Monday, February 17, 2014

Follower of Fashion

seventies pop group showaddywaddy Esquire Magazine, not a regular read, voted Pope Francis the best dressed man of 2013. For those outside or edge of the edge of the Church he will most probably be remembered for what he wore, Benedict of course wore the same thing but then of course he was, 'the leering old man in a dress".

In his 'sound bite' style the Pope recently described young followers of the Traditional Mass as followers of fashion. I was amused by Ches's take on this, I am not quite sure that you can describe something which has been in existence since at lest the time of Gregory the Great until it seemed to be swept away in1968 as a 'fashion'. I am tempted to think what we have at the moment is the 'fashion', and even that is changing rapidly. I remember young Jesuits of Pope Francis' vintage celebrating Mass on coffee tables with pottery chalices, they left the 'Js' and the priesthood,  most of them are now unhappily married and if they remained in contact with the Church are scheming away to overturn the teaching of the Church, that was fashion! They came out of time when the 'fashion' was to denigrate anything smacked of either tradition (or Tradition); it was the time when destruction was fashionable, everything from town centres to the family was up for grabs.

The Pope seems to surround himself not just with endless consultative companies, Ernst Young et al but also people like Cardinals Maradiaga and Hummes who one really expects to appear wearing flared trousers and paisley shirts.
The real question  is: who is a follower of fashion, the Pope or young people?
Already we have witnessed the persecution of the highly unfashionable and successful Franciscans of the Immaculate.


Newefpastoremeritus said...

I share your opinion on those who "left" the priesthood and who now agitate for even more change.-change which imho would be just as destructive as their behaviour and "teaching" when the were active in priesthood.

Liam Ronan said...

On the topic of fashion trend setters, I read that today, i.e. Monday 17 February, Pope Francis, will begin hearing the
recommendations for reform resultant from the inquiries into Vatican finances and will commence preparations in earnest for the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family, expected to address ‘issues’ including contraception, divorce and remarriage, and gay unions.
It is widely reported that German Cardinal, Walter Kasper, will give the keynote address to this week’s assembled group on Thursday, 20 February.
True or no, the news agency Breitbart (perhaps others) report:
“Francis greatly admires Kasper, who was the Vatican's chief ecumenical officer for nearly a decade. During his first Sunday noon blessing as pope, Francis praised Kasper by name, saying he was a terrific theologian who had just written a great book on mercy.
Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, has declined to say why Cardinal Kasper had been asked to open Thursday's meeting. He said Kasper was “an esteemed, experienced cardinal” and that he would wait to hear what Kasper had to say before commenting further.
So shall we all I dare say.
I wonder what fashions, new or old, Cardinal Kasper will be seen to adopt.

Liam Ronan said...

My apologies. I forgot to provide the link to the article I'd referenced earlier. I do so now and include a link to Vatican Radio which touches on Cardinal Kasper's upcoming address:

Liam Ronan said...

Here is a link to a 20 December 2013 LifeSiteNews item, “Cardinal Kasper says Church will soon give Communion to divorced, remarried Catholics” which may give a hint about what is in the Cardinal’s wardrobe:

Deacon Augustine said...

If he thinks popularity of the EF amongst the young is fashion-related, he is right in one sense. The young do tend to rather despise the fashions of the 1960's and 1970's these days. It is mainly a particular clique of geriatrics who want to keep imposing them on the rest of us.

Cosmos said...

I was pretty taken aback by the Pope calling attraction to the old rite "fashionable." A friend hit the nail on the head: the comment was strange because it was, of course, precisely backwards. Constantly catering your liturgy to whatever the people supposedly want is conforming to fashion. Preferring a 1500 year old ritual because it doesn't blow with the wind is pretty much the exact opposite.

What a strange, strange time we live in when belief in progress, evolution, and the Hegelian dilectic is so ingrained that wanting to maintain a tradition is considered a trendy novelty.

George said...

Like most of these quotes from the Holy Father, my gut reaction is usually the same as the majority of the commenters on this blog. But upon reflection, I sometimes come away with a little more nuanced perspective.

