Little by little, all the great lay-champions of Catholic traditionalism pass away, and there is nobody left to fill their shoes.
Men like Thomas A. Nelson are "doers."
Few are left today with the conviction to think something up, and then do it.
Nobody seems willing or able to fill their shoes anymore.
Thomas A Nelson will become another loss, and his shoes likewise will not be filled.
We are vanishing from the world, and we deserve to.
With all due respect, 2020 is not 1967. It was a different time then.
Tom Nelson starts an independent chapel in the early 70's, and all faithful Traditional Catholics come to his chapel, creating a flourishing parish of sorts. 110 parishioners at its peak -- 2 Masses every Sunday.
Those who would become Pfeifferites if given a chance, those who would be SSPX if given a chance, those who lean Sedevacantist, those who would support Bishop Williamson and the Resistance if given a chance -- ALL OF THE ABOVE. They all came together and made a flourishing parish. 3 different kids' Catechism classes every Sunday, daily Mass, etc.
Today, Tom Nelson's grand-nephew starts an independent chapel, and almost 7 years later the parishioners still number in the low 20's -- counting his own family of 10. The SSPX is 45 minutes away, and most are content to stay there. Some Trads in the area are sedevacantist, home-aloner, and/or Pfeifferite, and so they stay aloof and never attend. There is an Indult Mass in both San Antonio AND Austin, which further sucks away a bunch of other would-be parishioners.
I should point out: Tom Nelson's own chapel went down to about 20 people once the Institute of Christ the King came to Rockford, IL in the mid-90's. The Conciliar Church gave them a nice beautiful (pre-Vatican II style) CHURCH -- not a chapel -- to use for the Tridentine Mass, located in the center of downtown. They fixed it up, sold pizza kits and put tens of thousands of dollars into stained glass, and basically they have been playing 1950's parish ("What Crisis in the Church?") for the past 25 years. They have their Latin Mass, an occasional pro-life Rosary or other pro-life action, and they're good. The Crisis is over, as far as that crowd is concerned.
I could say the same thing about a Catholic book publisher. eBooks and the Internet didn't exist back in 1967 when TAN Books was founded. There were no other Trad Catholic publishers: no Ignatius, Sophia, Lepanto, Angelus Press, or any others. TAN was it. There were no archive websites with hundreds of free public-domain Catholic books available for download in PDF or other ebook formats.
If I tried to create a TAN Books clone
today, it wouldn't succeed.
Bishop Williamson tends to agree, which is why he hasn't started a "Society of St. Pius X II". Times have changed. 2020 is not 1970.
My point: history doesn't repeat itself. It rhymes, it shifts, it takes things to the next level -- but you'll never see things oscillate like an oscillator circuit, completely repeating the same thing over and over. It's always a little different this go-round.When you grasp this basic point, you are very close to grasping the full truth about God, the world, and everything.
For example, in 1970, if a healthy man couldn't make a living he was probably lazy. But it turns out that there were 10X as many jobs open to high-school drop outs compared with 2020. And if you had a High School diploma, MOST jobs were open to you. So it would be a mistake to judge a young man today by 1970's standards. Again, times have changed and this must be taken into account.