely High Mass. My whole family is really into music, and we know lots of Chant, including many versions of the Kyriale, and many Traditional hymns. I taught all my kids that Mass of the Angels is overrated and overused. My son plays the organ, and my oldest 2 girls play the violin. I am a vocalist (tenor). I think I get that from my Irish heritage.
Do you have any pet causes?
Yes, I do. I am trying to get Traditional Catholics to go "back to basics", back to their roots, back to a simpler time when there was less division. We need to focus on what unites us, not the side issues that divide us. Some issues just aren't that important. Maybe it's my Irish side talking, but I'm very down-to-earth and practical. I strongly value education, knowledge, and culture, but I have no use for sterile, academic, ivory tower discussions a.k.a. "intellectualism".
What is your least favorite group in the Traditional Movement?
First of all, I think you mean, "the broader, anti-Vatican 2 movement" because all Traditional Catholics are more or less OK with me by definition (despite some disagreements on side-topics here or there). But among those who claim to be against Vatican II, there is one group that really boils my blood, and that is the "dogmatic home-aloners". These are they who hate Vatican II and the new religion, but they believe there are no priests and bishops left, or that the Traditional Movement is still not legitimate to support. They stay at home on Sunday for dogmatic reasons, hence the "dogmatic" adjective. A normal Catholic without a Traditional Mass option who happens to stay at home on Sunday through no fault of his own is a home-aloner per accidens or only by coincidence. But the dogmatic home-aloners believe that getting into lifeboats is forbidden, so they flounder about in the open sea. Having lived in a Traditional lifeboat for my entire life (my parents met at a Traditional Catholic book publisher, and were married at a Traditional independent chapel), I can fully appreciate the folly of this group. They fail to realize that life has to go on, especially when the Crisis was intended by God to last 50+ years. Moreover, they are dead-wrong on their judgment regarding the validity of a priest or bishop. Their theology is obviously flawed.
You said you're into music. What other kinds of music do you listen to?
Eclectic would best describe my taste. Any music I listen to must be real music, it must be objectively beautiful: melody, harmony, and rhythm. But as a family we listen to a lot of classical, folk, Irish, and instrumental music. I guess I would call it "video game music" or instrumental music that is exciting, with a beat, that you can work to, or dance around the living room to. You can find "Epic Battle Fantasy" on Youtube. Another good example is "Bullet Heaven - Following Your Star" by HalcyonicFalconX.
What else do you like to do? What hobbies do you have?
Spending time with my family and/or rural living, for starters. I am digging a pond with a garden tractor and front loader. It would be much easier with a backhoe, or something more powerful like a bobcat. But it's a good challenge. But all the dirt from the pond is also being used to build a "mountain" which the kids like to play on. If you live where it snows, you know what snow mountains are. Basically my mountain is the same, only made of heavy clay soil so it exists year-round. We are also mowing a path in a small wilderness on my property, and the kids plan to make a fort or campsite. Lots of fun to be had in the country!
Do you have any animals?
We have one chicken that lays eggs, and a bunch of outdoor cats and kittens. We have a wild deer that comes by often and isn't afraid of people. All our food scraps go to the cats. We're mostly cat people here. Our kids need to get a bit older before we try larger animals; they are a lot of work and the kids need to be able to take care of them.
What is your favorite drink?
Iced tea, unsweetened. If it's anywhere near bedtime, decaf as well. No carbs for me.
Margarine or butter?
We don't even stock margarine in this house. Butter all the way. It's more natural. Bp. Williamson used to call margarine "plaaaaaaastic".
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any parting statements before I go?
Yes. I'd like to remind everyone that we are all Catholics trying to do our best to please God and get ourselves and our families to heaven. Just because you disagree with a person doesn't make him the devil. Your "opponent" is probably 99% like you, except for one or two side issues you happen to disagree on. Try to get along with as many people as possible.