An Issue With "Traditional"


My dear husband and I were talking about this new forum last night, and something he said really struck me, and was something I never thought of before but find quite important to consider.

To have, on a Catholic forum, a place for “traditional Catholics”, when we are ONE holy, catholic, apostolic faith, does this not create a schismatic divide in the Church, or at least the appearance of one?

Yes, there are some who have a preference for certain things, but to pull apart the “traditional” into their own camp, are we not saying that we are now two churches? Those who practice the Faith in a “traditional” way, and those who don’t.

I have to agree with him that it lends the appearance of divisiveness in the Church to those who don’t know and come here seeking answers. Much of the discussions could probably just as easily fit into the other already existing forums on the board, and a “hot house” debate forum could be used for the truly heated issues.

I’m not telling CA how to run this place, but as a member, and a Catholic, I feel that we have to be absolutely above question when it comes to any appearance of division in the Church.



My major concern would be that it suggests that there is a form of Catholicism which is “traditional” and is hence distinct from other sorts of Catholicism.

There is “modernism” which Saint Pope Pius X spoke against - and that is distinct from genuine Catholicism. But to have a forum which is geared towards “traditional” Catholicism implies that it is distinct from what the Church currently does - which is not the case. We have nearly 2000 years of Tradition which culimnates in the current Catholic Church - the Catholic Church as she should be is traditional Catholicism.

The whole forum should be geared towards traditional Catholicism, in that it should be authentic, in obediance to Rome, reflecting the 2000 year history of the Catholic Church. A specific forum for “traditional Catholicism” implies that the rest of the forum is for “modern Catholicism”. I would argue that the two are the same.

Of course, “modernism” is not Catholicism - there are many abuses and problems within the anti-Church which are passed off as Catholicism, but they are not Catholicism.

Equally, denying (for example) the validity of the Novos Ordo is not Catholicism either. There are two errors here - and I think that having a “traditional Catholic” forum leans towards the second, and certainly gives the impression of doing so.




:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :smiley:


What is classified as “moderinism”? Can you give me some examples…thank you.


It would be the tendency to consider that certain instructions from Rome are “optional” - so, for example;

i) Catholics practicing barrier methods of birth control within marriage because their (uninformed) conscience says it is okay.

ii) Catholics voting for pro-abortion politicians

iii) Holding hands during the Our Father

iv) The belief that the Catholic Church is just “another denomination” rather than “the one true faith”.

Modernism is a product of the modern world, and there are many examples of it. It is, essentially, the neglecting (if not the outright rejection) of core Catholic doctrines because they are inconvenient or don’t fit with the modern world. It is the creation of a “Catholicism-lite”.

Saint Pope Pius X was a big foe of modernism.


well then wouldnt the term “tradional” be appropriate for folks that do not do these things?


At 10am mass we have a full “smells and bells” mass with traditional choir etc.

At 6pm we have a more folky mass.

I am heavily involved in youth catechises in my parish and love the youth masses. I love all the masses and enjoy the diversity of worship and the unity of the liturgy.


Certainly - and so would “Catholic”. To say that those who are not followers of the modernist heresy are “traditional Catholics” implies that those who are modernists are Catholics - which simply isn’t the case. To take the one true form of Catholicism and apply an adjective to it implies that there are many forms of Catholicism expressed by those terms which are the word “Catholicsm” modified by an adjective.

The phrase “traditional Catholicism” is at the very least tautologous - and it can imply that modernist Catholicism is actually on a par with it, when it certainly is not.

The moment a group says that they are “traditional” it gives creedence to those who are “modernist” or not traditional. What it does is say that there is more than one expression of the truth of the matter - and that these are just different interpretations.

While it is certainly true that traditional Catholicism exists, is is just Catholicism. Calling it traditional implies or could lead to the inference that other forms of Catholicism are valid and are, in fact, Catholicism.

Nobody would say, for example, “I am using the traditional two-times table” meaning the progression which runs 2, 4, 6, 8 . . . except as an ironic joke against someone who said it went 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13 . . . You would say “I am using the correct two-times table”. The truth of Catholicism is at least as hard and final and exclusive as maths - probably more so, but that is a philosophical discussion I feel few here are actually equipped to handle.

Somebody can say “I hold to a traditional view of art” and genuinely mean that, because art is subjective. Modernist art is not to everyone’s taste, but it is still art. Speaking of “traditional art” validates modernist art as a form of art; if one said “No, I like art - not that stuff you like!” it shows precisely how the person feels about modern art.

Catholicism is not a state of mind, it is a way of life :slight_smile:


thank you…that made total sense and I totally understand your stance now…thank you!


And with this we see the danger of using the word traditional - that choir is “traditional” in that it has been “done for a while”. The other mass is described as “folky” (probably as a description of the music and style of homily etc.) However, both masses are (I would hope) traditional in that they are valid and correct.