Like I've said previously, I live in an area of the world with a lot of Catholic Trads. I hate it here. And I'm looking forward to moving.

When I think about the last 20 years of life as an adult Catholic, I ask myself which families were the holiest I've met. Which ones really seemed to practice the wholeness of the gospel. Which ones adopted, as much as a family can, the evangelical virtues inside their homes.

Most of the families I think of come from big, devout "Novus Ordo" backgrounds. The biggest fault of these families (from my perspective) seems their sometimes charismatic sidetracks, but in large part they are the most fully Catholic: compassionate, sacrificing, Christ-centered, and happiest families.

Others can protest with their own observations, but the Trad communities are full of pharisees. They have tons of folks who would never be seen at a Novus Ordo Mass, but will watch the most obscene stuff on TV. The older families all seem to have some adult children who have left the faith. Some even leaving their husbands after a dozen years and a half-dozen or more kids. Many raise their kids with reckless abandon -- leaving the teens to wander the town,letting the littler ones play nearside dangerous roadways. Many seem to adopt a harsh anti-social, anti-government lifestyle obstentibly to protect their families, but it seems more all about them, as they doom their children to a life of material povety -- a poverty not for Christ, but for themselves and at the service of their own mental sickness.

Do I think there is an element of "fashion following" in these Trad communities. You bet I do. In the sense that the Faith is reduced to the mere form of the Liturgy, as the sine qua non (or maybe beter yet, "the be all and end all") of Catholic life. It's a Faith about a certain appearance -- a "fashion".

I've seen too many good priests run out of town by these folks. Let a really holy priest show up. Someone who dares to challenge these people and they revolt! They pride themselves on wanting the "old time religion," but I've seen them treat holy priests horribly. These families tend to be their own standard of Catholic rightness. They've got it about right. Everyone else around them is either too lax or too rigid. They have it just about right. Each one. And they don't tolerate any priest who challenges them.

I leave this Trad bubble soon finally understanding why some bishops have suprressed Trad communities.

They can be terribly unhealthy for the Faith.

Francis said...

I'm in two minds about the Holy Father's alleged description of young people who like the TLM as simply being followers of a fashion or passing fad, which is why I'm not so exercised by it as I otherwise might be.

If (a very big 'if') his words to the Czech bishops are being quoted correctly, with nuances not being lost in translation and no embellishment out of wishful thinking, there is always the issue of whether it is a heartfelt statement or whether it is like putting a dummy into the mouth of a crying baby.

You can read the statement in two ways. (1) I, the Pope, genuinely believe that these people are in the grip of a passing fad and it will all fizzle out. So no need to worry about it or to take them too seriously. (2) I, the Pope, am a little tired of all these Spirit-of-Vatican-II clerics whingeing to me about my failure to rescind Summorum Pontificum, my lack of concern about the new translations of the missal, my decision not to replace Msgr Guido Marini and my recent ad orientem celebration of Mass in the Sistine Chapel. So I'm going to play down your concerns about young traditionalists by dismissing them as a small group of fad-followers that you don't need to worry about. And now, gentlemen, we can move on to the next subject on our agenda. Which is the level of vocations in your respective dioceses…

M. Prodigal said...

I recall a modern liberated Benedictine 'nun' who called Mass and adoration "Rites that have lost their meaning" and I think to many of a certain age group this is simply the truth. Masses with ad-libs, poor vestments or improper vesting, terrible music, no genuflections have indeed tended to lose their meaning. The meaning that the liturgy is not a community meal and social time but is to be the worship of God and an entering into the offering of the Son to the Father.

M. Prodigal said...

Not just dedicated but 'addicted'!!!

S. Armaticus said...

Francis the fashion policeman.

Jacobi said...


The Holy Father has shown a distinct carelessness with language from day one, to the delight of the popular press, and the remaining Relativists in the Church, but it will ultimately rebound to the detriment of the authority of the Papacy.

The Vetus Ordo is not a fashion. It is the Catholic Mass, recognisable as from before St Gregory the Great, and defined by St Pius V, to be celebrated “in perpetuity” as the Normative Form of the Mass of the Western Catholic Church. This remains so today.

