Steve Skojec, until now, has been a traditionalist and co-author at the often toxic website One Peter Five. Over time (as observed by Dave Armstrong) he has taken a more rational approach to many of the irrational positions many traditionalists have taken.
Now, it seems, he has come to a startling realisation that the traditionalist subculture is indeed toxic, and he is leaving it. Where he will go is unclear. I hope he stays Catholic, but here are speculations of other paths he might take. Where his relationship with One Peter Five will go will be interesting.
He’s written a blog post about this development in his life. Against Crippled Religion.
The most telling part, in the introduction:
I’m angry because I’ve spent my life trapped within various ideological subsets of Catholicism that subvert autonomy, critical thinking, and reason itself.
I’m angry because I can’t take another second of clericalism — and by that I mean, “I’m a member of the ordained clergy, so you can never speak a negative word about me and I get to order you around and do whatever I want to you because of my God-given authority.”
I’m angry because I bought into this stuff like my eternal life depended on it for most of the past 40 years, and it did damage to me over and over again. It was used to manipulate me, it was used to make me feel guilty, it was used to make me fall in line, it was used to capitalize on my fear of offending God, and ultimately, of eternal punishment. It, along with some other issues stemming from my childhood, made me afraid. And perpetual fear often manifests as chronic anxiety and constant anger.
— Against Crippled Religion, by Steve Skojec
I don’t think his move out of traditionalism’s toxicity is complete. I think he needs to come to a better understanding of Pope Francis’ orthodoxy, for one thing. But time will solve that, I pray.
All my life I’ve been aware that there exists a toxic minority in the Church. I didn’t always see it. Even when it was under my nose. That toxicity is probably far greater than I thought, and it exists in all spectrums of Catholicism. Right wing toxicity is, however, growing, and has been since the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI stood in the middle, but he gave those on the right voices. Pope Francis came along, and didn’t kowtow to their whims and fancies, and they turned on him like a pack of rabid dogs. In that pack were Skojec and One Peter Five.
The SSPX have been used to low grade ongoing bitching and whining for 50 years, so they went on as usual. I didn’t see it before COVID, but COVID came along and the SSPX behaved like psychopaths, with the idea that their needs must be met above those of any one else, over and above the lives of others. To the extent that they dishonestly attempted to have fake funerals.
I recognise now the problems Skojec highlights in his post. The clericalist priest he talks about is an FSSP priest. Like the SSPX, the FSSP and ICKSP (both traditionalist orders) have shown their psychopathy during the COVID pandemic. They have lost my respect. The SSPX demonstrated institutional corruption all the way to the bishopy top. The FSSP and ICKSP not so much; at least I have only seen it amongst individual clergy (e.g. Daniel Nolan, FSSP), and the ICKSP Twitter feed is filled with maskless people. “Mainstream” Catholic clergy like Frs John Zuhsldorf, Dave Nix, and James Altman, and bishops Joseph Strickland and Carlo Maria Viganò, have turned out to be right wing quacks unable to see common sense, promoting anti-Semitism, racism, guns, and fake medical information.
Steve Skojec calls the traditionalist movement a sewer. He’s right.
Pray for Steve Skojec, that he purge all the traditionalist crap from his life, that he remain faithful to the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church, and that he find peace and healing from what he has been through.