I love all the masses and enjoy the diversity of worship and the unity of the liturgy.

And I think that sums up exactly my point - there is a unity in liturgy which is traditional. The diversity is also traditional, in that there are many styles of worship and always have been.

Often, the word “traditional” seems to be a euphemism for “like it was in the 1950s”. That is not the case - traditional simply means we have done it for a while and are used to it.

There are two dangers in the use of the term - the first is the (inadvertent, usually) legitimiazation of modernism. The second is what Lizaanne warned of - a sense of schism in the Church, saying that “we want to turn the clock back” and the implication that the modern Church is incorrect. She is not - there are certain individuals within the Church who are, but she remains perfect and the bride of Christ.


Thank you, you explained this concern perfectly. :slight_smile:



[quote]well then wouldnt the term “tradional” be appropriate for folks that do not do these things?

Certainly - and so would “Catholic”.

The implication seems to be that those who are in the TLM movement never do these things. Beg to differ on that! Like nobody ever used birth control who were in the age of the old mass? And they don’t do this now? Clearly a delusion. Sin is sin, and all Catholics are subject to commiting it, not just those who attend the Pauline mass. :rolleyes:

The phrase “traditional Catholicism” is at the very least tautologous

It is not the normative mass celebrated universally, and I agree that it certainly lends an idea that there are two normative masses which one may attend according to personal preference.


The reality is that there ARE divisions. And they can create an unnecessary tension on the board. Just look through all the strife in the Liturgy forum over such things. As such, I think it’s well worth having it’s own place to discuss without muddying the waters of potentially every thread of a certain tenor in some way. I find it ironic that when the importance and signifigance about these concerns are recognized on the board by being given it’s own forum, there is an objection that “no, no, we shouldn’t call it a ‘traditional’ thing”, but that the modernist mantra has begun. Such talk only proves out the point of worthiness for giving this all a unique place of it’s own.


Actually, Modernism is a specific and well-defined heresy. See the document concerning the Errors of the Modernists.



Oh my…:eek: that is a real eye opener


You feel that these are in the same category?
ABC and holding hands during the Our Father?

I see traditional as people that see optional instructions or ideas or thoughts as mandatory.
Head coverings for women,
Latin Mass as mandatory,
three hour fast or longer to receive Communion.

But I think that it has become that “traditional” means people that are in union with Rome.


As nearly as I understand it at the moment, “modernism” could be said to consist of a number of beliefs and practices that result from two premises, namely that (1) The only source of knowledge comes from our senses, and therefore there is no such thing as either self-evident or revealed truth. And (2) Religion is therefore a basically subjective reality, that is it is anchored in our subjective experience and not in objective, unchanging reality.

As a result, a modernist is likely to accept conclusions such as:
“Fundamental doctrines can and should be replaced by new doctrines as our thinking and subjective experience evolves”
or “The Christ of faith is not the same as the Christ of history”
Modernists are therefore unconcerned if their subjective thoughts lead them to discard the “unchangable” dogmas of the past. For example, if their thoughts lead them to conclude that there cannot be a hell, then they feel they can accept that and yet are still somehow faithful to the Catholic tradition.


Thanks for the link to the document on modernism, Baltobetsy. What an eye-opener! Those who allege that the N.O. people are “modernists” are blown out of the water with this error in labeling them, for there are 65 tenets in this document.

  1. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.

This one really jolted me, for it is the very argument made by some traditionists … that the Church contradicts history and seemingly has no authority to change the liturgy after Quo Primum. Yikes, who are the real modernists???


In my personal opinion…the words orthodox and traditional are interchangeable in this case. You see…traditional Catholics are not just all about the TLM, as is a common misconception…on the contrary, they love and support the Novus Ordo as well…however, they would like to see it celebrated with reverance and according to the rubrics as it very well deserves. With that said though…they would love to see the TLM freely offered to those nostalgic Catholics who prefer it. Traditional Catholics are not trying to create a separation between Catholics by any means…modernists have done that by adding their own man made inventions into the Mass…and the Mass, I must say is perfect and completely innocent…therefore, it is by calling ourselves traditional Catholics, that we simply imply that we are orthodox, devout, respectful, and humble Catholics who obey the Pope and the Magisterium in all things…we don’t tolerate abuses or lack of reverance, and we definitely don’t want to be lumped together with the modernists who do none of the above.

With that said…I have heard some people say that there have been people within the Catholic Church advocating a Traditional Rite, much like we find with the Eastern Rite Catholics…I don’t think it will ever happen…but I for one would not be opposed to such a thing…it will give traditionalist freedom to celebrate the TLM and Sacraments without restriction and possibly heal this split with our separated bretheren in the SSPX and other splinter groups.


**Those who allege that the N.O. people are “modernists” /**quote]
:confused: who said this???

[quote=]Yikes, who are the real

attempting to label certain people or imply something?

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