The Pauline Mass, and the many and still growing varieties thereof, while being valid Masses, are different in their essence by their implicit downplaying of the Mass as a Sacrifice, of the Real Presence, and of the Ordained Priesthood, as well by the deliberate “Protestantisation”, designed into it by Bugninni.

These fashionable variations will decay like all fashion.

The Vetus Ordo remains the Normative Form of the Mass of Catholic Church and –yes – all young and old orthodox Catholics should look to it once again.

George said...

Father, after reflecting on what I wrote earlier, I also thought about your dying parishoner, Paul. The greatest spiritual gift that Paul has (after an obvious Faith) is a lack of presumption. Most of us bourgeois Catholics (and this includes the self-impoverished bourgeois Trad Catholics) are riddled with presumption. Presumption is part and parcel of our Catholicism. In this very important sense, the poor sinner Paul is light years ahead of us spiritually.

Scripture doesn't record Dives' acquaintance Lazarus as a particularly virtuous man. In fact, I'd imagine as poor, beggar-men tend to be, that he engaged in his share of evils in his life. Yet, he attained salvation in the end. I think Lazarus' greatest strength came from this gift of lack of presumption. Like Paul, the dengenerate poor can attain to a holy fear apparently with greater ease than the rest of us.

The presumption among Trads is not the kind of presumption whereby one is guilty of relying too much on his own power. Rather, it's more often than not, the secondary form of presumption: the one in which we rely too much on God --- wanting a pardon without coming to any true, sincere understanding of repentance. We have "God in a bottle" at the True Mass. What else do we need. We are on the path to salvation for sure! Paul and Lazarus don't suffer for this terrible disease. They freely would admit to not having God in a bottle. And would probably scratch their heads trying to undertand it all.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes, George, there is a whole theology involved in being a beggar, so many of the great saints were, or took vows to be absolutely dependant on others, which is what 'poverty' means.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

George said: "I've seen too many good priests run out of town by these folks. Let a really holy priest show up. Someone who dares to challenge these people and they revolt! They pride themselves on wanting [their version of Catholic] but I've seen them treat holy priests horribly. These families tend to be their own standard of Catholic rightness. They've got it about right. Everyone else around them is either too lax or too rigid. They have it just about right. Each one. And they don't tolerate any priest who challenges them."

With my little amendment, George, you've also just described most every NO parish I've ever been too.

The Keeper said...


Why judge the Traddies by their worst elements, but the NO crowd by their best? In any event, your experience certainly doesn't correspond to mine. I go to a split TLM/NO parish and everyone I know goes to NOs when the need arises.

True, the thief on the cross was blessed because he was spiritually poor. At the same time, he encountered Jesus, who was not spiritually poor. Jesus was humble and merciful and sacrificial, but he also knew and proclaimed Himself to be the source of all life and love. The Son of God. The Messiah and Savior. He was spiritually rich.

The difficulty for the modern Catholic is that the Church is often presented as if She too is spiritually poor. As if she is a pilgrim, a wanderer, one more religion seeking Truth. She isn't. Spiritual poverty is excellent for an individual Christian, but it is destructive when applied to the Church. It is a false humility that opens the door for relativism. When a churchman speaks for the Church, he needs to proclaim that Christ offers us spiritual riches. He needs to make clear that Christ and His Bride offer us what other religions do not. Read humble Lawrence, and Peter, and Paul in Acts and think how they must have come across.

Because Churchman take the politically correct and easy route by downplaying the exclusivity of the Church in the name of humility, I think Traddies are put in a jam. In proclaiming the truth about the Church they end up looking like they are proclaiming their own unique status. I don't think they are. In fact, they are generally the only ones who even consider the idea that they could go to hell. That thought never even crosses most Catholics minds. If you think Hell is empty, spiritual poverty quickly devolves into being nice and open-minded. Tough love makes more sense when Hell is real.

The ancient roman world was not as PC, but the early Christians still got tagged as unpatriotic atheists for not playing along with the pantheon. Were they? Maybe I'll buy your argument against the Traddies once the Church starts acting like Herself again, but until then, I think they deserve some slack.

