Allergic to tradition

Okay I’ve got to ask.

What is up with some Catholics who seem to have an allergy or a strong, knee-jerk reaction to anybody suggesting pious Catholic traditions or practices be observed?

Some examples:

Women veiling. People scream “pharisee!” at the very idea of women veiling in Church - oh the horror!

Liturgical customs: make the suggestion that you’d like to see the Confiteor/Kyrie used more often as the penitential Rite, or that the Roman Canon should be used more often, or that the Sanctus et Benedictus and Agnus Dei should be sung in Latin and watch head’s start spinning. “To do so would reverse all of Vatican II’s reforms!!”

Oh and don’t even bring up the possibility of the Priest saying the Anaphora while facing ad Orientem - such is anathema!

Or disciplinary traditions - how dare you even SUGGEST that Catholics should try to fast from midnight the night before Sunday morning Mass. If I can’t have my bacon and eggs exactly 30 min before I leave for Mass I’ll just die!

What’s up with this intense resistance to traditional customs? Is it because people are worried the reforms of Vatican II will be somehow nullified? Are they simply ignorant of the ancient origin and immemorial practice of such pious customs in the Church? Do they value modern Western cultural norms more than they value ancient Christian traditions, and so resist anything which doesn’t jive well with modern culture?

What’s going on?


:popcorn: I agree with you, btw. Just interested in what people’s reactions are going to be :slight_smile:


I’m not trying to get people mad, though I’m sure I will - like I said, the mere mentioning of traditional Catholic spiritual customs and disciplines seems to make some peoples blood pressure rise.

I want to know, specifically from the people who oppose such customs, the reason why they oppose them so vehemently.

Are they afraid the Church will become “stuffy” and unwelcoming? Do they feel the need to make the Church “hip and relevant?” Do they just not care for those old customs?


Yeah. I don’t really get why at one church I went to they used to tell us not to kneel. Why the heck not?


This phenomenon is not unique to Catholicism. The largest branch of Judaism in North America is a rebuke of tradition - The Reform movement. This is a major oversimplification of course, but you get the idea. When people are raised in a strict traditional environment, with seemingly arbitrary rules, people will reject them when they have the freedom to do so. Then the next generation may pick them back up. And so on.


Kneeling is more of a local usage than a universal custom.

In the East it’s common to stand for the entire Liturgy.

Although I would agree, that in the context of a Roman Rite Liturgy, kneeling should normally be a gesture which is used.

I think you have to consider the source and why exactly they are objecting.

Re the “veiling” thing, I do it sometimes and I think it’s nice to do sometimes because I can feel connected to my grandma and great-grandma and tradition, etc.
But it’s important to me that it be my choice to do it, not somebody saying “you HAVE to or you are irreverent” (since the Church is not requiring it of me) and also that it is my meaning attached to it, which is
"I am honoring the tradition of my ancestors"
and which is NOT
"I am being a submissive woman" or
"I look so pretty in my veil" or
"I don’t like anything after Vatican 2" or
"I’m holier than thou" etc.

Re the fasting from midnight before: there is another thread where we are talking about all the people who pass out in Church from forgetting to eat, or not eating enough, before the 1-hour fast kicks in; I’m sure making everybody fast from midnight before until a Mass time that nowadays could be noon or even later would be making even more folks keel over.
If someone WANTS to do it, fine, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s a great idea (I don’t) or that it makes the person choosing to do it “holier than thou”. Actually it would be more holy if he just did it and shut up about it.

And re the whole Ad Orientem thing: I think it is one of those areas like communion in the hand where a certain percentage of clerics I generally like and respect have tended to go off the beam.

My point in posting all this is just to note that there are a huge variety of reasons why people might object to a particular practice and it’s not always because they hate tradition. I actually like a lot of traditional devotions and practices. I also like some modern devotions and practices. I like to have options, which means I don’t want to have either the trad stuff or the modern stuff forced upon me unless it is some absolute requirement of the Church, nor do I want people making assumptions about why I might be doing something - if you want to know why I have a veil on (or don’t), you can ask me.


Whether it is or not, why tell a whole congregation who would do it anyway that they aren’t allowed?

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I don’t want the Church to go back to canonically mandating a midnight fast or veiling either.

I meant more the encouraging people who are willing and able to practice such things and embrace them.

I don’t mean people who are opposed to mandating such things. I mean people who are opposed to the customs themselves.


Beats me.

Sounds inappropriate.

Did he want them to remain standing instead of kneeling, or just to sit instead?

Boomers man, they’re the worst :grimacing::joy:


Exactly. The new generation coming up tends to want something different from their parents, something they can make their own. It’s not uncommon for them to look back a couple generations and say, “hey, back in Grandma’s day they did this and it was really cool.” Their parents, who were Grandma’s kids, may have a whole different thought on the matter, and not see it as “really cool” but rather see it as stuffy, old-fashioned, have bad memories of the time the nuns punished them for not having a veil on for Mass, etc.


My belief is it’s not about the externals, it’s always about the teaching, and the demands that God has made on each of us to become holy, as His Son is Holy.

He told us in Scripture: Be perfect as My Heavenly Father is perfect.

And so the Catholic Church has tried to help us do this, and we reject it, in big and little ways.

