On Sunday night, the world’s press focused on Harrison Butker after he kicked the field goal that gave the Kansas City Chiefs victory in the Super Bowl by 38 to 35 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Much coverage was given to Butker, 27, and his words about his strong Roman Catholic faith. He spoke particularly of his love for a form of Catholic worship whose devotees the FBI recently branded “hate groups.”
In recent interviews, Butker has spoken of his passion for the Traditional Latin Mass — at which Roman Catholics worldwide worshiped for more than 500 years until the reforms following the Second Vatican Council mandated a different Mass in vernacular languages of different countries and with vastly different choreography.
“I think it really entices a lot of young people who are looking for answers,” Butker said of the Latin Mass in an interview with the Catholic News Agency last year, “They’re looking for happiness. And for me, I found happiness in embracing the faith offered in the Catholic Church.”
The football star said that after initially attending the ancient form of worship, “I knew that I had discovered authentic Catholicism. And I found that at the traditional Latin Mass, in the traditional sacraments, and I think a lot of young people have found that as well.”
Butker’s passionate endorsement of the Latin Mass came at about the same time a whistleblower days ago revealed a memo from the FBI’s Richmond office condemning what it called “radical-traditionalist Catholics.”
The whistleblower, former FBI Special Agent Kyle Seraphin, told reporters that the memo concluded Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass and teachings before the Second Vatican Council can amount to an “adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist ideology.”
Speaking in response to the leaked memo, Catholic League President Bill Donahue denounced the FBI and said its conclusion was part of “a wave of virulent anti-Catholicism in the West [that we haven’t witnessed] in at least a hundred years.”
In July 2021, Pope Francis issued his apostolic letter Traditionis Custodis to curtail worship in the traditional Latin rite — a dramatic reversal of the legacy of his two immediate predecessors. Both Pope John Paul II, in the 1988 document Ecclesia Dei, and then Pope Benedict XVI, in the 2007 document “Summorum Pontificum,” made celebration of the Latin Mass easier and communicated that priests could celebrate it when a group in the parish requested it.
One who clearly benefited from their intentions was Harrison Butker, who speaks of what the Latin Mass means to him as the whole world watches.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.