Unknown said...

The most terrifying aspect of modernism is that each time they fail, which they always do and always will, they blame it on the cure.

How can he not know that the only area where there's any life in the Church (authentic Catholic life) is associated with the EF and orthodoxy?

P.S. George, you'll be lucky to get a bite here.

George said...


In general my comments apply to concentrated groups of Traddies. They were not meant for your situation: a normal Latin Mass venue in the middle of a city or large town. I'm talking about distinct communities of Trads -- not exclusively SSPX either.

In the run of the mill Latin Mass venue that you describe the pharisee generally is in the minority. In these Trad clusters, however, the pharisee is much larger, if not the majority.

I remember once a nice old diocesan priest from my wife's hometown saying "my worst parishoners are the Trads." This shocked me. How couldn't it, since I consider myself a "Trad". This priests offers the old Mass from time to time. He is very solid doctrinally. And the diocese has its share of Call to Action types. How could the Trads be the worst? I understand a lot better today than I did before.

Our Faith is suppose to bring us on journey. How can this be when so many Trads have already arrived at the station and our merely waiting to be picked up by the train (the nonstop exress to Heaven)? Where's the continual encounter with the living Christ? Where's the metanoia? Again, I'm not talking generally about city center Latin Mass venues (although there are people there who are like this).

There's a self-sufficiency within "Traditionalism", that disgusts many people, including, it seems, the Supreme Pontiff.

Nicolas Bellord said...

George: My word how on earth do you get to know all this about other people's behaviour? How for instance do you know that Traddies watch more obscene films than liberals? Do they tell you?

George said...


I never said that Trads watch worse movies than liberals.

What I said is that many put up protestations against even relatively reverent Novus Ordo Masses, yet they watch both serial television and films full of obscenity and blasphemy. A secondary point was that the some of the holiest and happiest families I've met were not Trads. They were devout Novus Ordo families. To be sure, they are few and far between, but no matter how rare they are - they seem to be living the fullness of gospel much better than Traditionalists are. These devout Novus Ordo families wouldn't allow such movies in their homes. Again, I go back to the spirit of presumption which consumes so many Traditionalists.

But your incorrect assumption that I did in fact compare TV watching of Trads with Liberals actually only amplifies my observation. Trads live in a world of self-sufficiency. They are better than the liberals and that is all that matters. No encounter with a living Christ that constantly is challenging them to do more. They have the true Mass -- that's all that matters. The degenerate state of the "Novus Ordo" Church exists merely to confirm the Trads own holiness and rightness. It's as if Catholic life is like living on the Serengeti: all that matters is being faster than the slowest gazelle. That's not the Catholic Church of the saints.

S. Armaticus said...

George said:

"Like I've said previously, I live in an area of the world with a lot of Catholic Trads. I hate it here. And I'm looking forward to moving."

I would like to know were you live so that I can tell all my friends and neighbors that there IS AN "area of the world with a lot of Catholic Trads."

They must need to hear this. ;)

Anonymous said...

For me, who has a chronic case of foot in mouth disease, least said, soonest mended... especially when it comes to popes.

However, on a happier note, I've tapped you for a gong!

Pax semper.


George said...


A few more thoughts:

"Why judge the Traddies by their worst elements, but the NO crowd by their best?"

Trads generally are standing in judgment of the rest of the Church. We cannot shrug off the Pharisaical elements within Traditionalism. These are poisonous evils which should be aggressively addressed. Our Lord didn't come to condemn the sinners, but He laid a lot of condemnation down upon the Pharisees. "Lord, thank you for not making me like the rest of men." We cannot and should not avoid looking at ourselves. But this is in fact what Traditionalists do habitually. If we are going to take up the mantle of defender of the Church Tradition, we have to realize this evil predisposition exists.