All the “external” issues boil down to morality issues.

We hear the message…and we “go away sad” wanting to change reality.

And so we then “pick at” this or that tradition, way, custom, or even teaching element of the Church.

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Yeah, they told us all to stand at the beginning of church. It just seems odd. Like, why tell us not to kneel. What is wrong with kneeling?

They have since stopped asking and so everyone did what comes naturally in these parts which is kneel.

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I don’t think we’re “allergic”. It’s just some of us have never been to a Traditional Mass. We’ve always been to the OF Mass, it’s all we know. It doesn’t mean your form of Mass is any less or more or anything, it is perfectly acceptable.

Women veiling: I would do it without a problem. I just don’t see the need or feel the call to do so as of yet.

Liturgical customs: Our OF Mass does use some of the things you mentioned. Not at each and every Mass and not everything you mentioned but some of them some times.

ad Orientem: well I wouldn’t have a problem with it but it would need some prior explanation to those who attend OF Mass.

disciplinary traditions: well that could be better explained and encouraged. The basics could always be reviewed, clearly spoken of and encouraged.

Like I said we aren’t allergic we just haven’t ever experienced them and because of that we take part in our OF Mass as fully as we can to the best of our ability.

Sure there are some abuses and down right head-shaking things going on but for the most part, at least personally, the OF Masses I take part in are very devout and true to the Faith. Our Pastor is a devout holy man and does his best to make sure that things are done correctly and with reverence to Our Lord. I take part in each and every Mass. I am not just a spectator so I feel that when I leave Mass I have met with and received Our Lord and had a bit of Heaven here on Earth. I learn as much as I can about the Mass. I learn as much as I can about the Catholic Faith. I hope to never stop learning until I stop breathing. My Catholic Church/Faith is THE most important part of my life. God first.


Hold on, why are you talking like I’m some sort of TLM enthusiast?

I prefer the OF over the EF Mass. The OF is my normal Mass.

Being a tradition minded Catholic does not mean one rejects the OF Mass.


It would be nice if Catholics in general were more open and encouraging about letting others practice the Catholic faith in the way they see fit, as long as what they are doing is approved by the Church.

Unfortunately, I see two things on this forum that stand in the way of that.

First is this attitude that many people have that whatever way they personally practice or prefer is the “right way” to do it, and people who don’t do it that way are somehow “less holy” or “less reverent” or are in danger of leaving the Church. We see this on almost every thread about postures at Mass, dress at Mass, music at Mass, veiling, TLM, charismatic practice, etc.

Invariably, some (though not all) of the persons criticizing will have had little or no exposure to whatever it is and just decided they don’t like it based on an article they read or a video they saw, and it’s therefore bad.

We need to stop confusing our personal taste with actual “bad” or forbidden practices, or committing the sin of pride by acting like our own personal preference is more holy or “reverent” etc.

Second is the attitude that many people have that if they think something is great for them, it is just automatically equally great for everybody. Again, if the “something” isn’t required by the Church, then it’s an option, and if you think it is great for you, then go do it, but don’t insist that everybody else should be doing it too. I think some of the kneejerk reaction you mention comes from people’s fear that they’ll somehow be forced to participate in whatever the tradition is.


I agree with you.

I don’t care much for traditional Catholicism. Like seriously. If one veils or not. If one only attends the Latin Mass or not.

I just don’t want to be pressured into doing things I don’t want to do (eg veiling). I also don’t want people making assumptions about me (eg I must be a radical feminist because I’m wearing pants and I’m not veiling).

I also don’t like the holier than thou attitudes of some. I know some will insist that it doesn’t exist but it doessss. It’s not pleasant. I don’t like how some act as if certain traditional things are superior just because it’s an old practice.

And lastly, this is more about veiling. I don’t like false modern reasons about it. I asked a lot of women who veil and a lot of them said that it originated because women are very sacred and like the temple, we have to be veiled. When I ask for sources, they tend to direct me to more modern sources. So it gets frustrating after a while because the older sources tend to point to a rather boring purpose (either modesty, female submission or a cultural practice).

To the OP:

The knee-jerk reaction depends on who you’re encouraging. You won’t get a nice reaction if you’re just encouraging women in general to veil. If you’re doing so to a woman who’s already thinking about it, I doubt anyone would stop you?


Sorry I was wrongly assuming that you meant the EF Mass. But still we who only know the OF do things the way we do because it’s always been that way, change is difficult and mainly because it isn’t explained or encouraged more.

There are three reasons:

1. Diabolical Disorientation: The Church, and the world, are in the midst of great crisis. The Church is going through the most severe apostasy in her history. The world is under the power of the Evil One and has rejected truth and sound morality.

2. Pride: Those who promoted the revolution in the wake of Vatican II believed they knew better than everybody else. They tried to re-create everything from scratch. Everything had to be reformed and changed. Their reforms have failed and their pride won’t let them admit it.

3. Ignorance: Several generations have grown up without sound catechesis, liturgy and piety. The Catholic world has lost its sensus fidelium. They don’t know what has been lost. They have been deprived of doctrine, liturgy, devotions and spirituality. They literally can’t speak Catholic language: they don’t know Latin and it’s related culture.

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