The Rise of Militant Catholicism and Rules for Retrogrades

The world has radically changed in the wake of the Wuhan Virus (COVID-19) and with it the Catholic Church has changed too. The worldwide quarantine, of both the sick and the healthy, has spawned the birth of something new. Or maybe I should say the rebirth of something very old. The rise of Militant Catholicism has begun and with it the promulgation of Rules for Retrogrades.

What is a Militant Catholic? Simply put, a Militant Catholic is any Catholic who actually believes everything the Catholic Church teaches, and strives not only to live it in his own life, but also encourage others to do the same. Militant Catholics might be traditional, as in Latin Mass devotees. Militant Catholics might be Eastern Catholics who love and practice the Faith. Militant Catholics might be Ordinariate Catholics who are devoted to the English Patrimony within the Catholic Church. Militant Catholics may be regular Catholics who attend a Novus Ordo Mass, but who seriously believe the whole Faith, strive to live it, and convince others to do the same. In other words, a Militant Catholic is just a Catholic, who is serious about the Faith and won’t accept the halfhearted, lukewarm Catholicism that has permeated our culture for the last 50 years. If you’re not sure what I mean by halfhearted and lukewarm Catholicism, let me clarify by dropping some names. I’m talking about the Catholicism of Cardinal John Deardon, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Cardinal Blaise Cupich, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Pope Francis. I’m speaking of the kind of Catholicism that gives communion to pro-abortion politicians, affirms or ignores homosexualism in the Church, rebels against Church teaching on marriage and contraception, sees no distinction between abortion and economics, makes clergy into social justice warriors (SJWs), coddles Pagan idolatry and covers up sexual abuse. That kind of Catholicism is over. It is a dying relic of a previous generation that is no longer powerful or relevant. This lukewarm Catholicism is now “circling the wagons” as the saying goes, in full retreat mode, both from the culture and the civil government, as it closes down churches and downsizes dioceses. It offers the Catholic Faithful nothing anymore. Its biggest proponents are Baby Boomers who relished the liturgical changes of the 1970s and used them as an opportunity to reject traditional Catholic teaching as well. That generation is slowly fading away, and with it the lukewarm Catholicism they created and nourished for a generation.

What is arising in its place, incubated in Catholic homes now in quarantine, safely removed from the influence of lukewarm clergy during this crisis, is a new kind of Catholicism (or rather a very old kind). We shall call it Militant Catholicism: a fellowship of traditionalist, conservative, ordinariate, and eastern Catholics, united with regular Novus Ordo Catholics of kindred spirit, to emerge from this quarantine as Faithful to the historic teachings of the Church, and in full retrograde rejection of the lukewarm Catholicism that is now obsolete and irrelevant to our lives. We will have been denied the sacraments of confession and communion for at least a month, and in some cases longer, with the full understanding that any bishop who would do this to us, and simultaneously allow public sinners (like pro-abortion politicians) to receive communion, is no bishop that we can relate to or have anything in common with. The fact that we are still in the same Church is a mere technicality, which will most certainly be rectified in time, as our Lord and Savior sorts this out in the near future. We leave that to Him and His providence. As for us, we are Militant Catholics, and we shall behave according to the FOUR CHARACTERISTICS of Militant Catholicism…

  1. We shall believe everything the Catholic Church teaches, as taught in the Baltimore Catechism, and we shall study it fervently. Other Catechisms (such as the Catechism of Trent, the Universal Catechism, the US Bishops Catechism, etc.) will be useful to us for reference, but for Militant Catholics in the United States, the Baltimore Catechism shall be our gold standard as it is easy to procure and understand at all age levels.
  2. We shall make every attempt to find and worship at a Reverent Catholic Mass, wherever we can find one, throughout the United States, or wherever else we may live. We shall not give up. We shall continue to seek one indefinitely, renewing our search every week, until we can find one, or one is provided nearby, even if we must drive long distances to attend. We do this because we understand that liturgy is catechesis in its highest form, Lex Orandi Lex Credendi (or “the law of prayer is the law of faith”), meaning how we worship determines how we believe. Sloppy and irreverent worship results in sloppy and irreverent faith. Orderly and reverent worship results in orderly and reverent faith. This is a rule as old as Catholicism itself.
  3. We shall make every effort to teach the Faith to our families, most especially our children, and live in accordance with it, making our own homes the primary vehicle for catechesis, doing it ourselves, rather than entrusting it to the clergy and Catholic schools, which have consistently failed us for an entire generation. If we are able, we shall homeschool our children entirely, removing them from the influence of corrupt public schools and compromised Catholic schools.
  4. We shall read the Rules for Retrogrades and seek to incorporate them into our lives.