"The difficulty for the modern Catholic is that the Church is often presented as if She too is spiritually poor .... "

I agree with much of your sentiments here. However, we have to be upon for elements of truth within Pope Francis' concerns. The counter-reformation construct of the Church may not be exactly what is required at this time, within this age. Instead of "mighty bastion of triumphant orthodoxy", we may need more the image of the hospital for sinners, as we address the modern world. How often have all of us among the Trad-minded said that modern prelates spend too much time talking about love and mercy, and not enough time talking about justice and judgment. How much folly is in that criticism! The season for preaching God's love and mercy has not ended. That is still the essential message that the world rejects. (And, it's as if we are not desperately in need of greater understanding ourselves of God's love and mercy.)

Gungarius said...

I think there are two groups of people who attend the EF. Firstly people who prefer the old rite as bringing them closer to God and giving them spiritual nourishment but also repsect those who attend the new rite and and attned it themselves from time to time on weekdays and when there is not a convenient EF Sunday Mass, and generally play a full and/or supportive part in their local parish.

Then there are those who attend the old rite as a part of a total rejection of the modern world and all its works and live a life as far removed from the modern world as possible, homeschooling their children, not having a TV and driving 75 miles to Mass to avoid going to an OF Mass at all costs.

While no-one should be discouraged, it is the first group that will ensure the future of the EF, because they are content for it to be a **part** of the deposit of Catholic worship (which it is) and a part of parish life, and are not implicitly rejecting or looking down on those who attend the OF, which, like it or not is the usual form of worship and will be in our lifetimes.

Regarding his Holiness, I would never be surprised if Pope Francis suddenly did something like administering confirmations in the old rite in a traditional parish in Rome. I think he deliberately likes to throw the hounds off the scent and would see doing something like this in his diocese as a right and proper function of the Bishop of Rome.

Anil Wang said...

I think the key problem is that this generation really hast lost the sense that we are just one generation in a long line of generations.

Before the 60s, the attitude was "if it's old, it's proven and even if there are problems, our elders have experience in working around those problems and we need to learn from that experience and pass on that experience to the future generations". So generations were tied together. You owe a debt to past generations, and it's your duty to ensure that future generations have the benefits of your blessings. As such. things such as sterilization and contraception are a betrayal of the trust of past generations to pass on the blessings we've cuts off a branch from the tree. There's little room for fad or arrogance in assuming that our generation can do better than the dozens before us.

After the 60s, people live their lives as if "their generation" is the most important one and past generations are irrelevant and future generations are only relevant to the extent that they preserve what we think is important. The past is gone, the future is a dream, and only today counts. And if that's the case, it's up to us to come up with the best answers for today, in every generation. Fads are a way of life, and if it's old, it's likely out of date.

IMO we can't fix the problems of "the Spirit of Vatican II" without first fixing the problem of each generation being disconnected from its past and future generations.

George said...


Nicolas Bellord said...

George: You wrote "Others can protest with their own observations, but the Trad communities are full of pharisees. They have tons of folks who would never be seen at a Novus Ordo Mass, but will watch the most obscene stuff on TV."

I take this to mean that on the whole some Traddies watch obscene movies whilst NO people do not. I am just amazed at your generalisations and judgemental statements. I think you are probably from the USA where you say you have observed these things.

As somebody with traditional tendencies I think the distinction is not between those who prefer the EF to the NO but between those who aspire to be orthodox in their faith and those who dissent from the teachings of the Church. That is where the debate should lie. It may be that the first lot have a tendency to prefer the EF and the latter the NO but that is irrelevant.

What I want is reverent services whether in the EF or the NO. I have been reading Cardinal Arinze's introduction in the CTS copy of Sacrosanctum Concilium and I would go along with him one hundred per cent. Personally I am not all that keen on returning to having just the EF but I am frequently appalled by the way the NO is said in a way I am never appalled by the EF.

There may be people who think that the EF is all there is to being a Catholic but I have not come across them. But to paint all traddies as you do in this light is not very useful.

What we are up against in England are those who dissent from the teachings of the Church rubbishing the teaching on sexual matters in particular.

You say " Trads live in a world of self-sufficiency." Well that is a generalisation which smears all Trads not just the few. I could say the same about NO order people who dissent. I am at present trying to engage the priests in my parish on the subject of the rubbishing of Humanae Vitae which one of them has done. Polite letters are just ignored. There is no dialogue or any response as to why they think I am wrong. Are they not "self-sufficient"?

By the way this afternoon I watched part of a film: "American Beauty". Am I a traddie watching an obscene film? It undoubtedly is but on the other hand it is a moral and terrible indictment of affluent life in the USA.

Lynda said...

What's behind all this generalised blackening of the reputations of people who honour the traditional Mass of the Holy Church? There can be no good in smearing people who honour and hold to the Tradition of the Faith, presumably the whole deposit of the Faith. It is not rational to make such allegations about a whole swathe of people in this way; how could anyone know so much about the sins of so many people? This seems unjust and diabolical.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I mentioned Cardinal Arinze's introduction to Sacrosanctum Concilium as it clearly shows how people are upset by some of the innovations associated with the NO which cause people to prefer the EF. This passage struck me in particular:

'Some people think that liturgical renewal means the removal of kneelers from Church pews, the knocking down of altar rails or the positioning of the altar in the middle of the sitting area of the people. The Church has never said any such thing. Nor does liturgical restoration mean iconoclasm or the removal of statues and sacred images. These should be displayed, albeit with good judgement. And the altar of the Blessed Sacrament should be outstanding for its beauty and honoured prominence, otherwise in some so-called restored churches one could rightly lament: "They have taken my Lord away, and I don't know where they have put him" (Jn 20:13)'

Sean W. said...

"Trads generally are standing in judgment of the rest of the Church."

Non-trads do this, too, if the polls are any indication. How many tens, even hundreds, of millions of Catholics think the Church's centuries-old teachings on, e.g., matters of sexual morality need to be deformed to accommodate their favored perversion(s)?

The problem you describe is really just narcissism, namely, the inability to transcend the horizon of the self and relate to others as others. It's pervasive. I'm not immune to it, you're not immune to it.

The best way to make yourself immune to it is to abstract these kinds of conversations away from particular persons, the better to avoid degenerating into tetchy, pique-prone, post-literate rage. Hence, instead of asking "Are trads on average meaner to people than non-trads?" you should be asking "Does the TLM present the truths of the Catholic faith in a clearer, more coherent fashion than the NO? Does it conduce to a more authentically Catholic worship than the NO?" etc.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

@ George,

I have been, as it were, part of “traditional Catholic communities” for want of a better term, in different countries, for more than 40 years and the people you describe are completely unrecognisable.

The ferocious judgements you make simply do not make any kind of sense and I have serious misgivings about your presence on this forum.

Certainly, I don’t take you seriously for one tiny moment.

Gillineau said...

George said: 'Many seem to adopt a harsh anti-social, anti-government lifestyle obstentibly to protect their families, but it seems more all about them, as they doom their children to a life of material povety -- a poverty not for Christ, but for themselves and at the service of their own mental sickness.' Trad families generally have only one wage earner what with all the babies. This is why they're poor. It's not anti-anything; it's just pro-life. And yes, pro-life tends towards anti-social/ anti-government as society and government are just a little anti-babies.

Gillineau said...

George is a troll. Don't feed him.

George said...

If only our Holy Father received half of this impassioned defense in this forum!

Well, it just goes to show how much the truth does indeed hurt.

Freely cast judgments around you at the sad state of things in the Church and society at large -- but recoil in shock, horror, and bouts of juvenile indignation when someone (from your own camp even) suggests that we have a lot of our own backyard to straighten out !

Anonymous said...

What I find mos disturbing is people calling either themselves or others "traditional Catholics" or NO Catholics". That feels like a schismatic mentality to me. We are either Catholics or we are not. There are two legitimate expressions of the Roman Rite and they both belong to the one Church. Yes there are issues to be debated around the pros and cons of these liturgical forms, but you are not a better or worse person, or a more authentic Catholic than others for taking one side or other in that debate. There is a bad habit on both sides of the argument of concentrating on the worst extremes of what can sometimes go on to make a point. "Clown" masses etc. are fortunately very rare in my experience in ordinary parishes. Yes, there are thinsg I find difficult, such as "children's liturgy" which is not part of the Ordinary Form but very much an intrusive fashion (although it takes a brave priest to put an end to it). I also have some difficulties with the Extraordinary Form, perhaps precisely because it is extraordinary rather than the routine natural expression of Catholic parish life as it used to be. Back then it would not have has the feeling of self-conscious political, social and theological point making it does sometimes carry now. I absolutely accept the point that what was sacred for generations of saints has enduring value, but personally I can pray better without my nose stuck in a book. In the vernacular I can let the words of the liturgy just flow through me and join in with my heart and mind because they are in my own language. Once again, what I long for is a true reform of the reform (the liturgy has been constantly reformed over the centuries - I meet "trads" who sneer at Pius XII as much as Paul VI, and even curl their lip at Leo XII or ... take your pick how far back you want to take your "traditiaonalism").