The Rules for Retrogrades, was written by Dr. Timothy Gordon and his brother, David Gordon, to counter the Rules for Radicals, written by Saul Alinsky and dedicated to Lucifer (the Devil) who was the first radical. The Satanic Alinsky bestseller has been the playbook and manual of the Democratic Party and partisans, along with socialists and radicals of all stripes, since the early 1970s. Rules for Retrogrades not only counters Alinsky’s evil book, but is conversely dedicated to Saint Michael, who defeated Lucifer in heaven and continues to wage war against him here on earth. Within the pages of Rules for Retrogrades, one will find a play-by-play set of principles that will guide Militant Catholics to small victories in the short-term and large victories in the long-term, retaking first the Church, then the culture, followed by our schools, universities, media and governments. It’s a manual for generational warfare, which will begin today and not be finished until our grandchildren are grown and raising families of their own. Rules for Retrogrades is a manual for immortal combat, both on a personal and social level, that will prepare us for the long war ahead. It is a war we cannot lose, because God is on our side, but will not be won without courage, fortitude and spiritual grit. It’s not for the fainthearted, but Catholics were born for spiritual and social combat. That’s why we’re called the Church Militant. Our job is to storm the gates of hell, as Jesus said we would (Matthew 16:18). It’s a vocation many of our Catholic leaders have abdicated for a generation. Now, whether they choose to lead us or not, we (the laity) shall advance forward with or without them. They are either with us or not, but they shouldn’t expect to be respected when it’s over if they haven’t led the charge. It’s a moot point anyway, for the cowardly bishops (and there are many), along with their quisling clergy (and there are many), will be long dead before its over. Theirs is the last generation, aging and irrelevant, leaving us nothing but a shell of a Church to work with. By the time this war is over, they will have been long since in the grave. Only the most bold and brave of the youthful clergy will be left when this is finally over. These young men of today will be our bishops tomorrow, and we salute them. There are, of course, a few bold and brave clergy today. They should receive our full support and encouragement, not only in word and prayer, but also financially. Let me make this crystal clear. Bishops and priests who are bold and brave, in defense of the historic Catholic Faith, should be rewarded with our time, talents and treasure! It’s called positive reinforcement and justice. Those who do right should always receive their right due.

Retrogrades are primarily Catholics, but they don’t always have to be. There is plenty of room in the Retrograde Movement for people of good will, regardless of faith, but keep in mind that Militant Catholicism is the natural religious state of any Retrograde. I believe that in time the world will see that. Other Retrogrades will be seen as Militant Catholic allies, and friends of the Church, in many cases moving toward Catholicism in their own faith, but perhaps not ready to make the leap yet. Time will change everything.

So what is a Militant Catholic to do right now? Simple. Get yourself a Baltimore Catechism Set (for all ages) along with Rules for Retrogrades and read both. Then find a Reverent Catholic Mass, and figure out how to redirect, as much as possible, your children’s education back home, so that the parents become the primary educators once again. Welcome to boot camp! It’s time to prepare for war!

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism. His articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. You can read Shane’s books at ShaneSchaetzel.Com


    1. Eastern Catholics, faithful to their own Tradition do not express the Faith using the Baltimore Catechism.
      If the do they are Latinizers of the highest degree. All other suggestions are great.


  1. I would note that those of us who, by education and avocation, have some competence in the social sciences detect a distinct snap back that created “militant Catholics”. Unlike physical science with the principle of action/equal reaction, in social science the reaction is often out of proportion to the original causative action. Thus we got Nazis and Communists in reaction to the deposing of the Czar and the Kaiser. Technically, there was nothing aberrant from a theological standpoint about Vatican II but it gave licence to all manner of nonsense from seemingly well meaning people. The damage is felt to this day.


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