I think Pope Francis is ill informed about the nature of young people's interest in rediscovering so many things that were swept away in the 1970s and 80s, but in his following remark he says that what really matters is encountering the saving power of Christ. Like most Jesuits he doesn't really get liturgy IMO, but surely he is right that turning liturgy into factional warfare or infighting (on either side) is a sure sign that someone has missed the point of Catholicism in the first place.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

George said: If only our [Bishop Bergoglio] received half of this impassioned defense in this forum!'

I'm waiting for any defense from him of his sheep, of the deposit of faith, the treasures...

Sadie Vacantist said...

I have some sympathy with George's view. What trads lament is not the loss of the TLM per se but the ingenious subculture which emerged to augment the laity's 'non participation' in the ancient Mass. That is what has been lost. For trads to defend the TLM on the basis that it was "never difficult to understand" is to miss the point. Yes it was difficult to understand.

George establishes an interesting link between sexual addiction and the attractions of a traditional culture. This may well be true but difficult to prove without emperical data.

George said...

I understand, so filial piety is in no way mandatory for you, rather it's contingent on a series of conditions which you alone are the judge over. Got it.

But that raises another good point.

Traditionalists are just as infected with the Enlightenment as are the rest of the Church and all humanity. Our attitudes are more like Oliver Cromwell than like Thomas More. But we champion ourselves as such defenders of Holy Tradition -- except that part of the Tradition which requires us to be personally Traditional in our conduct. When it's inconvenient to be Traditional in our conduct we can resort to the same privileges won for us by our Liberal and revolutionary forefathers.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I think this conversation is getting ridiculous. Thomas has made an excellent comment; except I do like to use a missal. If I do not I have terrible distractions and anyway I find that unless I have a biblical text in front of me I lose a lot of the meaning from just listening to it. St Paul is particularly difficult.

But all these generalisations about the faults of different groups I find a waste of time and they just amount to ad hominem attacks. Without very reliable empirical evidence how can one possibly say that some group is more obsessed by sex than another? Am I really supposed to believe that traddies are worse in this respect than those who dissent from the Church's teaching on contraception, homosexuality, divorce etc?

The real debate is about loving God and following his commandments which means discerning with the help of the magisterium what those commandments are and trying to follow them on a personal basis and trying to encourage others to do likewise. That is the way happiness lies.

Cosmos said...


You simply don't understand what filial piety is or its place in Catholic theology. It certainly doesn't entail pretending that his every insight of the Pope is somehow specially anointed by the Holy Spirit.

For example, was Pope John Paul II's insistence that Fr. Maciel was a holy man that was a reliable guide for the youth worthy of filial piety? Was Peter's instance that all gentiles needed to be circumcised worthy? Was that from the Holy Spirit? Was Pope Steven VI's trial over the corpse of his successor entitled to special deference?

The fact is that the clergy insisted that this was the age of the laity and that we were supposed to read the signs of the times. A mature faith, in their own words, requires discernment and individual faith, not a triumphalist, non-reflextive reliance on the Church as a free ticket to heaven that alleviates our individual responsibility. What was VII if not a statement from the Bishops that the policies of the previous Popes was insufficient. How ironic that when the laity's voice contradicts the judgments of the clergy, they are told to quiet down again.

The results are in for anyone with eyes to see. What we have been doing for the past 50 years has simply not worked! The power of the so-called traditionalist position arises from this empirical data. People have watched the Church adopt a new strategy to disastrous results. The fact that some of the clergy, including the Pope, are still committed to it means that we must inevitably march on (as loyal sons) for the time being. It does not mean we need to turn off our brains and pretend that Pope Francis has some special insight. He is simply continuing the policies that he has pushed for the last 40 years, not responding to some super-charism of the Petrine ministry.

Liam Ronan said...

To quote from Mr. Oblaski from the film 'Billy Madison':

"...what you've just said... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul..."

George said...

I don't think I ever mentioned "sex addition" nor did I say "every insight of the Pope is somehow specially anointed by the Holy Spirit." Wow.

Your comments only serve to confirm the worst concerns about the Traditionalist movement.

Sadie Vacantist said...

A minor point I know, but I did spell "sexual addiction" correctly and was actually agreeing with you in part.

Nicolas Bellord said...

George: What you said about traddies was "They have tons of folks who would never be seen at a Novus Ordo Mass, but will watch the most obscene stuff on TV."

That implies an addiction to sex in the form of pornography or obscenity. You really cannot say that kind of thing and then pretend you did not without being seen as dishonest.

Adulio said...

Pope Francis is winging it, with every impromptu comment that comes to his head. First with the comment about how Our Lady thought she was tricked into deceit at the the foot of the cross and now this.

As the last Thomist theologian, Garrigou-Lagrange O.P, once said of the future John Paul II, when marking one of his essays as a seminarian: "He speaks much but says very little."

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Bishop Bergoglio and his passport are a post vii Jesuit; surely only protestants think Catholics are supposed to worship a pope (how many times do we have to remind ourselves that Christ chose a thrice denier, and someone whom he called 'satan' to be the first pope (a worthy Pope is the one who says 'You are the Son of the Living God...[and] to Whom else shall we go, Lord [and] yes, I love thee Lord and I WILL feed your Lambs); George obviously has been treated badly by someone or someones whom he would label, 'trad'; and what does nymphomania or gnomephomania have to do with any of this?

p.s. does anyone on here really believe that Paul VI got 'right' what Paul V got 'wrong'?

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

oops, meant Pius V, or maybe I didn't

George said...

"George obviously has been treated badly by someone or someones whom he would label, 'trad'; and what does nymphomania or gnomephomania have to do with any of this?"

No, in fact I don't think I've been treated badly at all.

Rather, I see the situation plainly. Looking at the situation, as a father responsible for the care of many souls, I cannot leave my family in an area that has such a deceptive and seductive type of potential for serious sin.

Out in the Novus Ordo world, it's much easier for us to distinguish between lunatics, heretics, and orthodox Catholics.

Within Traditionalist bubbles -- it's a giant echo chamber. It's full of self-sufficiency. If you read the Holy Father's comments fully this is indeed what he was talking about. A faith that is surface deep. You can protest back saying that the faith within most Novus Ordo communities is also surface deep, or even more surface deep! And that may in fact be true, but what does that have to do with us? Since when do we judge our own moral behavior based on the actions of others. Again, for many it's all about being better than the losers in the mainline Church. Deadly sinful approach. "Lord I thank you for making me unlike other men." It's pharisaical.

Anyway, if the Church is in so great a crisis that we must be engaged in an insurgency against our lawful superiors (an insurgency of words if not in deeds), then at the very least you should define what are the conditions whereby we will stop the insurgency and reengage our superiors with full, filial piety? What will the restored Church look like? Because my fear is many will not recognize the restoration when it comes.

That's the central danger of Traditionalism -- when it clearly starts to separate some Catholics from the mainline Church.

When will the crisis end? Do you trust yourself to judge that? And in the mean time, how is the lack of filial piety affecting your own soul here and now?

I would wager to say that many a Traditionalist would find an immense spiritual progress and the reduction of spiritual impediments, if only he received the graces awaiting him when he shows filial piety to the successors of the Apostles and most especially to the Pope.

Fr Ray Blake said...

COMMENTS here are closed

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

closed? really Father? we don't have Shrove Tuesday where I live so there's nothing ignorant I can say about that.

Unknown said...

nice post, amazing blog. :)
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